No Idea Festival 2017

 

Austin
Thursday, Feb 16

8pm - 12am / $12-$20 sliding scale admission

Museum of Human Achievement
Lyons Rd. + Springdale Rd. (map + address)

Buy tickets

First set
Line-up announced February 1st

Second set
Line-up announced February 1st

Third set
Henry Flynt Tribute Band
Kurt Newman
Lauren Gurgiolo
Bob Hoffnar

Fourth set
Line-up announced February 1st

Austin
Friday, Feb 17

8pm - 12am / $12-$20 sliding scale admission

Museum of Human Achievement
Lyons Rd. + Springdale Rd. (map + address)

Buy tickets

First set
Line-up announced February 1st

Second set
Line-up announced February 1st

Third set
Line-up announced February 1st

Fourth set
Line-up announced February 1st

Austin
Saturday, Feb 18

Afternoon Program

First set
Line-up announced February 1st

Second set
Line-up announced February 1st

Third set
Line-up announced February 1st

 

Austin
Friday, Feb 17

Evening Program

8pm - 12am / $12-$20 sliding scale admission

Museum of Human Achievement
Lyons Rd. + Springdale Rd. (map + address)

Buy tickets

First set
Etched In The Eye
Sandy Ewen
Robert Pearson
Danny Kamins

Second set
Line-up announced February 1st

Third set
Kjell Bjørgeegen
Rick Reed

Fourth set
Line-up announced February 1st

Austin
Sunday, Feb 19

2pm - 4pm / Free with Museum Admission

Blanton Museum of Art
200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (map)

No Idea artists will participate in the Blanton Museum of Art's Sound Space series organized and curated by Steve Parker.

Artist line-up announced February 1st.

 

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




14th annual No Idea Festival

February 16-19, 2017 // Austin

This year's festival brings together musicians and sound artists from around the world collaborating in the fields of free improvisation, composition, installation, 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.

// No Idea Saturday Afternoon Concert
Saturday, February 18, 1-4pm
A special afternoon concert featuring a series of three performances within three distinct sonic spaces in East Austin. More info soon.

// 2017 Book Project - Ethics of Improvisation as Anarchic Utopia
In collaboration with our partners in Mexico City (independent editor Andrea Ancira, designer Daniela Ramírez, and printers Cooperativa Cráter Invertido), No Idea is presenting a 32-page book of writings, drawings, and interviews with past and present No Idea participants including: Lê Quan Ninh, Bhob Rainey, Mazen Kerbaj, Bonnie Jones, Jeph Jerman, Nick Hoffman, and Kurt Newman. More info soon.

// No Idea 2017 Poster
Special, limited edition No Idea 2017 poster designed and printed by Austin artist J.J. Campbell. More info February 1st.

// No Idea 2017 FESTIVAL PASS
$40-$55 sliding scale Festival Pass allows entrance into all No Idea events. Buy Festival Pass

Artist Info

Lê Quan Ninh
percussion
Saint-Silvain-sous-Toulx, France

visit artist website

Classically trained percussionist Lê Quan Ninh was a founding member of Quatuor Hêlios (1986-2012), a percussion quartet that performed and recorded, among others, John Cage’s percussion works. Their last creation, Seul à Seuls by Georges Aperghis, premiered in late 2006 at the Musica Festival in Strasbourg, France.

As an improvisor, he participates at numerous meetings in Europe and North America and plays regularly in ensembles that mix improvised acoustic & electroacoustic music, ’performance art’, dance, poetry, experimental cinema, photography and video.

In 2006, Ninh founded, along with cellist Martine Altenburger, ensemble]h[iatus, a contemporary music ensemble whose members are simultaneously interpreters and improvisers. They have commissioned pieces by composers Vinko Globokar, Peter Jakober, Steffen Krebber, Jennifer Walshe and Anthony Pateras

His discography includes over 40 CDs on European and North American labels. The last release (Aplomb, 2015) is a duet with his long term colleague Michel Doneda.

In 2014, Ninh published the translation of his book Improvising Freely: The ABCs of an Experience (previously published in french). The book is available here.

Michel Doneda
soprano saxophone
Pont de Barret, France

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Over the years, Michel Doneda has developed one of the most extensive musical vocabularies in free improvisation. With over sixty recordings as a leader, Doneda’s virtuosity on the soprano saxophone is widely recognized internationally. His playing can be at turns lyrical, playful, or raucous, and can switch from the liveliness of street melodies to circular breathing, microscopic sounds, or shrieking outbursts.

