Last year, during our second European tour, Eris 136199 went into Hackney Road Studios in London to record our next album, and our first studio album. As engineer Sean Woodlock hit the record button, we knew straight away that something very special was taking place that day: leaping from insectoid ASMR glitches to powerful ballads of weight and light; from the gentlest, languorous shimmers to startling No Wave noise, from raspy double-guitar hockets to gutted, dismantled chorales. And, to both our surprise and delight that thrill of musical discovery has translated beautifully during the mixing process.
The music, recording and the mix are complete, and this is where you, our awesome fans, come in. Eris 136199 now needs to take the final steps to releasing the album: mastering the album, creating the artwork and design, and pressing the CDs. And we are offering special rewards (including exclusive never-before-heard recordings, limited edition merch, and one-of-a-kind items), so please check out the various rewards and see where you might fit in to help us!
To our wonderful fans who blew us away with your support during our successful 2017 Kickstarter, we are so pleased to be sharing this latest project with you. And to both our long-time fans and those new to Eris, we promise that the music on this latest album will be very different from anything else; something beautifully strange and unexpected even for the wonderfully unpredictable Eris 136199.
Please have a look through the available rewards, and, when you’re ready, help bring noise to life!
A science fictional foray? the specter of drumming giant Rashied Ali? searing, erupting explosions? striking song-like passages over the rumble and din? climbing over a breathless downpour of sound? John Pietaro writes in the February issue of The New York City Jazz Record that: “In a field of experimentation and free music, Eris 136199 stands as singular.”
The closing work, two-part “Hypnagogia”, begins with the most electronic of sounds in [Nick] Didkovsky’s canon and as it fades the saxophonist blows an aerial passage that turns expressionistic as [Han-earl] Park hurls rapid- fire fills about her (think Interstellar Space as a starting point). By the time Didkovsky returns, his guitar embellishes Park’s and [Catherine] Sikora closes with lush postbop improvisation that will give listeners chills. [Read the rest…]
I love this review! Not just for its generosity and not just that it’s evident that the writer listened carefully (though, of course, it’s both of those), but I appreciate that it devotes space, in turn, to each musician of the trio. So big thanks to John for the review, and thanks, John, for hearing the Ali-connection back in 2013.
Mike Borella at Avant Music News finds monstrous extemporizations; jangling, twisting uneasiness; and an internal battle of self-restraint:
Eris 136199 is much more than deconstructivistic listening. Putting these three explorers together results in a surprising pleasant, if not angular and abstract, experience. Sikora and Didkovsky are a wonderful stylistic matchup – a sax player who is both aggressive and understated with a guitarist who seems to be fighting an internal battle of self-restraint. Park hangs around in the background, adding texture and an ephemeral context for their parts. [Read the rest…]
He concludes by writing: “Great stuff and highly recommended.”
Elsewhere, Avant Scena writes that “the music is just wonderful and charming – all kinds of colors, rhythms, expressions and sounds are condensed together in one form.” And Dolf Mulder writing in Vital Weekly describes a complex music emerging from the meeting of three very different individuals: “A radical kind of music.”
And finally, in Free Jazz’s survey of the recent albums by Catherine Sikora, Fotis Nikolakopoulos describes, in his ☆☆☆☆ review of Eris 136199, dismantling of the rock guitar solo pose, multidimensional timbres and atmosphere, and a constant battle of metallic guitar sounds and the organic feel of the saxophone: “like-minded improvisers who try to find their way through collective thinking and playing…. Eris 136199 is an album that blossoms after repeated listenings and deserves more than a quick listen….”
How does “barnstorming saxophone” relate to “alien facehugger tendrils”? “a mad scramble up loose terrain” to “incendiary guitar wrangling”? and “shimmering vibrating guitar screeds” to “subversion of traditional rock guitar…
A “control of noise”, “saturated electricity” and “fighting… with the underground”? or “free-wheeling” with experiments in sound injected with lyricism? or “electronic mayhem” with “a full bodied sound”? In among…
Noise multiplies via telephone futz, riding the transcontinental signal; a clockwork tight-rope walker dances, navigating (gears shift and gear grind) tension; and, above all, rises the Big Note around which we all fall to orbit.
