Month of British/Irish Listening

Corey Mwamba is currently running ‘Month of British/Irish Listening,’ a series of YouTube playlists that “focus on current British/Irish jazz or improv” [read the rest…]. Corey put out an informal call for guest contributions, and I’m happy to have selected another ten clips for issue #12 in the series:

While the London Jazz Festival madness begins, I’ve asked other musicians if they’d like to contribute to the days. Here’s guitarist Han-earl Park’s fine contribution. [Read the rest…]

I recommend that you follow the series to catch a glimpse of some very fine musics, and the creative musicians who make them. [Month of British/Irish Listening…]

A Little Brittle Music

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

Update: download no longer available (“Limited availability… until March 31, 2016”). For those who got it, big thanks for your support; wishing you good listening!

The complete recording of the May 2, 2015 performance by Han-earl Park (guitar), Dominic Lash (double bass) and Corey Mwamba (vibraphone and flute) is available (for a limited time), complete with a couple of hidden ‘bonus’ tracks (recorded May 4), for download via Bandcamp. [Bandcamp page…] [Download now…]

This bandcamp-hosted album offers the option to download the recording in multiple formats (mp3, Ogg and AAC) including lossless (FLAC and ALAC), and includes print-ready CD case cover and inlay artwork.

Price: €5 minimum (‘name your price’).

All proceeds go towards the maintenance of musical instruments (e.g. mallets, bow rehairing, etc.). Your generosity will help support the performers and their work. For reference:

  • €10 = set of guitar strings = keeps guitar(ist) happy for 3 weeks
  • €200 = double bass strings = happy bassist, 6–8 months

Incidentally, replacement of the components depicted in the cover art (potentiometers, capacitors, etc.) would be about €70.

Many thanks to David Birchall of Tubers Music, and Sibyl Madrigal and Alex Ward of Boat-ting for hosting the performance.

description

PLM? Uh, no… Pashwamba? Er, no, no, no…

Wait!

The Racially Diverse Trio of Nerdy Guys: or We Were Paid in Comics!

The Ultimate Han-earl Park, The Uncanny Dom Lash and The Astonishing Corey Mwamba demonstrate their formidable and generous musicality (a diabolical combination), making music, sometimes brittle, always unexpected, with no gesture lost in play. (Album includes two bonus tracks that demonstrate the effects of entropy, as the bridge pickup of the guitar cr*ps-out, and the bass develops a new buzz.)

Released: November 1, 2015. Limited availability (until March 31, 2016).

Price: €5 minimum (‘name your price’).

All proceeds go towards the maintenance of musical instruments (e.g. mallets, bow rehairing, etc.). Your generosity will help support the performers and their work. For reference:

  • €10 = set of guitar strings = keeps guitar(ist) happy for 3 weeks
  • €200 = double bass strings = happy bassist, 6–8 months

Incidentally, replacement of the components depicted in the cover art (potentiometers, capacitors, etc.) would be about €70.

personnel

Han-earl Park (guitar), Dominic Lash (double bass) and Corey Mwamba (vibraphone and flute; tracks 1–2).

track listing

Manchester Breakdown (24:29); Decomposition (Detemporization) (3:56); Bridge: Pickup and Collapse (15:31); Buzzing Decay (4:59). Total duration: 48:54. (Note: tracks 3–4 are hidden ‘bonus’ tracks.)

recording details

Tracks 1–2: music by Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash and Corey Mwamba. Tracks 3–4: music by Han-earl Park and Dominic Lash.

Tracks 1–2 recorded live at St. Margaret’s Church, Manchester on May 2, 2015 as part of the Tubers MiniFestival curated by David Birchall. Tracks 3–4 recorded live at Boat-ting, London on May 4, 2015 in an event curated by Sibyl Madrigal.
Recorded and mastered by Han-earl Park.
Design and artwork by Han-earl Park.

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

about the performers

Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash and Corey Mwamba (Tubers MiniFestival, Manchester, May 2, 2015). Photo © 2015 Peter Fay.
Dominic Lash, Han-earl Park and Corey Mwamba (Manchester, May 2, 2015). Photo © 2015 Peter Fay.

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park 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)

Born and based in Derby, Corey Mwamba’s commitment to jazz and improvised music in Britain and Ireland drives all aspects of his work, whether through composition, playing, or promoting new music.

Corey predominantly plays vibraphone; he also plays dulcimer and uses audio processing software. He is recognised as a highly creative improviser and composer working across a wide range of jazz and contemporary music, called to work with musicians such as Tony Kofi, Pat Thomas, Alexander Hawkins, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Arun Ghosh, Quantic, Cerys Matthews, Mat Maneri, Lucian Ban and Ty.

