Sirene 1009 (BAF000)

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) © 2017 Han-earl Park

January 31, 2017: eponymous first album by Sirene 1009 is out now (compact disc and digital download). Sirene 1009 is the cyborg virtuosity of Han-earl Park, the indomitable low-end growl of Dominic Lash, the unstoppable hits and clangs of Mark Sanders, and the controlled vocal mayhem of Caroline Pugh.

[Get the CD/download (Bandcamp)…]

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.

news and updates

February 18, 2018: Best of 2017

“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)…

January 1, 2018: Happy New Year: 2018

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…

[All articles on Sirene 1009 (BAF000)…]

description

Eponymous first album by Sirene 1009. Sirene 1009 is the cyborg virtuosity of Han-earl Park (Eris 136199, Mathilde 253), the indomitable low-end growl of Dominic Lash (Convergence Quartet, The Set Ensemble), the unstoppable hits and clangs of Mark Sanders (John Butcher, Christian Marclay), and the controlled vocal mayhem of Caroline Pugh (Performing Identity and The Unknown, Photo Ballads).

Muffled junkyard hammering (clang! thud! snap!) beat unlikely counter-rhythms; suspension bridge rumble in the turbulence with subwoofer scratches; bad traffic and extreme weather conspire elemental percussion; broken public address system splutter and loop, evoke the intelligible.

Conjuring up rhythmic and sonic detritus from just a guitar and a volume pedal, Han-earl Park has performed with some of the craftiest improvisers from the Americas, Asia and Europe. The instigator of Sirene 1009, Park also (co-)leads Eris 136199 with Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora, Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, and Numbers with Richard Barrett.

The molten, musical core of Sirene 1009 comprises the virtuosic bassist, composer and sound artist Dominic Lash, and Mark Sanders, arguably the most sought-after avant-jazz and free improvisation drummer of his generation. Sirene’s rhythm section adeptly plays the borders of idiom and the explicable.

Having variously collaborated over the years in different contexts and configurations, in 2014 Park, Lash and Sanders performed for the first time as a trio.

During the 2015 tour, Belfast-based avant-folk singer and electronic artist Caroline Pugh joined the group. With a practice that critically, sometimes mischievously, intersects with digital, gallery and performance arts, and unmatched microphone technique (from whisper to scream, from embodied sound to flights into the stereo panorama), Pugh brings an additional layer of levity and exuberance to the already playful interactions of the trio.

Recorded at Cafe OTO (London) during a Culture Ireland funded tour of England, and during a single afternoon studio session in Birmingham, the album documents an ensemble of musicians representing diverse strands of present-day improvised musics; performances that fragment and recombine musical histories, that leaps unexpectedly between noise, melody, dissonance, harmony and rhythm.

personnel

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

track listing

Psychohistory III (≥9:47), Cliodynamics I (10:44), Cliodynamics II (12:22), Cliodynamics III (5:11), Hopeful Monsters (9:41), Psychohistory V (≥10:40). Total duration ≥58:25.

recording details

Music by Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh.

Tracks 2–5 recorded live December 3, 2015, Cafe OTO, London. Recorded by Alex Fiennes.
Tracks 1 and 6 recorded June 16, 2016, Flood Studio, Birmingham. Recorded by Luke Morrish-Thomas.
Mixed and mastered by Han-earl Park.
Design and artwork by Han-earl Park.

Thanks to Alex, Luke, Bruce Coates, Richard Scott, Kate Hendry, Nick Didkovsky, Catherine Sikora, Josh Sinton, Franziska Schroeder, John Hough, Corey Mwamba, Ingrid Laubrock, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Jeb Bishop and Melanie L Marshall; to Simon Holliday, Fielding Hope, James Dunn and Oli Barrett at OTO; George Haslam at SLAM; Cath Roberts of LUME; Mike Borella of Avant Music News; Cisco Bradley of Jazz Right Now; Nasc Ireland; Seth Cooke and everyone at Bang the Bore; and Andrew Woodhead of Fizzle.

Culture Ireland logo

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

© + ℗ 2017 Han-earl Park.

Included with pre-orders of Sirene 1009

‘Kuramoto Synchronization’ with Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash and Caroline Pugh (artwork copyright 2016, Han-earl Park)

Kuramoto Synchronization [details…]

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

© + ℗ 2016 Han-earl Park.

about the ensemble

Sirene 1009: Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh
Photos © 2016 Bruce Coates. [More images…]

Somewhere out there, there’s an SUV-sized violin tailgating, a No Wave guitarist desperately trying to survive in the Appalachian Mountains, someone dropping sheets of metal during a Jazz Session, an evolutionary biologist finding themselves speaking in tongues (Awash in Blue).

Hear guitarist Han-earl Park push and pull on the guitar-amplifier dancing partners, Dominic Lash and his double bass damage hanging artwork, Mark Sanders excavate caverns in the smallest spaces for his percussion, and Caroline Pugh sing the lines that border the intelligible and the cryptic. [More about Sirene 1009…]

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.

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

Brian Morton (Point of Departure)

Dominic Lash is a freely improvising double bassist, although his activities also range much more widely and include playing bass guitar and other instruments; both writing and performing composed music; and writing about music and various other subjects.

He has performed with musicians such as Tony Conrad (in duo and quartet formations), Joe Morris (trio and quartet), Evan Parker (duo, quartet and large ensemble) and the late Steve Reid. His main projects include The Dominic Lash Quartet, The Set Ensemble (an experimental music group focused on the work of the Wandelweiser collective) and The Convergence Quartet.

Based in Bristol, Lash has performed in the UK, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and USA. For nearly a decade he was based in Oxford and played a central role in the activities of Oxford Improvisers; much of 2011 was spent living in Manhattan. In 2013 and 2014 he is taking part in Take Five, the professional development programme administered by Serious.

Festival appearances include Akbank Jazz Festival (Istanbul), Audiograft (Oxford), Freedom of the City (London), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Hurta Cordel (Madrid), Konfrontationen (Nickelsdorf), LMC Festival (London), Manchester Jazz Festival and Tampere Jazz Happening.