Han-earl Park variously occupies the role of Eris 136199’s drummer, bassist, and second horn-player. He is the instigator and mastermind behind Eris 136199, as well as groups like Sirene 1009 (with Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh), and co-conspirator in projects with Richard Barrett and others. Park is navigator-engineer of the interactive, with playing that is by turns accommodating and interventionist. Changing direction and turning on a dime, Park demonstrates, with little more than a guitar, volume pedal and amplifier, a mutable, physical virtuosity.
In contrast, Nick Didkovsky creates anthems of glitch and distortion, playing the (analog and digital) signal chain from vibrating string to vibrating speaker via pedals and tube saturation. Demonstrating a deep understanding of rock, noise and experimentalism, Didkovsky rides the line between process-based mutations and heavy-rock riffage. Best known for his avant-metal big band Doctor Nerve, Didkovsky is also an active composer, working with ensembles such as Bang On A Can All Stars, ETHEL, and the Meridian Arts Ensemble, and the author of Java Music Specification Language, a system for algorithmic composition and real-time computer music.
Completing the trio is improviser, composer, saxophonist Catherine Sikora. Seated stage-center, Sikora brings a deep melodic and harmonic intelligence to the performances. In addition to long-standing collaborations with Eric Mingus, Christopher Culpo, Stanley Zappa, and Brian Chase, Sikora’s big, bold sound, and extraordinary melodic sense, has been in demand with artists such as Enrique Haneine, Elliott Sharp, and Ross Hammond. That same sound and technique grounds Eris, simultaneously rooting it in tradition while continually stepping beyond its borders.
Recorded with clarity and punch by Troels Bech and Charlie McGovern, and beautifully mastered by the amazing Richard Scott, the album presents two near-complete sets; from earlier in the tour (Copenhagen), and from the final date of the tour (Newcastle).
And free and exclusive to pre-orders of the album: the download-only Cryptogenic Animals. Recorded live in Cheltenham a day after Copenhagen, two days before Newcastle, Cryptogenic Animals, offers a unique opportunity to track the evolution of this improvising trio during the 2017 European tour, showcasing the trio’s adaptability to context, and creativity born from the contingent. [Listen/about Cryptogenic Animals…]
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.
Track listing: Cryptogenic Animals I (5:26), Cryptogenic Animals II (6:46), Cryptogenic Animals III (5:01), Monkey Wrench I (6:09), Monkey Wrench II (7:59), Spherical Cow I (7:30), Spherical Cow II (3:05), Dendrobranchiata Murmurationis I (3:18), Dendrobranchiata Murmurationis II (5:10). Total duration: 50:23.
Eris 136199 plays on the crossroads of noise, melody, rhythm, space, density, contrast, synchronicity, asymmetry, serendipity and contradiction. Eris 136199 is the corporeal, cyborg virtuosity of constructor and guitarist Han-earl Park; the noisy, unruly complexity of composer, computer artist and guitarist Nick Didkovsky; and the no-nonsense melodic logic of composer and saxophonist Catherine Sikora.
Together, Park, Didkovsky and Sikora forge 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. [More about the trio…]
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 Sirene 1009 with Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh, 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, 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), Brilliant Corners (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 teaches 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)
Saxophonist, improviser and composer Catherine Sikora was born and raised in West Cork, Ireland. Self taught to begin with, she moved to New York City to study and play with great improvisers.
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 the past few 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 for the fall of 2014, working on a project inspired by stories from her female ancestors. Catherine’s first solo album Jersey was released on Relative Pitch Records in July 2016.
“Sikora has invited us into her musical world, and like the neighbor from Queens, it is our good fortune to be in its midsts.”
— Paul Acquaro (Free Jazz)
“Sikora resembles [Evan] Parker on tenor saxophone in that she has created a personal language in which she sublimates technique according to what she wants to achieve and maintains a discernible relationship to the free jazz tradition in her syntax; she recalls another English saxophonist, John Butcher, in her absolute control and deployment of overtones. Where she remains distinct from both Butcher and Parker is in how she incorporates such dissonance into a stream of delicate abstract lyricism. -John Sharpe, New York City Jazz Record”
— John Sharpe (New York City Jazz Record)
Nick Didkovsky is a guitarist, composer, and computer music programmer. His non-didactic approach to combining human and machine creativity is a unique musical fingerprint. Didkovsky has composed new music for Kathleen Supove, Ethel, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Meridian Arts Ensemble, New Century Players, ARTE Quartett, his own bands Doctor Nerve, Vomit Fist, Häßliche Luftmasken, and others. His compositions and guitar performances appear on more than 50 records.
