I’m very excited to curate and perform in the final night of the 2015 San Francisco Fog Music Festival!!
Under the direction of the indefatigable Jack Hertz, Fog Music Festival 2015 will be a major 4-day electronic music event. While the preceding nights will be electronics-focused (28 Jan: Space Drone, 29 Jan: Sound Design, 30 Jan: Noise), Sat 31 Jan will end the festival on an Electro-acoustic note.
I’ll be playing in Set 4 (9:15pm sharp) as part of the neogaku multimedia consort Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会), consisting of Nancy Beckman & Tom Bickley (just back from their Japan tour…), Nan Busse, Joe Lasqo, Suki O’Kane, and Bill Thibault, in a modernist transformation of ancient fog-related music from Japanese Zen repertoire, using elements as diverse as video, dance, didgeridoo, shakuhachi, percussion, piano, monster contrabass recorder, and laptop-based electronics.
Other artists in the evening will include (more details below): ◉ Brian Day, Jack Hertz, rizorkestra ◉ RTD3 (Doug Carroll, Ron Heglin, Tom Nunn) ◉ Dohee Lee (이도희), Adria Otte, Edward Schocker ◉ Chris & Sebastian Chafe, w guest from Paris, Aurélie Ménétrieux.
Please note that the festival calls for a dense format, so in order to give artists full-length sets, the set times given below will be strictly observed.
Among other music, we’ll be presenting an extended transmutation of the ancient shakuhachi piece Mukaiji (霧海箎, “Fog, Ocean, Flute”) which was received by shakuhachi and Zen master Kyochiku Zenji (虚竹禅師), on a boat in a dream…
…a dream where he found himself in a skiff, floating peacefully on the ocean and admiring the moon…
…when suddenly, thick fog moved across the waters, diffusing the moonlight everywhere and nowhere….
Through the fog, he heard only the sound of the shakuhachi…
Our electroacoustic boat drifts through the fog, and sound islands come into earshot, as solos and embedded contrastive pieces emerge from this flowing matrix, in a structure designed by Nancy Beckman.
This will be preceded by Tom Bickley’s meditative and translucent piece, Tolling, which relaxes and opens as it is realized by the players’ explorations and choices within its abstract melodic and harmonic system.
About the players:
◉ Nancy Beckman (shakuhachi)
Nancy Beckman creates performance pieces, plays and teaches the shakuhachi, and performs with the Cornelius Cardew Choir. Her education includes an undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies from Wesleyan University, a master’s in Interarts from SFSU and ordination to teach shakuhachi from Myōan-ji (明暗寺, the famous “Temple of Light & Darkness” of shakuhachi history) in Kyoto.
Note: Nancy has just got back from Japan a bit sick; we are assuming for now she’ll be recovered enough to perform by showtime.
◉ Tom Bickley (Paetzold contrabass recorder | EWI wind synth | objects)
Tom Bickley composes electro-acoustic music, plays and teaches recorder, performs with Three Trapped Tigers (with recorder player David Barnett), co-founded and directs the Cornelius Cardew Choir, is a curator emeritus of the Meridian Gallery music series, and is on the Library Faculty (music, philosophy and political science) at CSU East Bay. His education includes degrees in music, theology, and library and information science and the Certificate in Deep Listening.
◉ Nan Busse (dance | didgeridoo)
Nan Busse has been creating dance-based art works since receiving her MFA from UC-Irvine. Collaborating with choreographer Christopher Beck she made pieces performed at Centerspace (Project Artaud) & New College; and with her partner, poet Tobey Kaplan, participated in the Link inter-disciplinary performance series.
Since about 1999 she’s been unable to stop dancing – thanks to Yvonne Caldwell, Evelyn Thomas, Roger Dillahunty, Georgia Ortega, John Tanner, and the great Cassie Terman, and has toured in Việt Nam and the US with Nguyễn Dance Company.
