Thomas Buckner presents a program of pieces written especially for him by Robert Ashley (1930-2014) in their 30+ years of working together. Works include the stand-alone pieces ‘World War III, Just the Highlights’ and ‘Tract’, and three completely re-conceived concert versions of arias from the opera “Atalanta, Acts of God”: ‘The Producer Speaks’, ‘Odalisque’, and ‘Mystery of the River’, in its New York premiere. With Tom Hamilton, Joseph Kubera, Pauline Kim Harris, Conrad Harris, JD Parran and members of the SEM Ensemble. Co-sponsored by Roulette and Performing Artservices.
Ruth Zaporah and Rinde Eckert, both prolific performers, noticed each other on stages in San Francisco in the 80′s and liked what they saw. They soon joined forces in creating and performing Nomad Mad, a musical, physical, visually stunning, narratively idiosyncratic, touching, humorous, critically acclaimed show that ran for many months in San Francisco. Then they went their separate ways and landed on different coasts. With the United States between them, they each flourished while touching base occasionally. They wondered if another collaboration would arise. To their delight, Ruth and Rinde are on stage together again – to sing, dance, talk, and weave their particular kind of wacky, gorgeous, yet very human improvisations.
Ruth Zaporah is a New Mexico based performancer, directo, writer and teacher. She is internationally known for her innovative work in the field of physical theater improvisation. Zaporah spends much of her time on tour, performing and leading trainings in Europe, Israel, Asia and the US. In 1994 she performed in theaters and refugee camps in Serbia and Croatia. In the spring 2000, she added Kosovo and Sarajevo to that itinerary. Zaporah is a two time recipient of National Endowment Choreography Fellowships. In 1994 she was honored with a Sustained Achievement award by the San Francisco Bay Area Dance Association.
Rinde Eckert is a writer, composer, singer, actor, and director whose music, music theater, and dance theater pieces have been performed throughout the United States and abroad. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, a Marc Blitzstein Award (from The American Academy of Arts and Letters), an Obie Award (And God Created Great Whales), a Grammy Award (Lonely Motel – Music from Slide), an Alpert Award (2009), and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (2012). He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 2007 for Orpheus X. He has been a visiting lecturer at Princeton University since 2009.
Berlin-based vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, electronic musician, composer and songwriter Christina Wheeler’s musical forays explore a myriad of styles and forms. A Los Angeles, California native and graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges and Manhattan School of Music, she has performed and recorded internationally with a variety of artists including Vernon Reid, John Cale, Mocky, Jamie Lidell, Murcof, A Guy Called Gerald, DJ Olive and Lloop of We™, Marc Ribot, Chris Whitley, Zeena Parkins, John Carter, Fred Hopkins and Andrea Parkins. Her work with David Byrne included world tours and television appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, and PBS’s Sessions at West 54th Street. Her music aired on MTV’s AMP. She has performed at numerous venues worldwide, including concerts at New York’s Lincoln Center and Berlin’s Philharmonie.
Recent collaborations include recordings with producers Fred P, Benjamin Brunn, Ripperton, and Shinedoe, as well as a live collaboration with Murcof for Berghain’s Elektroakoustische Salon. She was featured in Leonardo Music Journal’s 20th anniversary issue on “Improvisation”, presented two new solo performances at Free Rotation Festival in July, and is recording this work for two new solo albums.
On the occasion of her birthday, she is returning from Berlin to celebrate with a concert for long-time friends, colleagues, music lovers, and local residents, whose company she deeply appreciates in their joining her for this special event. She will present music with long-time colleagues Laraaji (All Saints/Warp), and HPrizm/Priest (Anti-Pop Consortium), and, perhaps, a surprise guest or two.
“For much of my professional career as an electronic artist, my work has been engaged with the conundrum of the seeming perfection of the linearity of the binary form, in combination with the irregularity of human touch and expression, and what happens in the middle space when these two worlds combine, conflate, and collapse together.
Over the time since I moved to Berlin, my musical expression has diversified to include new musical instruments that explore a broad array of materials and how they resonate in space when manipulated by electronic processing, with a spectrum of sound ranging from the acoustic to the analog to the binary realms, and the new color palettes that created when these worlds merge into new timbral territories. Instrument materials include flesh (vocals) metal (mbira), strings (autoharp), digital touch plates (Q-Chord), air/space and sensors (theremin), and touch-screens (various iOS apps). These recent sounds inform new music compositions rooted in my multi-stylistic background, with elements of ambient, rhythmic, and improvisational music combined to create fresh, amalgamated forms.”—Christina Wheeler
Laraaji Edward (Larry Gordon) pursued his dream of becoming a Musician and humanitarian artist from a very early age in the Coastal town of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Learning to play Piano, Violin, and Trombone, along with singing and performing in church and school choirs, bands and orchestras. His high school scholastic talents and enthusiasm for creating new music won him scholarships to study music at Howard University School of Fine Arts in Washington, DC during the mid 1960′s .
Following 4 years at Howard He moved to New York city to pursue a double career in comedic acting and music. During these several years of mild success in both careers he received a strong inner call to explore alternative spiritual practices including transcendental meditation, mind science,yoga-meditation, trance journeying and contemplative creativity…eventually his lifestyle became one of devotional inner practice and creative inspiration.
During the mid 70′s, following an inner sound vision he set out to create a new musical sound involving a modified 36 string AutoHarp, alternative tunings and innovative music electronics. This new musical sound captured the heart and stimulated the imagination of a very appreciative and warm new age following.
He has since traveled internationally sharing his musical sound vision in Solo and collaborative adventures, many of which have been documented in classic quality recordings. In the fall of 2013 several major retrospective releases of his materials were made available through Warp and All Saints records out of the UK.
He has also developed over the past 25 years his signature style of Meditative Laughter Playshops’ presented in the USA and abroad. Laraaji serves as senior faculty presenter at the prestigious International Healing Sounds Intensive founded by pioneer sound healing musician Jonathan Goldman, held annually in Colorado, for most of its 19 years.
I finally know what harmony is…It’s about the pleasure of making music.”
–John Cage 1989
PAULINE OLIVEROS is a senior figure in contemporary American music. Her career spans fifty years of boundary dissolving music making. In the ’50s she was part of a circle of iconoclastic composers, artists, poets gathered together in San Francisco. Recently awarded the John Cage award for 2012 from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts, Oliveros is Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, and Darius Milhaud Artist-in-Residence at Mills College. Oliveros has been as interested in finding new sounds as in finding new uses for old ones –her primary instrument is the accordion, an unexpected visitor perhaps to musical cutting edge, but one which she approaches in much the same way that a Zen musician might approach the Japanese shakuhachi. Pauline Oliveros’ life as a composer, performer and humanitarian is about opening her own and others’ sensibilities to the universe and facets of sounds. Since the 1960′s she has influenced American music profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual. Pauline Oliveros is the founder of “Deep Listening,” which comes from her childhood fascination with sounds and from her works in concert music with composition, improvisation and electro-acoustics. Pauline Oliveros describes Deep Listening as a way of listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, of one’s own thoughts as well as musical sounds. Deep Listening is my life practice,” she explains, simply. Oliveros is founder of Deep Listening Institute, formerly Pauline Oliveros Foundation.