Mwamba’s distinctive approach and tone can be heard in the critically acclaimed Yana with Dave Kane (bass) and Joshua Blackmore (drums). This group exemplifies a core ideal of creating an “open, living music”; listening and responding spontaneously as a unit to make music that has love, language and a groove. Their first studio release don’t overthink it was hailed as “engaging and evocative” (All About Jazz) and described as “the sound of three minds working together in a utopian zone, way beyond the individual ego – and producing something quite beautiful in the process” (Jazzwise). He is a member of the Anglo-French quartet Sonsale with bassist Andy Champion, drummer Sylvain Darrifourcq and cellist Valentin Ceccaldi. Corey also works with Andy in an improvising trio with saxophonist Ntshuks Bonga. He also plays in duos with saxophonist Rachel Musson; pianist Robert Mitchell; percussionists Martin Pyne and Walt Shaw; and the multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson.

Corey contributes to saxophonist Nat Birchall’s quintet, saxophonist and composer Martin Archer’s large ensemble Engine Room Favourites, and trumpeter Nick Malcolm’s quartet. He plays with Nick and drummer Simon Roth in Our Own Decay.

An active advocate of the arts, Corey Mwamba strives to argue the case for the arts. He petitioned for fair pay to artists during the London Olympics, and helped engineer a moratorium and review of arts funding cuts in Derby through debate with the city council; he has also worked with many regional arts organisations. He has held board positions for Derby Jazz, World Song Derby, Derby Cultural Diversity Arts Network, and Arts Council England (East Midlands). He is also an adventurous programmer of new music in Derby, setting up One Note Sunday and The Family Album as well as programming Derby Jazz’s improvised music stream called 2ndline.

Corey was granted a PRSF/Jerwood Foundation Take Five artist development award in 2007; was short-listed for the Innovation category in the BBC Jazz Awards in 2008; and was awarded an AHRC studentship for a Master of Research degree in Music at Keele University; he graduated with a distinction in 2014.

Also available for download [more…]

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.

Murray Campbell, Randy McKean with Han-earl Park, plus Gino Robair and Scott R. Looney: Gargantius Effect +1 +2 +3 (Nor Cal, 08-2011)

Gargantius Effect +1 +2 +3 (Nor Cal, 08-2011) [details…]

Performers: Murray Campbell (violins, oboe and cor anglais), Randy McKean (saxophone, clarinets and flutes) with Han-earl Park (guitar), plus Gino Robair (energized surfaces, voltage made audible) and Scott R. Looney (hyperpiano).

(cc) 2012 Murray Campbell/Randy McKean/Han-earl Park/Gino Robair/Scott R. Looney.

Han-earl Park plus Marian Murray: Park+Murray (Cork, 07-29-10)

Park+Murray (Cork, 07-29-10) [details…]

Performers: Han-earl Park (guitar) plus Marian Murray (violin).

(cc) 2012 Han-earl Park/Marian Murray.

Jin Sangtae, Han-earl Park and Jeffrey Weeter: Jin-Park-Weeter (Cork, 01–24–11)

Jin-Park-Weeter (Cork, 01-24-11) [details…]

Performers: Jin Sangtae (electronics), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Jeffrey Weeter (drums and electronics).

(cc) 2012 Jin Sangtae/Han-earl Park/Jeffrey Weeter.

Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder: Park-Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09)

Park-Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09) [details…]

Performers: Han-earl Park (guitar) and Franziska Schroeder (saxophone).

(cc) 2012 Han-earl Park/Franziska Schroeder.

Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park: Sikora-Smith-Park (Cork, 04-04-11)

Sikora-Smith-Park (Cork, 04-04-11) [details…]

Performers: Catherine Sikora (saxophone), Ian Smith (trumpet) and Han-earl Park (guitar).

(cc) 2012 Catherine Sikora/Ian Smith/Han-earl Park.

updates

11-03-15: add video trailer.
04-01-16: no longer available for download.

in preparation: A Little Brittle Music

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

Coming soon! A Little Brittle Music: a download album with Han-earl Park (guitar), Dominic Lash (double bass) and Corey Mwamba (vibraphone and flute). Stay tuned for more….

Also available for download [more…]

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.

Murray Campbell, Randy McKean with Han-earl Park, plus Gino Robair and Scott R. Looney: Gargantius Effect +1 +2 +3 (Nor Cal, 08-2011)

Gargantius Effect +1 +2 +3 (Nor Cal, 08-2011) [details…]

Performers: Murray Campbell (violins, oboe and cor anglais), Randy McKean (saxophone, clarinets and flutes) with Han-earl Park (guitar), plus Gino Robair (energized surfaces, voltage made audible) and Scott R. Looney (hyperpiano).

