2015 concert schedule
All concerts at Studio Z in St. Paul.
7:30 doors / 8:00 music
Tetuzi Akiyama / Toshimaru Nakamura / Jason Kahn / Bryan Eubanks
past concerts in the 2015 series
Franz Hautzinger // Isabelle Duthoit
*SSBT // Mike Majkowski
*Chris Cogburn / Parham Daghighi / Steve Jansen
Asher Tuil // Mike Bullock
Will Guthrie // ben owen
C. Spencer Yeh // Jessica Rylan
Kunsu Shim / Gerhard Stäbler
Konus Quartett // Tomas Korber
Franz Hautzinger is based in Vienna and has a long history of collaboration and performance with many important musicians from a wide range of styles, including Merzbow, Derek Bailey, Luc Ex, Lou Reed, Otomo Yoshihide and many others. A protege of the legendary jazz trumpeter Bill Dixon, Franz has carved an important musical space that combines many sounds and styles.
As displayed in many of his imposing projects, the highly distinguished musician and composer feels most at home in the overlapping areas of various musical genres, no matter whether jazz, improvisation or electronics, contemporary music, avant-garde or world music. Born in 1963 in Burgenland, the trumpeter consistently tries to bridge the gaps and override stylistic boundaries to create something completely new and extraordinary.
Isabelle Duthoit was born in 1970 in Montargis. Classically trained, Isabelle Duthoit has worked with various ensembles and composers. Duthoit has developed a singing technique deemed “singular language before language”. She sings and improvis both solo and in a duet with Phil Minton. In 2008, she was a resident at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto (Japan) to perform a solo vocal performance in relation to the sound world of Noh and Bunraku theater. From 1995 to 2005, she has been committed to the creation of improvised music, or Fruits Festival Mhère “fields of improvisation” with Jacques Di Donato. Since 1997 she has taught clarinet and improvisation at the Conservatoire Departmental Evry (Essonne).
Benjamin Klein (tuba / electronics) is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He received his MA from Wesleyan University where he studied with Ron Kuivila, Neely Bruce, Anthony Braxton, and Alvin Lucier. Benjamin received his BMus from Lawrence University; there, he studied with Charles Guy, Martin Erickson, Philip Bodin, Matt Turner, and Joanne Metcalf. In 2006, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship allowed Benjamin to undertake a year-long project exploring international improvised and experimental music in the cities of Amsterdam, London, Sydney, Wellington, and Tokyo. Benjamin has taught courses in electronic music at Central Connecticut State University, and he is active in performance in the Twin Cities, where he has lived since 2013.
Austin-based percussionist Chris Cogburn‘s artistic practice and curatorial interests are rooted in the collaborative context of improvisation. His approach to the drum gives focus to the instrument’s sonic potential as a site and container for resonance. Current practices concentrate on the threshold between acoustic and electronic sounds, their differing tibral qualities and their sites of resonance (speaker/drum). Current music projects include: Arena Ladridos, with saxophonist Bhob Rainey and electronic musician Bonnie Jones; Libración, a duo with Mexico City double bassist Juan García; and the frenetic noise group SSBT with Steve Jansen and Parham Daghighi. Beginning in the summer of 2003, Cogburn has organized an annual festival of improvised music – the No Idea Festival – showcasing a handful of Texas’ premiere creative musicians in collaboration with improvisors from around the US, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Canada and the world. No Idea events have been held in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Marfa, Fort Worth, Dallas, New Orleans, Mexico City and Mérida, Yucatán.
Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Steve Jansen is a Texas-based experimentalist whose musical pursuits focus on alto saxophone, tape-manipulation, extended guitar loops, and contact mic-aided soundscapes.
Jansen has traveled extensively throughout Africa, Latin America, Europe and across the USA to unearth sound. These recordings and found sounds from around the world play a significant role in his unique sonic constructions. He is currently a member of various live and recorded projects that range from left-of-field free jazz and harsh noise to no-wave and funeral doom.
