Seventh Festival Conference: “Crosscultural Improvisation III” The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Mannes College The New School for Music
New York City
JUNE 5-8, 2014
MISSION STATEMENT ISIM promotes performance, education, and research in improvised music, and illuminates connections between musical improvisation and creativity across fields.
ISIM President’s Welcome Welcome to New York City, the New School, and the Crosscultural Improvisation III festival/conference of the International Society for Improvised Music! With a wide array of performances, workshops, panel discussions, and academic presentations to choose from, we are confident you will come away from this weekend more energized and inspired than ever about this core facet of human creativity—one that transcends wide-ranging cultural and disciplinary boundaries. And it is difficult to imagine a more ideal site for this event than one of the most progressive educational institutions in the world, where a strong commitment to artistic innovation and robust social visioning have been prominent from its very inception. On behalf of the entire ISIM community, I extend my most heartfelt thanks to Martin Mueller, Executive Director and Pamela Sabrin, Director of Administration at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, their fabulous staff, and Richard Kessler, Dean of Mannes College The New School for Music and his staff, for being such great hosts. Between their utmost professionalism, top-notch faciltiies, and hospitality, we are fortunate indeed to convene this year’s event at their fine institution. I would also like to extend my thanks to Jin Hi Kim for her extraordinary work in directing the crosscultural performance and workshops of this year’s event as well as at previous events. Congratulations and big thanks to Richard Robeson as he completes a wonderful first year as ISIM’s new Executive Director; you will be seeing a lot of Rich this weekend, as well as ISIM Administrative Coordinator Billy Satterwhite, whose great work behind the scenes has once again been instrumental to the organization and the current festival/conference. A hearty thanks goes to the ISIM Board for their continued devotion to the organization, with special appreciation to Stephen Nachmanovitich, as he steps down from the Board, for his exceptional contributions in that capacity. Thanks as well to Maria and Frederic Ragucci for their continued generous support of ISIM. Finally, I thank all of you for being part of the ISIM family and I very much look forward to sharing this next few days with you. Sincerely,
Executive Director’s Welcome Welcome to the 2014 Festival and Conference of the International Society for Improvised Music, “Crosscultural Improvisation III.” I’d like to join ISIM President Ed Sarath in thanks to our colleagues and hosts at The New School for their exceptional generosity of time, energy and spirit. New York has few if any equals as a musical city, and we’re excited to be here.
The late African American writer Ralph Ellison once wrote, “Those who know their native culture and love it un-chauvinistically, are never lost when encountering the unfamiliar.” As a global community devoted to the art of improvisation, we clearly accept this simple but profound truth. We’re gathered here to celebrate what we learn when we not only encounter but also embrace the unfamiliar, and share that knowledge with each other. Over the next three days we’ll hear artists explore the deep past of our collective artistic history — with ancient instruments, with the most technologically advanced instruments currently available, and with every category in-between — while at the same time being fully situated in the present time. Every one of our 80+ sessions will have one or more aspects of this type of engagement; reaching across national boundaries, cultural traditions, and musical ideologies as well as time; and our Friday and Saturday evening concerts will show what is possible when all these aspects and others exist together onstage.
One of the things I find most compelling about ISIM is that the distinctions that are often made between artist, scholar, educator and performer are not relevant in our organization. A person cannot seriously engage a concept such as “crosscultural improvisation” without some level of engagement with all of the above. This was one of the main reasons that I was honored to have been nominated to be ISIM Executive Director, and a reason that I am honored to serve.
My special thanks go out to the ISIM Board of Directors, and Administrative Coordinator Billy Satterwhite for all they’ve done to make my transition into this new role a smooth one. Stephen (we’ll miss you), Karlton, Bill, Jin, India, Douglas, Ed — Thanks! And thanks to you, the participants in “Crosscultural Improvisation III.” We hope that you’ll plan to be at all three days, and attend as many sessions as possible. This is going to be an amazing weekend. Richard Robeson
ISIM Executive Director
Artistic Director’s Welcome I am truly honored to have been entrusted by the ISIM board for this opportunity to develop the ISIM Cross-cultural Improvisation Workshop and Performance III.
Last year we had a very stimulating dialogue about tone quality in Cross-cultural Improvisation. Why have different cultures established specific tonal nuances in their musical improvisations? There are profound philosophical reasons and cultural histories underpinning this question and why each culture conceptualizes tone differently in musical time. This year we will contrast time sense between different cultures as well as juxtapose old concepts and new visions of time and space discovered by leading cutting edge physicists. I am excited about discussing this with the culturally diverse musicians including guest artists who are joining us from various backgrounds. I am sure in our days working together that we will come up with exciting expressions for a new evolving concept of time in music.
Meanwhile I’ve observed that we humans have already begun to merge into a global village where we share different spices in cuisine, musical expressions and philosophies. At this point of international cultural merging we should celebrate our future musical destiny and cross-cultural improvisation as a tool to explore a higher consciousness of human spiritual destiny. I am very thankful for all participants at our ISIM 7th Conference and their efforts to experience this precious moment together. Jin Hi Kim
Artistic Director of Crosscultural Improvisation Workshop and Performance III
The New School’s Welcome It is our personal pleasure to welcome all the participants of the 7th ISIM Festival Conference to The New School and to New York City, one of the world’s great crossroads for creative improvised music.
Innovation and creativity have always found a home at The New School, and our commitment to cross-divisional, interdisciplinary, and progressive educational values resonates deeply with the mission of the International Society for Improvised Music in furthering the growth and understanding of improvisation in education and in society at large. We are proud that both The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and Mannes College The New School for Music are working together to co-host the ISIM conference. Our joint effort is an expression of the goals we share in crossing boundaries and celebrating improvisation, musical discovery and dialogue between our schools. Please accept our best wishes for a most enjoyable and productive conference. Martin Mueller
The New School for
Jazz and Contemporary Music
The New School for Music
Staff & Committee Board of Directors Ed Sarath, President Karlton Hester, Vice President India Cooke, Secretary Stephen Nachmanovitch, Treasurer Douglas R. Ewart Bill Johnson Jin Hi Kim Advisory Council Geri Allen Ralph Alessi Karl Berger Jane Ira Bloom Joanne Brackeen Thomas Buckner Rui Carvalho Steve Coleman Marilyn Crispell Robert Dick
Dimos Dimitriades Mark Dresser David Elliott Darryl Harper Robert Hurst Zhanna Ilmer Francois Jeanneau Mazen Kerbaj Ganesh Komar Wojciech Konikiewicz Oliver Lake Joëlle Léandre George Lewis David Liebman Larry Livingston Nicole Mitchell Roscoe Mitchell Lester Monts Janne Murto Bruno Nettl
Evan Parker Rufus Reid Ines Reiger Bennett Reimer Jon Rose John Santos Ursel Schlicht Sam Shalabi Archie Shepp Dee Spencer LaDonna Smith Roman Stoylar Karaikudi S. Subramanian Stephen Syverud Walter Thompson Walter Turkenburg Sarah Weaver Michael Wheeler Michael Zerang
Conference Committee Ed Sarath and Richard Robeson, Conference Directors Billy Satterwhite, ISIM Administrative Coordinator Pamela Sabrin, Event Coordinator, New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Ryan Anselmi, Facilities Supervisor, New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Chris Hoffman, Production/Recording Supervisor, New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Philip Ballman, Concert Producer, New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Erik Bestman, Concert Producer, Mannes College the New School for Music Acknowledgements ISIM extends its thanks to the New School and to ISIM associate members: California Institute of the Arts, Susie Allen SUNY Fredonia School of Music, David Rudge University of Kentucky School of Music, Rui Li University of Michigan Dept of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation, Ed Sarath and Ellen Rowe Phaedrus Foundation/Mutable Music, Thomas Buckner Free Play Productions/ Blue Cliff Recordings, Stephen Nachmanovitch Special thanks to Maria and Frederic Ragucci for their generous support for ISIM.
FRIDAY EVENING CONCERT PROGRAM Friday, June 6, 7:30 PM Auditorium @ 12th St — 66 W 12th Street 7:30pm, MAT MANERI AND TANYA KALMANOVITCH 8:30pm, THE REGGIE WORKMAN GROUP Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch Violist Mat Maneri is an American improviser and composer. He has recorded and performed with Cecil Taylor, Matthew Shipp, Joe Morris, Gerald Cleaver, Tim Berne, Borah Bergman, Mark Dresser, William Parker, Barre Phillips, Marilyn Crispell, Craig Taborn, Michael Formanek, among many others. He started releasing records as a leader in 1996, often featuring long-time collaborators Randy Peterson and Ed Schuller, and recorded extensively with his father, the composer, saxophonist and clarinetist Joe Maneri. Based in New York, Maneri is a private lesson instrutor at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. “Maneri is a remarkable virtuoso, the internal logic of his lines is captivating.” -- Stuart Nicholson, JazzWise Tanya Kalmanovitch is a violist, ethnomusicologist and writer based in New York City. Trained at the Juilliard School, her work as a musician bridges classical, jazz and experimental music and has been profiled in Jazz Times, DownBeat, the Globe and Mail and the New York Times. Her most recent project is a trio with pianist Anthony Coleman and accordionist Ted Reichman. She performs and teaches regularly in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, and is a faculty member at the New England Conservatory in Boston and Mannes College The New School for Music in New York. “Kalmanovitch is an exceptional musician. In soloing she thinks compositionally, with an expressive contrast between the astringent chromaticism of her lines and compositions and her warmly malleable tone… a remarkable unity between the written and the improvised.” -Ray Comiskey, The Irish Times
The Reggie Workman Group Kirk Nurock (piano), Lakecia Benjamin (a. sax), Odean Pope (t. sax), Tapan Modak (tablas), Elizabeth Panzer (harp), Reggie Workman (bass), Winard Harper (drums) Reggie Workman is an internationally acclaimed bassist, composer, educator and arts advocate whose playing styles covers the range of modern music from Bop to Post–Bop and beyond. He’s known as one of the most technically gifted bassists in modern jazz. Workman’s extensive performing and recording credits include recording with Jazz icons John Coltrane, Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Max Roach, Thelonious Monk, Abbey Lincoln, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, the emerging luminary Jason Moran, and many more. An ardent educator and advocate for the arts, Workman co-founded The Black Artist Collective, and served as Music Director of the famed New Muse Community Museum in Brooklyn. At the university level, Workman has served on faculty at University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Bennington College, Long Island University and the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. With over fifty years in the business, Reggie Workman continues his amazing Jazz journey, producing, conducting music education workshops, touring regularly in the US and internationally. Streetwise New York City native born and raised in Washington Heights, Lakecia Benjamin has become one of the most highly sought-after players in soul and funk music. She first picked up the saxophone at Fiorello LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, after which she joined the renowned jazz program at The New School. By that time she was already playing with jazz greats like Clark Terry and Reggie Workman, which led to gigs and tours with a wide array of artists such as Rashied Ali, the David Murray Big Band, Vanessa Rubin, and James “Blood” Ulmer. With her deep jazz roots, she was soon in demand as an arranger and horn section leader, landing stints with such acclaimed artists as Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, the Roots, and Anita Baker. Currently, Benjamin is a featured musician and arranger for comedy star Craig Robinson and the Nasty 6
Delicious. She also had the honor of performing at the White House at President Obama’s inaugural ball. She’s performed on four continents and her extensive recording credits include saxophone and arrangements for Santigold, Maurice Brown, the Clark Terry Big Band, Krystle Warren, and Talib Kweli, among others. Hiram Winard Harper, was born in 1962 in Baltimore, MD, into a very musical family. He began playing drums at the age of five, and at eight years old, was a member of a rock band led by his brother Danny (trumpet/ piano). Later, he switched to jazz and from the start of the 80s was a member of bands led by several distinguished musicians, among them Dexter Gordon and Johnny Griffin, and from 1984 played for almost four years in Betty Carter’s trio. In 1985, Harper formed the Harper Brothers band with another brother, Philip Harper, and this group stayed together until 1991. Concurrent with this, Harper played in groups led by Stan Getz, Ray Bryant, Houston Person, and Tommy Flanagan. The Harper Brothers had considerable success on tour and on record. In addition to the usual drum kit, Harper also plays various other percussion instruments including the African slit and djembe drums. A gifted percussionist, he has spent much of his career playing in the hard bop tradition but quite clearly his talent surpasses the field’s boundaries and limitations. Tapan Modak has performed tabla in New York alongside legendary Bengali singer Rezwana Choudhury Bannya. He has also toured across the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. He is a highly versatile artist, having performed with many of India’s famous classical musicians as well as with western groups. Composer/pianist Kirk Nurock orchestrated for Dizzy Gillespie, Leonard Bernstein, and Meredith Monk, conducted a work for 2O voices and three canines at Carnegie Hall, and won a scholarship at age 16, awarded by Duke Ellington. A child prodigy, Nurock [b.1948] sat in with the likes of Chet Baker, Sonny Stitt, and Phil Woods. In 1971, he founded the Natural Sound Workshop, dedicated to exploring the myriad sounds of untrained voices. A video documentary, “Animalsong,” chronicles his compositions for chorus and the animals of the Bronx Zoo. His works have been performed by Clark Terry, Eddie Gomez, Jane Ira Bloom, Frank Foster, Rufus Reid, Theo Bleckmann, Janis Siegel, and Miles Griffith. His first solo recording was produced by New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music founder, Arnie Lawrence. Nurock has been interviewed by Studs Terkel, published by Schirmer’s, recorded on Columbia Masterworks, Impulse and Tzadik, was professor at Berlin’s Hochschule der Künste, board member of Meet The Composer, and has been broadcast on NBC, PBS and Bravo. He holds a Masters’s degree in composition from Juilliard. Keyboard Magazine called him “joyously iconoclastic” and the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Nurock has unique credentials.” Elizabeth Panzer is a harpist active in jazz and free improvisation. Panzer received a degree from The Manhattan School of Music and is principal harpist with Bridgeport Symphony. She has played with new music ensembles including Speculum Musicae, North/South Consonance, and the New Music Consort, with jazz groups such as the ensembles of Reggie Workman and of Butch Morris, and with her own trio, Talking Harp. She is also a founding member of the electro-acoustic avant-garde band Dadadah. As a performer, she began to work with improvisation, and those experiences ultimately led to composition. Several of her compositions for solo harp are featured on her album Dancing In Place. She has received commission grants from organizations including Meet the Composer and the New York State Council of the Arts. Odean Pope was born in Ninety-Six, South Carolina to musical parents who rooted him in the sounds of the Southern Baptist Church. After moving to Philadelphia at the age of ten, his lifelong study of music began in earnest. Pope grew up in jazz-rich territory with other Philadelphia notables such as John Coltrane, Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Benny Golson, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy and Percy Heath, Ray Bryant, Bill Barron, Kenny Barron, Archie Shepp, Jymie Merritt, Jimmy Garrison, Philly Joe Jones, and Dizzy Gillespie. Coltrane chose Pope to replace him in Jimmy Smith’s Group when he left for New York to join Miles Davis. Although he was close to Coltrane and continues to revere his artistry, Pope was always searching for his own musical sound. This led him to study with Ron Rubin, the principal woodwind player in the Philadelphia Orchestra. At a later time Pope studied at The Paris Conservatory for Music under Kenny Clarke. In 1979, Pope joined the Max Roach Quartet as a regular member for more than two decades. It was as the tenor man with Max Roach that he perfected the techniques of circular breathing and multiphonics, both allowing him to stretch his solo improvisations from dazzling elevations to the throbbing, husky sounds for which he is so well known. 7
SATURDAY EVENING CONCERT PROGRAM Saturday, June 7, 7:30pm Auditorium @ 12th St — 66 W 12TH STREET CROSSCULTURAL IMPROVISATION III : Contrasting Conceptions of Time Featuring guest artists Wadada Leo Smith, Gamin, Samir Chatterjee, Bobby Previte, and David Liebman. Jin Hi Kim, Artistic Director CROSSCULTURAL IMPROVISATION III continues the theme of Crosscultural Improvisation that guided recent events at the University of Michigan and York College/Roulette. The performance provides an opportunity for musicians from disparate cultures to perform together and share ideas about the challenges and exciting exchanges inherent in improvising across traditions. The goal is to enable ISIM to direct its global vision not only toward the professional improvised music world but also to the field of musical training in which recognition of the need for improvisatory experience for classical and other musicians is steadily on the rise. The performance is based on the concept and discussion during the previous Crosscultural Improvisation Workshop, the focus of which was different conceptions of time in music improvisation across cultures. In Indian and Korean traditions, the music is based on repetition of rhythmic cycles underpinning the musical structure and grounded energy. In Western contemporary improvised music, time is shaped by sonic gestures. Juxtaposing both ever calm energy and spontaneously challenging dynamic force the instrumentalists will experience multi-dimension of sonic space and explore new possibility of interweaving between different layers of musical structures.
