online: Paul Dunmall and Han-earl Park, ‘Boolean Transforms’

The entire catalog of Paul Dunmall’s record label, DUNS Limited Edition, is now online:

Duns Limited Edition has ceased production, but during its lifetime it was pretty prolific. Having founded the label himself, Paul relished in the freedom to record and release on cdr a multitude of projects, playing with like-minded, creative musicians at his invitation. All the music is totally freely improvised. [Read the rest…]

[DUNS on YouTube…] [Facebook…]

And, as part of that catalog, you’ll find Boolean Transforms (DLE-067) by Paul Dunmall and Han-earl Park recorded way back in November 2009. Physical copies of this and some other DUNS albums are still available from Downtown Music Gallery and from Mind Your Own Music, and you can view some video footage from this concert.

Also by Paul Dunmall and Han-earl Park

Paul Dunmall, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders: Dunmall-Park-Sanders (Birmingham, 02-15-11)

Dunmall-Park-Sanders (Birmingham, 02-15-11) [details…]

Performers: Paul Dunmall (saxophones and bagpipes), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Mark Sanders (drums).

(cc) 2013 Paul Dunmall/Han-earl Park/Mark Sanders.

Han-earl Park, Paul Dunmall, Mark Sanders and Jamie Smith: Live at the Glucksman gallery, Cork (owlcd002) CD cover (copyright 2012, Owlhouse Recordings)

Live at the Glucksman gallery, Cork (owlcd002) [details…]

Performers: Han-earl Park (guitar), Paul Dunmall (saxophone), Mark Sanders (drums) and Jamie Smith (guitar).

© 2009 by Owlhouse Recordings.
℗ 2009 Han-earl Park/Paul Dunmall/Mark Sanders/Jamie Smith.

Lost at the Border: Improvisation, Conservation and Transformation (a twitter transcript)

Previte: “I’m a bit of a mongrel.” #isim2014
…and w/ that simple statement, is not the enterprise of Cross-Cultural Improvisation nuked? #isim2014

More tweets from an institutionally unaffiliated, sometimes teacher, amateur scholar and anthropologist [a previous twitter transcript…]. Below is an unedited transcript of my observations from ISIM: Cross-Cultural Improvisation III. My original observations came in the form of live tweets via @hanearlpark that spanned the opening ceremony on June 5, the conference plus performances between June 6 and 8, plus some post-event reflections.

My questions and observations are indebted to discussions with @AndreaWolper, @jkais, @nickreynoldsatw, @MarkImprov, @drmelmarshall and @coreymwamba both on- and off- the twitterverse.

My rants, however, are entirely my own 😉

Twitter transcript (unedited)

Opening Ceremony: New York, June 5, 2014

Heading to the #isim2014 opening ceremony. (‘Ceremony’ sounds so ostentatious. Conference folk, seriously…)

After my comments about #diversity and #rsa2014 & #amspittsburgh, was ready to be disappointed by #isim2014. Better, maybe, but not perfect.

Fewer suits and lighter makeup at #isim2014 compared to #rsa2014 & #amspittsburgh. #amateuranthropology

Is the ‘global village’ still a possibility? What violence hides behind such an idea? #isim2014

Can we imagine a global village achieved w/out violence? w/out the erasure of difference? #isim2014

There’s an interesting evocation of a kind of futurism in a lot of improvisative traditions. #isim2014

Conference: New York, June 6, 2014

3pm: #noise #melody #rhythm #contrast #serendipity #contradiction from Eris 136199 w/ @DoctorNerve @CatherineSikora @ @ISIMprov. #isim2014

Cognition vs embodiment. #isim2014

Is cognition a form of computation? Is embodiment a form of (physical) computation? #isim2014

Is a successful improvisation (always) narrative? #isim2014

This reminds me of Paul Berg’s algorithmic composition class… #isim2014

…either you create a process that creates desirable results, or one that creates noise that is selectively filter. #isim2014

Doesn’t (biological) evolution depend on the environment? Doesn’t musicality depend on the (cultural) environment? #isim2014

GenJam: the worst thing to happen to machine improvisation? #discuss #isim2014

Unasked question: how an improviser tries to make the rest of the band sound good. #isim2014

Unasked question: how individual desires (goals) collide to provide long-term formal structures (retroactively). #isim2014

…in this context, concentrating on individual intention may be missing the bigger picture. #isim2014