(cc) 2012 Murray Campbell/Randy McKean/Han-earl Park/Gino Robair/Scott R. Looney.

Han-earl Park plus Marian Murray: Park+Murray (Cork, 07-29-10)

Park+Murray (Cork, 07-29-10) [details…]

Performers: Han-earl Park (guitar) plus Marian Murray (violin).

(cc) 2012 Han-earl Park/Marian Murray.

Jin Sangtae, Han-earl Park and Jeffrey Weeter: Jin-Park-Weeter (Cork, 01–24–11)

Jin-Park-Weeter (Cork, 01-24-11) [details…]

Performers: Jin Sangtae (electronics), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Jeffrey Weeter (drums and electronics).

(cc) 2012 Jin Sangtae/Han-earl Park/Jeffrey Weeter.

Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder: Park-Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09)

Park-Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09) [details…]

Performers: Han-earl Park (guitar) and Franziska Schroeder (saxophone).

(cc) 2012 Han-earl Park/Franziska Schroeder.

Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park: Sikora-Smith-Park (Cork, 04-04-11)

Sikora-Smith-Park (Cork, 04-04-11) [details…]

Performers: Catherine Sikora (saxophone), Ian Smith (trumpet) and Han-earl Park (guitar).

(cc) 2012 Catherine Sikora/Ian Smith/Han-earl Park.

thanks: Han-earl Park and Dominic Lash plus Corey Mwamba (Manchester, Cambridge and London, May 2015)

Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash and Corey Mwamba (Tubers MiniFestival, Manchester, May 2, 2015). Photo © 2015 Peter Fay.
Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash and Corey Mwamba (Manchester, May 2, 2015). Photo © 2015 Peter Fay.

Note of thanks for the performances in Manchester, Cambridge and London. Thanks in particular to our hosts (their partners and cats) and organizers: David Birchall and everyone at Tubers; David Grundy; and Alex Ward at Boat-ting (and hope you feel better soon, Sibyl Madrigal). Kudos to all the performers who shares the stage, and to Peter Fay for the documentation [more images…]. And, as always, thanks to all those who came to hear real-time music!

As for The Uncanny Dom Lash and The Astonishing Corey Mwamba, I’ll take off my hat, and bow down, to your formidable and generous musicality (a diabolical combination). I think we made music sometimes brittle, always unexpected, with no gesture lost in play.

Some things to take away from this micro-tour: talking ‘scene’ (creative communities and geographies) with David Birchall, Rex Casswell, Corey and Cathy Heyden; paying The Racially Diverse Trio of Nerdy Guys in comics (thanks to Free Comic Book Day); revisiting my take on soundart and music; finding, with Dom and Rex, unexpected musical possibilities in the imagined names of the royal baby; watching Bark! in motion—off and on-stage—an ensemble that plays like a joke where the punchline never arrives (and it’s awesome); Dom saying that “the details need to work harder”; Steve Beresford telling tales of improvised music past and present; being reminded what an imaginative, crafty and resourceful drummer Steve Noble is (he gives so much for his partners to work with); witnessing the joy of someone coax the musical from unmusical resources (Sonic Pleasure sounding masonry); performing our last gig while Dom’s bass gained a buzz and my guitar’s bridge pickup cr*pped out….

…Talking of which, if you’ll excuse me, I have a guitar to open-up and examine (and hopefully repair before Belfast).

reminder: Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash and Corey Mwamba at Tubers MiniFestival, Manchester

Tubers MiniFestival. (Poster copyright 2015 David Birchall).
Poster © 2015 David Birchall.

This Saturday (May 2, 2015), at 5:00pm: Han-earl Park (guitar), Dominic Lash (double bass) and Corey Mwamba (vibraphone) perform as part of Tubers MiniFestival at St. Margaret’s Church (Rufford Road, Whalley Range, Manchester M16 8AE). Admission is £8 at the door.

PLM? Pashamba? I’m looking forward to the greatly. Always fun to play with The Ultimate Dominic Lash, and it’s been far too long since I last crossed-paths with The Amazing Corey Mwamba.

Han-earl Park and Dominic Lash will also be performing in Cambridge (May 3) and London (May 4). See the performance diary for up-to-date info.

performances: Han-earl Park and Dominic Lash (Manchester, Cambridge and London, May 2015)

May 2015: Han-earl Park and Dominic Lash perform in Manchester (with Corey Mwamba), Cambridge and London (see the performance diary for up-to-date info).

