Christian Marclay: Festival
July 1–Sept 26, 2010
Artist/composer Christian Marclay (b. 1955) is known for his distinctive fusion of image and sound. Celebrated as a pioneer of turntablism, Marclay transforms sound and music into visual and physical forms through performance, collage, sculpture, large-scale installations, photography, and video. This groundbreaking Whitney exhibition—activated by daily concerts and continually evolving—explores Marclay’s approach to the world around him with a particular focus on his “graphic scores” for performance by musicians and vocalists. Visitors to the Whitney will be encouraged to mark up a wall-sized chalkboard, with musical staff lines, thereby creating a collective musical score which will be performed throughout the run of the show. Other Marclay scores, including the premiere of a new scrolled vocal work forty feet in length and three scores conceived as projections, will be continually on view and performed on a regular basis. World renowned musicians and vocalists, some of whom have been regular collaborators with the artist for three decades, will interpret a dozen scores, enabling museum audiences to experience a less well known aspect of Marclay’s varied art practice.
Christian Marclay: Festival was organized by David Kiehl, Nancy and Fred Poses Curator, with Limor Tomer, adjunct curator of performing arts.
For nearly thirty years, Christian Marclay has explored the distinctive fusion of image and sound through collage, performance, installation, photography, sculpture, and video. Although renowned as a pioneer of turntablism (the use of records and turntables as musical instruments) and sometimes referred to as a musician or composer, Marclay notes: “I make music the way a visual artist would. Sound and image are very closely intertwined in my work.” Since the late 1990s, Marclay has made a number of “graphic” scores, which defy the conventions of traditional music composition. Intended to elicit a musical response from performers, these works are created from videos, photographs, found images, and readymade objects culled from our everyday surroundings. Some of the scores on view here include: Ephemera (2009), a collection of printed matter such as restaurant bills, flyers, book covers, and throwaway packaging decorated with musical notations; Graffiti Composition (1996–2002), a portfolio of images documenting the public’s response to blank sheet music pasted around the streets of Berlin; and Manga Scroll (2010), a new lithograph based on onomatopoetic words found in comic books.
During this exhibition, Marclay’s scores will be performed by approximately fifty celebrated musicians, some of whom have collaborated regularly with the artist during the course of the past three decades. These artists will appear in daily performances and in open rehearsals. Marclay’s scores are open to a multitude of interpretations; a single score inevitably yields radically different performances. The scores, instruments, and performance objects are displayed along with video documentation and recordings of past performances. By revealing what prompts the musician—whether the video projection Screen Play (2005) or the marks created by the public in Graffiti Composition—Marclay challenges his audience to play a more active role, altering the traditional dynamic among composer, performer, and listener. The artist’s newest piece Chalkboard (2010), created by visitors marking a chalkboard wall printed with staff lines in the gallery, will be periodically interpreted by musicians during the exhibition. We hope you will join us for multiple performances of these scores; each one will be completely different. Marclay’s unconventional approach to music ensures you will never hear the same thing twice.
Manga Scroll: Performed by Joan La Barbara
Manga Scroll: Performed by Theo Bleckmann
Shuffle: Performed by Michael Snow
Screen Play: Performed by John Zorn and special guests
Through the Looking Glass: Performed by TILT Brass (Chris McIntyre with Russ Johnson, Nathan Koci, and Nate Wooley)
Ephemera: Performed by Guy Klucevsek
In the News
Review: "Just when it is most needed, 'Christian Marclay: Festival' takes the “me” out of performance art."
--The New York Times
Conversation: Christian Marclay at the Whitney: Two Critics Weigh In
--The New York Times ArtsBeat blog
"in keeping a fairly tight focus on the notion of the 'visual score,' curators David Kiehl and Limor Tomer give a concise cross section of [Marclay's] oeuvre"
Review: "[the exhibition] has a festiveness, a block-party atmosphere, rare in the contemporary avant-garde."
--The New Republic
"Marclay’s art exists in the exact spot in our brains where sight and sound sit down over a couple of beers, and everything in this marvelously on-message survey serves as a score or just an excuse to listen."
Video: Whitney art handlers erase the 79-foot "Chalkboard, 2010" and Anthony Coleman performs "Shuffle, 2007," a series of 72 cards printed with musical notes assembled by Christian Marclay
"Few artists have displayed such consistent discipline in their choice of themes as Marclay."