Houston-born Parham Daghighi is an Iranian-American artist active in the fields of improvised and explorative music and performance since 2010. As an improviser/instrumentalist, Parham’s foci include electric guitar, alto saxophone, and vocal/text work rooted in the Persian language. In addition to frequent collaborative performances with other Texas-based improvisers, Parham is currently involved in a number of long-running projects including Austin-based electro-acoustic trio SSBT – with which he has played concerts throughout the US, Canada and Mexico City.
Mike Majkowski is a double bassist / composer born in Sydney, Australia, 1983. Active in the fields of improvised, composed and exploratory music since 2001. Performs as a soloist + with a number of collaborative projects. Mike is currently exploring the spectral qualities of double bass resonance, examining deliberate frequencies and circumstantial resonance. his music also explores the relationship between physicality and sonority, with the aim of creating a sense of stillness. Mike has been based in Berlin, Germany, since 2011.
Asher Tuil is an artist living and working in Somerville, Massachusetts. His sound work is composed using recordings of acoustic and electronic instruments, location recordings and found recordings which are combined and processed in various ways.
His work has been published online and on disk by conv, leerraum [ ], mystery sea, the land of, winds measure recordings, and/oar, laboratoire moderne, transparent radiation, term. and homophoni, with upcoming solo and collaborative releases on einzeleinheit, leerraum [ ], gears of sand, room40, taвlem, sourdine and mikroton.
crow with no mouth is particularly pleased to bring Asher to the Twin Cities as he rarely appears in concert; this will be Asher’s first performance since concerts in Zurich and Madrid in 2010, and one concert in Brookline in 2011. This is his Minnesota debut.
Mike Bullock is a composer, improviser, intermedia artist, scholar based in Philadelphia, PA. His modes of work include electroacoustic composition, installation, drawing, and video. Bullock performs across the US and in Europe, collaborating with a huge range of artists including Pauline Oliveros, Christian Wolff, Steve Roden, Bhob Rainey and Greg Kelley of nmperign, Mazen Kerbaj, and Theodore Bikel.
In 2010 he and Linda Aubry Bullock co-founded Shadowselves, a platform for their new media work. Bullock’s music has been released by numerous labels including Intransitive, Important, Winds Measure, Sedimental, Grob, 1.8sec, al Maslakh, and Homophoni. He received a PhD from the Arts Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and has taught and lectured in the US and Europe on field recording and improvisation.
Will Guthrie is an Australian drummer / percussionist living in France. He works in many different settings of music: live performance, improvisation and studio composition using various combinations of drums, percussion, objects, junk, amplification and electronics..
He studied jazz and improvised music(s) at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia and alongside Ren Walters he started the weekly concert series ‘Improvised Tuesdays’, now known as the Make It Up Club and is Australia’s longest running performance space dedicated to experimental and improvised musics. In Nantes, France he is part of the collective CABLE# which also organizes regular concerts and an annual festival. He also runs the experimental improvised CD label and mail-order service; ANTBOY MUSIC.
He plays solo using different combinations of drums, percussion, amplification and electronics, in minimalist/maximalist free jazz trio THE AMES ROOM (with Jean-Luc Guionnet & Clayton Thomas), in appalachian mutant folk duo ELWOOD & GUTHRIE (with Scott Stroud), as well as the electro/acoustic improvised/composed ensemble THYMOLPHTHALEIN (with Anthony Pateras, Natasha Anderson, Clayton Thomas & Jérôme Noetinger).
Regular collaborators past and present include Erell Latimier, Keith Rowe, Adam Sussmann, Matt Earle, David Maranha, Ren Walters, Jean-Philippe Gross, Greg Kingston, Helmut Schafer, David Ades, Mark Simmonds …
Will currently lives in Nantes, France.
This is Guthrie’s Minnesota debut.
