2010 Sonic Circuits Festival
Saturday, September 18, 2010
La Maison Française
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Fairfax Old Town Hall
Music Marathon Overload!
Illusion of Safety (Chicago)
Controlled Bleeding (New York)
The Cornel West Theory (DC)
Astma (Alexei Borisov & Olga Nosova) (Russia)
Fuse Ensemble (DC)
Nobu Stowe – Lee Pembleton Project "Confusion Bleue" with Special Guest: Andrea Centazzo
Colla Parte (Perry Conticchio, Rich O'Meara, Daniel Barbiero) (DC)
RDK+Insect Factory (DC)
Aster – Eli Keszler & Ashley Paul (Providence)
Mercury Fools the Alchemist (DC)
Matta Gawa (DC)
Kingdom of Sharks (VA)
Dave Vosh (DC)
Monday, September 20, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Kennedy Center Millennium Stage6pm – FREE!
Andrea Centazzo (Italy)
Pyramid Atlantic (NOTE CHANGE IN VENUE!!!)
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
6pm – FREE!
Pyramid Atlantic (NOTE CHANGE IN VENUE!!!)
Friday, September 24, 2010
La Maison Française
Saturday, September 25, 2010
La Maison Française
Ancient Ocean is an acid-folk turned drone-ambient project from Brooklyn by way of Nashville, TN. Implementing elements of minimalism, avant-jazz, and drone metal, the one-man project of John Bohannon is turning a new leaf into a fully realized vision of astral exploration. Ancient Ocean's debut full-length recording "I" will be out on Sonic Meditations this fall, followed by a 2-side conceptual drone meditative piece entitled "Solar Myths" on Electric Temple.
ASTMA is Olga Nosova (drummer and vocalist mostly known for her work with Moscow noise-core band Motherfathers) and Russian industrial/electronic scene pioneer Alexei Borisov. The collaborative project was formed in April 2009 in Moscow. Paying homage to both experimental tradition of Alexei's countless musical reincarnations and Olga's instrumental noise experience, the duo embrace elements of weird free-form spoken word psychedelia, live electronics, noise, heavy acid, electroacoustic, d'n'b and far too many different types of acoustic torture to even bother mentioning them. The music is highly improvised, so naturally Borisov / Nosova collaborate with various musicians, video-artists and poets from different countries both live and in studio: Anton Nikkila (Finland), Dave Phillips (Switzerland), Matthieu Werchowski (France), Dora Bleu (Canada), Thomas Buckner (USA), Tom Smith (USA), Jandek (USA), Ilya Belorukov (Russia), Sergei Letov (Russia), Nikita Tsymbal (Russia) to name just a few. Borisov / Nosova duo is touring extensively and in 2009-2010 performed in Russia, Turkey, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Netherlands, France, Israel, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belorussia etc.
BLK w/ BEAR
BLK w/ BEAR is JS Adams (loops/prepared vinyl/turntables), Doug Poplin (cello/effects), PD Sexton (bass/effects/source electronics) and Renee Shaw (live video mix). The group has garnered glowing reviews and international airplay for its 'Wish for a World without Hurt' collaboration with London's Rothko. The band's drones and sound textures have accompanied film/video projects in NYC and London, with selections from 'Wish for a World" being used in the Discovery Channel's 'The Flight that Fought Back' program. Recent releases include participating in the Long Division with Remainders '14 versions of the same EP' project now available in a bespoke 4CD box set collection of all 'versions' plus an exclusive digital-download outtakes EP (Front & Follow; 2010 UK); contributions to the District of Noise Vol. 3 CD-LP compilation (2010 USA); Ultra-red '15 sounds of the war on the poor' project (Public Record; 2009 USA) and 'TEN' compilation disc (Trace Recordings; 2009 UK).
Blue Sausage Infant
BLUE SAUSAGE INFANT is the work of Chester Hawkins of Washington DC. For 24 years, BSI has produced music that combines aspects of noise, drone, krautrock, sample-plundering, dark ambient, and kosmische electronica to produce a multi-layered feast for the brain. In 2008, BSI shifted focus from the studio to live performances, often combining costumes, lights, and films to enhance the experience. Hawkins describes his music as "mean-spirited euphoria," a complex breed of long-form psychedelia with a hint of menace lurking under the bliss. Blue Sausage Infant's latest album, "Flight of the Solstice Queens" was released in April 2010 on the Zeromoon label, and has been praised as a masterpiece of unique head music.
Arturas Bumšteinas is composer of acoustic and electronic music, founder of ensembles Quartet Twentytwentyone and Works and Days, visual artist with various projects presented in dozens of exhibitions around Europe. The festivals where Bumšteinas participated with his music and audiovisual projects among others include The Holland Festival, Sensoralia/Romaeuropa, Angelica, Avanto, Jauna Muzika, Sonic Circuits, Cut & Splice, Kody, Skanumezs, Full Pull etc... Since the year 2000 Arturas has collaborated with artists Laura Garbštienė, Lina Lapelytė, Anton Lukoszevieze, Jesse Glass, Antanas Jasenka, Simon Wickham-Smith, Jeff Surak, Borut Savski, Max Reinhardt, Rytis Mažulis etc... Amongst the publishers of Bumšteinas' music are such labels as Bøłt, Cronicaelectronica, Zeromoon, Con-v, Nexsound, Alg-a, Earlabs etc... His exhibition-related work is represented by Galerie Antje Wachs in Berlin. Arturas lives and works in Vilnius and Warsaw.
In Sonic Circuits 2010 Bumšteinas will be joined by Janel Lepin and Anthony Pirog (aka Janel & Anthony) to perform his new, specially for this occasion prepared piece for cello, guitar and electronics. Composer's participation in the festival was supported by CEC Artslink Independed Project grant.
Aster is the duo of Eli Keszler and Ashley Paul. They manage to combine a unique form of high pitched sustain; blending large quantities of crotales and metal, with upper registers horns, rapid fire percussion and Ashley's quarter time singing style. Creating together, a hybrid of psycho acoustic sustain, dense clattering sound and intuitive song.