"Mary Halvorson Plays Christian Marclay at the Whitney"
"Marclay’s multilayered approach produces work that can be beguilingly lush or painfully poignant."
"Christian Marclay can make music out of almost anything."
"Overall, it's an incredibly focused gaze into New York's experimental music community."
"Nineteen Top Shows"
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, 1985
Ten photocopied pages. Collection of the artist; courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Reversing the usual order in which music is created and distributed, Marclay recorded a mix of brass instruments found on vinyl and then had the resulting composition transcribed in traditional notation by musician Bob James. The resulting score was then given to a brass ensemble—Steven Bernstein, Vincent Chancey, Frank London, and Jim Staley—to perform. It premiered at Roulette, a contemporary music venue in New York. Twenty-five years later, Steven, Vincent and Frank will perform the score at the Whitney with Dave Taylor on trombone. A new interpretation by TILT Brass, lead by Chris McIntyre, will also be performed during the festival.
GRAFFITI COMPOSITION, 1996–2002
Portfolio of 150 prints from digital files, 13 × 8 7/16 in. each. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Steven Johnson and Walter Sudol 2006.51.1
In 1996, five thousand posters were printed with staff lines and posted throughout Berlin during a month-long summer music festival. Some people tore or scribbled graffiti on the posters, while others pasted flyers over the posters; many left musical notations. The altered posters were then photographed, resulting in a final score consisting of a portfolio of 150 unbound images. Musicians are free to select any number of them and use them in performances or as inspiration for writing their own music.
MIXED REVIEWS, 1999–2010
Vinyl letters on wall, dimensions variable. Collection of the artist;
courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
In 1999, Marclay sampled the descriptive, and often colorful, language music reviewers use to describe concerts and recordings, and assembled the fragments as a long, continuous line of text on the wall. Each new presentation of the text is translated into the local language from the previous version. In this process of serial translation, some words and meanings inevitably change and mutate. The text in this exhibition has
been translated from the Swedish text used for its 2002 installation at the Konstmuseum in Ystaad (previous translations include French and Japanese). While it has been interpreted before, this work is less a score than a silent sound piece. At the Whitney, it will be performed by a group of poets directed by Lawrence “Butch” Morris. The only fixed record of this evolving text is a video (on view in the exhibition) showing a deaf actor’s interpretation in American Sign Language.
THE BELL AND THE GLASS, 2003
Two synchronized video projection loops, color and black-and-white,
sound; 22 minutes. Collection of Pamela and Richard Kramlich
This work, Marclay’s first endeavor to guide musicians through the use of video, was inspired by two of Philadelphia’s most famous icons, the Liberty Bell and Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (1915–23). Aside from being cracked and situated in Philadelphia, Marclay found other surprising and often humorous affinities between them. The double video projection juxtaposes the Liberty Bell and The Large Glass with found film footage, such as Duchamp discussing the cracks in his work and clips from Hollywood movies, and new footage shot by Marclay in Philadelphia. A minimum of two musicians are prompted to respond freely to the two screens, but they must come together in unison to accompany Duchamp’s voice
SCREEN PLAY, 2005
Single-channel video projection, black-and-white with color, silent; 29 minutes. Collection of the artist; courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
This projected musical score is made from carefully edited black-and-white images overlaid with brightly colored computer-animated graphics reminiscent of the dots and lines of traditional music notation. These visual cues suggest emotion, energy, rhythm, pitch, volume, and duration to the musicians. Although no instrumentation is specified, the score is meant for a small ensemble.
This project was made possible with support from Eyebeam’s Moving Image Commission
Deck of seventy-five offset printed cards with box, cards 6 3/4 × 4 3/4 in. each. Frances Mulhall Achilles Library, Archives, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of David Kiehl, 2007
These photographs of musical notations found in mundane settings, such as shop awnings, chocolate tins, and T-shirts are evidence of Marclay’s keen eye for musical notes waiting to be discovered and played. The box contains these instructions from the artist: “This deck of cards can be used as a musical score. Shuffle the deck and draw your cards. Create a sequence using as many or as few of the cards as you wish. Play alone or with others. Invent your own rules. Sounds may be generated or simply imagined.”
