No Idea Festival 2010 // Seeds + Systems

edition 3 // ensemble no idea tour of mexico

Bhob Rainey Chris Cogburn Bonnie Jones Vic Rawlings

in collaboration with artists in Mexico City and Mérida, Yucatán

more information at the no idea blog


Mexico City
Wednesday, May 26


Centro Nacional de las Artes (Centro Multimedia)

Mexico City
Thursday, May 27


Laboratorio Arte Alameda

Mexico City
Friday, May 28


La Fonoteca Nacional

Mexico City
Saturday, May 29


Ex-Teresa Arte Actual


Mérida, Yucatán
Thursday, Jun 3

Cha’ak’ab Paaxil Festival


unas letras


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

For the 3rd edition of No Idea 2010, a select group of musicians from previous festivals will travel to Mexico to perform in Mexico City and Mérida, Yucatán. The quartet (ensemble no idea) will collaborate with sound artists, visual artists and improvisors from throughout Mexico, Peru and elsewhere in venues throughout Mexico City, culminating in ensemble no idea’s participation in the 3rd annual Cha’ak’ab Paaxil Festival in Mérida, Yucatán.

For more detailed information on the festival and to follow the tour’s activities, please visit the no idea blog.

Artist Info

Bhob Rainey
Saxophone, computer
New Orleans

visit artist website

Bhob Rainey’s music has become a model in the world of experimental sound. He is the founder of both Nmperign (with trumpeter Greg Kelley) and the BSC, which he also directs. Collaborations with musicians such as Ralf Wehowsky, Le Quan Ninh, Gunter Mueller, and Lionel Marchetti, dancers Nicole Bindler and Yukiko Nakamura, and filmmakers Loren Boyer, Harvey Benschoter, and William Pisarri highlight Rainey’s broad experience and outline a complex body of work that continues to expand and surprise. His music occupies a charged space between synthetic and organic sound, bringing forth improbable sensual and narrative experiences through virtuosic extended techniques, homemade synths and sound processors, found recordings, and a kind of living silence that is apt to wreak havoc with the perception of time.

Recordings of Rainey’s music have been released on record labels from Germany, Italy, France, and the US including Selektion, Grob, Sedimental, Intransitive, Rossbin, Twisted Village, and Siwa. They number in the dozens and have garnered a wealth of international accolades. He has performed at numerous international festivals from Argentina to France to Japan. Festival appearances have included Musique Action, Instal, Amplify, Densites, Fruits d’Mhere and No Idea.

Rainey has also performed the works of Christian Wolff (with the composer), John Cage, and Cornelius Cardew. He is currently Professor of Music Technology at Loyola University New Orleans, and, when not making electroacoustic music, he writes string and horn arrangements for Indy rock darlings, Damon and Naomi (featured on their CDs “The Earth is Blue” and “Within these Walls”).

“I’ve decided to stop using the word ‘music’. I’m replacing it with ‘Rainey’.” Wayne Rogers, Twisted Village

“Rainey (has an) utterly distinct approach to playing the soprano saxophone, an intensely physical determination to take the instrument beyond all obvious limits. He works outside of idiom, pummeling a column of breath, eliciting refracted tones, overblowing ferociously. Closer to Antonin Artaud than Sidney Bechet.” Julian Cowley, The Wire

Chris Cogburn

visit artist website

Percussionist Chris Cogburn is an active performer, educator and organizer, based in Austin, Texas. In performance, Cogburn approaches the physical nature of his chosen instrument with attention to the drum’s subtle and overlooked timbres/textures and an interest in its ability to resonate and transform. Moving across, atop, below and around a single drum with a variety of percussive objects and implements, Cogburn’s unique approach to the acoustic drum, its function and capabilities, gives rise to unexpected sound worlds suffused with meanings and forms, acute yet infinite.

Current projects include an electro-acoustic trio with avant-vocalist Liz Tonne and Baltimore electronic musician Bonnie Jones, duo collaborations with Vancouver percussionist Jeffrey Allport and Peruvian electronic artist Christian Galarreta, a trio with México City based Visual artist Antonio Domínguez and guitarist Fernando Vigueras and SLIP/Watershed, an inter-media project with dancer/choreographer Jennifer Monson.

Cogburn has led workshops on creative music making around the U.S., Canada and Mexico, working in contexts as diverse as inner-city community centers, homeless shelters, public and private high schools, universities and Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening Space.