C. Spencer Yeh is recognized for his interdisciplinary activities and collaborations as an artist and composer, as well as for his music project Burning Star Core. Recent presentations and performances of work include “Modern Mondays” at MoMA NYC, “The Companion” at the Liverpool Biennial, “Great Tricks From Your Future” at D-CAF in Cairo Egypt, “In Tones From Light to Dark” at Performa 13, Borderline Festival in Athens Greece, Kinomuzeum at Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw Poland, All Ears in Oslo Norway, and a Jerome Foundation Commission from Roulette Intermedium. Yeh also collaborated with Triple Canopy for their contribution to the Whitney Biennial in 2014, and is currently an Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room.
Recent recordings include “Solo Voice I-X” published by Primary Information, “Wake Up Awesome,” a collaboration with Okkyung Lee and Lasse Marhaug published by Software Recording Co., and “Transitions” published by DeStijl under the CS Yeh moniker. A new recording by New Monuments, his trio with Ben Hall and Don Dietrich, is forthcoming on Bocian.
Yeh also volunteers as a programmer and trailer editor for Spectacle Theater, a microcinema in Brooklyn NY. His video works are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix. He is also a contributing editor to BOMB magazine, as well as contributing to publications such as The Third Rail and Personal Best.
Jessica Rylan is a sound artist and electronic musician who, for many years lived and performed in the Boston area, where she grew up. The main focus of her work to date has been the design and construction modular synthesizers which use analog electronic circuits to create a diversity of sounds. She uses her synthesizers in installations at galleries and also in her high-energy, live musical performances.
She has performed extensively throughout New England and has also undertaken several national tours which have taken her from Boston all the way to Seattle and San Francisco. She has also performed in Europe on several occasions, from Russia to Norway. She has also performed live on the radio and was featured in a PBS documentary in March, 2003.
She has created sound installations for such places as the LIST Gallery for Visual Arts at MIT, the Boston Center for Contemporary Art, Bard College, the Berwick Research Institute and the Massachusetts College of Art.
She has an MFA in electronic music from Bard College, Avondale-on-Hudson, New York and has received grants from the Penny McCall Foundation and the LEF Foundation. She also has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from UMass/Lowell.
Currently, she is a graduate student in electrical engineering at Stanford University. When she is not working on her graduate studies or her electronic music business, Flower Electronics, she likes to ride horses.
This will be Ms. Rylan’s Minnesota debut.
kunsu shim / gerhard stäbler
Gerhard Stäbler inhabits a world that can be compared to that of his countryman Helmut Lachenmann: a complex and intellectual world with no easy solutions to problems, and an acute awareness that unconsciousness and commercialization threaten on every side. But Gerhard’s music is not like Lachenmann’s: Gerhard enjoys his world with a passion, and sees possibilities for living in all the cracks between things. His revolt against inanity doesn’t result in withdrawal or despair, but instead in action, in making things happen – the awareness of sounds and spaces, the aliveness of moments and movements, even though they may lay among the debris of a damaged society. Better comparisons are perhaps with Dieter Schnebel, or John Cage – both artists deeply admired by him. Like Cage, Gerhard is an energetic shaman of possibility, interested in generating innovation by any means available; like Schnebel, he is a brilliant transformer of existing languages and signifiers – but, like Gerhard himself, he is a clear-eyed, conscious person, aware that we can all exist in our everyday worlds, and always ready to imaginatively project aspects of that awareness onto the people and spaces that are around us.
Gerhard Stäbler was born in 1949 in Wilhelmsdorf, near Ravensburg in southern Germany. In 1968 he began studies in composition at the Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie in Detmold, continuing at the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen, where he studied composition with Nicolaus A. Huber and organ with Gerd Zacher. The Cornelius Cardew Memorial Prize (1982) was the first in a series of awards, prizes, commissions and scholarships he has received. Since the beginning of his career, Stäbler has been active not only as a composer, but also in politics and organization. The Aktive Musik new music festival was founded by Stäbler, and he was artistic director of the 1995 World Music Days of the ISCM, held in the Ruhr. Between 2000 to 2010, Stäbler, together with Kunsu Shim, founded the EarPort Centre for Contemporary Music in Duisburg. Since 2012, the two composers have put together a series of concerts at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and the series Naturally Beautiful! in Benrath Castle.