ZOOM ZOOM, 2007–09
Digital slide projection, color, silent; duration variable. Collection of the artist; courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
This work is a slideshow created from Marclay’s photographs of onomatopoeias found primarily on signs, advertising, and product packaging. During a performance with vocalist Shelley Hirsch, for whom this piece was created, Marclay selects images to trigger her vocal improvisation and presents her with new images in an ongoing call and response.
Thirty twelve-inch found record covers, 12 1/4 × 12 1/4 in. each. Collection of the artist; courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Thirty empty record sleeves are sequenced and interpreted by a soloist as a series of short sound events. The sleeves may also be interpreted by a group of musicians, each of whom selects different sequences and responds to them in an unsynchronized way, so the sounds may overlap. Inspiration is drawn from the image on the cover, however any musical notations are performed as literally as possible. The memory of the original content may color the interpretation, but it does not dictate it.
BOX SET, 2008–10
Commercially printed tin, plastic, wood, and cardboard boxes, dimensions variable. Collection of the artist; courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
This selection of found boxes adorned with decorative musical notations is to be played as literally as possible by a solo musician. The boxes are placed one inside the other, like Russian nesting dolls. There are several possible sequences of boxes, and the performer may organize the boxes freely, although the order in which the boxes are played is determined by their size. Opening and closing the boxes is part of the performance.
Portfolio of twenty-eight offset printed lithographs with slipcase, folios 15 3/4 × 23 3/4 in. each. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Print Committee T.2010.386
Fragments of Marclay’s eclectic collection of newspaper advertisements, magazine illustrations, restaurant menus, candy wrappers, and other disposable printed matter decorated with musical notations were photographed and reproduced as twenty-eight unbound prints. These images constitute a score that can be organized and interpreted using one or more instruments.
SIXTY-FOUR BELLS AND A BOW, 2009
Sixty-four glass, porcelain, and metal hand bells, and a violin bow,
dimensions variable. Collection of the artist; courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Small hand bells, such as dinner bells, decorative bells, and souvenir bells are used as sound sources. Musicians can ring, amplify, or electronically sample and process the bells. The metal ones can also be vibrated with the bow. The only stipulation is that all sounds must originate from the bells.
MANGA SCROLL, 2010
Lithograph, 16 × 720 in. Collection of Graphicstudio/University of South Florida, Tampa
This vocal score consists of onomatopoeias found in serialized Manga comics originally published in Japan but translated for the U.S. market. These black-and-white newsprint comics have been cut and collaged into a sixty-foot-long handscroll. This type of scroll, which was invented in the eleventh century, is considered the antecedent of the contemporary Japanese graphic novel. Having been stripped of their dramatic context, the sound effects are strung together into one long composition meant for interpretation by voice.
Found garments and accessories, a bottle of single-malt whiskey, and glasses, dimensions variable. Collection of the artist; courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Marclay has collected clothing decorated with musical notations. These dresses, shirts, socks, scarves, hats, and so on, made from a variety of fabrics, are worn by two models who act as music stands, while musicians read and improvise the music originally meant solely as ornamentation. The clothing is worn and layered and changed as often as necessary, and dressing and undressing is part of the performance. A bottle of single-malt whiskey is available to both models and musicians
Paint and chalk. Collection of the artist, courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
For his most recent score, Marclay has turned a wall of the Whitney’s fourth-floor galleries into a gigantic chalkboard delineated with musical staff lines. Museum visitors are encouraged to participate by marking or erasing the chalkboard. Intermittently during the exhibition, musicians will interpret this vast collage of ephemeral notations.
Cyro Baptista is a Brazilian percussionist and composer whose experience and penchant for innovation have made him one of the most respected percussionists in the world. Besides leading five different live or recording projects, he works with several jazz, pop, classical, and avant-garde artists including Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson, John Zorn, Trey Anastasio (of the band Phish), and Sting.
Steven Bernstein plays trumpet and slide trumpet, is a bandleader, composer, and arranger, and lives outside of musical convention. His groups, Sexmob and The Millennial Territory Orchestra, tour festivals and concerts worldwide, and he leads the Diaspora Series, which has released four records on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. In 1992 Mr. Bernstein started working with producer Hal Willner on collaborations with Lou Reed, Robert Altman, and U2. He is also a proud member of the Levon Helm Band.
