jazzColo[u]rs: al ritmo afasico della chitarra

‘Han-earl Park: al ritmo afasico della chitarra’, jazzColo[u]rs (Sommario Ago./Set. 2015, Anno VIII, n. 8-9)
© 2015 jazzColo[u]rs. Photo by Fergus Kelly.

The current edition of jazzColo[u]rs (Sommario Ago./Set. 2015, Anno VIII, n. 8–9) has an interview with me by Andrew Rigmore. It covers a broad range of my work, from my close collaboration with Catherine Sikora, my working relationships with Paul Dunmall, Evan Parker, and drummers such as Mark Sanders, Charles Hayward, Gino Robair and Tom Rainey, to ensembles and projects such as Eris 136199, Mathilde 253 and io 0.0.1 beta++. We also discuss the location of noise, rhythm, harmony and melody in my work, and the relationship between structure and improvisation. Andrew Rigmore opened by asking me about the meaning of ‘tactical macros’ in the context of Metis 9:

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.

[I describe Metis 9 as a collection of ‘tactical macros,’ and by that I mean that Metis 9 is a kind of playbook for improvisation; it’s designed for an ensemble of improvisers, and it’s, in a way, about improvisation. These are interactive schema: Metis 9 never dictates the exact gesture—each bloop or bleep—that the performers are to execute—that, I think, would be an anathema to a serious inquiry into improvisation—but it does lay the parameters for what kinds of interactions might be possible, and what kinds of interactions might be… difficult. These tactical macros that make up Metis 9 are often ambiguous, possibly nebulous, to the point of, I suspect, being paralyzing to non-improvisers. They are somewhat akin to the rules that are enrolled when you see young children in free play. The rules only exist if they serve the play—if they are fun or interesting or lead to further engaging play—and are freely mutated, reinterpreted and jettisoned when play leads elsewhere. So they aren’t really compositions as such—that would take a kind of authorial appropriation that would be unfair on the efforts of the performers—which is why I stuck the term ‘macro’ on it: it’s a shorthand instruction that expands into a real process, but the process itself is not knowable from the initial instruction; the performers—the actual interactive agents—are responsible for that.]

[Read the rest (PDF)…]

You can read more in the current issue of jazzColo[u]rs. The issue also includes Andrew Rigmore and Antonio Terzo’s review of Anomic Aphasia (SLAMCD 559).

Thanks to Andrew Rigmore, Antonio Terzo, Piero Rapisardi and jazzColo[u]rs for the profile and their support, and to Scott Friedlander and Fergus Kelly for the photographic portraits that accompany the article.

Out now: Anomic Aphasia

CD cover of ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton (artwork copyright 2015, Han-earl Park)

Anomic Aphasia (SLAMCD 559) [details…]

Performers: Han-earl Park (guitar), Catherine Sikora (tenor and soprano saxophones), Nick Didkovsky (guitar), and Josh Sinton (baritone saxophone and bass clarinet).

© 2015 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2015 SLAM Productions.

selected discography

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

Gargantius Effect +1 +2 +3 (Nor Cal, 08-2011) [details…]

Performers: Murray Campbell (violins, oboe and cor anglais), Randy McKean (saxophone, clarinets and flutes) with Han-earl Park (guitar), plus Gino Robair (energized surfaces, voltage made audible) and Scott R. Looney (hyperpiano).

(cc) 2012 Murray Campbell/Randy McKean/Han-earl Park/Gino Robair/Scott R. Looney.

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) [details…]

Performers: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone). [About this project…]

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

‘Mathilde 253’ (SLAMCD 528) CD cover (copyright 2010, Han-earl Park)

Mathilde 253 (SLAMCD 528) [details…]

Performers: Charles Hayward (drums, percussion and melodica), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Ian Smith (trumpet and flugelhorn) plus Lol Coxhill (saxophone). [About this ensemble…]

© 2010 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2010 SLAM Productions.

Paul Dunmall and Han-earl Park: Boolean Transforms (DLE-067) CD cover (copyright 2010, DUNS Limited Edition)

Boolean Transforms (DLE-067) [details…]

Performers: Paul Dunmall (saxophone and bagpipes) and Han-earl Park (guitar).

