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Performing in Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Anne Bourne
Ben Grossman
Pauline Oliveros
Jesse Stewart

Performing in Troy, New York, USA

Curtis Bahn
Jonas Braash
Doug Van Nort

Performing in Bogotá, Colombia

Ricardo Arias


RICARDO ARIAS

Ricardo Arias is an experimental improvising musician and sound artist.

Most of Arias' music is improvised and made in collaboration with other musicians. Apart from occasionally playing the flute, he uses unconventional instruments and found objects as sound sources in his works. Since 1992 he has focused almost exclusively on the balloon kit, a number of rubber balloons attached to a suitable structure and played with the hands and a set of accessories, including various kinds of sponges, pieces of Styrofoam, rubber bands, etc.

He has performed in Europe, Canada, the United States, Lebanon, Colombia, and Argentina, both solo, and in collaborations with other musicians such as Michel Doneda, Mazen Kerbaj, Dror Feiler, Hans Tammen, Bruce Gremo, Phil Durrant, Jack Wright, Sean Meehan, Barry Weisblat, Vic Rawlings, Gunter Müller, Gabriel Paiuk, Diego Chamy, Axel Dörner, Nicolas Collins, Michael Zerang, Mike Bulloch, Miguel Frasconi, Tatsuya Nakatani, Pascal Boudreault, Jane Rigler, Luis Conde, Nate Wooley, Matthew Ostrowski, Joel Ryan, Anne Wellmer, Pauline Oliveros, Andrew Drury, Chris Mann, David Watson, and James Fei, among many others.

His tape pieces have been heard at the Ciclo Nuevas Músicas (Montevideo), Festival Synthese (Bourges, France), the Instituto Colombo-Americano (Bogotá), and The Institute of Sonology (The Hague), among other places. In 1999 he presented an installation piece at the Zeppelin Sound Art Festival in Barcelona.

He has participated in many festivals of new and improvised music such as: Festival Phonos and Zeppelin (Barcelona); Festival Internacional de Música Contemporánea, Festival de los Tiempos del Ruido, and Colón Electrónico (Bogotá), Festival Synthese (Bourges, France); Urban Aboriginals Festival (Berlin); Experimenta (Buenos Aires); High Zero and SoundShift festivals (Baltimore, U. S. A.); Roulettte concert series, Vision Festival, and Improvised and Otherwise (New York City); STEIM; No Echo Festival (Middletown, CT, U. S. A.); and NoNet (Philadelphia, PA, U. S. A.).; Festival Internationalle de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada); and Festival Musique Action Internationalle (Vandeouvre Les Nancy, France), and ExperimentaClub (Madrid) among others.

Arias has been artist in residence at Harvestworks (New York City, 1999) and at Engine 27 (New York City, 2003), at Music OMI International Musicians Residency (Gehnt, New York, 2008) and was a fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Center (Umbria, Italy, 2004).

Arias has published essays in Experimental Musical Instruments (Vol. 13, #2, 1997), and Leonardo Music Journal (Vol. 8, 1998 and Vol. 12, 2001).

Arias was born in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1965. He has lived in Barcelona, The Hague, New York, and currently resides in Bogotá where he is Assistant Profesor of sound in the Art Department at Universidad de los Andes. He studied composition and electroacoustic music with Chilean composer Gabriel Brncic at the Phonos Foundation in Barcelona and flute with Hiroshi Kobayashi and Joan Bofill, also in Barcelona. During 1995-1996 Arias studied computer music at the Institute of Sonology in ThaHague. He holds a BA in Anthropology and an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College in New York City.

He is an Associate Professor in the Art Department at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, where he teaches sound art.

