Friday March 29 | 9:00 pm
Erica Dicker/Dana Jessen/Katherine Young/Ted Moore & Ben LaMar Gay/Ritwik Banerji$10Four friends from diverse improvisatory backgrounds join forces + Ben LaMar Gay and Ritwik Banerji.
Erica Dicker makes music reflecting her interest in experiencing eidetic memories as aural phenomena, a sensibility she brings to her improvisation and collaborative work. A dedicated proponent of new music, Erica is a core member of Wavefield and a founding member of the chamber music collective Till By Turning as well as Vaster Than Empires, an electro-acoustic collaboration with composer Paul Schuette and percussionist Allen Otte. As part of the New York-based horn trio, Kylwyria, Erica and her colleagues Julia Den Boer and John Gattis work to generate interest in and commission adventurous chamber music repertoire for their unique instrumentation. Erica serves as concertmaster for the Tri-Centric Orchestra, an ensemble founded to premiere and record the opera’s of Anthony Braxton. She has also performed alongside Braxton in his Falling River Quartet and Diamond Curtain Wall Quartet at festivals in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, and Turkey and appeared with the 12+1-tet at the 2012 Venice Biennale. Engaging others in Braxton’s music inspires Erica as an educator. She has written about and curated performances of his work, most recently for the International Contemporary Ensemble at the 2017 Ojai Music Festival, and leads workshops on free improvisation and creative musicianship. More at www.ericadicker.com
Praised for her diverse talents, bassoonist Dana Jessen is highly active as a soloist, improviser, chamber musician, and new music specialist. Dana is the co-founder of Splinter Reeds, a San Francisco-based reed quintet, and has performed with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Alarm Will Sound, and Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Orchestra Ensemble, among others. Her strong ambitions to explore free jazz and creative improvisation have led to performances throughout Europe and the United States with numerous improvisers including Wilbert de Joode, Frank Gratkowski, Anne La Berge, Joe Morris, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Mike Reed, among many more. Dana’s debut solo album, Carve, was released through Innova Recordings in 2017 and features four newly commissioned works for bassoon and electronics alongside solo acoustic improvisations. The album has received celebrated reviews and mentions from the Chicago Reader, All About Jazz, ATTN:Magazine, Avant Music News, and Cleveland Classical. Additional recordings can be heard on Cantaloupe Records, Innova Recordings, Ravello, RIOJA, Oberlin Music, Evil Rabbit and New World Records, with an upcoming release on New Focus Recordings in 2019. Dana is currently based in Oberlin, Ohio, where she serves as Associate Professor of Contemporary Music and Improvisation at the Oberlin Conservatory as well as the Director of Professional Development. More at www.danajessen.com
The curious timbres, expressive noises, and kinetic structures of Katherine Young’s electroacoustic music explore the dramatic physicality of sound, shifting interpersonal dynamics, and associations with the familiar and the strange. The LAPhil’s Green Umbrella series, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Ensemble Dal Niente, Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Weston Olencki, Nico Couck / Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Fonema Consort, and others have commissioned her work. Her music has been described by the New York Times as “raw, wailing, coloristic,” and New Music Box has noted “her visceral approach to sound…her attentiveness to the smallest details of timbre; her adventurousness in using instruments in unexpected ways.” Katherine is excited about coming-soon (and soon-to-be recent) projects with Lucy Dehgrae for Resonant Bodies Festival, WasteLAnd and RAGE, Distractfold Ensemble’s Linda Jankowska, Callithumpian Ensemble, and Yarn/Wire. In 2018-2019 she will release new music with Michael Foster & Michael Zerang, Wet Ink, and Amy Cimini as Architeuthis Walks on Land. As a bassoonist and improviser, Katherine amplifies her instrument and employs a flexible electronics setup. Her debut solo album garnered praise in The Wire (“Bassoon colossus”) and Downbeat (“seriously bold leaps for the bassoon”). Collaboration is central to her practice, and she has documented such work on numerous recordings, including three releases with her duo with violist Amy Cimini, her quartet Pretty Monsters’s self-titled debut, several recordings with Anthony Braxton, and her installation-performance piece Diligence Is to Magic as Progress Is to Flight created with violinist Austin Wulliman (out on Parlour Tapes+ as a stereo recording and do-it-yourself cassette installation box set). She performs regularly as a soloist, in ad hoc improvised groups, and with long-standing ensembles Pretty Monsters, Architeuthis Walks on Land, and Till by Turning. Katherine’s dissertation – Nothing Is as It Appears: Anthony Braxton’s Trillium J— completed for