Press

biography: Han-earl Park

16 words (official, public biography)

Han-earl Park (박한얼) has been using the same bio for four and a half years.

46 words

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) (www.busterandfriends.com) crosses borders and performs fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, always traditional, open improvised musics. Ensembles include Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, Eris 136199 with Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora, and Numbers with Richard Barrett.

95 words (conventional program note edition—short)

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) (www.busterandfriends.com), crossing borders and performing fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, always traditional, open improvised musics, has performed across Europe and the USA.

Ensembles include Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, Eris 136199 with Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora, and Numbers with Richard Barrett. Park is the constructor of the machine improviser io 0.0.1 beta++, and of Metis 9, a playbook of improvisative tactics. He has performed with Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Dunmall, Evan Parker, Mark Sanders, Josh Sinton, Gino Robair, Tim Perkis and Franziska Schroeder.

140 words

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) (www.busterandfriends.com) has been crossing borders and performing fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, always traditional, open improvised musics for twenty years. He has performed in clubs, theaters, art galleries, concert halls, and (ad-hoc) alternative spaces across Europe and the USA.

Ensembles include Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, Eris 136199 with Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora, and Numbers with Richard Barrett. Park is the constructor of the machine improviser io 0.0.1 beta++, and instigator of Metis 9, a playbook of improvisative tactics. He has performed with Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Dunmall, Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Mark Sanders, Josh Sinton, Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen, Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, Andrew Drury, Pat Thomas and Franziska Schroeder. His recordings have been released by labels including Slam Productions, Creative Sources and DUNS Limited Edition.

176 words (program note—long)

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) (www.busterandfriends.com) has been crossing borders and performing fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, always traditional, open improvised musics for twenty years. He has performed in clubs, theaters, art galleries, concert halls, and (ad-hoc) alternative spaces across Europe and the USA.

Ensembles include Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, Eris 136199 with Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora, and Numbers with Richard Barrett. Park is the constructor of the machine improviser io 0.0.1 beta++, and instigator of Metis 9, a playbook of improvisative tactics. He has performed with Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Dunmall, Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Mark Sanders, Josh Sinton, Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen, Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, Andrew Drury, Pat Thomas and Franziska Schroeder, and as part of large ensembles led by Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker and Pauline Oliveros. His recordings have been released by labels including Slam Productions, Creative Sources and DUNS Limited Edition.

Park taught improvisation at University College Cork, and founded and curated Stet Lab, a space for improvised music in Cork.

262 words (verbose)

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) (www.busterandfriends.com) has been crossing borders and performing fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, always traditional, open improvised musics for twenty years. He has performed in clubs, theaters, art galleries, concert halls, and (ad-hoc) alternative spaces across Europe and the USA.

Park engages a radical, liminal, cyborg virtuosity in which mind, body and artifact collide. He is driven by the social and revolutionary potential of real-time interactive performance in which tradition and practice become creative problematics. As a constructor of musical automata, he is interested in partial, and partially frustrating, context-specific artifacts; artifacts that amplify social relations and corporeal identities and agencies.

Ensembles include Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, Eris 136199 with Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora, and Numbers with Richard Barrett. Park is the constructor of the machine improviser io 0.0.1 beta++, and instigator of Metis 9, a playbook of improvisative tactics. He has performed with Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Dunmall, Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Mark Sanders, Josh Sinton, Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen, Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, Andrew Drury, Pat Thomas and Franziska Schroeder, and as part of large ensembles led by Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker and Pauline Oliveros.

Festival appearances include Freedom of the City (London), Sonorities (Belfast), ISIM (New York), dialogues festival (Edinburgh), CEAIT (Los Angeles) and Sonic Acts (Amsterdam). His recordings have been released by labels including Slam Productions, Creative Sources and DUNS Limited Edition.

Park taught improvisation at University College Cork, and founded and curated Stet Lab, a space for improvised music in Cork.

470 words

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) (www.busterandfriends.com) has been crossing borders and performing fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, always traditional, open improvised musics for twenty years. He has performed in clubs, theaters, art galleries, concert halls, and (ad-hoc) alternative spaces in Austria, Denmark, Germany, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland and the USA.