Problem w/ the Turing Test in creative contexts is that ‘I know it when I see/hear it’ ends up as a mirror of ‘does it swing’ #isim2014

Can we discuss rhythm w/out engaging w/ embodiment? #isim2014

History = cultural context = environment in which evolution takes place? #isim2014

At what point does cooperation & competition diverge in improvisative performance? #isim2014

…or is that a false dichotomy? are those terms meaningless in the context of improvisative play? #isim2014

Why are so many musicians so assured when idiomatic pressures are unambiguous, but uncertain when not? #isim2014

…is freedom that scary? #isim2014

…we know how to be a cog in the machine when the machine tells us to be? #isim2014

…we know our role/place/function in the ensemble if it’s prescribed for us? #isim2014

Is trans-idiomatic musicality a reflection of a kind of white middle-class mobility? #isim2014

…After trans-idiomatic meetings are (white) self-identified non-idiomatic musicians able to see idiom in their own playing? #isim2014

…are trans-idiomatic meetings by definition colonial? #isim2014

“No way to control what’s coming through your ears.” #isim2014

Ah, the sound of my circulation system. #isim2014

Can improvisation be about your ‘actual experience’ divorced from ‘thinking’? #isim2014

…in contrast, earlier presentation modeled improvisation exclusively as a ‘cognitive’ process. #isim2014

…why these simplifying assumptions in the context of something as complicated and human as improvisative play? isim

What’s possible given circumstances/resources = improvisation? #isim2014

…but what is the relation btwn this and the black american composer-improviser tradition? #isim2014

…Braxton said if you don’t compose this piece (for 276 accordions, say), then you will never hear it. #isim2014

After Lacy: “what’s alive for you?” #isim2014

…which is fine as far as it goes, but can we further unpack ‘aliveness’? #isim2014

‘Trust,’ ‘courage,’ ‘openness,’ all terms we use to talk about improvisation. We should unpack these. #isim2014

Reminded of Braxton’s commend about how freedom is knowing your context well enough so that……… you. are. free. #isim2014

Oh, reminded how my skills as an improviser are so, so, so pathetic. #isim2014

I want more talk of noise and frenzy. #isim2014

I desire a discussion of collisions, contradictions, the unintelligible, the unspeakable. #isim2014

Where is improvisation, the destabilizing, the revolutionary, the dissonant, the dissenting? #isim2014

Part of me (uncharitably for sure) want to scream ‘f*ck calm.’ #isim2014

Goddamnnit. I am Asian, and I will not be your model of calm and reserved. #isim2014

Wadada: “try to find something unique in yourself.” #isim2014

…don’t try to fit in. #isim2014

…“I don’t want them to expect nothing!” #isim2014

Is ‘experience’ (unlike, say, subjectivity) (always) a term of resistance? #isim2014

‘Compliment’ or ‘contradict’; what do these terms _mean_ in the context of improvisative play? #isim2014

…we seem to be struggling because we (think we) know the ‘correct’ terms to use. #isim2014

What does the term ‘pattern’ mean in the context of improvisative play? #isim2014

…can ‘pattern’ every be an enabling discursive element in the context of creative music? #isim2014

Often wonder if I should (get back to) playing more (overtly) melodic. #isim2014

Reminded of experiments about the different perceptions of musical construction depending on idiomatic background. #isim2014

…are not cultural misunderstandings so much more interesting than (ostensibly) clear channels of communication? #isim2014

‘notes’; if we just jettisoned that term, our understanding of musical practices would be so much richer. #isim2014

Some additional insight if you understand both English and 한국말. #isim2014

Are terms such as ‘discipline’ and ‘pattern’ (discursively) limiting in the contacts of improvisative play? #isim2014

Reminded of Wadada once saying that when he puts his horn to his mouth, it’s a command. #isim2014

Previte: “I’m a bit of a mongrel.” #isim2014

…and w/ that simple statement, is not the enterprise of Cross-Cultural Improvisation nuked? #isim2014

The unresolved contradiction btwn agency and sublimation? #isim2014

#isim2014 http://t.co/bypjiQMRiS

how much of my views/practices are shaped by my teachers; how much convergence of approach because of who I chose as teachers? #isim2014

“Social aspects of musicality.” #isim2014

…an enormous amount of stuff blackboxed in that statement. #isim2014

‘Leading’ and ‘following’; do these terms have any utility in the context of improvisative play? #isim2014

“Where was I going?” (unintentionally?) good description of what we are doing. #isim2014