Gamin is one of the most celebrated gukak artists in her generation. She is a versatile musician who plays piri, taepyeongso (Korean traditional oboe family) and saengwhang (ancient wind-blow instrument). At a young age, she began training in music and studied with Jung Jae-Guk, the tile holder of the Important Intangible Cultural Asset No, 46 for piri and daechwita. From 2000 to 2010, she was a member and assistant principal player of the Contemporary Gukak Orchestra at the National Gukak Center, the hub for training and preserving Korean traditional music. Solidly trained in jeongak, the classical court music, Gamin also studied the techniques of sinawi, the shaman ritual music that requires strong improvisational skills. Due to her virtuosity, she has control over from the very authentic jeongak, sinawi, to contemporary music as well. The music director of the National Changgeuk Company, YOO Young-Dae acclaimed that “her piri allures the audience like magic flute and her sound is free-spirited in restrain, delicate in bluntness, and sorrow in bliss.” Dreaming to be on global stages, she has been a recipient of several cultural exchange programs and has participated in lecture concerts in the U.S. Currently she is staying in New York with Asian Cultural Council Residency. She is also pursing a Ph. D. at Seoul National University, teaching at Ewha Women’s University, and writing her own column for a magazine, “Arts and Culture.” Samir Chatterjee is a virtuoso Tabla player. He travels widely across the world throughout the year performing in numerous festivals as a soloist or with other outstanding musicians from both Indian and western traditions. He performed at the Nobel Peace prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway in December, 2007. In the Fall of 2009 he also performed twice at the UN General Assembly. His compositions are widely acclaimed as well as his writings. Chatterjee can be heard on numerous recordings featuring as soloist, accompanying many of India’s 8
greatest musicians and in collaboration with western musicians of outstanding caliber. He lives in New Jersey and has become a catalyst in the fusion of Indian and Western music in the New York City metro area. He is the Founder-Director of Chhandayan, an organization promoting and preserving Indian music and culture. Chatterjee teaches at Yale University, University of Pittsburgh, Manhattan School of Music and New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He has authored two significant books on Indian music; A Study of Tabla and Music of India. Since June 2008 he has been doing pioneering work in Afghanistan towards their musical revival. Bobby Previte is a performer/composer whose work explores the nexus between composed and improvised music. A recipient of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship for music, Previte is one of the seminal figures of the 80s New York “Downtown” scene. His music has been labeled as “utterly original,” by the New York Times, while The New Yorker says his ensembles, “speak in visionary tongues,” and the Village Voice calls him, “a serious composer with the heart of a roadhouse rocker.” His two hundred plus original compositions have been recorded and released on Sony, Elektra, Rykodisc, Palmetto, New World, Ropeadope, Thirsty Ear, and Tzadik.Leading a plethora of diverse ensembles from his instrument, the drums, he constantly travels the world, presenting his music at clubs, concert halls, and festivals. He has collaborated with many of the leading lights in and beyond the world of music – from master composer John Adams to rock icon Tom Waits to the legendary filmmaker Robert Altman. Wadada Leo Smith trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser has been active in creative contemporary music for over forty years. His systemic music language Ankhrasmation is significant in his development as an artist and educator. Born in Leland, Mississippi, Smith’s early musical life began in the high school concert and marching bands. At the age of thirteen, he became involved with the Delta Blues and Improvisation music traditions. He received his formal musical education with his stepfather Alex Wallace, the U.S. Military band program (1963), Sherwood School of Music (1967-69), and Wesleyan University (1975-76). Mr. Smith has studied a variety of music cultures: African, Japanese, Indonesian, European and American. He has taught at the University of New Haven (1975-’76), the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY (1975’78), and Bard College (1987-’93). He is currently a faculty member at The Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts. He is the director of the African-American Improvisational Music program, and is a member of ASCAP, Chamber Music America, and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.
David Liebman’s career has spanned over four decades, beginning in the early ‘70s with his “apprenticeship” period performing and recording in the groups of drummer Elvin Jones (Live At The Lighthouse) and Miles Davis (On The Corner). Since then he has lead his own groups (Lookout Farm; Quest;The Dave Liebman Group) featuring musicians such as John Scofield, Richie Beirach, Billy Hart, Adam Nussbaum, Al Foster, John Abercrombie and Vic Juris. Lieb has consistently placed among the top three in the Downbeat Critics Poll for Soprano Saxophone since 1973; winning first place in both the Downbeat and Jazz Times Critic’s Poll in 2011. As well in 2011, Liebman received the NEA Masters of Jazz Award, the highest honor for jazz given by the United States government. He has been featured on nearly three hundred and fifty recordings, of which he has been the leader or co-leader on one hundred fifty, with several hundred original compositions published. His repertoire is among the most eclectic of contemporary artists ranging from original adaptations of standard material (Ornette Coleman,West Side Story, Monk, John Coltrane, Miles 9
Davis, Cole Porter, Alec Wilder, Puccini, Jobim, Kurt Weill) to 20th century inspired classical music; from fusion to his own big band and free jazz ensembles. Notable performances featuring Liebman as soloist in a contemporary classical setting include the groups “Klangforum” (Vienna, Austria) and the Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris, France). In the education field he is a renowned lecturer producing several instructional DVDs and books, most notably: Self Portrait of A Jazz Artist, A Chromatic Approach to Jazz Melody and Harmony, Developing A Personal Saxophone Sound (multiple translations in other languages). In addition, Liebman has published multiple chamber music pieces (Advance Music, Germany) for a variety of instrumentations. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) and is currently Artist in Residence at the Manhattan School of Music.
Jin Hi Kim is an internationally acclaimed innovative komungo virtuoso and a Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition. Kim is a McKnight Visiting Composer with the American Composers Forum, and was Music Alive Composer-in-Residence with New Haven Symphony Orchestra and was awarded American Composers Orchestra Fellowship. Her compositions have been commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, the Chamber Music Society for the Lincoln Center, Boston Modern Orchestra Project,The Kitchen and Japan Society. Kim’s new work Child of War (2014), dedicated to Kim Phuc who is renowned for “the girl in the picture” during the Vietnam War, was world premiered by The Mendelssohn Choir of CT at Quick Center. During the three decades Kim has performed as a komungo soloist in her own compositions and improvisations at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), Asia Society (NYC), Metropolitan Museum, Royal Festival Hall (London), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), the Festival of Asian Art in Hong Kong and many significant jazz festivals throughout the USA, Europe, Canada, South America, Russia, Asia, New Zealand and Australia.
PRESENTATION SCHEDULE LOCATIONS* 55 West 13th Street, (2nd, 5th, or 6th floors), New York, NY 10011
Auditorium @ 12th St - 66 W 12th Street, New York, NY 10011 WOLLMAN HALL – 65 W 11th, Street, Floor 5, New York, NY 10011 *A full, “At A Glance” summary of room assignments will be available at Registration.
LEGEND Academic Paper [*] Presentation [**] Panel [PNL]
THURSDAY, JUNE 5 7:00 PM OPENING CEREMONY AND RECEPTION WOLLMAN HALL — 65 W 11TH Street, Floor 5 10
Performance [+] Workshop-Workshop/Performance [++]
FRIDAY JUNE 6 9:00 - 10:00AM InterPlay and Improvisation: A Global Social Movement Fostering Ease and Connections (Mary L. Cohen, Ph.D.; Matthew A. Cohen, Ph.D.) [++] InterPlay, a system for unlocking the wisdom of the body, was created by Cynthia Winton-Henry and Phil Porter about 25 years ago. Winton-Henry and Porter rooted their ideas in common sense ways of living called tools and created forms to provide a means to play with self-understanding and social connections. The tools and forms of InterPlay furnish a framework for new improvisational practices with infinite varieties. InterPlay tools include: Incrementality: go the speed of the body, one step at a time; Easy Focus: to relax and open up our physical awareness to take in a full range of information; Exformation: to move information that we have taken into our bodies outward; Affirmation: to seek out, notice, and name the good in others and the world; Internal authority: believe what you notice; Body data (bits and pieces), body knowledge (patterns), body wisdom (choices); Physicality of Grace: notice what feels good and do more of it; Body wisdom practices: to change your life, change your practice. Creating Frameworks for Cross Cultural Improvisation with The Afro-Semitic Experience (David Chevan) [++] Will Bartlett clarinet (tenor saxophone, vocals), Warren Byrd (piano, vocals), Abu Alvin Carter, Sr. (congas, percussion, vocals) Alvin Carter, Jr. (drum set, vocals), David Chevan (bass, vocals), Saskia Laroo trumpet (electronics, vocals), Stacy Phillips (resonator guitar, lap-steel guitar, violin) David Chevan, co-founder of the Afro-Semitic Experience, a cross-cultural ensemble that merges Jewish and African-American musical traditions, presents a workshop that explores the processes the group uses to merge musical traditions. The workshop will use several pieces from the band’s repertoire to explore how music grounded in cultural practice can be reinvented and reshaped into frames for improvisational music making. Chevan and his band-mates will demonstrate how these works are distilled, developed, and refined and how they continue to be reinvented in performance. The workshop will include looking at aspects of traditional Jewish synagogue and cantorial improvisational practices and will demonstrate how they intersect with a variety of African-American church and jazz improvisational traditions. Chevan will be joined by members of the Afro-Semitic Experience. The group will present pieces, but the focus will be more on explaining process than on giving a concert performance.
9:00-9:30AM You Know It When You Hear It: Computational Models of Jazz Improvisation (Cody Kommers) [*] When asked about the definition of jazz, illustrious jazz pianist Thelonious Monk responded, “You’re just supposed know it when you hear it.” While that may be a scintillating notion about the spirit of jazz from a mysterious artist, it is possible to gain a deep understanding of the cognitive aspects of jazz improvisation. The gold standard in being able to demonstrate understanding of a cognitive process is the ability to create a system that can “think” in the same way. There exist several computational models of jazz improvisation that propose an algorithm that attempts to improvise like a jazz musician, each one experiencing distinct advantages and disadvantages. We will explore the successes and shortcomings of these models and discuss the implications of what we know and what we don’t know about how the human mind improvises. Sam Morrison: Composition of Indeterminate and Improvisational Music as a Study in Shared Creative Control [*] This presentation focuses on a project I undertook between 2011 and 2013 as a master’s degree student in media studies at The New School, which comprised a set of compositions for small ensembles, a performance of these, and a written thesis discussing my process of composition in the context of musical and cultural theory. I am presenting here an edited excerpt of the thesis focused on themes of interpersonal experience – sharing control of musical processes and results within ensembles and between a composer and performers, and the composer’s ability to set conditions or such sharing to happen, in particular when composing music that is to be substantially improvised or indeterminate. In many ways, improviser-composers regularly deal with these themes in their work, at least implicitly. My intent here is to illustrate how the processes of composition and playing improvised or indeterminate music together can bring those questions of shared experience and agency to light more explicitly. I will address how theorists and composer-performers have responded to such questions and discuss how my composition work has aimed to build on that ground, suggesting its own answers while leaving openness and ambiguities that give improvisation space to play. 11
10:00-11:00AM Cassino – Brunel Duo (Peter Cassino, Todd Brunel) [+] The beginnings of improvisation are as early as the conscious effort to create the organized noise that nowadays we value as music. It has sparked composers’ and performers’ imaginations, indirectly affecting the tastes of audiences. In Western European music history through the 19th century improvisation was consistently the decisive element in vocal as well as instrumental repertoire. The infectious sonorities of the 20th century American Jazz, rooted in African as well as European art music traditions slowly diluted the calcified boundaries between improvised and notated scores, just as they found possibilities to connect with each other and to incorporate Pop and Rock styles, too. Mr. Cassino’s and Mr. Brunel’s Portraits, featured in this afternoon’s concert, explore a multidimensional range of miscellaneous personalities. The atonal harmonies, the unanticipated melodic structures and rhythms neither imitate the Western European music styles that were embraced before the dawn of industrialism, nor adhere to the many tendencies observed in Jazz. The ensemble of bass clarinet and piano in Portraits rather celebrate the spontaneity of musical ideas in the absence of tonal center. Intercultural Improvisation; Or, The Challenge of Omni-Musicality (Alex Rodriguez) [*] This presentation will discuss the formation and early development of a new ensemble that formed at UCLA in January 2014. Billed initially as “Intercultural Improvisation,” the group now goes by the name “The Omni-Musicality Group,” or OMG. Aiming to build on UCLA’s wealth and variety of world music ensembles, the group invites musicians with training in any musical tradition to join and co-create new music through experimental improvisation. The current instrumentation consists of darbuka, flute, guitar, piano, santour, tar, trombone, trumpet, tuba, violin, and voice. As the co-founder of the new ensemble, I will describe the process by which the group was formed, explore its connections to the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology’s long tradition of cross-cultural music making and “bi-musicality,” and discuss what I have learned from the first stages of the group’s development. This presentation will also include musical examples recorded during group rehearsals. SpiritArts: Improvising with Soul Language (Lynn Miller) [++] The voice is a very powerful instrument, it comes directly from and through our bodies which creates an intimacy with self, others and spirit. Improvising is meeting the moment, where spirit lives. Discover how the principles of creating from within are similar to the principles of basic spirituality. Through these principles we will discover soul language. Soul Language is a non-verbal communication that comes from a clear part of our being which is an expression from our soul. It is a Universal language for it speaks to all souls. Lynn Miller will sing with the Indian shruti box and a hybrid instrument combining the Tamboura and Mandal Swar in soul language. She believes we all carry these ancient voices and languages inside for they are encoded in our cells. All cultures make the same sounds as babies. Once we learn to talk, we forget this elemental common language. Most of us have forgotten that we ever knew, it is only a matter of tapping into them. In this fun interactive concert/workshop participants will explore and discover soul language through simple exercises. No previous experience in singing is necessary. Jen Baker / Dafna Naphtali Duo (Jen Baker, Dafna Naphtali) [+] Naphtali and Baker, live electronics/processing/voice, and trombone/voice, perform using live improvisation and interactive sound processing / live electroacoustics. The performance will present some recently developed concepts in their ongoing duo collaboration. This performance is a window in to their current improvisational landscape--thinking about multiphonics, spectra, and rhythm. Kit Young Languages of Sound, Silence and Empathy: “What do we sing when we sing together?” [+] Young presents stories and music from many years of improvising with musician friends from Thailand, Burma/Myanmar and China.
10:30-11:00AM Improvisation and Contemplative Practice (Mark Miller) [*] During the Edo period of Japanese history (16031867) a sect of Zen monks called Komuso, or “monks of emptiness,” wandered the Japanese countryside playing the shakuhachi bamboo flute. Known as suizen, or “blowing meditation,” shakuhachi was one of several traditional artistic disciplines used as a form of mindfulness/awareness practice by Zen Buddhists. What were these monks up to? How was music a Zen practice? With its emphasis on openness, present moment awareness and compassion, what might Buddhism have to teach us about improvisation? And what does improvisation show us about mindfulness/awareness in everyday life? 12
11:00AM-12:00PM TranceFormation [+] Connie Crothers (piano), Ken Filiano (bass), Andrea Wolper (voice) An exploration of spontaneous composition: music as it flows through the creative mind and intuition, allowing the emergence of intrinsic, rather than external, form. Leaving aside strategies and procedures, the mind-set is to trust the music and one another; our contact is instant-by-instant, and the map gets drawn as we traverse it. This form of musical interchange is universal, crossing regional boundaries, traditions, history, and culturally-invoked expectations. But how do we enter this deeply intuitive space? How do we allow the mind to trust the music and one another? What is our relationship with form, with traditions, with technique and theoretical knowledge? Following the performance, these questions will be explored in a conversation with audience members.
11:00-11:30AM “Touch Releasing Things Into Motion”: The Solo Violin Improvisations of Malcolm Goldstein (Jay Arms) [*] The birth of Malcolm Goldstein’s solo violin improvisations, collectively called Soundings, in the interdisciplinary environment of the Judson Dance Theater allowed Goldstein to develop a style of improvisation that resonates across stylistic, cultural, and aesthetic concerns. Emphasizing unconventional aspects of music making, especially notions of physicality, Goldstein’s improvisational style has evolved adaptively, incorporating inspiration from the many musicians with whom he has played—notably saxophonist Archie Shepp, percussionist Mathias Kaul, and pipa player Liu Fang—and influences as diverse as post-modern dance, jazz, world and folk musics, and, most significantly, the natural world. The most intriguing aspect of Soundings is their simultaneous display of romantic notions of improvisation as a mode of self-expression and the Cagean concern to free sounds from personal tastes. Drawing on personal interviews with Goldstein and his associates as well as recently available archival materials, this paper traces the development of Soundings over the last half-century from their roots in dance to the present. Examinations of the ways in which Goldstein frames his work, the musical and corporeal characteristics of the improvisations themselves, and the reception of Soundings over the years reveal Goldstein as a significant figure to the study of improvisation in a cross-cultural context.