His work has been broadcast on a number of radio stations, including BBC Radios 1 and 3 and Germany’s SWR2, and released on labels including Another Timbre, b-boim, Bead, Cathnor, Clean Feed, Compost and Height, Emanem, Erstwhile, FMR, Foghorn, Leo and NoBusiness.

Since moving to Bristol he has been involved in organising concerts under the banners of Bang the Bore and Insignificant Variation. A new venture is the monthly series happening every second Wednesday at the Arnolfini entitled Several 2nds. Events include performances, workshops, film screenings and discussions.

“Following in an illustrious lineage from Barry Guy through Simon Fell… breathtaking.”

John Sharpe (All About Jazz)

Mark Sanders has played with many renowned musicians from around the world including Evan Parker, Peter Brotzmann, Derek Bailey, Myra Melford, Paul Rogers, Henry Grimes, Roswell Rudd, Okkyung Lee, Barry Guy, Tim Berne, Otomo Yoshihide, Luc Ex, Ken Vandermark, Sidsel Endresen and Jean Francois Pauvrois, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker.

New collaborative projects include ‘Riverloam Trio’ with Mikolaj Trzaska and Olie Brice, ‘Asunder’ with Hasse Poulsen and Paul Dunmall, duos with John Butcher and DJ Sniff, ‘Statics’ with Georg Graewe and John Butcher, and trio with Rachel Musson and Liam Noble.

Mark and John Edwards play as a rhythm section with many groups including Trevor Watts Quartet, ‘Foils’ with Frank Paul Schubert and Matthius Muller, Mathew Shipp’s ‘London Quartet,’ also playing with Fred Frith, Wadada Leo Smith and Shabaka Hutchins amongst many others.

Christian Marclay’s ‘Everyday’ project includes Mark with Christian, Steve Beresford, John Butcher and Alan Tomlinson, he also works regularly in the projects of Mikolaj Trzaska, Gail Brand, Paul Dunmall, Peter Jaquemyn, and Simon H. Fell.

Mark has performed in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Morrocco, South Africa, Mozambique and Turkey, playing at many major festivals including, Nickelsdorf, Ulrichsburg, Glastonbury, Womad, Vancouver, Isle of Wight, Roskilde, Berlin Jazz days, Mulhouse, Luz, Minniapolis, Banlieue Bleues, Son D’hiver and Hurta Cordel.

He has released over 120 CDs.

“A gifted player capable of seamless movement between free-rhythms and propulsive swing.”

John Fordham (The Guardian)

Scottish vocalist and composer Caroline Pugh borrows old-fangled technologies and honours oral histories to create new performances. With a background in both folk and improvisation, her solo works You’ve Probably Heard These Songs Before, Timing By Ear, Measuring By Hand and Platform Audio also draw on performance art and pinhole photography.

Originally from Edinburgh, Caroline has performed across Europe and North America with new improvisation performances including Los Angeles’ Betalevel in 2012, NIME 2011 in Oslo, Just Listening 2011 in Limerick and Experimentica09 in Cardiff. She is also in a band called ABODE and an improvisation collective called E=MCH.

Now based in Belfast, Caroline sings in a folk duo with Meabh Meir and together with Myles McCormack they run traditional song sessions at the Garrick Bar on Mondays from 7.30-10pm.

In 2011, Caroline was awarded an Art Council Northern Ireland grant for her solo work and gained a Distinction for her AHRC-funded Master of Music at Newcastle University. She coaches students at Queen’s University Belfast and has worked in collaboration with visual artists (Connecting through Scape 2008), theatre practitioners (hour8+9 2009), video artists (SAAB 2009), dancers and psychologists (Newcastle and Northumbria Universities 2010). She also got a BA in Scottish Music from the Royal Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, and studied Contemporary Music at the University of Central Lancashire for a wee while too.

“Every once in a while you happen upon a gig or event that’s so fundamentally unlike anything you’ve experienced before that you can’t help but reconsider your own thoughts on what defines music, performance and entertainment.”

Brian Coney (BBC Across The Line)

Also by these artists

‘A Little Brittle Music’ with Han-earl Park, Dominc Lash and Corey Mwamba (artwork copyright 2015, Han-earl Park)

A Little Brittle Music [details…]

Performers: Han-earl Park (guitar), Dominic Lash (double bass) and Corey Mwamba (vibraphone and flute).

© 2015 Han-earl Park. ℗ 2015 Park/Lash/Mwamba.

Skip (copyright 2013, FMR)

Skip (FMRCD350)

Performers: Pat Thomas (piano), Dominic Lash (bass) and Mark Sanders (drums).

© + ℗ 2013 FMR Records.

Paul Dunmall, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders: Dunmall-Park-Sanders (Birmingham, 02-15-11)

Dunmall-Park-Sanders (Birmingham, 02-15-11) [details…]

Performers: Paul Dunmall (saxophones and bagpipes), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Mark Sanders (drums).

(cc) 2013 Paul Dunmall/Han-earl Park/Mark Sanders.

Han-earl Park, Paul Dunmall, Mark Sanders and Jamie Smith: Live at the Glucksman gallery, Cork (owlcd002) CD cover (copyright 2012, Owlhouse Recordings)

Live at the Glucksman gallery, Cork (owlcd002) [details…]

Performers: Han-earl Park (guitar), Paul Dunmall (saxophone), Mark Sanders (drums) and Jamie Smith (guitar).

© 2009 by Owlhouse Recordings.
℗ 2009 Han-earl Park/Paul Dunmall/Mark Sanders/Jamie Smith.

updates

01-31-17: released!

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

May 27, 2017: Eris 136199: five years ago today

https://youtu.be/a4JORrkQMRY Five years ago, three musicians, never having previously played together as a trio, performed at ABC No Rio. Subsequently, the ensemble gained a name, played many a gig, and released…

January 18, 2017: improvisation, animation, sociality, tradition and politics (a Jazz Noise: 7 Questions)

https://youtu.be/I700ZjlXpMM Want to know what and who I’ve been listening to? or what I’ve got planned (hint: see video above)? read my take on the late-capitalist (spotified, airbnbified, uberized) bootleg economy?…

[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.

