cuttlefish: Study of Notation

I’m honored to find my concept thumbnail (‘Study in Notation’) in the pages of cuttlefish (issue #1, summer 2014), a “zine for contemporary culture, music, art, aesthetics, politics,” edited by Peter O’Doherty. The piece was accompanied by an excerpt from my interview with Miguel Copón:

I’m not sure at all where this is leading, but having through some combination of ideology and necessity (ain’t it always the way?) found myself somewhat involuntarily in the ‘Total Improvisation’ camp, I’m beginning to look on the other side of the fence. Let me be clear, the, to borrow Lewis’ term, Eurological conception of the score and the practice that surrounds it (theorized in detail by Small, Cusick, Nicholas Cook and others), with its limited models of control and dogma of reproducibility, and naive notions of aesthetics, does not interest me at all.

However, I’m feeling a gravitational tug. Maybe it’s due to coming into close contact with musicians who have a much more sophisticated (if often, from an non-practitioner’s POV, misunderstood and under theorized) relationship with the score and the possibilities of notation. But it’s a distinct pull. Still working—struggling—through some ideas, and studies, and have far, far more questions than answers about the possible role notation and the score might have in an improvisative context, but that’s the new thing that’s exciting me at the moment. [Read the rest…]

The theme of cuttlefish’s inaugural issue is “work-in-progress (sketches, doodles, journal entries, streams of consciousness…),” and features contributions by Wim Bollein, Laura Duran, Evgeniy Aleksandrovich (=dozen), Graham Holliday, ja’s ink on paper, Daniel Kan, Francisco Martins, Corey Mwamba, Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh, Peter O’Doherty, Han-earl Park, Kiyomitsu Saito, Tom Tebby, Nicolas P. Tschopp, Andrea Valle, Krysthopher Woods and Alice Xiang.

If you are interested in contributing to future issues of cuttlefish, please contact cuttlefish[at]peterodoherty.net.

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thanks: Eris 136199 (ISIM, NYC), Rasmussen-Foster-Niggenkemper-Park (DMG, NYC) and Park-Rainey (Why Not Jazz Room, NYC)

A belated note of thanks for all involved in the June 6, June 6 (no that’s not a typo—two performances on that day), and June 8 events. Thanks to the folk at ISIM, and in particular to Richard Robeson, Billy Satterwhite and Ed Sarath for organizing, curating and facilitating the event, and to Christopher Hoffman for the tech support; to Bruce and everyone at Downtown Music Gallery, the World’s Greatest Record Store (seriously, go buy a record from them right now); and to Andrea Wolper and her amazing series, and to Why Not Jazz Room. Thanks also to the multiple documentarists: videographers Don Mount and Juan Ant [watch/listen…], and to photographer Peter Gannushkin [see…].

As always, big thanks to the creative folk who shared the stage with me; it’s always a privilege. Applaud these folk: Mette Rasmussen, Michael Foster, Pascal Niggenkemper; Tom Rainey (how does one perform with a drummer who can anticipate every move?); and the two that complete Eris 136199: Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora (always a blast).

Finally, thanks to all who came to listen. That’s to be my last visit to New York for sometime, and, audience big or small, it’s always a pleasure to perform for you.

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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

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reminder: Han-earl Park and Tom Rainey at Why Not Jazz Room, New York

Tomorrow (Sunday, June 8, 2014), at 7:30pm: a performance by Han-earl Park (guitar) and Tom Rainey (drums), presented as part of Andrea Wolper’s Why Not Experiment? Series, takes place at Why Not Jazz Room (14 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014) [map…]. Recommended donation: $10 per set.

A long-time fan of Mr Rainey’s work, I’m tremendously honored and excited to be sharing a stage with him. And multiply that with Andrea Wolper’s series which promises an open, intimate space for artistic experimentation.

Above video: last time I performed with Tom Rainey. The set with Ken Filiano and Ingrid Laubrock took place as part of Gowanus Company at Douglass Street Music Collective, Brooklyn. Video by Scott Friedlander. [Watch the rest…]

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tonight: ‘Alias Ra’ with Michael Foster, Pascal Niggenkemper and Han-earl Park, New York

‘Alias Ra’ with Michael Foster, Pascal Niggenkemper and Han-earl Park
Tonight (Friday, June 6, 2014), at 7:00pm: a performance by ‘Alias Ra’ (saxophones) with Michael Foster (saxophones), Pascal Niggenkemper (doubles bass) and Han-earl Park (guitar). Also performing at 6:00pm are Gianni Mimmo (saxophone) and Alison Blunt (violin). The event takes place at Downtown Music Gallery (13 Monroe Street, New York, NY 10002-7351) [map…]. Free admission.