Hope to see y’all at these events!

Above videos from the last times I performed with Dominic Lash. With Mark Sanders at Fizzle and LUME. Video collages by Han-earl Park.

performance diary 04-14-15 (Belfast, Cambridge, London, Manchester)

upcoming performances
date venue time details
May 2, 2015 St. Margaret’s Church
Rufford Road
Whalley Range
Manchester M16 8AE
England
5:00pm Han-earl Park (guitar) and Dominic Lash (double bass) with Corey Mwamba (vibraphone) as part of the Tubers MiniFestival. Also performing: Bark! (Rex Casswell, Phillip Marks and Paul Obermayer), Cathy Heyden and Rogier Smal, Roseanne Robertson, Vitalija Glovackyte and Joe Snape, and Ortho Stice. Admission: £8.
[Details…] [Tubers pags…]
May 3, 2015 Music Room
Robinson College
Grange Road
Cambridge CB3 9AN
England
7:00pm Han-earl Park (guitar) and Dominic Lash (double bass). Also performing: David Grundy and Martin Hackett. Admission free.
[Details…]
May 4, 2015 Bar & Co.
Temple Pier
Embankment
London WC2R, England
8:30pm (doors: 8:00pm) Han-earl Park (guitar) and Dominic Lash (double bass) presented by Boat-ting. Also performing: Steve Noble (drums), Massimo Magee (saxophone) and Tom Wheatly (double bass); Tom Jackson (clarinet), Benedict Taylor (viola) and Daniel Thompson (guitar); Crush!!! (Ian MacGowan: trumpet; Sonic Pleasure: masonry; and Mark Browne: saxophone); and Sibyl Madrigal (poetry) and Alex Ward (clarinet). Admission: £8 (£5).
[Details…] [Boat-ting page…]
May 29 and 30, 2015 Sonic Arts Research Centre
Queen’s University
Belfast, N. Ireland
Program… Han-earl Park participates in the Just Improvisation symposium organized by Translating Improvisation.
Admission free.
[Details…] [Translating Improvisation page…]
2015– Europe I am based in Europe as of 2014, and I am seeking performance opportunities for, in particular, my Europe-based projects including Numbers (with Richard Barrett), Mathilde 253 (with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith), and my trio with Dominic Lash and Mark Sanders. Interested promoters, venues and sponsors, please get in touch!

Continue reading “performance diary 04-14-15 (Belfast, Cambridge, London, Manchester)”

performance: Han-earl Park, Dominic Lash and Corey Mwamba at Tubers MiniFestival, Manchester

Tubers MiniFestival. (Poster copyright 2015 David Birchall).
Poster © 2015 David Birchall.

Saturday, May 2, 2015, at 5:00pm: Han-earl Park (guitar), Dominic Lash (double bass) and Corey Mwamba (vibraphone) perform as part of Tubers MiniFestival at St. Margaret’s Church (Rufford Road, Whalley Range, Manchester M16 8AE). Admission is £8 at the door.

See the performance diary for up-to-date info. [Tubers page…] [Facebook event…]

Also performing at Tubers MiniFestival: Bark! (Rex Casswell, Phillip Marks and Paul Obermayer), Cathy Heyden and Rogier Smal, Roseanne Robertson, Vitalija Glovackyte and Joe Snape, and Ortho Stice.

about the performers

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park 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)

Born and based in Derby, Corey Mwamba’s commitment to jazz and improvised music in Britain and Ireland drives all aspects of his work, whether through composition, playing, or promoting new music.

Corey predominantly plays vibraphone; he also plays dulcimer and uses audio processing software. He is recognised as a highly creative improviser and composer working across a wide range of jazz and contemporary music, called to work with musicians such as Tony Kofi, Pat Thomas, Alexander Hawkins, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Arun Ghosh, Quantic, Cerys Matthews, Mat Maneri, Lucian Ban and Ty.

Mwamba’s distinctive approach and tone can be heard in the critically acclaimed Yana with Dave Kane (bass) and Joshua Blackmore (drums). This group exemplifies a core ideal of creating an “open, living music”; listening and responding spontaneously as a unit to make music that has love, language and a groove. Their first studio release don’t overthink it was hailed as “engaging and evocative” (All About Jazz) and described as “the sound of three minds working together in a utopian zone, way beyond the individual ego – and producing something quite beautiful in the process” (Jazzwise). He is a member of the Anglo-French quartet Sonsale with bassist Andy Champion, drummer Sylvain Darrifourcq and cellist Valentin Ceccaldi. Corey also works with Andy in an improvising trio with saxophonist Ntshuks Bonga. He also plays in duos with saxophonist Rachel Musson; pianist Robert Mitchell; percussionists Martin Pyne and Walt Shaw; and the multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson.

