Plus, on the previous day (Tuesday, December 11), at 3:30pm, Han-earl Park will also be giving a presentation at the Colloquium at the Varèsezaal, Instituut voor Sonologie. He may be talking about:
Improvising automata, and improvising cyborgs; performing stories of salvation through technology, and amplifying the voices of everyday artifacts. Cautionary tales, and small triumphs, from the practice of an institutionally unaffiliated artist-engineer, as he attempts to evolve techniques and approaches while riding the lines between ambiguity, didacticism, the improvisative, virtuosity, and neo-Ludditism.
Limited in number, my (near) complete discography is for sale at a special price. The set comprises of four glass-mastered CDs, and one limited edition CD-R (plus, for the first two lucky listeners, another limited edition CD-R). Available for €25 plus shipping, you can consider it €5 per disc (and a bonus CD-R for the first two customers).
Live at the Glucksman is only available to the first two customers: I only have two copies left! (btw, I had been hoping to include the duo CD with Paul Dunmall, but it looks like I am completely out of those. For those who still have copies, consider yourself one of the lucky few 😉 )
Glass-mastered CDs in shrink-wrapped jewel cases. CD-Rs in sleeves.
Live at the Glucksman is only available to the first two customers.
It is vital that you contact me before returning items (click “contact Han-earl Park” on this page). I will do my absolute best to address any concerns and damaged (unplayable) items, but please note that some of these discs are limited in number, so replacements (unlike refunds) may be a non-trivial issue.
Physical items shipped by standard post. Please contact me (click “contact Han-earl Park” on this page) before making your order for special delivery instructions and/or alternative shipping methods.
In addition to being an awesome record store, Downtown Music Gallery is an institution that supports left-field, creative music. Part archive of sound recordings and folk knowledge, part performance space, NY Times described DMG as “one of the last remaining Manhattan outposts of Downtown music, defined by a melting-pot aesthetic inspired by the stew of cultures.” Over the years, DMG has been a tireless champion of creative people, communities and culture in an oftentimes indifferent world, but The Best Record Store in the World now needs our support:
This is has been a very difficult year for us financially speaking. Our Used & Sale CD lists get little response no matter what we do. We are selling a bit more Used vinyl through Discogs and here in the store but not enough. What can you do to help us survive? Donate money if you can afford it, order something from us, get someone you know to subscribe to the DMG weekly newsletter or come visit us when you can. Currently some 6,000 folks get our newsletter but only a hundred or so actually order from us with any regularity. If nearly everyone who does get the newsletter just contributed $5 or $10 each, this would help to make it to the end of the year and maybe beyond….
If you still care about DMG and enjoy reading our newsletter than please help us in any way that you can. Tell those you know who still care about our future as well. [Read the rest…]
I am privileged to have had DMG’s support over the years (they gave me one of my first gigs after I arrived in New York). Please help them offer that support to many others in the years to come.
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.]
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.
Expériences de résonnances et d’occupation de l’espace sonore. Très dramatique sans narration. Tout l’espace est occupé, toujours de manière surprenante, avec peu de sons, peu de matière (toutefois l’occupation peut se densifier sans rupture), travaillée finement, une dentelle de musique. Des allers et venues des sons comme de personnages sur ce qu’on peut vraiment appeler une scène musicale. Un travail de legato général, structurel, dans la rupture permanente des sons individuels. Un disque étonnant dans lequel les sons de l’automate sont reconnaissable sans être décalés. Les humains ne jouent pas comme s’ils étaient entre eux, le robot les influence, l’inverse est vrai. [Read the rest…]
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…]
Numbers is a complex melange of retro/futurist synth sounds, glitch electronica, guitar-sourced whammy-bar pitch-bending and hard-scrabble picking over bridge and pickups: a volatile stream of fractal note-data and complex electro-acoustics, all slippery switchbacks and other such abrupt transitions.
This makes for kaleidoscopic music, a rubato flux of superimposed noises in which lightning-fast progression from one galvanising sound event (noise thru silence) to another, and the musicians’ constant attention to overall form, carry far more weight than developmental foresightedness or melodic thrust: it’s music of the moment, a process of constantly tweaked evolutionary recombination.