Originally trained as a musician (piano), Nan’s increasing engagement with the didgeridoo, as both an instrument and dance partner, has led to some wonderful collaborations where she executes her part at all points on the spectrum between sound and movement.
◉ Joe Lasqo (laptop | piano | objects | organizer)
Laptopist/pianist Joe Lasqo studied classical music in India; computer music at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley/CNMAT; has been a long-time avant jazz musician; & has lived, played & listened in many East Asian and European countries (now in SF).
Special interests include applying AI techniques from expert systems, natural language processing, and computational linguistics to music; and the intersection of traditional Asian musics with modernism.
In addition to Mukaiji-kai (霧海箎会), Joe is a regular member of Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, various ensembles involving Donald Robinson, and Jim Ryan’s Green Alembic, as well as his own Renga-kai (連歌会) Ensemble, and looks forward to upcoming releases with Thomas Dimuzio, Beth Custer, and Biggi Vinkeloe.
◉ Suki O’Kane (percussion)
Suki O’Kane is a classically trained mallet percussionist, a composer and an instigator working with artists from a wide array of of music, movement & public art genres. One of the founding members of the lo-fi sampling ensemble The Noodles (w Michael Zelner), Suki plays percussion with Moe! Staiano’s Moe!kestra!, Dan Plonsey’s Daniel Popsicle, Big City Orchestra and is an ensemble member of Thingamajigs, performing new works by Edward Schocker, Dylan Bolles and Zachary James Watkins.
She works in partnership with House of Zoka, a live recording project that has documented over 13 years of creative new music in the Bay Area, & since 2003 has been curating performances of live music and film, such as The Illuminated Corridor, a nomadic public art project that creates streetscapes of live experimental music and performative projection and Music by the Eyeful, the indoor performance series exploring the work of intermedia artists.
◉ Bill Thibault (video)
Bill Thibault received a Ph.D. in Information & Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology (thesis: “Application of Binary Space Partitioning Trees to Geometric Modeling and Ray-Tracing”) As a Ph.D. candidate he worked at Bell Labs (now Lucent Technologies) in Murray Hill, NJ. Upon graduation, he took his current position on the faculty of the Dept. of Math & Computer Science at California State University, East Bay.
Somewhere along the way he also turned to the Multispectral Side and became the notorious VJLove, master of the doors of visual perception, and co-conspirator in many raids on reality, with partners in crime like Kattt Atchley, Kenneth Atchley, John Bischoff, Chris Brown, Barbara Golden, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Tim Perkis, and WIGBAND.
What happens inside the quantum box when your load it with this chromodynamic mixture: — a master of transcultural modal improv on many instruments (rizorkestra) — an electronic musician who’s gone so far down the event-horizon of FM synthesis that he may never return (Jack Hertz) — and the unhinged imagination of invented-instrument mad scientist, Bryan Day?
Well, we’re going to find out…
I predict translucent sheets of gorgeous modal shimmer washing over a terrain of crunchy invented sounds, like ultraviolet fog pouring through hills dotted with telepathic cows and a large glowing radar dish, alongside an alternate Route 280.
Bryan Day is a improviser, instrument inventor, illustrator & installation artist based in Richmond, CA. His work involves combining elements of the natural and man-made world using field recordings, custom audio generation software and homemade instruments. Bryan’s work explores the parallels between the patterns and systems in nature to those in contemporary society.
Bryan has toured throughout the US, Europe, Japan, Korea, Argentina & México, performing both solo as Sistrum and Eloine, and in the Shelf Life and Seeded Plain ensembles, as well as with innumerable collaborators.
Since 1997 he has been running the new music label Public Eyesore and its sister label Eh?. Through Public Eyesore and Eh?, Bryan has produced and released over 200 albums of improvised and experimental music by artists from all over the globe, in addition to co-curating the music series at Meridian Gallery in San Francisco.
“Inspired by the mystery of life. I manipulate sound to create intangible techno-organic impressions between music and noise.”