Park engages a radical, liminal, cyborg virtuosity in which mind, body and artifact collide. He is driven by the social and revolutionary potential of real-time interactive performance in which tradition and practice become creative problematics. As a constructor of musical automata, he is interested in partial, and partially frustrating, context-specific artifacts; artifacts that amplify social relations and corporeal identities and agencies.

Ensembles include Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, Eris 136199 with Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora, and Numbers with Richard Barrett. Park is the constructor of the machine improviser io 0.0.1 beta++, and instigator of Metis 9, a playbook of improvisative tactics. He has performed with Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Dunmall, Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Mark Sanders, Josh Sinton, Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen, Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, Andrew Drury, Pat Thomas and Franziska Schroeder. He has guested with Gargantius Effect (Murray Campbell and Randy McKean), the Mark Hanslip/Dominic Lash/Phillip Marks Trio, and Swim This (Nick Didkovsky, Gerry Hemingway and Michael Lytle); performed as part of large ensembles led by Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker and Pauline Oliveros; and participated in improvisative meetings with Gerald Cleaver, Andrea Parkins, Tom Rainey, Mike Pride, Anna Webber, Jack Wright and Ingrid Laubrock. He has studied with improviser-composers Wadada Leo Smith, Richard Barrett, Joel Ryan, Mark Trayle, Chick Lyall and David Rosenboom, composers Clarence Barlow and Marina Adamia, and interactive media artist Sara Roberts.

Festival appearances include Freedom of the City (London), Sonorities (Belfast), International Society for Improvised Music (New York), dialogues festival (Edinburgh), VAIN Live Art (Oxford), Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology Festival (Los Angeles) and Sonic Acts (Amsterdam). In addition to numerous self-released albums, his recordings have been released by Slam Productions, Creative Sources, Vicmod Records, FrImp, Owlhouse Recordings and DUNS Limited Edition. His music has been featured on anthologies released by Bridge Records, farpoint recordings and Frog Peak Music. He has performed live on Resonance FM (London), Drift Radio (Scotland), and KVMR 89.5 FM (Nevada County), interviewed on RTÉ Morning Ireland and RTÉ Nova (Ireland), and his recordings have been broadcast around the world.

Park taught improvisation at University College Cork (2006–2011), and founded and curated (2007–2011) Stet Lab, a space for improvised music in Cork. He is a recipient of grants from the Arts Council of Ireland (2007, 2008 and 2009) and Music Network (2009 and 2010), and of the Ahmanson Foundation Scholarship (1999) and the CalArts Scholarship (1999 and 1999–2000).

publicity images

Han-earl Park (publicity images)

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press and quotes

“Guitarist Han-earl Park is a musical philosopher…. Expect unexpected things from Park, who is a delightful shape-shifter….”

— Brian Morton (Point of Departure)

“Kaleidoscopic music, a rubato flux of superimposed noises in which lightning-fast progression from one galvanising sound event (noise thru silence) to another….”

— Tim Owen (Dalston Sound)

“Though short, percussive, hard-to-notate sounds dominate Han-earl Park’s sound, he does utilize the totality of the guitar’s sonorities—just not in the proportions demanded by the nostalgic (retrospective, reactionary, etc.) owners of major media….”

— Stanley Zappa (The New York City Jazz Record)

“Ein glorioser Bastard aus Noise und süßer Träumerei.”

— Rigobert Dittmann (Bad Alchemy)

“Park is the one to pay close attention to… the development of his ideas is fascinating and very logical….”

— Jeph Jerman (The Squid’s Ear)

“Park is clearly some kind of obscure genius—either a genius improviser or a genius charlatan, and I’m inclined towards the former….”

— Dave Foxall (a Jazz Noise)

“Pieces of dismantled gestures, destabilizing timbres, and impressive synergy.”

— François Couture (Monsieur Délire)

“Han-earl Park’s relationship to the guitar is something akin to John Butcher and the saxophone. Both know how to fill a space and manipulate amplification with skill, but there’s no way of predicting what sounds will emerge as the next moment approaches.”