Multi-reedist, vocalist and composer Ashley Paul has been activally involved in improvised, experimental and new music in New York City, Boston and Providence for the past decade. Her debut solo album "DOL", released in late 2008, was picked as album of the column by Wire Magazine, on one of Rare Frequency's top 10 lists, and featured in German magazine Spex. In 2008 she performed the World Premiere of Phil Niblick's piece composed for her and percussionist Eli Keszler to be published by Touch Records and performed as part of the US Premiere of Mauricio Kagel's "Der Schall". She was also selected as artist-in-residence by ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn, NY along with Keszler.
Eli Keszler is a composer/multi-instrumentalist based in Providence, Rhode Island. He primarily uses percussion, bowed crotales, guitar as well as invented instruments (his harps which use strings and motors) to create his sound that balances droning harmonics with shaterring acoustic sustain and fast, free rhythm, all working in balance with his integrated installations. In addition to his solo releases, installations, visual art and performances, Eli has performed, recorded or collaborated with artists such as Phill Niblock (performing on a new work of his for Crotales and soprano saxophone with Ashley Paul), Aki Onda, Loren Connors, Jandek (I.C.A Boston and at NYU), Roscoe Mitchell (Art Ensemble of Chicago), Anthony Coleman (recording Lapidation released by New World Records), Joe Morris, Greg Kelley (Nmperign), T Model Ford, Ran Blake, Bryan Eubanks, Ashley Paul and Steve Pyne (Redhorse). He performed in the United States premiere of Mauricio Kagel's Der Schall at Merkin Hall in 2008 led by Anthony Coleman. He has toured internationally finishing a 6-week European tour in December of 2009, performing at Colour Out Of Space Festival in Brighton England as well as Sound-Body-Movement in Ostrave in the Czech Republic. In addition to performing over 25 other gigs in England, France, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Serbia. He has recently completed his second CD and his 7th release titled Tilt, which received a feature in Wire Magazine along with his duo 'Aster' LP with Ashley Paul (saxophone/clarinet/strings). In addition to his performing, his compositions have been performed at Jordan Hall, the 1st and 2nd Church of Boston, and Boston Conservatory. He also runs the label Rel records, which releases hand-made art edition LP's, CD's and Cassette designs. Rel has received features in Wire Magazine, Arthur Magazine, The Boston Phoenix, Spex (Germany), The Sound Projector and Blow Up Magazine (Italy). It is distributed internationally by Metamkine, Art-Into-Life, and Volcanic Tongue and in the USA by Forced Exposure and Mimaroglu Music Sales. In the coming months his debut on ESP-DISK' titled Oxtirn will be released.
Regarded as "one of the most influential percussionist of the last 20 years", Italian American composer and multi media artist Andrea Centazzo has performed in the most important Festivals and Concert Season both in Europe and USA as soloist, conductor and in combination with other great artists. Early in the '80s he has been associate with many seminal percussionists, playing duets, trios and ensembles with David Moss, Pierre Favre, Alex Cline, Tony Oxley, Paul Lovens, Paul Litton, Steve Hubback and many others.
His career ranges from free improvisation with players like Don Cherry, John Zorn, Steve Lacy, Lester Bowie, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Henry Kaiser and the likes, to conducting his operas, symphonies and concerts in momentous theatres in Europe and USA, like Hamburg Opera Stabile, Munich Philharmonic (Germany) Vienna XX Century Auditorium (Austria), Bologna and Trieste Opera Houses (Italy) Split National Theatre (Croatia), San Francisco Veteran Theatre, Freud Playhouse UCLA Los Angeles, Odyssey Theatre Los Angeles and many more.
Born in Italy, but naturalized American, Centazzo after more than a decade dedicated mainly to composing, conducting and video-making went back in 2000 to his first love, the solo percussion concert. In this program Centazzo, once again, blend his percussion, playing on a set of over 200 instruments, with electronics, computer sequencing and digital sampling, bringing to the listener the emotion of a new sonic adventure in jazz, world and contemporary avant-garde music. His melodic composing along with his ostinato patterns and his mastery of percussion improvising create a music beyond any expectation.
Colla Parte—loosely translated, "with the soloist"—a kind of music in which sounds interweave in a thick tissue of constantly changing lead and counter-lead voices. Colla Parte the ensemble is a trio consisting of (in alphabetical order) Daniel Barbiero (double bass), Perry Conticchio (reeds), and Rich O'Meara (vibes and percussion).
A native of New Haven, CT, Daniel Barbiero has been active in experimental and improvised music in the Baltimore-Washington area for several years as a performer, composer, and bandleader. His music reflects his long-standing engagement with scalar and free improvisation, aleatory and graphic composition and contemporary extended string technique. In addition to performing with his own ensembles, he has supported Blue Note recording artist Greg Osby and composer Robert Carl, and has played at venues such as the Sitar Performing Arts Center, the Kennedy Center, and local jazz clubs and art spaces. Current projects and collaborations include Nine Strings, work with pianist Nobu Stowe and electronic sound sculptor Lee Pembleton, and the ambient/surrealist trio Mercury Fools the Alchemist. In addition, he plays with Nancy Havlik's Dance Performance Group.
Saxophonist and composer Perry Conticchio has built his 35-year career using the singular jazz sounds of the 1960s as a point of departure. His formal studies were at Miami University of Ohio and Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied with Joe Viola, John LaPorta and Charley Mariano. Moving to the Washington, DC area in 1976, Perry became an established figure in the "new" music scene, during which time he performed with Don Cherry, Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers and many others. With his own quartet he has performed at many Washington area cultural events and venues including The DC Jazz Festival, The Smithsonian Folk-Life Festival, Johns-Hopkins Spring Fest, Blues Alley, One Step Down, Twin's Jazz, The 9:30 Club and too many others to mention. His most recent CD "Speak Your Truth" contains almost all original compositions and has received profuse critical praise and reached airwaves worldwide.
