€1,200 pledged of €650 goal. 184% funded. 44 backers.
You did it!
Thanks to you, our awe-inspiring backers, we will master the recording, create the artwork, write the liner notes, press the discs, and get the music to you. You have been fantastic, and I am awestruck by your generosity, and really touched by your support.
I’ll be back in touch over the coming months with news and updates about the rewards and the progress of the production, but, in the meantime, I hope you will join me in celebrating this achievement. Getting strange, noisy, undomesticated improvised music released can sometimes be a difficult task, but you have made it possible.
As for me? I celebrated by doing some late night soldering 😊
Please take care, and, again, thank you so very much. You have been above and beyond.
Back a few months ago, while reflecting on the mix, I wrote:
Listening to a static mix of #eris136199’s August recording. I love the final track: it’s, by turns dreamy and queasy, polytonal music that slides in-out of tune….
But I wonder if this track will make sense outside the context of the tour in which the trio played some of its most harmonious music (hitting _real_ chords, and sounding _real_ harmony). I feel like this track was almost a respite of sorts….
There are moments when #eris136199 stubbornly refuses to play in the same key/tuning. Almost unbearable—maybe even bad taste—listening you wish the trio would surrender to harmonic gravity. And when one player does resolve the disharmony, it’s plays like gleeful mischief. [Source…]
If you’re wondering, yes, this track made the cut. It’ll be the second piece on the album, and, for its stubborn weirdness while refusing the easy trapping of being #seriouslyexperimental or #cuteandquirky, it might be my favorite on the album.
Find us on Kickstarter! Joining this project means that you will be the first to hear this vividly strange and beautiful music. Your support will also mean that we are able to make the best album we can. Plus, as we have surpassed our target thanks to our awe-inspiring fans, you will now also have an opportunity to unlock upgrades, and some very, very special bonus rewards.
I honestly think this album has the best music I’ve put on record, and I am very grateful to be able to share this strangely beautiful music with you. [Kickstarter page…]
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!
Formed in New York in 2012, Eris 136199 is the quick-reacting cyborg virtuosity of Han-earl Park (Sirene 1009), the mighty melodic imagination and big tenor sound of Catherine Sikora (Clockwork Mercury), and the diamond-cut precision and grind-meets-experimentalism of Nick Didkovsky (Doctor Nerve).
Eris 136199 may construct music in the way that is closest to my imagination’s music, even as it continues to confound my moment-by-moment expectations. I have no a priori knowledge of each bloop or bleep or klang or fizz or honk or skronk… nor do I have any specific sense of the strategies at play before we make that first sounding.
But as the music gets underway, and the initial gestures get sounded, I think: yes, of course. There’s that succession of choices (constructive, difficult, obvious, oblique) that have brought me (brought us) right here, right-now; choices that, however perplexing in the moment, retroactively comes to seem almost inevitable. And then it’s time for me to make that next choice, secure in the knowledge that Catherine [Sikora] and Nick [Didkovsky] are ready to make their choices, (ir)responsibly, care(ful|less)ly, with unhurried/spur-of-the-moment deliberation that real-time constraints offer.*
I’m enormously proud of the music recorded here, and blessed to have worked with all the wonderful people who all brought their best game to this album. In particular, I am very grateful to Troels Bech and Charlie McGovern who recorded the performances with clarity and great care, and to Richard Scott who mastered the whole album, giving it a stunning punch and immediacy. Enjoy the noise!
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.
Available from: September 4, 2018. Limited availability (until October 9, 2018).
Album available to stream via the free Bandcamp app, and download in multiple formats including lossless.
While the Copenhagen and Newcastle performances are documented in an upcoming album by the trio Eris 136199, Cryptogenic Animals, recorded in Cheltenham between those dates, offers a unique opportunity to track the evolution of this improvising trio during the 2017 European tour.
Take for example the synchronized, collective jump-cuts and smash-cuts that populates the Copenhagen improvisations. These are all but absent by the time the trio perform three night later in Newcastle where, in their place, you find the group breathing together; moving and transitioning in larger scales. On Cryptogenic Animals, recorded the night after Copenhagen, and two before Newcastle, you can hear both these improvisative tactics operating in fascinating, contrasting ways.
You can also hear saxophonist Catherine Sikora revisit and rework some of the melodic atoms played in Copenhagen; trying them against the contrasting acoustic environments. And, adapting to the disparate amplification available in Cheltenham (a diminutive solid-state amp against a 112 Fender), Nick Didkovsky and Han-earl Park reexamine the freedoms and restraints of the two-guitar context; an experience that would inform into their approach in Newcastle in significant ways.
With the rich acoustics of the Francis Close Hall Chapel, the Cheltenham performance is, in contrast to the frenetic and biting Copenhagen and Newcastle performances, unhurried and lush. Cryptogenic Animals documents a fascinating transitional point in the group’s behavior, showcasing the trio’s adaptability to context, and creativity born from the contingent.
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.
Track listing: Therianthropy I (≥ 3:43), Therianthropy II (8:56), Therianthropy III (3:55), Therianthropy IV (6:30), Adaptive Radiation I (6:44), Adaptive Radiation II (8:48), Adaptive Radiation III (5:54), Universal Greebly (10:58), Hypnagogia I (8:03), Hypnagogia II (4:45). Total duration ≥ 68:25.
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.
Recorded live November 4, 2017, The Bless, Derby.
Recorded by Chris Trent.
Mixed and mastered by Han-earl Park.
Artwork by Han-earl Park.
Thanks to Corey Mwamba. Performance presented by OUT FRONT!, and with the awesome support of our Kickstarter backers.
Recording during the 2017 European tour made possible through the support from Jazz North East, Jvtlandt, Jazz Club Loco, OUT FRONT!, Xposed Club, Verband für aktuelle Musik Hamburg, and MS Stubnitz, and the awe-inspiring generosity of the backers of our Kickstarter project: Cath Roberts, Franziska Schroeder, Owen Green, Han-Ter Park, Richard Hollis, Tom Duff, Jan Langedijk, Thomas Buckner, Liam Nagle, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Randy McKean, Anton Hunter, Marte van der Loop, Ian Boswell, Nancy Meli Walker, David M. Morris, Nicholas Croft, Eva Zelig, Bart Mallio, Jeremy Clarke, Martin Pyne, Josh Sinton, Moon Soon Han, Eun-He Moon, Yoon-Mi Cho, 고항심, Katie O’Looney, Jamie Smith, Phil Burk, Andrea Wolper, Kyoko Kitamura, DIDI, Caroline Pugh, Edozie Edoga, Yu Seon Hee, Danny McCarthy, Richard Barrett, Leejiyoung, Ed Bennett, Young-Shin Park, Ga Hyun Noh, Inkyung Kim, Keith Stonell, Peter O’Doherty, Viv Corringham, Korhan Erel, Tony O’Connor, Vikram Kapur and Maneesha Chawala, and our anonymous backers.