Thanks: Eris 136199 (London, Lisbon and Dublin, August 2019)

Eris 136199 (Jazz em Agosto, Lisbon, 08-11-19)
Photo © Jazz em Agosto / Petra Cvelbar

First, my thanks as always to those who came to listen and witness musicking in real-time collisions. It was great to see so many old friends and new faces; to hear from so many of how you made your way into this music. My heartfelt thanks to you for embarking on the journey with us!

I am so very grateful to all our hosts: a big, big, big thanks to Jazz em Agosto for making all this possible. My deepest gratitude to Rui Neves for first inviting this unruly trio to perform at the festival, and to his unerring belief in the necessity of difficult music. Thanks also to the super-professional sound and stage team; to Petra Cvelbar for the awesome photography; to João Brilhante for all the media work; and to the unshakable patience and enthusiasm of Inês Nunes who got this trio from A-to-B and back again (I expect big things in all your future endeavors).

Catherine Sikora of Eris 136199 (Jazz em Agosto, Lisbon, 08-11-19)
© Jazz em Agosto / Petra Cvelbar

Warmest thanks everyone at The Vortex for their generosity and enthusiasm—what a true community! In particular, thanks to the amazing Kathianne Hingwan for her kindness and generosity, to Kim Macari for the invitation to perform, and to our fantastic sound engineer Ali Ward for the faster-than-light energy. (And of course Nutmeg for greeting the band!)

Thanks to everyone behind the scenes at the Dublin event: to Note Productions (to Matthew Nolan for putting together the program), and to Improvise Music Company (to Aoife Concannon, Adam Nolan, Kenneth Killeen, and, in particular for the Question & Answer, to Caitríona O’Mahony). Thanks also to Zeropunkt (Fergus Cullen, Jamie Davis and Damien Lennon) for graciously sharing the stage with us.

Kudos, Sean Woodlock, mastermind behind Hackney Road Studios for the smoothest, quickest, most professional of setups, and for creating the most musically, technically, logistically and acoustically satisfying studio recording experience I’ve ever had. Truly, if anyone needs a recording, hit Sean up. (And thanks to Colin Webster for recommending the studio.)

Han-earl Park of Eris 136199 (Jazz em Agosto, Lisbon, 08-11-19)
© Jazz em Agosto / Petra Cvelbar

Thanks to Laurent Carrier and everyone Colore for handling all the paperwork, and to the tireless Lee Paterson who helped negotiate the details, and guided this musician carefully through the whole paperwork process. You were just above-and-beyond, Lee! (And thanks to Ingrid Laubrock for introducing me to Lee, and to Alex Hawkins and Charles Hayward for BTS consultations.)

Kudos to Paul Acquaro and everyone at Free Jazz, to Mike Borella at Avant Music News, to Dave Foxall at a Jazz Noise, and Tim Owen of _____on Sound for their continued support, and help getting the word out about our music and these performances.

Eris 136199 (Jazz em Agosto, Lisbon, 08-11-19)
© Jazz em Agosto / Petra Cvelbar

Last, but certainly not least, thanks go to my travel companions, both in musical and geographical space (and in hypothetical lived simulations and dream states). A big thanks to Catherine for the big note, the moments of harmonic serendipity, and the unexpectedly expected interjections; and to Nick for the super-critical noise, the human-controlled virtual reverb chamber, and for the dreamy soundscapes (or is that the sound dreamscapes). Thank you both for observing and noting the synchronicity in our travels (of foxes, of tango, of almost forgotten ancestors, of frozen assets). As we discussed on multiple occasions on the tour, the ensemble is the composition, and it was a pleasure to study this composition more fully with each performance: experiencing the music of changes from energetic play of weight and light (Vortex, London), high-risk explorations of the outer reaches of idiom (Hackney Road, London), games of serendipity and of disjunction (Lisbon), and music of counterpoint and real harmony (Dublin).

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).