Rich O'Meara (b. 1957) is fluent in a wide variety of musical styles. He is currently a member of Kwo'm Percussion Group, which is focused on composing and performing new music for percussion, Silent Orchestra, and Trio O. He has performed with the Contemporary Music Forum, the Lenox Ensemble, the One Earth Percussion Theatre and the New York based ensemble Sky Music. He was featured as marimba soloist with the Women Composers Orchestra and was guest artist at the 1998 Latin-Caribbean Festival at the Kennedy Center. He has also performed with jazz and alternative rock ensembles, sometimes alongside his son, percussionist Kevin O'Meara. His piece for solo marimba, Restless, was required repertoire for the 48th International Competition in Geneva, Switzerland; his work was featured several times on the NPR program "New Sounds" and has been recorded on the Audite, Cybele, Animato, Codamusic, and Koch Discover International record labels.
O'Meara is a three time winner of the ASCAP Plus award and is currently working on a commissioned solo marimba work to be premiered by Lin Chin Cheng in Belgium in 2010. He has been invited to participate in the International Festival of Percussion in Patagonia, Argentina in June, 2010.
The Cornel West Theory
The Cornel West Theory is a Washington, D.C. based hip-hop band. With the blessing of Dr. Cornel West, the Princeton University professor and renowned author, the band takes its name from his prolific writings and philosophies. Second Rome, the band's first full-length album is a bold statement. The group takes the pulse and current trajectory of Washington, DC - its politics, its culture, and its future. Creating a soulful music that entertains, informs, educates and provokes activism, their sound is rooted in hip-hop–but that single genre does not define the range and variety of the musicians in the group. Second Rome, was released on Sockets Records in Fall 2009. Chuck D, of Public Enemy, named the album one of his favorites from the last five years. The band has been covered by several local press outlets including The Washington Post, The Washington Post Express, and WTTG Fox 5 News.
Byron Westbrook (b. 1977) is an artist working with the dynamic quality of physical space using multi-channel sound and images. His audio/video performances under the name CORRIDORS involve the distribution of processed instrumental and environmental recordings through a multi-channel environment with a focus on energy distilled from sound and light. He has presented at venues such as Tonic, Roulette, The Stone, Diapason Gallery, Issue Project Room, Experimental Intermedia, Exit Art Gallery, (NYC), Les Voûtes (FR), Wien Konzerthaus (Austria), NonEvent (Boston), Sonic Circuits Festival (DC), Institute of Intermedia (CZ). He has shared performance bills with Tony Conrad, Phill Niblock, Jandek, Sawako, Heribert Friedl, Stefan Tcherepnin, Maria Chavez, Alessandro Bosetti, Jason Kahn, Jon Mueller, Tetuzi Akiyama, among many others. Westbrook has also collaborated with Paris-based composer and former Kitchen curator Rhys Chatham in the drone metal group Essentialist (Table of the Elements), as well as performed in the ensembles of Phill Niblock, Rhys Chatham, Glenn Branca, Duane Pitre, David Watson and Jonathan Kane. He has worked as technical coordinator of Phill Niblock's Experimental Intermedia Foundation since 2004. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artists Commission through Roulette Intermedium. In 2008 he was an artist in residence at Hotel Pupik at Sclhoss Schrattenberg. A cd will be released in Fall 2010 on Sedimental Records. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Expo '70 is the main driving improvisational essence of Justin Wright. Having started the project in Los Angeles in 2003, Wright has pushed his project to new levels, releasing a number of albums as cdr's and 2 full-length albums. Expo '70's first album "Animism", which debuted in 2007 on Kill Shaman, is an eclectic mix of krautrock, ambient drone, space exploration and minimal compositions. Comparisons range from Brian Eno, Ash Ra Tempel, A.R. & Machines, SunnO))) and Earth, but not directly sounding like any of those artists in their entirety.
A key figure in the ascent of IDM and electronica in the 1990s, Fennesz uses guitar and notebook computers to make multilayered compositions that blend melody and conventional musical instruments with harsh, irregular glitch-influenced sounds and washes of white noise. "Imagine the electric guitar severed from cliché and all of its physical limitations, shaping a bold new musical language." - (City Newspaper, USA). His lush and luminant compositions are anything but sterile computer experiments. They resemble sensitive, telescopic recordings of rainforest insect life or natural atmospheric occurrences, an inherent naturalism permeating each piece. - Washington premiere!
Fuse Ensemble is a concept-based artistic collaboration between composer Gina Biver and media artist Edgar Endress. The mission of Fuse Ensemble is to present new music and new media to Washington DC area and beyond, and to give voice to living composers and actively engage the audience in the sounds, visuals and impressions of what new music/new media performances have to offer.
In his work with Fuse, Edgar Endress utilizes software such as Max MSP/Jitter to manipulate projected video images in real time. Sensors placed on or near the ensemble trigger changes in the projections so that musical expressions and gestures of the performers are tied to the provocative images seen on stage.
Already in their third season together, Fuse (formerly known as Splash Ensemble) has performed at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage for the CrossCurrents New Music Festival, The Intermedia Festival at Indiana University, American University's Katzen Arts Center, the Gildenhorn Speisman Center for the Arts, Woolly Mammoth and the Schlesinger Center.
For 2010 Fuse Ensemble presents Usina Mekanica, a new music/new media performance happening for toys and live ensemble that features premieres of new works by composers Gina Biver and Jorge Sad, and includes kinetic installations from Workingman Collective.
Gestures formed in 2005 in Washington, DC, where the band is based. Features members or past members of The Caution Curves, Edie Sedgwick, Medications, and The Rude Staircase. Gestures is both N.O. jazz and No-Jazz, an acoustic combustion engine that starts at improvisation but ends somewhere even further afield. Gestures indulges in the driving rhythms of postpunk and frenetic melodies of free jazz without adopting either genre as a standard.