Kunsu Shim presents his own unique position with a highly diverse oeuvre that not only is comprised of chamber music but also full-scale orchestral works, vocal music and many performances, in recent New Music. While in the beginning of his career as a composer in the 1980s, his composition style could still be described as complex and virtuoso avant-garde, an artistic reorientation took place in the 1990s. This was initiated by Kunsu’s confrontation with the American avant-garde around John Cage on one hand, and on the other by Helmut Lachenmann’s and Nicolaus A. Huber’s musical thinking. With his newly acquired approach he learned to radically restrain himself as the composing subject. Since then Kunsu has written music that is characterized by the omission of language-like and gestural forms of expression as well as extra- und inner-musical associations. The focus on a few essential musical elements now directs the perception towards poesy of the obvious. This poesy comes to bear in Kunsu’s carefully balanced harmonies and can also be found in the abstract beauty of his reposing sound objects. Permitting sound and silence as equals in an ever-changing interaction and, thereby, building a musical whole, Kunsu Shim’s music initiates a calm and harmonious time flow. This flow creates space for a deeper listening, for free breathing and thinking – without excluding the unexpected.
Kunsu Shim was born as the son of re-migrants from Japan on September 15,1958 in Busan, South Korea. The ocean provided the adolescent Shim with the experience of spatial openness and expanse. This notion can be seen later as the basis of his production. He twice won first prizes in a competition for young composers in Busan, at age eighteen and nineteen respectively. From 1979 to 1983 he studied composition with Inyong La (amongst others) at the Yonsei University in Seoul. In 1982 he won the DongA Newspaper prize, followed by the JungAng Newspaper prize in 1983. In 1985 he arrived in Germany, where he studied composition with Helmut Lachenmann in Stuttgart (1987-88).
The Konus Quartett are a chamber music ensemble dedicated to contemporary composition, as well as works of past centuries. The quartet has established itself as a major voice for new contemporary and experimental music for over ten years.
The quartet has received commissions from Barry Guy, Urs Peter Schneider, Tomas Korber, Phill Niblock, and composers associated with the Wandelweiser collective, including Makiko Nishikaze and Jürg Frey
I became aware of the Konus Quartett in 2014 with the release of two radically disparate works – Jürg Frey’s Komponisten-Protrait, and Tomas Korber’s Musik für ein Feld. The Frey release includes the quartet’s realization of his exquisite Mémoire, horizon (2013/14). Frey was my house-guest for a week during the crow / Wandelweiser festival in the Fall of 2014, and gave me a preview of Mémoire, horizon just prior to its release. I was, and continue to be with each listen to this piece, deeply moved by the Konus Quartett’s stunning embodiment of the composer’s spirit and intentions.
Here is an excerpt from my review of the Korber/Konus collaborative composition, Musik für ein Feld:
“Musik für ein Feld is a long-form piece, a field of considerable expanse, teeming both with life and with powerfully felt silences; the field takes shape in the fantastic synergy between the Konus saxophone quartet and Korber’s electronics. This is a suite with wildly variegated parts – sections in which the quartet’s reed tones are splayed, granulated and refitted beyond recognition by Korber; sections of gorgeously sustained, clustered timbres reminiscent of Radigue; a lovely episode of rising and falling sine-like tones referencing, at least covertly, Lucier; stretches of the sort of mulched audio that pelts and stings like an ice-storm, the needle-y noise that is a leitmotif heard across many Korber releases; and, heard in their masterfully placed positions in the field, those silences.”