Starting from expriments more than 30 years ago with analog tape and a Casio VL-Tone, Jack Hertz has created an extensive ambient and meta-ambient sound universe, with particular emphasis on Frequency Modulation, and has implemented an elaborate and unique customized software platform for FM synthesis.
rizorkestra is based in Los Angeles and “currently roaming the California coast and deserts performing music, collecting musical instruments, photographing and filming the Pacific Ocean and the sun in the sky and planning cheap, sensible meals.”
riz studied at Claremont Colleges, with symphonic pieces commissioned under grant by Pitzer College, and was one of the composers for the film Sex Tax, inspired by the story of the 1999 IRS takeover of the Mustang Ranch Brothel in Nevada — a film for which he brought in “two truck loads of instruments” (and…?). “Instruments find me,” he laughs. “I’m the Saint Francis of stray musical instruments”
His instrumentation accordingly varies with the tides and moon, and can range from one-man-band kits, vibraphone, piano, or FX, to stringed instruments such as guitar, slide guitar, ‘ud (عود), and pipa (琵琶).
All 3 players span the full range from percussive to melodic… sometimes within the same note.
Although Ron Heglin and Doug Carroll use conventional instruments, their explorations of extended technique (viz. playing the cello upside down) enable them to use their instruments as sound synthesizers of a most unconventional sort. Coupled with leading instrument inventor and improv phenomenologist, Tom Nunn, in the long standing improvising trio, RTD3, they become a 6-eared vibration-telepathy music monster whose sonic lair you’ll be irresistibly drawn to enter.
Ron Heglin is a trombonist, tuba-wallah, and vocalist working with extended technique on the brass instruments and with spoken and sung imaginary languages as a vocalist. His vocal music has been influenced by his study of North Indian vocal music. He works both compositionally and in an improvisational mode and is a member of the Bay Area music context as well as performing internationally. He is a founding member of the groups Music for All Occasions, Rotodoti (RTD3 + Tim Perkis), Dynosoar (with Tom Djll and Karen Stackpole), and Brassiosuarus, has performed with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Brant, Logos Duo, Tim Perkis, John Bischoff, Kattt Atchley, Toyoji Tomita (富田豊治), and is my bandmate in Jim Ryan’s Green Alembic.
Tom Nunn has designed, built and performed with original musical instruments since 1976, and has built over 200 instruments.
His instruments typically utilize commonly available materials, are sculptural in appearance, utilize contact microphones for amplification, and are designed specifically for improvisation with elements of ambiguity, unpredictability and nonlinearity. Tom has performed extensively throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years, as well as in other parts of the U.S., Canada, Europe, and New Zealand, both as soloist and with other musicians. Tom also performs with T.D. Skatchit, RTD3, Ghost in the House, Music for Hard Times (duo with Paul Winstanley) and has appeared on a number of recordings, including his solo CD, Identity (2007), T.D. Skatchit & Company (2009) and Skatch Migration (2010) (Edgetone Records) and numerous releases of material from Music for Hard Times on EdenGully. In 1998, he published Wisdom of the Impulse: On the Nature of Musical Free Improvisation.
International cellist and composer, Doug Carroll expands into new sound domains with the use of electronic processing and creative thought. Doug’s compositions for electronic cello and tape combine the spontaneity and drama of a live performance with the richness and diversity of the taped material (including, among others, his masterful field recordings of birds and animals).
His solo improvisations have received international acclaim for their stark originality and musical sensitivity. Additionally, he has composed for a variety of multimedia events, including modern dance, theatre, film, and video, as well as collaborations with visual artists. He studied composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Lou Harrison, and Anthony Braxton. He has an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College and a BA in Music from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Other studies include the Darmstadt International Course for New Music and the Royal Conservatory at the Hague, Netherlands, is an active member of various Bay Area improvising ensembles such as RTD3, and Rotodoti, and is my bandmate in Jim Ryan’s Green Alembic.