Corey contributes to saxophonist Nat Birchall’s quintet, saxophonist and composer Martin Archer’s large ensemble Engine Room Favourites, and trumpeter Nick Malcolm’s quartet. He plays with Nick and drummer Simon Roth in Our Own Decay.

An active advocate of the arts, Corey Mwamba strives to argue the case for the arts. He petitioned for fair pay to artists during the London Olympics, and helped engineer a moratorium and review of arts funding cuts in Derby through debate with the city council; he has also worked with many regional arts organisations. He has held board positions for Derby Jazz, World Song Derby, Derby Cultural Diversity Arts Network, and Arts Council England (East Midlands). He is also an adventurous programmer of new music in Derby, setting up One Note Sunday and The Family Album as well as programming Derby Jazz’s improvised music stream called 2ndline.

Corey was granted a PRSF/Jerwood Foundation Take Five artist development award in 2007; was short-listed for the Innovation category in the BBC Jazz Awards in 2008; and was awarded an AHRC studentship for a Master of Research degree in Music at Keele University; he graduated with a distinction in 2014.

cuttlefish: Study of Notation

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

I’m honored to find my concept thumbnail (‘Study in Notation’) in the pages of cuttlefish (issue #1, summer 2014), a “zine for contemporary culture, music, art, aesthetics, politics,” edited by Peter O’Doherty. The piece was accompanied by an excerpt from my interview with Miguel Copón:

I’m not sure at all where this is leading, but having through some combination of ideology and necessity (ain’t it always the way?) found myself somewhat involuntarily in the ‘Total Improvisation’ camp, I’m beginning to look on the other side of the fence. Let me be clear, the, to borrow Lewis’ term, Eurological conception of the score and the practice that surrounds it (theorized in detail by Small, Cusick, Nicholas Cook and others), with its limited models of control and dogma of reproducibility, and naive notions of aesthetics, does not interest me at all.

However, I’m feeling a gravitational tug. Maybe it’s due to coming into close contact with musicians who have a much more sophisticated (if often, from an non-practitioner’s POV, misunderstood and under theorized) relationship with the score and the possibilities of notation. But it’s a distinct pull. Still working—struggling—through some ideas, and studies, and have far, far more questions than answers about the possible role notation and the score might have in an improvisative context, but that’s the new thing that’s exciting me at the moment. [Read the rest…]

The theme of cuttlefish’s inaugural issue is “work-in-progress (sketches, doodles, journal entries, streams of consciousness…),” and features contributions by Wim Bollein, Laura Duran, Evgeniy Aleksandrovich (=dozen), Graham Holliday, ja’s ink on paper, Daniel Kan, Francisco Martins, Corey Mwamba, Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh, Peter O’Doherty, Han-earl Park, Kiyomitsu Saito, Tom Tebby, Nicolas P. Tschopp, Andrea Valle, Krysthopher Woods and Alice Xiang.

If you are interested in contributing to future issues of cuttlefish, please contact cuttlefish[at]peterodoherty.net.

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

audio recordings: downloads and recommendations (series 1)

download album artwork: Han-earl Park plus Marian Murray (Cork, 07-29-10); Jin Sangtae, Han-earl Park and Jeffrey Weeter (Cork, 01–24–11); Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09); and Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park (Cork, 04-04-11)
With the release of the recording with Paul Dunmall and Mark Sanders, I’ve completed the current series of download albums, and I’ve been taking a break from releasing new recordings. The albums so far—all Creative Commons licensed, and free or ‘name your price’—are collated here and on the downloads page. With a break in the release schedule, I’ve taken the opportunity to overhaul the downloads page; the most significant update since I started, in September 2010, formally offering complete concert recordings online.

One notable update to the downloads page is the addition of the recommended Bandcamp albums that accompanied the current series. As I wrote previously, there are some very fine and inspiring creative, improvised and experimental music on Bandcamp, but it isn’t always easy to find the recordings. Here’s my small contribution to help people get started. Enjoy, download, share—support creative musicians!

Keywords: improvised music, creative music, jazz, free jazz, free improvisation, experimental music, electronic music, electroacoustic.