The duo are tenacious in their work of sonic abiogenesis, and the six Numbers pieces are all longish…. The sound events comprised by tracks like “Ankpla” and “Uettet” are as disjointed as they are contiguous, but the overriding sense impression is that each whole flows nicely, and the album as a whole rewardingly absorbs attention. [Read the rest…]
Featuring Richard Barrett on electronics and Han-earl Park on guitar. Richard Barrett is a UK composer as well as an improvising electronic musician who plays in Furt, Forch and with Evan Parker, all of whom record for the Psi label. Originally UK-based guitarist Han-earl Park has been living in NY for the past couple of years and working with many Downtown players like Louise Jensen & Michael Evans (who he played with here at DMG last Sunday – 1/20/13), Harris Eisenstadt, Tim Perkis and Anthony Braxton. When Mr. Park was living in the UK, he worked with Paul Dunmall, Charles Hayward and invented a device called io 0.0.1 Beta, that played its own improvisations. An impressive resume for sure. Han-earl left us with this duo effort and I’m glad he did.
I dig the intense exchange between these two gifted improvisers. There are a number of bent sounds which make it hard to determine who is doing what. What electric guitar sounds I recognize are sharp, focused and quickly formed & let loose. Han-earl does not sound like a jazz guitarist and doesn’t play any of those popular licks. More often he is playing a series of broken yet tight phrases which fit perfectly with Mr. Barrett’s more rounded electronics. The fractured phrases that erupt throughout this disc often sound like just one musician playing by himself since we never know where one sound begins or ends or what it will turn into. There are a few rubbed string sounds which remind me of Fred Frith at times but that is the reference I can pull out of my own listening encounters. Otherwise this is duo is completely unique, exciting and engaging.
btw, I have yet to perform with Mr. Braxton (I assume Bruce meant Wadada), and I’m from California, but otherwise the description, especially “fractured phrases that erupt throughout this disc often sound like just one musician playing by himself since we never know where one sound begins or ends or what it will turn into”, is pretty accurate! Thanks for listening, Bruce.
I’ve finally updated and reorganized my scrapbook. It’s been a few years since I last made changes to this audio and video archive, so there’s a good few additions, and a few more tracks (with Richard Barrett, Paul Dunmall and Mark Sanders) will be added in the coming weeks. Below is a sample of some of the more recent additions. Enjoy!
Music by Han-earl Park, Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder.
Recorded May 25, 2010 at the Ó Riada Hall, UCC Music Building, Cork.
Audio clip courtesy of SLAM Productions. ℗ 2011 SLAM Productions.
Recorded and mixed by Han-earl Park.
This quartet (or faux-quartet, if you prefer) performs demanding free improvisation calling on a range of extended techniques. Pieces of dismantled gestures, destabilizing timbres, and impressive synergy.
François Couture (Monsieur Délire)
An idea that would be pleasing to the Futurists of a century ago, a total hymn to modernity…. The completely improvised session requires a lot of attention from the listener, to be fully repaid by that which is a successful experiment.
We watch and listen carefully because we know we’re seeing a kind of manifesto in action. What is an automaton? A sketch, a material characterization of the ideas the inventor and the inventor’s culture have about some aspect of life, and how it could be. io and its kind are alternate beings born of ideas, decisions and choices. It is because io stands alone, an automaton, that the performance recorded on this CD not only is music, but is about music.
An extraordinary meeting between human and machine improvisers. Featuring the machine musician io 0.0.1 beta++ with guitarist Han-earl Park and saxophonists Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder, the performance is part critique and part playful exploration, both a boundary-breaking demonstration of socio-musical technologies and an ironic sci-fi parody.
Constructed by Han-earl Park, io 0.0.1 beta++ is a modern-day musical automaton. It is not an instrument to be played but a non-human artificial musician that performs alongside its human counterparts. io 0.0.1 beta++ representing a personal-political investigation of technology, interaction, improvisation and musicality. It whimsically evokes a 1950s B-movie robot—seemingly jerry-rigged, constructed from ad-hoc components including plumbing, kitchenware, speakers and missile switches—celebrating the material and corporeal.
The performances with this artificial musician highlights society’s entanglement with technology, demonstrates alternative modes of interfacing the musical and the technological, and illuminates the creative and improvisative processes in music. The performance is a radical and playful engagement with powerful and problematic dreams (and nightmares) of the artificial; a dream as old as the anthropology of robots.