No Idea Festival 2015

 

2/19 Austin

8pm - 12am / $15

North Door
502 Brushy Street (map)

First set
Mazen Kerbaj

Second set
Ingebrigt Haker Flaten
Michael Zerang

Third set
Kevin Drumm
Jason Lescalleet

Fourth set
Ignaz Schick
Damon Smith
Chris Cogburn

2/21 Austin

1pm - 4pm / $5

Studium
908 E 5th St. (map)
#106

First set
Ingebrigt Haker Flaten

Second set
Aimée Theriot

Third set
Michael Zerang
Nick Hoffman
Chris Cogburn

Fourth set
Mazen Kerbaj
Juan García
Jacob Wick

 
 

Festival Info // video // previous festivals // contact

12th annual No Idea Festival

February 19-21, 2015

This year's festival brings together musicians and sound artists from around the world collaborating for 3 nights in free improvisation, composition, noise, and sonic interventions.

// No Idea focuses on three aspects of creative process:
1. Festival curated first meetings
2. Advancing existing collaborations
3. Establishing new groups
Audiences witness a broad spectrum of an artist's work as they move through their most established ensembles, developing groups, and new, first-time meetings.

// Astral Spirits & No Idea Festival Brunch Concert at Studium
Saturday, February 21, 1-4pm
A special afternoon concert featuring solo sets and first time collaborations with a focus on varying approaches to similar instruments and group instrumentations. Come enjoy music, food + drink at this brilliant gallery space.

// No Idea highlights various platforms supporting creative music
We are happy to have Astral Spirits (Austin) and el nicho (Mexico City) in the mix this year. Both will have a small selection of music for sale, as well as curate sounds between sets each night.

// No Idea 2015 Poster
Information + Purchase a special, limited edition No Idea 2015 poster designed by Beirut musician and visual artist Mazen Kerbaj.

// No Idea 2015 FESTIVAL PASS
$38-$50 sliding scale Festival Pass allows entrance into all No Idea events.

Artist Info

Mazen Kerbaj
trumpet
Beirut

Mazen Kerbaj, born in 1975, lives and works in Beirut. His main activities are comics, paintings and music.

Kerbaj has published more than 15 books and many short stories and drawings in anthologies, newspapers and magazines in Lebanon, Europe, and the USA. He has exhibited his work both in solo and in collective exhibitions in Lebanon, France, England, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Dubai, Malaysia and the USA.

Mazen Kerbaj is also one of the founders of the Lebanese free improvisation scene, both as a trumpet player and as an active member in the MILL association that organizes the annual Irtijal festival in Beirut since 2001. In 2005 he launched Al Maslakh, the first label for this music in the region. In 2009, after fructuous collaborations with Lebanese cult punk rock band Scrambled Eggs he launched a new sub-label, Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu to produce alternative and experimental rock music from Lebanon.

Between 2000 and 2014, Mazen Kerbaj played in solo and with various groups in the Middle East, Europe and the USA. Regular and occasional partners include: Sharif Sehnaoui, Christine Abdelnour, Raed Yassin, Franz Hautzinger, Lê Quan Ninh, Stéphane Rives, Mats Gustaffson, The Scrambled Eggs, Guillermo Gregorio, Gene Coleman, Michael Zerang, Jim Baker, Jack Wright, Michael Bullock, Vic Rawlings, David Stäckenas, Martin Küchen, Axel Dörner, Ricardo Arias, Jason Khan, The Ex, Thomas Lehn, Joe McPhee, Raymond Boni, John Butcher, Martin Blume, Tony Buck, Magda Mayas, Peter Evans, Nate Wooley...

Ignaz Schick
turntables
Berlin

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Turntablist, sound artist, performer/composer and visual artist. In his youth he studied the saxophone and performed in free jazz and avant rock bands. At the same time he was getting obsessed with multitrack tape machines, record players and effect boxes and started experimenting with many different instruments and sound making devices. After college he briefly studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and worked for several years as an assistant for contemporary composer Josef Anton Riedl. Since 1995 he lives & works in Berlin where he became an active and integral force of the so-called "Berlin Nouvelle Vague" and the blossoming "experimental" music scene. He has been also prolific as a curator (Festival für Andere Musik, Erase & Reset, Time Shifts, TITO, Echtzeitmusiktage 2010, ...) and runs the experimental music label Zarek.

