CD available: io 0.0.1 beta++

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

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

[Slam Productions catalog page…]
[ page…]
[Discography entry…]


We watch and listen carefully because we know we’re seeing a kind of manifesto in action. What is an automaton? A sketch, a material characterization of the ideas the inventor and the inventor’s culture have about some aspect of life, and how it could be. io and its kind are alternate beings born of ideas, decisions and choices. It is because io stands alone, an automaton, that the performance recorded on this CD not only is music, but is about music.

Sara Roberts (from the liner notes)

An extraordinary meeting between human and machine improvisers. Featuring the machine musician io 0.0.1 beta++ with guitarist Han-earl Park (Mathilde 253, Wadada Leo Smith) and saxophonists Bruce Coates (Birmingham Improvisers’ Orchestra, Paul Dunmall) and Franziska Schroeder (FAINT, Evan Parker), the recording is part critique and part playful exploration, both a boundary-breaking demonstration of socio-musical technologies and an ironic sci-fi parody.

Constructed by Han-earl Park, io 0.0.1 beta++ is a modern-day musical automaton. It is not an instrument to be played but a non-human artificial musician that performs alongside its human counterparts. io 0.0.1 beta++ represents a personal-political investigation of technology, interaction, improvisation and musicality. It whimsically evokes a 1950s B-movie robot—seemingly jerry-rigged, constructed from ad-hoc components including plumbing, kitchenware, speakers and missile switches—celebrating the material and corporeal.

The performances with this artificial musician highlight society’s entanglement with technology, demonstrate alternative modes of interfacing the musical and the technological, and illuminate the creative and improvisative processes in music. The performance is a radical and playful engagement with powerful and problematic dreams (and nightmares) of the artificial; a dream as old as the anthropology of robots.

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

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

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

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


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

track listing

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

recording details

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

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

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

about the performers

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

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

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

Improviser, guitarist and constructor Han-earl Park (박한얼) has been working within/from/around traditions of fuzzily idiomatic, on occasion experimental, mostly open improvised musics for over fifteen years, sometimes engineering theater, sometimes inventing ritual. He feels the gravitational pull of collaborative, multi-authored contexts, and has performed in clubs, theaters, art galleries, concert halls, and (ad-hoc) alternative spaces in Austria, Denmark, Germany, England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland and the USA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

arts council logo

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

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

Also available from SLAM Productions: Mathilde 253 (SLAMCD 528) [details…]

Performers: Charles Hayward (drums, percussion and melodica), Han-earl Park (guitar) and Ian Smith (trumpet and flugelhorn) plus Lol Coxhill (saxophone).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Arts Council Ireland logo
  • Music Network logo

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

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

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

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

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

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