Among the myriad activities sustaining his voracious creative appetite, Doneda created the label Sonographica in 1990 with percussionist and composer Alain Joule to investigate the possibilities of mixed media such as music, painting and literature. Early in his career, doneda got involved with street theater, co-founding the Institut de Recherches et d’Échanges Artistiques. Creative popular expression and exchanges with street performers, actors, and poets have remained a primary interest.

Always searching and exploring for new situations and collaborators, Doneda he has played with such luminaries as Elvin Jones, Lol Coxhill, Evan Parker, Roger Turner, John Zorn, Fred Frith, Keith Rowe, Xavier Charles, and Sonic Youth.

His most long-standing recording and performing partners include Basque singer Beñat Achiary, percussionist Lê Quan Ninh, hurdy-gurdy player Dominique Regef, and bassist Barre Phillips.

 

Kjell Bjørgeegen
video artist
Oslo, Norway

visit artist website

Kjell Bjørgeengen began as house photographer at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter art museum at Høvikodden around 1970. During the mid ’70s Bjørgeengen studied at the University of Oslo with emphasis on Karl Marx and the logical structure of capital. In ’82 he started his work with video in association with The Experimental Television Center in Owego, New York, which specialized in the development of new video technology for artists.

Bjørgeengen looks upon his art as an investigation of a reality which needs to be worked upon and changed in both artistic and political ways.

Known for his pioneering work in sculpture, video and installation, Bjørgeegen has exhibited widely in his native Norway including a series of large scale video installations in Kunstnernes Hus, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, and Bergen Art Museum. He has shown internationally in the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo), The Ludwig Forum (Aachen, Germany), and Dundee Contemporary Arts (Scotland), among others.

Most recently, Bjørgeengen has focused on audio generated video performances. He has worked with musicians around the world including: Joelle Leandre, Okkyung Lee, Uchihashi Kazuhisa, Jin Hi Kim, Otomo Yoshihide, MIMEO, Evan Parker Electro Acoustic Ensemble, Aernoudt Jacobs, Streifenjunko, MURAL, Lasse Marhaug, Marc Ribot, Toshimaru Nakamura, Thomas Lehn, John Tilbury, and most frequently with British avantist Keith Rowe.

Rick Reed
electronics
Austin

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Rick Reed (b. 1957) has been creating audio compositions since 1982. His recent works are intuitive studies of electricity, frequency fluctuations, and improvised ’on the fly’ solutions to symmetry problems in electronic sound. Over the past decade he has centered his live work on using short wave radio, synthesizers, and sine wave generators to create otherworldly synthetic sounds with a surface of aesthetic elegance and beauty.

Reed lives in Austin, Texas, and has performed throughout the United States and Europe. His music has been used by filmmaker Ken Jacobs in four of his experiential magic lantern films: Spiral Nebula, Mountaineer Spinning, Capitalism: Child Labor, and Another Occupation. In addition to his solo work, Reed has been a member of Austin groups such as Fear and Tension Corporation, The Abrasion Ensemble, Frequency Curtain, SIRSIT, as well as the international group, The Voltage Spooks (w/ AMM’s Keith Rowe). Along with Brent Fariss, he is currently a member of the world’s only CM von Hausswolff cover band in existence, The House of Wolves.

You can hear his work on such records as Dark Skies at Noon (2005), Dreamz/Blue Polz (2008), The Way Things Go (2011), and Brilliant Flashes (2016), to name but a few.

 

Andrea Ancira
research
Mexico City

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Andrea Ancira (Mexico, 1984) is an inde­pen­dent writer and researcher based in Mexico City. She is inter­ested in con­tem­po­rary exper­i­mental artistic prac­tices and their role in shaping social iden­ti­ties, dis­courses and sen­si­bil­i­ties. When exam­ining these prac­tices— either in the field of sound or image— she has approached them from their pos­sible impli­ca­tions in the con­for­ma­tion of ideas of utopia, rev­o­lu­tion and the com­mons. The per­spec­tive from where she explores these phe­nomena is informed by mul­tiple the­o­ret­ical frame­works such as marxism, his­tory of contemporary cul­ture and pol­i­tics, fem­i­nism, decolo­nial studies, among others. Her work has been published in aca­demic and non-aca­demic plat­forms.