For over 30 years, Doctor Nerve has fueled Didkovsky’s intricate compositions with the energy of rock, often challenging the boundaries between heavy metal, contemporary music, and improvisation. Doctor Nerve has released nine albums of more than 50 of his compositions. The band has performed at numerous festivals including FIMAV, the Moers Festival, Musique Action, Creative Time, MIMI Festival, and ‘Whitney Live’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
As a guitarist and composer, Didkovsky was a member of the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, contributing twelve compositions to its repertoire. Didkovsky’s electric guitar compositions continue to be performed by newer ensembles such as Dither Quartet, E-Werk, and Fracture Guitar Quartet, and by soloists such as Kevin Gallagher, Marco Cappelli, and Wiek Hijmans. As a soloist, he has performed at numerous events such as Bang On A Can festival, Guitarévolutions in Montreal, New Ballet festival at the Miller Theatre, and John Zorn’s East Asian Bar Bands. His 2015 Residency at The Stone in NYC resulted in numerous premiere performances of new works.
Recorded during the 2017 European tour, the album is the trio’s followup to their debut recording Anomic Aphasia (SLAMCD 559, 2015) which was described as “a beautiful noise” (KFJC 89.7 FM) and “atmospheric as to become almost frightening” (The New York City Jazz Record). Recorded with clarity and punch by Troels Bech and Charlie McGovern, and beautifully mastered by the amazing Richard Scott, the album presents two near-complete sets; from earlier in the tour (Copenhagen), and from the final date of the tour (Newcastle).
Do you want to hear/see Eris 136199’s outtakes/sidetakes/teasers/previews unavailable elsewhere? Be first in-line for the new album? Sign-up to my newsletter.
Five performance this final month of 2015! A great privilege to have shared the stage with so many awesomely creative, smart and generous people. Let’s get to the hat-tips…
Okay, start with a thanks to my co-conspirators, Dominic Lash, Mark Sanders and Caroline Pugh, who consistently created fascinating, difficult, infuriating, confounding and beautiful spaces for interaction. Listening to the music play out in real-time, all I could think was that it sounds great whenever the guitarist shuts-up. (As Josh Sinton pointed out later, that’s really a wonderful position to be in; not knowing how to contribute to—to add to—an already perfect ensemble at play.)
Thanks to Ingrid Laubrock for the play—it was great to come-off a… logistically challenging set of gigs into a relaxed performance where, well, anything might happen… and we ended up in some interesting and unexpected places. (Felt very good about this one.)
Big thanks to all the venues and promoters, DIYers and supporters: to the indefatigable Andrew Woodhead at Fizzle; to Seth Cooke and everyone at Bang the Bore for an awesome event; to Fielding Hope, Oli Barrett and everyone at Cafe OTO for their support, and for their patience with all the ups’n’downs; to Josh and everyone at 65Fen Music Series; and to Cisco Bradley for inviting me to perform at New Revolution Arts (a beautiful space—socially, musically).
Thanks to the gentleman who lent me his amplifier in Birmingham (sorry, can’t remember your name!), and to Andrew Drury and Chris Welcome who did the same in Brooklyn—y’all made my travels so much more pleasant!
The tour by my ensemble with Dom, Mark and Caroline was made possible with funding from Culture Ireland, and I am extremely grateful for their support.
Thanks to Dom Lash and Kate Hendry, and to Josh Sinton and family, for offering a place for this itinerant musician to crash a night (or three). Kudos to Nasc Ireland for helping me navigate some border… technicalities 😉
And a very special thanks to the Best Sound Engineer in the Known Universe, Alex Fiennes, for taking time to make the music sound great in London.
Finally, as always, thanks, thanks, thanks, everyone, for listening.
Guitarist Han-earl Park joins those improvisers who conceive of a playbook for interactive tactics….