…Something I learned when I started teaching improvisation was the utility I jettisoning these terms. #isim2014

Conference: New York, June 7, 2014

However you cut it, solo is that impossible thing in improvisation. #isim2014

…you have _got_ to have something pretty damn important to say/present. #isim2014

…in that sense, by analogy, Romey’s speeches during the last election would be an example or a useless solo. #isim2014

…I’ve consciously engaged w/ the solo context self-consciously on and off for the last ten years, but I still haven’t cracked it. #isim2014

Echoes of Philip Glass? or of Chris Cutler? #isim2014

Random thought: what does the term ‘oppositional politics’ mean, if anything, in improvisative practices? #isim2014

…what does the term ‘ideology’ mean, if anything, in improvisative practices? #isim2014

…’cause, despite talk of the social, what I have heard little of (so far) at #isim2014 is the (explicitly) political.

…which may be a reflection more of my own predilections, but I worry about the gentrification of improvisation. #isim2014

…what happens to improvisation as an oppositional force when, say, academic classical performers ‘dabble’ in it… #isim2014 [1/2]

…w/out necessarily interrogating their own tradition/practice/history and the structures of power? #isim2014 [2/2]

A new kind of cross-cultural musicology that “can only be fathomed by the improviser.” #isim2014

…but to paraphrase Previte, are we not (always already) mongrels? #isim2014

“India, Korea, then Wadada, then Bobby.” hmm #isim2014

Is ‘merging’ a useful notion in the context of improvisative performance? #isim2014

…Is ‘merging’ a useful notion in the context of improvisative (cross-cultural) meetings? #isim2014

“Not trying to drop a bomb.” But are bombs unambiguous across cultural borders? #isim2014

…one might intend Operation Enduring Freedom, others might interpret Invasion and Empire Building. #isim2014

Dissent! Yay. #isim2014

“Tradition is not a dead thing.” #isim2014

…yes, but traditions sometimes die/petrify/fossilize. #isim2014

…under what conditions do traditions die/petrify/fossilize? #isim2014

“What an [musical, performative] action signifies.” #isim2014

‘Notes’—that word again. #isim2014

“There is that elasticity in _everything_.” #isim2014

Can we unpack the term ‘energy’ in the context of these discussions of improvisation? #isim2014

“To feel secure in that uncertainty is the biggest challenge of any musician, or human being for that matter.” #isim2014

“Leave it up to analyst to explain what happened [in spontaneous creation].” #isim2014

…part agree, but then why are we here? #isim2014

…there is this constant tension btwn intellectual and anti-intellectualism in the traditions of improvisative performance. #isim2014

“A future event can affect the present.” #isim2014

…reminds me of Ted Chiang’s story of the performative language changes consciousness and sense of causality. #isim2014

…which might relate to the quip about leaving analysis to the analyst. #isim2014

I have little patience for the regurgitation of amateur physics. #isim2014

Going out for air. #isim2014

improvised music “goes beyond style.” But does it? #isim2014

Is #isim2014 attempting to turn #improvisedmusic into the emblem of salvation for academic (study of) music? #isim2014

…where does tokenism end, and revolutionary equality begin? #isim2014

…Is it unfair to compare this to (post-)colonial ideas of savages as agents of renewal? #isim2014

To borrow from @vijayiyer: “The Jazz Educational Complex.” #isim2014

“Transdisciplinary space”—well, okay, but how to reconcile this (utopian) notion w/ the “cross-cultural”? #isim2014

“Institutions need to rebuild from the foundation.” #isim2014

…yes, but https://t.co/EOidN6pSmp

…yes, but https://t.co/yZHlEQRSVK

…or https://t.co/txouBTMx45

…yes, but https://t.co/gzEsSwYCvl

We want to _study_ improvisation, but we precisely do not want interactive destabilizing forces in the structures of academia. #isim2014

…Is it possible to rebuild academic (study of) music while keeping the formal structures intact? #isim2014

…so where does tokenism end? #isim2014

More talk of meditation. #isim2014 tropes.

Frustrated. Going out for air. #isim2014

“Nobody [at #isim2014] understands that we can’t talk about this w/out being critical!”