I am pleased to have the opportunity to present an evening with both the Konus Quartett and composer Tomas Korber in performance; the program will be Komponisten-Portrait and Musik für ein Feld.
This will be the Minnesota debut of both the quartet and Tomas Korber.
Konus Quartett: Stefan Rolli / Christian Kobi / Fabio Oehrli / Jonas Tschanz
Born in 1979 in Zurich, Swiss-Spanish composer/improviser Tomas Korber has written numerous compositions and played improvised music since the early 90’s. He has worked solo as well as collaborating with, among others, Günter Müller, Norbert Möslang, Otomo Yoshihide, Lê Quan Ninh, Toshimaru Nakamura, Stephan Wittwer, Jason Kahn, Thomas Ankersmit, Sachiko M, Christian Weber, Keith Rowe, Christian Wolfarth, Kazuya Ishigami, Keith Fullerton Whitmann (aka Hrvatski), Lionel Marchetti, Charlotte Hug, Adam Sonderberg, Mattin, Taku Unami and many others.
He also composes music for theater- and film-productions (i.e. under the direction of Franz Dängeli, Kaspar Kasics, Fredi Murer, Stefan Haupt, Fanny Bräuning, Christine Hürzeler, Martin Moll etc …
In 2009 he was awarded a biannual artist residency in New York City by the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Zurich. Korber has studied psychology and computer science at the University of Zurich and holds a Master of Science degree.
I first wrote about Korber when I interviewed him (as well as reviewing several of his releases) for Paris Transatlantic in 2005. His 2014 release, Musik Für Ein Feld (cf. Konus Quartett bio above) is among my favorites of the past several years, and I am excited, after a decade of collecting everything he has released, to finally present Korber’s work to a Twin Cities audience.
Toshimaru Nakamura is one of the most distinguished and original voices in the world of electroacoustic improvisation, with a vast body of work built up over the past two decades. Since 1998, Nakamura has been exploring the possibilities of his no-input mixing board in contexts ranging from solo to collaborations with Keith Rowe, Sachiko M, Sean Meehan, Klaus Filip and Axel Doerner.
Toshimaru Nakamura’s instrument is the no-input mixing board, which describes a way of using a standard mixing board as an electronic music instrument, producing sound without any external audio input. The use of the mixing board in this manner is not only innovative in the the sounds it can create but, more importantly, in the approach this method of working with the mixer demands. The unpredictability of the instrument requires an attitude of obedience and resignation to the system and the sounds it produces, bringing a high level of indeterminacy and surprise to the music. Nakamura pioneered this approach to the use of the mixing board in the mid-1990’s and has since then appeared on over one hundred audio publications, including nine solo CD’s.
He has performed throughout Europe, North America, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Korea, China, Singapore and Malaysia, performing and recording both as a soloist and in collaboration with numerous other musicians.
As an active organizer of concerts in Tokyo, Nakamura has helped many musicians coming to Japan find places to perform, both with himself and with others. From 1998 to 2003 Nakamura and Tetuzi Akiyama ran the concert series Improvisation Series at Bar Aoyama and then later the Meeting at Off Site series of concerts. Both these concert series were crucially important in exposing a new manner to improvised music (referred to as Electro Acoustic Improvisation) to the Japanese public and to foreign musicians visiting Japan, making Tokyo one of the global hotspots for this new approach to music.
Nakamura is an artist I warmed to only gradually when I began listening to him a decade ago; at some point I experienced that archetypal admixture of insight and pleasure, the aha, hearing his work thereafter in a new way. I am very excited to bring him for his Minnesota debut (Nakamura rarely plays in the United States) Nakamura will be heard in a quartet with two crow alumni, Bryan Eubanks and Jason Kahn, as well as with his long-time collaborator Tetuzi Akiyama.
Tetuzi Akiyama is a highly unique and experimental guitarist who integrates free improvisation, the blues, and noise. Besides guitar, he also plays electronics, viola, and self-made instruments.