Paul Dunmall, Han-earl Park and Mark Sanders

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

Two non-stop sets of improvised music. This live recording juxtaposes the formidable creativity and muscular technique of veteran improviser-saxophonist Paul Dunmall, the imaginative cyborgian virtuosity of guitarist Han-earl Park, and the ever inventive playing of Mark Sanders, arguably the most sought-after improviser-drummer of his generation. [More info…]

Recommended price: $8+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

Murray Campbell, Randy McKean, Han-earl Park, Gino Robair and Scott R. Looney

Murray Campbell, Randy McKean with Han-earl Park, plus Gino Robair and Scott R. Looney: Gargantius Effect +1 +2 +3 (Nor Cal, 08-2011)

The Gargantius Effect is the brainchild of Murray Campbell and Randy McKean. This album documents Gargantius Effect’s August 2011 tour of Northern California with special guest and fellow Sonologist Han-earl Park, plus Bay Area veteran improviser, composer and electronic artist Gino Robair, and hyperpianist Scott R. Looney. [More info…]

Recommended price: $8+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

Han-earl Park plus Marian Murray

Han-earl Park plus Marian Murray: Park+Murray (Cork, 07-29-10)

A solo performance by guitarist-constructor Han-earl Park exploring, with feedback and resonant buzzes, the complex, cavernous acoustics of the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, and the interactions between artifact (guitar) and the body (guitarist). For ‘Strokes and Screwballs,’ Park is joined by violinist-improviser Marian Murray for a conversational improvisation. [More info…]

Recommended price: $5+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

Jin Sangtae, Han-earl Park and Jeffrey Weeter

Jin Sangtae, Han-earl Park and Jeffrey Weeter: Jin-Park-Weeter (Cork, 01–24–11)

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. [More info plus the 24-bit edition…]

Recommended price: $8+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder

Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder: Park-Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09)

“Sounds reverberate and carry in unexpected ways, and music improvised here [The Glucksman Gallery] 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.” [More info…]

Recommended price: $5+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park

Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park: Sikora-Smith-Park (Cork, 04-04-11)

A performance by Catherine Sikora, a saxophonist with a striking, compelling sound. She has been described as “a free-blowing player’s player with a spectacular harmonic imagination and an evolved understanding of the tonal palette of the saxophone”. Sikora was joined by cofounder of the London Improvisers’ Orchestra, trumpeter Ian Smith, and guitarist Han-earl Park. Smith and Park had just come off the tour as part of the power-trio Mathilde 253 (with Charles Hayward) with Wadada Leo Smith. [More info…]

Recommended price: $8+

Accompanying Recommended Albums

audio recordings: Gargantius Effect +1 +2 +3 (Nor Cal, 08–2011)

artwork for Murray Campbell, Randy McKean with Han-earl Park, plus Gino Robair and Scott R. Looney: Gargantius Effect +1 +2 +3 (Nor Cal, 08-2011)
The recording of Gargantius Effect (Murray Campbell: violins, oboe and cor anglais; and Randy McKean: saxophone, clarinets and flutes) with Han-earl Park (guitar), plus Gino Robair (energized surfaces, voltage made audible) and Scott R. Looney (hyperpiano) is now available for download. The album was recorded during the August 2011 tour of Northern California, and features tracks recorded at The Tin House (Grass Valley) on August 25th, at Studio 1510 (Oakland) on August 30th. [Bandcamp page…] [Download now…]

Recommended price: €8+

In line with the current series of download releases (Park+Murray (Cork, 07–29–10), Jin-Park-Weeter (Cork, 01-24-11), Park-Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09) and Sikora-Smith-Park (Cork, 04–04–11)), this record is hosted at Bandcamp, and available as a ‘name your price’ album. Although you can download the recording for free (name €0 as your price) with certain restrictions, please consider paying at least the recommended price. Your generosity will help support the performers and their work.

Special thanks to Randy McKean for organizing the tour, Ken Schumacher of Live Vibes Recording for the engineering, and to Corey Mwamba for feedback during the mastering process.

description

Gargantius Effect +1: Murray Campbell, Randy McKean and Han-earl Park (The Tin House, Grass Valley, August 25, 2011). Photo copyright 2011 Ken Schumacher.
Gargantius Effect +1: Murray Campbell, Randy McKean and Han-earl Park (The Tin House, Grass Valley, August 25, 2011). Photo © 2011 Ken Schumacher.

In front of a small but appreciative audience, the California-based Gargantius Effect, including [Han-earl] Park, Murray Campbell, Randy McKean, Scott Looney and Gino Robair, slip in and out of something approaching Webern-ian counterpoint on Nor Cal 8-2011. Looney and Robair join in later on this disc of various tour dates, leaving the other three to explore 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. When Robair and Looney appear, electronics and hyperpiano are difficult to distinguish, but first-rate audio keeps everything in proper perspective and the improv is always edge-of-seat energetic.