Track listing: Therianthropy I (≥ 3:43), Therianthropy II (8:56), Therianthropy III (3:55), Therianthropy IV (6:30), Adaptive Radiation I (6:44), Adaptive Radiation II (8:48), Adaptive Radiation III (5:54), Universal Greebly (10:58), Hypnagogia I (8:03), Hypnagogia II (4:45). Total duration ≥ 68:25.

© + ℗ 2018 Han-earl Park.

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…]

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.

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

Reminder: Eris 136199 at Vortex, London

This Thursday (August 8, 2019), at 8:00pm: get an earful of improvised goodness as Eris 136199 (Han-earl Park: guitar; Catherine Sikora: saxophones; and Nick Didkovsky: guitar) launch their second European mini-tour with a performance at the Vortex Jazz Club (11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ). It’s the first time we get to present our real-time collisions of awesome melodic logic, glitch’n’riff anthems, and systems music to London, Lisbon and Dublin. As Nick wrote before our previous tour:

I have never been able to detect any implicit rules, favorite things to do, implied directions, or aesthetic goals in this band. People start playing, they stop, start again, stop again… insofar as music is a temporal art, that’s pretty elemental behavior, and is about the only binding agreement in Eris 136199 that I have detected. Which I recognize is barely a statement, as the passage of time is inviolable in all contexts, be they free or restrictive. Physics doesn’t care. But Eris cares a lot. Time is a precious thing to Han and Catherine, and the action of scattering sound onto it is a sacred and mysterious ritual. [Read the rest…]

Am I excited? That’d be an understatement. Come and catch Eris in play, and, to quote a Jazz Noise, let the “insane brain surgeon in through your ear.” [Get tickets…] [Special offer…]

Eris 136199 is also performing…

August 11: Lisbon, Portugal; and August 12: Dublin, Ireland. [Details…]

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).

Track listing: Therianthropy I (≥ 3:43), Therianthropy II (8:56), Therianthropy III (3:55), Therianthropy IV (6:30), Adaptive Radiation I (6:44), Adaptive Radiation II (8:48), Adaptive Radiation III (5:54), Universal Greebly (10:58), Hypnagogia I (8:03), Hypnagogia II (4:45). Total duration ≥ 68:25.

© + ℗ 2018 Han-earl Park.

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…]

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.

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

Eris 136199 (London, Lisbon and Dublin, August 2019)

In a field of experimentation and free music, Eris 136199 stands as singular.

— John Pietaro (The New York City Jazz Record)

Ein glorioser Bastard aus Noise und süßer Träumerei.

— Rigobert Dittmann (Bad Alchemy)

August 2019: Eris 136199 (Han-earl Park: guitar; Catherine Sikora: saxophones; and Nick Didkovsky: guitar) returns! bringing more harmonious discord and noisy melismata to three European capitals—London, Lisbon and Dublin (see the performance diary for up-to-date info).

I am very proud of this group and the beautiful racket we make, and so very, very grateful to be making more noise for you. See you in a few weeks!

Details

Eris 136199: Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Nick Didkovsky (Newcastle, 11-05-17). Copyright 2017 Ken Drew.
© 2017 Ken Drew.

Formed in New York in 2012, Eris 136199 is the quick-reacting cyborg virtuosity of Han-earl Park (Sirene 1009), the mighty melodic imagination and big tenor sound of Catherine Sikora (Clockwork Mercury), and the diamond-cut precision and grind-meets-experimentalism of Nick Didkovsky (Doctor Nerve). Eris 136199’s music has been hailed as “a beautiful noise” (KFJC 89.7 FM) and “exquisitely constructed, spontaneously messed-up, endless depth, kind of like letting an insane brain surgeon in through your ear” (a Jazz Noise).

Eris 136199 released their second album in 2018, the eponymous Eris 136199 (BAF001, 2018), funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign. The followup to their debut Anomic Aphasia (SLAMCD 559, 2015), the album captures the trio during the 2017 European tour. In August 2019, the trio will again tour Europe, performing in Jazz em Agosto (Lisbon) as well as in London and Dublin.