Akiyama became an enthusiastic hard rock fan when he was eleven years old, and started playing electric guitar at the age of thirteen. Later, he also came to be very interested in free improvisation and classical music. He formed the improvised music band Madhar in 1987. He also started playing classical viola, and formed the Hikyo String Quintet in 1994. The band, which played avant-garde improvised classical music, consisted of a viola, two cello, and two violin players, and included Taku Sugimoto on cello.
Sugimoto soon left the band, which thus became a quartet. Later that year, Akiyama and Sugimoto launched their guitar duo, Akiyama-Sugimoto. They played gigs in New York in 1995, and in the Midwest (including Chicago and Detroit) in ’96. For about a year starting in early 1994, Akiyama was also a member of Nijiumu, one of guitarist Keiji Haino’s bands.
For the past twenty years Akiyama has collaborated and released music with a great range of artists, including Jason Kahn, Taku Sugimoto, Gunter Mueller, Josef Van Wissem, Oren Ambarchi, Utah Kawasaki, and crow alumni Hong Chulki.
Akiyama seldom appears in the U.S., and will make his Minnesota debut in a quartet with Toshimaru Nakamura, and, returning for a second appearance each in the crow concert series, Jason Kahn and Bryan Eubanks.
I am honored to present Akiyama following a decade of searching out and collecting his music.
Bryan Eubanks (b. 1977) is a musician and composer from the Pacific Northwest of the US. He composes electronic and acoustic works for small ensembles, solo instruments, and custom generative software; improvises in collaboration; and, is developing sound installations and diffusion techniques using acoustic holography. Since 2001 he has participated in many collaborative projects and presented his work internationally. Primarily an autodidact, he received an MFA in 2012 from the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College. He has lived and worked in Portland and New York City, and is currently based in Berlin.
I have followed Eubanks’ various projects and approaches for a decade, and was privileged to host him and Catherine Lamb in our 2012 series; I am excited he is returning to perform in a quartet setting with Toshimaru Nakamura, Tetuzi Akiyama, and Jason Kahn.
Jason Kahn is a musician, artist and writer. He was born 1960 in New York and grew up in Los Angeles. He re-located to Europe in 1990 and is currently based in Zürich. As an electronic musician, vocalist and drummer Kahn collaborates regularly with many musicians, both in improvised settings and in the context of graphical scores which he composes for specific groups.
Kahn has exhibited his installations in museums, galleries, art spaces and public sites internationally. These works focus on the idea of space: the conceptual and physical juncture points, its production and dissolution, and our relation to it as a political, social and environmental medium.
Kahn’s other activities include sound pieces for radio, film, dance and theater. He has also designed numerous CD, LP and cassette covers. As a writer, his work has appeared in books, magazines and as liner notes to many audio publications. Performing regularly around the world, Kahn has given concerts throughout Europe, North and South America, Australia, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Turkey and South Africa.
From 1998 until 2008 Kahn ran the label Cut, releasing twenty-five CD’s which included both his own work and that of many other artists. In 2011 Kahn started the Editions imprint to publish his own recordings and writings.
I am honored Kahn is returning with a new project, following his 2011 appearance in our crow concert series, an evening I still recall as among the most visceral experiences in our history. Kahn is a brilliant composer, improviser and visual artist, working well below the radar of even many interested in this area of music. He will join us with a quartet that includes Bryan Eubanks, Tetuzi Akiyama, and Toshimaru Nakamura.
Ben Owen is a Brooklyn, New York-based experimental sound artist who makes frequent use of field recordings. Founder and proprietor of Winds Measure Recordings; the packaging and letterpress printing of which he designs as Middle Press.
I am very pleased Ben is joining the crow series this year, following several years of our exchanging hopeful emails that this would become a reality. I have written about several of his fine releases over the years, as well as collecting everything I can from his imprint Winds Measure.