Lost at the Border: Improvisation, Conservation and Transformation (a twitter transcript)

Previte: “I’m a bit of a mongrel.” #isim2014
…and w/ that simple statement, is not the enterprise of Cross-Cultural Improvisation nuked? #isim2014

More tweets from an institutionally unaffiliated, sometimes teacher, amateur scholar and anthropologist [a previous twitter transcript…]. Below is an unedited transcript of my observations from ISIM: Cross-Cultural Improvisation III. My original observations came in the form of live tweets via @hanearlpark that spanned the opening ceremony on June 5, the conference plus performances between June 6 and 8, plus some post-event reflections.

My questions and observations are indebted to discussions with @AndreaWolper, @jkais, @nickreynoldsatw, @MarkImprov, @drmelmarshall and @coreymwamba both on- and off- the twitterverse.

My rants, however, are entirely my own 😉

Twitter transcript (unedited)

Opening Ceremony: New York, June 5, 2014

Heading to the #isim2014 opening ceremony. (‘Ceremony’ sounds so ostentatious. Conference folk, seriously…)

After my comments about #diversity and #rsa2014 & #amspittsburgh, was ready to be disappointed by #isim2014. Better, maybe, but not perfect.

Fewer suits and lighter makeup at #isim2014 compared to #rsa2014 & #amspittsburgh. #amateuranthropology

Is the ‘global village’ still a possibility? What violence hides behind such an idea? #isim2014

Can we imagine a global village achieved w/out violence? w/out the erasure of difference? #isim2014

There’s an interesting evocation of a kind of futurism in a lot of improvisative traditions. #isim2014

Conference: New York, June 6, 2014

3pm: #noise #melody #rhythm #contrast #serendipity #contradiction from Eris 136199 w/ @DoctorNerve @CatherineSikora @ @ISIMprov. #isim2014

Cognition vs embodiment. #isim2014

Is cognition a form of computation? Is embodiment a form of (physical) computation? #isim2014

Is a successful improvisation (always) narrative? #isim2014

This reminds me of Paul Berg’s algorithmic composition class… #isim2014

…either you create a process that creates desirable results, or one that creates noise that is selectively filter. #isim2014

Doesn’t (biological) evolution depend on the environment? Doesn’t musicality depend on the (cultural) environment? #isim2014

GenJam: the worst thing to happen to machine improvisation? #discuss #isim2014

Unasked question: how an improviser tries to make the rest of the band sound good. #isim2014

Unasked question: how individual desires (goals) collide to provide long-term formal structures (retroactively). #isim2014

…in this context, concentrating on individual intention may be missing the bigger picture. #isim2014

Problem w/ the Turing Test in creative contexts is that ‘I know it when I see/hear it’ ends up as a mirror of ‘does it swing’ #isim2014

Can we discuss rhythm w/out engaging w/ embodiment? #isim2014

History = cultural context = environment in which evolution takes place? #isim2014

At what point does cooperation & competition diverge in improvisative performance? #isim2014

…or is that a false dichotomy? are those terms meaningless in the context of improvisative play? #isim2014

Why are so many musicians so assured when idiomatic pressures are unambiguous, but uncertain when not? #isim2014

…is freedom that scary? #isim2014

…we know how to be a cog in the machine when the machine tells us to be? #isim2014

…we know our role/place/function in the ensemble if it’s prescribed for us? #isim2014

Is trans-idiomatic musicality a reflection of a kind of white middle-class mobility? #isim2014

…After trans-idiomatic meetings are (white) self-identified non-idiomatic musicians able to see idiom in their own playing? #isim2014

…are trans-idiomatic meetings by definition colonial? #isim2014

“No way to control what’s coming through your ears.” #isim2014

Ah, the sound of my circulation system. #isim2014

Can improvisation be about your ‘actual experience’ divorced from ‘thinking’? #isim2014

…in contrast, earlier presentation modeled improvisation exclusively as a ‘cognitive’ process. #isim2014

…why these simplifying assumptions in the context of something as complicated and human as improvisative play? isim

What’s possible given circumstances/resources = improvisation? #isim2014

…but what is the relation btwn this and the black american composer-improviser tradition? #isim2014

…Braxton said if you don’t compose this piece (for 276 accordions, say), then you will never hear it. #isim2014

After Lacy: “what’s alive for you?” #isim2014

…which is fine as far as it goes, but can we further unpack ‘aliveness’? #isim2014

‘Trust,’ ‘courage,’ ‘openness,’ all terms we use to talk about improvisation. We should unpack these. #isim2014

Reminded of Braxton’s commend about how freedom is knowing your context well enough so that……… you. are. free. #isim2014

Oh, reminded how my skills as an improviser are so, so, so pathetic. #isim2014

I want more talk of noise and frenzy. #isim2014

I desire a discussion of collisions, contradictions, the unintelligible, the unspeakable. #isim2014

Where is improvisation, the destabilizing, the revolutionary, the dissonant, the dissenting? #isim2014

Part of me (uncharitably for sure) want to scream ‘f*ck calm.’ #isim2014

Goddamnnit. I am Asian, and I will not be your model of calm and reserved. #isim2014

Wadada: “try to find something unique in yourself.” #isim2014

…don’t try to fit in. #isim2014

…“I don’t want them to expect nothing!” #isim2014

Is ‘experience’ (unlike, say, subjectivity) (always) a term of resistance? #isim2014

‘Compliment’ or ‘contradict’; what do these terms _mean_ in the context of improvisative play? #isim2014

…we seem to be struggling because we (think we) know the ‘correct’ terms to use. #isim2014

What does the term ‘pattern’ mean in the context of improvisative play? #isim2014

…can ‘pattern’ every be an enabling discursive element in the context of creative music? #isim2014