John Butcher’s work encompasses improvisation, composition, and explorations with feedback and extreme acoustics. Since leaving academia in 1982, he has collaborated with hundreds of musicians—including Derek Bailey, John Stevens, Gerry Hemingway, Polwechsel, John Edwards, Toshimaru Nakamura, Eddie Prevost, John Tilbury, and Steve Beresford. His compositions include pieces for Elision, Rova Quartet, and “somethingtobesaid” for his own septet.
Native Chicagoan Vincent Chancey moved to New York after receiving a bachelor of music degree from the Southern Illinois University School of Music. His classical private study was with Dale Clevenger of the Chicago Symphony. Mr. Chancey has performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Pan American Symphony, the One World Symphony, the Zephyr Woodwind Quintet, and the Netherlands Opera. Chancey has released three Cds: LEGenDES Imaginaires, Next Mode, a Julius Watkins tribute, and Welcome Mr. Chancey.
Born in Peru, avant-turntablist Maria Chavez lives in Brooklyn, New York. She creates electro-acoustic sound pieces using vinyl and needle. She has collaborated with Merce Cunningham, Otomo Yoshihide, and Pauline Oliveros. She was recently awarded the Jerome Emerging Artist grant and is a Van Lier Fellow.
Anthony Coleman is a composer, improvising keyboardist, and teacher from New York City. His ensembles have included the trio Sephardic Tinge and the Selfhaters Orchestra. CDs include the cycle by Night (1987–1992), a series of works inspired by Coleman’s experiences in (the ex-) Yugoslavia; and Shmutsige Magnaten, a live solo performance from the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival (Summer 2005) that features interpretations of the songs of Mordechai Gebirtig. Coleman has toured and recorded with John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Marc Ribot, Shelley Hirsch, Roy Nathanson, and many others. Coleman is currently on the faculty of the New England Conservatory in the Contemporary Improvisation Department where he teaches Jazz and Composition.
New York born and raised, Nicolas Collins studied with Alvin Lucier, worked with David Tudor, and has collaborated with numerous other musicians. He has been Visiting Artistic Director of STEIM (Amsterdam), and a DAAD composer-in-residence in Berlin, and currently teaches in the Department of Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Swiss-born composer/improviser Sylvie Courvoisier is one of the most creative and imaginative pianists in new music. A frequent collaborator of Mark Feldman, Ikue Mori, and John Zorn, she is a member of Mephista and co-leads the Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman Quartet and is the leader of her own quintet, Lonelyville, and the trio Abaton. Since 1997, she also performs regularly solo or with violinist Mark Feldman.
Marilyn Crispell has been a composer and performer of contemporary improvised music since 1978. For ten years she was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet and the Reggie Workman Ensemble, and has performed and recorded extensively as a soloist
and with players on the American and international jazz scenes. She has been the recipient of three New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust composition commission.
Peter Evans has been a member of the New York musical community since 2003, when he moved to the city after graduating Oberlin Conservatory with a degree in classical trumpet. Evans works solo and with chamber orchestras, and also does performance art, improvisation, electro-acoustic music, and composition.
Winner of the 2007 Alpert Award in the Arts, Mark Feldman premiered the Violin Concerto of Guss Janssen as soloist with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in the Contemporary Music Festival Nederland Muziek Dagen. He has also been a Soloist with The Het Brabants Orchestra of Einhoven, Holland, The Basil Symphonetta and the WDR Radio Orchestra. His String Quartet “Book of Tells” was commissioned and performed by the Kronos Quartet at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
With a career spanning more than 30 years, Bill Frisell is now firmly established as a visionary presence in American music. The guitarist, composer, and bandleader has collaborated with artists, filmmakers, and musicians such as Gus Van Sant and Ron Carter. The New York Times described Frisell’s music this way: “It’s hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and blues, he’s found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play. Unlike other pastichists, who tend to duck passion, Mr. Frisell plays up the pleasure in the music and also takes on another often-avoided subject, tenderness."
Mary Halvorson’s eclectic body of work spans the worlds of chamber-folk, experimental rock, and avant-garde jazz. Known as “the freshest, busiest, most critically acclaimed guitar-slinger out of downtown Manhattan/Brooklyn right now” (Howard Mandel,Jazz Beyond Jazz), she can be heard with her own bands and with such frequent collaborators as Jessica Pavone, Kevin Shea, and the iconic Anthony Braxton.