© 2010 DUNS Limited Edition.
℗ 2010 Paul Dunmall/Han-earl Park.

cross-cultural entanglements (reviews: Anomic Aphasia)

CD cover of ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton (artwork copyright 2015, Han-earl Park)
‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) © 2015 Han-earl Park

Yet more reviews of ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton. Following up on Cisco Bradley’s profile in JazzTokyo, Takeshi Goda locates my work within the context of cross-cultural meetings in New York, and draws attention to the names and titles:

ジャケット写真に写るのはギターのピックとサックスのリード。アルバム・タイトルは「失名詞症(失語症のひとつ。ものの名称を言ったり認識できない症状のこと)」の意味。便宜的にトラック・タイトルは付されているものの、言葉のない楽器同士の対話である即興演奏に名前をつける事は出来ない訳で、ギターとサックスの音響が重なり合う物音の交歓を総称するのにこれほど適したタイトルはないだろう。

友人たちに「ハン」(ハン・ベニンクと同じ発音)と呼ばれているというパクの在籍するグループには他にも数字絡みの名前が多い(Mathulde 253、io 0.0.1 beta++、Numbersなど)。数学を突き詰めると具体的な数値の存在しない哲学思想に近づくというから、名詞化できない即興の極致を求めるハンたちの活動理念の表出かもしれない。

2013年末にアイルランドに帰国し、現在はヨーロッパ中心に演奏活動を続けるハンだが、このアルバムにスナップされたNYシーンとの恊働が、今後も失われる事なく継続することは間違いない。[Read the rest…]

— 剛田 武 Takeshi Goda (JazzTokyo)

And this is probably a good point to remind those in Japan that you can order the CD from Disk Union.

Meanwhile Beppe Colli at CloudsandClocks, while writing a detailed blow-by-blow account of the record (with two guitarists as Sunny Murray and Jimmy Garrison), also takes time to unpack the names and terms enrolled in the album:

Given my background in sociology, I thought I understood what ‘anomic aphasia’ stood for, but had a look at the dictionary anyway, and that’s what I found: that while words such as ‘anomie’ and ‘anomy’ are part of the vocabulary of social sciences, the Medical meaning of the word ‘anomia’ is ‘a form of aphasia in which the patient is unable to recall the names of everyday objects’. Interested readers are invited to think about the ways in which the above-mentioned definition and the questionnaire that appears in the CD booklet—a series of questions which investigate important issues with a light tone—relate to improvisation….

Then there’s the trio of Park and Sikora plus Josh Sinton on baritone saxophone and bass clarinet, a trio that on two occasions employs ‘tactical macros’ devised and specified by Park himself bearing the name METIS 9. At first I thought that ‘macro’ stood for ‘meta-rule’, but the ‘anomic’ episode made me interrogate my dictionary one more time, so I found a meaning of macro as “a single instruction that expands automatically into a set of instructions to perform a particular task”. In fact, the transition from Monopod—the long improvised track that opens the CD—to Pleonasm—a track that has musicians making use of ‘tactical macros’—runs parallel to a transition towards shared rules that are correctly understood by the featured musicians. [Read the rest…] [In Italian…]

— Beppe Colli (ClocksandClouds)

[About this recording…] [All reviews…]

Also from SLAM Productions…

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) [details…]

Performers: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone). [About this project…]

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

‘Mathilde 253’ (SLAMCD 528) CD cover (copyright 2010, Han-earl Park)

Mathilde 253 (SLAMCD 528) [details…]

Performers: Charles Hayward (drums, percussion and melodica), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Ian Smith (trumpet and flugelhorn) plus Lol Coxhill (saxophone). [About this ensemble…]

© 2010 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2010 SLAM Productions.

updates

08–15-15: add new video trailer.

twist and turn, scrape, squeak and melodic (reviews: Anomic Aphasia)

CD cover of ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton (artwork copyright 2015, Han-earl Park)
‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) © 2015 Han-earl Park

Brittle? Tough and dense? Accessible and captivating? Exhilarating? Or verging on lyrical? John Eyles at All About Jazz gives ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton ☆☆☆☆½:

The guitarists’ [Nick Didkovsky’s and Han-earl Park’s] two very different styles could have clashed, but they find ways of fitting them together that leave space for the saxophone. [Catherine] Sikora could have been crowded out but she skilfully adapts to the soundscapes created by the guitars, and integrates her playing without compromising her style…. At times that playing does fit Park’s “noisy, unruly complexity” description, but when they are in full flow together, their exchanges fit together perfectly and are simply exhilarating, sometimes verging on lyrical….