11:30AM-1:00PM Crosscultural Improvisation Workshop - Part I, with Jin Hi Kim, Gamin, Wadada Leo Smith, Samir Chatterjee, and Bobby Previte. [**]
2:00-3:00PM Improvisation: The Common Denominator of Not-knowing (Jim Oshinsky) [**] How do individuals who are musical strangers meet and improvise? What abilities transcend musical style, culture and historical period? How can we teach these skills in encouraging ways, so players feel bold enough to take risks and are open enough to learn from their experience? For the Improvisation Ensemble at Adelphi University, following the Music for People model, Dr. Oshinsky has created a rubric of competencies in solo, small ensemble and large ensemble improvisation, including how to support when playing and when giving feedback or instructing. The key principles of this approach are: get the music into your body through breathing, movement, and audiation; listen more than you play; imitate what you hear; release critical thoughts; support your ensemble-mates; use silence and contrast as musical elements; trust yourself; and love your sounds. Applying these principles allows diverse combinations of players to meet in sound play and create artistic spontaneous music. By not knowing the style, key, tempo, etc. beforehand, the players are put on even creative ground. This session will share the course rubric and demonstrate the main techniques. Please bring instruments. “Crosscurrents” for solo piano (Chris C. Capizzi) [+] This is a free improvisation performance, heavily influenced by rhythm, jazz language, contrasting textures and harmonies, the tradition of piano performance and the expression of feeling. As a classically trained pianist who learned jazz improvisation as a professional musician, my free improvisations often draw on that jazz background. However, I aim to achieve a process of “free” improvisation that draws not only from jazz, but from other musical languages as well. I view my improvisational process as an experimental arena in which elements from different musical systems, like the classical tradition, contemporary music, jazz, Afro-Cuban music and the avant-garde, for example, contribute to a larger hybrid form created by free musical expression. By engaging contrasting musical worlds I seek to form an improvisational crosscurrent through the tradition of solo piano performance. 13
The Mark Stone Trio (Mark Stone, Alan Grubner, Dan Piccolo) [+] Inspired by recent travels in India, Mark formed the Mark Stone Trio. While the trio’s format is the traditional Carnatic arrangement of a soloist with percussion and violin accompaniment, the music itself draws on Mark’s wide-ranging compositional influences, stretching from American jazz to African mbira/marimba music, to European concert music. In the group Mark plays gyil and many types of mbiras including the new American made array mbira, the traditional Ugandan endongo, the ancient South African mbira nyunga nyunga, as well as the modern kalimba and karimba. Mark’s original compositions and arrangements for the trio combine his gyil and mbiras with violin and tabla/frame drums to create an exciting new sound. He is joined in the group by violinist Alan Grubner and percussionist Dan Piccolo, who both freely cross musical boundaries with their dynamic playing. Alan and Dan are exceptional improvisers, bringing a wide-range of performance experience to the ensemble. Alan Grubner’s dynamic violin playing is grounded in a deep knowledge of jazz, latin, newgrass and classical traditions. Dan Piccolo plays with a rich musical vocabulary of Indian classical music and American jazz, performing on tabla, frame drums, and a multi-percussion set. Payton MacDonald: The development of the textures, sounds, and compositional approaches of my “Super Marimba project” [+] I will demonstrate how I’ve developed many of the textures, sounds, and compositional approaches of my Super Marimba project. In particular, I will show how I’ve used the process of alaap from my studies of North Indian Hindustani Dhrupad vocal music with the renowned Gundecha Brothers. Although a Western keyboard instrument such as marimba isn’t capable of the pitch subtleties that one finds with the human voice, though a clever manipulation of electronics and marimba technique I’ve been able to introduce various melodic embellishments into marimba playing such as meends, gamaks, and andolans. I will also demonstrate how I can transfer the structure of alaap to marimba playing, in particular the concept of nyaas (development of one note to create rising tension). I will also demonstrate how I’ve taken the language of tabla drumming and moved it over to a Western keyboard instrument like the marimba. (Before commencing Dhrupad vocal studies I was a tabla disciple for 10 years of the great Pandit Sharda Sahai.) In particular, I will show how I’ve used the theme and variation processes in kaida and palta and rela forms on the marimba, though the use of four-mallet “drumming” patterns and harmonic cycles that replicate the a taal structure. Finally, I will give a short performance of John Cage’s “Raga Music” (1970) to demonstrate how I’m using these ideas in the vocal realm.
2:00-2:30PM The Beat Between the Cracks: New Orleans Rhythms All Over the Map (Ben Doleac) [*] Situated at the nexus of Euro-American, Latin, and Black Atlantic cultures, New Orleans remains a fertile ground for the development and transformation of syncretic musical traditions through intercultural performance. From the drum-anddance festivities of Congo Square to the polyrhythmic, participatory “second line” brass-band parades which persist to the present day, and from Louis Armstrong’s sense of swing to Professor Longhair’s mixture of march, shuffle and rhumba beats on the piano, New Orleans musicians have been most influential in their approach to rhythm. The city’s unique rhythmic syntax is, of course, grounded in the work of drummers. New Orleans drummers make up a close-knit community of practice which over the twentieth century combined the rhythms of brass bands, the black church and Afro-Caribbean festival culture to create a brand new beat. Herein I draw from a historical survey of black music in New Orleans, analysis of recorded examples and my own interviews with musicians in the city to explore how Crescent City drummers developed their world-changing rhythms. Additionally, I detail the social and musical exchanges by which New Orleans rhythms have migrated around the world, providing the foundation for contemporary popular genres ranging from Afrobeat to hip-hop.
2:00-3:30PM “Women in Improvised Music” discussion panel, led by Kate Olson [PNL] This panel will advance the discussion of women and their contributions to the field of improvised music. Featuring participants Kyra Gaunt, Ji Eun Moon, Kathryn Ladano, and Maja Radovanlija, and moderated by former ISIM Administrative and Conference Director Olson, the panel will cover both the research and individual experiences of panelists as well as broader topics, such as historical changes in the field, the benefits and obstacles that women encounter when navigating this dynamic form of expression, and the institutions and traditions therein.
2:30-3:00PM Improvisation 2.0: interbeing and the abstract machine (Dr. Robert Vincs) [*] Improvisation 2.0: interbeing and the abstract machine is an academic paper will theorise non-genre specific improvisational practice as the inter-being of creative presence arising from the influence of Nietzschean archetypes that are processed through Deleuze and Guattari’s “Body Without Organs” construct and thus arriving at a practice of non-genre specific improvisation that is sustained through the unified field of creative presence.
3:00-4:00PM Jacob’s Ladder (Matt Endahl Ensemble) [+] Jacob’s Ladder is an experimental composition, the performance of which will be completely improvised. The piece requires at least 12 improvisers, who organize into small ensembles according to the score. The size of these small ensembles is determined by a sequence of numbers, which are derived from the number of valence electrons in nucleic acid bases (found in DNA molecules). This sequence can be arranged in eight different orders, analogous to the eight different possible combinations of adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine found in nature. The performers of Jacob’s Ladder need not be “free improvisers”: they may be of any cultural or stylistic background, making the composition particularly well suited for cross-cultural experiments. Inspired by my involvement with the University of Michigan Creative Arts Orchestra, Jacob’s Ladder was debuted on December 21st, 2012 and saw two additional performances in 2013. Members: Patrick Booth, saxophone; Eric Schweizer, woodwinds; Derek Worthington, trumpet; Kirsten Carey, guitar; Molly Jones, woodwinds; Elizabeth Soukup, bass; Ben Willis, bass; Samuel Parsons, vibraphone; Jon Taylor, drums; and others. Teaching the Eye to Hear: Carvings in Mid-Air, in Real-Time (Glen Whitehead, Christopher Bakridges) [+] In 1941 the artist Henri Matisse found himself ill, bedridden, and unable to pick up a paintbrush. He found, however, that he could maneuver scissors through prepared sheets of brightly colored paper. He referred to this technique as “painting with scissors.” Among his first adventures with paper cutouts was a book called Jazz, which Matisse prepared in 1942 and published in 1947. Matisse viewed jazz as a “chromatic and rhythmic improvisation.” The title Jazz evoked for Matisse the idea of a structure of rhythm and repetition broken by the unexpected action of improvisations. He wrote, “There are wonderful things in real jazz, the talent for improvisation, the liveliness, the being at one with the audience.” Matisse used the energy of a still young musical idiom called jazz in enticing the art world to “teach the eye to hear.” In this project the participants will explore intuitive responses to Mattise’s “Jazz” and interpret the example of his unique artistic adaptation to physically constraining conditions. This ensemble will open up the session to other participants. Eric Edberg (cello) and George Wolfe (saxophone) have been performing spontaneous post-classical improvisations together for nearly a decade. They have appeared together at the Chautauqua Institution, Ball State University, DePauw University, The University of Iowa, and The University of Dayton. Eris 136199 — Han-Earl Park/Nick Didkovsky/Catherine Sikora. [+] Eris 136199 plays on the crossroads of noise, melody, rhythm, space, density, contrast, synchronicity, asymmetry, serendipity and contradiction. Eris 136199 is the result of serendipitous musical-physical meetings in California, Ireland, New York and the wired world. Eris 136199 is the noisy, unruly complexity of composer, computer artist and guitarist Didkovsky, the corporeal, cyborg virtuosity of constructor and guitarist Park, and the no-nonsense melodic logic of composer and saxophonist Sikora. The trio forges an improvisative space where melody can be melody, noise can be noise, meter can be meter, metal becomes metal, bluegrass turns to bluegrass, jazz transforms into jazz, all there, all necessary without imploding under idiomatic pressures.
3:30-4:00PM Sinhala Folk Music: Its Vocal Traditions and Stylistic Nuances (Nilusha Dassenaike) [**] The paper will address the basic breakdown of Sinhala folk vocal music including the role and characteristics of improvisation in Sinhala folk music. An examination of the vocal nuances, improvisation techniques and application, vocal delivery styles and intonation issues will be presented. This presentation will also draw upon Buddhist chanting styles and the application of chanting styles to contemporary music and present a brief comparison between North Indian Hindustani, South Indian Carnatic, and Sinhalese singing styles and vocal improvisation.
4:00-5:00PM One World Flutes (Ellen Burr) [+] Michel Gentile, US/east coast influence, and Sylvain Leroux, Canadian/African influence, join Burr (US/west coast influence) in a concert of structured improvisation. Each flutist contributes one third of the concert’s direction. The concert will highlight each player’s individuality as well as their strong sense of ensemble and musical courage. Flutes and sonic experimentation are what they have in common. Different continents and musical aesthetics are what they bring to each other. Murmuration (Russell Kotcher, violin/piano; Eric Coyne, cello/piano; Andrew Marsh, vocals/trumpet/piano), is an improvisational chamber ensemble based in Philadelphia. Past performances include the Andrea Clearfield Salon in Philadelphia, and Spectrum in Manhattan as part of Eleonor Sandresky’s Retes series. Murmuration was also featured in a segment on NewsWorks for NPR’s affiliate WHYY. The group was recently awarded the Subito grant from ACF, and the William Penn Foundation and are in the process of recording their first album. Murmuration will improvise and perform group compositions based on relearned improvisations. Wadada Leo Smith (Dwight Andrews) [**] Using my unpublished interview with Wadada Leo Smith as a point of departure, my presentation would place his words and worldview of some thirty years ago into a current, larger conversation about his aesthetics and his concepts of improvisation, musical time, and collaboration. I will also use excerpts from his essays and examples of his musical notation system. Although many know of Wadada Leo Smith’s music, many are not aware of the intricate network of associations between his philosophical, aesthetic, and conceptual frameworks in which his music is grounded. Smith’s conceptual rubrics shape every aspect of his music, from his ideas about musical time, his system of notation, and improvisation itself. His own influences are quintessentially cross-cultural and this presentation would provide a context for understanding his musical world… a musical world that is dense, yet singular. Like all great artists, Wadada Leo Smith has developed an individual musical voice that is unique and worthy of further study. It is hoped that this presentation would provide an opportunity to consider Leo Smith’s journey from Leland Mississippi and through the blues to the global stage where he is currently and rightly receiving significant recognition and acknowledgement. Siberian Improv Duo (Roman Stoylar, Vladimir Luchansky) [+] Two most active members of Siberian community of musicians and improvisers, Luchansky and Stolyar have played together mainly in groups organized by Siberian new jazz patriarch Sergey Belichenko. Together they played with well-known improvisers who visited Novosibirsk: Assif Tsahar, Oliver Lake, Glen Hall, and William Parker. That is why these two musicians are perfectly coordinated and speak the same language - even multiple-languages - of contemporary free improvisation. An inquisitive listener will find different things in the music of this duo: radical non-idiomatic originating from Derek Bailey, meditative modality, minimalism, sonorous techniques and bright melodic lines. The duo tends to make sufficient contrast between pieces they perform, but, same time, all pieces they create spontaneously can be considered as parts of an entire puzzle, as from a fancy curls of pattern imprinted on the window on a cold day, revealing a fabulous picture of exotic Siberian nature.
4:00-4:30PM Improvisation in Cross-Cultural Perspectives: An Alternative Teaching Model (Evan Rapport) [**] At the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, encounters with improvisational approaches found in global repertoires and musical styles provide the students with new ideas and experimental possibilities. With limited time and means, rather than try to teach technical facility in deep traditions that may require a lifetime of intense study, I present the students with a wide palette of ideas and they in turn discover their own ways to adapt or “translate” those approaches to their own personal style. The course is organized around broad themes, such as path-based improvisational practices (Arab taqsim, Mauritanian dhuur), melo-rhythmic variation procedures (Afro-Cuban batá drumming), and large-scale model repertoires (Persian radif). Students are guided with exercises that require an increasing amount of student input, and although the resulting performances rarely resemble the music being explored, the students’ work reflects a personal understanding and demonstrates a foundation for future investigations. Studying these practices and styles also yields rich and sometimes unexpected rewards, especially the revisiting of connections between poetry and music, and fresh approaches to instrumentation.
4:30-5:00PM “Towards a System for Human/Computer Duo Improvisations” (Jeff Albert) [**] The Interactive Musical Partner (IMP) is software designed for use in duo improvisations, with one human improviser and one instance of IMP, focusing on a freely improvised duo aesthetic. IMP has Musical Personality Settings (MPS) that can be set prior to performance, and these MPS guide the way IMP responds to musical input from the human. The MPS also govern the probability of particular outcomes from IMP’s creative algorithms. The IMP uses audio data feature extraction methods to listen to the human partner, and react to, or ignore, the human’s musical input, based on the current MPS. This lecture/demonstration outlines the basic structure of the synthesis module, musical personality settings, generative algorithm, decider mechanisms in IMP, and machine learning implementation for timbral control, and concludes with a performance by the author with IMP.
5:00-6:00PM Moment to Moment: Free Improvisation by The Improv. Collective (David Rudge and the Improv Collective from SUNY Fredonia) [+] Welcome to a performance of The Improv. Collective. We are an organization dedicated to self-expression through free improvisation. We believe that there are as many different ways to make music as there are people. Music is enormous, a truly universal language. We have the belief that “there are no wrong notes. We have not striven to produce polished performances for you, instead we are endeavoring to stay in the present moment and create from there. We honor the naturalness of the child who first discovered music, we are inspired by the amazing wealth of music from all over the planet, and we are taking a risk by playing, without printed music and without a safety net. I hope you enjoy this adventure as much as we do. Full Moon Music: Improvisations for Solo Piano (Armen Donelian) [+] Donelian’s CD Full Moon Music: Free Improvisations for Solo Piano (Sunnyside Records, 1998) is a set of 14 extemporizations created in one session that Fred Hersch calls “a beautiful and personal recording” (from the liner notes). At this session, Donelian will discuss and analyze the creation and execution of five selections from this album, with particular focus on choosing musical motives and stylistic language, developing motives into forms through an adaptable process of unfoldment, the inner experience of improvising non-judgmentally, and the search for universal musical meaning. The talk will conclude with a live solo piano improvisation by Donelian. Contained Performances within the Sonic Spaces Project (Michael Musick) [+] The Sonic Spaces Project is comprised of my research into, composition of, and performance within “interactive dynamical sonic ecosystems.” One of the primary goals of these systems is to create sonic spaces that listen to sounds being made within, and react accordingly to the quality of those sounds. This may occur as very short bursts based on low-level features in the audio signals, or emerge as higher-level structures in response to sonic phrases occurring. The sonic output of the system then provides further energy for human participants in the space to potentially react to, or for the system itself to continue reacting to. This controlled feedback of energy within the system, and between the system and participants leads to unique states that emerge. These states fluctuate from moments of stasis, where the participants and the system co-exist easily with each other, and moments of unease, where the system may fight itself or the participants, as all parties involved try to work back towards a stable sonic state. For this performance, I will improvise within the latest “reduced-scale” iterations of this project. A Small Dream in Red presents “In the language of Dreams” (Nora McCarthy, Jorge Sylvester) [+] The performance will consist of original compositions, poetry, interpretations of several Wassily Kandinsky’s paintings specifically: Yellow Red Blue, White Stroke, Composition VIII, Small Dream In Red; an improvisation of an excerpt from James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, a free spontaneous composition; and, a deconstruction of Ornette Coleman’s “The Blessing.” The duo explains, examines and demonstrates several concepts and approaches they have created and others that they employ in their work such as: deconstruction – abandoning form and stepping outside tonal centers; working with and developing symbolic and graphic information; and, expanding patterns – developing the line and language. Methods that help establish the mindset and set the stage for improvisation are also discussed. A group improvisation is conducted with the duo and participants of the workshop employing the various techniques described above to further enhance the experience and their understanding of spontaneous composition.
Bill Crossman Solo Piano/”John Brown’s Truth” (“Improvised Musical’) [+] Pianist Crossman’s presentation will highlight various sides of his improvisational talents. His piano work reflects his deep emotional connection to African-rooted musics, often weaving the blues with avant garde free-jazz. He has played with such renown cutting-edge musicians as reedman Prince Lasha, and trumpeter Eddie Gale, and for the last decade has been performing with violinist India Cooke in their India Cooke-Bill Crossman Duo. Crossman will be joined by other musicians for this presentation. Additionally, the audience will be treated to a scene from his musically-improvised “John Brown’s Truth,” an original musical based on the life of the anti-slavery abolitionist. This work had its premiere at the 2009 ISIM conference/festival at UC, Santa Cruz, and has since been performed over a dozen times in the San Francisco Bay Area. Two of the principal performers, Raymond Nat Turner and Zigi Lowenberg, have since moved to NYC, and will perform the scene with another original principal, vocalist Lea Weinstein. Every note sung and played in the scene will be improvised on the spot, an exciting experience for performers and audience alike.