My thoughts on #isim2014 http://t.co/OWKnq76VFN

An academic would never present work w/out citing their sources. #isim2014 [1/6]

Should not the academic who studies improvisative practices/traditions also cite specific artists…? #isim2014 [2/6]

…rather than hide behind nebulous/generic language? #isim2014 [3/6]

If there’s a specific musical/artistic/creative element you’re talking about, surely you must be able to name a source. #isim2014 [4/6]

Why the double standards? Are scholars more important? #isim2014 [5/6]

…are their ‘possessions’ more valuable than the practitioners of your (supposed) area of expertise? #isim2014 [6/6]

Concert: New York, June 7, 2014

Problem w/ oval halls is that, if you’re at the focal point opposite the stage, those on stage will hear everything you say. #isim2014

#ugh ##isim2014

If tomorrow’s gig is my last, then it’ll be the most important one I play. w/ Tom Rainey @ @whynotjazzroom NYC. http://t.co/Pwb2ZXJkZh

If ‘tradition’/‘patterns’ remain an unchanged backbone to improvisative meetings, what is achieved by those meetings? #isim2014

…seriously. Why bother? #isim2014

…or put it another way: re continued enterprise of ‘cross-cultural improvisations,’ an obvious question: now what? what next? #isim2014

…I am beginning to suspect that ‘cross-cultural improvisation’ is a cute arts marketing term that, however… #isim2014

…signifies little; no goal or purpose in mind. We can happily go our own merry ways at the end of the day… #isim2014

…safe from the transformative/revolutionary possibilities of improvisation. #isim2014

You know ‘notes’ and ‘patterns’ are the least interesting things about improvisation… #isim2014

…and though folk at #isim2014 have mentioned in passing that there’s this other stuff at play in improvisation…

…people have been reluctant to open up those black boxes. #isim2014

Safe in the knowledge that the scary, truly transformative aspect of improvisation can be left unexplored. #isim2014

Is it okay to feel betrayed by these (I have no reason to doubt) Masters of Tradition? #isim2014

Is it okay to feel angry about the prescriptions made by these Masters of Tradition? #isim2014

I’ll be honest. I walked out of the last thing. But I’m drawn back by Wadada. #isim2014

The AACM used two terms to denote their music and practice: ‘creative music’ and ‘free music.’ #isim2014

…and _this_ thing I’m hearing right now, I can get behind. #isim2014

…singular, powerful, noisy. That African American noise that showed the world How It Could Be Done. #isim2014

…a Music of Unbound Possibilities. #isim2014

Wadada’s left the stage. I’m leaving this time for real. See y’all tomorrow. #isim2014

.@nickreynoldsatw or academia only studies/legitimizes improvisative practices/traditions that emphasize the narrative… #isim2014

.@nickreynoldsatw …or academia chooses to impose narrativity onto improvisative practices/traditions. #isim2014

Conference: New York, June 8, 2014

How does one know when you cross an idiomatic or traditional border? #isim2014

…Rather than thinking of idiomatic vs free improvisation… #isim2014 [1/2]

…can we not just think of those borders as having shifted (or simply immaterial). There may be no inside/outside. #isim2014 [2/2]

Do you distinguish/delineate those elements inherited from the tradition, the practice, and your own inventions? #isim2014

Make an Early Music Noise Here. #isim2014

Make a New Music Noise Here. #isim2014

How is it that so many introduce improvisation into their practice, and the idiom becomes _more_ a caricature of itself? #isim2014

…why is it that improvisation leads us back into the familiar (rather than, as Lacy said, leap into the Unknown)? #isim2014

…how is that even possible? (Not a rhetorical question) #isim2014

…it’s like being free to do anything, and we end up telling that same anecdote over and over again. #isim2014

…it’s like giving what you _presume_ to be the right answer (even though there is no right answer). #isim2014

…it’s like being afraid to give the wrong answer (when the question was entirely open). #isim2014

…do we not know how to be free? or are we afraid? #isim2014

…reminded of Mark Sanders saying that you should not listen to your inner critic; the one who knows the ‘right answer.’ #isim2014

Borders can be demolished. Let’s All Cross Borders. Right. Now. #isim2014

Godammit. #isim2014

Talking to D Ewart about how cultural/material exchanges have been happening since the beginning of time. #isim2014

…along w/ Previte’s comment, does this not nuke the whole premise of ‘cross-cultural improvisations’? #isim2014

I am going to start ISIT: the International Society for Indignant Tweeters. Who’s with me?

Some great comments from the floor: concrete suggestions to increase diversity and accessibility. #isim2014

“Breaking down the [academic] structure of [how presentations are made].” #isim2014

“How was it funded?” #isim2014

I am reminded again how much I am the wrong Asian to participate in a ‘cross-cultural improvisation.’ #isim2014

…and again: https://t.co/26M9aOMV0p #isim2014

Can’t directly compare #isim2014 with #rsa2014 or #amspittsburgh, but I will say that…

#isim2014 does speak seriously/passionately about the need/desire for greater diversity/access.