Schick has toured worldwide solo or with groups like Perlonex, Phosphor, Berlin Sound Connective, Nighthawk Kitchen, Tree People, Splitter Orchestra (...). He has released music on several labels including: Absinth, Charhizmha, Irrah, Le Petit Mignon, Mikroton, Non Visual Objects, Potlatch, Staalplaat and his own imprint Zarek. Schick has collaborated with more than a hundred international sonic artists, amongst others: Mwata Bowden, Don Cherry, Sven-Ake Johansson, Toshi Nakamura, Charlemagne Palestine, Andrea Parkins, Keith Rowe, Matthias Spahlinger and Martin Tetreault.

Since 2012 Ignaz has focused on conceptual composition and experimental radio pieces. In parallel to this he has started several new projects with a younger generation of Berlin experimentalists (Yemen Breakfast, Radio Nightmares, Hawking, Overdue, ...).

 

Kevin Drumm
electronics, laptop
Chicago

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Kevin Drumm is an experimental musician based in Chicago, United States. His work is best regarded within the context of electronic music with strong connections to electroacoustic music. From early participation as a prepared guitar player in Chicago’s experimental scene, Drumm has developed an unorthodox and expansive recorded oeuvre including numerous and noted collaborations with RLW (Ralf Wehowsky), Daniel Menche, Axel Dörner, Lasse Marhaug, Taku Sugimoto, Prurient, Leif Elggren and Mats Gustaffson, among others. He is a formidable and consummate live performer, presently tending to use cheap test equipment and computers.

Jason Lescalleet
tapes, electronics
Berwick

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Since establishing himself as a preeminent voice in contemporary electro-acoustic study, Jason Lescalleet has, through his solo work and in collaboration, exploded the notion of what is possible within the realm of tape-based music. His recorded catalog acknowledges a diversity of application, from lo-fi reel-to-reel soundscaping and work for hand-held cassette machines, on through to digital sampling and computer generated composition. His live actions further expand his ouevre to include work with video, dance, performance art and multi-media concerns.

In the past two decades, Lescalleet has gradually and painstakingly compiled a compelling discography on notable labels such as Erstwhile, RRR, Intransitive Recordings, Kye, Celebrate Psi-Phenomenon, Hanson Records, Chondritic Sound, and most recently via his own Glistening Examples imprint. He has collaborated with Graham Lambkin, Phill Niblock, Joe Colley, John Hudak, Rafael Toral, Thomas Ankersmit, Ron Lessard (as Due Process), Joachim Norwall (Skull Defekts), and CM Von Hausswolff, among others, and during this time he’s built a solid reputation for delivering a visceral live experience in concert.

He currently lives in Brunswick, Maine, where he works and operates the Glistening Examples publishing label and the Glistening Labs studio for audio recording and mastering services.

 

Richard Ramirez
electronics, objects
Houston

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Richard Ramirez has been creating experimental/noise music since 1989. He has toured across Europe, Japan, Canada, and the U.S. Ramirez has collaborated with legendary noise artists: Merzbow, The Haters, The New Blockaders, Kapotte Muziek, MSBR, Prurient, The Rita, Radboud Mens, and others. He also operates his own label, Deadline Recordings/Dead Audio Tapes.

Nick Hoffman
electronics
Eugene

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b. 1985. Interests include: algorithmic composition, self-governing systems, and medieval music. In 2009 he founded the Pilgrim Talk record label specializing in limited edition releases on analog formats. He currently studies computer music at the University of Oregon and has toured extensively in Japan, Korea, and the United States. Collaborators include: Aaron Zarzutzki, Mattin, Ryu Hankil, Hong Chulki, Takahiro Kawaguchi, Utah Kawasaki, Devin DiSanto, Guilty Connector, Tim Olive, and Miguel A. García, among others. Recordings of his music have been released by Senufo Editions, Intonema, Copy For Your Records, and Digitalis.