5:00-5:30PM Improvised Music and the Myth of the Symmetrical Diminished Scale: Playing What You Hear (Roland Davis) [**] Jazz pedagogues imploring their students to “play what you hear” and similar axioms are quotidian yet my recent research shows a salient discrepancy regarding the generally prescribed scale to employ during passing diminished chords in improvised music: the symmetrical diminished scale (aka the octatonic scale). Conclusions of this research point to subjects’ preferences for scales other than those most often prescribed in the literature dealing with improvised music. The scales preferred by subjects will be enumerated and suggestions for their use will be discussed in the presentation. This research investigated the preference of individuals, musicians and non-musicians, using single-blind experiments, including performance and listening tests, to determine the subjects’ biases. A review of the pertinent literature was conducted and will be discussed as books used in jazz pedagogy contain a surfeit of scale syllabi and a considerable amount of attention enumerating and discussing when and how particular scales are to be used with particular chords including passing diminished chords.
5:30-6:00PM Why We Improvise: An Interactive Presentation (Dr. Tom Zlabinger) [**] The impulse to improvise is just as important (if not more important) than what is improvised. Attendees will be asked about the history, desire, and purpose of their improvisations and when/why they began to improvise. The answers will be collected and compared to responses that I have collected from other improvisers. A discussion about the parallels and differences of the two sets of responses will follow. The goal of the presentation is to explore musicians and their decisions to improvise and in what contexts. Is improvisation a choice and why? Rather than look at improvisation and define what it is or is not, this interactive presentation will look at improvisation as a process and collect data on its use and purpose cross-culturally.
FRIDAY, JUNE 6 7:30PM EVENING CONCERT Auditorium @ 12th St — 66 W 12TH Street 7:30PM MAT MANERI AND TANYA KALMANOVITCH 8:30PM THE REGGIE WORKMAN GROUP
SATURDAY, JUNE 7 9:00-10:00AM Brad Linde and Erika Dohi [+] Saxophonist Linde and pianist Dohi began collaborating as an improvised duo at the 2013 Banff International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music directed by Vijay Iyer. They have continued to work in various settings and venues in Washington DC, Baltimore and New York City. Each performance is 18
improvised and structured by the influences and inspirations from their diverse backgrounds – Dohi’s contemporary and new music repertoire meeting Linde’s roots in the modern jazz pioneered in the 1950s (bebop, cool, third-stream).
10:00-11:00AM Beyond the Music: An Interview With Dave Liebman Interviewer: Wouter Turkenborg. NEA Jazz Master David Liebman explores a wide range of factors that impact the life of the 21st century jazz musician, ranging from philosophical, economic, political, and pedagogical concerns. Reflecting his view of the importance of the arts in the world at large, jazz is also explored as a vehicle for democracy and other forms of social progress. Turkenborg, head of the International Association of Schools of Jazz, of which Liebman is founder and artistic director, draws on their long association in conducting the dialogue. Maqam substitutions: Arabic Jazz by Rami Gabriel and Rob Wallace [+] Featuring original compositions as well as arrangements of jazz standards, this performance-presentation demonstrates the interweaving of two traditional approaches to improvisation. Chicago oud player Dr. Rami Gabriel joins forces with Dr. Rob Wallace (Rigg, Daf, Snare) to showcase how traditional Arabic melodic and rhythmic traditions may be used to improvise within American jazz and blues structures. Using Levantine Maqam (melodic system) and Middle Eastern iqa’at (rhythmic forms), this group demonstrates how tetrachordal theory can be substituted within Western chord progressions and the transformative nature of metric modulations on familiar melodies. This program will include versions of standards: Caravan (transposed to maqam kurdilihijazkar), The Sheikh of Araby (in samai thaqil 10/8 meter), and Night in Tunisia (in 7/8 meter), as well as original oud country blues, an oud jazz waltz, and two pieces in traditional Middle Eastern formats (longa and raqs), all using improvisational tools from both traditions. IAMABAUDE (Alex Koi) [+] IAMAUBADE is the creative vision of the vocalist and composer Koi. Having created the name for herself at the age of 11 whilst recording sounds, screams, and poetry in her parent’s linen closet, she decided to revive the project in December 2013 with more to say. IAMAUBADE’s compositions are grounded in improvisatory technique as she navigates themes of self-referentialism, consciousness, and feminism with her sonorous voice. Utilizing looping methods, distortions and alternative mediums, she creates a hypnotic atmosphere that breathes with the audience. Reciprocal Uncles (Gianni Mimmo, Gianni Lenoci, Cristiano Calcagnile) [+] RECIPROCAL UNCLES is an improv based acoustic trio that explores the relationship between texture, timbre, rhythm, melody, and harmony. The relationship between technique (physical sound production) and formal direction. The relationship between contemporary concert music as “real time” creation. The relationship between the specifics of listening circumstances and the work itself. The output is an idiosyncratic improvised chamber music with sudden strokes of controlled (even not) violence. Music finds its way among oblique narrations, with lyrical and dramatic moments, and intriguing harmonic textures. Modern Guqin Improvisation In Solo and In Intercultural Duets (Jeff Roberts) [+] This concert will explore improvisation on Chinese instrument guqin ($B8E6W (B) in two contexts. First, in the solo context, Roberts will explore improvisation rooted in the traditional musical language of the guqin repertoire but also incorporating elements from neighboring music cultures in Central Asia (Uyghur melody) and Korea (sanjo). Roberts and pianist Roman Stolyar will then team up for a duet improvisation, exploring relationships between guqin technique and techniques on piano strings. Finally, percussionist/composer Adam Vidiksis (on electronics as well), will join Roberts to develop a dialogue between guqin and found object percussion, with each performer bringing his own live-electronic setup as a vehicle to both enhance and blend the sounds of both instruments.
11:00-12:00PM Momentary Quartet (Jane Buttars, Lin Folk, Harold McKinney, Patrick Whitehead) [+] The Momentary Quartet performs freely improvised music based on the concept of deep listening: each member listening to his or her own inner emotional, spiritual and tonal world, with all members listening to each other in the moment. We create pieces in the best tradition of chamber music, with rhythmic and motivic conversations, silence, and imitation, in styles from contemporary classical to avant garde to jazz to world music. The only plan followed for our programs might include a specific combination of instruments, or possibly a mood or tempo; the result is 19
a product of intense spontaneous interaction. We enjoy providing opportunities for guest artists to explore new directions with us. The Momentary Quartet players met at seminars conducted by Music for People (an international organization founded by Grammy Award-winning cellist David Darling) which trains people in the techniques of improvising music together for self-expression. In this environment all participants, from beginners to professionals, are welcome to experience the creative process. The Quartet members embody the Music for People philosophy of inclusiveness and acceptance, commitment to personal authenticity, and immediate engagement in the adventure of play. Gloom in the Womb (Betsy Soukup, Ben Willis) [+] Two double bassists performing a combination of free improvisations and structured improvisations. Syrinx Effect (Kate Olson) [+] Syrinx Effect is Kate Olson and Naomi Siegel - a duo that plays contemporary, improvised chamber music with electronics. Siegel plays trombone with guitar pedals and Olson plays soprano saxophone with laptop and other toys. The duo got their start curating the Racer Sessions in Seattle, and have gone on to perform prolifically in the Seattle area, collaborating with many of the mainstays of the Northwest jazz and improvised music scenes. Syrinx Effect makes music that is authentic and expressive, employing everything from simple folk melodies to abstract, ambient noise. Each piece is a meditation, an exploration, and sometimes a romp. This iteration of Syrinx Effect’s roadshow is in direct support of their new EP Snail Songs, which features five new compositions by the duo that explore their penchant for simple melodies and grooves, with more than a little improvisation and exploration.
11:30-1:00PM Crosscultural Improvisation Workshop Part II with Jin Hi Kim, Gamin, David Liebman, Wadada Leo Smith, Samir Chatterjee, and Bobby Previte [++]
12:00PM-1:00PM Susie Allen and “Ring Storm” [+] Susan Allen, gayageum, dan bau, harp; Joshua Carro, tabla, drumset, electronics; Gordon Kurowski, theremin, electronics; Colton Lytle, percussion, electronics. The quartet from the California Institute of the Arts performs improvisations with live ring modulation and Ableton live processing, on instruments from Korea, China, Vietnam, India and the west. Their work is transcultural as it not only combines traditions and traditional instruments from varying geographic locations, but also redesigns their sounds through electronic manipulation. Hearing Teen Tal with a Western Ear — How Counting in Sixteen Differs from Four-Four Times Four (Rich Robeson and Deepak Shenoy) [++] It is often said that teen tal, the 16–beat rhythmic cycle of Hindustani classical music, is analogous to Western music’s 4/4. Although it is true that one cycle of teen tal has the same number of beats as four measures of 4/4, the differences greatly outweigh the similarities. This workshop/ performance explores with participants the logic (and accessibility) of teen tal, using the traditional methods of vocalization and gesture, and in doing so highlights distinctions between a unit of 16, and 4 units of 4, including the way in which teen tal supports improvisation that is unique to its unit-16 structure. Session leaders will conclude with an original composition performed according to the rules of Hindustani performance practice (with group participation). The Carey-Poulsen Duo (Kirsten Carey and Morten Poulsen [+] This duo improvises with a boldness and clarity that transcends cultural and linguistic boundaries. Their performances find the common ground between the more jazz-based approach to American improvisation and the more experimental and atonal studies that inform European improvisation. TpT-TpT (Jeff Kaiser and Dave Ballou) [+] Acoustic and electronic sonic explorations of the trumpet by the duo TpT-TpT (pronounced trumpet-trumpet), featuring Kaiser on quartertone trumpet and laptop and Dave Ballou on trumpet and laptop. TpT-TpT explores performance strategies from jazz, improvised music and other experimental traditions. Using the deep sonic palette accessed within the trumpet by the performers, they act together with close-mic techniques, custom digital signal processing software and hardware interfaces Kaiser and Ballou co-design. Close-mic techniques allow sounds usually inaudible to the audience to become audible: the quiet metallic sound of the valves descending, slides compressing and releasing air, springs within the mechanics of the trumpet vibrating. Combined with playing the instruments in more traditional manners, these microsounds 20
are then spatialized using interactive ambisonics—a variant of surround sound—that utilizing pitch, dynamics and algorithms the performers choose to locate the sound around the audience: creating an immersive improvisative environment.
2:00-3:30PM “Improvisation and Musical Study in a Crosscultural Age” panelists: Darryl Harper, Martin Mueller, Betty Anne Younker, Wouter Turkenburg, Jin Hi Kim, Richard Kessler, and Ed Sarath. [PNL] Although few areas of human endeavor embody crosscultural diversity more than music, academic musical study falls far short in this important realm. This panel brings together representatives of top conservatories, university music schools and departments, jazz schools, and music organizations—in addition to practicing musical artists—from across the world to explore the central role of improvisation as a vehicle for the much-needed transformation of the field. Political, aesthetic, cultural, pedagogical, economic, and organizational issues will be considered, with close attention to lingering obstacles to change, as well as opportunities for progress. Inroads and initiatives occurring on an international scale will be celebrated as institutions seek to reclaim the improvisatory roots of musical creativity that unite the world’s musical traditions as central to 21st century musical development.
2:00-3:00PM “The Language of Improvisation” - Dom Minasi, Michael Jefry Stevens [+] With a combined total of over 90 years as improvising musicians, guitarist Minasi and pianist Stevens bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the improviser’s palette. Directly off their 2014 duo release Angel’s Dance, these two musicians will perform a concert of short improvisations for guitar and piano. Each improvisation will deal with a specific musical technique or idea. Musical examples will include: counterpoint, timbre, voice leading, parallel intervals, formal development and the like. The performance will conclude with a question and answer period and a group improvisation with invited members of the audience performing with Minasi and Stevens. Rhythmic Conversations: Parallels and Possibilities at the Intersection of Carnatic Music and Jazz (Rory Stuart and Rajna Swaminathan) [++] South Indian Mrudangam player Swaminathan and Jazz guitarist and composer Stuart will perform original music that makes use of rhythmic concepts from Carnatic and Jazz traditions and examines the possibilities inherent in their intersection. Improvisations 2014, Michael Wittgraf & Lynn Baker [+] A collaborative series of free improvisations. This series is the beginning of a journey of discovery where cause and effect between composer, performer, and technology becomes blurred. All musicians in all group settings influence each other through action, reaction, and careful listening. Can the same thing happen when technology is introduced? Can a composer or improviser truly be influenced by circuitry and speakers in a meaningful way? Or vice versa? What happens when one performer¹s “instrument” involves the manipulation of another performer¹s sound? Microphones, speakers, computers, saxophones, remote controls, software, sound processing, acoustics, feedback, and electricity all come together to influence the outcome of a given performance, none of which can ever be reproduced once they have happened.
3:00-4:00PM “KILAR” – Kuba Stankiewicz Plays the Music of Wojciech Kilar [+] One of the best Polish Jazz pianists, Stankiewicz playing his interpretations of music written by the great Polish contemporary Classical and Cinematic music composer, Wojciech Kilar. The music is performed on solo piano, the most “naked” of all formats but also the most unlimited one. Kilar, who is unfortunately less know outside of Poland than his contemporaries like Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Gorecki or Witold Lutoslawski, is by no means less important and neither is his wonderful musical legacy. Stankiewicz treats Kilar´s music with a lot of respect and obvious love. The relaxed and delicate interpretations are full of charming moments, where the improvisations move out and return to the melodic theme. Stankiewicz has a wonderful touch on the piano, which sounds full-bodied and expressive even at a low volume. The overall effect is simply delightful. I especially admire the pianist´s humility and modesty which are the predominant features of his approach to the music. He firmly leaves the focus on the amazing compositions, taking only very limited liberties with the original notes and making his personal input subtly concealed, exposed only to the sensitive listener.
Concept Improvisation (Chris Chalfant) [++] When we think of improvisation, we often think of great jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong or Charlie Parker who perfected the art of improvisation by way of utilizing the classic song form as an underlying framework. Improvisation can mean so many things and take on so many different shapes and sizes. There are infinite approaches to improvisation in music, art and life. How does one break out of their mold of preconceived structures for musical improvisation? One great way is to use visual art as a jumping off point. The works of great musician-artist pairings such as Arnold Schoenberg and Wassily Kandinsky have shown us the power of connecting to deeper levels of creative experience. We can potentially transcend far beyond our known paths of expression. In this workshop, we will analyze existing pieces of art and related music, considering compositional elements, rhythm, chroma, sensorial connection and energy, and then explore new ways of thinking about improvisation with our added insights. Adaptive Improvising -The Original Voice vs. Space and the Random Piano, or… Playing On Bad Instruments Out of Doors Can Be Fun! (Randy Klein) [++] How do you retain your original voice while adapting to an instrument which is in a state of disrepair, and adapt to the sound of unusual performing spaces? In my early improvising experiences playing on pianos that were in less than stellar condition, I had this fear that I couldn’t play well because the piano’s condition would limit my true abilities. My fears escalated into nagging self-doubt as I was playing. How can I be musical on a piano that is unplayable? I was so engaged in this mental conversation, that it hampered finding my own voice. Let’s face it, there is a big difference between a well prepared piano with an infinite palate of colors to a piano with only seven working notes (kindling)! So instead of driving myself crazy, I change my approach. I stopped fighting against the defects of the instruments and started to collaborate within the limitations. I began to use the unique colors that the piano was capable of producing and then adjust that sound to the space the instrument was in. A true improviser can play anywhere and on any instrument, no matter the conditions. By adapting to the instrument, then to the environment, an adaptive improviser can create improvisations that are esthetically pleasing, musical and innovative. Randy Klein’s revealing and insightful performance clinic is guaranteed to tickle your ears and your improvising imagination. Playing on bad pianos can be fun!
3:30-4:30PM Sonic Constructions (Thomas Cuifo, Curtis Bahn) [+] Sonic Constructions is an improvisational electronic music performance by composer-improvisers Bahn and Ciufo, who design, build, and perform on computer extended instruments. This performance project has developed around a gestural and sonic language that explores the expressive capabilities of a range of custom build, hybrid acoustic / electronic instruments. Utilizing a variety of physical interfaces and signal processing techniques, these constructed / composed instruments extend acoustic sound sources and field recordings through real-time computer processing and sonic transformation. Custom instruments developed by Bahn and Ciufo include the eSitar, eDilruba, the eighth nerve hybrid electric guitar, as well as a collection of unique flutes and percussive objects. This performance is a manifestation of the unique formal, sonic, gestural, and human relationships that emerge from interaction with (and through) these new computer-mediated instruments. Through Deep Listening and empathetic sounding, we seek to create and explore real-time Sonic Constructions. These dynamic and evolving sound spaces live somewhere between foreground and background, between action and stillness, between concrete, remembered, and imagined. More than anything, these sound spaces invite us to listen deeply and to contemplate our relationship to sound, place, each other, and the sound world we inhabit / create.
3:30-5:00PM “The Shape of Creativity to Come in the 21st-Century,” panelists Karlton Hester, Bill Johnson, Douglas Ewart, and India Cooke. [PNL] Collaboration in art may be the ultimate test of placing your ego aside in order to work toward a common idea and paint a mutual canvas. We will examine the vision of contemporary collaborative art practices in the future. Mainstream cultural production is well on its way in many forms of arts collaboration and there are numerous ways that artists can choose to operate collectively – especially through technology. This artistic collaboration raises interesting and crucial questions about the nature of authorship, authenticity and the artists’ relationships to their works & audiences, but collaboration in art has produced many levels of mutual respect mutual work, and mutual exposure particularly among young artists.
