No Idea Festival 2011 // edition 1

Bryan Eubanks Chris Cogburn Vic Rawlings Alexander Bruck Tim Feeney Nick Hennies Maggie Bennett Damon Smith Rick Reed Sandy Ewen Thomas Helton Jon Doyle
 

1/27 San Antonio

Presented by heavy Denim & FLIGHT Gallery

8pm / $10 at the door

SMART Art Project Space
1906 S Flores St (map)

First set
Nick Hennies
Alexander Bruck

Second set
Maggie Bennett

Third set
“LUCRE”
Chris Cogburn
Bryan Eubanks
Vic Rawlings

Fourth set
Damon Smith
Thomas Helton

Workshop
Custom electronics & improvisation
with Bryan Eubanks + Vic Rawlings

4pm-6pm at SMART Art Project Space

workshop details »

1/28 Austin

Presented by Ten Pounds To The Sound

8pm / $8 - $15 sliding scale

AAMP
411 Monroe St West (map)

First set
Alexander Bruck

Second set
Vic Rawlings
Tim Feeney

Third set
Bryan Eubanks
Rick Reed

Fourth set
Chris Cogburn
Damon Smith
Sandy Ewen

1/29 Austin

Presented by Ten Pounds To The Sound

8pm / $8 - $15 sliding scale

AAMP
411 Monroe St West (map)

First set
Nick Hennies
Tim Feeney

Second set
Jon Doyle
Maggie Bennett

Third set
“LUCRE”
Chris Cogburn
Bryan Eubanks
Vic Rawlings

Fourth set
Alexander Bruck ensemble

Workshop
Custom electronics & improvisation
with Bryan Eubanks + Vic Rawlings

2pm-4pm at Victory Grill

workshop details »

 
 

Festival Info // video / previous festivals // contact

Ten Pounds To The Sound is pleased to present the eighth annual No Idea Festival of creative improvised music.

This year’s first edition of No Idea 2011 is focusing on local and regional artists from Texas in collaboration with a small, select group of US artists. Visiting artists include: electronic musicians Bryan Eubanks (Saint Petersberg, FL) and Vic Rawlings (Boston), NYC dancer Maggie Bennett and NY percussionist Tim Feeney. This selection of artists draws upon three pre-existing groups: LUCRE (Cogburn/ Eubanks/ Rawlings), Rawlings/Feeney Duo, and Damon Smith/Thomas Helton Duo. All other groupings will be first time collaborations.

No Idea is extremely happy to announce its continued contribution towards exchange between US and Mexican artists with the addition of Mexico City avant-garde instrumentalist Alexander Bruck. Highly involved in Mexico City’s thriving avant-garde and experimental music scenes, Alexander seamlessly moves between composition, electronic music, improvisation and punk rock/ noise. Alexander will be performing the work of the Mexican composer Hiram Navarrete, along with solo improvisations and collaborations with other festival participants. This will be his first performance in Texas. We are all very excited about this...

Two workshops on electronic music by visiting artists Bryan Eubanks and Vic Rawlings will be held in San Antonio on January 27, and in Austin on January 29.

There is a Q+A with the artists each night starting at 7:30pm. These informal discussions allow audience access to No Idea artists’ unique approaches to music making, as well as to gaining a better understanding and appreciation for their dynamic creative practice. These events are sponsored by Meet The Composer’s MetLife Creative Connections program. A generous contribution of libations provided by Saint Arnold Brewing Co. will help facilitate discussion....

No Idea Festival Pass $20 (allows entrance into all No Idea 2011 events) - Buy Pass

Artist Info

Bryan Eubanks
Electronics
Saint Petersburg, FL

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Bryan Eubanks (b. 1977, Pasco, WA.) is focused on collaborations, solo musical projects, and sound installations. He has performed his work in live settings across the US, Europe, Japan, and Korea. Originally a saxophonist, his work has expanded to include computer music and instruments of his own design that incorporate open-circuits, samplers, radio transmission, and other electronics. He became musically active in Portland, Oregon in the late 90’s working with Joe Foster, Jean Paul Jenkins, GOD, and Super Unity, among many others, before moving to New York City in 2005 where he worked closely with Andrew Lafkas for the next 5 years in a variety of settings: realizing ensemble music, performance/installations, a trio with drummer Todd Capp, and an ongoing electro-acoustic duo. In 2001 he co-founded Rasbliutto to distribute music. He has held residencies at Diapason Gallery for Sound in NYC and Centrum Center for the Arts in Port Townsend, WA. He currently lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Chris Cogburn
Percussion, electronics
Austin

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Percussionist Chris Cogburn is an active performer, curator 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.

