current state 2013: human actors

Still planning to take the io 0.0.1 beta++ on the road in 2014, but, in the meantime, here’s what the machine improviser’s (human) colleagues have been up to since last year’s update, and a little of what’s coming up in 2013.

Han-earl Park

Based in Brooklyn, during 2012, Han-earl Park has been performing with Michael Evans, Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen, Josh Sinton, Andrew Drury and others. He participated in Gowanus Company IV at the Douglass Street Music Collective, and as part of Out Of Your Head Brooklyn. A particular musical highlight was the performance with Tim Perkis and Harris Eisenstadt at The Stone (NYC) on September 7. On May 27, Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky, Han-earl Park and Catherine Sikora) debuted at Citizens Ontological Music Agenda/ABC No Rio (NYC).

2012 also saw the release of Richard Barrett and Han-earl Park’s ‘Numbers’ (CS 201 cd) from Creative Sources. A CD with a “bazillions of events” and of “transonic beauty and extreme structural atomization” according to Massimo Ricci, the record made Délire actuel’s 2012 Demanding Music Top 30. Barrett and Park performed in Scarborough on May 3, 2012. During that micro-tour, Park also performed as part of Mathilde 253 (with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith) at Freedom of the City (London), and as guest performer with the Mark Hanslip/Dominic Lash/Phillip Marks trio at Jazz @ The Oxford (London).

Audio recordings coming out in 2013 include ‘apophenia: A atomic symphony in 10 movements ii you seek iii a comfortable spot to listen iv to this v track the sofa perhaps vi or the vii floor however viii standing hand ix suspended over the volume x control you xi find that xii it is’ as part of ‘The $100 Guitar Project’ (BRIDGE 9381A/B) from Bridge Records, and the rerelease of the download album with Paul Dunmall and Mark Sanders which will be the final in the current series of download releases from (an earlier release in that series was with io 0.0.1 beta++ collaborator, Franziska Schroeder).

In addition to continuing his work with existing projects including Eris 136199, in 2013, Park will be performing and documenting a set of interactive, improvisative macros (he hesitates to actually call them compositions). Catherine Sikora and Josh Sinton and Park will perform an initial test-run at On The Way Out/Freddy’s (Brooklyn) on March 26.

Bruce Coates

‘Node/Flow/Mass Disaster Box’ at Magna (Rotherham, November 4, 2012). Photo copyright 2012 Bruce Coates.

‘Node/Flow/Mass Disaster Box’ at Magna (Rotherham, November 4, 2012). Photo © 2012 Bruce Coates.

Notable performance events in 2012 included the ‘Node/Flow/Mass Disaster Box’ at Magna (Rotherham) in November:

‘Node/Flow/Mass Disaster Box’ is an improvised sound piece bringing together 50 vocal and musical improvisers from the Midlands and South Yorkshire, performing on this magnificent post-industrial site. Birmingham Improvisers’ Orchestra and Juxtavoices, a unique Sheffield experimental anti-choir, provide the core of the performers along with musicians from all over the country.

Devised by Geoff Bright and Walt Shaw, the piece works with the idea of social processes and flows where individuals gather in groups, congregate as large collectives and disperse once again. Through sound improvisation it explores the history and atmosphere of the building and the spririt involved in the evacuation of the workplace. All inspired by the original 1970s steelworks’ ‘Diaster Box’, which contained plans, maps and procedures for evacuation in the event of a catastrophic explosion. [Read the rest…]

In addition to performances by the Birmingham Improvisers’ Orchestra, new projects for 2013 include a duo with Walt Shaw, and a trio with Christopher Hobbs (percussion/electronics) and Virginia Anderson (clarinets) which will be debuting at Fizzle (Birmingham) on February 5.

Franziska Schroeder

Franziska Schroeder, Showcase Concert 2012 flyer. Copyright 2012, Franziska Schroeder; photograph by Caroline Forbes.

Franziska Schroeder, Showcase Concert 2012 flyer. © 2012, Franziska Schroeder. Photograph by Caroline Forbes.

In 2012 Franziska Schroeder had a few exciting gigs, such as playing with her trio FAINT at the Perspective on Musical Improvisation in Oxford, commissioning new works for saxophones, premiered at the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast, playing at the Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival in Canterbury, as well as doing a great new work with Evan Parker and a group of traditional and improvising contemporary musicians, premiered at the Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music, Belfast.

Schroeder was the Artistic Director of the Sonorities Festival, and she is also now the Chair of the Events Committee of the School of Creative Arts (CATE) at Queen’s University Belfast.

Schroeder published two chapters, one on the changes of form in music as brought forth by digital platforms. The chapter is ‘Shifting Listening Identities—Towards a Fluidity of Form in Digital Music’, and appears in S. Broadhurst and J. Machon (eds.), Identity, Performance and Technology: Practices of Empowerment, Embodiment and Technicity (Palgrave Macmillan).

The other chapter is co-authored with choreographer and pianist Imogene Newland and is entitled ‘The Musical Body—Devising a choreo-musical interpretation for the work Tierkreis (1974–75) by Karlheinz Stockhausen’. The work will appear in Nine Ways of Seeing a Body: Body & Performance (Triarchy Press) in 2013.

Schroeder is working hard on editing and writing for a forthcoming volume on improvisation, to include writings by David Borgo, Georgina Born and Evan Parker. Forthcoming in 2013: Improvisation in the 21st Century (Cambridge Scholars Publishing).

And last, Schroeder received a teaching development grant from the HEA (Higher Education Academy) to run the PhD public engagement training called ‘BIG EARS – learning to design sonic arts’ [Twitter…].

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