4:00-5:00PM Collaborative Imperatives at the Limits of the Jazz World: Afro/Canarian Improvisation and the Ethics of Performative Research (Mark Lomanno) [+] Based on ongoing ethnographic research begun in 2009, this presentation explores how inhabitants of the Canary Islands subversively manipulate existing institutional structures, discursive tropes, and musical categories that perpetuate a centuries-old aislamiento (“isolation”) in the Islands. Drawing on connections to communities in the Caribbean, South America, North Africa, and Andalusia, artists perform acts of musical and cultural fusion to assert contingent and fluid identities distinct from and critical of the Spanish state that has continually reified Afro/Canarian liminality through unwriting pre-colonial history, uncoupling connections to Amazigh populations and the African continent in general, and portraying local culture as ahistorical folklore. This ongoing erasure of Canarian culture--which the Afro/Canarian subject confronts constantly in everyday life--is amplified through gaps in existing academic paradigms that thus far have failed to make space for the Islands. Accordingly, drawing on specific case studies including musical performances between the presenter and Canarian musicians, this presentation outlines how Critical Improvisation Studies research--especially by and with improvising musicians--can counteract this kind of erasure by highlighting the performative and collaborative aspects of culture, politics, and art undertaken in the spirit of what Daniel Fischlin, Ajay Heble, and George Lipsitz call “ethical cocreation.” John’s Cage 10.82: “Why 4 33?” - Improvisational Constructions for Classically-Minded Musicians (Tim Tsang) [**] John’s Cage revolves around the use of Clock Time as a platform upon which music and sounds from different cultures, practices, and histories may thrive and be experienced/examined coherently, allowing for a consistent, yet continuously expanding platform for dialogue. John’s Cage’s is a fluid mixture of musical experiments, live performances, compositions, video works, audio works, graphic scores, and more - exploring Clock Time as a potential new ground for future opportunities in musical and artistic improvisation, collaboration, and education. The lecture/performance seeks to provide potential entryways for Classically-Minded Musicians to approach Improvisation as not only an alternative method of music-making, but toward a deeper understanding and appreciation for existing Improvised Music, as well as an aid to the practicing and enjoyment of Classical Music itself. With the use of an amplified analog clock, 2 iPhones, and a piano keyboard, “Why 4 33?” will cover topics such as: Classically-Trained VS Classically-Minded, Practicing Improvisation, Use of Clock/Time in Improvisational/Musical Practice, Significance of 60, 273, and 4’ 33” , Why VS How VS What, Potential Applications of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do in Free Improvisation, Viewing the History of Music Tonality as a Roadmap to Practice/Composition.
5:00-6:00PM Gianni Mimmo and Alison Blount Duo [+] “Chris Stover’s Helical Quartet” [+] Chris Stover (trombone, compositions) Russ Johnson (trumpet) Niels Praestholm (bass) Andrew Drury (drums, percussion). Premiering a set of new music written specifically for the ISIM conference, this quartet explores concepts of time, temporality, and process through improvisational interactions and compositional designs. The compositional frameworks derive from Western, African, and Balinese philosophical reckonings of time, process, and becoming, and invoke different improvisational strategies in order to effect moves in and out of particular temporal flows and processes. The Chapman Stick: a High-Speed Idea Conduit for Improvisers (Greg Howard) [+] As improvisers we rely on the ability to hear, react, and express ourselves instinctively, immediately and transparently. Whatever our instrumental medium, as “simple” as our voice, or as complex as a rack of synthesizers, it must become an extension of ourselves. The Chapman Stick provides a uniquely intimate pathway into the nexus of melody, rhythm, harmony, and orchestration. The player’s fingers tap directly onto the strings, connecting them to the vibration as on many other instruments, giving them the ability to bend and shape the notes in a way that more mechanistic instruments like keyboards don’t allow. But unlike its stringed siblings, each hand on The Stick can function completely on its own, creating the opportunity for a fully realized musical conversation. With each hand as an expressive polyphonic actor, and a range of over five octaves on two sets of overlapping strings, incredibly full and nuanced orchestrations can develop and then shift instantly into a single two-handed groove. The instrument’s split output allows the player to give each hand its own sonic color, further expanding the possibilities of timbral exploration and layering. Stylistic, sonic and harmonic elements can be interwoven freely 23
and spontaneously. Howard will perform and then discuss the playing technique, tuning, and orchestral possibilities the instrument offers. Interested audience members will have an opportunity to try the instrument out after the presentation. Maja Radovanlija/ImprovIsAndDo Ensemble [+] Michelle Kinney (cello); Phil Fried (Double bass); Maja Radovanlija (guitar, Bosnian shargia, tamburitza); Scott Currie (saxophone, kaval, duduk), Ben Klein (tuba). Improv is And Do ensemble will be presenting three improvised “pieces” that have been developed over a yearlong collaborative/creative work. Each piece has a different focus in terms of experimenting with styles, formal organization, rhythmical vs. non-rhythmical concepts, texture and ensemble dynamics. First piece, which is the shortest one, is taking the idea of crossing over styles (free improv/traditional Turkish tune) in a very literal way, since we are using Turkish song (Tini mini hanim). Other pieces are going to use some elements of traditional music (Balkan traditonal music) in a variety of ways: Balkan instruments (e.g., tamburitza – Serbian string instrument, kaval – Macedonian/Bulgarian “flute”), Balkan uneven rhythms, motives/scales and similar. Pieces are product of experimental/creative processes within ensemble dynamic. Overall idea of this performance is to present variety of ways of “crossing” over styles/traditions/genres. Past, Present, and Future: Revisiting the music of Carla Bley (Robert Gluck) [+] Ken Filiano (bass) and Bob Gluck (piano and electronics). A fresh look at the early work of Carla Bley, building upon her technique of constructing music from brief melodic and rhythmic cells. In this revisit, the players engage in serial, cat-and-mouse and parallel play with cells from Bley’s original material. The approach is cross-cultural in building upon traditional Jewish biblical cantillation (“trope”) practice (coherent musical narrative is assembled from a pool of pre-existing melodic cells) and also through a poetic lens of change across time, considering historic performances of Bley’s music, present practice, and maybe future projections. Layers of sound will be built using Filiano and Gluck’s musical vocabularies, among them extended techniques and electroacoustic processes. FreeK: The University of Kentucky Free Improvisation Ensemble [+] Topics covered in Free Improvisation classes (MUC172 & MUC570) for discussion with conference participants: Freedom & Playfulness: Who is Lila? Group Dynamics: We are one! Lights & Colors. Meditation. Smell the notes: Olfactory art. Different Energy. Risk & Trust. The power of Limits? The loving marriage between technique and music. Life & Stage: How to program a free improv project.
7:30PM EVENING CONCERT CROSSCULTURAL IMPROVISATION III: Contrasting Conceptions of Time Auditorium @ 12th St — 66 W 12TH Street
Featuring guest artists Wadada Leo Smith, Gamin, Samir Chatterjee, Bobby Previte, and David Liebman. Jin Hi Kim, Artistic Director
SUNDAY, JUNE 8 10:00-11:00AM Expansion (Fabien Sevilla) [+] In January 2013, the recording of the second solo album of Fabien Sevilla Expansion took place at Théâtre de l’ABC in La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH) This new album is the fruition of two years of work and research on new approaches for free improvisation, but also new contemporary music pieces for solo double bass, compositions and jazz standards. Also recorded on this second solo album, several free improvisation named Kôans. Continuing the work he did with his first solo album, Kôans Contrebasse Solo (Altrisuoni-2010), Sevilla pursues here the relationship between zen Buddhist meditation and improvisation on the instrument. The big news for this album is Sevilla starts writing for solo double bass. A new composition, in triptych form entitled, “Expansion,” was composed and written by the same intuitive and meditative approach developed in Kôans Contrebasse Solo. With Jazz as a starting point in the career of Sevilla, two standards arranged for bass solo are also present on this album. “Four winds” by American bassist Dave Holland and “Giant Steps” by American saxophonist John Coltrane. Composers are Choreographers are Composers (Mark Olivieri, Dr. Donna Davenport) [++] Music and dance are inextricably linked, yet collaborations so often fail to synthesize into a cohesive work. It is not unusual for 24
people to watch dance with the music as background ambience or listen closely to the music and wonder why the choreography doesn’t match. In fact, the historical model for music and dance collaborations has privileged musical compositions. One reason is simple: many musical works are created prior to the choreographic essays. Composers finish a piece of music and hand it off to a choreographer. This paint-by-numbers approach does not allow choreographers to develop works that resonate fully with their aesthetic sensibilities, but rather, forces them into a narrow model that must adhere to the intentionality of the musical score. Conversely, composers who write for dance often experience the opposite. Many times, composers enter a rehearsal space to watch a dance that is nearly completed and asked to write music for it. Although this model of collaboration is reasonable, it establishes hierarchies that are antithetical to the collaborative process. This lecture-demonstration will illustrate ways in which improvisation generates compositional material for both the composer and choreographer. “Live Composing” by Robert Jedrzejewski [+] PART 1: Pure Intuitive Creation. The aim of this presentation is searching for the experience of truth, which is far away from the field controlled by the scientific methodology. In the art the man is meeting himself, the same with spirit. The method appears as an answer to the most significant need of the truth expression, the truth as a sense of a life. Is the Art without any recognition? The experience of art shouldn’t be corrected as a part of aesthetic of culture (by Hans-Georg Gadamer, “Truth and Method”). PART 2: The Video Score. The printed writing influences on perception the world (the acting printed book has visually to cause cultural revolution - the linear thinking). The medium alone is the transfer - the television and radio have also to influence on our perception the world. The Artist fulfill in society the navigator’s part, intuitively analyzing the deformations of sensorial life caused the influence of new environment (by Marshall McLuhan). Tina Chancey and Hesperus, “Hesperus Plays Zoro: Improvisation, Early Music and Early Film: Expanding the Practice” [**] Hesperus, an early/traditional music ensemble from Arlington VA, mixes improvisation and early film: a scene from Douglas Fairbanks 1920 silent film The Mark of Zorro with a newly created score of music from Old and New Spain, consisting of improvisations over 17th c. Spanish bass patterns and tunes such as the Folia, Passamezzo Moderno, Pavan de Spagne, Canarios, Romanesca, Spagnoletta and Jacara. Four performers sing and play recorder, vihuela, viol, renaissance fiddle, shawm, and early guitar.
11:00-12:00PM Raphael Sudan: Improvisations in Classical Styles [+] Convinced that the greatest artists are not the ones who look back in the past but precisely the ones who live in their times looking to the future, one of Sudan’s ambitions is to give a place to the classical music in our current musical landscape. Therefore, this piano solo concert will be focused on classical improvisation, first in some ancient styles, as a tribute to some of the most important composers in the classical music history. Freely, let’s first take a taste of what could have been, for example, a Bach Sarabande, a Mozart Sonata, a Chopin Walz or a Liszt Ballade. Then, building bridges between eras, those ancient styles are going to switch slowly to modern styles, uniting classical and modern music in one musical world during this performance. Ji Eun Moon’s “Ghost Theater” [+] This composition project is an interdisciplinary music work. It is three/four movement chamber music, which will primarily employ theatrical elements by the vocalization of musicians, and improvisational elements in this composition. The matter of subject and inspiration of my music has come from humanism. This composition was inspired from the testimonies of the female survivors and victims from the forced sexual slavery by the Japanese military during the Second World War. Also, Luigi Nono’s composition “La Fabbrica Illuminata” influenced to this music. His attachment of humanism is shown to the made up of sounds and noises that can be found in a factory. In my composition will be used violent sounds, and noises found in war crime, synthesized to the electronic sounds. Instrumentalists will participate to generate special sounds through the vocalization and utilizing sound from practical objects such as computer keyboard, papers, water, or wind chimes and more. Improvise with an Improvising Body (Corinna Eikmeier) [++] What comes first: a musical idea or the impulse to move? How does our play change when we consciously make our playing position less stable? Does our breath follow our play, or is our play dictated by our breath? How much muscle tension do we use to control our play? We will explore these questions using small exercises. Every exercise will change certain aspects of our 25
movement. We will then observe how each of them makes us improvise differently. Through these exercises, participants get to experience how physical habits are connected with their playing habits and what happens when old patterns are broken. Let Us Play to Remember Who We Are (Joelle Danant) [++] To be in the flow of our music-making of the moment, we must find within what is true for us and find the courage to express it authentically. The guide is the now, or our listening presence to the musical impulse, inviting us to tap into the Inner River of Music. Tune within in silence, explore deep listening, and express your most natural, cultural impulses of the moment in a supportive and playful community – in solo or ensembles. Make your improvisations your offerings to the Soul and to the world. Follow your heart and honor others’ doing so, while experimenting through “soft,”right-brain, simple, yet profound activities, drawn from Music for People, aiming to elicit inner knowing through supportive playfulness. While honoring the riches of diverse expressions, let us journey together toward the Musical Ocean, where the cross-cultural waves reveal a greater whole uniting all as one, like rivers flowing to the ocean. Music is the language of the heart, where the unique meets the universal, and where cultures are the servants that let our true nature lead our way home. No experience required. Voices and instruments welcome – all levels. May Music flow through us like Rivers to the Ocean. “RR” Duo (Rui Li, Raleigh Dailey) [+] “RR” Duo is a free improvisation duo formed in 2009 at the University of Kentucky Li and Dailey. In the past years, “RR” Duo has performed in all major venues in Kentucky State, and also a tour of China in 2013. “RR” Duo’s contemporary/improvisational experience includes collaboration with olfaction arts, contemporary painting, improvised musical theatre, improvised dancing, and impressionist painting. Two of their current free improvisation albums will be released this summer.
12:00-1:00PM Simone Weißenfels – mspiano, solo piano performance [+] Unusual sound-colours, dramatic changes of tempi! Sometimes vigourously, sometimes whispering softly! The explosive music of mspiano arises through spontaneous play, a flowing communication of concrete ideas and prudent art. She creates wide soundscapes, abstraction, flowing chains of melodies and metrically unattached soundcolour-bunches. That’s how mspiano enters into suspenseful adventures of improvisation. In the past she performed successfully the works of contemporary and classic composers as well as her own compositions. This background allows her to create hers own world on the piano without showing only flat virtuosity. Andrew Bishop and Jacob Sacks Duo [+] The duo of Bishop (reeds) and Sacks (piano) presents a concert of newly composed pieces that encompass a wide range of aesthetic and formal schemes utilizing improvisation as a catalyst for the compositions not as mere frameworks. The concert will include works by Bishop and Sacks. Richard Boukas and Quarteto Moderno, “Contemporary Brazilian Jazz Composition and Improvisation” [+] Richard Boukas, guitar, vocals, composer; Lucas Pino, woodwinds; Gustavo Amarante, bass; Mauricio Zottarelli, drums. Boukas and his ensemble will perform his original compositions, which will demonstrate solo improvisational vocabularies and parameters for organic group interaction. Each piece will represent a core Brazilian genre, including: samba, choro, baião, marcha, toada. A concise handout will summarize key melodic, harmonic and rhythmic traits of each piece. It will also provide a link for ISIM attendees to download PDF scores SonicExchange: Film and Talk about a 100-day Residency (Ursel Schlicht) [+] Schlicht, with guests Dafna Naphtali (live processing) and Kevin James (composer). My intention with SonicExchange is to create a space for musical encounters, for exchanging ideas through sound, dance, film and related art over a period of three months. The project took place in the summer of 2012, parallel to the Documenta(13) in Kassel, Germany. Via an open invitation, over fifty guests participated from nine countries: free improvisers, composers, an Afghan rubab player, dancers, electronic, musicians. Purposely, I sought a location not connected with a particular aesthetic and found the Foto-Motel, an artistic guest house with a low-key and intimate setting. The hosts provided a small studio and gave me carte blanche to use the adjacent lounge and a large yard for performances. Dancers performed in the yard, artists showed films with live music. Composers spoke about their music and then improvised with other musicians. Musicians arranged Icelandic songs, others interpreted Afghan poetry. The project is documented on a two-hour long DVD. I will show excerpts and demonstrate how the creative freedom
and the power of improvisation led to new ideas and often heightened the artistic quality. The talk is interspersed with live music by me, Naphtali, and James. Kathryn Ladano “Solo Free Improvisation for Bass Clarinet” [+] This presentation will consist of a 30-45 minute performance highlighting the solo improvisational work and explorations of Canadian bass clarinetist, Ladano. Her solo work typically features both acoustic and electronic sounds, as well as a masterful command of many of the diverse extended techniques available on her instrument. The bass clarinet is both an unusual and unique instrument that contemporary composers are turning to more frequently all the time, due to its distinctive sonic possibilities. The instrument is also extremely well suited to free improvisation and creative music making in general, due to its extensive range and the multitude of sounds and techniques it is capable of producing.