Current projects include NINA, an electro-acoustic trio with avant-vocalist Liz Tonne and Baltimore electronic musician Bonnie Jones; Arena Ladridos, with New Orleans saxophonist Bhob Rainey and Bonnie Jones; and LUCRE, a trio with electronic musicians Bryan Eubanks and Vic Rawlings.

Recent collaborations and projects include: performances in Lima, Peru at VAE11 with electronic musicians Gabriel Castillo and Valentín Yoshimoto; SIP/Watershed, a collaborative and interdisciplinary investigation into the NYC Regional watershed with dancers Jennifer Monson, Maggie Bennett and architect Kate Cahil; and a variety of fortunate projects with artists and musicians in Mexico City and Mérida, Yucatán including Juan Garcia, Alexander Bruck, Fernando Vigueras, Remi Alvarez, Antonio Domínguez and Misha Marks.

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. 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 events have been held in Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, New Orleans, Mexico City and Mérida, Yucatán.

 

Vic Rawlings
Prepared cello, surface electronics
Boston

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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.

Alexander Bruck
Viola, raberi
Mexico City

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Alexander Bruck plays the viola, violin and an increasing number of rare and unusual (at least in modern western cultural contexts) string instruments including: the strohviol, erhu and most recently the raberi, a violin from the Tarahumara region in northern Mexico. His improvisational approach to these instruments is not informed by any traditional ways of playing, but rather inspired by electro-acoustic means of sound production and other aspects of contemporary music. Interferences, instability, resonance, and playing with melodic or rhythmic gestures and their cultural meaning, are the focus of his improvising.

German born Bruck grew up with familial ties to the European avant-garde; his father Wilhelm Bruck plays guitar and was active in Mauricio Kagel’s ensemble and has worked closely with BA Zimmermann and Helmut Lachenmann. Despite these ties, Alex was at first classically trained and it was only after moving to Mexico City at the age of 16 and after several years of playing in Mexico’s National Symphony Orchestra, that Bruck felt the urge to look for more challenging and creative ways of making music. He attended the Darmstadt Summer School and later went to study in Paris with Garth Knox for three years, during which time he had the opportunity to perform with major European ensembles such as MusikFabrik. He also took part in workshops with members of ensemble recherche, Klangforum Wien and Ensemble Modern.

Since moving back to Mexico City in 2006, Alexander has been involved on all fronts of contemporary and experimental music practice, and has had the chance to perform with some incredible local and international musicians such as Germán Bringas, Dennis Stefan Gonzalez, Shelley Hirsch, ROVA, Mario de Vega, Juan Pablo Villa, Chris Cogburn, Robyn Schulkowsky, Bhob Rainey, Vic Rawlings, Misha Marks, Burkhard Stangl, Rogelio Sosa and many others. Despite a full travel/ performance schedule Bruck continues to be highly involved in Mexico City’s thriving avant-garde and experimental music scenes, seamlessly moving between composition, electronic music, improvisation and punk rock/ noise. He was a member of La Orquesta Silenciosa, La Ork improvisation orchestra and currently plays with Generación Espontánea, a 7-member band of free improvised music known for their site-specific interventions.

An active instigator of contemporary written music in Mexico, Alexander has commissioned and premiered solo works by many of the country’s newer generation’s most distinctive composers. Among them are Ignacio Baca Lobera, Carlos Iturralde, Iván Naranjo, Hiram Navarrete and Sergio Luque. He has also been very active throughout Mexico performing and promoting music in the experimental tradition, including James Tenney, Morton Feldman, Frederic Rzewski and Cornelius Cardew, among others. He is currently a member of Tempus Fugit, of the US/Mexican Estamos Ensemble and of the Skalenos string trio.

Upcoming projects include: working on a piece by Argentine composer Gabriel Paiuk at the Institute of Sonology in the Hague (February/March), and the premiere of a new work by Marcelo Toledo at the Centro Cultural de España in Buenos Aires (April). Alexander has been active as an educator over the last several years, teaching viola and contemporary music at the Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico City, and workshops/ Master Classes in Chihauahua, Monterrey, Querétaro, Guadalajara and Lima.

This will be Alexander’s first performance in Texas.