Key to the success of the album’s middle three tracks is their line-up of Park and Sikora with Josh Sinton on baritone saxophone or bass clarinet; one guitar plus two reeds works better than one saxophone plus two guitars. Aurally, the separate contributions of these three individuals are easier to determine. Sinton’s confident, fluent improvising stands out as this trio’s trademark sound…. The interweaving of the trio’s three strands works effectively, with credit going equally to each member. [Read the rest…]

— John Eyles (All About Jazz)

In his ☆☆☆☆ review, Paul Acquaro at Free Jazz finds a “great set of free jazz trio work” in which “every twist and turn, scrape, squeak and melodic idea contributes to this adventurous and exciting recording”:

The album clocks in at a generous 71 minutes, and none of it is wasted. Starting with the 20 minute ‘Monopod’ with the cast of Sikora, Park and Didkovsky, things are off to a (briefly) squeaky start, then track begins in earnest, with the tenor sax’s free form melody cutting through the slashing tones of the guitars. What starts brittle, grows tough and dense. The ‘conversation’ between the sax and the guitars is intense at times, and at other times tender. Generally speaking, Park tends to be more atmospheric while Didkovsky is more biting.

The track ‘Pleonasm’ features the trio of Sinton, Sikora and Park. The rich tones of Sinton’s baritone sax and bass clarinet contrast nicely with Sikora’s vivacious playing on the tenor and soprano saxes. The track begins with Park’s minimalist approach—he employs a vocabulary of textures and taut phrases as the saxes reply with staccato bursts of melodic runs. The song, like the others, is abstract but there is something at the nexus of the trio’s playing that remains accessible and captivating.

‘Stopcock’ is the long burning closer to the album. Back to Sikora, Park and Didkovsky, the trio delivers a fascinating performance that starts with arpeggios and rhythmic picking lending a somewhat metal feel to the introduction. The two guitars play in parallel for a while—some time reaching agreement, other times in friendly competition. When Sikora joins, she delivers a vigorous melody that pulls the track together.

Between the four musicians, Anomic Aphasia is a great set of free jazz trio work. Every twist and turn, scrape, squeak and melodic idea contributes to this adventurous and exciting recording. [Read the rest…]

— Paul Acquaro (Free Jazz)

[About this recording…] [All reviews…]

Also from SLAM Productions…

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) [details…]

Performers: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone). [About this project…]

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

‘Mathilde 253’ (SLAMCD 528) CD cover (copyright 2010, Han-earl Park)

Mathilde 253 (SLAMCD 528) [details…]

Performers: Charles Hayward (drums, percussion and melodica), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Ian Smith (trumpet and flugelhorn) plus Lol Coxhill (saxophone). [About this ensemble…]

© 2010 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2010 SLAM Productions.

JazzTokyo: Jazz Right Now

Han-earl Park (Cork, 05-26-10)
Photograph © 2010 Stephanie Hough.

As part of his regular JazzTokyo column reporting on the new New York “21st Century Improvised Music” scene, Cisco Bradley (with Japanese version of the text by Takeshi Goda) writes about Anomic Aphasia (“one of the most interesting recent releases” in which “they dot, occasionally splash, and, at times, tear their collective portrait as they momentarily build, then cut, rearrange, dismember”), and talks of some of my collaborations in New York:

最も興味深い最近のリリース作品のひとつは、ギタリストのパク・ハンアルHan-earl Parkをリーダーとする二つの異なるトリオ演奏を収録した『アノミック・アフェイジア(Anomic Aphasia)』(SLAM Productions)である。ひとつはギタリストのニック・ディドゥコフスキー Nick Didkovskyとサックス奏者キャサリン・シコラ Catherine Sikoraとの<エリス136199 / Eris 136199>、もう一つはシコラとリード奏者ジョン・シントン Josh Sintonとの<メティス9 / Metis 9>。2月19日にリリースされたこのレコードには、パクのトレードマークの打楽器的アプローチによるギター・プレイが5曲の即興トラックに収めされている。アルバムは、エリスのギザギザで角のある楽曲が、メティスのより健全で流動的なナンバーに挟まれた構成になっている。本作はパクの2年間のニューヨーク滞在の成果である。その期間に、パクは上記二つのグループの他にもサックス奏者イングリッド・ラウブロック Ingrid Laubrock、ヴォーカリストのヴィヴ・コリンハム Viv Corringham、電子音楽の達人アンドレア・パーキンス Andrea Parkinsとも共同作業した。このレコードで、パクは白いキャンバスにサウンドで色を塗り、鼓舞されたバンドメイトたちも同様に絵筆を走らせた。彼らは一緒になって、描き上げたばかりの集合肖像画に点を穿ち、所々に飛沫を散らし、時には引き裂く。そして切り取り、並べ替え、分割する。2013年末にパクがアイルランドのコークへ帰国してしまって以来、ニューヨークでは彼の不在を嘆く声が絶えない。 [Read the rest…]