Han-earl Park is the instigator and mastermind behind Eris 136199, as well as groups including Sirene 1009 (with Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh), and co-conspirator in projects with Richard Barrett and others. Park is the constructor of the machine improviser io 0.0.1 beta++, and of Metis 9, a playbook of improvisative tactics. He has performed with Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Dunmall, Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Josh Sinton, Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen, Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, Andrew Drury, Pat Thomas and Franziska Schroeder. His ensembles have performed at festivals including Freedom of the City (London), Brilliant Corners (Belfast), ISIM (New York), CEAIT (Los Angeles) and Sonic Acts (Amsterdam).

Saxophonist, improviser and composer Catherine Sikora works in a broad range of settings, from highly complex composed music, to folk songs, to free improvisation. She works regularly with Eric Mingus, Enrique Haneine, Brian Chase, Han-earl Park, Stanley Zappa, Christopher Culpo and Ross Hammond, as well as actively pursuing solo performance. In recent years Sikora has toured in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. She was a featured soloist in Eric Mingus’ radical reimagining of Tommy by the Who (Adelaide Festival 2015), and was artist in residence at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris in 2014, working on a project inspired by stories from her female ancestors.

Guitarist, composer, and computer music programmer Nick Didkovsky has composed music for Kathleen Supove, Ethel, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Meridian Arts Ensemble, New Century Players, ARTE Quartett, as part of the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, and his own bands Doctor Nerve, Vomit Fist, Häßliche Luftmasken, and others. His compositions and guitar performances appear on more than 50 records. His 2015 residency at The Stone in NYC resulted in numerous premiere performances of new works. His avant- metal big band Doctor Nerve has, over its 30 year history, released nine albums, and performed at numerous festivals including FI- MAV, Moers Festival, Musique Action, Creative Time, MIMI Festival, and ‘Whitney Live’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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).

Track listing: Therianthropy I (≥ 3:43), Therianthropy II (8:56), Therianthropy III (3:55), Therianthropy IV (6:30), Adaptive Radiation I (6:44), Adaptive Radiation II (8:48), Adaptive Radiation III (5:54), Universal Greebly (10:58), Hypnagogia I (8:03), Hypnagogia II (4:45). Total duration ≥ 68:25.

© + ℗ 2018 Han-earl Park.

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…]

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.

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

performance diary (Berlin, Cork, Dublin, Lisbon, London) 07-06-19

upcoming performances
date venue time details
July 21, 2019 plugd
Upstairs @ The Roundy
Castle Street
Cork, Ireland
8:00pm Han-earl Park (guitar) presented by CIMC. Also performing: Chris Engel. Admission: €5 at the door.
[Details…]
August 8, 2019 Vortex Jazz Club
11 Gillett Square
London N16 8AZ
England
8:00pm Eris 136199 (Han-earl Park: guitar; Catherine Sikora: saxophones; and Nick Didkovsky: guitar).
Tickets: £10.
[Details…]
[Vortex page…] [Get tickets…]
[Special offer…]
August 11, 2019 Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Av. de Berna, 45 A
Lisbon, Portugal
6:30pm Eris 136199 (Han-earl Park: guitar; Catherine Sikora: saxophones; and Nick Didkovsky: guitar) as part of Jazz em Agosto.
[Details…]
[Jazz em Agosto page (info/tickets)…]
August 12, 2019 The Fumbally Stables
Fumbally Lane
Dublin 8, Ireland
8:00pm Eris 136199 (Han-earl Park: guitar; Catherine Sikora: saxophones; and Nick Didkovsky: guitar) presented by Improvised Music Company in association with Note Productions. Also performing: Zeropunkt (Fergus Cullen, Jamie Davis and Damien Lennon). Tickets: €12 online/€15 at the door.
[Details…]
[IMC page…] [Get tickets…]
September 15, 2019 Hošek Contemporary
MS Heimatland
Fischerinsel 3
10179 Berlin
Germany
5:00pm Han-earl Park (guitar) as part of Improvised & Experimental No. 73. Also on the program: Simona Blahutová (sound installation), Gloria Damijan (toy piano), and Johnny Chang (viola). Donations €5–10.
[Hošek page…]