 

Ingebrigt Haker Flaten
double bass
Austin

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Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten exploded on the Scandinavian avant-garde jazz scene in the mid-90s. By 2014, after his move to the US in 2006, he has become one of the hardest working bassists in jazz, having appeared on more than 150 albums both as a sideman and as a leader. Ingebrigt has been listed in the Downbeat Magazine Annual Critics Poll as a Rising Star on both acoustic and electric bass for three straight years. His work with his own bands The Young Mothers and IHF Chicago Sextet, as well as with The Thing, Atomic, Free Fall, Scorch, Sun Rooms, Dave Rempis Percussion Quartet and in duo formats with Joe McPhee, Evan Parker and Håkon Kornstad have put him at the center of a large pool of improvisers with strikingly different modes of operation. Flaten has collaborated and performed with acclaimed musicians such as Bugge Wesseltoft, Chick Corea, Hilmar Jensson, Neneh Cherry, Ken Vandermark, Nate Wooley, Peter Evans, Chris Corsano, Tristan Honsinger, Dr. L. Subramaniam, Andrew DeAngelo, Tony Malaby, Nasheet Waits, Tyshawn Sorey, John Scofield, Dennis Gonzalez, John Christensen, Alvin Fielder, Chris Potter, Joe Lovano, Fred Anderson, Paul Lytton, Kidd Jordan and Hamid Drake, just to mention a few…

Michael Zerang
drums, percussion
Chicago

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Michael Zerang is a Chicago based composer, percussionist, and improvisor that has collaborated with an ever-widening pool of innovative musicians since 1976 in the fields of free jazz, experimental, noise, and world music. He was a member for 14 years of the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Survival Unit III (w/Joe McPhee and Fred Lonberg-Holm), Winter Solstice Duo Concerts w/ Hamid Drake, and with the creative music ensembles Liof Munimula and Friction Brothers, among many others.

 

Bonnie Jones
electronics
Baltimore

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Bonnie Jones is a Korean-American writer, improvising musician, and performer working primarily with electronic music and text. Born in 1977 in South Korea she was raised by dairy farmers in New Jersey, and currently resides in Baltimore, MD. Bonnie creates improvised and composed text-sound performances that explore the fluidity and function of electronic noise (field recordings, circuit bending) and text (poetry, found, spoken, visual). She is interested in how people perceive, “read” and interact with these sounds and texts given our current technological moment. Bonnie has received commissions from the London ICA and has presented her work in the US, Europe, and Asia and collaborates frequently with writers and musicians including Ric Royer, Carla Harryman, Andy Hayleck, Joe Foster, Andrea Neumann, Liz Tonne, and Chris Cogburn. She received her MFA at the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College.

Juan García
double bass
Mexico City

Multidisciplinary bass player and educator, Juan J García bases his work on the harmonic series of the string since 2001. Juan has been appointed tenured bass player at the Yucatan Symphony orchestra since 2008 and has taught traditional and modern double bass techniques at the college and beginner level throughout the Yucatan. In 2008 Juan founded No.Estacion.Arte, an organization that promotes creative teaching techniques and critical thought, presenting a great diversity of artists and educators to underprivileged children in the Yucatan and around Mexico. He is currently principal bassist in Liminar and CEPROMUSIC, two of the most prestigious modern music ensembles in Mexico. His creative music training and experience began with the teachings of David Dove in Houston, Texas and has collaborated with some of the most important creative thinkers of our era including Pauline Oliveros, Cooper-Moore, Keith Rowe, Joelle Leandre, Steffano Scodanibbio, among others.

Garcia is a resident artist at the prestigious Centro de Experimentación y Producción de Música Contempranea from the FONCA - INBA in Mexico City.

