Saturday, April 3, 8:00 pm Littlefield Concert Hall
Lore of Moments
Composer, pianist, and electronic musician, Wayne Horvitz has performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America, collaborating with Marty Ehrlich, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, Robin Holcomb, Peggy Lee, Ron Miles, Butch Morris, William Parker, Bobby Previte, Julian Priester, Sara Schoenbeck, Dylan van der Schyff, Philip Wilson, and John Zorn among many others. He has been commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet The Composer, Kronos String Quartet, Seattle Chamber Players, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Collaborators include choreographers Paul Taylor and Liz Lerman, filmmaker Gus Van Sandt, and theater director Gordon Edelstein.
Horvitz has produced records for Eddie Palmieri, Fontella Bass, Robin Holcomb and Bill Frisell among others. He was awarded the Seattle Artist Trust Fellowship (2001) , the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture fellowship (2003 & 2006), Rockefeller Map Grant (2002) for JOE HILL, 16 Actions (for Chamber Orchestra, Voices and Improviser), and an NEA American Masterpieces grant (2008) for These Hills of Glory (for string quartet and improviser). Ensembles include The President, Pigpen, Zony Mash, The HMP Trio, The New York Composers Orchestra, The 4 Plus 1 Ensemble, Sweeter Than the Day and The Gravitas Quartet.
Lê Quan Ninh
As a classical trained percussionist, Lê Quan Ninh started his career in contemporary music ensembles. He is a founder member of Quatuor Hêlios, a percussion quartet that performed and recorded, among others, the percussion works of John Cage. Their last creation, Seul à Seuls by Georges Aperghis, premiered in late 2006 at the Musica Festival in Strasbourg (France). As an improvisor, Ninh participates at numerous meetings in Europe and North America, performing regularly in forms that combine improvised acoustic & electro-acoustic music, 'performance art', dance, poetry, experimental cinema, photography and video.
In 2006, with the cellist Martine Altenburger, he founded the ensemble ]h[iatus, a contemporary music ensemble whose members are both interpreters and improvisers. A new work commissioned from composer Vinko Globokar was premiered in September 2009. Ninh also works regularly with dancers—another recent project is Delay vs Trio, a piece using computers along with dancers Franck Beaubois and Patricia Kuypers, where a movie is 'built' step by step on the spot. In 2009 he collaborated with choreographer Clara Cornil to create (H)AND(S), a piece for 3 dancers and 2 musicians. Ninh's discography numbers more than 30 CDs on both European and North American labels.
Saxophonist, composer, and sound artist Briggan Krauss received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle, Washington), where he studied electronic music and advanced theory with the composer Jarrad Powell. While in Seattle, Briggan met many amazing musicians with whom he continues to collaborate. He also joined the legendary avant-electric group Pig Pen, which was the beginning of an ongoing association with Pig Pen leader Wayne Horvitz. In 1994, he moved to Brooklyn, New York.
Over the past fifteen years, Briggan has performed and recorded with John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Bill Frisell, Skerik, Eyvind Kang, Robin Holcomb, Anthony Coleman, Steven Bernstein's Sex Mob, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Skuli Sverrisson, Jim Black, Ikue Mori, Joey Baron, Kato Hideki, Satoko Fuji, The New York Composer's Orchestra, and many others. As a studio musician, he can be heard on recordings by artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Trey Anastasio, Joan Wasser, and Antony. He has also participated in several shows produced by Hal Willner, including tributes to Neil Young, Doc Pomus, and Leonard Cohen, playing alongside artists such as Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Laurie Anderson, Beth Orton, and Cat Power, among many others.
In addition to appearing on more than forty recordings as a sideman, Briggan has led several projects, including the innovative trio Good Kitty (with Chris Speed and Mike Sarin), award-winning trio Sex Mob (with Wayne Horvitz and Kenny Wolleson), Descending To End (a solo studio project), and Lensing, a chamber piece for eight musicians and conductor that was commissioned by Roulette in 2002. Briggan continues to work in the field of electronic music (with Wayne Horvitz, Jim Black, Skuli Sverrisson, and others) and collaborates with the abstract painter and filmmaker Raha Raissnia on a variety of projects called Systems. Together they have presented Systems in New York City galleries, in performance venues, and at the Anthology Film Archive. Bill Frisell's CD Unspeakable, on which Briggan appeared, won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2004.
Chris Brown (b. 1953, Mendota, Illinois) composer, pianist, and electronic musician, creates music for acoustic instruments with interactive electronics, for computer networks, and for improvising ensembles. Collaboration and improvisation are consistent themes in his work, as well as the invention and performance of new electronic instruments. These range from electro-acoustic instruments (Gazamba, 1982) to acoustic instrument transformation systems (Lava, 1992), and audience interactive FM radio installations (Transmissions, 2004) with Guillermo Galindo. He also writes his own interactive music software for use in both compositions and improvisations. In 2005 he created TeleSon, a composition for two ReacTable instruments performed in a joint concert between Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria and the International Computer Music Conference in Barcelona, Spain. He has been a member for over 20 years of the pioneering computer network music band THE HUB. As a performer he has recorded music by Henry Cowell, Luc Ferrari, José Maceda, John Zorn, David Rosenboom, Larry Ochs, Glenn Spearman, and Wadada Leo Smith; as an improvisor he has recorded with Anthony Braxton, Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Ikue Mori, Alvin Curran, William Winant, Biggi Vinkeloe, Don Robinson, and Frank Gratkowski, among many others. Recordings of his music are available on Tzadik, Pogus, Intakt, Rastascan, Ecstatic Peace, Red Toucan, SIRR, and Artifact labels. In October 2009 he was a featured composer/performer at the Donaueschingen MusikTage festival in Germany. In February 2010 he will be co-producing a revival of José Maceda's classic environmental radio work Ugnayan at the University of the Philippines, as well as performing his own music for multiple channel radio transmission in collaboration with Filipino media artists. Chris is co-director of the Center for Contemporary Music.