Continue reading “performance diary (Berlin, Cork, Dublin, Lisbon, London) 07-06-19”

Collisions with concrete, of thousands of years of musical history, and keeping it “in their pants” (reviews: Eris 136199 and Sirene 1009)

A descent into the concrete? rafting over a boiling river? a collisions of thousands of years of musical history? music to communicate cyclists’ collisions? and who are the “bass/drum/guitar boys”, and do they “keep it in their pants”? Fascinating first set of reviews for the newly released Eris 136199 (BAF001) by Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Nick Didkovsky, and a review from earlier this year of Sirene 1009 (BAF000) by Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh.

Eris 136199

Writing in Jazz Right Now, Gabriel Jermaine Vanlandingham-Dunn discusses the music in the context of his recent accident:

At times guitarist Han-earl Park reminds me of what my bones and muscles would sound like if this speeding vehicle had in fact crushed or torn any of them (I do not have any broken bones, but I am still awaiting test results on my foot muscles). The sometimes slow, sometimes fast plucking and riffing literally makes me cringe today while writing this. My screaming at this speeding driver a split second before their vehicle crashed into the back of my bicycle might recall the blare of Catherine Sikora’s tenor sax throughout the album. I think of my repeating “WOAH, WOAH, WOAH” slowed down and amplified for full effect; loud enough that people heard the crash and my descent into the concrete of Nick Didkovsky’s improvised patterns. [Read the rest…]

An intense and honest review, Vanlandingham-Dunn concludes that, despite being “no place near a pretty listen”, the album has value in its ability to help personal experiences and histories: “‘Yo man, you ever been hit by a car?’ ‘Yeah, but maybe we should listen to this album I just picked up before I tell you about it.’”

In a more poetic, if no less personal, review, Massimo Ricci of Touching Extremes finds music that explores “avenues of acrid timbral contiguity. It’s still unconventional music, mostly with a strong skeleton”:

It’s a persistent burbling of memories and conjectures revealing decades of accumulated experiences and data, not fully untangled, with a definite explosive potential. At times a need arises to recapitulate a bit; the interplay becomes less loaded, the fingers caressing and cherry picking rather than snapping and ripping. Sikora is practically flawless in oscillating between the roles of moderator and source of linear alternatives. Her jargon is fluid, quasi-effortless, deprived of angst in spite of the occasional labyrinthine reiterations and squiggling restlessness. [Read the rest…]

Meanwhile, in the JazzTokyo review, Takeshi Goda imagines a project “based on the history of music on the earth for thousands of years”; a music of all-encompassing knowledge, and a music of deviations:

襤褸を纏った侍従に付き添われた茨の冠の王女のような三人の図は、中世の教会のステンドグラスにふさわしい。無名の小惑星の名前を持つトリオの演奏は、地球に存在しない未知の物質だけでできている訳ではなく、地球上の数千年の音楽史を源に持つ。名状不明な音響のスキマに、グレゴリオ聖歌、吟遊詩人の竪琴、ニューオリンズの葬送マーチ、バルトークの弦楽四重奏、大都会のストリート・ミュージシャンなど、あらゆる人類の演奏行為の断片を聴きとることが出来る。逸脱を極めれば極めるほど、古典や伝統への親和性が高くなる。それはまるで「光速に近づくと、時間の流れが遅くなる」という特殊相対性理論(Special Relativity Theory)のようだ。彼らが目指す先は、まだ誰も提唱していない「特殊逸脱性理論(Special Deviation Theory)」の確立なのかもしれない。[Read the rest…]

[About this album…] [Get the CD/download (Bandcamp)…] [All reviews…]

CD: €11 minimum (‘name your price’) plus shipping.*†
Download: €8 minimum (‘name your price’).†

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

Sirene 1009

And finally, Stuart Marshall at The Sound Projector finds in Sirene 1009 a music free from “vocal histrionics” and “virtuoso runs/cacophonous jams” that lack “musical structure,” stating that “this awesome foursome, who know when to let rip and when to keep it in their pants”:

For further proof of the UK improv scene’s vitality look no further than Sirene 1009. Though not everyone is a household name (nor British), at least two of this four-piece are scene mainstays, and the whole squad sounds as at-home with each other as they are with the promiscuous goings in English jazz dens. The much frequented Cafe OTO is our virtual venue for most of this set, where visceral freeform unscrunches itself into being, sparked by Caroline Pugh’s tempestuous, syllable-timed glossolalia and billowed by flurries from the bass/drum/guitar boys, with lashings of warm vibrato throughout. [Read the rest…]

[About this album…] [Get the CD/download (Bandcamp)…] [All reviews…]

CD: €11 minimum (‘name your price’) plus shipping.*
Download: €8 minimum (‘name your price’).‡

‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)

Notes

* Limited edition glass-mastered CD. CD includes additional material (liner notes, artwork, etc.) not included in the download version of the album.

*† Both digital and physical purchases give you streaming via the free Bandcamp app, and option to download the recording in multiple formats including lossless.

Culture Ireland logo

Sirene 1009’s London performance presented with funding from Culture Ireland, and support from SLAM Productions.

Best of 2017

‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)
© 2017 Han-earl Park

“These are the records we believe will stand the test of time from this year.” Honored and flattered to find Sirene 1009 in Jazz Right Now’s (and JRN @ JazzTokyo’s) best-of-2017 list, and to find my work in such amazing company. And, again, big thanks to John Morrison for the wonderful review:

Sometimes violent and revelatory listening experience that infuses modern aesthetics with the spirit of the ancient…. Ancient and primordial with ideas as open as the night sky, it is not hard to imagine that some of humanity’s first music would have sounded something like this. [Read the rest…]

Sirene 1009 also makes it to both Dave Foxall’s Jazz Journal and a Jazz Noise end-of-year lists:

Sirene 1009 don’t so much push the envelope of improvisation as tear it into small pieces and eat them, just to spite any listener preconceptions…. Sirene 1009 may just be the auditory experience that [Derek] Bailey’s label [‘non-idiomatic improvisation’] has been waiting for. [Read the rest…]

Elsewhere, Sirene 1009 makes David Menestres’ top 10 at Free Jazz Blog, Lee Rice Epstein’s list at El Intruso, and Dave Sumner’s at Bird is the Worm.

Big thanks to John Morrison and Cisco Bradley of Jazz Right Now, Takeshi Goda of JazzTokyo, to Dave Foxall of Jazz Journal and a Jazz Noise, to David Menestres and Paul Acquaro at Free Jazz Blog, to Lee Rice Epstein, and to Dave Sumner for all their support during 2017!

[About this recording…] [Bandcamp page (order CD/download)…] [All reviews…]

CD: €11 minimum (‘name your price’) plus shipping.*†
Download: €8 minimum (‘name your price’).†

‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)

* Limited edition glass-mastered CD. CD includes additional material (artwork, etc.) not included in the download version of the album.

† Both digital and physical purchases give you streaming via the free Bandcamp app, and option to download the recording in multiple formats including lossless.

Culture Ireland logo

London performance presented with funding from Culture Ireland, and support from SLAM Productions.

Happy New Year: 2018

Eris 136199: Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Nick Didkovsky (Hamburg, 11-01-17). Copyright 2017 Steffen Schindler
© 2017 Steffen Schindler.

2017 started with the release of the album, and performances by, Sirene 1009, and closed with a tour by Eris 136199 (plus my first Kickstarter!). On the way, I got to be sideman to one of my former student’s projects, and play (unbelievably) for the first time in Seoul.

Here’s to 2018!

Arts Council of Ireland

Sirene 1009’s Cork performances and workshop presented with funding from the Arts Council of Ireland, and support from FUAIM Music at UCC, UCC Department of Music, CIT Cork School of Music and the Cork Improvised Music Club.

Culture Ireland logo

Parts of Sirene 1009 was recorded during the London performance presented with funding from Culture Ireland, and support from SLAM Productions.