Illusion Of Safety
Illusion Of Safety has existed and persisted since 1983, and like many projects of a certain age it frustrates attempts at pat summation. It began after Daniel Burke, a visual artist and music fan from Chicago's northern suburbs, drew from Throbbing Gristle's farewell concerts the impetus to make sound his vehicle for confrontation, self-discovery, connection, and transcendence. He first partnered with Mark Enderle over their shared interest in grimy industrial sounds that articulated the grimness of Midwestern America's hollowed-out manufacturing zones, but early concerts also included Thymme Jones, Chris Block, Jef Bek, and Rross Feller, all members of the rock band Dot Dot Dot, who were attracted to an opportunity to play music that wasn't bound by genre conventions. The line-up, then and ever after, was fluid; members came and went and came back, In 1985 Mark Klein and Mark Sorensen joined for a time. Then in 1986 Jones and Burke formed the Complacency label and proceeded to document Illusion Of Safety on a series of cassettes; two years later the imprint released the first IOS LP More Violence And Geography and a DePaul University music major named Jim O'Rourke joined up. He brought an exacting ear, a precocious command of studiocraft, and patience that tempered Burke's more impetuous, aggressive approach. After five years and six CDs that ran the gamut from Inside Agitator's bracing blasts of samples to Probe's immaculately paced contrasts between unidentifiable, subliminal sound and shattering instrumental events, he left to pursue his own projects.
A series of sympathetic but strong-willed collaborators joined Burke on stage and in the studio throughout the 90s, among them the revenants Thymme Jones and Mark Klein, the exacting Kurt Greisch, and the sphinx- like tabletop guitar maestro Kevin Drumm. IOS's music from this period drew on elements of ambient and free improv without falling exclusively into any genre. It functions, in Burke's words, "as a meditation, being immersed in the moment, an escape from too much mind." Labels like Staalplat, Korm Plastics, and Mort Aux Vaches stepped up to facilitate the brisk flow of releases. 1997 was an especially productive year; Burke played 28 live shows, lectured at Mills College, and played some non-IOS shows with Thomas DiMuzio.
After the millennium turned Burke did an extensive European tour with Drumm that yielded another non-IOS collaborative CD released by Mort Aux Vaches. Now free to pursue liaisons outside of Illusion Of Safety and armed with the enormous resources of a laptop computer, Burke turned IOS into a mainly solo venture. He also placed it on a much more fitful schedule; between 2003 and 2008 he released nothing and performed quite sporadically. Since 2008 Burke has ramped up his activities both in and out of Illusion Of Safety. He's made collaborative recordings with DiMuzio, Travis Bird, and the trio Tertium Quid with Bill Horist and Dave Abramson; toured for a season in his old mate Thymme Jones' band Cheer Accident; performed concerts with Olivia Block and Jon Mueller; and revived Complacency to release the LP Offstrings: Inventions For Guitar. IOS's new recordings, most notably the gorgeous 10" Sedation & Quell, distill the motives and methods that Burke has practiced throughout his career to their essence.
"Now my motivation is to create beauty, something transcendent and lasting, an experience imparting a deep impact beyond intellect and explanation. I still find myself loving volume and power and impact, and that comes out mostly in a live context. The recordings are mostly geared toward introspection, self discovery, transformation and a need to create more beauty."
Janel and Anthony
Janel and Anthony are a duo composed of Janel Leppin on cello and Anthony Pirog on guitar. The duo makes gorgeous soundscapes and performs beautifully crafted compositions interweaving noise, tonal and free improvisation throughout their sets. The two have been playing music together for over five years in the Washington DC area and recently have been expanding to New York City.
"If your soul is downright weary from the burdens of everyday life, cellist Janel Leppin and guitarist Anthony Pirog present an ideal antidote with their intimate, intuitive music. In both bucolic acoustic numbers and immersive dronescapes, the duo offers transport from mundane matters of the world." - Time Out New York.
Kingdom of Sharks
Kingdom of Sharks (named after the ocean) is the moniker of Virginia resident, Christopher S. Feltner (b. 1978). Noise synths, effects pedals, voice, breath, plastic and metal objects, didgeridoo, microphone, guitar, samples, vibrator, and imagination are the current tools utilized to manipulate sound, and study its ability to shape emotion. Opinions vary, but the most common word used to describe KoS pieces is "dark".
The Lost Civilizations experimental music project arose out of a September 13, 2008 duo performance by Mike Sebastian (tenor saxophone, saxello and bass clarinet) and T. A. Zook (basscello) at Baltimore's Hexagon performance space. Since then, the project has had a series of sessions and performances which have often featured their friends; percussionist Jason Mullinax will accompany Lost Civilizations at its performance at the Mansion at Strathmore. The project's focus is on unscored, unrehearsed music extemporaneously improvised on the spot. The Lost Civilizations website lists seventeen additional websites where the project's work is posted; several more recordings are in process and will be posted upon completion. "Lost Civilizations VII", a one hour and ten minute improvisation featuring Larry Gomez on percussion, was recently released by the Ozky e-sound label.
Low End String Quartet
The Low End String Quartet was formed by composer / guitarist Jonathan Matis. The instrumentation differs from the standard string quartet model, adding a bass, dropping a violin, and swapping a guitar where the viola should be. This "new and improved" string quartet lineup is much better suited to clubs and bars than the classical model, and is better equipped for rumbling your ribcage.