 

Chris Cogburn
Percussion, electronics
Austin / Mexico City

Chris Cogburn is a perercusionist and curator living between Austin, Texas and Mexico City. His artistic practice and curatorial interests are rooted in the collaborative context of improvisation.

Cogburn’s approach to the drum gives focus to the instrument’s sonic potential as a site and container for resonance. Current practices concentrate on the threshold between acoustic and electronic sounds, their differing tibral qualities and their sites of resonance (speaker/drum).

Current music projects include: Arena Ladridos, with saxophonist Bhob Rainey and electronic musician Bonnie Jones; Libración, a duo with Mexico City double bassist Juan García; and the frenetic noise group SSBT with Steve Jansen and Parham Daghighi.

Beginning in the summer of 2003, Cogburn has organized an annual festival of improvised music - the No Idea Festival - showcasing a handful of Texas’ premiere creative musicians in collaboration with improvisors from around the US, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Canada and the world. No Idea events have been held in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Marfa, Fort Worth, Dallas, New Orleans, Mexico City and Mérida, Yucatán.

Jacob Wick
trumpet
Mexico City

Jacob Wick is an improviser, writer, and artist living in Mexico City. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Wick has lived in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Los Angeles, and has performed with a variety of improvisers and composers in a variety of contexts, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Moers Jazz Festival, el Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, and that gazebo Dickson Monk used to have at his house in Columbia, South Carolina, before Amy ran off with that precious metals cult. He is currently developing a theory and practice of anti-visionary art, which includes what for the moment could be termed an "object-oriented" approach to improvisation, privileging the perspective, experience, and expressive capacities of ambient non-human actors—air ducts, airplanes, birds, cement—over his own experience as a white, cis, American male. Wick has released recordings on Prom Night Records, Peira, and Creative Sources. He holds an MFA from the California College of the Arts and writes for Chicago-centered contemporary art blog Bad at Sports.

 

Aimée Theriot
cello
Mexico City

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Aimée Theriot (b. Yucatan, Mx. 1987) is a cellist improviser based in Mexico City. Aimee is completing a degree in music and has had the opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of musicians from the international experimental and improvised music scene. She is interested in pedagogical as well as social issues concerning music and community and is the co-founder of No.Estación.Arte, a non-profit organization that worked with young kids in Mayan communities through free improvisation. Aimee’s music focuses on exploiting the small and subtle sounds of her cello as well as its deep harmonic capacities. She has recently started experimenting with the amplification and mixing of her sounds. She also writes and collaborates with the art magazine RegistroMX.

Parham Daghighi
electric guitar, saxophone
Austin

Houston-born Parham Daghighi is an Iranian-American artist active in the fields of improvised and explorative music and performance since 2010. As an improviser/instrumentalist, Parham’s foci include electric guitar, alto saxophone, and vocal/text work rooted in the Persian language. In addition to frequent collaborative performances with other Texas-based improvisers, Parham is currently involved in a number of long-running projects including Austin-based electro-acoustic trio SSBT - with which he has played concerts throughout the US, Canada and Mexico City.

 

Damon Smith
double bass
Houston

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Damon Smith studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and has had lessons with Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser and others. Damon’s explorations into the sonic palette of the double bass have resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. Visual art, film and dance heavily influence his music, as evidenced by his CAMH performance of Ben Patterson’s Variations for Double Bass, collaborations with director Werner Herzog on soundtracks for Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, and an early performance with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Damon has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including: Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra’s Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Roscoe Mitchell, Michael Pisaro, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. After many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, he is now based in Houston, Texas and works regularly with Alvin Fielder, Sandy Ewen, David Dove & Chris Cogburn. Damon has run Balance Point Acoustics record label since 2001, releasing music focusing on transatlantic collaborations between US and European musicians.

Steve Jansen
tapes, saxophone, guitar
Austin

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Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Steve Jansen is a Texas-based experimentalist whose musical pursuits focus on tape manipulation, alto saxophone, and electric guitar. Jansen has traveled extensively throughout Africa, Latin America, Europe, and across the States to unearth sound, and these recordings play a significant role in his unique sonic constructions.