Kato Hideki is an independent composer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist. His projects include Death Ambient with Fred Frith and Ikue Mori; Green Zone with Otomo Yoshihide and Uemura Masahiro; and OMNI with Nakamura Toshimaru & Akiyama Tetsuzi. Kato has collaborated with Nicolas Collins, James Fei, and Ursula Scherrer. He is a member of the analog synthesizer collective, Analogos.
A native New Yorker who has been deemed “an unorthodox, extraordinary fusion of vocalist, composer, and performance artist” by composer Anne LeBaron, Shelley Hirsch’s work encompasses storytelling, staged performances, compositions, improvisations, collaborations, installations, and radio plays that have been presented on five continents.
Pianist, composer, singer and songwriter Robin Holcomb performs internationally as a solo artist and leader of various ensembles. She composes extensively for chamber ensembles, big bands, dance, theater, and film. Her music has been released on the Nonesuch, Tzadik, and Songlines labels, and has been called “staggeringly beautiful” by the New York Times.
Pianist and composer Wayne Horvitz has been commissioned by the Icicle Creek Trio, Meet The Composer, Kronos, Seattle Chamber Players, Mary Flagler, PGAFF, BAM, and others. He has produced CDs for Eddie Palmieri, Fontella Bass, Robin Holcomb, and Bill Frisell among others. He appears on over 300 CDs, thirty as a leader. He is the recipient of the 2008 NEAAmerican Masterpieces Award.
Joan La Barbara
Joan La Barbara, composer/performer/sound artist, has created a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques—multiphonics, circular singing, ululation, glottal clicks—her “signature sounds.” Awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a DAAD Fellowship in Berlin, an NEA grant, numerous commissions for multiple voices, chamber ensemble, music theater, orchestra, and interactive technology. La Barbara is composing a new opera exploring the interior dialogue and sounds within the mind.
Korean cellist Okkyung Lee has been developing her own voice in contemporary cello performance, improvisation, and composition by mixing her multifaceted artistic influences. She has worked with numerous artists including Laurie Anderson, John Butcher, Vijay Iyer, Andrew Lampert, Christian Marclay, Thurston Moore, Evan Parker, and John Zorn, and received aNYSCA composer commission in 2007 and an FCA grant in 2010.
Alan Licht is a New York–based guitarist, writer, and curator. Recent activities include performances with the newly reconstructed Luigi Russolo intonarumori (noise instruments) by Text of Light, the group he co-founded with Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, and creating On Deaf Ears, a sound installation at Audio Visual Arts gallery in Manhattan. He is the author of Sound Art: Beyond Music, Between Categories (Rizzoli, 2007).
Trumpeter and composer Frank London is a member of the Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave, and Klezmer Brass Allstars, which he leads; has performed with John Zorn, LL Cool J, Itzhak Perlman, Mel Tormé, Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5, Mark Ribot, Iggy Pop, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gal Costa, and others, and is featured on over 300 CDs. London is a Grammy and his CD, Carnival Conspiracy, was Rolling Stone’s #1 Non-English Recording of 2006.
Brooklyn based trumpeter Russ Johnson is an active performer in the jazz, improvised, and contemporary classical music scenes throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is currently the professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside.
Guy Klucevsek is a versatile composer and accordionist who has worked with Laurie Anderson, Bang On a Can, Anthony Braxton, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, Present Music, Relache, John Williams, and John Zorn. He is the founder of Accordion Tribe, which was the subject of the 2002 documentary film, Accordion Tribe: Music Travels. He was also a guest on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Nathan Koci is a New York–based multi-instrumentalist and composer with a diverse repertoire, performing chamber music, jazz, improvisation, and old Cuban folk songs, among many other types of music. He has worked with Bang on a Can, Signal, Ensemble Modern, Alarm Will Sound, TILT Brass, New Music Collective, and The Opposite of Train.