As the guitarists clip staccato whines with ingot-like density from below the bridges and along the necks, her [Sikora’s] wistful soprano saxophone variations preserve the linear form, eventually making common cause with offbeat folksy strums from one string player. Hear Sikora’s final unaccompanied cadenza as potential human triumph over, or coexistence with, the widening machine-produced tremolo pumps. A folk-like overlay also makes its appearance on the concluding “Stopcock”, although the tenor saxophonist’s concentrated upwards snarls and magnetic near-string-tearing pops from guitar strings make the track so atmospheric as to become almost frightening.
The wailing vigor of Sinton’s bottom-pitched horns adds to the reeds’ aleatoric strategies on the other three
tracks. Nearly verbalized reed tones are so euphonious on “Flying Rods” that the subsequent layered lines nearly move into songbook territory. But Park’s parallel flanges and hard thumping keeps the results electronically plugged in as well as pointedly blended.
Sardonically printing a faux questionnaire about Metis 9 application in the CD booklet shows that Park champions music over theory. With associates like Sikora, Didkovsky and Sinton, it appears he can have it both ways. [Read the rest…]
Though short, percussive, hard-to-notate sounds dominate Han-earl Park’s sound, he does utilize the totality of the guitar’s sonorities—just not in the proportions demanded by the nostalgic (retrospective, reactionary, etc.) owners of major media. Towards the end of “Nova” on Cork 3-26-09, Park even plays chords with voices that lead. Franziska Schroeder’s… saxophone is an excellent counterpoint to Park’s electric guitar, mostly because her post-tonal sensibilities are conceived and executed so well. Very simply, contemporary improvisation has grown beyond the 12-note chromatic division of the octave. Buh bye! It is this extended tonal consciousness by which Schroeder achieves the elusive by keeping the narrative aspects to a minimum without regressing to that childish, abnegating HVAC morality holding hostage the imagination of so many wind and reed players in our improvising community. [Read the rest…]
…Minimal tonal or harmonic sticking points to derail the listening experience—an experience not to be missed by Park agnostics and believers alike. Jeffrey Weeter on percussion and Jin Sangtae on what are most likely hard drives in varying states of repair… could very well be the perfect counterpoint to Park’s active, strident departure from the last 100 years of the prevailing guitar morality.
Sangtae’s post-human sonic contribution makes Park’s departure seem less heretical…. Here is unanimity of method and likeness of function. Motility of gesture and dynamics of phrase are celebrated with sound, neither antiquated harmonic stricture nor pre-Civil-Rights-era tropes. There is a directness, a paucity of fluff, which, more than any other quality or attribute, is what separates jazz from music that emerged from and ultimately supplanted it as the ‘art music’ of our day. Sangtae deserves special mention for his vision (as does Park for including scripting him in to the group). While likely not the first to use the staccato grrrr of a hard drive for musical gesture, none have used it with as much imagination or in a setting as sympathetic as Cork 1-24-11. Sangtae’s contribution underscores the collective nature of improvisation and creates a feeling of want, where and when he is not present. Without question, Cork 1-24-11 is a conceptual and aural high-water mark few will ever reach. [Read the rest…]
In the piece, Medwin describes the recording with Marian Murray as the “best way into Park’s protean guitar syntax”:
Park slams through blocks of sound and these deteriorate into shreds and scraps, punctuated with what can only be described as ululations, which become more prominent as things proceed. Park’s often-distorted fingerwork, much of it conjuring shades of the human voice, also references Derek Bailey’s rapid-fire volume shifts and Joe Morris’ fleet runs while sounding like neither. [Read the rest…]
…The outer limits of timbre, especially on the epic “Old Robots Never Rust”. Campbell’s violin slides are an excellent foil to the more vocal qualities in Park’s improvising, not to mention similar devices used by multi-reedist Randy McKean as the trio converge and diverge in pitch space. [Read the rest…]
…Eschewing conventional groove but adhering to solos and telepathic communications, conjuring the jazz trio hierarchy as imagined by Albert Ayler. Dunmall even channels some Ayler, his tenor growling and moaning through key moments as Park handles guitar and bass duty simultaneously. Only Sanders’ occasional chiming percussion bespeaks a more contemporary vibe. As always, Park fills out the texture as much or more than do most keyboard instruments, but his playing is never overwhelming and always tasteful. [Read the rest…]
When a recording is offered to me, I listen to it and consider, is SLAM the right place for it? I don’t have a style template to which the music must fit. The SLAM slogan has always been ‘Freedom of Music’. I remember years ago playing a concert with Lol [Coxhill]. He was asked to play a solo piece and was going to play ‘Autumn Leaves”. “But this is a free gig, Lol” someone said. “So,” said Lol “Am I free to play what I want?” What ties the SLAM catalogue together is the objective of preserving music that may otherwise be lost and making this music available to a listening public. To try to ‘educate’ or lead a public would be counterproductive but the music is there to be discovered. [Read the rest…]
24-bit edition: minimal post-processing of recording beyond edits and fades and EQ. Preserves dynamics of original recording (which was recorded with a limiter).