…even if we don’t always have concrete plans. #isim2014

Yesterday… Yesterday I… Yesterday I walked… Yesterday I walked past… Yesterday I walked past Philip…

But today I swapped CDs with Douglas Ewart. How frickin’ cool is that?!? #isim2014

Post-conference reflections…

Final thoughts on #isim2014: the main thing I learned (and in retrospect why I was angry), was about my own prejudices… [1/9]

…I had made a lazy, unexamined assumption about improvisation (its practice and its implications)… #isim2014 [2/9]

…I had assumed (w/out evidence) that improvisation was intrinsically tranformative/revolutionary/disruptive/noisy/etc, and… #isim2014 [3/9]

…that any tradition that incorporated it, must themselves be revolutionary/disruptive//noisy/etc… #isim2014 [4/9]

…That, in retrospect, was a naive, unfounded postulation that in turn lead to an erroneous conclusion… #isim2014 [5/9]

…I learned that improvisative traditions may not have the tranformative/revolutionary/disruptive/etc as thier focal point… #isim2014 [6/9]

…that improvisative traditions/practices might conceivably be conservative/reactionary/etc… #isim2014 [7/9]

…I learned that what I (unquestioningly) took as a universal improvisative impulse… #isim2014 [8/9]

…was a particular expression of a specifically (post-)Civil Rights African-American (derrived) one. #isim2014 [9/9]

Anyway, in case you missed it, this is still my best summary of my reponse to #isim2014: https://t.co/tjv7SOP8k6

0. One more thought on #isim2014’s ‘Cross-Cultural Improvisations’: What, in retrospect, appears to have been at stake is not just the…

1. …nature of improvisation as a means of conservation vs a means of self-determined transformation, but… #isim2014

2. …specific expressions of these notions within a specific discursive framework. #isim2014

3. So we had representatives from practices that are, to varying degrees and in varied ways, post-colonial, nationalist… #isim2014

4. …in which the priorities might be described as a kind of classicism; we had a representative from a… #isim2014

5. …Civil-Rights fueled, Afro-Futurist community; a representative from a vernacular-immersed post-modern avant-garde. #isim2014

6. The idea that we would have dissonance at such a meeting shoudn’t perhaps be surprising, but for a… #isim2014

7. …‘benevolent’ liberal-humanism that acted as the formal umbrella… #isim2014

8. …that, surely, was the single biggest reason for the lack of productive dialogue. #isim2014

site update: scrapbook redux reboot

web audio player widget
Another summary of the updates to my scrapbook since the last review. A few newer clips from Brooklyn and New York which include some of the best music I’ve been involved in (the duo with Gerald Cleaver, in particular, has, for me, some of my best playing), plus a blast from the past: Mathilde 253 in Cork. With the latest updates, I’ve also taken the opportunity to split the scrapbook across two pages (with so much embedded media, it was getting near impossible for those with slower computers and/or connections to load the page).

Please note that all music and audio recordings © + ℗ their respective owners (i.e. these are not covered by a Creative Commons License).

Han-earl Park (guitar), Catherine Sikora (saxophones) and Mike Pride (drums).

Music by Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Mike Pride.
Recorded live, April 2, 2014 at Spectrum, New York.
Recorded by Don Mount.

Evan Parker (saxophone) and Han-earl Park (guitar), plus Peter Evans (trumpet) and Okkyung Lee (’cello).

Music by Evan Parker and Han-earl Park, plus Peter Evans and Okkyung Lee.
Recorded live, September 19, 2013 at The Stone, New York.
Recorded by Don Mount.

Gerald Cleaver (drums) and Han-earl Park (guitar).

Music by Gerald Cleaver and Han-earl Park
Recorded live, August 13, 2013 at Douglass Street Music Collective, Brooklyn.
Recorded by Don Mount.

Mathilde 253 (Han-earl Park: guitar; Charles Hayward: drums; and Ian Smith: trumpet).

Music by Mathilde 253.
Recorded live, March 30, 2011 at Half Moon Theatre, Cork.
Presented with funding from the Music Network Performance and Touring Award, and support from the UCC School of Music and the Cork Opera House.
Recorded by John Hough. Live sound by Alex Fiennes.