Often wonder if I should (get back to) playing more (overtly) melodic. #isim2014

Reminded of experiments about the different perceptions of musical construction depending on idiomatic background. #isim2014

…are not cultural misunderstandings so much more interesting than (ostensibly) clear channels of communication? #isim2014

‘notes’; if we just jettisoned that term, our understanding of musical practices would be so much richer. #isim2014

Some additional insight if you understand both English and 한국말. #isim2014

Are terms such as ‘discipline’ and ‘pattern’ (discursively) limiting in the contacts of improvisative play? #isim2014

Reminded of Wadada once saying that when he puts his horn to his mouth, it’s a command. #isim2014

Previte: “I’m a bit of a mongrel.” #isim2014

…and w/ that simple statement, is not the enterprise of Cross-Cultural Improvisation nuked? #isim2014

The unresolved contradiction btwn agency and sublimation? #isim2014

#isim2014 http://t.co/bypjiQMRiS

how much of my views/practices are shaped by my teachers; how much convergence of approach because of who I chose as teachers? #isim2014

“Social aspects of musicality.” #isim2014

…an enormous amount of stuff blackboxed in that statement. #isim2014

‘Leading’ and ‘following’; do these terms have any utility in the context of improvisative play? #isim2014

“Where was I going?” (unintentionally?) good description of what we are doing. #isim2014

…Something I learned when I started teaching improvisation was the utility I jettisoning these terms. #isim2014

Conference: New York, June 7, 2014

However you cut it, solo is that impossible thing in improvisation. #isim2014

…you have _got_ to have something pretty damn important to say/present. #isim2014

…in that sense, by analogy, Romey’s speeches during the last election would be an example or a useless solo. #isim2014

…I’ve consciously engaged w/ the solo context self-consciously on and off for the last ten years, but I still haven’t cracked it. #isim2014

Echoes of Philip Glass? or of Chris Cutler? #isim2014

Random thought: what does the term ‘oppositional politics’ mean, if anything, in improvisative practices? #isim2014

…what does the term ‘ideology’ mean, if anything, in improvisative practices? #isim2014

…’cause, despite talk of the social, what I have heard little of (so far) at #isim2014 is the (explicitly) political.

…which may be a reflection more of my own predilections, but I worry about the gentrification of improvisation. #isim2014

…what happens to improvisation as an oppositional force when, say, academic classical performers ‘dabble’ in it… #isim2014 [1/2]

…w/out necessarily interrogating their own tradition/practice/history and the structures of power? #isim2014 [2/2]

A new kind of cross-cultural musicology that “can only be fathomed by the improviser.” #isim2014

…but to paraphrase Previte, are we not (always already) mongrels? #isim2014

“India, Korea, then Wadada, then Bobby.” hmm #isim2014

Is ‘merging’ a useful notion in the context of improvisative performance? #isim2014

…Is ‘merging’ a useful notion in the context of improvisative (cross-cultural) meetings? #isim2014

“Not trying to drop a bomb.” But are bombs unambiguous across cultural borders? #isim2014

…one might intend Operation Enduring Freedom, others might interpret Invasion and Empire Building. #isim2014

Dissent! Yay. #isim2014

“Tradition is not a dead thing.” #isim2014

…yes, but traditions sometimes die/petrify/fossilize. #isim2014

…under what conditions do traditions die/petrify/fossilize? #isim2014

“What an [musical, performative] action signifies.” #isim2014

‘Notes’—that word again. #isim2014

“There is that elasticity in _everything_.” #isim2014

Can we unpack the term ‘energy’ in the context of these discussions of improvisation? #isim2014

“To feel secure in that uncertainty is the biggest challenge of any musician, or human being for that matter.” #isim2014

“Leave it up to analyst to explain what happened [in spontaneous creation].” #isim2014

…part agree, but then why are we here? #isim2014

…there is this constant tension btwn intellectual and anti-intellectualism in the traditions of improvisative performance. #isim2014

“A future event can affect the present.” #isim2014

…reminds me of Ted Chiang’s story of the performative language changes consciousness and sense of causality. #isim2014

…which might relate to the quip about leaving analysis to the analyst. #isim2014

I have little patience for the regurgitation of amateur physics. #isim2014

Going out for air. #isim2014

improvised music “goes beyond style.” But does it? #isim2014

Is #isim2014 attempting to turn #improvisedmusic into the emblem of salvation for academic (study of) music? #isim2014

…where does tokenism end, and revolutionary equality begin? #isim2014

…Is it unfair to compare this to (post-)colonial ideas of savages as agents of renewal? #isim2014

To borrow from @vijayiyer: “The Jazz Educational Complex.” #isim2014

“Transdisciplinary space”—well, okay, but how to reconcile this (utopian) notion w/ the “cross-cultural”? #isim2014

“Institutions need to rebuild from the foundation.” #isim2014

…yes, but https://t.co/EOidN6pSmp

…yes, but https://t.co/yZHlEQRSVK

…or https://t.co/txouBTMx45

…yes, but https://t.co/gzEsSwYCvl

We want to _study_ improvisation, but we precisely do not want interactive destabilizing forces in the structures of academia. #isim2014

…Is it possible to rebuild academic (study of) music while keeping the formal structures intact? #isim2014

…so where does tokenism end? #isim2014

More talk of meditation. #isim2014 tropes.

Frustrated. Going out for air. #isim2014

“Nobody [at #isim2014] understands that we can’t talk about this w/out being critical!”