— Marc Medwin (The New York City Jazz Record)

“Han [Han-earl Park] is a very old friend of mine. We’ve done a lot of strange things in various parts of Europe. He’s somewhat responsible for me ending up in Nevada County. About ten years ago he was studying at CalArts, and I came over to play in his graduation show. Part of that trip was my first visit to Nevada County, where many things spinned out from that.

“Also finding this gentleman [Randy McKean] here in Grass Valley; finding not only a great improvising player, but one that plays bass clarinet, was a huge thing that helped me stay. It was a complete leap in the dark to move out here. I was raised in a rural area, I always known that that was the thing to do, but leaving a metropolitan zone [The Hague] and coming out here with nothing—no plan—was a shot in the dark, and finding that there were things like this [McKean] in the woods made it a lot easier to stay.

“So these are two of my favorite people to play music with.”

Murray Campbell (introduction to the performance, August 25, 2011)

The Gargantius Effect is the brainchild of Murray Campbell (violins, oboe and cor anglais) and Randy McKean (saxophone, clarinets and flutes). Like the Stanislaw Lem story of the same name, in which armies of warring soldiers are linked together to form a peaceful, blissfully-aware omni-mind, so, too, these longtime collaborators and Nevada County natives transform the connections and crossfires of the various genres in which they usually find themselves—the Euro-café of Beacoup Chapeaux, Balkan swing of Chickenbonz, chamber jazz of Bristle—into scintillating bits of free improvisation, compositional constructs and mechanized mayhem.

This album documents Gargantius Effect’s August 2011 tour of Northern California with special guest and fellow Sonologist Han-earl Park (guitar), who had just returned to the States after years in Europe, teaching, and playing with the likes of Paul Dunmall, Charles Hayward and Franziska Schroeder. In addition to the recording of the performance at The Tin House (Grass Valley) on August 25, 2011, the August 30, 2011 session at Studio 1510 (Oakland) features Bay Area veteran improviser, composer and electronic artist Gino Robair (energized surfaces, voltage made audible), and hyperpianist Scott R. Looney (hyperpiano).
Gargantius Effect +1 | +2 (Northern California, 2011)

personnel

Murray Campbell (violins, oboe and cor anglais), Randy McKean (saxophone, clarinets and flutes) with Han-earl Park (guitar), plus Gino Robair (energized surfaces, voltage made audible) and Scott R. Looney (hyperpiano).

track listing

recording details

All music by Murray Campbell, Randy McKean and Han-earl Park, except ‘Thunderous Accompaniment’ by Murray Campbell, Randy McKean, Han-earl Park and Gino Robair, and ‘While Drums’ by Murray Campbell, Scott R. Looney, Randy McKean, Han-earl Park and Gino Robair.

‘The First Sally’ and ‘Old Robots’ recorded live August 25, 2011 at The Tin House, Grass Valley.
Performance presented as part of Col. MaCaw’s Magical Cure-All Mid-Summer Soporific.
Recorded and mastered by Ken Schumacher.

‘Thunderous Accompaniment’ and ‘While Drums’ recorded live August 30, 2011 at Studio 1510, Oakland.
Recorded by Randy McKean.
Mastered by Han-earl Park.

Artwork by Han-earl Park.

The recordings (The First Sally, Old Robots Never Rust!, Thunderous Accompaniment of Fife and Drum, and While Drums Continued To Roll) and artwork released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. Please attribute the album to Murray Campbell, Randy McKean, Han-earl Park, Gino Robair and Scott R. Looney; attribute the individual tracks to the corresponding performers; and attribute the artwork to Han-earl Park.

about the performers

Gargantius Effect

The Gargantius Effect is the brainchild of Murray Campbell (violin, oboe and electronics) and Randy McKean (reeds). Like the Stanislaw Lem story of the same name, in which armies of warring soldiers are linked together to form a peaceful, blissfully-aware omni-mind, so, too, these long-time collaborators channel their contrarian impulses into synchronized bouts of free improvisation, compositional constructs and mechanized mayhem.

Murray Campbell

Murray Campbell has described himself as a Sonologist ever since it was recommended to him as a more respectable occupation than “musician” for the purposes of immigration control. In this capacity he has worked with Alex Fiennes on an octaphonic spatialisation system un-muted at Dialogues Festival (Edinburgh).

He currently resides in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California where he is designing an off-grid solar-powered geodesic wavefront recreation system with the aim of upsetting the bears.