Ulrich Krieger is a composer, performer, and improviser living in California. He studied saxophone, composition, and electronic music. Krieger has developed an “acoustic electronics” approach to playing saxophone and composition. He works in experimental and electronic music, noise, improvisation, rock, and metal, collaborating with: Lou Reed, Lee Ranaldo, Thomas Köner, Phill Niblock, Radu Malfatti, and others. He teaches composition at the California Institute for the Arts.
Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris
Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris is recognized internationally as the principal theorist and practitioner in the evolution of Conduction®; a leading innovator whose work redefines the roles of composer, conductor, arranger, and performer. Since 1974, his career has been distinguished by unique and outstanding international contributions.
Christopher McIntyre leads a multifaceted career as performer, composer, and curator/producer. He interprets and improvises on trombone and synthesizer and composes new work for TILT Brass and Ne(x)tworks. He has recorded for Tzadik, New World, and Mode. Curatorial work includes projects at The Kitchen, Issue Project Room, and The Stone, and Artistic Director of the MATA Festival (2007–2010).
Pipa player and composer Min Xiao-Fen transcends borders with cutting-edge music. A breathtaking virtuoso, Min blends ancient Chinese music and her own compositions, diverse musical influences including Chinese folk music and regional operas, Taoist music, American jazz and bluegrass. She was honored with an award from the Asian Cultural Council. Min is also the founder of Blue Pipa, Inc.
Thurston Moore co-founded the New York–based rock group Sonic Youth in 1980. He records and performs as a solo artist as well and has worked collaboratively with Merce Cunningham, Cecil Taylor, Lydia Lunch, and Glenn Branca. He has composed music for films by Olivier Assayas, Gus Van Sant, and Allison Anders. He publishes art books and literature through Ecstatic Peace Library and releases music through Ecstatic Peace Records + Tapes.
Ikue Mori moved from Tokyo to New York in 1977. She started playing drums and soon formed the seminal No Wave band DNAwith Arto Lindsay. Since the 1990s she has collaborated with numerous improvisers throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, while continuing to produce and record her own music. Ikue won the Distinctive Award for Prix Ars Electronics Digital Music category in 1999. In 2000 Ikue started using laptop computers to expand her vocabulary, not only performing sounds with them but creating visual work as well.
David Moss is considered one of the most innovative singers and performers in contemporary music. He began performing with Christian Marclay in 1983. In 1991, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and, in 1992, a DAAD Fellowship in Berlin.
Moss is the artistic director of the Institute for Living Voice, and he performs with the groove trio, Denseland. He lives in Berlin.
Mark Nauseef has performed and recorded for more than forty years with many leading musicians of various genres from around the world. Areas of study include Javanese Gamelan, Balinese Gamelan, North Indian music theory, Pakhawaj drumming, Ghanaian drumming and dance, frame drum techniques of the Middle East, India, and the Caucasus, and twentieth-century Western percussion techniques. Current music activities include recording and performance as a member of the Kudsi Erguner Ensemble, led by the Turkish classical Sufi ney master and composer Kudsi Erguner. This ensemble, made up mostly of Turkish classical musicians, plays reworked compositions of the Ottoman Empire as well as modern and classical repertoire.
o.blaat (Keiko Uenishi)
Sound artist, social composer, and a core member of SHARE, o.blaat (Keiko Uenishi) is known for her works formed through experiments in restructuring and analyzing one’s relationship with sounds in sociological, cultural, and psychological context. Exploring aural space, o.blaat created Car décalé (légèrement) utilizing audio feedback, and installed SOUNDLEAK: TheROOM at Medien Kultur Haus, Wels, Austria.
Zeena Parkins is a composer and improviser who works with sound as a solo performer, installation artist, and collaborator with fellow musicians, choreographers, filmmakers, and light composers. Known as a pioneer of the electric harp, Zeena has expanded the language of the acoustic harp with the inventive use of unusual playing techniques, preparations, processing. She has received commissions from all over the world as well as numerous awards including three Bessie Awards and fellowships from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, NYFA, NYSCA, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Lee Ranaldo is a musician, visual artist, writer, and founding member of the New York City group Sonic Youth. Their most recent record is The Eternal, released in 2009. An extensive touring museum exhibition, Sonic Youth, etc: Sensational Fix, opened in June 2008 at LIFE, St. Nazaire, France and continues to tour four other museums in Europe through 2010. Ranaldo’s visual and sound works have been shown most recently in the solo show “A Random Collection of Cells,” at Hogar Collection in Brooklyn, New York. His latest collection of writings, Against Refusing, enlist Internet spam as a springboard for poetry. Recent solo recordings include Afternoon Saints: The Shirley Jangle (with Christian Marclay, Gunter Muller, David Watson); We’ll Know Where When We Get There (with Leah Singer), and Maelstrom from Drift.