1:00PM CLOSING CEREMONY 5TH FLOOR PERFORMANCE HALL – 55 w13th Street
BIOGRAPHIES A Small Dream In Red. Nora McCarthy (Voice, Compositions, Poetry); Jorge Sylvester (Alto Saxophone, Compositions). A Small Dream In Red is a ground-breaking voice and saxophone duo whose innovative form of musical expression reveals a self-contained world of content, form, improvisation, and—above all—balance. Their quintessential goal is to achieve the unique immediacy of music in abstract visual form. Since their debut at the Knitting Factory, NYC 2001, they have performed and conducted workshops internationally and released two CDs establishing them as one of the world’s most unique and imaginative duos performing in this format and instrumentation. Jeff Albert is a musician, music technologist, and educator. He is an Assistant Professor at Loyola University New Orleans, and holds the PhD in Experimental Music and Digital Media from LSU. His areas of research include the intersections of improvisation and technology, and performance paradigms for live computer music. Albert was named a Rising Star Trombonist in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Downbeat Critics Polls. In 2013, Rogue Art released his CD, The Tree on the Mound, which features Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake, and Joshua Abrams. Dwight Andrews is an Associate Professor of Music Theory and African American Music at Emory University and the Senior Minister of First Congregational Church UCC in Atlanta. A graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, he holds Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees from the University of Michigan, a Masters of Divinity degree from the Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Music Theory from Yale University. At Yale he was a student of Allen Forte and David Lewin. His dissertation focused on Pitch and Rhythmic Organization in the Early Works of Igor Stravinsky. Andrews has served on the faculties of Rice, Yale, and Harvard Universities. Recognized for his work with new music and the avant-garde, he has worked and recorded with Leo Smith and New Dalta Ahkri, Nana Vasconcelos, Nat Adderley, Jr., Anthony Davis, James Newton, Anthony Braxton, Geri Allen, and Jay Hoggard among others. He is also known for his collaborations with playwright August Wilson and director Lloyd Richards. Jay Arms is a Ph.D. student at the University of California at Santa Cruz. His research focuses on improvised, experimental, and creative musics in the United States in the mid-twentieth century. His Master’s thesis, The Music of Malcolm Goldstein, considers how the concepts of physicality, improvisation, and graphic notation interact in the music of an important, but relatively unknown composer. He is particularly interested in the relationship between improvisation and alternative notations. Curtis Bahn is an improvising composer involved in relationships of body, gesture, technology and sound. He holds a PhD in music composition from Princeton University, and studies Hindustani classical music as a formal disciple of acclaimed sitarist, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan. Curtis recently was named the “Ralph Samuelson Fellow” through the Asian Cultural Council, receiving a grant to study and collaborate with artists in India. Curtis is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director for the Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy New York. Trombonist Jen Baker is a new music specialist and has performed internationally in ensembles spanning from symphonies to free improvisation. Baker’s solo multiphonic project, Lyrical Vibrations, has been performed around the country including at the 2008 ISIM Conference in Denver, and can also be heard on her solo album, Blue Dreams. An active commissioner of new solo works for trombone, she is currently performing transcriptions of her own improvisations and collaborating with other composers in her ongoing vision to improve the repertoire for solo trombone. Lynn Baker is an active saxophone performer and clinician, performing with Michael Wittgraff, The Lynn Baker Quartet, the free-improvisation trio Rhythmic_Void, and performing with and directing the Rocky Mountain Jazz Repertoire Orchestra. He is an Origin Records recording artist with two releases; Azure Intention (2010) and 28
LectroCoustic (2013). Michael Wittgraf is Chair of the Department of Music at the University of North Dakota specializing in electronic music. His music has won a number of awards, and has been performed in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He has won a number of awards and grants from organizations including the Bush Foundation, the North Dakota Council on the Arts, The American Composers Forum, and the American Music Center. Christopher Bakriges, Ph.D., is a pianist, composer, and ethnomusicologist who is active internationally both performing and presenting research at symposia and conferences. He has published articles in the Leeds College of Music Journal, Research Proceedings Yearbook, International Association of Jazz Educators, the online Journal of the School of Visual Arts, and is contributing author to two books published by University of Mississippi Press, Jazz Planet: Transnational Studies of the “Sound of Surprise,” and Cross the Water Blues: African American Music in Europe. His research interests currently focus on global practices and processes of musical improvisation. His short story about his chance meeting with Pharoah Sanders, “Night Music in Motown,” appears in Burning the Midnight Oil: Illuminating Words for the Long Night’s Journey into Day from Viva Editions (2014). He is the co-founder of the Oikos Ensemble. His recent recording Transculturation is a collaboration with eighteen musicians from around the world. Dave Ballou has released nine internationally recognized recordings as a leader and co-leader. He has performed or recorded with ensembles led by Michael Formanek, Denman Maroney, Maria Schneider, Andrew Hill, Dave Liebman, Oliver Lake, Joe Lovano, Sheila Jordan, Steely Dan, Rabih Abou-Kahlil, Woody Herman, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and an extensive list of jazz personalities. Dave has performed Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #2 with the Bella Musica Orchestra of NY, Larry Austin’s Improvisations with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Gunther Schuller’s Journey into Jazz with the Spokane Symphony and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. The Meridian Arts Ensemble, The TILT Brass ensemble and the Monarch Trio have performed or recorded his compositions. He is currently serving as an Associate Professor of Music at Towson University, and coordinator of the Jazz/Commercial music division. Andrew Bishop is a versatile multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, educator and scholar comfortable in many musical idioms. He maintains an international career and serves as an Assistant Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Bishop’s two recordings as a leader have received widespread acclaim from The New York Times, Downbeat Magazine, Chicago Reader, All Music Guide, Cadence Magazine, All About Jazz-New York, All About Jazz-Los Angeles, and the Detroit Free Press, among others. As a composer and arranger he has received over 25 commissions, numerous residencies and awards and recognition from ASCAP, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Andrew W. Melon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music of America, and a nomination from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He earned five degrees in music including a D.M.A. in music composition from the University of Michigan. Violinist, performer and composer Alison Blount’s fascination with sound, motion and space led her into international projects exploring boundaries between art forms and new music. She has performed in wildly contrasting environments including famous theaters, jazz clubs and venues, concert halls and festivals in Europe and Australia. Collaborations with Apartment House, Apocryphal Theatre, Renee Baker, Barrell, Barcode quartet, Viv Corringham, Guy Dartnell, John Edwards, HANAM quartet, Elisabeth Harnik, Tristan Honsinger, Tony Marsh, Gianni Mimmo, Lode, London, and Berlin Improvisers orchestras, Pierret Ensemble, and Gino Robair. Richard Boukas has been a core faculty member at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music since 1989. A 2010 recipient of the New School University Distinguished Teaching Award, he has also taught at Mannes, William Paterson College, and NYU. A worldwide recognized expert in Brazilian music, he founded the New School Brazilian Jazz Ensemble, Brazilian Choro Ensemble, and Early Music Choir (Choral Musicianship). An acclaimed Jazz and Brazilian guitarist, vocalist, composer, and ensemble leader for thirty five years (Quarteto Moderno Duo with Jovino Santos Neto, Amazôna), his recordings include Balaio, Tudo de Bom, Amazôna, Embarcadero, and Commitment. A four-time recipient of NEA Jazz Performance Grant, he was chosen “Best Brazilian 29
Jazz Guitarist in U.S” by Guitar One magazine, and was a featured columnist for Just Jazz Guitar. Boukas is an itinerant composer of Brazilian, jazz, chamber and choral music, receiving an MA in Composition from Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music. Todd Brunel is an acclaimed clarinetist and sax player, a member of Musaner, Know Orchestra, Opal Ensemble, the Eric Hofbauer Quintet, the Sonic Explorers, and the Circadian Rhythm Kings. He is the recipient of three Massachusetts Cultural Council grants, and is on the faculty of Wheaton College, the Powers Music School, and the Lexington Music School. He holds an MM from the Brooklyn College Conservatory, and a BM from the Boston Conservatory. Yamaha Artist, Ellen Burr presents clinics and workshops at universities around the country, and has played at several ISIM Festivals, CMS concerts, Adam Rudolph’s Go Orchestra, Vancouver Jazz Festival, and Las Vegas New Music Festival. She appears on over 25 CD’s, two with her as a leader. Her improvisation game, “Ink Bops” is included in the graphic score anthology Notations 21. Burr currently teaches flute and composition at her private studio in Venice, CA. Born in Havana, where he began his music studies, Chris C. Capizzi is an improviser, composer, and lecturer in jazz piano and improvisation at Carnegie Mellon University. He studied classical piano and composition there, and learned about jazz working with ex-Dolphy drummer J.C. Moses. In addition to performance improvisation and composition activities, Capizzi is a Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh. His academic research focuses on sacred jazz and the liturgical music of Mary Lou Williams. Kirsten Carey is a guitarist/composer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her work focuses on blending improvisation with disparate genres, as well as with movement and text. Her debut album, The Ulysses Project, is a suite based on James Joyce’s novel. The performance pairs free jazz with theatrical interpretations of excerpts. She has performed with Elliott Sharp, Roman Stolyar, Weasel Walter, and Dominique Duval, and has studied at the University of Michigan and in Mysore, India. Joshua Carro (carro) is a sound artist, composer, percussionist, teacher, and record producer based in Los Angeles, California. He has performed in countless recitals and concerts in U.S.A. and Canada, and is known for his electro-acoustic drumset improvisations using an original setup he developed after recent research in the medium of electro-acoustic music during his recent Masters work at CalArts. Being a professional performer and teacher since the age of 18, carro has performed on many different percussion instruments from tabla accompaniment for Pt. Aashish Khan, to electro-acoustic percussion with German rock band Faust at REDCAT. As a composer, carro has been commissioned by Susan Allen, William Powell and Marthe Reed (Creative Writing Chair at LSU) with performances in Theatre 80 New York, University of Central Florida, Arizona State University, and The Lite Venue in Louisiana. As a recording artist, carro has released over 10 electro-acoustic albums. As a teenager in New York, Peter Cassino studied with jazz pianist Eddie Costa, and at age 21, moved to Europe where he performed with notable jazz players including Benny Baily and Leo Wright. In 1975, upon his return to the States Cassio completed a graduate degree from the New England Conservatory. Since then he has extensively performed on the East Coast and has collaborated with Andrew Dangelo, Marty Ehrlich, and others. Presently he is Chair of the Department of Modern American Music, which he created at the Longy School of Music, Cambridge Massachusetts. Chris Chalfant received an MM from New England Conservatory in 1988. She studied Eurhythmics at Longy School and studied art dating back to the early 70’s. As Chalfant gravitated toward the New York creative music and performance art scenes, she moved there in 1993. She spent over fifteen years studying and working with Joseph Jarman in Buddhism and music. Chalfant plays classical and original music for Noyes Rhythm dancers. She has been with ISIM since 2007.
Tina Chancey directs Hesperus, an early/traditional ensemble that brings the past alive through collaborations with film, theater, dance, and world music. She plays early and folk fiddles on roots music from Sephardic and Irish to blues and contra. Her silent film scores for Robin Hood, Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Golem, The General and Mark of Zorro blend early music and improvisation. Dr. Chancey has received three WAMMIES for best classical performer from the Washington Area Music Association and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Early Music America. Bassist David Chevan has explored a wide range of musical realms from singing in synagogue, to playing in Gospel groups, Polka bands, Klezmer bands, and Italian wedding bands, and finally to Jazz, and contemporary improvisation. Recent compositions focus on melding jazz improvisational practice with Jewish liturgy. Chevan performs in a duo with pianist Warren Byrd and co-leads their group, The Afro-Semitic Experience. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. Thomas Ciufo is a sound artist, composer, improviser, and researcher working at the intersections of electroacoustic performance, interactive instrument design, sonic art and emerging digital technologies. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Music and New Media from Brown University. Currently at Towson University, Ciufo specializes in the areas of music technology and recording arts, with classes in sound recording and production, acoustic ecology and sound art, as well as electronic and computer music performance, interactive instrument design and sound programming. Mary L. Cohen, Ph.D., is a music education professor at the University of Iowa. Her research area is wellness through music-making with respect to prison contexts, writing and songwriting, and collaborative communities. Dr. Cohen has completed two levels of Orff-Schulwerk Training, and trained in Dalcroze, Laban Movement Analysis, Creative Motion, and Alexander Technique. She is an InterPlay leader, and incorporates a variety of musical improvisation into her InterPlay sessions, prison choir rehearsals, and university courses. Matthew A. Cohen, Ph.D., is a professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. His research focus is film and media with an emphasis in the role of production, distribution, and exhibition in the digital age. He has taught at the CIMBA study abroad program in Paderna del Grappa, Italy. Dr. Cohen studied theater at Interlochen Arts Academy, and is a leader in InterPlay. William “Bill” Crossman is a composer, pianist, philosopher, professor, human-rights activist, playwright, poet, and author. As a pianist, Crossman’s specialty is free improvisation/free jazz, and he has performed with many of the world’s great musicians, including the exceptional violinist India Cooke in their India Cooke-Bill Crossman Duo. His multi-genre, musically improvised John Brown’s Truth musical was premiered at the 2009 ISIM annual conference/festival at University of California, Santa Cruz, and has since been performed often on the West Coast. Joelle Danant is a singer, composer, Native American (NA) style flute player, certified Music for People (MFP) instructor in music improvisation, educator, and interfaith minister, in Brooklyn, NY. She is the 2013 Music Ambassador Award recipient from MFP, for her workshops, “Music Improvisation for the Soul.” Danat teaches meditation at Pratt Institute, and her background includes classical/jazz piano, Brazilian standards, kirtan, and original, inter-spiritual music. Her Master’s was in Intercultural Management, School for International Training, Brattleboro, VT. Performer, composer, educator Nilusha Dassenaike is making an indelible mark in the world of contemporary composition and performance. She has performed and recorded with artists as wide ranging as Mike Stern, Dave Valentin, and Hugh Jackman. Her compositions are featured in critically acclaimed recording projects and present a unique relationship between contemporary jazz and traditional Sinhala Folk Music. Dassenaike also lectures in Jazz and Improvisation at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne. Ensemble Members are Nilusha Dassenaike (voice) Alex Pertout (world percussion), and TBC piano.