My thoughts on #isim2014 http://t.co/OWKnq76VFN

An academic would never present work w/out citing their sources. #isim2014 [1/6]

Should not the academic who studies improvisative practices/traditions also cite specific artists…? #isim2014 [2/6]

…rather than hide behind nebulous/generic language? #isim2014 [3/6]

If there’s a specific musical/artistic/creative element you’re talking about, surely you must be able to name a source. #isim2014 [4/6]

Why the double standards? Are scholars more important? #isim2014 [5/6]

…are their ‘possessions’ more valuable than the practitioners of your (supposed) area of expertise? #isim2014 [6/6]

Concert: New York, June 7, 2014

Problem w/ oval halls is that, if you’re at the focal point opposite the stage, those on stage will hear everything you say. #isim2014

#ugh ##isim2014

If tomorrow’s gig is my last, then it’ll be the most important one I play. w/ Tom Rainey @ @whynotjazzroom NYC. http://t.co/Pwb2ZXJkZh

If ‘tradition’/‘patterns’ remain an unchanged backbone to improvisative meetings, what is achieved by those meetings? #isim2014

…seriously. Why bother? #isim2014

…or put it another way: re continued enterprise of ‘cross-cultural improvisations,’ an obvious question: now what? what next? #isim2014

…I am beginning to suspect that ‘cross-cultural improvisation’ is a cute arts marketing term that, however… #isim2014

…signifies little; no goal or purpose in mind. We can happily go our own merry ways at the end of the day… #isim2014

…safe from the transformative/revolutionary possibilities of improvisation. #isim2014

You know ‘notes’ and ‘patterns’ are the least interesting things about improvisation… #isim2014

…and though folk at #isim2014 have mentioned in passing that there’s this other stuff at play in improvisation…

…people have been reluctant to open up those black boxes. #isim2014

Safe in the knowledge that the scary, truly transformative aspect of improvisation can be left unexplored. #isim2014

Is it okay to feel betrayed by these (I have no reason to doubt) Masters of Tradition? #isim2014

Is it okay to feel angry about the prescriptions made by these Masters of Tradition? #isim2014

I’ll be honest. I walked out of the last thing. But I’m drawn back by Wadada. #isim2014

The AACM used two terms to denote their music and practice: ‘creative music’ and ‘free music.’ #isim2014

…and _this_ thing I’m hearing right now, I can get behind. #isim2014

…singular, powerful, noisy. That African American noise that showed the world How It Could Be Done. #isim2014

…a Music of Unbound Possibilities. #isim2014

Wadada’s left the stage. I’m leaving this time for real. See y’all tomorrow. #isim2014

.@nickreynoldsatw or academia only studies/legitimizes improvisative practices/traditions that emphasize the narrative… #isim2014

.@nickreynoldsatw …or academia chooses to impose narrativity onto improvisative practices/traditions. #isim2014

Conference: New York, June 8, 2014

How does one know when you cross an idiomatic or traditional border? #isim2014

…Rather than thinking of idiomatic vs free improvisation… #isim2014 [1/2]

…can we not just think of those borders as having shifted (or simply immaterial). There may be no inside/outside. #isim2014 [2/2]

Do you distinguish/delineate those elements inherited from the tradition, the practice, and your own inventions? #isim2014

Make an Early Music Noise Here. #isim2014

Make a New Music Noise Here. #isim2014

How is it that so many introduce improvisation into their practice, and the idiom becomes _more_ a caricature of itself? #isim2014

…why is it that improvisation leads us back into the familiar (rather than, as Lacy said, leap into the Unknown)? #isim2014

…how is that even possible? (Not a rhetorical question) #isim2014

…it’s like being free to do anything, and we end up telling that same anecdote over and over again. #isim2014

…it’s like giving what you _presume_ to be the right answer (even though there is no right answer). #isim2014

…it’s like being afraid to give the wrong answer (when the question was entirely open). #isim2014

…do we not know how to be free? or are we afraid? #isim2014

…reminded of Mark Sanders saying that you should not listen to your inner critic; the one who knows the ‘right answer.’ #isim2014

Borders can be demolished. Let’s All Cross Borders. Right. Now. #isim2014

Godammit. #isim2014

Talking to D Ewart about how cultural/material exchanges have been happening since the beginning of time. #isim2014

…along w/ Previte’s comment, does this not nuke the whole premise of ‘cross-cultural improvisations’? #isim2014

I am going to start ISIT: the International Society for Indignant Tweeters. Who’s with me?

Some great comments from the floor: concrete suggestions to increase diversity and accessibility. #isim2014

“Breaking down the [academic] structure of [how presentations are made].” #isim2014

“How was it funded?” #isim2014

I am reminded again how much I am the wrong Asian to participate in a ‘cross-cultural improvisation.’ #isim2014

…and again: https://t.co/26M9aOMV0p #isim2014

Can’t directly compare #isim2014 with #rsa2014 or #amspittsburgh, but I will say that…

#isim2014 does speak seriously/passionately about the need/desire for greater diversity/access.

…even if we don’t always have concrete plans. #isim2014

Yesterday… Yesterday I… Yesterday I walked… Yesterday I walked past… Yesterday I walked past Philip…

But today I swapped CDs with Douglas Ewart. How frickin’ cool is that?!? #isim2014

Post-conference reflections…

Final thoughts on #isim2014: the main thing I learned (and in retrospect why I was angry), was about my own prejudices… [1/9]

…I had made a lazy, unexamined assumption about improvisation (its practice and its implications)… #isim2014 [2/9]

…I had assumed (w/out evidence) that improvisation was intrinsically tranformative/revolutionary/disruptive/noisy/etc, and… #isim2014 [3/9]

…that any tradition that incorporated it, must themselves be revolutionary/disruptive//noisy/etc… #isim2014 [4/9]

…That, in retrospect, was a naive, unfounded postulation that in turn lead to an erroneous conclusion… #isim2014 [5/9]

…I learned that improvisative traditions may not have the tranformative/revolutionary/disruptive/etc as thier focal point… #isim2014 [6/9]

…that improvisative traditions/practices might conceivably be conservative/reactionary/etc… #isim2014 [7/9]

…I learned that what I (unquestioningly) took as a universal improvisative impulse… #isim2014 [8/9]

…was a particular expression of a specifically (post-)Civil Rights African-American (derrived) one. #isim2014 [9/9]

Anyway, in case you missed it, this is still my best summary of my reponse to #isim2014: https://t.co/tjv7SOP8k6

0. One more thought on #isim2014’s ‘Cross-Cultural Improvisations’: What, in retrospect, appears to have been at stake is not just the…