— Marc Medwin (The New York City Jazz Record)

“Park applies every technique to his detuned ax—tapping, sliding, muting, twisting the machine heads. It’s simultaneously disciplined and barbaric.”

— Greg Burk (MetalJazz)

“Han-earl Park… is as at home in underground Noise as he is dueting with free jazz heroes like Paul Dunmall. Park uses pedals to smudge and smear chords or rolls out strange robotic grumblings, a technician playing electricity as much as the guitar.”

— Daniel Spicer (Jazzwise)

“Remarkable strategies from the guitarist which involve investing each string with a different weight as he coaxes tones from near the machine head all the way down past the bridge.”

— Ken Waxman (JazzWord)

“Park is one of those scary polymath guys who seems to have a tremendous facility for music, both improvising and composing it, and he has played in many groups and at many festivals, appearing around the globe in seemingly ubiquitous fashion. Scariest of all is his intense and speedy guitar technique, which… presents a rush of tangled information that would require a bank of dedicated computers to solve it….”

— Ed Pinsent (The Sound Projector)

“Han-earl Park’s idiosyncratic guitar style was beguiling, his array of tiny, sharp sounds glinting like fragments of broken glass.”

— Scott McMillan (The Liminal)

“Park is especially adept at steering the group down side streets they might have otherwise ignored and utilizes simple techniques to arrive at unique sounds….”

— Tom Burris (Free Jazz)

“Music both spontaneous and premeditated, music that launches into several directions at a time…. Lively, relevant, dizzying electroacoustic music; music that seems to be daring us to try and catch it.”

— François Couture (Monsieur Délire)

“An acoustic lucid computational delirium, whose trajectory is impossible to outguess.”

— Vito Camarretta (Chain D.L.K.)

“Careful, crafty and well-played with that restrained yet fractured guitar that sounds so good. Han-earl’s sound seems to be in between Derek Bailey and Philip Gibbs.”

— Bruce Lee Gallanter (Downtown Music Gallery)

“Han-earl Park’s guitar sits somewhere halfway between Joe Pass and Derek Bailey, being quite aware of the jazz vocabulary and the art of comping, though of course filtered through a modern sensibility, starting with timbre….”

— Beppe Colli (CloudsandClocks)

“It is… impractical to verbally interpret the bazillions of events that this CD warrants, for the joy of individuals who take pleasure in getting their brain zapped and scrambled by the rivalry between transonic beauty and extreme structural atomization. This is in fact a full hour of frantically jagged live improvisation…. Indeed the methods through which the (mostly) clean sounds of the electric guitar get stretched, warped, mangled and thrown back at the source demolish any propensity to rumination. As if a premix of Fred Frith, Hans Reichel and—why not—Christopher Willits had been subjected to a journey inside the circuits of a billboard. Mere seconds before its explosion, that is.”

— Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

“Imaginatively dissonant barbedly-wire phrases and false-harmonic scatterings….”

— Ed Pinsent (The Sound Projector)

“I think, without exception, there has not yet been an opening to any one of his compositions where I have not had an adverse reaction, either repelling me back in my seat or leaving me shaking my head in exasperation of the noise coming out of my speakers. But the thing of it is, without exception, I find myself listening straight through to the final note. Somehow Han-earl Park finds a way to convert my ears to his music one song at a time…. There is no other artist in which I describe this way.”

— Dave Sumner (Bird is the Worm)

“Free jazz, in no uncertain terms. I don’t know what it is about Han-earl’s groups’ sounds. Ten seconds in, I think to myself, ‘Man, this isn’t my thing.’ But by the time the tune is over, I realize that I’m totally into it and enjoying it. If a musician can convert my ears within the span of one tune, in my eyes, that’s a sign of talent.”

All About Jazz

“Le corde tese di Park imbastiscono un plateau scabro ma di lungo e persistente respiro, vivente nelle articolazioni e nella tessitura della sua fisica elettroacustica….”

— Romualdo Del Noce (Jazz Convention)

“Innovative…”

The Computer Music Journal

“Electro weirdo…”

— BBC – Collective

“Doesn’t sound like sewage!”

