busterandfriends.com redesign (long overdue)

busterandfriends.com
Header photo © 2013 Emilio Vavarella.

busterandfriends.com gets a redesign. The previous design lasted almost seven years (and just to think I thought that revamp was overdue 😉 ). Some content (especially layouts of pages) will need renovation, and I’ll roll these out in the course of the coming weeks.

As with previous iterations, I expect the usual bugs and glitches. I’d greatly appreciate comments and error reports.

btw, I apologize for the paucity of updates in recent weeks. There are a few things brewing behind-the-scenes, however, so I’ll be back in touch with updates…

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 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.

Happy New Year: 2015

Original photographs/images © 2014 Don Mount; © 2014 Dee Byrne/LUME; and (cc by-nc) 2014 Han-earl Park. Images/artwork pertaining to cuttlefish: design (cc by-nc) 2014 Peter O’Doherty; cover artwork © 2014 Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh; score/artwork © 2014 Han-earl Park; photo © 2013 Emilio Vavarella.
Original photographs/images © 2014 Don Mount; © 2014 Dee Byrne/LUME; and (cc by-nc) 2014 Han-earl Park. Images/artwork pertaining to cuttlefish: design (cc by-nc) 2014 Peter O’Doherty; cover artwork © 2014 Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh; score/artwork © 2014 Han-earl Park; photo © 2013 Emilio Vavarella. [Listen/watch 2014…]

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.

cuttlefish: Study of Notation

cuttlefish, ‘Study in Notation.’
Design (cc by-nc) 2014 Peter O’Doherty. Cover artwork © 2014 Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh. Score/artwork © 2014 Han-earl Park. Photo © 2013 Emilio Vavarella.

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.

Prepared Guitar: 13 Questions

13 Questions (Han-earl Park. Harvestworks, NYC, October 29, 2013. Photo copyright 2013 Emilio Vavarella.)
Han-earl Park (Harvestworks, NYC, October 29, 2013). Original photo © 2013 Emilio Vavarella.

For Miguel Copón, Prepared Guitar is a “metaphor about metamorphosis” and a “place to support independent artists”. Prepared Guitar recently published my response to Copón’s 13 Questions, so you can now read, among other things, about my first guitar, my musical roots (as contradictory as they may be), and what I’m currently working on:

A CD with Catherine Sikora, Nick Didkovsky and Josh Sinton in the works. Looking to fire up a couple of European projects after a hiatus: the duo with Richard [Barrett], and Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith.

But the thing that’s tugging at me right now is the possibilities of the score in the context of improvisative performance. Ideas, some specific, some nebulous, all as yet untested about what might be possible…

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-practitioners 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…]

You can also read my struggle with a question about the necessity of music, my take on the current digital music scene, and the politics of ‘extended technique’:

So what’s being ‘extended’ by ‘extended technique’? Is it akin to, say, a colonial explorer extending their influence and territory; ‘discovering’ a land (regardless of whether some other people were there first)?

Had an interested online exchange with Hans Tammen on the subject, and it struck me how much the term ‘extended technique’ is a way to distinguish pioneers from the rest of us. Where you draw those lines (between common practice and extended technique) says much more about your own history and prejudices than some essential quality of the technique in question.

Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith once pointed out how Stockhausen claimed the invention of certain ‘extended techniques’ for the trumpet that were patently false if you had even a passing knowledge of practices outside of West European traditions. Did Stockhausen, and his supporters, claim these techniques because of a kind of ignorance, or as a deliberate erasure of other traditions? Either way, it requires a heavy dose of privilege to ignore, to justify your ignorance, or to mark peoples and cultures as irrelevant. [Read the rest…]

Looking through the list of respondents to the 13 Questions, I’m honored to find my name among those guitarists whose work I admire. I’m grateful that Miguel Copón asked me to participate.

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.

thanks: Eris 136199 (DMG, NYC) and Park-Sikora-Sinton (Harvestworks, NYC)

Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Josh Sinton (Harvestworks, NYC, October 29, 2013). Photo copyright 2013 Emilio Vavarella.
Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Josh Sinton (Harvestworks, NYC, October 29, 2013). Photo © 2013 Emilio Vavarella.

Acknowledgments re the, for the time being, final performances of two projects: Eris 136199 on October 27, and Metis 9 on October 29. My hat goes off to my comrades Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora who make Eris 136199 the site of unexpected choices—of twists and turns. We’d thought our previous performance was weird, this one warranted a new term:

weirderation wir-də-ˈrā-shən noun. process that results in something just that little bit weirder with each iteration. [compare examples A and B]

I am greatly indebted to Catherine Sikora and Josh Sinton for doing the heavy lifting, and turning my barebone sketches and speculations into music; for engageing intelligently, adventurously and imaginatively with the context at hand. These past months have been a learning experience for me as tactician, and I couldn’t have asked for better teachers.

Thanks to Bruce and Manny at the World’s Best Record Store for hosting us, and for their unshakable advocacy of new music. Thanks to Carol Parkinson, Hans Tammen, Kevin Ramsay, Emilio Vavarella and everyone at Harvestworks for hosting our performance, their enthusiasm, and for their support. Thanks again to Kevin Reilly for his video documentation of the DMG performance [watch/listen…], and, as always, thanks to all who came to listen and witness the musicking—real-time and interactive.

Next up: performance in Pittsburgh (November 7) as part of Crucible Sound, then back to New York (November 17) for a duo performance with Viv Corringham [canceled…] back to Brooklyn (November 20) for a duo performance with Anna Webber. See the performance diary for up-to-date info.