Ramón del Buey
bass clarinet
Mexico City

Ramón del Buey studied composition and classical philology at UNAM. He has played bass clarinet and piano in different projects, mainly of improvised and contemporary music, in Mexico, Spain, France and the UK. Del Buey usually performs with Generación Espontánea with whom he recorded, edited and mixed «The Marvellous Transatlantic», an album that explored long-distance improvistation and composition between musicians living in Mexico and Europe. Since 2011, along with Darío Bernal, he has been doing workshops to intdoduce music to children, using sound art and experimental music as a platform.

He is currently composing a septet in order to complete his degree and writing a thesis on the function and survival of ancient greek and latin sources in Goethe’s Faust II and Joyce’s Ulysses.

 

Arthur Henry Fork
guitar, electronics
Mexico City

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Composer, guitarist, new media artist and designer working with the exploration of sound, error, harmonic dissonance and brokenness on the guitar, improvisation and open-source programming. Also works with multimedia installations that fuse his sound composition and design work to create sound-art pieces. His work has been shown at locations and festivals internationally. Other collaborations include: Theater, Dance, Performance Art and Film.

Jacob Wick
trumpet
Mexico City

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Jacob Wick is a trumpet player and improviser.

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 (US), the Moers Jazz Festival (DE), and el Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MX). He has released recordings on Marginal Frequency (San Diego, CA), Prom Night Records (Brooklyn, NY), Peira (Chicago, IL), Diatribe (Dublin, IE), and Creative Sources (Lisbon, PT). He holds a BM from Purchase College, SUNY, and an MFA from the California College of the Arts.

In performance, Wick works to privilege 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. This approach is indebted to a wild commitment to queer politics and years of cruising contemporary and 20th century art and/or life theories. Current projects include solo trumpet acoustic noise and Dos/Tres Hongos, a duo or trio with Marc Riordan and Frank Rosaly.

 

Chris Cogburn
Percussion, electronics
Austin / Mexico City

Chris Cogburn is a percussionist living in Austin and Mexico City. His artistic practice is 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: un Trio de Gira, with Mexico City musicians Alex Bruck (viola) and Ramón del Buey (bass clarinet); 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.

Human Figure: Virginity
Performance
Austin

Human Figure: Virginity is the performance trio of Parham Daghighi, Spencer Dobbs and Robin Kathleen Williams. Formed in 2016 as an extension of the bands Human Figure (Dobbs & Williams) and Virginity (Daghighi & Dobbs), the trio coalesces the various practices sought by each respective group; namely: composition pierced through with improvisation, choreography, poetry, tape work and engaging artifacts of nature in the context of ritual-tinged performance.

Parham Daghighi is an improviser/multi-instrumentalist whose recent foci include electric guitar, tape manipulation, percussion, violin and dozaleh. He is a core member of Texas-based explorative music groups SSBT and Friendship Cemetery. Recent recordings include 247 Main by SSBT on Astral Spirits and Friendship Cemetery’s self-titled split cassette with Baby Blood on Self Sabotage Records.

Spencer Dobbs is a musician and poet who issues recordings and chapbooks on his Anahuac Editions imprint. His most recent full-length, Changed Fool, was released on cassette by Sloow Tapes.

Robin Kathleen Williams is an artist working with objects of symbolic depth (stones, mirrors, ochre), conceptions and expressions of the body and voice through performance, dance and music. In addition to working with Dobbs and Daghighi, Williams has recently performed with electro-acoustic artist Tara Bhattacharya-Reed.

 

Etched In The Eye
guitar, baritone sax, keyboard
Houston

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Etched In The Eye is a rebellious trio of individual aesthetics collaborating to form a music that is abstract, improvisational, and heroic.

A sonic landscape of shearing sheets of merciless energy, perplexing filaments of interlocking polyphonic lines over a canvas of well manipulated perception altering prepared guitar, with intrusions of references to traditionalism forced upon an ever evolving architectural tonal structure. An homage to the fog of human achievement.

Band mates includes: Sandy Ewen on guitar played with found objects, Danny Kamins on baritone saxophone, and Robert Pearson on keyboards.

Aaron Russell
electric guitar
Austin

Aaron Russell grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and has lived in Austin, Texas since 2003.