The Eris 136199 tour was made possible through the support from Jazz North East, Jvtlandt, Jazz Club Loco, OUT FRONT!, Xposed Club, Verband für aktuelle Musik Hamburg, and MS Stubnitz, and the awe-inspiring generosity of the backers of our Kickstarter project:

Cath Roberts, Franziska Schroeder, Owen Green, Han-Ter Park, Richard Hollis, Tom Duff, Jan Langedijk, Thomas Buckner, Liam Nagle, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Randy McKean, Anton Hunter, Marte van der Loop, Ian Boswell, Nancy Meli Walker, David M. Morris, Nicholas Croft, Eva Zelig, Bart Mallio, Jeremy Clarke, Martin Pyne, Josh Sinton, Moon Soon Han, Eun-He Moon, Yoon-Mi Cho, 고항심, Katie O’Looney, Jamie Smith, Phil Burk, Andrea Wolper, Kyoko Kitamura, DIDI, Caroline Pugh, Edozie Edoga, Yu Seon Hee, Danny McCarthy, Richard Barrett, Leejiyoung, Ed Bennett, Young-Shin Park, Ga Hyun Noh, Inkyung Kim, Keith Stonell, Peter O’Doherty, Viv Corringham, Korhan Erel, Tony O’Connor, Vikram Kapur and Maneesha Chawala, and our anonymous backers.

by Sirene 1009 and Eris 136199

Cover of ‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)

Sirene 1009 (BAF000) [details…]

Personnel: Han-earl Park (guitar), Dominic Lash (double bass), Mark Sanders (drums) and Caroline Pugh (voice and tape recorder).

© + ℗ 2017 Han-earl Park.

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.

Chasing the chaos. (review: Sirene 1009)

‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)
© 2017 Han-earl Park

“Mind-expanding”? envelopes torn into small pieces to be eaten? a “necessary albeit illusory anchor”? and why is “Diamanda Galás constantly on the verge of asphyxiation”? Dave Foxall, writing in a Jazz Noise and Jazz Journal, finds ‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000), the album by Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh, to be “full creative insanity”:

The Cliodynamics ‘suite’ begins with a recitation in an obscure (likely bespoke) language that rapidly deconstructs against the backdrop of Park’s angular, truncated proto-phrasing, Sanders’ demented clockwork drums, and Lash’s lower register punctuation. Pugh’s voice acts as a kind of guide, offering a frayed and twisted thread through a dynamic and often intimidating soundscape; a necessary albeit illusory anchor. A final wry touch is last two minutes of the closing Psychohistory V, a minimalist coda you have dial the volume right up to even hear—putting the listener in the position of chasing the chaos that moments earlier was so overwhelming.

If this attempt at description sounds rather confused, I’ll try to summarise: years ago, Derek Bailey coined the term ‘non-idiomatic improvisation’, a label that over the years has practically become an idiom in its own right. Sirene 1009 may just be the auditory experience that Bailey’s label has been waiting for. [Read the rest…]

— Dave Foxall (a Jazz Noise)

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CD: €11 minimum (‘name your price’) plus shipping.*†
Download: €8 minimum (‘name your price’).†

‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)

* Limited edition glass-mastered CD. CD includes additional material (artwork, etc.) not included in the download version of the album.

† Both digital and physical purchases give you streaming via the free Bandcamp app, and option to download the recording in multiple formats including lossless.

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London performance presented with funding from Culture Ireland, and support from SLAM Productions.

This album is brilliant. This album is insane. (reviews: Sirene 1009)

‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)
© 2017 Han-earl Park

“Messy”? “scattered”? “manic”? Music that is “aggressive and acerbic and gets in your face and won’t back down”? In his review of ‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000), Dave Sumner of Bird is the Worm concludes: “This album is brilliant. This album is insane.”