[One of the most interesting recent releases is Anomic Aphasia (SLAM Productions), led by guitarist Han-earl Park, including music from two different trios. The first is Eris 136199 with guitarist Nick Didkovsky and saxophonist Catherine Sikora and the latter is Metis 9 with Sikora and reeds-player Josh Sinton. Released on February 19, this record features Park with his signature percussive approach to guitar in five improvisations. The album is bookended by jagged, angular pieces by Eris surrounding the more wholesome, fluid numbers by Metis. The record is a product of Park’s two-year stint in New York during which time he built working relationships with the above groups as well as figures such as saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, vocal artist Viv Corringham, and electronics master Andrea Parkins. On this record, Park paints a sparse canvas with his sound and inspires his bandmates to do likewise. Together, they dot, occasionally splash, and, at times, tear their collective portrait as they momentarily build, then cut, rearrange, dismember. After his return to Cork, Ireland in late 2013, Park has been sorely missed here in New York.]

Thanks to Cisco for the profile. I am very happy and privileged to presented among such an amazing group of creative people… including a few old comrades (Hey, Andrew, Josh, Ingrid, Mike!).

After his return to Cork, Ireland in late 2013, Park has been sorely missed here in New York.

Ah, makes me a little homesick for Brooklyn. Hope to be back one of these days!

Out now: Anomic Aphasia

CD cover of ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton (artwork copyright 2015, Han-earl Park)

Anomic Aphasia (SLAMCD 559) [details…]

Performers: Han-earl Park (guitar), Catherine Sikora (tenor and soprano saxophones), Nick Didkovsky (guitar), and Josh Sinton (baritone saxophone and bass clarinet).

© 2015 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2015 SLAM Productions.

available: Anomic Aphasia

CD cover of ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton (artwork copyright 2015, Han-earl Park)
‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) © 2015 Han-earl Park

Quick update: in addition to directly from the label and its distributor, ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton is now available from the following stores:

[Improjazz…] [Crazy Jazz…] [Jazzcds…]

If you prefer your music telematically delivered, you can also download the album (although you will be missing out on some of the artwork and the linernotes). Download from, among other places:

[iTunes…] [eMusic…]

Fingers crossed, the CD will (soon) be available from your favorite AWESOME record store (Downtown Music Gallery and Wayside Music included). And, not to forget, you can always corner one of the musicians after a gig for a copy.

[About this recording…]

Also from SLAM Productions…

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) [details…]

Performers: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone). [About this project…]

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

‘Mathilde 253’ (SLAMCD 528) CD cover (copyright 2010, Han-earl Park)

Mathilde 253 (SLAMCD 528) [details…]

Performers: Charles Hayward (drums, percussion and melodica), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Ian Smith (trumpet and flugelhorn) plus Lol Coxhill (saxophone). [About this ensemble…]

© 2010 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2010 SLAM Productions.

Harmonious Discord (reviews: Anomic Aphasia)

CD cover of ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton (artwork copyright 2015, Han-earl Park)
‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) © 2015 Han-earl Park

First set of reviews of ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton. Avant Music News selects the recording as for a Pick of the Week, and hails the trio*2 on the recording as “a variable supergroup”:

Putting this unlikely lineup together was almost as brilliant as the recording they have produced….

‘Free’ is a barely sufficient to describe this approach, as the trios explore various angular constructs and effects. The vocabulary of sounds here is as broad as it is unconventional. Park and/or Didkovsky might strum or pick a string or two, then spend time rubbing it with their fingertips. Sikora and/or Sinton might blast percussively between more discernable notes. While an occasional interlocking harmony might emerge from all of this innovation, it is quickly shattered by unexpected Möbius twists….