[About this project…]

Happy New Year: 2014

Original images © 2013 Emilio Vavarella; © 2013 Scott Friedlander; © 2013 Don Mount; and © 2013 Han-earl Park.
Original photographs/images © 2013 Emilio Vavarella; © 2013 Scott Friedlander; © 2013 Don Mount; and (cc) 2013 Han-earl Park.

Crucible Sound: interview with Han-earl Park

Crucible Sound (Pittsburgh, 11-07-13)
Over at Crucible Sound, Anthony Levin-Decanini interviews Han-earl Park about idiom, identity, collaborators, teaching and a-ha moments:

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….

…Meetings and border crossings make me think of brief encounters, limited investment, not long-arc relationships. Is that what free improvisers are left with: connecting only in that moment? Is that initial collision potentially more interesting to hear than when musicians get to know each other intimately (and calculate accordingly)?

…I do value the band, of long-term collaborations. It allows for greater complexity of interaction, greater speeds of decision making, more oblique, unexpected, choices. We, Eris 136199, coined a new term—‘weirderation’—after our last performance, to denote something—a set of relationships, decision making process—getting just that little bit weirder with each iteration.

On the other hand, spaces such as Crucible Sound have their own value. I’m not sure ‘brief encounters’ necessarily equates to ‘limited investment’ in those relationships.

[Read the rest…]

On Thursday (November 7, 2013), at 8:00pm (doors: 7:30pm): Han-earl Park will be performing with David Bernabo, Edgar Um Bucholtz, J Wayne Clinton and Lenny Young as part of Crucible Sound at ModernFormations (4919 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224) [map…]. Suggested donation: $7. [Details…]

audio clips: Numbers: Richard Barrett + Han-earl Park

CD cover of ‘Numbers’ (CS 201 cd) with Richard Barrett and Han-earl Park (copyright 2012, Creative Sources Recordings)
‘Numbers’ (CS 201 cd) © 2012 Creative Sources

Previously posted individually, I’ve now collated the audio excerpts from Richard Barrett and Han-earl Park’s CD, ‘Numbers’ (CS 201 cd) on the album specific post, on my discography, on the project page, and below:




Audio clip courtesy of Creative Sources Recordings.
Music by Richard Barrett and Han-earl Park.
Audio ℗ 2012 Creative Sources Recordings. Please do not distribute audio file, but instead share the link to this page.

‘Numbers’ (CS 201 cd) is available from Creative Sources Recordings. [More info…] [Get the CD…] [About this duo…]

Cannot play audio?

Try loading the original post, and playing back from there. Please contact me if you have further problems.

video recordings: YouTube playlist… redux

Thanks to the efforts of the Downtown documentarists—Don Mount, Kevin Reilly and Scott Friedlander—there’s been a lot of changes to my YouTube channel and playlists since my last announcement almost a year ago. In terms of project specific playlists, I’ve updated the Eris 136199 playlist [watch…], and created one for Metis 9 [watch…]

site update: scrapbook redux

web audio player widget
Just a summary of the updates that have been accumulating in my scrapbook since the last overhaul. Here’s some of the more recent additions. Enjoy! All music and audio recordings © + ℗ their respective owners.

Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky: guitar; Han-earl Park: guitar; and Catherine Sikora: saxophones).

Music by Eris 136199.
Recorded live, June 5, 2013 at Douglass Street Music Collective, Brooklyn.
Recorded by Scott Friedlander.

[About this project…]

Numbers: Richard Barrett (electronics) and Han-earl Park (guitar).

Music by Richard Barrett and Han-earl Park.
Recorded March 10, 2011 at the Institute of Sonology, Den Haag.
Audio clip courtesy of Creative Sources Recordings. ℗ 2012 Creative Sources Recordings.Han-earl Park
Recorded by Richard Barrett and Han-earl Park. Mixed by Richard Barrett.

[About this project…] [Get the CD…]

Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone) and Han-earl Park (guitar).

Music by Ingrid Laubrock and Han-earl Park.
Recorded live, May 16, 2013 at Douglass Street Music Collective, Brooklyn.
Recorded by Don Mount.

Han-earl Park (guitar), Catherine Sikora (saxophones) and Josh Sinton (clarinet and saxophone).

Music by Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Josh Sinton.
Recorded live, March 26, 2013 at Freddy’s Bar, Brooklyn.
Performance presented as part of On The Way Out curated by Michael Evans and Anders Nilsson.
Recorded by Don Mount.