Beginning in the summer of 2003, Cogburn has hosted 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 U.S., Europe, Japan, Mexico, Canada and the world. Regarded as “one of the finest creative improvised music festivals in the world” (Paris Transatlantic) No Idea aspires to connect creative musicians, providing the space and time where artistic relationships can flourish, leading towards new areas and approaches in the music. No Idea has been held in Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and New Orleans, with editions scheduled for México City in May 2010.


Bonnie Jones
Electronics, text

visit artist website

Bonnie Jones is a Korean-American interdisciplinary artist working primarily with sound and text. She was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1977, raised in New Jersey, and currently lives and works in Baltimore, MD.

Jones’ work primarily uses improvisation to explore the possibilities of new language creation and unique communication systems. To this end, her work often focuses on exploring, challenging and revealing the specific relationships developed between artists, collaborators, and audience members.

In sound performances she re-purposes digital delay pedals as circuit-bent electronic instruments, directly playing the exposed circuit boards with instrument cables to produce raw and chaotic electronic sound. Her palette challenges the accepted languages of contemporary music as well as the conventional modes of playing associated with electronic musicians.

Jones’ multimedia performance works use projected text and live, improvised writing to collaborate with musicians, video artists, dancers, and other writers. The work draws on her background as a poet and explores a form of writing "off-the-page" that directly interacts with the audience and other collaborators. The work explores the materiality and “objectness” of text held in contrast to fluid, porous, and dynamic forms of text made possible through current technology (SMS text messaging, Twitter, etc.) The text materials in these performances include appropriated and found text and live improvised writing created during the performance. In addition, using her computer’s speech recognition technology, Jones attempts to improvise with her technology and create multiple levels of text, sound, translations and interpretations.

The tension that exists between the permanence and ephemerality of textual materials, electronic noise, and sound and how people perceive, “read” and interact with these texts and sounds in our current technological moment is a primary inquiry in her work.

Jones has performed in the US, Asia, Europe, Mexico and Canada including at the Kim Dae Hwan Museum, the Ontological-Hysteric Theater, the ErstQuake Festival, Cha’ak’ab Paaxil Festival de Yucatan and the 14 Karat Cabaret. Current projects include a duo with Seoul-based musician Joe Foster as the group "English", a duet project with Baltimore electronics musician Andy Hayleck, a trio project with percussionist Chris Cogburn and vocalist Liz Tonne, and duo project with Berlin-based musician Andrea Neumann.

Vic Rawlings
Prepared cello, surface electronics

visit artist website

Vic Rawlings employs a still and unstable sound language from the visceral excess of the Laurence Cook Disaster Unit to the extreme austerity of undr quartet. He has designed and built two instruments to realize this aesthetic, including extensive and invasive cello preparations (some directly based on obscure baroque instrumentation). The amplified cello is used as a sounding surface/resonant wooden microphone. He also continually develops an electronic instrument from the exposed circuit boards of sound processors, effectively producing an analog synthesizer with a highly unstable interface. This electric instrument is realized by a flexible array of exposed speaker elements, chosen for their often unpredictable and idiosyncratic acoustic qualities. His solo performances deny conventional assumptions about the use of time and refuse alliance with dominant trends in improvised music.

Longtime active collaborations include Laurence Cook Disaster Unit (Laurence Cook, Jason Lescalleet, Greg Kelley), undr quartet (Greg Kelley, Liz Tonne, James Coleman), and the BSC (led by Bhob Rainey), as well as duos and trios with Michael Bullock, Mazen Kerbaj, Tim Feeney, Tatsuya Nakatani, Ricardo Arias, Bryan Eubanks, Chris Cogburn, and Jaime Fennelly. He has performed with a diverse group of major figures of improvised music including Ikue Mori, Eddie Prevost, Jaap Blonk, Daniel Carter, Donald Miller, and Andrea Neumann. He has also performed the works of Christian Wolff (with the composer), Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, and Cornelius Cardew.

Vic has toured internationally and appeared at numerous Festivals such as: Victoriaville International Festival of Improvised Music (Victoriaville, Quebec), Vision Festival (NYC), Improvised and Otherwise Festival (NYC), Festival of New Trumpet Music (NYC), Boston Cyberarts Festival, Seattle Improvised Music Festival, No Idea Festival (Austin, TX), High Zero Festival of Improvised Music (Baltimore, MD), Autumn Uprising Festival (Boston, MA) and the Musique Action Festival in Nancy, France.

Rawlings appears on several international record labels including: Grob, RRR, Sedimental, Absurd, Emanem, Boxmedia, Audio Dispatch, H+H, Chloe and Rykodisc, among others. His writings on music/instrumentation have been published in Leonardo Music Journal.


This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.