 

Tim Feeney
Percussion, electronics
Ithaca, NY

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Tim Feeney seeks to explore and examine the timbral possibilities inherent in everyday found and built objects. He has performed as an improviser with musicians including thereminist James Coleman, cellist/electronic musician Vic Rawlings, tape-deck manipulator Howard Stelzer, trumpeter Nate Wooley, sound artists Jed Speare and Ernst Karel, saxophonist Jack Wright, and the trio ONDA. His concerts have been held at experimental spaces such as the Red Room in Baltimore, Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut, the Knitting Factory New York, and the Stone, as well as the Center for New Music and Audio Technology at UC-Berkeley, the Stanford Art Museum, Princeton University, and Dartmouth College.

Tim’s double life as an interpreter of contemporary compositions has led him to perform with the quartet So Percussion at venues such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and his work has been featured on WNYC Radio’s New Sounds. Tim collaborated with Rinde Eckert and director Robert Woodruff on their 2006 chamber opera Orpheus X, staged to critical acclaim at Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater, and the 2008 Hong Kong International Festival. A member of Boston’s Callithumpian Consort, Tim has appeared on the Musica Nova series at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany, and at New York’s Tonic, as part of its 50th birthday celebration for John Zorn. He has recorded for the Sedimental, Soul on Rice, Audiobot, and Brassland labels.

An active educator, Tim is currently a lecturer in music at Cornell University.

Nick Hennies
Percussion
Austin

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Nick Hennies is a percussionist and composer born in Louisville, KY and now residing in Austin, TX.

His work is primarily concerned with redefining and re-purposing the role of traditional percussion instruments through various means including repetition, meditation, and immersion. He received his M.A. in percussion from the University of California-San Diego in 2003 where he studied with renowned percussionist Steven Schick and currently performs with The Weird Weeds, Waco Girls, and the Austin New Music Co-op. In addition to solo work Hennies has collaborated with Arnold Dreyblatt, Radu Malfatti, Jandek, Charles Curtis, Ellen Fullman, Michael Pisaro, and many other composers and improvisers from the United States and abroad.

His work as both performer and composer can be heard on Quiet Design, Sentient Recognition Archive, Full Spectrum, Thor’s Rubber Hammer, and more. Notable appearances include the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Blanton Museum (Austin), Festival Agora (Paris), and the LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series.

 

Maggie Bennett
dance
New York City

Maggie Bennett is a dance-based performer and creator living in New York City. She is a 2009/2010 Movement Research Artist in Residence, through which she was a guest artist at P.A.R.T.S in Brussels, Belgium in March 2010. In 2010, she also collaborated with Jennifer Monson, Chris Cogburn and Kate Cahil on SIP (Sustained Immersive Process)/Watershed -- a collaborative and interdisciplinary investigation into the NYC Regional watershed viewed as a meta-choreography of the historical, geological, and cultural layers of the interaction of built and natural phenomena of water in the region; Gasp, I’m Home, a work by David Hurwith, based on a 16 month collaborative duet improvisation practice; and presented her work at Movement Research at Judson Church in Feb and Oct 2010 as a part of Moving Dialogue, a Bucharest and New York Dance exchange. She is excited to participate as a choreographer in a Dance Theater Workshop Studio Series Residency this year, with studio showings on May 20th and 21st, 2011.

An ongoing research and performance-based improvisation practice is the foundation for her choreographic and performance work, as well as a continuous study of ballet technique with Janet Panetta and Christine Wright. Private Somatic Movement Education study with Michelle Cohen, Rolfing/ visceral manipulation/ bio-dynamic cranial sacral work with Jason DeFilippis and acupuncture inform a shifting perception of her body: it’s spaces, form and lineage.

In addition to dance-based interests, Maggie teaches movement and embodiment to the non-dance population through the Pilates industry. She has a BA in English and Dance from Connecticut College.

Damon Smith
Double bass, electronics
Houston

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Double bassist Damon Smith has primarily studied with Lisle Ellis, with subsequent lessons with such luminaries as Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg and Mark Dresser. Damon’s considerable research of the ‘sonic palette’ of the double bass has resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. Influences from visual art, flim and dance are reflected through his work with director Werner Herzog (soundtracks for "Grizzly Man" & "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, Birgit Ulher, Fred Frith, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. He worked often in the San Francisco Bay Area Creative Music Community and is now based in Houston, Texas.

 

Rick Reed
Electronics
Austin

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Rick Reed (born. 1957) has been creating audio compositions since the early 80’s. His works are intuitive studies of electricity, frequency fluctuations, and improvised "on the fly" solutions to symmetry problems in electronic sound. Since 2005, he has centered his live work on using a vintage EMS Synthi – a synthesizer processed with various effects devices to create complex macromal drones with a surface of aesthetic elegance and beauty.