Beth Custer is a San Francisco based composer, performer, bandleader, clarinet teacher, and the proprietor of BC Records. She is a founding member of the notorious silent film soundtrack purveyors the Club Foot Orchestra, 4th world ambient ensemble Trance Mission, the quintet of esteemed clarinetists Clarinet Thing, the trip-hop duo Eighty Mile Beach, and the Latin-jazz-rock influenced Doña Luz 30 Besos. She now leads The Beth Custer Ensemble. Beth composes for film, television, installations and the concert stage. Recent commissions include A Trip Down Market Street 1905/2005, a live outdoor cinema event by Melinda Stone produced by the Exploratorium; The Ballad of Pancho & Lucy, a musical for Campo Santo Theatre; and Bernal Heights Suite for the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. Recent awards include a Meet The Composer New Residency grant; two residencies at the Marin Headlands Art Center; a Phyllis Wattis Residency at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; a McKnight Fellowship; two San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist grants; a Gerbode Award; an Argosy Foundation recording grant; and an Aaron Copland Recording fund award.
James Fei (b. Taipei, Taiwan) moved to the US in 1992 to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. He has since been active as a composer and performer on saxophones and live electronics. Works by Fei have been performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, MATA Micro Orchestra and Noord-Hollands Philharmonisch Orkester. Recordings can be found on Leo Records, Improvised Music from Japan, CRI, Krabbesholm, and Organized Sound. Compositions for Fei's own ensemble of four alto saxophones focus on physical processes of saliva, fatigue, reeds crippled by cuts and the threshold of audible sound production, while his sound installations and performance of live electronics often employs electronic and acoustic feedback. Fei joined the Mills faculty in 2006.
Fred Frith (b.1949) is a songwriter, composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist best known for the reinvention of the electric guitar that began with Guitar Solos in 1974. He learned his craft as both improviser and composer playing in rock bands and creating music in the recording studio. Much of his compositional output has been commissioned by choreographers and filmmakers, which led to a 2007 Career Award from the Music on Film-Film on Music Festival in Prague. Frith's work has also been performed by Ensemble Modern, Hieronymus Firebrain, the Arditti Quartet, Ground Zero, Robert Wyatt, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Concerto Köln, and the Rova Sax Quartet, among many others. He continues to perform internationally, most recently with Evelyn Glennie, Chris Cutler, John Zorn, Eye to Ear (a septet performing selections of his film music) and Cosa Brava. Frith is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel's award-winning documentary Step Across the Border, named one of the 100 most important films in movie history by Cahiers du Cinéma. In 2008, Frith was awarded the Demetrio Stratos Prize for lifetime achievement in experimental music. He has taught improvisation and composition at Mills College since 1999.
Roscoe Mitchell's innovation as a solo performer, role in the resurrection of long-neglected woodwind instruments of extreme register, and reassertion of the composer into what has traditionally been an improvisational form have placed him at the forefront of the international music community for more than four decades. A leader of avant-garde jazz and contemporary music, Mitchell is a founding member of the renowned Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and Trio Space.
Beginning his distinguished career in Chicago in the sixties, Mitchell is the founder (or founding member) of numerous ensembles and collectives, including the Roscoe Mitchell Sextet, the Roscoe Mitchell Quartet, the Sound Ensemble, and the Note Factory. He is the recipient of many honors, such as Jazz Personality of the Year (Madison, Wisconsin), Madison Music Legend (Madison magazine), Honorary Citizen (Atlanta, Georgia), the Outstanding Service to Jazz Education Award (National Association of Jazz Educators), and an Image Award (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).
Highly prolific, Mitchell has recorded more than 85 albums and written more than 250 compositions. In 2003, he was selected as artist-in-residence for the Chicago Jazz Festival, and in 2004, he received a commission from the City of Munich to compose three works, which premiered at the Symposium on Improvised Music. In 2006, he premiered two compositions, White Tiger Disguise and Far Side, at the prestigious Merkin Concert Hall.
Mitchell has received numerous grants and awards from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest Jazz Masters, Michigan State University, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique in Paris. He has taught at the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the California Institute of the Arts, the AACM School of Music, and the Creative Music Studio, while holding workshops and residencies worldwide. He was appointed to the Darius Milhaud Chair in Composition at Mills College in 2007.
Kanoko Nishi is a performer currently based in SF/Bay Area, CA. Although her primary training is in classical piano performance, her most recent interest has been in improvisational music making, both in a solo context and in collaborations with other artists. She has been exploring on the piano, as well as on her second instrument, koto (13, or 17-string Japanese zither), various extended techniques, in addition to more traditional techniques, in order to widen the range of vocabularies on each instrument. She has studied with, and was inspired primarily by improvisers Fred Frith, Joëlle Léandre, and Kazue Sawai. Her frequent collaborators so far include: Jacob Felix Heule, Jon Raskin, Theresa Wong, Maryclare Brzytwa, and Shayna Dunkelman, but she has performed with various other musicians in the Bay Area, as well as in Europe. Kanoko also enjoys collaborating with dancers, such as Paige Sorvillo, Yuko Kaseki, Isak Immanuel, Sherwood Chen, as well as poets and visual artists to push the limits of her musical language and find ways to communicate with other forms of performance art.