An Asia-inspired trio who have often worked together in Thingamajigs.org’s invented instrument festivals and/or the ritualistic performances of vocalist/neo-shaman Dohee Lee (이도희); for example: the recent piece Mago (마고), which sold out on all nights at Yerba Buena Center, or the piece Water Storied in last year’s Soundwave (6) Festival.
— Edward Schocker (invented instruments, esp. contact-mic’d water-canister instruments; East Asian wind instruments)
— Adria Otte (East Asian percussion & electronic processing)
“I passionately believe by practicing art we can commune with spirits to express and share our thoughts and ideas on vital issues such as identity, politics, nature and spirituality.” – Dohee Lee (이도희)
Born on Jeju Island in South Korea, Dohee Lee (이도희) studied Korean dance, music, percussion and vocals at the master level. Since her arrival in the US, she’s been a vital contributor to both the traditional & contemporary arts landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Dohee’s work focuses on integration of traditional forms and contemporary arts through music, movement, images, costumes and installations, and more recently, custom gesture controllers designed by Donald Swearingen.
Her distinctive and profound performance style evokes the full spectrum of human emotion, the primordial, futuristic, visible and invisible realms. A review that that appeared in the Chicago Tribune stated, “Lee unfurled an extraordinary lexicon of vocal colors, tones and textures. Yet she deftly controlled these otherworldly sounds…with her sinuous, thoroughly personalized one-woman choreography, self-styled art form.”
Born out of her desire to explore new art forms, she founded the Puri (풀이) Project in 2004 to present interdisciplinary works that embrace the ritualistic and healing aspects of performance. She received the Isadora Duncan Special Award honoring Outstanding Achievement for her piece FLUX, performed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and has performed in venues and festivals around the world and collaborated with a wide range of artists such as dancers/choreographers Anna Halprin, Shinichi Iova-Koga’s inkBoat, Amara Tabor-Smith, Sherwood Chen, Yannis Adoniou’s Kunst-Stoff, the Degenerate Art Ensemble, Sue Li-Jue’s Facing East Dance & Music, and musicians/composers such as ETHEL, Larry Ochs, Scott Amendola, Joan Jeanrennaud, Theresa Wong (黃天欣), Francis Wong (王世明), and Tatsu Aoki (青木達幸).
Dohee’s been awarded artist residencies at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, the Watermill Center in New York with the Degenerate Art Ensemble, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Paul Dresher Artist Residency Center, the Montalvo Arts Center and Djerassi Art Center. In 2010, she appeared at Carnegie Hall with Kronos Quartet, performing her original composition, Sinawi (시나위) and Muru (무루) at Teatro Municipal de Lima in Peru with Pauchi Sasaki (パウチ・ 佐々木) and Colectivo (((OIE))).
Adria Otte is a violinist, electronic musician and Korean percussionist, especially in the styles of P’ungmul (풍물) & Samulnori (사물놀이), using the percussion instruments kkwaenggwari (꽹과리), jing (징), janggu (장구), and buk (북).
A long-time veteran of the San Francisco Bay Area new music scene, Adria has curated a memorable concert series at the Meridian Gallery and is known for her collaborations with Tom Bickley (in the duo Mad Ratio) Dohee Lee (이도희), Bob Marsh’s Emergency (X)tet, Suki O’Kane, Edward Schocker, and many others.
Edward Schocker is a composer and performer who creates music with made/found materials and alternate tuning systems. He holds an M.A. in composition from Mills College, where he studied with Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, and independently with Lou Harrison. At Mills, Edward founded The Music For People & Thingamajigs Festival, an annual event in The Bay Area devoted to unusual instruments and tunings.
In 1999-2000 Edward was artist in residence at the now defunct European Dance Development Center in Düsseldorf, Germany where he took part in and conducted workshops in instrument building, and composer/choreographer collaborations. Many of his dance-theater collaborations at this time toured throughout Europe and were performed by Jim Fulkerson and members of Amsterdam-based The Barton Workshop. In 2004 he composed music for an UNESCO sponsored work with Echo Arts — a large bicommunal project in Cyprus that helped build understanding between communities in conflict. His other collaborations in dance/theatre include multiple works with UK director Angus Balbernie: Mud Wings, Nine Days On Dark Water, and Sassantedue.