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reminder: Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky, Han-earl Park and Catherine Sikora) at ISIM, New York

ISIM: Cross-Cultural Improvisation III kicks-off this week, and on Friday (June 6, 2014), at 3:00pm, Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky: guitar; Han-earl Park: guitar; and Catherine Sikora: saxophones) will be performing at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (55 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011). Conference fees from $25 to $200 [more info and get tickets…].

Incidentally, the performance with ‘Alias Ra,’ Michael Foster and Pascal Niggenkemper that was to take place on the evening of Eris 136199’s performance has been relocated to Downtown Music Gallery, New York. As always see the performance diary for up-to-date info.

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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…]

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performance: ‘Alias Ra’ with Michael Foster, Pascal Niggenkemper and Han-earl Park, Brooklyn

Stop Press: New venue!
‘Alias Ra’ with Michael Foster, Pascal Niggenkemper and Han-earl Park
Friday, June 6, 2014, at 7:00pm: a performance by the mystery saxophonist, ‘Alias Ra’ with Michael Foster (saxophones), Pascal Niggenkemper (doubles bass) and Han-earl Park (guitar) as part of Soup and Sound House Concert. Also performing are Chris Stover (trombone), Russ Johnson (trumpet), Niels Praestholm (bass) and Andrew Drury (drums). The event takes place at Andrew Drury’s home in Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn (contact him for the location). Recommended donation: $15. Also performing are Gianni Mimmo (saxophone) and Alison Blunt (violin) at 6:00pm. The event takes place at Downtown Music Gallery (13 Monroe Street, New York, NY 10002-7351) [map…]. Free admission.

See the performance diary for up-to-date info.

updates

06–02–14: cancelation.
06–02–14: new venue.

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performance diary 05-22-14 (Brooklyn, New York)

upcoming performances
date venue time details
June 6, 2014 The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music
55 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011
3:00pm Performance by Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky: guitar; Han-earl Park: guitar; and Catherine Sikora: saxophones) as part of ISIM: Cross-Cultural Improvisation III.
Conference fees from $25 (single event) to $200 (entire conference [more info and get tickets…]. [Details…]
June 6, 2014 Downtown Music Gallery
13 Monroe Street
New York, NY 10002
7:00pm New venue! Performance by ‘Alias Ra’ (saxophones) with Michael Foster (saxophones), Pascal Niggenkemper (doubles bass) and Han-earl Park (guitar). Also performing (6:00pm): Gianni Mimmo (saxophone) and Alison Blunt (violin). Admission free.
[Details…]
June 8, 2014 Why Not Jazz Room
14 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014
7:30pm Performance by Han-earl Park (guitar) and Tom Rainey (drums) as part of Andrea Wolper’s Why Not Experiment? Series. Also performing: TransAtlantico (Lamy Istrefi: drums, percussion, sound efx; Lawrence Leathers: drums, sound efx; Brahim Fribgane: percussion, goumbri, oud, sound efx). Recommended donation: $10 per set.
[Details…]
2014– Europe I am based in Europe as of 2014, and I am seeking performance opportunities for, in particular, my Europe-based projects including Numbers (with Richard Barrett), Mathilde 253 (with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith). Interested promoters, venues and sponsors, please get in touch!
September–October 2014 Europe Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky, Han-earl Park and Catherine Sikora) is seeking performance opportunities late-September and October 2014. Interested promoters, venues and sponsors, please get in touch!

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reminder: Han-earl Park, Kevin Terry and Dan Walsh at CIMC, Cork

Han-earl Park, Kevin Terry and Dan Walsh
This Sunday (May 18, 2014), at 9:30pm: Han-earl Park (guitar), Kevin Terry (guitar) and Dan Walsh (drums), presented as part of CIMC, perform at the Gulpd Café (Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street, Cork, Ireland) [map…]. Admission free.

updates

05–17–14: event starts at 9:30pm.