1. …nature of improvisation as a means of conservation vs a means of self-determined transformation, but… #isim2014

2. …specific expressions of these notions within a specific discursive framework. #isim2014

3. So we had representatives from practices that are, to varying degrees and in varied ways, post-colonial, nationalist… #isim2014

4. …in which the priorities might be described as a kind of classicism; we had a representative from a… #isim2014

5. …Civil-Rights fueled, Afro-Futurist community; a representative from a vernacular-immersed post-modern avant-garde. #isim2014

6. The idea that we would have dissonance at such a meeting shoudn’t perhaps be surprising, but for a… #isim2014

7. …‘benevolent’ liberal-humanism that acted as the formal umbrella… #isim2014

8. …that, surely, was the single biggest reason for the lack of productive dialogue. #isim2014

Stet Lab: audio recordings—the Big Scrub

Stet Lab logo
For those that don’t know, I founded Stet Lab, a space for improvised music based in Cork. I curated the Lab between 2007 and 2011, and during that time, also wrangled its online presence. In August, I will be removing some of the audio recordings of Stet Lab’s first year (prior to the November 2008 event) from its website. Read more to find out how to save your favorite recordings. [More…]

Le son du grisli: Paul Dunmall, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders (Birmingham, 02–15–11)

Paul Dunmall, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders (original photos: HeP by Stephanie Hough; and MS by Andrew Putler)
Paul Dunmall, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders (original photos: HeP by Stephanie Hough; and MS by Andrew Putler)

Guillaume Belhomme (Le son du grisli) reviews the download release by Paul Dunmall, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders. In it, Belhomme describes a conversation of strength, skill and subtlety:

On sait les liens qui unissent Dunmall et Sanders – ce qu’ils ont pu donner par le passé : de Shooters Hill enregistré en sextette en présence de Paul Rutherford à I Wish You Peace du Moksha Big Band –, c’est donc la présence de Park – que l’on a pu entendre récemment auprès d’un autre britannique de taille, Lol Coxhill, sur Mathilde, et se fit remarquer déjà auprès de Dunmall et Sanders sur un Live at the Glucksmann Gallery – qui intéresse ici. Aux salves imparables du ténor, il oppose des nappes et quelques arpèges accrochés quand Sanders compte les points avec aplomb.

Plus loin, c’est à la cornemuse puis au soprano qu’intervient Dunmall : pour déjouer ses tours (de force et d’adresse), Park choisit une nouvelle fois la subtilité : ses accords étouffés renversent les échanges du trio, transformés bientôt en horizontalité sur laquelle les trois hommes s’entendent alors en apaisés.

[Read the rest…] [Download the recording…]

Thanks to Melanie L. Marshall for help with the French.

Also available for download…

audio recordings: Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park (Cork, 04–04–11)
audio recordings: Han-earl Park and Richard Scott (Berlin, 10–23–10)
audio recordings: Han-earl Park plus Marian Murray (Cork, 07–29–10)
audio recordings: Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder (Cork, 03–26–09)

thanks: McMullen-Park (DMG) and Park-Sikora (Brecht Forum), New York

Han-earl Park and Catherine Sikora (Brecht Forum, NYC, 01-08-12) photo copyright 2012 Melanie L. Marshall
Han-earl Park and Catherine Sikora (Brecht Forum, NYC, 01-08-12) photo © 2012 Melanie L. Marshall

A quick note of thanks to all involved in the first two performances of 2012. Thanks to Bruce Lee Gallanter and Manny ‘Lunch’ Maris at the Downtown Music Gallery for the open invite, for hosting the performance, and for their support over the years. Seriously, go to the DMG and get yourself a record (maybe one of mine 😉 Thanks to Ras Moshe for organizing the performance at The Brecht Forum and for welcoming this newcomer to NYC. Thanks also to the other performers of the evening including G. L. Diana and Kyoko Kitamura [Kyoko’s take on the gig…] who brought Cardew to life in a way different from all the Cardews I’ve heard in the past—I’m very interested to hear how this project might continue to evolve—and Ras’ powerful and playful quartet (sorry, don’t have the full lineup details of the quartet—contact me, and I will update).

A big, big, big thanks to the two saxophonists who generously shared the stage with me: Tracy McMullen for her wit and imagination, pushing the music to unexpected places, and to Catherine Sikora for her big, beautiful sound and sense of space and drama.

And, as always, thanks to all who came to listen and watch.

CD available: io 0.0.1 beta++

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

Released as part of SLAM Productions’s August 2011 CD catalog: ‘io 0.0.1 beta++’ (SLAMCD 531) with Han-earl Park, Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder.

[Slam Productions catalog page…]
[www.io001b.com page…]
[Discography entry…]

description

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.

Sara Roberts (from the liner notes)

An extraordinary meeting between human and machine improvisers. Featuring the machine musician io 0.0.1 beta++ with guitarist Han-earl Park (Mathilde 253, Wadada Leo Smith) and saxophonists Bruce Coates (Birmingham Improvisers’ Orchestra, Paul Dunmall) and Franziska Schroeder (FAINT, Evan Parker), the recording 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++ represents 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 highlight society’s entanglement with technology, demonstrate alternative modes of interfacing the musical and the technological, and illuminate 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.

With liner notes by the California-based interactive media artist Sara Roberts.

io 0.0.1 beta++ was constructed by Han-earl Park with funding from the Arts Council of Ireland, and with significant input and feedback from Bruce Coates, Franziska Schroeder, Murray Campbell, Sara Roberts and Phil Burk.

We would like to thank John Hough, Melanie L Marshall, Alex Fiennes, Kato Hideki, John Godfrey, Clair McSweeney, Riccardo Vallebella, Paul Everett, Mel Mercier, Kevin Terry and Stephanie Hough.