An exercise in texture as much as it is in melody, Park, Sikora, Didkovsky, and Sinton don’t just break molds here – they disintegrate anything that resembles the ordinary with authority and prejudice. [Read the rest…]

— Mike Borella (Avant Music News)

Meanwhile, Rigobert Dittmann (a.k.a. rbd) in Bad Alchemy [BA 84] hears a “glorious bastard of noise and sweet dreams”:

Einmal Musik als discordia concors, Kollisionen in zwieträchtiger Eintracht. Oder als Grenzverletzungen mit merkurialem Scharfsinn. So oder so, man muss sich einhören auf einen Gitarristen [Han-earl Park], der Schlagzeuger und die Bläser Wadada Leo Smith und Paul Dunmall als maßgebend für sein Spiel nennt, ein Spiel, das er mit ‘weirderation’ charakterisiert als etwas, das bei jeder Wiederholung nur sonderbarer und eigenartiger wird. Simpler gesagt: Statt Plinkplonking gibt es pleomorphe Cockophonien mit krätzigem Gepixel und schartigem Gebröckel und Geprickel der Gitarristen im Kontrast mit immer wieder sonorem Sinnieren seitens Sikoras. Aber dann lässt Didkovsky auch die Finger fliegen und die Töne Dudelsack trillern oder entgleisen wie bei seinen heißen Doctor Nerve-Solos. Wobei er freilich seine Partner einlädt, ihm den Buckel rauf zu rutschen oder sich wimmernd in seine Arme zu kuscheln. Sikora spinnt Sopranolyrismen, die Didkovsky fuzzy überrauscht. Und so ad infinitum, ein glorioser Bastard aus Noise und süßer Träumerei.

— Rigobert Dittmann (Bad Alchemy)

“Broad as it is unconventional”? “Music as discordia concors, collisions in dual unity, or as border infringements with mercurial acuity”? or, as The Wire calls it, “curiously charmless”? (Probably better less said about the last 😉 )

[About this recording…] [All reviews…]

Also from SLAM Productions…

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) [details…]

Performers: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone). [About this project…]

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

‘Mathilde 253’ (SLAMCD 528) CD cover (copyright 2010, Han-earl Park)

Mathilde 253 (SLAMCD 528) [details…]

Performers: Charles Hayward (drums, percussion and melodica), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Ian Smith (trumpet and flugelhorn) plus Lol Coxhill (saxophone). [About this ensemble…]

© 2010 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2010 SLAM Productions.

performance: Hilary Jeffery, Han-earl Park, Andrea Parkins and Simon Rose at Ma Thilda, Berlin

Thursday, March 26, 2015, at 9:00pm: Hilary Jeffery (trombone), Han-earl Park (guitar), Andrea Parkins (accordion and electronics) and Simon Rose (saxophone) perform at Ma Thilda (Wildenbruchstraße 68, Neukölln, 12045 Berlin, Germany). Admission free; donation recommended.

I had a blast performing with Andrea last time (as I said, “insanely fun!”); I look forward to playing with Simon in a small group context (last time was anything but); and, incredibly, this will be my first on-stage meeting with Hilary. I’m looking forward to this mightily.

See the performance diary for up-to-date info. [Facebook event…]

Above audio clip: last time I performed with Andrea Parkins. (Music © + ℗ 2015 Han-earl Park and Andrea Parkins. Retroactive visuals/video © 2015 Han-earl Park.)

Anomic Aphasia

CD cover of ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton (artwork copyright 2015, Han-earl Park)
‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) © 2015 Han-earl Park

February 23, 2015: SLAM Productions releases ‘Anomic Aphasia’ (SLAMCD 559) featuring the ensemble Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky, Han-earl Park and Catherine Sikora), and rendering of improvisative tactics Metis 9 by Park, Sikora and Josh Sinton. [SLAM Productions catalog page…] [Discography entry…]

The CD is available from Downtown Music Gallery, Wayside Music, Disk Union… and all AWESOME record stores.