Jansen has performed with improvisors from around the world, including Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Tim Daisy, James Fella, Damon Smith, Sandy Ewen, and Whoopi Pupi. He has also shared the stage with musical luminaries Frank Rosaly, Dave Rempis, Rob Mazurek, Henry Kaiser, Retox, Christina Carter, Richard Ramirez, and The Home of Easy Credit.

He’s currently a member of depression-wave punk group War Boner, which recently completed an extended tour with Vancouver punk band Lié. He’s also one third of SSBT, an Austin improv group that toured with sound artist John Wiese (Sissy Spacek) in April 2014. The group, featuring Chris Cogburn and Parham Daghighi, is releasing a cassette on Astral Spirits/Monofonus Press and touring with Australian double bassist/composer Mike Majkowski in April 2015.

 

Steve Parker
slide trombone, electronics
Austin

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Steve Parker is a trombonist, composer, and curator living in Austin. He directs the hybrid arts series SoundSpace at the Blanton Museum of Art, is an artist of new music outfit Ensemble Signal in NYC, and teaches at UTSA.

As a soloist, he has performed throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and South America at notable festivals and venues. He has commissioned or premiered over 100 new works, working closely with many leading figures of contemporary music. Steve is particularly interested in art projects that serve as community building tools. To this end, he has organized performances for 100 marching tubas, 80 trombones, 99 percussionists, and installed large interactive instrument sculptures in parking garages and alleyways. His compositions have been featured at the Fusebox Festival, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Asian Arts Initiative, and in numerous public elevators in Chinatown Philadelphia.

He holds degrees in Math and Music from Oberlin, Rice, and UT Austin, and previously worked as a Fulbright and Harrington Scholar.

Astral Spirits || El Nicho
Featured Record Label and Platform
Austin || Mexico City

Astral Spirits is a new cassette/vinyl label (a new arm of Monofonus Press) based in Austin, TX that focuses on releasing avant-jazz & adventurous sounds from around the globe.   Thus far Astral Spirits has been extremely lucky to work with & have releases from artists such as: Icepick (Nate Wooley/Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten/Chris Corsano), John Dikeman, Will Guthrie, Ballister, Broken Trap Ensemble, Nick Hennies, Tredici Bacci & Shit & Shine...and more soon from the likes of SSBT, Rob Mazurek, The Gate, Wally Shoup Sax Trio + One, Boxhead Ensemble, Red Trio and many more!  We will also be branching out into releasing our first vinyl LPs this fall among other special projects.

Astral Spirits also exists as a production company, bringing some these amazing artists to Austin in hopes of connecting them with different live audiences. In 2014 Astral Spirits presented:  Icepick, Mike Reeds Loose Assembly, Rob Mazurek, & Bad Luck...and in 2015 Astral Spirits will have shows coming soon featuring: Boxhead Ensemble, Mike Majkowski, Rob Mazurek & Black Cube SP, Kid Millions & Jim Sauter Duo, Will Guthrie and more!  We are even in the midst of planning our first US Tour featuring Astral Spirits artists Mike Majkowski & SSBT in April 2015.

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el nicho is an independent organization in Mexico City focused on broadening the appreciation for experimental ’new’ music through the production of live projects. With event and festival productions, commissions, collaborations with musicians and artists, workshops and talks, el nicho looks for the organic and gradual growth of audience while disseminating innovative music through interaction between various genres.

el nicho offers an original platform where contemporary music, improvisation/free form and audiovisual projects co-exist and blend together. The projects focus on four principal branches:

  • elnichoFEST: music festival in Mexico
  • elnichito: workshops for children between 3 and 12 years
  • elnicho_off: international co-productions, special commissions
  • elnicho_archivo: showroom with CDs, Vinyls and DVDs/books

 
 

This production has been generously funded by The Creative Fund's Q Rental Subsidy Grant program. The Creative Fund is a funding mechanism that provides much needed support to local performing artists enabling them to further their creative endeavors.

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.