The recording preceded the performance at Blackrock Castle Observatory which was presented with funding from the Music Network Performance and Touring Award, and support from Blackrock Castle Observatory, the Castle Bar and Trattoria and the UCC Department of Music.

personnel

io 0.0.1 beta++ (itself), Han-earl Park (guitar), Bruce Coates (alto and sopranino saxophones) and Franziska Schroeder (soprano saxophone).

track listing

Pioneer: Variance (11:52); Pioneer: Dance (13:13); Ground-Based Telemetry (1:42); Discovery: Intermodulation (9:08); Discovery: Decay (5:08); 4G (0:59); Laplace: Perturbation (10:21); Laplace: Instability (3:08); Return Trajectory (8:24). Total duration: 63:57.

recording details

All music by Han-earl Park, Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder.

Tracks 1–5, 7 and 8 recorded May 25, and track 9 recorded May 26, 2010 at the Ó Riada Hall, UCC Department of Music, Cork. Track 6 recorded August 19 2010 at C-ALTO Labs, Cork.
Recorded and mixed by Han-earl Park.
Design and artwork by Han-earl Park.

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

about the performers

io 0.0.1 beta++ whimsically evokes a 1950s B-movie robot, constructed from ad-hoc components including plumbing, kitchenware and missile switches. Its celebrates the material and corporeal; embracing the localized and embodied aspects of sociality, performance and improvisation.

io 0.0.1 beta++ is an interactive, semiautonomous technological artifact that, in partnership with its human associates, performs a deliberately amplified staging of a socio-technical network—a network in which the primary protocol is improvisation. Together the cyborg ensemble explores the performance of identities, hybrids and relationships, and highlights the social agency of artifacts, and the social dimension of improvisation. Engineered by Han-earl Park, io 0.0.1 beta++ is a descendant, and significant re-construction, of his previous machine musicians, and it builds upon the work done with, and address some of the musical and practical problems of, these previous artifacts.

The construction of io 0.0.1 beta++ has been made possible by the generous support of the Arts Council of Ireland.

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) has been working within/from/around traditions of fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, mostly open improvised musics for over fifteen years, sometimes engineering theater, sometimes inventing ritual. He feels the gravitational pull of collaborative, multi-authored contexts, and 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.

A constructor of low- and mid-tech electronic and software devices, and an occasional score-maker, he is interested in partial, and partially frustrating, context-specific artifacts; artifacts that amplify social relations and corporeal identities and agencies, and, in some instances, objects that obscure the location of the author.

He is part of Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, is involved in collaborations with Bruce Coates, Franziska Schroeder, Alex Fiennes and Murray Campbell. Recent performances include Mathilde 253 with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith; duo concerts with Paul Dunmall, and with Richard Barrett; trios with Matana Roberts and Mark Sanders, with Catherine Sikora and Ian Smith, and with Jin Sangtae and Jeffrey Weeter; as part of the Evan Parker-led 20-piece improvising ensemble; and the performance of Pauline Oliveros’ ‘Droniphonia’ alongside the composer. Park has also recently performed with Lol Coxhill, Pat Thomas, Corey Mwamba, Mark Trayle, Pedro Rebelo, Alexander Hawkins, Mike Hurley, Chick Lyall, Thomas Buckner and Kato Hideki. Festival appearances include Sonorities (Belfast), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), dialogues festival (Edinburgh), VAIN Live Art (Oxford), and the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology Festival (California). His recordings have been released by labels including SLAM Productions and DUNS Limited Edition.

Park founded Stet Lab, a monthly improvised music space in Cork, Ireland, and taught improvisation at the UCC Department of Music.

Bruce Coates has been heavily involved with free jazz, free improvisation and experimental music for more than 15 years. He has collaborated and performed with a long list of some of the best-known names in these areas. He is cofounder of the Birmingham Improvisers’ Orchestra, has a long standing working relationship in many different guises with guitarist Jamie Smith, a regular trio with David Ryan and bassist John Edwards and runs the monthly Birmingham FrImp night.

Recent collaborations have included regular performances with the saxophonist Paul Dunmall, appearing alongside Dunmall on his DUNS label (the only saxophonist to do so); the Paris-based Blackberry Orchestra led by Peter Corser and involving some of France’s best known improvisers including Denis Charolles and Guillaume Roy; and a CD with the Amsterdam based Mount Fuji Doom Jazz Corporation released on the Ad Noiseam label in 2007. Current ensembles include SCHH with Chris Hobbs, Mike Hurley and Walt Shaw; Magtal with Mark Sanders and Jonny Marks; and the performance art oriented Mutt with Marks and Shaw. His ever-growing eclectic list of collaborators also includes Tony Oxley, Lol Coxhill, Christian Wolff (performing alongside the composer at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London), Hilary Jeffrey, Phil Gibbs, Paul Rogers, Trevor Lines, John Coxon, Misterlee, Bong Ra, Simon Picard, Tony Bianco, Han-earl Park, Tony and Miles Levin and Tony Marsh.

Franziska Schroeder is a saxophonist and theorist. She received her saxophone training in Berlin and Australia and later from Marie-Bernadette Charrier / Conservatoire Supérieure in Bordeaux.

With her trio FAINT Schroeder released a CD of improvised and electroacoustic music in 2007 with Pedro Rebelo (piano and instrumental parasites) and Steven Davis (drums), and a second CD, both on the creative source label. Schroeder has performed with many international musicians including Pauline Oliveros, Stelarc, the Avatar Orchestra, Chris Brown, John Kenny, Tom Arthurs, Nuno Rebelo and Evan Parker.

She holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and has written for many international journals, including Leonardo, Organised Sound, Performance Research, Cambridge Publishing and Routledge. Her book “Re-situating Performance Within The Threshold: Performance practice understood through theories of embodiment” appeared in 2009. Schroeder also published a book on user-generated content for Cambridge Publishing Scholars in 2009.

Schroeder is on the development committee of NMSAT (Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline), and has been on the programming committee for the DRHA (Digital Resources in the Humanities and Arts) conference since 2009. She was the Program Chair for the DRHA 2010. Schroeder has been an AHRC Research Fellow and is now a Lecturer/RCUK Fellow at the School of Music and Sonic Arts in Belfast, where she coaches 3rd year recitalists and MA performance students.