[Get the CD from SLAM Productions…]
[Downtown Music Gallery…] [Wayside Music…] [Disk Union…] [Improjazz…] [Crazy Jazz…] [Jazzcds…] [Proper Music (distributor)…] [More stores…]

[Download from iTunes…]* [eMusic…]*

* Downloads, in contrast to the physical CDs, do not include the liner notes.

news and updates

September 4, 2018: Eris 136199 (BAF001)

October 9, 2018: Eris 136199’s eponymous album is out now (compact disc and digital download)! Eris 136199 is the quick-reacting cyborg virtuosity of Han-earl Park, the mighty melodic imagination and…

August 4, 2018: Eris 136199: in the works…

Coming soon (pre-orders in September): new album by Eris 136199 (Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Nick Didkovsky)! Recorded during the 2017 European tour, the album is the trio’s followup to their…

[All articles on Anomic Aphasia…]

description

Challenging and phenomenal works with the musicians playing off of each others ideas…. A beautiful noise. [More…]

KFJC 89.7 FM

Putting this unlikely lineup together was almost as brilliant as the recording they have produced…. ‘Free’ is a barely sufficient to describe this approach, as the trios explore various angular constructs and effects. The vocabulary of sounds here is as broad as it is unconventional. [More…]

— Mike Borella (Avant Music News)

Impressive in scale, overwhelming in execution, it’s a cyclic frenzy of fragmented sounds without an ounce of entropy, yet somehow with a sense of clear movement and progression. Warning: close listening can produce altered states…. [More…]

— Dave Foxall (a Jazz Noise)

彼らは一緒になって、描き上げたばかりの集合肖像画に点を穿ち、所々に飛沫を散らし、時には引き裂く。そして切り取り、並べ替え、分割する。 [More…]

— Cisco Bradley (JazzTokyo)

Atmospheric as to become almost frightening [More…]

— Ken Waxman (The New York City Jazz Record)

Ein glorioser Bastard aus Noise und süßer Träumerei. [More…]

— Rigobert Dittmann (Bad Alchemy)

[More reviews…]

Anomic Aphasia documents two New York-based projects: the noisy, unruly complexity of the ensemble Eris 136199; and the interactive playbook Metis 9, a collection of improvisative tactics. Guitarists Han-earl Park (Mathilde 253) and Nick Didkovsky (Doctor Nerve), and reedists Catherine Sikora (Clockwork Mercury) and Josh Sinton (Ideal Bread) render a space of unexpected collisions, weaving orbital paths, and playful discord.

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.

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.

Metis 9 is a collection of improvisative tactics, and higher-level interactive macros for ensemble performance designed, designated and specified by Han-earl Park in collaboration with Josh Sinton and Catherine Sikora.

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.

trailer

personnel

Han-earl Park (guitar), Catherine Sikora (tenor and soprano saxophones), Nick Didkovsky (guitar; tracks 1 and 5), and Josh Sinton (baritone saxophone and bass clarinet; tracks 2–4).

track listing

Monopod (27:19), Pleonasm (Metis 9) (17:08), Flying Rods (Metis 9) (7:41), Hydraphon (7:34), StopCock (10:54). Total duration: 70:33.

recording details

Tracks 1 and 5: music by Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky, Han-earl Park and Catherine Sikora). Tracks 2–4: music by Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Josh Sinton. Tracks 2–3: tactical macros (‘Metis 9’) devised and specified by Han-earl Park.

Tracks 1 and 5 recorded live at Douglass Street Music Collective, Brooklyn on June 5, 2013. Recording engineered by Scott Friedlander.
Tracks 2–4 recorded live at Harvestworks, New York City on October 29, 2013. Recording engineered by Kevin Ramsay. Mixed by Han-earl Park.
Design and artwork by Han-earl Park.

Thanks to Scott Friedlander, Kevin Ramsay, Carol Parkinson, Hans Tammen, Melanie L Marshall, Caroline Pugh, Richard Barrett, Ras Moshe, John Pietaro, Shayna Dulberger and Emilio Vavarella.

© 2015 Han-earl Park. ℗ 2015 SLAM Productions.

about the performers

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) 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.

Since making her way to New York City from West Cork, Ireland to study abstract improvisation, Catherine Sikora has become a well-known face and sound in New York creative music circles. She has worked with Elliott Sharp, Eric Mingus, Michael Evans, Enrique Haneine, Karl Berger, Matt Lavelle, Jeremy Bacon, François Grillot and Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, among many others. Her undeniably unique approach sets her apart from everyone else, even when surrounded by the most original and creative voices in New York City. Sikora is a contributing writer to the book “Silent Solos-Improvisers Speak” (Buddy’s Knife Publishing, Köln, DE).