Facultad de Artes y Humanidades, Departamento de Arte

CURTIS BAHN

Curtis Bahn is an improvisor, composer and researcher involved in relationships of body, gesture, technology and sound. He has a musical background including a PhD in music composition from Princeton University, decades of experience as a jazz bass player in New York City, and study as a formal disciple of acclaimed sitarist, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan. He has designed numerous computer/sensor systems to transform the gesture of the body into sound and media, and teaches this to musicians and artists as professor of music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy New York. He performs internationally with his computer-extended sitar and dilruba (a small string instrument like an Indian ‘cello), and has worked with dancers and musicians including Pauline Oliveros, the Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown Dance Companies. He has performed in venues ranging from small clubs and festivals to Lincoln Center, DIA Beacon, and the India International Centre in Delhi.

ANNE BOURNE

‘…is an earthy unrestrained musical force, who accompanies her cello with other worldly vocalizing.’ CODA Magazine

Anne's creative music work contains in varied array the integration of dance, film, experimental context, media, and words, with sound. Anne has created work with Atom Egoyan, Jane Siberry, Andrea Nann, Michael Ondaatje, Loreena McKennit, Susie Ibarra, Eve Egoyan, John Oswald, Owen Pallett, Tom Kuo, Peter Mettler, Fred Frith and Pauline Oliveros. Anne is interested in each creative expression being an offering of sonic activism, in the sense of resolution between tones, peoples, and individual paradoxes through listening.

Anne received a foundation in improvisation and contemporary music with Casey Sokol, David Mott, Trichy Sankaran, James Tenny, Fred Stone, and CCMC, in Toronto. She first improvised with Fred Frith, recording his score for a Peter Mettler film in Montreal, 1986. Anne began touring with an art band backing Jane Siberry in 1984, she moved to LA in 1989, and began touring with Loreena McKennit in 1990, centred in Spain. Appearing on the 1993 Blue Rodeo record ‘5 Days in July,’ widely known in Canada, Anne’s last pop recording appearance was in 1998, at Real World.

A company composer for choreographer Robert Desrosier, Anne later devoted much time creating work with choreographer/ dancer Andrea Nann. The ‘Meditation’ series searched for the spiritual gesture towards love, desire and loss. This series culminated in the creation of a work with Michael Ondaatje, with his text, and the disappearances in Sri Lanka as a point of departure. Part of this work, ‘Meditation 5,’ was made into a film by Veronica Tennant, for which Anne received a Golden Sheaf Award for Best Original Music.

Anne returned to the exploration of pure improvisation in 1994, when after a distance concert, Anne formed a relationship with renowned composer Pauline Oliveros, in New York, and New Mexico. In 2007 Anne was Communications Producer for Oliveros’ Deep Listening Institute ‘Convergence—a gesture of sonic peace,’ which invited telematic research from 40 international artists, and culminated in live performances in NY. Anne also participated as a performer with Kenta Nagai, and members of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra. Anne traveled again to retreat with Oliveros on Rose Mountain New Mexico, in 2009.

Performances include: 2007 with Eve Egoyan and Fred Frith, at the Stone, NY; 2008 with Azerbaijani dancer and peace activist Sashar Zarif, Life has the feeling of a migrating Bird; 2009 Tone Deaf Festival, soloist for Alvin Lucier, and Nicolas Collins; 2010 Electric Eclectics 5, soloist with turntablist Tom Kuo, live film mix Peter Mettler.

Film scores include: Atom Egoyan The Sweet Hereafter, (Grand Prix The International Film Festival, Cannes,) and Peter Lynch Project Grizzly, Producer Michael Allder NFB

Recordings include: dearness Fred Frith Anne Bourne John Oswald (Spool) and Primordial Lift Pauline Oliveros Anne Bourne Tony Conrad David Grubbs (TotE)

JONAS BRAASH

Jonas Braasch is an experimental soprano saxophonist and acoustician with interests in Telematic Music and Intelligent Music Systems. He has performed with Curtis Bahn, Chris Chafe, Michael Century, Stuart Dempster, Mark Dresser, Pauline Oliveros, and Doug van Nort – among others. His saxophone style expands the traditional repertoire by incorporating various non-western elements and extended techniques. Jonas Braasch studied at the Universities of Bochum and Dortmund (Germany) and received Ph.D. degrees in Musicology and Engineering. He currently works as Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he directs the Communication Acoustics and Aural Architecture Research Laboratory (CA3RL). His work on Telematic Music and Sound Spatialization Systems has received funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. He has organized and participated in numerous international telematic music concerts, and one of the projects “Tele-Colonization” has been recently released as surround video with the Deep Listening Institute.