Marina Rosenfeld is a composer and artist based in New York. Her work has been widely presented in Europe and North America by festivals, museums and organizations including the Whitney Museum (Biennials 2002 and 2008), Stedelijk Museum, Tate Modern, Creative Time, Holland Festival, Performa Biennial, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and many others. She is also co-chair of Bard College’s graduate program in Music/Sound.
Composer/Performer Ned Rothenberg has been internationally acclaimed for both his solo and ensemble music, presented for the past 30 years in North and South America, Europe and Asia. He performs primarily on the alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, and the shakuhachi—an endblown Japanese bamboo flute. He leads the trio Sync, with Jerome Harris on guitar and Samir Chatterjee on tabla. Recent recordings include Sync’s Harbinger, Intervals, a double-CD of solo work, Live at Roulette with Evan Parker and Are You Be and The Fell Clutch on the label Animul. Chamber music releases include Inner Diaspora, Ghost Stories, and Power Lines. Other collaborators have included Sainkho Namchylak, Paul Dresher, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, and Yuji Takahashi.
A central figure in the avant-garde for more than 30 years, Elliott Sharp leads Orchestra Carbon, Tectonics, and Terraplane and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetics to musical composition and interaction. His work has been featured in the Venice Biennale and the Hessischer Rundfunk Klangbiennale with the premiere of “On Corlear’s Hook” for the Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt.
Michael Snow was born in Toronto not so long ago, and lives there now—but has also lived in Montreal, Chicoutimi, and New York. A multi-instrumentalist, he has performed solo as well as with various ensembles, most often with the CCMC of Toronto, in Canada, USA, Europe, and Japan. He has been a painter and sculptor, although since 1962 much of his gallery work has been photo-based or holographic. Snow was commissioned to do an exterior art work titled Lightline on the Trump Tower at Bay and Adelaide, which will open this year.
Receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees from The Julliard School of Music, David Taylor started his playing career as a member of Leopold Stowkowski’s American Symphony Orchestra, and by appearing with the New York Philharmonic under Pierre Boulez. Simultaneously, he was a member of the Thad Jones Mel Lewis jazz band, and recorded with groups ranging from Duke Ellington to The Rolling Stones. He also recorded numerous solo CDs on the following labels: Koch, New World, ENJA, DMP, Tzadik, CIMP, and PAU.
Yasunao Tone, a founder of Group Ongaku and an original member of Fluxus, was born in Tokyo in 1935 and moved to New York in 1972. Public performances include Kitchen, Roulette, and pieces at the Guggenheim Museum SOHO, Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona, Tokyo Opera City Gallery, and a commission by the American Dance Festival for Merce Cunningham. His work has been featured in group shows at the Venice Biennale, Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum, and the Yokohama Triennale.
Kate Valk began working with The Wooster Group in 1979 and since then has co-composed and performed in all of the Group’s theater productions. She has also worked on and been featured in the Group’s radio, film, and video projects, most recently the 360 degree video installation THERE IS STILL TIME..BROTHER. Valk founded and directs the Group’s Summer Institute, a performance intensive for public high school students.
Nate Wooley grew up in Clatskanie, Oregon, a fishing and lumber town. He began playing trumpet professionally at age thirteen and now resides in New York where he has garnered acclaim for his solo work as well as his collaborations with such luminaries as Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Paul Lytton, David Grubbs, and Joe Morris.
Alexander Waterman is a founding member of the Plus Minus Ensemble, based in Brussels and London, specializing in avant-garde and experimental music. In New York he performs with the Either/Or Ensemble. His film written with Beatrice Gibson, A Necessary Music, narrated by Robert Ashley and with original music by Waterman, premiered at the Whitney Museum ISP show and won the Tiger Prize for Best Short Film at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2008. He runs a record label (D.S. al coda) in collaboration with Dexter Sinister. His writings have been published by Dot Dot Dot, Paregon, FoArm, and Artforum.