Dr. Donna Davenport started improvising at the age of 12 in Puerto Rico. As she studied modern dance within an academic environment, improv became central to both her choreographic process and performance interests. Now as a Professor of Dance at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, improvisation is a multi-disciplinary system of thought for her and the doorway to collaboration with colleagues. Twelve-time International award-winner and International Conference featured artist/scholar in both the jazz and classical disciplines, Dr. Roland Davis recently received a standing ovation in Carnegie Hall for the world premiere of his newest classical work, “The Huangguoshu Parable.” The Horowitz award winner from Juilliard will be championing this piece next season. In Carnegie Hall, prior to this, Davis was the featured artist as the winner of an International Competition for jazz vocalists. With a featured original classical composition at an International conference, featured research at two International jazz conferences, and National competition wins for classical composition, jazz composition, and jazz soloist (both voice and guitar), his awards now exceed 30 in classical, jazz, and scholarship. He currently performs with members of Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, and Herbie Hancock in addition to composing classical and jazz works for Grammy winners, members of Lincoln Center, the Kraków Conservatory, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, London College of Music, Juilliard, and others. Japanese pianist Erika Dohi’s repertoire ranges from Bach to Debussy, Bartok, and Ligeti. She has performed with Jefferey Milarsky, Dave Liebman, and eighth blackbird, and studied (BM, MM) Contemporary Performance at Manhattan School of Music. Ben Doleac received his Master’s degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Alberta in 2011 and is currently pursuing a PhD at UCLA. A singer, guitarist, and songwriter, he has performed in ensembles ranging from rock bands and concert choirs to the Kuumba Singers (the Harvard University gospel choir), the University of Alberta Middle Eastern Music ensemble, and UCLA’s mariachi band. He is presently conducting research on drumming traditions and contemporary brass band music in New Orleans. Armen Donelian’s career spans four decades and includes seminal stints with Sonny Rollins, Billy Harper, Chet Baker, and Mongo Santamaria. A veteran pianist, composer, bandleader, educator and international clinician, Donelian authored Training the Ear Vol. 1 & 2 and recently Whole Notes: A Piano Masterclass (all published by Advance Music). He teaches at William Paterson University and the New School. He was a 2002 Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Yerevan (Armenia) State Conservatory, and also did Fulbright residencies in Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Greece. Sayat-Nova: Songs Of My Ancestors, his 13th album, was issued in April 2014 on Sunnyside Records. Eric Edberg is a classical and improvising cellist, organizer, and teacher committed to connecting and enlivening people through music. The founding artistic director of the Greencastle Summer Music Festival, which “brings the community together with friends making music for friends,” he has played in nursing homes, schools, and hospitals. Reaching out to new audiences, Edberg has presented numerous alternative-venue and multi-genre concerts. His idiom-combining students at the DePauw University School of Music form one of the country’s few non-jazz all undergraduate performing improvising ensembles, and have been featured in the Wall Street Journal. Corinna Eikmeier (born 1969) studied Violoncello, Contemporary Music, and Improvisation. In 1995 she completed a Feldenkrais-training in Vienna. She works as a lecturer of Feldenkrais and Improvisation at Hanover University of Music. From 2007 to 2009 she was a Dorothea Erxleben scholar, working on a project that combined her main areas of expertise: Feldenkrais and Improvisation. Since 2010 she continues this as a Ph.D. project. Matt Endahl (b. 1985) grew up in Williamston, MI. Born into a musical family, he began studying piano in 1990. He earned his MM from the University of Michigan in 2012. He was a Bösendorfer Montreux Jazz Solo Piano Competition semi-finalist in 2008, and has participated as a presenter at the annual meetings of the International Society for Improvised Music (ISIM) for the last four years. Endahl currently teaches commercial piano at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. 32
FreeK: University of Kentucky Free Improvisation Ensemble was founded in 2012, under the instruction of Rui Li and Raleigh Dailey. The young group is very active in the Lexington area, with educational and non-educational concerts, as well as (by invitation) radio shows. FreeK has performed with New York trumpeter Peter Evans and Throat Singer Dima Strovsky, and their debut recording is expected summer 2014. (Raleigh Dailey, piano; Rui Li, trumpet, ocarina, voice and Ensemble Director; Victor Lin, violin; Nathan Hewitt, percussions; Cody Putman, bassoon, voice, vacuum machine; Marilyn Swan, flute, percussions.) Dr. Rami Gabriel performs in several musical settings on oud and guitar, and composes original music within and across traditions. As an oud player, Gabriel has studied with Dr. Scott Marcus, Dr. Alfred Gemil (Cairo), and Mehmet Bitmez (Istanbul). His repertoire is focused on Middle Eastern Classical, i.e., wasla forms and improvisatory taqsim traditions. As a guitar player, Gabriel performs early jazz, country blues, and swing. His compositions and arrangements mix Arabic music with American jazz and blues; he has released two albums with Swing Hakim using this concept. He is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Columbia College Chicago, and his first book Why I Buy: Self, Taste, and Consumer Society was released in 2013 (Intellect Press). Ethnomusicologist Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D. is a 2009 TED Fellow and recipient of the 2007 SEM Merriam Book Prize for The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop (NYU Press). She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan where she also sang in Ed Sarath’s Creative Arts Orchestra. She teaches ethnomusicology, sociology and anthropology at Baruch College-CUNY and has written about race, gender and musical blackness, YouTube twerking, and singers as jazz musicians. As a jazz vocalist, she studied with Patience Higgins and Barry Harris, recorded with Gregoire Maret and participated in the Speak In Tones collective at 56 Walker Stage. Pianist Bob Gluck has nine recordings for jazz trio, duets, and electronic media, most recently duets with Aruan Ortiz, and with Andrew Sterman. He is author of You’ll Know When You Get There: Herbie Hancock and the Mwandishi Band (University of Chicago). Jazz Review: “[Gluck plays with] an intensity and sensitivity that is spellbinding.” Darryl Harper performance credits include dates with Orrin Evans, Tim Warfield, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Roscoe Mitchell, Dave Holland, Uri Caine, and a two-year stint touring with Regina Carter. He has recorded seven albums as a leader on the Hipnotic Records label. As a composer, Harper has published and recorded over two dozen works. He has written a film score for the award-winning documentary film Herskovits: At the Heart of Blackness, and commissions for choreographers Li Chiao-Ping and Ingo Taleb Rashid, and visual artists Peter Bruun and Elisa Jimenez. Harper holds music degrees from Amherst College, Rutgers University, and New England Conservatory. He has led projects including The Onus, Into Something, and the C3 Project. Harper is chair of the Department of Music in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. Chapman Stick player Greg Howard performs improvised pieces that draw on jazz, rock, classical, funk, ambient and world music elements. The Stick, a two-handed fretboard tapping instrument allows him to create complex orchestrations as a keyboardist might but with all the expression of electric guitar. Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, Howard has released seven CD recordings of improvised music, and has toured extensively in Europe and North America. His latest project, AZUL, is an improvisational trio with drummer Brian Caputo and trumpeter John D’earth Robert Jedrzejewski studied cello with Professor Z. Lapinski and composition with Professor B. Schaeffer at the Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland and computer music by IRCAM in Avignon, France. Co-founder of SALULU – duo of improvising composers, and co-organiser of INTUITIVA – New Art Conference. Author of WAWA ‘LULU – Intuitive Art Fest in Warsaw, Poland. Jeff Kaiser is a trumpet player, music technologist and scholar currently living in San Diego, California. Traditionally trained as a trumpet player in classical and jazz, Kaiser now views his traditional instrument as hybrid with new technology that he creates. He gains inspiration and ideas from the intersections of experimental 33
composition and improvisation, and the timbral and formal affordances provided by combining traditional instruments with emerging technologies. The roots of his music are firmly in the experimental traditions within jazz, improvised and Western art music practices. Kaiser considers his art audio-centric, but he also works with live video, tracking and interactive technologies. The San Diego Reader described one of his solo performances as “a manic, hallucinogenic joyride through time, space and tonal distortions. He took some of the extended techniques of Lester Bowie and Bill Dixon, and stretched them past the breaking point.” Richard Kessler became dean of Mannes College The New School for Music in 2011, where he has led the radical rethinking of what it means to train musical citizens in the 21st century. Gaining national recognition in the field of K–12 arts education, Kessler has served as chief executive of The Center for Arts Education and The American Music Center. Kessler is a trustee of the American Composers Orchestra and Chamber Music America, while also serving as board treasurer of Common Core, and as a member of the steering committee for the Grantmakers in the Arts’ Arts Education Funders Coalition. In 2010, both the Music Educators Association of New York and The New York City Art Teachers Association/United Federation of Teachers honored Kessler for his leadership in the field of arts education. Kessler has also received a Letter of Distinction from the American Music Center and a Deems Taylor Award from ASCAP. A Naumburg Award winning chamber musician, Kessler holds two degrees from The Juilliard School and was a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music. Randy Klein is an accomplished master improvising pianist, composer, and music educator. He has recorded numerous CDs of solo piano improvised music. His current musical explorations are playing imperfect pianos in unorthodox spaces. His affiliations are with BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, The Dramatists Guild, NARAS, Association of Popular Music Educators, Jazz Educators Network, International Society of Improvised Music, graduate of the Berklee College of Music, conducts clinics on music, improvisation and the business of music, a songwriting coach at SongU.com. Randy Klein is an exclusive Steinway Artist. Alex Koi is a third year student at the University of Michigan, pursuing a degree in Jazz Studies and History. Growing up in an eclectic family - her mother, a contemporary painter – she was encouraged to read, write, explore, and create. Quickly coming to a curious and artistic stride, she has won awards for her musical talent and creative writing, including that of honorable mention in the National Young Arts Competition for her jazz vocals, and has spent time at Stanford Jazz Residency. She is a second year member of the University of Michigan’s Creative Arts Orchestra. Cody Kommers studies Cognitive Science at UCLA as a third year undergraduate. His interests include the cognitive processes involved in jazz improvisation, counterfactual theories of causation, and the neural correlates of consciousness. His favorite Van Gogh piece is, “Self Portrait with a Straw Hat,” because it speaks to him. His favorite mathematical function is factorial, because he appreciates its enthusiasm. Gordon Kurowski was classically trained on woodwinds, but stopped reading music in 1976 in order to concentrate on listening and producing new sounds. He seeks to use each instrument he plays for its unique ability and sonic quality. At home in both the digital and analog realms, his 25+ years as an audio engineer support the quest for entirely new musical languages. Besides theremin, Kurowski plays tenor saxophone, baroque recorders, and electric bass. His musical and spiritual influences include Igor Stravinsky, Eric Dolphy, Todd Rundgren, and Brian Eno. Kathyrn Ladano is a Canadian bass clarinetist and specialist of contemporary music and free improvisation. She is currently the Interim Artistic Director and General Manager for new music presenter, Numus Concerts, in Waterloo, Ontario, and the co-Director of ICE (Improvisation Concerts Ensemble) at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Ladano’s debut CD Open was released in 2010. She is currently pursuing a PhD at York University in Toronto under the direction of Casey Sokol. Rui Li is an instructor of trumpet and free improvisation and the coordinator of international student recruitment at the school of Music, University of Kentucky. He proposed and formed the University of Kentucky Free 34
Improvisation in 2012, and has taken the group performing around the Lexington area, and has recorded free improvisation albums. Li enjoys performing in the classical style as well as playing jazz and free improvisation. He has collaborated with artists in olfaction arts, contemporary painting, improvised dancing, and impressionist painting. In recent years, he has been invited to give masterclasses, recitals, and solo performances in North America, Europe, and all major cities in China. Saxophonist Brad Linde has worked with Lee Konitz, Teddy Charles, Andrew Cyrille, Dan Tepfer, Matt Wilson, and others. He directs the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, and curates the jazz series at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington DC. Mark Lomanno is Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor in Ethnomusicology and Jazz Studies at Swarthmore College. His research is focused on intersections of improvisation in performance, pedagogy, and scholarship. Lomanno is a jazz pianist with recent recordings including Celebrate Brooklyn II (2013), a collaboration with Canarian saxophonist Kike Perdomo. He also maintains a blog that focuses on collaborative, interdisciplinary discussions of jazz and improvised music in the arts, academia, and social advocacy. A native of Novosibirsk, Russia, Vladimir Luchansky is probably one of the most prospective musicians from the younger generation of Siberian improvisers. Totally self-taught, he plays saxophones, double bass, guitars and live electronics. He has collaborated with several prog rock and free jazz bands in Novosibirsk and has been collaborating with Assif Tsahar, Oliver Lake, Glen Hall, and William Parker during their Siberian tours. Since moving to St. Petersburg, he continues his music career as an improviser participating in various projects both in free improv and prog rock fields. Colton Lytle is a Saint Louis native and will be graduating from the California Institute of the Arts in 2014 with an master’s degree in the multi-focus percussion program. Lytle specializes in 20th century and new music and is part of a recently formed Los Angeles based new music ensemble called Veda Quartet. He is classically trained as an orchestral percussionist, but performs a wide variety of music including jazz, gospel, rock/pop, and a variety of world music. His teachers include David Johnson (Partch/CalArts), Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa/Allan Holdsworth), Amy Knoles (California E.A.R. Unit/CalArts), John Kasica (Saint Louis Symphony), Houman Pourmehdi (Lian Ensemble/CalArts), Henry Claude (Nuclear Percussion Ensemble/Washington University), Robert Chamberlin (Webster University), Dr. Kendall Stallings (Webster University), and Dr. Allen Larson (Sheldon Chorale, Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis). Payton MacDonald is a composer/improviser/percussionist/singer/educator. He has created a unique body of work that draws upon his extensive experience with East Indian tabla drumming and Dhrupad singing, Jazz, European classical music, and the American experimental tradition. MacDonald studied music at the University of Michigan and the Eastman School of Music. He has toured the world with new-music group Alarm Will Sound, and performed many improvised concerts with artists such as Elliott Sharp, Aakash Mittal, Tim Feeney, and others. The Los Angeles Times described him as an, “. . . inventive, stylistically omnivorous composer and gifted performer . . .” MacDonald is an Associate Professor of Music at William Paterson University. Lynn Miller is the author of SpiritArts, Transformation through Creating Art, Music and Movement. Her CD, Mystic Song, sung in soul language, draws on the flavors of traditions from around the globe. Miller is on staff with Music for People and Flute Haven Native Flute School where she facilitates vocal and instrumental improvisation skills. She is a Music Therapist who trains and advocates an improvisational model in Music Therapy presently working at a hospital in Philadelphia. Mark Miller plays saxophone, flute and shakuhachi, the traditional bamboo flute of Japan. He has performed and recorded with a wide variety of improvising artists including Tuck and Patti, David Friesen, David Darling, Paul McCandless, Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, Tibetan flutist Nawang Khechog and Butoh artist Katsura Kan. He has recorded three albums of improvised duets with pianist Art Lande, and numerous albums with pianist Peter Kater, including Illumination, nominated for a Grammy Award in 2013. He has performed on 35
shakuhachi with the Colorado Chamber Orchestra, on saxophone with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and in concert with poets Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman. A Zen practitioner since 1993, Miller took Jukai (lay ordination) in the Zen Peacemaker Order in 2003. He holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, and is Professor of Music at Naropa University, located in Boulder Colorado. Gianni Mimmo is a soprano sax improviser and composer whose work focuses mainly on relationships among distant artistic declinations. Mimmo has built an international reputation for his unique treatment of musical timbre and his exploration of advanced technique, developing a unique blend of abstract lyricism and contemporary flavors. He runs independent label Amirani records, and extensively tours in Europe and USA invited by international festivals and venues. Collaborations with John Russell, Daniel Levin, Harry Sjöström, Alison Blunt, Hannah Marshall, Elisabeth Harnik, Clementine Gasser, Lawrence Casserley, Martin Mayes, Nicholas Isherwood a.o. Throughout his career, Dom Minasi has worked with the who’s who in jazz and is a noted guitarist, composer, author, arranger and staff journalist for All About Jazz. In 2001, Takin’ The Duke Out was recorded live, at the Knitting Factory in NYC, and immediately brought Minasi international fame. Since then he has released many CDs as a leader and all have made the first draft nomination for Grammys. Momentary Quartet. Jane Buttars, pianist, is a performer with two CDs of original live improvisations: Tympanum (with David Darling) and Keys to the Inside (solo piano). She teaches music improvisation at Music for People and other professional venues. Dr. Buttars studied at Indiana University with Menahem Pressler and in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. Lin Foulk is Associate Professor of Horn at Western Michigan University. She has performed and presented lectures throughout the United States and in Spain, Russia, China, the Netherlands, Thailand, Honduras, and Canada and frequently performs in Michigan with the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestras. Harold McKinney, trombonist, and Professor of Music at Appalachian State University, teaches courses in music improvisation and expressive arts. A founding member of the post-modern hybrid improvisation ensemble “Gypsy Harvest Annex,” he has performed on its CDs Syncopated Synapse and Earth and Water, as well as at the International Society for Improvised Music. Patrick Whitehead, trumpet, is a founding member of the Monumental Brass Quintet, and has performed at the Kennedy Center and Constitution Hall. He has recorded for ABC television and VOA. He is an improvisation instructor for Music for People, and is on the faculty of the Baltimore School for the Arts. From South Korea, Ji Eun Moon is a composer, improviser, and pianist. She received her DMA in Composition from UGA and masters from CUNY/Brooklyn College. Her music has been premiered at ABC Hall, Melbourne, Australia and performed internationally. She was finalists for the UNESCO-Ashberg artist Program, and participated in an International workshop for Young Composers, sponsored by IRCAM, composers’ symposium at the Oregon Bach Festival and the 2nd International Composition Competition and Workshop for Young Composers, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, sponsored by the Melbourne Italian Institute of Culture (Australia). Her artist-in-residences include Guestroom Maribor partnership to Pekarna Magdalenske Mreze Cultural Center, Maribor, Slovenia, Starry Night Retreat, and Atlantic Center for the Arts with Matthew Shipp. Sam Morrison is a multi-instrumentalist and composer based in New York. Trained on piano and trumpet and having improvised from an early age, he studied music history and theory and African and Caribbean musics at Wesleyan University (B.A.) and media studies at The New School (M.A.), while remaining primarily self-taught as a composer and as an improvising pianist. He premiered a composition for vibraphone duo in May and is preparing several new composition and performance projects. Martin Mueller is the Executive Director of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Prior to joining The New School in 1987, he was faculty and Music Department Chair at Long Island University, Brooklyn. He has been active in Jazz Education for 30 years, as administrator and consultant, through concerts, seminars, and education programs in the US and in more than 20 countries. He was a founding member in 1989 of the International Association of Schools of Jazz and currently serves on the board. He hosted the 5th Annual IASJ 36
Jazz Meeting in NYC in 1994, with performances at the United Nations sponsored through UNESCO. In 2009 he conceived and launched a New School academic partnership with the Conservatory of Tel Aviv, Israel. He was the NYC Project Leader for “Changing the Beat: A Study of the Worklife of Jazz Musicians,” a groundbreaking needs assessment survey initiated by the NEA. He received the 2002 Downbeat Magazine Achievement Award for Jazz Education and the 2005 “A Team” award from the Jazz Journalists Association. Murmuration is an improvisational chamber ensemble based in Philadelphia. Past performances include the Andrea Clearfield Salon in Philadelphia and Spectrum in Manhattan as part of Eleonor Sandresky’s Retes series. Murmuration was also featured in a segment on NewsWorks for NPR’s affiliate WHYY. The group was recently awarded the Subito grant from ACF and the William Penn Foundation, and are in the process of recording their first album. Murmuration will improvise and perform group compositions based on relearned improvisations. (Andrew Marsh, vocals/trumpet/piano; Russell Kotcher, violin/piano; Eric Coyne, cello/piano.) Michael Musick is a media artist, technologist, composer, performer and improviser. His current work focuses on the creation of and research into interactive performance systems. The Sonic Spaces project, which is a series of dynamic interactive sonic ecosystem installations, is the most recent example of this work. Michael has been a Music Technology Ph.D. student at NYU since 2012 and is part of the Computer Music Group at MARL. For more information please visit michaelmusick.com. Dafna Naphtali is a versatile sound-artist/singer/guitarist/electronic-musician,performer/composer. Active since the mid-90’s in experimental music, contemporary classical and improvised music, she uses her custom Max/MSP programming for sound processing of voice and other instruments. Besides her work in electro-acoustic improvisation she has written works vocal sextet / electronics, interacitve Disklavier piano, and LEMUR music robots, and as performer, she also interprets the music of Cage, Stockhausen (Stimmung) and contemporary composers. She founded the digital chamber punk trio, “What is it Like to be a Bat?” with Kitty Brazelton (Tzadik). Following graduate work, Mark Olivieri spent ten years as Composer-In-Residence/Dance Musician at the College at Brockport where he learned how to improvise and write in diverse musical styles. As a result, his compositions became increasingly more eclectic as they began to fuse various musical rhetorics. Now, as a professor of music at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Olivieri teaches students to become more fluent improvisers to facilitate and inform their compositions. James Oshinsky, Ph.D. teaches the Improvisation Ensemble at Adelphi University (Garden City, NY), where he also teaches in the psychology department. He is on staff at Music for People, presenting improvisation across styles in an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement. Oshinsky is the author of Return to Child: Music for People’s Guide to Improvising Music and Authentic Group Leadership. Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park has been crossing borders and performing fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, always traditional, open improvised musics for over fifteen years, and has performed across Europe and the USA. Park is part of Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, Eris 136199 with Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora, and Numbers with Richard Barrett. He is the constructor of the machine improviser io 0.0.1 beta++. Morten Poulsen is a drummer/composer in Aalborg, Denmark. His constant curiosity and playful approach has been breaking boundaries between jazz, rock and avant-garde since early childhood. His energetic and passionate style has made him into a highly productive musician in his native country and internationally. Poulsen has studied/performed with Han Bennink, Ari Hoenig, Jim Black, Søren Kjærgaard, and John Tchicai, and is currently studying drums and electronic music in Denmark. The styles of improvisation that Carey and Poulsen have learned from studying on different continents form a dialogue involving aggressive punkish tangents, strange silent soundscapes, and stilted renditions of the American national anthem.