He finds writing about himself in the third person slightly disturbing.

Randy McKean

Randy McKean has burrowed into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada but still wants to blow your mind. Whether his mission is executed by his chamber jazz quartet Bristle, through sideman gigs with the likes of the Euro Café messabouts Beaucoup Chapeaux, or via performances of his pieces for orchestra or string quartet, matters not to him, as long as his objective is achieved. Perhaps one of his CDs—Bristle’s Bulletproof (Edgetone), So Dig This Big Crux (Rastascan), or the Great Circle Saxophone Quartet’s Child King Dictator Fool (New World)—will do the job.

Han-earl Park

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park has been crossing borders and performing fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, always traditional, open improvised musics for over fifteen years. He 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.

Park is part of Mathilde 253 with Charles Hayward and Ian Smith, Eris 136199 with Nick Didkovsky and Catherine Sikora, and Numbers with Richard Barrett. He is the constructor of the machine improviser io 0.0.1 beta++, a project performed in coalition with Bruce Coates and Franziska Schroeder. He has recently performed with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Dunmall, Lol Coxhill, Mark Sanders, Gino Robair, Tim Perkis, Pat Thomas, Andrew Drury, Josh Sinton, Dominic Lash, and as part of ensembles led by Wadada Leo Smith, Evan Parker, and Pauline Oliveros. Festival appearances include Freedom of the City (London), Sonorities (Belfast), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), dialogues festival (Edinburgh), and CEAIT (California). His recordings have been released by labels including Slam Productions and Creative Sources.

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

Gino Robair

Gino Robair has created music for dance, theater, radio, television, silent film, and gamelan orchestra, and his works have been performed throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. He was composer in residence with the California Shakespeare Festival for five seasons and served as music director for the CBS animated series The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat. His commercial work includes themes for the MTV and Comedy Central cable networks.

Robair is also one of the “25 innovative percussionists” included in the book Percussion Profiles (SoundWorld, 2001). He has recorded with Tom Waits, Anthony Braxton, Terry Riley, Lou Harrison, John Butcher, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, Otomo Yoshihide, the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, and Eugene Chadbourne, among many others. In addition, Robair has performed with John Zorn, Nina Hagen, Fred Frith, Eddie Prevost, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Myra Melford, Wadada Leo Smith, and the Club Foot Orchestra.

Robair is a founding member of the Splatter Trio and the heavy-metal band, Pink Mountain. In addition, he runs Rastascan Records, a label devoted to creative music.

Also by Murray Campbell and Randy McKean

Bristle, Bulletproof (EDT4124) CD cover (copyright 2012, Bristle)

Bristle: Bulletproof (EDT4124) [details…]

Performers: Randy McKean (saxophone and clarinets), Cory Wright (saxophone, clarinets and flute), Murray Campbell (violins, oboe and cor anglais) and Lisa Mezzacappa (double bass).

© 2012 Bristle.
℗ 2012 McKeanics Publishing, BMI/Corey Wright Publishing, ASCAP.

Also available for download [more…]

‘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.

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 plus Marian Murray: Park+Murray (Cork, 07-29-10)

Park+Murray (Cork, 07-29-10) [details…]

Performers: Han-earl Park (guitar) plus Marian Murray (violin).

(cc) 2012 Han-earl Park/Marian Murray.

Jin Sangtae, Han-earl Park and Jeffrey Weeter: Jin-Park-Weeter (Cork, 01–24–11)

Jin-Park-Weeter (Cork, 01-24-11) [details…]

Performers: Jin Sangtae (electronics), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Jeffrey Weeter (drums and electronics).

(cc) 2012 Jin Sangtae/Han-earl Park/Jeffrey Weeter.

Han-earl Park and Franziska Schroeder: Park-Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09)

Park-Schroeder (Cork, 03-26-09) [details…]

Performers: Han-earl Park (guitar) and Franziska Schroeder (saxophone).

(cc) 2012 Han-earl Park/Franziska Schroeder.

Catherine Sikora, Ian Smith and Han-earl Park: Sikora-Smith-Park (Cork, 04-04-11)

Sikora-Smith-Park (Cork, 04-04-11) [details…]

Performers: Catherine Sikora (saxophone), Ian Smith (trumpet) and Han-earl Park (guitar).

(cc) 2012 Catherine Sikora/Ian Smith/Han-earl Park.

updates

10–24–12: add recommended price.
05–20–13: updated the ‘also available for download’ list, and updated reviews.
11–01–15: add A Little Brittle Music to downloads list, and change currency from USD to EUR.