Led by composer/drummer Christian Vander, the French band Magma is one of the world's greatest avant rock bands, its music as unique and as significant as such American groups as Captain Beefheart Magic Band or the Sun Ra Arkhestra. Active for over 4 decades, it has released many works widely considered to be among the chief works avant-garde rock. Beginning in the late 1960s/early 70s, Magma combined rock music with opera/classical music, jazz, and elements of trance, Ju Ju and Soul, to create a new, strikingly original musical genre called "Zeuhl". Under the leadership of visionary Vander, Magma operated in a univers of its own making. The band sang vocals in its own, made-up language, called Kobaian, which was simultaneously incomprehensible and universally accessible. Dark, forbidding, powerful, Magma's music is intense, with wave upon wave of carefully built tension and release. It is also timeless, universal, and globally influential. Other Francophone bands followed Magma's lead in distilling musical genres in the'70s, to create the new genre Chamber Rock. In the 1990s, the Japanese band Ruins popularized Zeuhl among a new generation, invigorating it with a punk edge and kicking off a massive world-wide revival. Much of today's cutting-edge rock music is indebted to the French group and its zeuhl. But while other groups today may resemble Magma, Magma does not resemble any other group. Its live performances are legendary; Magma's first-ever Washington DC appearance is a show not to be missed.
Mercury Fools the Alchemist
Unlikely music from trio of avant classical bass (Daniel Barbiero of Nine Strings, etc), ambient guitar (Rich Sheehe of Field Shaman, The Hypocrites), and homemade "stone age synthesizer" the springamajig (Jeff Bagato, aka Tone Ghosting). Sound colors from previously parallel planes suddenly collide and become acquainted, producing chimerical cacophony for mystical journeys.
Merzbow & Richard Pinhas Duo
Masami Akita, aka Merzbow, is considered to be the originator of Japanese noise music, and is probably the single best-known noise artist worldwide. Active in music since 1979, using the name 'Merzbow' to align his projects with Dada movement aesthetics, he is described by Musique Machine as "always pushing the limits of noise and music, so the line between the two blurs". Extremely prolific, he has recorded and released over 250 CDs, including a 50 CD set, Merzbox; an infamous art-piece consisting of a continually-playing Noisembryo CD packaged inside a Mercedes 230 in a "limited edition of 1". In addition to his artistic interests, Merzbow's music integrates his social/political concerns. In recent years, he has become involved in the Animal Rights movement, writing a book on the vegan lifestyle and releasing CDs that protest animal abuses (including Japanese whale fishing, fur industry, bear hunting). Ceaselessly innovative throughout his music career, Merzbow has said that: "Each work is a new direction for me".
A composer, world-class guitarist and electronics innovator, Richard Pinhas is a key figure in the international development of electronic rock music and remains today one of France's leading experimental musicians. He is recognized as the father of an entire musical movement in France (analogous to Tangerine Dream's role in Germany) for his pioneering work in the 1970s with his band Heldon, which fused electronics, "diabolical guitar work" and rock to create a pioneering, aggressive music that was a precursor to the industrial music and techno to come.
Together Merzbow and Pinhas create music that is pure sonic alchemy: violent and soothing, hypnotic and noisy, trance-inducing and seductive. - Merzbow/Pinhas North American premiere and exclusive performance!
Opening for Univers Zero, and appearing in Washington, DC for the very first time, will be the Francophone avant-progressive ensemble Mirodor, from Montreal, Canada. Renowned worldwide for its Rock-in-Opposition-style music and elegant playing, Miriodor is Quebec province's premiere progressive group. Their superbly performed instrumental music features sophisticated yet playful compositions infused with humor.
Originally together from 1973-1981, The Muffins reformed in 1998 after 18 years apart, and have since recorded 4 CDS, a DVD, played many festivals, and there are 2 more new CDS in progress as of the summer of 2010 . The Muffins are also compiling a future release of archival material. The Muffins are still Billy Swann (bass), Tom Scott (saxes, keyboards, woodwinds) Dave Newhouse (saxes keyboards, woodwinds, and Paul Sears (Drums). The 2010 Sonic Circuits Festival will be The Muffins second appearance in Washington DC since they reformed. They will play a cross-cut of their recorded material and debut some brand new music at the Sonic Circuits 2010 Festival. The Muffins also appeared with MAGMA and Univers Zero at the RIO Festival in France in 2009.
Pilesar (pronounced pie-LEE-zur) is a percussionist and songwriter who specializes in creating quirky soundscapes, rhythmically dense improvisations and wildly eclectic live performances. Instrumentation may include drums, voice, toys, electronics, loops, broken effects pedals, borrowed instruments, thrift store finds, tapes and various environmental factors.
As both a soloist and collaborator, Pilesar has released dozens of fiercely independent recordings on his DIY label, Chameleon Dish Archives. For fans of Ween, Boredoms, Ruins, Zappa and Tom Waits.
Nobu Stowe – Lee Pembleton Project "Confusion Bleue"
Nobu Stowe (Nobuyoshi Suto, Ph.D.) was born in Maebashi, Gumma, Japan. He started taking piano lessons at age 3 and composition at age 6. Stowe moved to the US to study Music (composition) and Psychology at University of California, at Berkeley. He then moved to Chicago to pursue graduate studies at University of Chicago. After receiving the doctorate degree in Psychology, he moved to Baltimore for post-doctoral training at National Institute of Health, and currently conducts scientific researches at University of Maryland. In Baltimore, Stowe formed the post-fusion unit TRIO RICOCHET and performed at top venues, including Blue Note N.Y., The Knitting Factory, and Smithonian Institute. In addition to his composition-based piano trio, Stowe has lead/co-lead various projects exploring 'total-improvisation' collaborating with Perry Robinson, Badal Roy, Andrea Centazzo, et al. He has recently formed a new trio with the versatile Italian multireedist Achille Succi and the drum legend Barry Altschul. Since his record debut in December 2006, Stowe has released "Brooklyn Moments" and "New York Moments" on Konnex, "Hommage an Klaus Kinski", "An die Musik" and "Confusion Bleue" on Soul Note. Stowe has been featured/interviewed internationally on All About Jazz (USA), Coda Magazine (Canada), Jazz Colo(u)rs (Italy), Cuadernos de Jazz (Spain), Toma Jazz (Spain), Jazz & Tzaz (Greece), and Jazz Tokyo (Japan). Stowe regularly contributes columns and interviews (including ones with Keith Jarrett, Michel Legrand, Gary Peacock, Paul Bley, Bill Frisell, Martial Solal, Marilyn Crispell, and Chico Hamilton) for Jazz Tokyo. Stowe is the contributing author of "The Complete Catalogue of ECM Records: 1970-2010" soon to be published in Japan.