Maja Radovanlija was born in Belgrade, Serbia. She started playing guitar at the age of nine. During her studies at University of Belgrade, Maja became interested in improvised music, especially Balkan traditional music and jazz. She holds Master’s degree from Indiana University and is DM candidate in guitar performance. Recently, she has been performing with various ensembles/composers/improvisers (Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, ImprovE Collective-Belgrade, Szilard Mézei, Jandek project, Improv Is and Do ensemble, etc.). Radovanlija teaches at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Evan Rapport is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Eugene Lang College and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. His interests include American music, Iran and Central Asia, and ethnicity and race. His monograph on Bukharian Jewish music in New York is in press (Oxford University Press). He has published on punk and the blues, George Gershwin’s concert works, and the idea of “ethnic music” in New York. He is also a performing saxophonist. RECIPROCAL UNCLES. Gianni Mimmo, soprano sax; Gianni Lenoci, piano; Cristiano Calcagnile; drums. musicians bio details, works, projects edited cd’s, reviews, and interviews can be found at http://www.amiranirecords.com. Dr. Jeff Roberts integrates elements of styles and traditions that sonically and aesthetically resonate. His work in improvisation along with studies of guqin in China form a performance-based resource for composing. His compositions, performed world-wide, have received awards including a Fulbright Fellowship. He was in residence at ACA, VCCA, Brush Creek & STEIM. He collaborates extensively in intercultural improvisation. He holds a PhD in Composition from Brandeis University and teaches at the University of Alberta. A devotion to the art of improvisation and the deep history of his instrument has put guitarist/composer/teaching artist Richard Robeson in touch with many of the world great musical traditions. He has performed before jazz, Middle Eastern, Hindustani and Carnatic, post-modern and free music audiences. His many teachers include Ralph Towner, and Ustad Hamid Hossein. His most recent recording, “moonlight over the maghrib,” is described as a “jazz-inflected homage to the Spanish and middle Eastern roots of the guitar.” Alex W. Rodriguez is a writer, improviser, trombonist and PhD student in ethnomusicology at UCLA. His current research focuses on jazz clubs around the world and the creative improvised music communities that surround them. He contributes jazz coverage to NPR Music, is the Editor In Chief for the open access academic journal Ethnomusicology Review, and maintains a blog, Lubricity. He also co-leads the UCLA Omni-Musicality Group, and serves as the Brass Instructor and Creative Director for the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra. The Improv. Collective was founded in 2001 by Dr. David Rudge. It is a performance ensemble on the campus of SUNY - Fredonia dedicated to self-expression through music improvisation. We are a community of musicians that benefits from the courage of the performance major, skill of the music educator, creativity of the composition major, technology of the sound recording major, nurturing of the music therapist, and most of all, from the “beginner’s mind” of the non music major. Jacob Sacks is one of the most creative pianists on the NYC jazz scene today. His strong individual voice has been heard in a variety of settings ranging from the mainstream jazz traditions of the Mingus Big Band and Orchestra to the open approach of the Paul Motian Septet to the vamp based fusion of David Binney’s Balance. In the last 12 years, Sacks has been a member of many different ensembles, recorded several albums, and has toured the United States, Europe, and Canada several times. He has performed with musicians such as Clark Terry, Joe Maneri, Terumasa Hino, Charles Gayle, Eddie Henderson, Christian McBride, Brian Blade, Tony Malaby, Jacob Garchik, Ben Gerstein, Ohad Talmor, Chris Potter, Mark Turner, Ben Monder, Adam Rogers, Kenny Wollesen, Gene Jackson, and Matt Wilson. Ed Sarath is Professor of Music and Director, Program in Creativity and Consciousness Studies, at the University of Michigan. He is active as performer, composer, author, and educational innovator and is founder and 38
President of the International Society for Improvised Music. His most recent book - Improvisation, Creativity, and Consciousness: Jazz as an Integral Template for Music, Education, and Society (State University of New York/Albany, 2013) - is the first to apply principles of an emergent worldview called Integral Theory to music. His most recent recording is New Beginnings, which features the London Jazz Orchestra performing his large-ensemble compositions. An outspoken advocate for reform in musical study, he is a member of a national task force of the College Music Society to articulate a new vision for musical study. He recently delivered the keynote address at the first meeting of the newly formed Society for Consciousness Studies. Pianist Ursel Schlicht plays improvised music, jazz, new music, interprets silent film classics, and has a strong interest in intercultural collaboration. She holds a doctorate from the University of Hamburg and has taught at Columbia University, Ramapo College of NJ, Rutgers University, and is currently teaching Improvisation at the University of Kassel in Germany. Her music is on Nemu, Cadence, CIMP, Hybrid, Konnex, Muse-Eek and Leo Records, a new DVD about her project SonicExchange appeared on Mulatta Records. Fabien Sevilla is a double bass player, composer and improviser born on 1971 in Vevey, Switzerland. Between 1990 and 2000, he made his debut on the Swiss jazz scene alongside musicians such as Malcolm Braff, Cyrille Bugnon, Marcos Jimenez, Thierry Lang, François Lindemann, Maurice Magnoni, Marcel Papaux, Norbert Pfammatter, and Stefano Saccon. Since 1998, he has performance credits in Switzerland, Europe, USA, Canada, Peru, and China in various clubs and festivals. Since 2009, he developed his solo project. His first album Kôans - Contrebasse Solo was a great success and took him on tour to Switzerland, France, Italy, and New York where he met musicians such as Andy Milne, Nils Wogram, Kyoko Kitamura, Samuel Blaser, and Ras Moche. His second solo album Expansion, was released in September 2013 with Swiss label Unit Records. He currently lives between Vevey and Zurich and teaches double bass in Lausanne, Zurich and the International School of Geneva. Deepak Shenoy has played tabla with a number of musical traditions, including jazz, the classical music of North India, South India, Japan, and China. He is interested in improvisational applications of tabla. He has been blessed to learn about the rich tradition of tabla from his generous teachers, Ajay Dholakia, and Pandit Samir Chatterjee. He lives in the Washington D.C. area. Kuba Stankiewicz studied at Berklee College of Music (1987 – 1990; diploma in piano performance). Worked with Artie Shaw Orchestra, Scott Hamilton, Art Farmer, Sheila Jordan, Tomasz Szukalski and Anna Maria Jopek. In 2012 Stankiewicz was nominated for his album SPACES for an annual Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry award “Fryderyki 2013” in the category of Best Jazz Album. He also holds a Ph.D. from the Academy of Music in Wroclaw (Poland). Pianist/Composer and Steinway Artist Michael Jefry Stevens performs extensively in Europe, Latin America and North America. He has performed and/or recorded with Dave Liebman, Dave Douglas, Leo Smith, Perry Robinson, Matt Wilson, Gerry Hemingway, Mark Feldman, and many others. He was the “Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow” for 2000-2001 at the MacDowell Colony, and was a 2006 Centrum Arts composer fellow. In 2011 the Penguin Jazz Guide voted the Fonda/Stevens Group “Evolution” one of the top 100 important modern jazz recordings. Educated both as jazz pianist and contemporary composer, Siberian improviser Roman Stolyar (Novosibirsk, Russia) melts various styles and genres together in his playing – from ancient polyphony to modern counterpoints and clusters. One of key figures in Russian improvised music, he has collaborated with many outstanding musicians, including Dominic Duval, William Parker, Vinny Golya, Susan Allen, Weasel Walter, Assif Tsahar, Martin Kuchen, Carl Bergstroem-Nielsen, and many others. His improvisational workshops have garnered him an international reputation, and have led to many invitations to create and implement workshops for organizations and universities around the world, including the University of Michigan, Mannes College, and the California Institute of the Arts. He is an author on the first Russian book on teaching free improvisation, Modern Improvisation: A Practical Course for Piano.
World multi-percussionist Mark Stone is a leading expert in global percussion performance and education. Mark has performed with the foremost musicians of Uganda, Ghana, Trinidad, South Africa, India, and the United States. An accomplished composer and improviser, he has received multiple commissions and writes regularly for his many projects. Stone’s highly original style results from his unique musical synthesis and innovation, rooted in a deep knowledge of multiple world traditions. (Members are Stone, Array Mbira/Gyil Xylophone/Karimbas; Alan Grubner,Violin; Dan Piccolo, Tabla/Frame Drum/Percussion). Chris Stover is an Assistant Professor at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. His research interests include philosophies of time and process, Husserlian phenomenology, affect theory, improvisation studies, and rhythmic processes in diasporic West African music. His work has been published by Music Theory Spectrum, the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, Music Theory Online, Latin American Music Review, and elsewhere, and he has presented at many national and international conferences. Stover is an editor for Analytical Approaches to World Music, and formerly served as managing editor of Perspectives of New Music. He frequently appears as a guest scholar and teacher, with recent residencies at the University of Melbourne, the Rhythmic Conservatory in Aarhus, Denmark, Cornish College of the Arts, Souza Lima School of Music, and more. Rory Stuart is a critically acclaimed New York-based jazz guitarist and composer who has been called, “… perhaps THE most innovative straight-ahead jazz guitarist to emerge in years…” (Jazz Times). As a leader, his recordings have received 4 stars in Downbeat, and been ranked in the top 10 recordings of the year by Coda. As a sideman, he has played with a wide range of jazz greats. He is also recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award in 2013/14 (which brought him to perform and teach in the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Greece, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, and Germany), and also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Meet the Composer. His performances and teaching have taken him around the world, from Chile to Kazakhstan, Iceland to India, Korea to Columbia to Canada, Brazil to the Bahamas. Stuart developed and leads the rhythm curriculum at New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and has received the university’s Teaching Excellence Award. Pianist, composer and improviser, Raphael Sudan was principally raised in the classical music bosom. He studied classical piano with some of the greatest masters of our century: Ricardo Castro, Paul Badura-Skoda, Luiz de Moura Castro; and studied improvisation with french pianist Francis Vidil. He also studied jazz, and played in several rock ensembles. As a composer, he wrote numerous works including 3 musicals, a piano sonata, and multiple, and is the author of numerous arrangements. Rajna Swaminathan is an accomplished artist in the field of South Indian classical percussion – mrudangam. She is a disciple and protégé of mrudangam maestro Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, and is one of only a handful of female mrudangam artists in the world. She has performed with several renowned Indian classical musicians and dancers, touring widely in North America and India. Swaminathan also regularly gives workshops on the South Indian rhythmic perspective, most notably at the Banff International Jazz and Creative Music Workshop, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and the KOSA International Percussion Camp. She has also studied classical piano for some years. Over the past two years, she has been collaborating and performing with distinguished artists in the New York jazz scene, including pianist Vijay Iyer, and saxophonist Steve Coleman. Syrinx Effect is Kate Olson and Naomi Siegel, a duo playing contemporary, improvised chamber music with electronics. Siegel plays trombone with guitar pedals, and Olson plays soprano saxophone with laptop and other toys. The duo got their start curating the Racer Sessions in Seattle, and have gone on to perform prolifically in the Seattle area, collaborating with many of the mainstays of the Northwest jazz and improvised music scenes. Syrinx Effect makes music that is authentic and expressive, employing everything from simple folk melodies to abstract, ambient noise. Each piece is a meditation, an exploration, and sometimes a romp. This iteration of Syrinx Effect’s roadshow is in direct support of their new EP Snail Songs, which features five new compositions by the duo that explore their penchant for simple melodies and grooves, with more than a little improvisation and exploration. 40
Tim Tsang is a conceptually-driven composer floating between brute force and careful contemplation in both visual/aural aspects of musical presentation. His work touches upon Free Improvisation, Performance Art, Noise, and Classical Music. For the past three years, Tsang has been working on John’s Cage, a research initiative investigating practical usages of clock time in musical composition, performance, and experience. In September 2013, he presented Why 4 33?, an improvised lecture/concert for TIMEFORMS at McGill University. TranceFormation. (Connie Crothers, piano; Ken Filiano, bass; Andrea Wolper, voice.) If free improvisation frequently has been thought of as a move away from traditions, TranceFormation embraces spontaneous playing so entirely that anything is allowed to emerge, and the music, as well as the process, is truly free. Collectively, the members have extensive backgrounds in jazz, improvisation, classical music, blues, theater, poetry, the avant garde, experimental forms, and more. Each teaches in private studio, and leads workshops and masterclasses on related subjects. TranceFormation in Concert (New Artists) was a Downbeat Critics Poll best of 2012 selection. Wouter Turkenburg was born in 1953 in Singapore. He studied classical guitar at the Arnhem Conservatory and Musicology at the Amsterdam University, graduating ‘cum laude’ in 1983. In 1983 he founded the World Music Department and the Jazz Department at the Amsterdam School of Music. In 1985 he became the head of the jazz department of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, The Netherlands, a position he fulfills till today. In 1990 he became lecturer in the history of jazz at the Utrecht University, The Netherlands. From 2003 on he also lectures at the Leiden University. In 1989 Wouter Turkenburg co-founded the IASJ, the International Association of Schools of Jazz. He is involved in the research of improvisation and swing in jazz and in the publication of the book The History of Jazz in Europe. Dr. Robert Vincs (vince) currently teaches music improvisation at the Victorian College of the Arts. He is also the Research by Higher Degree Coordinator for the School of Contemporary Music at the VCA and the Chair of the Human Ethics Advisory Committee. He balances his international career as a musician and composer with his academic research currently establishing a research centre called the Network for Improvisation, Community and Applied Art’s Practice. Simone Weißenfels is based in Leipzig (Germany), and is one of most versatile artists in contemporary, classical music and improvisation, well known for her genre-spreading collaborations with actors, dancers, painters and musicians. She studied classical piano in Leipzig and Moscow. Using and simultaneously riding herself of that experiences she developed a very unique sound and style of free improvisation and has claimed great success at Jazz-Festivals and Concert-Tours throughout Europe, USA, Taiwan, China, and many more. Glen Whitehead, D.M.A., is a trumpet soloist, improviser and sound artist who collaborates in classical, jazz, and contemporary music settings, electro acoustic composition, and pursues interdisciplinary collaborations across the arts. His recent work includes projects with the Ormao Dance Co., the duo “Psychoangelo” with composer / sound artist Michael Theodore of CU Boulder, whose CD Panauromni received international critical acclaim (on the TOP 10 releases of the year by Chicago Time Out), and Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay of Kolkata, India. Whitehead holds the principal trumpet chair in the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, and is the Director of Music at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs where he founded the Interdisciplinary Music Major. His education includes a BMus in Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, and M.A. and D.M.A from the University of California, San Diego. Ben Willis and Betsy Soukup came together in Ann Arbor, MI, where they were both graduate students at the University of Michigan. While they both studied classical music primarily in their undergraduate degrees, the climate of the musical sphere has led each of them to venture into other sonic realms. After traveling down their own individual rabbit holes of extended techniques and nonstandard bass sounds, they met at the same underground river of free improvisation. Saxophonist and peace educator/activist George Wolfe, praised by critics for playing that is “brilliant and moving” has performed extensively throughout the world. Author of The Spirituality of Nonviolence: Interfaith Under41
standing for a Future Without War (2011),Wolfe received the Ball State University Outstanding Creative Endeavor award for his CD, Lifting the Veil. He has appeared as a soloist with the United States Navy Band, the Saskatoon Symphony, the Chautauqua Motet Choir, The Indianapolis Children’s Choir, and the Royal Band of the Belgian Air Force. Invited to give master classes at the Paris Conservatory, Indiana University, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Wolfe has been artist-in-residence at University/conservatory programs in Arizona, Austria, Canada, and Costa Rica. Kit Young returned in 2012 to Washington, DC from living twenty years in Asia. She pursued a career as solo and collaborative pianist and improviser/composer organizing concerts, festivals and exchanges with Asian colleagues in both contemporary and traditional musical forms from Thailand, Burma, Malaysia and China. Young’s absorption in particularly Thai and Burmese music originates from her childhood living in Thailand studying Thai instruments, and a lifelong quest to answer the question of how to hear and perform music from another culture, informing one’s own musical trajectory. Since 1987, Young studied the Burmese Sandaya tradition: Burmese traditional music styles performed on the piano. She worked with Myanmar/Burma’s greatest composer and sandaya player, Gita Lulin U Ko Ko among others and has performed extensively with Burmese musicians and dancers. In 2013, she performed with Burmese theater troupe “Shwe Man Thabin” in the National Theater in Yangon, Myanmar. Betty Anne Younker, Ph.D. (Northwestern University) is Dean and Professor of Music Education of the Don Wright Faculty at the University of Western Ontario. She was a faculty member at UWO from 1997-2000. Awards include the Dr. Pedro Goldman Award Faculty of Music Students Council (UWO, 1999) and the distinguished Alumnus of the Year (Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture, 2008). Before returning to UWO, Younker was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Michigan. She serves on a variety of professional committees and is currently President-Elect for the College Music Society. Her research interests include critical and creative thinking within the disciplines of philosophy and psychology. Over 100 publications include articles in national and international journals and chapters in several books. Paper presentations have occurred at state, national, and international conferences. Before appointments at the university level, Younker taught in band, choral, and general music settings in the public school system as well as studio flute students from beginning to university levels of performance Dr. Tom Zlabinger is Assistant Professor of Music at York College / CUNY in New York, where he directs jazz ensembles and teaches jazz history and ethnomusicology. He received his PhD from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, holds a master’s from Queens College / CUNY, and earned a BA at Grinnell College. His scholarly interests include improvisation and the use of music in film, literature, and other media.
ISIM Associate Members