If in doubt, monomaniac audiophile nerds aside, you probably want the 16-bit edition. (Many thanks to Alex Fiennes for advice on this double release.)
This particular trio setting provides minimal tonal or harmonic sticking points to derail the listening experience—an experience not to be missed by [Han-earl] Park agnostics and believers alike. Jeffrey Weeter on percussion and Jin Sangtae on what are most likely hard drives in varying states of repair… could very well be the perfect counterpoint to Park’s active, strident departure from the last 100 years of the prevailing guitar morality….
Motility of gesture and dynamics of phrase are celebrated with sound, neither antiquated harmonic stricture nor pre-Civil-Rights-era tropes. There is a directness, a paucity of fluff, which, more than any other quality or attribute, is what separates jazz from music that emerged from and ultimately supplanted it as the ‘art music’ of our day. Sangtae deserves special mention for his vision…. While likely not the first to use the staccato grrrr of a hard drive for musical gesture, none have used it with as much imagination or in a setting as sympathetic as Cork 1-24-11. Sangtae’s contribution underscores the collective nature of improvisation and creates a feeling of want, where and when he is not present. Without question, Cork 1-24-11 is a conceptual and aural high-water mark few will ever reach.
A stark, real-time evolution of on-stage relations. The performance took place during Seoul-based experimental electronic musician Jin Sangtae’s European tour. Featuring clanking hard drives, buzzing electronics, noisy guitars and machine gun percussion, this recording captures Jin’s meeting with guitarist-improviser Han-earl Park, and composer, drummer and intermedia artist Jeffrey Weeter.
Jin Sangtae (진상태) was born in 1975 in Seoul. Korea. He started music with electronica project ‘popmusic25’ in 1999 and had several live concerts. When he came to know improvised music in 2004, he changed his musical direction. He developed his instrument with Radio, Laptop, Car horn and hard disk drive and concentrated upon improvised music, field recording and related sound works. Jin Sangtae has regularly participated in concert series ‘RELAY’ and ‘Table Setting.’ In 2008, he commenced ‘Dotolim’—a name of small space, first venue in Korea specialized for electro-acoustic improvisation. He has organized ‘Dotolim concert series’ every second month.
Jin is a prominent member of Korea’s growing electro-acoustic improvisation scene, and according to The Wire, Jin’s “speciality is extracting harsh noise and glitches from exposed computer hard drives. These circuit-bending investigations run the gamut from carefully mediated feedback blasts to jerky mechanical clatter to sparse buzzes and hisses. Hovering intently over his electronics, he probes and dissects the chaotic din with scientific precision.”
Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) works within/from/around traditions of fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, mostly open improvised musics, sometimes engineering theater, sometimes inventing ritual. He feels the gravitational pull of collaborative, multi-authored contexts, and has performed in clubs, theaters, art galleries and concert halls in Austria, Denmark, Germany, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland and the USA.
He is part of Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, and is involved in ongoing collaborations with Bruce Coates, Franziska Schroeder, Alex Fiennes and Murray Campbell. He has recently performed with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Lol Coxhill, Pat Thomas, Paul Dunmall, Mark Sanders, Matana Roberts, Richard Barrett, Pauline Oliveros, Thomas Buckner and Kato Hideki. Festival appearances include Sonorities (Belfast), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), dialogues festival (Edinburgh), and CEAIT Festival (California). His recordings have been released by labels including Slam Productions and DUNS Limited Edition.
