Drummer and composer Susie Ibarra has been making exploratory music that rumbles and ruminates, radiating a rich atmosphere, drawing on traditions from the Philippines (where Ibarra’s family is from) and from beyond Southeast Asia. Ibarra is steeped in the free-jazz avant-garde drumming tradition, but she’s a global-minded adventurer with a delicate and sensitive touch.
Ibarra’s DreamTime Ensemble, which features strings, vocals, electronics and more, released a lovely record, “Perception,” in 2017. The idea of shifting sensory perspectives is built into the music, as is the notion that a change in the angle of how we approach and take in experience can drastically alter our sense of things.
The record includes excellent mini drum solos that evoke the highly melodic and satisfyingly patterned late-period solos of master drummer Max Roach. Elsewhere Ibarra employs liquid-sounding gongs and other metallophones. Ibarra and her ensemble can move between meditative and stately calm and energetic, creative surges of sustained body-moving drive.
Susie Ibarra’s DreamTime Ensemble performs at Firehouse 12, 45 Crown St., New Haven, on Friday, April 20, with two sets: at 8:30 p.m. ($20) and 10 p.m. ($15) 203-785-0468 or firehouse12.com