Lee Pembleton began crafting difficult music as a teenager. When his friends picked up instruments to play in punk bands, he began building his own instruments. These were used as automated orchestras, in concert with spliced tape sound collages, carefully scratched vinyl, and field recordings for his bands Cancelled, V-KaMMO, and HMADR. Single-edition cassettes were given away or traded as the currency of his noisy, esoteric realm (Sound familiar Sonic Circuiters?). In the early 90s Pembleton performed in the trio Carnival de Carnitas, sharing the message Noise Is Fun on US and Canadian tours, several cassette releases, a 7 single and numerous CD compilations. CDCs performances and releases were intended to bring audiences of the genres they loved contemporary classical, noise, free improv, performance art together. To this end they played punk clubs, jazz clubs, art galleries, and classical showcases. Not always to universal acclaim. From 1995-1999, Pembleton traveled the continental US, Alaska (including 5 weeks on a research vessel as cook), and Canada building a library of field recordings, composing solo works, and refining his musical and artistic philosophy. In 1999 he began playing out again, hooking up with his two longest running collaborators, Phil Spirito and Nobu Stowe. Pembleton has recorded and toured with Spiritos psychedelic-folk cum chamber-folk band oRSo across the continental United States and nine records. Their latest project is a series of soundtracks recorded under the nom de guerre, My Special Porpoise. Pembleton has played with Stowe in progressive rock and jazz bands. Their radically differing styles have consistently provided the greatest challenge and most satisfying resolutions of his musical career. Including two performances at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. In addition to these and many other ensembles (he thinks you'd like SleepWalks and My Daddy Ate My Eyes), Pembleton has composed and recorded numerous solo works. These are hand-packaged and released in single editions (or, rarely, in editions of 3). In 1999 Pembleton also embarked on his art career. His first installations, in LA, were audio artworks at Inshallah Gallery and The Smell. Since then his solo and collaborative works (in art as music he finds solo work greatly enhanced by the vexations of also working within collaboratives both improvisational and directed) have been performed at Mills College (Oakland), Diapason Gallery (NYC), Issue Project Room (NYC), The Berlin Office (Berlin, Germany), Project Space Kreuzberg (Berlin, Germany), Koh-i-noor Gallery (Copenhagen, Denmark), Fringe Exhibitions (LA), POST Gallery (LA), New Langton Arts (SF), TART Gallery (SF), The Luggage Store (SF), and The Oakland Museum of California (Oakland), among many others. In 2008 he received an MFA in Fine Arts, and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. His thesis, The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction, is an exploration of informations varied history as property (public and private), and how this impacts its relationship to societies and cultures (with a special focus on documentary filmmaking). He is currently completing a feature length documentary, Disembody , about his construction of a full-scale theater and founding of an art film production collaborative (recently incorporated as a non-profit), 23E Studios, in Los Angeles. He began shooting for his next film, Circe , in April in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is also helming 23Es largest project to date, Earthbound Moon , a non-contiguous sculpture garden, spanning the face of the Earth. Confirmed installations for the garden are happening in California, New Hampshire, Texas, Oregon, and Illinois in the coming year. Globally, installations in Crete, Greece; Baja, Mexico; and Cairo, Egypt are scheduled for 2011 and 2012.
Ross Bonadonna – Guitar, Alto Sax, Bass Clarinet
Ross Bonadonna was born in Brooklyn NY, he started playing guitar at the age of seven, and studied privately with various teachers almost continuously until the age of 32, while playing in numerous band and doing commercial music for a living, at that time he opened Wombat Recording Co. where he has engineered and produced many projects. He currently plays with Eric Mingus, Ethan Winogrand, Paula Carino, and quite a few other bands and projects in the studio and on the road.
Ray Sage (a.k.a. Race Age)
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Ray Sage has been active in New York City since 1987, after stints teaching English in Tokyo, getting a BA in Philosophy from the U of W in Seattle and attending high school in Detroit Mi. The son of a musician, Ray has continued the family trade mesmerizing audiences throughout the US, Japan and Europe. Coming to the lower east side of NYC during the artistically fertile 80's, Ray joined the legendary, wild noise rock punkparty band outfit, the Reverb Motherfuckers, who defined the extremes of what a live NYC show could be. In addition to his role as Chief of Race Age Inc., and cycling in NYC everyday, Ray Sage is a versatile drummer and spontaneous composer with fire and imagination. Ray has performed with both rockers and free-improvisers alike. Recording projects include: the Siwula, Stowe & Sage Trio in 2006 with Dom Manasi and the Nabobs with Bruce Eisenbeil, Mario Rechtern, and Wilbo Wright. Ray has produced, yet unreleased, recording projects from 2007-09 with improvising greats Borah Bergman, William Parker, Joe McPhee, Perry Robinson, Burton Greene, Bruce Eisenbeil, Francois Grillot, Brian Groder, Rob Brown, Eri Yamamoto, Steve Swell, Louie Belogenis, and Michael Bisio. Ray Sage is integrated into the improvised fabric of several recent releases on Konnex and has past and current improvisation projects in New York with Lisle Ellis, Reuben Radding, Nobu Stowe, Blaise Siwula, Adam Lane, Charles Cohen, Steve Cohn, Motoko Shimizu, Dogbowl, Will Redman, Ron Anderson, Stephen Tunney, Jennifer Blowdryer, John Hall, Alan Goodman and Deb Yamak. Joining W.O.O. with Bonnie Kane in 1990 and never stopping, Ray has made numerous indy releases and many European tours with W.O.O. and Mambo Mantis: Bonnie Kane, Blaise Siwula, Jim Fourniadis, Chris Forsyth, and Ernesto Diaz-Infant. Ray has also toured and recorded with Ron Anderson in several projects, including PAK. Dubbed "the unending force", Ray Sage rolls the drums like thick clouds moving fast across the sky - with shadows and wisps passing across the land, influencing the color of everything, There are periods of delicate hardcore rhythmic calms that transform into an intricate momentum of sheer power that rock every molecule. The astounded audience is often initially left in a state of stunned silence which rapidly gives way to wild cheers.