the DMA in composition at Northwestern University—documents and analyzes Anthony Braxton’s operatic project. Katherine is based in Chicago where she teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Ted Moore is a composer, improviser, intermedia artist, and educator based in Chicago. His work focuses on fusing the sonic, visual, physical, and acoustic aspects of performance and sound, often through the integration of technology. Ted’s work has been described as “frankly unsafe” (icareifyoulisten.com), “an impressive achievement both artistically and technically” (VitaMN), and “epic” (Pioneer Press). Ted’s work has been premiered by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, Line Upon Line, The Dream Songs Project, Yarn/Wire, Splinter Reeds, Quince Vocal Ensemble, AVIDduo, Imani Winds, and others, and has been performed around the world including at The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), STEIM (Amsterdam), Spectrum (NYC), NUNC! (Chicago), New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt (Germany), and MASS MoCA (Massachusetts), among others. Ted also frequently performs solo on electronics using his laptop, modular synthesizer systems, resonant physical objects, lighting equipment, and video projection. He has been featured as an installation artist at New York University, Northern Spark Festival (Minneapolis), Studio 300 Festival of Digital Art and Music (Lexington, KY), and St. Paul Public Library. As an improviser, Ted is one half of Binary Canary, a woodwinds-laptop improvisation duo alongside saxophonist Kyle Hutchins. As a theater artist, Ted has worked with many independent companies, notably with Skewed Visions and Savage Umbrella. Currently, Ted is a doctoral fellow in Music Composition at the University of Chicago.
An encounter with the Maxineans: An experiment in collaborative astromusicology
Since 2012, astromusicologists have been in close, but distant contact with the Maxineans. Inhabitants of the deep space region of M9, the Maxineans live in a realm of our universe in which all sound was always already motion, a sonic modulation of the canonical kinetics of being enacted at the whim of Maxine, an ephemeral, mercurial spirit whose will legislates physics in this quadrant of space. In the years since contact, astromusicologists have endeavored to understand the unique spatial and sonic practices of the Maxineans as a diverse sociocultural world.
In the form of an interactive audio-visual event, two earthling astromusicologists will engage in an improvisatory ethnographic encounter with the Maxineans. In real time, sounds captured at Elastic will be transmitted into deep space, thereby enabling the Maxineans to listen. As they do so, these beings illustrate the translation of these sounds not through conventional spoken language, but by listening with their bodies, and letting their motion conduct their production of responses as the encounter progresses. That is, before they speak or play, they take the spirit of sound directly into their bodies, allowing these to guide how their minds formulate responses, and proceed with discourse. Through this encounter, the astromusicologists participating in this evening’s event will attempt to arrive at a more coherent knowledge of the nature of their physical existence in sound.
Ritwik Banerji, Ben Lamar Gay: astromusicologists, improvisers in sound
the Maxineans: research participants, guides into the spiritual comprehension of sound-motion
Ritwik Banerji is a saxophonist, digital media artist, and social scientist of music. He recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of California in the anthropology of music and new media studies, where his research focused on the development of artificially-intelligent virtual performers of free improvisation and subjecting these systems to the critique of human performers in Berlin, Chicago, and San Francisco as a means of eliciting their commentary on the phenomenology of social interaction in this human practice. His publications appear in proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference and the 1st Workshop on Musical Metacreation, as well as edited volumes on New Directions in Human-Computer Interaction (Springer) and the Oxford Handbook of Phenomenological Ethnomusicology. His work has been supported by the Berkeley Center for New Media, the Fulbright Commission of Germany, the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, and the Berkeley-Mellon Fellowship. In addition to numerous performances and installations as an improviser and digital media artist domestically, in Europe, India, and Brazil, Banerji has also an active performer of West African music with various ensembles focusing on music of Mali, Senegal, and Nigeria.
Ben LaMar Gay is a composer and cornetist who moves sound, color, and space through folkloric filters to produce electro-acoustic collages. His unification of various styles is always in service of the narrative and never solely a display of technique. A Chicago native, Ben’s true technique is giving life to an idea while exploring and expanding on the term “Americana.”