BEN GROSSMAN

Ben's vielle à roue* is a contemporary, electro-acoustic instrument with roots in the European middle ages. Through extended techniques, live-looping and processing, Ben seeks to use it as a physical interface into improvised sound creation, spontaneous composition and the exploration of acoustics, form and extended aesthetics.

Ben Grossman is a musician, composer and improviser living in Guelph, Ontario. Having been exposed to a wide variety of music from a young age, he spent his youth building homemade synthesizers, effects and tape loops and playing electric guitar in his parents’ suburban basement and with various groups in various warehouses around Toronto. He worked with composer/instrument creator/educator Barry Prophet, building new acoustic instruments and composing and improvising in experimental percussion projects. Through percussion and his interest in non-equal tuning systems, Ben became involved in the study, performance and recording of traditional Turkish, Arabic, Irish, Balkan, and French music. In 1997 he studied Turkish music in Istanbul and, since taking up the vielle, he has done workshops and lessons with Valentin Clastrier, Matthias Loibner, Maxou Heintzan and Simon Wascher as well as working on Deep Listeningtm and improvisation with Anne Bourne.

Ben has over 80 CD credits, and has performed and recorded with many ensembles over the years including Mercan Dede, the Toronto Consort, GaPa, Ensemble Polaris, The Altan Yildiz Orkestar, Ima Ensemble, Duo O’Connor-Grossman, Patrick Graham/Rheo, BT, James Keelaghan, Basic Elements, Aradia Ensemble, Loreena McKennitt, Fools Dance, Oliver Schroer and the Stewed Tomatoes, Laurel MacDonald, Alison Melville’s Bird Project, Anne Lederman, Pilgrim's Trail Mix, Pat O’Gorman, Ensemble Ben Trobar, Doula, Rhea's Obsession, and Ensemble Polaris. His work can also be heard in TV and film soundtracks, including the Patty Jenkins film, Monster.

The last few years have seen Ben touring with BT and Loreena McKennitt while continuing to work on other projects, developing a solo performance practice and working in improvised, ad-hoc ensembles. He is currently developing a new duo project with video artist/musician Debashis Sinha: field. His first solo album, Macrophone was released in 2007 and features a unique two CD form for simultaneous, aleatoric playback. AKA Drehleier, hurdy gurdy, zanfoña, tekerölant, lira, ghironda.

PAULINE OLIVEROS

Pauline Oliveros (1932) has influenced American music extensively in her career spanning more than 60 years as a composer, performer, author and philosopher. She pioneered the concept of Deep Listening, her practice based upon principles of improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation, designed to inspire both trained and untrained musicians to practice the art of listening and responding to environmental conditions in solo and ensemble situations. During the mid-'60s she served as the first director of the Tape Music Center at Mills College, aka Center for Contemporary Music followed by 14-years as Professor of Music and 3 years as Director of the Center for Music Experiment at the University of California at San Diego. Since 2001 she has served as Distinguished Research Professor of Music in the Arts department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where she is engaged in research on a National Science Foundation CreativeIT project. Her research interests include improvisation, special needs interfaces and telepresence teaching and performing. She also serves as Darius Milhaud Composer in Residence at Mills College doing telepresence teaching and she is executive director of Deep Listening Institute, Ltd. where she leads projects in Deep Listening, Adaptive Use Interface. She is the recipient of the 2009 William Schuman Award from Columbia University for lifetime achievement. A retrospective from 1960 to 2010 was performed at Miller Theater, Columbia University in New York March 27, 2010 in conjunction with the Schuman award. Recent recordings include Pauline Oliveros & Miya Masoka and Pauine Oliveros & Chris Brown on Deep Listening, http://paulineoliveros.us, and http://www.deeplistening.org/.