Kalvos and Damian’s New Music Bazaar

“Beautiful music, incredibly focused…!”

— Nick Didkovsky (Doctor Nerve / Punos Music)

“Bandy-legged Han-earl Park (gitah)… drugged the ref and delivered a few kidney punches with a horseshoe in his boxing mitt.”

— Jamie Smith (Owlhouse Recordings)

interviews (online)

What are your non-musical influences?

“Politics.

Even in these so-called cynical times I find politics (in, for example, the interactions between basement-level activism, and the, to quote Zappa, ‘entertainment division of the military-industrial complex’; in the friction between good, sometimes great, journalism, and the for-profit-lubricated popularity-contest we call publishing) inspiring.

Other things…?

Animators whose subject matter are things like movement, weight, physics, physiology, intent, volition, presence, personality, empathy, when their materials, in many respects, are working against those expressions. It helps to remind those of us who work in practices where it is too easy to take those same things—movement, weight, physics, physiology, etc.—for granted because they are so effortlessly part of the form. [Read the rest…]

‘7 Questions for Han-earl Park’, Dave Foxall (a Jazz Noise)

“Descrivo Metis 9 come insieme di “tactical macros”, una sorta di libretto di strategie di gioco per l’improvvisazione pensato per un insieme di improvvisatori. Si tratta di schemi interattivi: Metis 9 non detta mai un evento preciso — un suono, un rumore — che chi suona debba eseguire — sarebbe un anatema per un’indagine seria nell’improvvisazione —, ma ha in sé i parametri per [intendere] quali tipi di interazione siano praticabili e quali invece risulterebbero… difficili. Le macro tattiche che creano Metis 9 sono spesso ambigue, perfino nebulose, a tal punto da paralizzare chi non è abituato ad improvvisare. Sono per certi versi simili alle regole dei ragazzini che giocano liberamente: esistono solo se funzionali al gioco — se sono divertenti, interessanti o portano a un gioco più intrigante — e vengono liberamente mutate, reinterpretate e mollate quando il gioco porta altrove. Dun- que non si tratta di composizioni in sè — che implicherebbero una sorta di appropriazione d’autorità, ingiusta verso gli sforzi dei performer —, per cui ho introdotto il termine “macro”: un’istruzione abbreviata che si espande in un processo reale non conoscibile tramite l’istruzione iniziale e di cui sono responsabili i performer — i veri agenti interattivi.” [Read the rest (PDF)…]

‘Han-earl Park: al ritmo afasico della chitarra’, Andrew Rigmore (jazzColo[u]rs)

Which is the main pleasure of the guitar? What is its main limitation?

“Pleasures? Physical: corporeal-technical problematics—how your body and guitar interface in the context of physics, physiology and luthiery.

“Cultural: its unstable presence between rhythm section and lead instrument in terms of orchestration, ensemble social dynamics and audience perception.

“Limitations? I’m not sure I see limitations, as such, though it is bound (if fuzzily). The boundaries that define what we collectively recognize as a guitar shape how we interact with it (physically, culturally), and, yes, how we perform music. The boundaries are where you find all the interesting stuff, and the shifting interface between guitar and guitarist (between instrument and luthier, between performance and culture) is where you find music and improvisation.” [Read the rest…]

‘Han-earl Park 13 Questions’, Miguel Copón (Prepared Guitar)

“Idiom, tradition, identity, history (personal or collective) are things that I value. I tend not to subscribe to the vanilla notion of a pure, non-idiomatic state. I value the meeting: I want to know who you are, who I am, and that fascinating stuff is when those things collide—what we have in common, and what separates us. Border crossings are always fascinating; full of contradictions and (potential) misunderstandings….
“We struggled, I think, with everything, and I like to think that, ultimately, many of the students excelled as a result of those struggles. The concepts that cause the strongest discussions were to do with notions such as leadership (the problematics of, or the possible lack of), and the possibility of musical misunderstandings (that there might never be a ‘correct’ form of interaction, and that actions and reactions might be oblique to the extent that they may be unknowable).” [Read the rest…]

‘Interview with Han-earl Park’, Anthony Levin-Decanini (Crucible Sound)

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