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The construction of io 0.0.1 beta++ has been made possible by the generous support of the Arts Council of Ireland.

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

Also available from SLAM Productions: 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).

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

thanks: Mathilde 253 with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith (Cork and Dublin, 2011)

Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Han-earl Park, Charles Hayward and Ian Smith (photos copyright 2011 Julia Healy)
Photos © 2011 Julia Healy

Thanks to Catherine Kirby and everyone at the National Concert Hall for able and professional assistance, to John Godfrey, Juniper Hill and Melanie L. Marshall, the then coordinators of the UCC Music Research Seminar Series, who strongly supported Wadada’s visit, and to Mary Hickson, Chris Gaughan, Peter Crudge, Eoin Winning and everyone at the Cork Opera House. Kudos to Tony O’Connor and Athos Tsiopani for the behind-the-scenes help, and to John Hough for the videography and the technical support. Thanks also to Carmel Daly and Mel Mercier of UCC School of Music; Gary Sheehan of Note Productions; Jeffrey Weeter, Paul O’Donnell and, formerly, Jesse Ronneau of the UCC Concerts Committee; and Andreas W. Ziemons, Niamh Ryan and Louise Walsh at Music Network. Thanks to David Leikam of the Arts Noticed, Linda Plover of Blue Monkey PR, Eoin Brady and Bernard Clarke of Nova, and Sandra Quinn at the Evening Echo for their support.

A big thank to the best sound engineer in the world, Alex Fiennes, for amplifying the Cork event, and making the performance sound its best! and to Melanie for the conversations and unofficial roadie duties. Kudos to Marian Murray for jumping into the deep end, a special note of thanks Paul G. Smyth for stepping-up to support this project, and to Dennis Cassidy, Fergus Cullen and Benedict Schlepper-Connolly who came to the rescue when our drum-hire situation briefly went into tail-spin.

And of course a big, big, big thanks to Charles Hayward, Ian Smith and Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith for letting me share in their skill, craft, intelligence, musicality, generosity and sense of play (and their patience with this first-time tour manager): I’ll treasure Charles’ rhythmic travels to the outer reaches of an alternative-universe Caribbean; Ian’s brave counterpoint; and the spiraling, expert stacatto precision of Wadada’s trumpet.

Last but not least, thanks to all who came to listen and witness creative music in real-time!

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Presented with funding from the Music Network Performance and Touring Award, and support from UCC School of Music, Note Productions, the National Concert Hall and the Cork Opera House.

CD available: Mathilde 253

‘Mathilde 253’ (SLAMCD 528) CD cover
‘Mathilde 253’ (SLAMCD 528) CD cover

Released as part of SLAM Productions’s January 2011 CD catalog: Mathilde 253’s eponymous debut CD (SLAMCD 528).

[Get the CD via the discography entry…]
[Slam Productions catalog page…]
[Read the reviews…]

teaser (photomontage by Jenny Gallego)

description

Charles Hayward (drums, percussion and melodica), Han-earl Park (guitar), Ian Smith (trumpet and flugelhorn), Lol Coxhill (saxophone) tracks 6 and 7. Mathilde 253 is the real-time musical meeting between legendary avant-rock drummer Charles Hayward (This Heat, Massacre), “careful and crafty” guitarist Han-earl Park (Paul Dunmall, Kato Hideki), and mainstay of the London improvised music scene Ian Smith (Derek Bailey, London Improvisers’ Orchestra). Mathilde 253 was born out of an opportunity to explore the spontaneous mashup of avant-rock, African-American creative musics, European free improvisation and noise. Joined by the veteran iconoclastic saxophonist Lol Coxhill, this recording documents the weaving of physical virtuosity and humorous sound poetics, a patchwork of restraint, subtlety and recklessness.

Recorded live at Cafe OTO, London on April 18 2010. Recorded and mixed by Chris Trent. Mastered by Han-earl Park.

Design and artwork by Han-earl Park. Photographs by Seán Kelly.

Thanks to Hamish Dunbar and Keiko Yamamoto at Cafe OTO, Chris Trent, Alex Fiennes, Kato Hideki, Han-ter Park, Melanie L Marshall and Jeffrey Weeter.

All music by Charles Hayward, Han-earl Park and Ian Smith, except tracks 6–7 by Lol Coxhill, Charles Hayward, Han-earl Park and Ian Smith.

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

personnel

Mathilde 253: Charles Hayward (drums, percussion, melodica), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Ian Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn), plus Lol Coxhill (saxophone; tracks 6 and 7).

track listing

Kalimantan (18:29), Similkameen (8:22), Ishikari (10:09), Jixi (8:09), Matanuska (6:52), Aachen (11:42), Oaxaca (10:52). Total duration: 74:37.

thanks: Matana Roberts, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders

Matana Roberts, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders (original photos by Brett Walker, Stephanie Hough and Andrew Putler)
Matana Roberts, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders (original photos by Brett Walker, Stephanie Hough and Andrew Putler)

Thanks to Paul O’Donnell and Jeffrey Weeter of the University College Cork Concert Series; to Kevin Terry and Athoulis Tsiopani for helping out on the evening; to the Music Research Seminar Series (run by John Godfrey, Juniper Hill and Melanie L Marshall) for hosting the talk by Matana; to the Head of Music, Mel Mercier; to Carmel Daly for administrative support; and to John Hough for the technical and photographic work. I’d like to thank Jesse Ronneau who worked to host many improvised music events at the School over the years. This was the last concert, before he moved on to greener pastures, with his involvement, and his support of, and belief in, this and other projects has been invaluable.

And a very, very big thanks to Matana and Mark for their incredible musicianship and generosity. I find Matana’s work daring, original and provocative—her sound is by turns humorous and beautiful, and always compelling—and Mark is about the finest drummer I have had the pleasure of working with. I hope I managed to keep up with them on the evening, and hope to play again.

Finally, thanks to all who came to support this event!