Current working projects include Clockwork Mercury (duo with Eric Mingus) and an improvising duo with drummer Brian Chase; Sikora’s first solo recording will be released in fall 2015.

“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)

With a musical career spanning 30 years, Nick Didkovsky is a guitarist, composer, and music software programmer. He founded the rock band Doctor Nerve in 1983 and is a member of the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet. He has composed for Bang On A Can All-Stars, Meridian Arts Ensemble, ETHEL, and others. His compositions and guitar work appear on over 50 records.

His Black Sabbath Guitar Lessons on YouTube have been received with great enthusiasm by metal fans all over the world. His metal band Häßliche Luftmasken premiered in June 2011.

With computer music pioneer Phil Burk, Didkovsky created Java Music Specification Language which is used by composers all over the world. He has taught JMSL at Dartmouth College, CalArts, Columbia University, and NYU. With composer Georg Hajdu, he has created MaxScore, an object that uses JMSL to bring music notation to Max/MSP.

His Punos Music record label serves up his more extreme musical projects.

Brooklyn-based saxophonist/clarinetist/composer Josh Sinton is probably best known as the leader of Ideal Bread, the Steve Lacy repertory band. He also performs regularly with Andrew D’Angelo’s DNA big band, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, the Nate Wooley Quintet and Anthony Braxton’s Tricentric Orchestra. He’s played with avant-garde luminaries such as Roswell Rudd, Karl Berger and John Butcher, newer voices Ingrid Laubrock, Matana Roberts and Jeremiah Cymerman and pop singers Michael Buble and Norah Jones.

In 2012, Sinton released his autobiographical album Pine Barren (featuring Jon Irabagon, Jonathan Goldberger, Peter Bitenc and Mike Pride) with accompanying essays on the Prom Night Records label to critical acclaim (“deeply confessional and emotionally revealing” – Shaun Brady, Downbeat, Nov. 2012). This year he will release another record on Prom Night, anomonous on which he freely improvises on the amplified contrabass clarinet with Denman Maroney (hyperpiano) and Ben Miller (electronics). Currently he’s in the midst of finishing arrangements for the next Ideal Bread record, an ambitious re-recording of all the material Steve Lacy put out on the Saravah label in the 1970’s and was recently repackaged as Scratching the Seventies. The working title of this work-in-progress is Beating the Teens.

Sinton grew up in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey, came of musical age attending AACM classes in Chicago and completed his classroom education in Boston at the New England Conservatory of music. Along the way, he’s toured and played in India, Israel, Japan, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland. Currently he happily resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Laura and daughter Zosia.

Also available as part of…

The Complete Eris 136199 on CD

The Complete Eris 136199 on CD

Limited number of Eris 136199’s two CDs at a special price.

Eris 136199 (BAF001, 2018).
• Anomic Aphasia (SLAMCD 559, 2015) with Josh Sinton.

[Get the set…]

Also by Eris 136199…

Cover of ‘Eris 136199’ (BAF001) by Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Nick Didkovsky (artwork copyright 2018, Han-earl Park)

Eris 136199 (BAF001) [details…]

Personnel: Han-earl Park (guitar), Catherine Sikora (saxophone) and Nick Didkovsky (guitar). [About this ensemble…]

© + ℗ 2018 Han-earl Park.

Also from SLAM Productions…

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) [details…]

Performers: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone). [About this project…]

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

‘Mathilde 253’ (SLAMCD 528) CD cover (copyright 2010, Han-earl Park)

Mathilde 253 (SLAMCD 528) [details…]

Performers: Charles Hayward (drums, percussion and melodica), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Ian Smith (trumpet and flugelhorn) plus Lol Coxhill (saxophone). [About this ensemble…]

© 2010 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2010 SLAM Productions.

updates

03–06-15: add news and updates feed.
04–22-15: add purchase links (Improjazz, Crazy Jazz, Jazzcds, Proper Music, iTunes and eMusic).
06–02-15: add Disk Union link.
08–13-15: add Wayside Music link.
08–15-15: add new video trailer.
09–18-15: add Downtown Music Gallery link.
09–23-15: update Downtown Music Gallery link.
11–24-16: added reviews.
03–24-19: added BAF001 album.