The DC ensemble, which performs exclusively with turntables as their instruments, premieres a new work for multiple turntables playing locked-groove vinyl records, creating a sound that is minimal, pulse-like and hypnotic. 'The Ancient World Was All Silence' (2010) warmly embraces the compositional elements of contemporary turntablism alongside historic constructs such as Fluxus prepared instrumentation, Happenstance, and the Futurist manifesto L'arte dei Rumori.
Li Tieqiao is a Chinese composer, saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist and curator based in Beijing. He is an extended techniques player and an outstanding experimentalist. In his improvisation he bravely experiments in search for a new expression between the borders of jazz, rock and electronic noise. Born in the Hunan province in 1973, Li Tieqiao first learned to play the Bamboo Flute as a child, before picking up the Trombone at the age of 17. It wasn't until 22 he decided on the Saxophone as his primary tool of expression. Before starting out as a full time improviser and experimentalist, Tieqiao was a member of member of Chinese folk/rock/jazz/experimental bands including Glorious Pharmacy, Ping Pong Band, Beautiful melon 9+2 Improvisation Ensemble. From 2005 to 2007 Tieqiao lived in Oslo, where he interacted with a number of Norwegian musicians. During his time in Norway he actively explored the experimental and improvisation scene in Norway. During the two years he organized and participated in more than 50 concerts and played with more than 80 musicians, including Paal Nilssen-Love, Ingebrigt Harker Flaten, Maja Ratkje, Ketil Gutvik, Rolf-Erik Nystrom etc. It was also in this period he started to experiment with electronic effects and saxophone. In September 2007 he returned to Beijing where he has become one of the most important persons in the rapidly expanding scene for experimental and improvised music in China. Besides performing live, Tieqiao is also actively nurturing China's fledgling avant-garde scene. In March 2007, he was the maincurator behind, "Sally Can't Dance", a festival of experimental sounds held in Beijing. Moreover, as the initiator and organizer of the Beijing Free Improvisation Alliance he is a serious collaborator to the free improvisation scene in China. In addition to this he is actively cooperation with experimental dance groups in developing a new expression combining improvised music and dance. Lately his music has also been used in feature films. Furthermore, he is one of the founders of Sound of East: Sino-International Cultural Exchange Company. In 2009 December Li Tieqiao was invited to participate to represent Chinese contemporary music at the Europalia Festival 2009 inBelgium. In connection to this he also made a tour in Germany where he, among others, performed together with Peter Brotzmann in Wuppertal. Li Tieqiao has been performing at a number of festivals in China and abroad including Organ 2 (Norway), Early Wind (Germany), Midi Music festival (China), Sally Can't Dance (China) , 2pi (China), Notch(China), Europalia Festival (Belgium).
Li Tieqiao's appearance made possible in part by High Zero.
Pat Gillis (b. 1965, USA) plays synthesizers, effects, samples and tape manipulation. Two well-received releases, BACK TO MINUS (2008) and MAGNETIC INJURIES (2009), are drawn from public performance and private rehearsal recordings with minimal editing and no remixing. "As more electronic noise artists jump the fence and concern themselves with propulsive hypnogogic psychedelia, Gillis probes the dark side of electronic anima. Self-described as "Noise AggroAmbient," I see these improvisations as undulating, bio-morphic structures, festering in the swamp lands of an unhealthy imagination." - Derek Morton, http://www.furthernoise.org.
The francophone Belgian band Univers Zero is legendary for their uncompromising musical vision – a sound and stance Keyboard described as "Chamber music for the Apocalypse". Simultaneously medieval & modern, its distinctive, dark and elegantly beautiful music has set the standard for "chamber rock", a New Music hybrid of Francophone origin and worldwide appeal that UZ pioneered. UZ's singular sound derives from its unique instrumentation (piano and keyboards, violin, clarinets saxophone, oboe, bassoon, English horn, electric bass, drums) combined with brooding gothic imagery, elements of European folk and other world musics, the iconoclasm and intensity of rock, the relentless sonic experimentation of the avant garde, and leader and composer Daniel Denis' classically-inspired writing style, influenced by early 20th Century avant garde classical composers. In the hands of some of the best musicians in Europe, these factors result in a group on the cutting edge of creating a new, vital, and unique fusion of classical and rock music. The band has remained on the cutting edge of New Music throughout the course of a career that began in the '70s and continues today, stretching and disintegrating the boundaries of classical and rock music alike to create a new, vital, and unique fusion. Today, several decades after Univers Zero first forged its unique sound, critics cite its oeuvre as the precursor to the best avant-garde rock and classical music of the present day, from post-rock, associated with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Secret Chiefs 3, Kayo Dot, Tortoise and other instrumentally-based rock bands – to the numerous late 20th/early 21st century classical chamber ensembles integrating rock into their repertoire, such as Bang on a Can, Kronos Quartet and others. When Cuneiform recently released a remastered reissue of the band's self-titled debut album, critics who heard the band's music for the first time called it a "revelation", "..the hidden source for every one of today's avant-garde rock bands" [Organ]. - Second ever show in the USA & Washington premiere!
A Washington DC based project designed to explore freedom and possibility in three voices, contextualized by cultural disharmony. The limitations of a trio are quickly dissolved by their use of looping devices which create infinite possibilities in sound and form. Vector Trio is: Scott Forrey - trumpets, loops, effects, electronics; Gary Rouzer - basses, loops, electronics, found objects; Marshall Hughey - drums, landscape percussion, handsonic. Their latest direction, mixes industrial noise, extended improvisatory techniques, fractured funk, and film score techniques with a no-holds-barred approach to improvisation.