Jeffrey Weeter is a composer, intermedia artist and audio engineer. The collaboration with electronic musician Kate Simko produced the live cinema project Lustre which has toured Europe, Japan, South America and the United States during 2011–2012. From 2005–2008 he designed real-time video instruments and performed as the resident VJ for the monthly Wake Up! series at Sonotheque, Chicago. He has presented on intermedia at FIMaC, ATMI, ICMC and SEAMUS conferences, and has work published by Organised Sound, Select Media and meakusma. Weeter completed his Doctorate in Music Composition from Northwestern University, served five years as an audio engineer for The Oprah Winfrey Show, Harpo Studios, Chicago and currently is Lecturer in Music Composition at University College Cork, Ireland.
His work explores the relationships between media via performance which often utilize electronic and acoustic instruments linked in a sphere of influence with video projection, expanding the dynamics of performance and forging a new live cinema. Weeter’s work often negotiates a shared agency between live performer and random or deterministic processes.
10-24-12: add recommended price. 05-20-13: updated the ‘also available for download’ list. 07-02-13: updated review. 11-01-15: add A Little Brittle Music to downloads list, and change currency from USD to EUR.
Though short, percussive, hard-to-notate sounds dominate Han-earl Park’s sound, he does utilize the totality of the guitar’s sonorities—just not in the proportions demanded by the nostalgic (retrospective, reactionary, etc.) owners of major media…. Franziska Schroeder’s… saxophone is an excellent counterpoint to Park’s electric guitar, mostly because her post-tonal sensibilities are conceived and executed so well. Very simply, contemporary improvisation has grown beyond the 12-note chromatic division of the octave. Buh bye! It is this extended tonal consciousness by which Schroeder achieves the elusive by keeping the narrative aspects to a minimum without regressing to that childish, abnegating HVAC morality holding hostage the imagination of so many wind and reed players in our improvising community.
“I’m very happy to finally make these available. In many respects, all my playing subsequent to this duet has been in response to, and a follow-up on, the implications of this performance. Big thanks to Franziska for sharing the journey on this one.”
“The Glucksman Gallery is one of the finest buildings to have been built in Ireland in recent times, but it is a tricky space for any musician to negotiate. Sounds reverberate and carry in unexpected ways, and music improvised here runs the risk of losing all definition. That [Han-earl] Park and his co-improviser Franziska Schroeder gracefully avoided this testifies to their alertness, sensitivity and experience working together in other spaces…. Indeed the evening had the feeling of conversation, with the instrumentalists demonstrating the improvisatory give-and-take of a convivial exchange of ideas.”
“Park and Schroeder are involved in ongoing collaborations enrolling human and machine musicians, public and laboratory situations, formal and ad-hoc environments, material and social technologies, in real-time, interactive play. Seeking to (re)engineer notions of virtuosity in the context of latter-day, trans-national experimentalism and improvised musics, their performances embrace the contingent and contradictory.”
Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park 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.
He is part of Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, and is involved in collaborations with Bruce Coates, Franziska Schroeder, Alex Fiennes and Murray Campbell. He has recently performed with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Lol Coxhill, Pat Thomas, Paul Dunmall, Mark Sanders, Matana Roberts, Richard Barrett, Pauline Oliveros, 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.
“Guitarist Han-earl Park is a musical philosopher…. Expect unexpected things from Park, who is a delightful shape-shifter….”
Brian Morton (Point of Departure)
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.
“Schroeder… constitutes a great addition in my book of favorite saxophonists, her attitude basically lyrical, sensitive competences just pouring out from whatever she chooses to release from a couple of soulful yet scientifically-oriented lungs. I’m not surprised to discover that she’s been active on the instrument since the age of nine—the perceived skill is indisputable.”
09-24-12: correct error in dates in artwork and Bandcamp album data. 10-24-12: add recommended price. 05-20-13: updated the ‘also available for download’ list. 07-02-13: updated review. 11-01-15: add A Little Brittle Music to downloads list, and change currency from USD to EUR.