JESSE STEWART

Jesse Stewart is an award-winning percussionist, composer, improviser, artist, instrument builder, educator, and writer. As a musician, he works primarily in the areas of jazz, new music, and free improvisation.

A dynamic and inventive performer, Stewart has a remarkable ability to coax unexpected—even magical—sounds out of virtually any resonating object or material. He has performed with many internationally acclaimed musicians including George Lewis, Roswell Rudd, Bill Dixon, William Parker, Evan Parker, Carlo Actis Dato, Dominic Duval, Frank Gratkowski, Gerry Hemingway, Joe Mcphee, Gordon Monahan, Maggie Nicols, Evan Ziporyn (of the Bang on a Can All-Stars), Michael Snow, and many others. He is currently a member of the David Mott Quintet and Tallboys, a trio with virtuoso musicians Kevin Breit on guitar and Matt Brubeck on cello. He also leads his own groups and performs regularly as a soloist at festivals across the country including the Guelph Jazz Festival, the Hillside Festival, the Open Ears Festival, the Atlantic International Jazz Festival, the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, the Ottawa International Blues Festival, and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Much of his creative work crosses disciplinary boundaries, exploring the links between the visual and the sonic arts. In the year 2000, for example, he was commissioned by the Guelph Jazz Festival to create a ‘jazz opera’ entitled Passages with celebrated jazz poet Paul Haines.

He has made several compact disc recordings including a duo recording with pianist Ajay Heble and a quartet recording featuring violinist Jacques Israelievitch, former concert master of the Toronto Symphony. He can also be heard on the David Mott Quintet’s Eleven, a record that Wholenote magazine described as “one of the most enticing and intense recordings to emerge from Toronto’s buoyant extended-jazz scene.” In 2006, the C3R label released a solo record of Stewart’s compositions titled Music for Found Objects on which he plays objects ranging from stones to canoe paddles, from steel bowls to saw blades. Several additional solo and group recordings are forthcoming. In 1993, Stewart was named “Outstanding Young Canadian Jazz Musician” by the International Association of Jazz Educators and “Young Musician of the Year” by Jazz Report magazine. His playing has been described as “truly exciting” (Musicworks 76), “exceptional” (Cadence Oct. 2002) and “phenomenal” (Cadence Nov. 1999). In a 2002 review, Texas-based music critic Frank Rubolino described him as “...one of the finest young drummers and percussionists on the scene today” (One Final Note Summer/Fall 2002).

After majoring in both visual art and in music as an undergraduate student at the University of Guelph, he went on to complete two Master of Arts degrees concurrently at York University in Toronto: one in ethnomusicology and another in music composition. His composition teachers included James Tenney and David Mott. In 2008, Stewart completed doctoral level studies at the University of Guelph where he was the first recipient of the Brock Doctoral Scholarship, the university's most prestigious graduate award. He is now a professor of music composition in Carleton University’s School for Studies in Art and Culture.

DOUG VAN NORT

Doug Van Nort is a sound artist, composer and researcher. His work takes an experimental approach to sound and music technologies, resulting in a unique mixture of research and creation. Recent projects span interactive fabrics, electroacoustic music, pieces for large ensembles of "laptop performers" over the internet, and creating intelligent agents for musical improvisation. Van Nort improvises regularly with electronic and acoustic musicians using his custom GREIS software. He is currently performing in the trio Triple Point with Pauline Oliveros and Jonas Braasch. He has performed recently at venues including Roulette, the Flea, the Stone and Town Hall in New York, the S.A.T. in Montreal and Casa da Musica in Porto. His work is documented on Deep Listening as well as other experimental music labels, and in publications such as Organised Sound and Leonardo Music Journal. In addition to Oliveros and Braasch, current collaborators include Chris Chafe, Francisco Lopez, Ben Miller, and Al Margolis.

We’ll all be more innovative if we participate in collaborative webs and share more openly. Creativity is always a collaboration and it’s always a form of improvisation, written large in the social world.

– Keith Sawyer