Called »the godfather of american noise« by Ukrainian MTV, J. Surak is a veteran experimenter from Washington DC, who works in the grey areas between free improv, drone, musique concrete and composed musics.
Since his early recordings under the name -1348-, Surak established himself in the international hometaper underground network of the 1980s, releasing tapes on the his own Watergate Tapes imprint, along with such artists as Controlled Bleeding, F/i, and Kapotte Muziek; and collaborating with icons like Zan Hoffman, Crawling with Tarts, and John Hudak. At the same time Surak performed with the notorious DC area industrial band New Carrollton.
The 1990s found Surak living and performing in Russia. There he formed the group Sovmestnoye Predpriyatiye which created site speciﬁc works using found materials and sounds. At the turn of the millenium Surak created a new duo, V. which quickly blew out of the its initial framework of free improv into a unit that pushed the limits of composition, constantly reinventing itself with each recording and performance. After 11 albums in 2 years, the duo disbanded, leaving Surak to further continue explorations under his solo project called Violet. Found objects, microcassettes, damaged cds, prepared acoustic instruments, and old record players outﬁtted with foil are the tools of choice. Violet has collaborated with Alexei Borisov, Frans De Waard, Betrand Denzler, Michael Gendreau, Andrey Kiritchenko, Kotra, Francisco Lopez, Andreas Tilliander and many others. Since 2002 Violet has released numerous recordings in a variety of formats and has performed across the USA and Europe.
Dave Vosh (b. 1955 ) has been working with electronic and electroacoustic music since the early 70`s and has been performing live since 2005 - solo and in various duo / trio combinations. his influences come from the "classic" era of electronic music, the 50`s and 60`s, and he strives to keep those ideals relevent looking into the future.
Keith Fullerton Whitman
Keith Fullerton Whitman is a composer/performer obsessed with electronic music; from its mid-century origins in Europe through its contemporary worldwide incarnation as "digital music."
Currently he is working towards implementing a complete system for live performance of improvised electronic music that incorporates elements from nearly every era: a reel-to-reel tape machine, a selection of small "jerry-rigged" / "circuit-bent" battery-powered sound-producing boxes, an analog modular synthesizer, an early "consumer" home-computer, and at the core; a contemporary computer running a custom-built Max-MSP based modular system that both controls these elements and acts as a central conduit into which their sounds are captured/collected, processed, then diffused to up to eight separate channels/speakers/amplifiers.
He is also, at present, composing an as-of-yet untitled piece for Egyptian Oud, Serge and Doepfer Analog Modular Synthesizers, and computer control/processing. It is his first through-composed long-form work.
Keith Fullerton Whitman's appearance made possible in part by High Zero.
Venue Information & Directions
La Maison Française
PLEASE NOTE: A Picture ID is required to enter the Embassy compound
The Embassy is centrally located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC, close to the Georgetown University Hospital. Free parking is available on the embassy compound. Also there is plenty of free parking on nearby side streets.
The Embassy of France is located on lines D3 (morning only) and D6.
The Embassy is about a 30 minute walk from Dupont Circle Station on the Redline.
Strathmore is located immediately adjacent to the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station, on the Red Line. Follow the walkway out of the metro station to the left entrance of the Metro Garage. Take the stairs or elevators to the 4th level, and walk across the sky bridge into the Music Center's main entrance. Walk across the Mansion parking lot to the Mansion entrance.
Metro Bus Routes: J5
Ride-On Bus Routes:
Route 6 To Wheaton Metro Station, Parkside and Rockspring Park
Route 37 To Potomac (Potomac Community Center)-Tuckerman Lane
Route 46 To Medical Center Metro Station and Montgomery College
Route 96 To Montgomery Mall/Rock Spring Park
All Buses stop at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station, follow the Metro directions above.
Strathmore Mansion is conveniently located North right off the Capital Beltway (I-495). Parking for events at the Mansion is free in the Mansion lot on a space available basis. Enter the Mansion lot at 10701 Rockville Pike.
Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
2700 F St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20566 (map)
The Foggy Bottom/George Washington University Station (on the Orange and Blue lines, at 23rd and I streets, NW), is the stop closest to the Kennedy Center. From there it is a short walk via New Hampshire Avenue OR use our FREE Kennedy Center Shuttle (signs are towards the left as you exit the escalator). The shuttle departs every 15 minutes from 9:45 a.m.-Midnight.
The 80 bus goes to the Kennedy Center.
The performance parking rate at the John F Kennedy Center is $18.
Parking space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The fee is to be paid upon the driver's arrival at any Kennedy Center garage entrance. All major credit cards accepted: MC, Visa, AMEX.
Fairfax Old Town Hall
Vienna Station on the Orange line. A shuttle bus will be available to take concert goers to Old Town Hall.
There is plenty of free parking in the lot adjacent to Old Town Hall and on street parking in the neighborhood.
Silver Spring on the Red Line.
On street parking and lot out front and on the side
Information for out of town visitors
For those traveling by plane, Washington DC is serviced by three area airports.
Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Reagan National Airport (DCA)
Information for both can be found on the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority website
Dulles Airport is about 25 minutes from downtown Washington DC. Travelers can take the Washington Flyer bus service from the airport to West Falls Church Metro Station on the Orange Line.
Reagan National Metro Station steps away from the airport entrance on the Blue Line. A short 10 minute ride will take you to downtown Washington.
Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI)
To Washington via Metro:
Washington Metro provides a direct connection between BWI and the Greenbelt Metro Station. The BWI Express/B30 service runs every 40 minutes, 7 days a week to the Greenbelt Metro Station, which is located on the Green Line of the Washington Metro System. Buses run 25 times each weekday and 21 times on Saturdays and Sunday, every 40 minutes. For more information call 202-637-7000 or go to http://wmata.com.
Being a major tourist destination, Washington DC has a large selection of hotels. We suggest using websites such as priceline.com to find the best prices.
Plan your trip around town using Metro or MetroBus:
Washington Metro Area Transit Authority Trip Planner