[About this project…]

Michael Evans (drums), Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen (saxophone and flute) and Han-earl Park (guitar).

Music by Michael Evans, Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen and Han-earl Park.
Recorded live, January 20, 2013 at Downtown Music Gallery, New York.
Recorded by Kevin Reilly.

Mark Trayle (electronics), Gascia Ouzounian (violin), Chris Brown (piano), Paul Stapleton (percussion), Dan Goren (trumpet), Don Nichols (percussion), Simon Rose (saxophone), Gustavo Aguilar (percussion), Han-earl Park (guitar), Ulrich Mitzlaff (’cello), Tasos Stamou (zither), Dominic Lash (double bass), Christopher Williams (double bass), Nuno Rebelo (guitar), Richard Scott (synthesizer), Steven Davis (drums), Pedro Rebelo (piano), Justin Yang (saxophone) and Franziska Schroeder (saxophones).

Ensemble led by Evan Parker.
Recorded live, November 7, 2010 at the Sonic Arts Research Center, Belfast.
Performance presented as part of Sonorities 2010.

audio recordings: downloads and recommendations (series 1)

download album artwork: Han-earl Park plus Marian Murray (Cork, 07-29-10); Jin Sangtae, Han-earl Park and Jeffrey Weeter (Cork, 01–24–11); Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09); and Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park (Cork, 04-04-11)
With the release of the recording with Paul Dunmall and Mark Sanders, I’ve completed the current series of download albums, and I’ve been taking a break from releasing new recordings. The albums so far—all Creative Commons licensed, and free or ‘name your price’—are collated here and on the downloads page. With a break in the release schedule, I’ve taken the opportunity to overhaul the downloads page; the most significant update since I started, in September 2010, formally offering complete concert recordings online.

One notable update to the downloads page is the addition of the recommended Bandcamp albums that accompanied the current series. As I wrote previously, there are some very fine and inspiring creative, improvised and experimental music on Bandcamp, but it isn’t always easy to find the recordings. Here’s my small contribution to help people get started. Enjoy, download, share—support creative musicians!

Keywords: improvised music, creative music, jazz, free jazz, free improvisation, experimental music, electronic music, electroacoustic.

Paul Dunmall, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders

Paul Dunmall, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders: Dunmall-Park-Sanders (Birmingham, 02-15-11)

Two non-stop sets of improvised music. This live recording juxtaposes the formidable creativity and muscular technique of veteran improviser-saxophonist Paul Dunmall, the imaginative cyborgian virtuosity of guitarist Han-earl Park, and the ever inventive playing of Mark Sanders, arguably the most sought-after improviser-drummer of his generation. [More info…]

Recommended price: $8+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

Murray Campbell, Randy McKean, Han-earl Park, Gino Robair and Scott R. Looney

Murray Campbell, Randy McKean with Han-earl Park, plus Gino Robair and Scott R. Looney: Gargantius Effect +1 +2 +3 (Nor Cal, 08-2011)

The Gargantius Effect is the brainchild of Murray Campbell and Randy McKean. This album documents Gargantius Effect’s August 2011 tour of Northern California with special guest and fellow Sonologist Han-earl Park, plus Bay Area veteran improviser, composer and electronic artist Gino Robair, and hyperpianist Scott R. Looney. [More info…]

Recommended price: $8+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

Han-earl Park plus Marian Murray

Han-earl Park plus Marian Murray: Park+Murray (Cork, 07-29-10)

A solo performance by guitarist-constructor Han-earl Park exploring, with feedback and resonant buzzes, the complex, cavernous acoustics of the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, and the interactions between artifact (guitar) and the body (guitarist). For ‘Strokes and Screwballs,’ Park is joined by violinist-improviser Marian Murray for a conversational improvisation. [More info…]

Recommended price: $5+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

Jin Sangtae, Han-earl Park and Jeffrey Weeter

Jin Sangtae, Han-earl Park and Jeffrey Weeter: Jin-Park-Weeter (Cork, 01–24–11)

A stark, real-time evolution of on-stage relations. The performance took place during Seoul-based experimental electronic musician Jin Sangtae’s European tour. Featuring clanking hard drives, buzzing electronics, noisy guitars and machine gun percussion, this recording captures Jin’s meeting with guitarist-improviser Han-earl Park, and composer, drummer and intermedia artist Jeffrey Weeter. [More info plus the 24-bit edition…]

Recommended price: $8+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder

Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder: Park-Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09)