Edward’s residencies and commissions include Stanford Lively Arts with Brenton Cheng, the St. Ignatius Choir directed by Jonathan Dimmock in San Francisco, Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra directed by Gordon Lee in San Jose, and Youkobo Art Space in Tokyo. In 2006 he was awarded The NEA/Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Fellowship to research Japanese musical instruments and tuning systems, and in 2010 received a 6-month residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts.
As a performer, he has presented work at festivals around the world, including Internationales Klangkunstfest in Berlin, Playback in San Francisco and Pacific Exchange in Japan.
Currently, Edward is an ensemble member of the Thingamajigs Performance Group, creating works in a group process with Dylan Bolles, Suki O’Kane and Zachary James Watkins. The group is presently in a multi-year collaboration with literary artist Stephen Ratcliffe in creating long-duration multimedia works.
Chris Chafe is a composer, improvisor and cellist, developing much of his music alongside computer-based research.
In fact, Chris has kindly agreed to revisit his use of CO₂ sensors called PuffTrons (from his Smog Music) in honor of the Fog Music Festival theme. PuffTron streaming data of “hyperlocal fog” will be mapped, sonified, and visualized in a multimedia software framework, combining with sound from modified and unmodified string instruments and live electronics to bring the Fog Music Festival to a grand conclusion. Among the string instruments will be Chris’ own invention, the hybridized electro-acoustic celletto.
At IRCAM (Paris) & The Banff Centre (Alberta), Chris pursued methods for digital synthesis, music performance and real-time internet collaboration. The SoundWIRE project at CCRMA, which he has been deep involved with, enables live concertizing with musicians the world over, and the online collaboration software, including jacktrip and research into latency factors, continues to evolve.
An active performer either on the net or physically present, his music reaches audiences in dozens of countries and sometimes at novel venues (for example, Sun Shot, played by the horns of large ships in the port of St. Johns, Newfoundland). A simultaneous 5-country concert was hosted at the United Nations in 2009. Chris’ works are available from Centaur Records and various online media. Gallery and museum music installations are into their second decade with “musifications” resulting from collaborations with artists, scientists and MD’s.
Recent work includes the Brain Stethoscope project, PolarTide for the 2013 Venice Biennale, and Tomato Quintet for the transLife:media Festival at the National Art Museum of China. Chris premiered Rocco Di Pietro’s concerto, Finale, for electric cello and orchestra in 2012.
Sebastian Chafe is active both in musical activities involving contrabasses and sonic sculptures on the one hand, and leading edge audio tech at Sennheiser and elsewhere (leading to the award of microphony patents), on the other.
His recent explorations of doubly-mutated string sonorities with Chris Chafe, combining contrabass, celletto, algorithms and hardware, open up new string-based sectors of sonic space for exploration.
Intermedia artist and plasticienne sonore Aurélie Ménétrieux is based in Paris. We are very fortunate that she’s currently touring in the US and able to join Chris & Sebastian Chafe for a special audio-visual and electro-acoustsic intermedia trio.
After studying at thé École des beaux arts de Rueil-Malmaison, she has gone on to realize a unique series of audio-visual experiments and was the composer for the critically acclaimed film Spartacus & Cassandra, which débuted at Cannes last year.
Also remarkable are a stunning series of audio-visual collaborations…
validez, with Guillaume Guérin (below), featured at SCRIME 2012 (Bordeaux) and Festival Futura 2011 (Espace Soubeyran de Crest), is a wonderful example.
Join us for a night of amazing electro-acoustic music weaving together musical influences from 3 continents, and convolving an ancient Zen repertoire based on dreams with cutting-edge A/V mappings based on hyperlocal fog datastreams.