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performance: Han-earl Park and Tom Rainey at Why Not Jazz Room, New York

Sunday, June 8, 2014, at 7:30pm: Han-earl Park (guitar) and Tom Rainey (drums) performs as part of Andrea Wolper’s Why Not Experiment? Series. Also performing are TransAtlantico (Lamy Istrefi, Lawrence Leathers and Brahim Fribgane). The event takes place at Why Not Jazz Room (14 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014) [map…]. Recommended donation: $10 per set.

See the performance diary for up-to-date info. [Why Not Experiment? page…] [Why Not Jazz Room program…] [Facebook event…]

Above video: last time I performed with Tom Rainey. The set with Ken Filiano and Ingrid Laubrock took place as part of Gowanus Company at Douglass Street Music Collective, Brooklyn. Video by Scott Friedlander. [Watch the rest…]

short blurb

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

Brian Morton (Point of Departure)

“Tom Rainey is a player who swerves between avant-garde notions and a mainstream sensibility and when he plays the smell of invention is in the air”

Joseph Woodard (L.A Times)

Six strings, numerous membranes and metal discs.
One potentiometer plus twenty-two frets; chains, sticks and beaters.
Four arms, four legs; two bodies coupled to artifacts.

Crafty, resourceful, imaginative and virtuosic improvisative collision/dialog between drummer Tom Rainey and guitarist Han-earl Park.

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performance: Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky, Han-earl Park and Catherine Sikora) at ISIM, New York

Friday, June 6, 2014, at 3:00pm: a performance by Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky: guitar; Han-earl Park: guitar; and Catherine Sikora: saxophones) as part of ISIM: Cross-Cultural Improvisation III takes place at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (55 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011). Conference fees from $25 for single event to $200 for entire conference [more info and get tickets…].

See the performance diary for up-to-date info.

about Eris 136199

Eris 136199 plays on the crossroads of noise, melody, rhythm, space, density, contrast, synchronicity, asymmetry, serendipity and contradiction. Eris 136199 is the noisy, unruly complexity of composer, computer artist and guitarist Nick Didkovsky, the corporeal, cyborg virtuosity of constructor and guitarist Han-earl Park, and the no-nonsense melodic logic of composer and saxophonist Catherine Sikora.

A composer who enjoys blurry boundaries, Nick Didkovsky founded the avant-rock big band Doctor Nerve, and is a member of Swim This with Gerry Hemingway and Michael Lytle. He is a pioneer of small-systems computer music, and has composed music for ensemble including Bang On A Can All-Stars and the California EAR Unit.

Described by Brian Morton as “a musical philosopher… a delightful shape-shifter”, Han-earl Park is drawn to real-time cyborg configurations in which artifacts and bodies collide. He has performed with some of the finest practitioners of improvised music, is part of Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, and Numbers with Richard Barrett.

Catherine Sikora is “a free-blowing player’s player with a spectacular harmonic imagination and an evolved understanding of the tonal palette of the saxophone” (Chris Elliot, Seacoast Online). She has a long-standing duo project with Eric Mingus, and performs as part of ensembles led by Elliott Sharp, François Grillot and Matt Lavelle.

Together, Didkovsky, Park and Sikora forges an improvisative space where melody can be melody, noise can be noise, meter can be meter, metal becomes metal, bluegrass turns to bluegrass, jazz transforms into jazz, all there, all necessary without imploding under idiomatic pressures.

about the International Society for Improvised Music

ISIM’s purpose is to promote performance, education, and research in improvised music, and illuminate connections between musical improvisation and creativity across fields.

Melding diverse cultures, ethnicities, disciplines, and ideas that shape society at large, today’s musical world is rich with creative expressions that transcend conventional styles and categories. Improvisation is a core aspect of this global confluence.

In addition to other projects, and networking among improvisers, ISIM has held six festival/conferences since 2006, with a full schedule of talks, panel discussions, workshops, and performances during the day, and headliner per- formances in the evenings. Participants, including presenters, headliners, and audience, have been a mixture of academ- ics and people from the wider musical and artistic communities. Reflecting its commitment to diversity in its many forms, ISIM welcomes participants from the widest possible variety of ethnic, racial, cultural, and geographic back- grounds, strongly promotes gender balance, and celebrates work that is rooted in the many styles, genres, ethnic and historical traditions, methodologies and technologies both old and new, that are linked by the central practice of im- provisation. ISIM encourages collaboration with improvisatory practitioners from areas beyond music, such as dance, theater, visual music, and film, and also seeks to make its events open to a wider audience. This includes public school teachers, students, children, individuals from under-served communities, and others from the general cross section of people interested in the arts.

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