Sirene 1009 is a soundtrack for a seizure. It’s spasmodic and flails about wildly. The music is disconcerting. But it enters these fugue states of focused intensity that border on meditative, and it is the most powerful sensation to experience even the tiniest hint of serenity at the center of so much chaos. It’s unsurprising to discover that the three-part “Cliodynamics” suite was recorded live. Even via the recorded medium, there’s a palpable electricity transmitted by this music, and its voltage isn’t the least bit muffled for not having been there in person….

Mostly, Caroline Pugh‘s vocals are of the wordless variety, and so dramatic are her renderings of human sounds that it’s not inconceivable she created an alternate lexicon specifically for this recording. Park’s guitar style can be the sonic representation of slash-and-go rush hour traffic, and of significance to the success of this session is how he simultaneously captures the immediacy of individual cars in motion and the oddly hypnotic flow of mass traffic viewed from an isolated location. On bass, Dominic Lash slings out notes like stones across the surface of water. There’s a sudden burst of velocity and a magnetic patter of rhythm, and with one action, the bassist adds both melodic and rhythmic textures to a canvas that might not otherwise keep its brushstrokes contained. That said, when Lash breaks into a passage of bass arco and maintains that as his sole interest for a time, the music certainly doesn’t suffer for his abandonment of a rhythmic role. Besides, drummer Mark Sanders does a remarkable job all on his own at providing definition to music that is never clear-cut and direction to musicians capable of moving everywhere all at once. [Read the rest…]

— Dave Sumner (Bird is the Worm)

Elsewhere, Avant Scena describes “evocative and original” music in which “various elements of rock, free jazz, creative jazz are combined in one composition.” [Read the rest…]

[About this recording…] [Bandcamp page (order CD/download)…] [All reviews…]

CD: €11 minimum (‘name your price’) plus shipping.*†
Download: €8 minimum (‘name your price’).†

‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)

* Limited edition glass-mastered CD. CD includes additional material (artwork, etc.) not included in the download version of the album.

† Both digital and physical purchases give you streaming via the free Bandcamp app, and option to download the recording in multiple formats including lossless.

Culture Ireland logo

London performance presented with funding from Culture Ireland, and support from SLAM Productions.

Thanks: Sirene 1009 (Belfast, London, Monmouth) and Park-Pugh (Derry)

Han-earl Park and Caroline Pugh (Derry, 03-08-17)

Four performances in March. (Another mini-tour, but, hey, for the first time, I’ve actually tied-together an album release and a tour—never happens!) A privilege to have shared the stage with smart, creative performers, and to have been performing to some wonderful community of listeners. So, quick thanks to everyone on/off stage at Monmouth, London, Belfast and Derry….

Big thanks to all the venues, promoters and supporters. Thanks, in particular, to Lyndon Owen, a person of apparently limitless enthusiasm, and the team at Monmouth (what a wonderful community); to Peter O’Doherty at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin for the incredible work bootstrapping the Derry scene; to Eduard Solaz at IKLECTIK for running such a wonderful space; and to Brian Carson at Moving on Music, and to Simon Waters at SARC for presenting, promoting and hosting.

Thanks for David Bird at SARC for all his work above-and-beyond the call of duty. (Hey! I owe you and Craig a beer.) Kudos, David Lyttle for loaning us your double bass for a couple of days.

As always big, big thanks to everyone who came to listen. I’ll particularly remember the adventurous and genuinely interested listeners in Monmouth and Derry. And a special thanks to Jeremy (he’ll know why 😉 ).

Finally, thanks to all the performers: to James King for the gibberish; to the acoustic frenzy of FAINT (big thanks to Franziska for all her help (starting in February 2016!) getting the Belfast performance together—it’s been a long road, but worthwhile!); and, of course, biggest thanks to Dom, Mark and Caroline for the music (See you in April!)!

tonight: Sirene 1009 at IKLECTIK, London

Sirene 1009 (London). Copyright 2016 Han-earl Park
© 2016 Han-earl Park

Tonight (Thursday, March 2, 2017), at 8:30pm (doors: 8:00pm): Sirene 1009 (Han-earl Park: guitar; Dominic Lash: double bass; Mark Sanders: drums; and Caroline Pugh: voice and electronics) perform at IKLECTIK (‘Old Paradise Yard,’ 20 Carlisle Lane, London SE1 7LG, England). Admission: £8 (£6).

By Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh

Cover of ‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)

Sirene 1009 (BAF000) [details…]

Personnel: Han-earl Park (guitar), Dominic Lash (double bass), Mark Sanders (drums) and Caroline Pugh (voice and tape recorder).

© + ℗ 2017 Han-earl Park.

Sirene 1009 is also performing…

March 7, 2017: Belfast, N. Ireland; and April 7 and May 19, 2017: Cork, Ireland. [Details…]

ideas as open as the night sky (reviews: Sirene 1009)

‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)
© 2017 Han-earl Park

Music where the “gorgeous plucked theme”, the “maniacal wails”, “booming, thunderous landscape of percussion”, and “sweetly sung passages of melodic intrigue” coexists? John Morrison, reviewing ‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) for Jazz Right Now, describes “a colorful, sometimes violent and revelatory listening experience that infuses modern aesthetics with the spirit of the ancient.” This, for example, is his take on Cliodynamics I:

Lash brilliantly alternates between bowed and plucked phrases as Sanders beats down a booming, thunderous landscape of percussion. Park provides a subtle bit of coloring strokes while Pugh leads the way, her maniacal wails and babbles briefly giving way to sweetly sung passages of melodic intrigue. Clocking in at ten minutes and forty four seconds, ‘Cliodynamics I’ drags listeners deep into the belly of the beast, a dark and ominous ocean of sound that only gets more intense with each passing minute. [Read the rest…]

— John Morrison (Jazz Right Now)

I love that Morrison hears a music that is “ancient and primordial with ideas as open as the night sky, it is not hard to imagine that some of humanity’s first music would have sounded something like this.”

Elsewhere, in Bad Alchemy [BA 93]: “Riffing madness”? A “meta-unsettling effect”? Why is the “Elk of Entropy… smooched with acceleration-bebop”? And who “eats broomsticks and pukes horses”? In his review, despite the limitations of language (“what is permitted by decency” and “can only be hint euphemistically”), Rigobert Dittmann (a.k.a. rbd) attempts to use words like the band use sound:

Die Gitarre als Heringsdosenöffner, der knarzige oder plonkende Bass, das perkussive Dingdong oder schrottige Geruckele, das alles ist nur Ummäntelung für das… poo. Die Schottin steigert sich nämlich von der Anstrengung, nur ein-, nicht auszuatmen zum Hyperventilieren, sie probiert, sich die eigene Zunge in den Hals zu stopfen, sie radebrecht kryptovolapük, jodelt Sirenenalarm, quirlt das LLLL, kirrt auf Iiiii, imitiert eine Singende Säge, spickt Maggie Nicols mit Shelley Hirsch, schlürft rohes Rattenschaschlik und zischelt Verboteneres als das kleine Hexeneinmaleins etc. Ich kann das nur umschreiben, damit meine älteren Leser nicht in Gefahr kommen, ihre dritten Zähne zu verschlucken. Sanders paukengrollt und cymbalzischt zwar zu sonorem Pizzikato und surrender Laubsägerei noch einigermaßen im Rahmen des Guten und Schönen, aber auch die Gitarre kratzt und wabert so verstörend gegen den Strich wie es nur geht.

— Rigobert Dittmann (Bad Alchemy)

[About this recording…] [Bandcamp page (order CD/download)…] [All reviews…]

CD: €11 minimum (‘name your price’) plus shipping.*†
Download: €8 minimum (‘name your price’).†

‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)‘Sirene 1009’ (BAF000) with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2017, Han-earl Park)

* Limited edition glass-mastered CD. CD includes additional material (artwork, etc.) not included in the download version of the album.

† Both digital and physical purchases give you streaming via the free Bandcamp app, and option to download the recording in multiple formats including lossless.

Culture Ireland logo

London performance presented with funding from Culture Ireland, and support from SLAM Productions.