Stay tuned…

Harvestworks (New York, October 29, 2013)
Apologies for the paucity of updates. I’m working on several things behind-the-scenes, and will be back shortly with news of performances coming up in Berlin, Manchester, Belfast and elsewhere; updates on Anomic Aphasia (SLAMCD 559); and news of a new amplifier. Be right back….

teaser: Anomic Aphasia

Short preview of the forthcoming Anomic Aphasia (SLAMCD 559). To be released by SLAM Productions in February 2015, as previously announced, the recording features the ensemble Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky: guitar; Han-earl Park: guitar; and Catherine Sikora: saxophones), and renderings of Metis 9 (a collaboration between Park; Sikora; and Josh Sinton: saxophone and clarinet).

Anomic Aphasia will be available from Downtown Music Gallery, Squidco, Wayside Music and all AWESOME record stores, and as download from iTunes, eMusic, etc. More info to follow…

For the latest, check back at: www.busterandfriends.com/aphasia

[SLAM catalog page…]

recording details

Music by Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky, Han-earl Park and Catherine Sikora), and by Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Josh Sinton. Tactical macros (‘Metis 9’) devised and specified by Han-earl Park.

Recorded live at Douglass Street Music Collective, Brooklyn on June 5, 2013.
Recording engineered by Scott Friedlander.

Recorded live at Harvestworks, New York City on October 29, 2013.
Recording engineered by Kevin Ramsay. Mixed by Han-earl Park.

Design and artwork by Han-earl Park.

© Han-earl Park. ℗ SLAM Productions.

Available from SLAM Productions…

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) [details…]

Performers: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone). [About this project…]

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

‘Mathilde 253’ (SLAMCD 528) CD cover (copyright 2010, Han-earl Park)

Mathilde 253 (SLAMCD 528) [details…]

Performers: Charles Hayward (drums, percussion and melodica), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Ian Smith (trumpet and flugelhorn) plus Lol Coxhill (saxophone). [About this ensemble…]

© 2010 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2010 SLAM Productions.

updates

02–18–15: link to SLAM catalog entry.

CD in preparation: Anomic Aphasia

‘Anomic Aphasia’ with Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton (artwork preview copyright 2014, Han-earl Park)
Artwork © 2014 Han-earl Park.

To be released by SLAM Productions in February 2015: Anomic Aphasia (SLAMCD 559) featuring two New York/Brooklyn-based projects, the collision of noise and serendipity that is Eris 136199 (Nick Didkovsky: guitar; Han-earl Park: guitar; and Catherine Sikora: saxophones), and the real-time rendering of the improvisative playbook Metis 9 (a collaboration between Park; Sikora; and Josh Sinton: saxophone and clarinet).

I am very proud of the work represented by these projects, documenting some of the best playing that I have had the honor of being part of. Super excited that this is coming out.

Anomic Aphasia will be available from Downtown Music Gallery, Squidco, Wayside Music and all AWESOME record stores, and as download from iTunes, eMusic, etc. More info to follow…

For the latest, check back at: www.busterandfriends.com/aphasia

Available from SLAM Productions…

‘io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) CD cover (copyright 2011, Han-earl Park)

io 0.0.1 beta++ (SLAMCD 531) [details…]

Performers: io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone). [About this project…]

© 2011 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.

‘Mathilde 253’ (SLAMCD 528) CD cover (copyright 2010, Han-earl Park)

Mathilde 253 (SLAMCD 528) [details…]

Performers: Charles Hayward (drums, percussion and melodica), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Ian Smith (trumpet and flugelhorn) plus Lol Coxhill (saxophone). [About this ensemble…]

© 2010 Han-earl Park.
℗ 2010 SLAM Productions.

updates

11–19–14: new release date: February 2015.

site update: Han-earl Park bio plus YouTube playlist

Although nowhere near a big a revision as the last major update, I’ve made some significant changes to my bio. Below is the new verbose, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, 472 word version [shorter versions…].

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).

[Han-earl Park’s biography (16–472 words) plus press quotes…]

I’ve also taken the opportunity to create a new video playlist of selected performances. With 52 videos, and clocking in at around 13 hours, my previous playlist of ‘recent’ performances was no longer able to be an effective portfolio reel. Thanks as always to the videographers (Don Mount, Kevin Reilly and Scott Friedlander), and to all the performers.