He has played guitar in a number of underground/experimental rock bands since the early 1990s, most notably with Austin groups Weird Weeds (with, at various times, Sarah Hennies, Sandy Ewen, Lindsey Verrill, and Kurt Newman) and Moonsicles (with Sheila Scoville, Lindsey Verrill, and Carolyn Cunningham). In addition to playing in Moonsicles, he is currently actively composing and performing music for unadorned solo fingerstyle electric guitar and has recently completed recording his first album of this material, to be released in 2017.

Aside from music, Aaron is a licensed auctioneer in the state of Texas, fosters rescue dogs with his wife, Sheila Scoville, and has recently embarked on a project of designing and manufacturing a series of wooden jigsaw puzzles.

 

Kurt Newman
guitar
Toronto

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Kurt Newman is a guitarist and improvisor. A native of Toronto, Canada, Newman lived in Austin, Texas for several years and was co-curator of No Idea Festival in its first two years (2003-4).

Over the past decade, Newman has focused his creative energies on non-idiomatic improvisation, and continues to work on refining his voice as an improvisor.

Among his collaborators: (Europe) John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, Thomas Lehn, Roger Turner, Jaap Blonk; (Japan) Tetuzi Akiyama; (USA) Kyle Bruckmann, Chris Cogburn, Sarah Hennies, Henry Kaiser, Fred Lonberg-Holm; (Canada): Mike Gennaro, Eric Chenaux, John Oswald, Michael Snow, Mauro Savo, Sam Shalabi, Alexandre St-Onge.

Newman has been in a number of bands: Sackville, Picastro, Wrist Error, Marmots, Golden Melody Awards, Weird Weeds, and Perruque.

Lauren Gurgiolo
guitar, mandolin
Austin

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Composer and guitarist Lauren Gurgiolo draws from a wide range of inspirations in her work - from field recordings to phenomenology - and creates environments that illuminate and shadow boundaries between perspectives, media, and audience/performer.

Gurgiolo has directed/co-directed four inter-media interactive installations and is currently working on her fifth - Silent City Part II. She has completed four corresponding albums with her project The Dialtones: The Dialtones, The Quality or Condition, Calculated Carelessness, and Silent City.

Gurgiolo is also an accomplished side musician. She has toured internationally with Okkervil River (2008-2015) and recorded three albums with the band: I am Very Far, True Love Casts Out All Evil (with Austin legend Roky Erickson), and The Silver Gymnasium (2013). She has performed on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Late Show With David Letterman, Conan, and in Andrew Bujalski’s film Results. She is currently a member of The Octopus Project (2015 – present) and is preparing to embark on North American and European tours to support their forthcoming release, Memory Mirror.

 

Bob Hoffnar
pedal steel guitar
Austin

Renowned pedal steel guitarist Bob Hoffnar relocated to Austin from NYC five years ago and has since become a major contributor to Austin’s cultural landscape. Originally from Silver Springs, Maryland, Hoffnar graduated from Purchase Conservatory of Music in 1998 with a BFA in composition that included private studies with Richard Cameron Wolf. Further private studies included time with such musical luminaries as Lamonte Young, Pandit Pran Nath and Earnest Tubb’s steel player Buddy Charelton.

Hoffnar has recorded widely on prestigious and underground labels around the world including: John Zorn’s Tzadik records, EMI (UK), Capital Records and Netwerk (Canada). Known internationally for his voracious creative appetite, Hoffnar has recorded, toured and performed around the world with an unfathomable array of artists spanning generation and genre including: Nora Jones, Ryan Adams, John Zorn, Cindi Lauper, Boston Pops Orchestra and Hasil Atkins. Hoffnar currently holds down a weekly residency at Stay Gold with his post-experimetntal lounge band Mood Illusion.

Mutarrancho
dj
Dallas

Born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, Ernesto Montiel is a visual artist and improviser. He has been djing since his teens. Ernesto moved to Dallas in 2015.

He took the Mutarrancho name for dj gigs since the beginning of 2016 and soon after began playing with Miguel Espinel in the electroacoustic free improvisation duo Monte Espina. Ernesto performs in numerous improvisation ensembles in the DDFW area along with Sarah Ruth Alexander, Lily Taylor, Gregg Prickett, and Stefan Gonzalez. First active in Venezuela, Ernesto’s initial improvisation project was an open collective called El Jaibo (1995) which spawned several other projects, including: Los Jardineros del Chance, Metra, C del Mar: Chimichi Broders, Gabinete Sonoro Goma Espuma, Oso/Malderabia.

As a visual artist Montiel has been developing for some years a chance driven body of work, Stochastic Ethics.