“Sounds reverberate and carry in unexpected ways, and music improvised here [The Glucksman Gallery] runs the risk of losing all definition. That [Han-earl] Park and his co-improviser Franziska Schroeder gracefully avoided this testifies to their alertness, sensitivity and experience working together in other spaces…. Indeed the evening had the feeling of conversation, with the instrumentalists demonstrating the improvisatory give-and-take of a convivial exchange of ideas.” [More info…]

Recommended price: $5+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park

Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park: Sikora-Smith-Park (Cork, 04-04-11)

A performance by Catherine Sikora, a saxophonist with a striking, compelling sound. She has been described as “a free-blowing player’s player with a spectacular harmonic imagination and an evolved understanding of the tonal palette of the saxophone”. Sikora was joined by cofounder of the London Improvisers’ Orchestra, trumpeter Ian Smith, and guitarist Han-earl Park. Smith and Park had just come off the tour as part of the power-trio Mathilde 253 (with Charles Hayward) with Wadada Leo Smith. [More info…]

Recommended price: $8+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

site update: Metis 9

The (provisional) project page for Metis 9 is now live:

Metis 9 is a collection of improvisative tactics, and higher-level interactive macros for ensemble performance designed, designated and specified by Han-earl Park.

Metis 9 has ‘glorious noise’ or ‘frenzy’ at its root, yet it is not so much structuring the noise as it is a meta-layer of complexity that performers can introduce at will. Metis 9 does not tell the performer what to play, or provide all the details of how to interact, but it is an additional network protocol for interactive possibilities. Group improvisation is always the primary protocol; Metis 9 provides secondary or tertiary tactics that create an additional focused complexity. The decision for each bloop and bleep is still retained by the ensemble. These macros enable specific interactionist schemes to be expressed in an open improvisative context; it is improvisative play channeled by group consent.

Metis 9 builds on my experience teaching improvisation at University College Cork, and performing as part of large ensembles led by Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker and Pauline Oliveros. Metis 9 includes tactics developed from performances and practices of Cecil Taylor, Tony Oxley, John Zorn and Anthony Braxton, in particular, and the form of its practice (training and instruction) is inspired by the ensemble improvisation-composition works of George E. Lewis among others.

[Metis 9 page…]

I am seeking opportunities to perform Metis 9 in small and large ensemble contexts with, at its core, the trio of Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Josh Sinton. In particular, I am seeking performance opportunities for Gargantius Effect +4 (Murray Campbell and Randy McKean with Gino Robair, Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Josh Sinton) in October 2013 in North America (contact me for other locations and dates). Interested promoters, venues and sponsors, please get in touch!

Stet Lab: audio recordings—the Big Scrub

Stet Lab logo
For those that don’t know, I founded Stet Lab, a space for improvised music based in Cork. I curated the Lab between 2007 and 2011, and during that time, also wrangled its online presence. In August, I will be removing some of the audio recordings of Stet Lab’s first year (prior to the November 2008 event) from its website. Read more to find out how to save your favorite recordings. [More…]

site update: scrapbook

web audio player widget
I’ve finally updated and reorganized my scrapbook. It’s been a few years since I last made changes to this audio and video archive, so there’s a good few additions, and a few more tracks (with Richard Barrett, Paul Dunmall and Mark Sanders) will be added in the coming weeks. Below is a sample of some of the more recent additions. Enjoy!

All music and audio recordings © + ℗ their respective owners.

Gargantius Effect (Murray Campbell: violin, double reeds; Randy McKean: saxophone, clarinet) with Han-earl Park (guitar) and Gino Robair (energized surfaces, voltage made audible).

Music by Murray Campbell, Randy McKean, Han-earl Park and Gino Robair.
Recorded live August 30, 2011 at Studio 1510, Oakland.
Recorded by Randy McKean. Mastered by Han-earl Park.

[Download complete recording…]

Han-earl Park (guitar) and Richard Scott (electronics).

Music by Han-earl Park and Richard Scott.
Recorded Recorded on October 23, 2010 at Richard Scott’s studio, Berlin.
Recorded and mixed by Richard Scott.

[Download complete recording…]

io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself) and Bruce Coates (saxophone).

Music by Han-earl Park, Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder.
Recorded May 25, 2010 at the Ó Riada Hall, UCC Music Building, Cork.
Audio clip courtesy of SLAM Productions. ℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.
Recorded and mixed by Han-earl Park.

[More…] [Get the CD/download…]