Reed has performed throughout the United States and Europe, most recently as part of the Shifting Currents Ensemble (with former AMM guitarist Keith Rowe), which appeared at the prestigious Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2009. In addition, he is also Music Director of the long running Toneburst concert series held semi-regularly in Austin since 2004, and is also an avid painter and film/video artist.

His music has been used by film maker ken Jacobs in three of his experiential films, Spiral Nebula, Mountaineer Spinning and Capitalism: Child Labor (which won the grand prize at 2006’s Curtas Vila de Conde film festival in Portugal, Spain), which climaxed with a live performance with Jacobs at Lincoln Center during the "Views From the Avant Garde" portion of 2007’s New York Film Festival.

Look for a new double LP record to be released on the Elevator Bath label in April of this year with a small tour of the East Coast to follow in May. He currently lives in Austin, Texas and can be reached by email at: richardkreed@hotmail.com.

Sandy Ewen
Electric guitar
Houston

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Sandy Ewen plays electric guitar.

2010 was a busy year for Ms. Ewen. The Weird Weeds, a rock band she has been a member of for about 6 years, recorded and released its fourth album, Help Me Name Melody. Sandy’s duo with belly dancer Y.E.Torres saw several trips around Central Texas, including performances in Dallas’ No Silence No Sleep and several guerilla surprise performances on the streets of Austin at South By South West. The duo was kicked out of the Houston Fringe Festival, won best performance at the Senorita Film Festival, and reissued several LPs. Sandy found herself organizing and writing pieces for an all-female avant-garde ensemble. The group performed in Houston and Austin, and specialized in unusual compositions and graphic scores. Sandy continues to play guitar and sing jazz standards with Under the Covers.

This fall, Sandy was fortunate to perform in a trio with percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and dancer Y.E.Torres, and in a duo with electronic musician J.D. Emmanuel. Sandy and Damon Smith have been practicing, recording and performing together and in larger groups since their first time duo at the Houston concert series of the same name (First Time Duos).

 

Thomas Helton
Double bass
Houston

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Thomas Helton is a composer and bassist who writes and performs music in both solo and ensemble settings.

As a composer Mr. Helton was awarded a Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Fellowship Grant in 2007 for the commission and premiere of a new work for fifteen-piece ensemble, the Torture Chamber Ensemble. He was awarded an artist residency for the commission and premiere of Pride from DiverseWorks ArtSpace in Houston in October 2004, a work for ten-piece ensemble and video projection created in collaboration with video artist Maria del Carmen Montoya. Other new music commissions include 5 works for the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble. Desesperados (2005), a suite of tangos, is featured on Houston Public Radio’s CD The Best of the Front Row. Black Rain (2005), a work for saxophone, guitar, string bass, percussion and dancers, was chosen to be performed as part of FotoFest’s 2006 Biennial dedicated to the themes of The Earth and Artists Responding to Violence.

As a bassist, Thomas Helton performs with his own ensemble, The Core Trio, as well as with many celebrated jazz and free improv artists including Tim Hagans Milt Jackson, Daniel Carter, Monty Alexander, Frank Gratowski and Ernie Watts. He recently performed the music of Tim Hagans as a guest artist with Sweden’s Norrbotten Big Band. He was also featured at the 2009 ISB Bass Convention curated by Mark Dresser. Thomas has released three CD’s: Doublebass; Experimentations in Minimalism; and Saga. All three have received positive reviews in the press in both in the U.S. and Europe.

In the spring of 2010 Thomas spent 3 month at the TAKT Artist residency in Berlin, Germany. While there he performed at many of the city’s avant-garde venues with local musicians, Simon Rose, Matthias Mueller, Klaus Kuervers, Chris Heenan and bassist Clayton Thomas. Upon returning to the USA, Thomas completed a very successful west coast tour. Among some of the performances were NORCAL Noisefest, USC Bakersfield, UNT and a special performance with bassist Damon Smith at Tex Gallery in Denton,TX.

Currently he is working on a new solo DVD collaboration with videographer Jonathan Jindra.

Jon Doyle
Clarinet
Austin

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Jonathan Doyle came up in Chicago in the mid-90s, dividing time between making a living playing traditional R&B and performing the original compositions of many of Chicago’s young, emerging improvisors.

He moved to Austin in 2004 to pursue his love of American roots musics & acoustic performance. He performs most nights and has had the pleasure of playing with groups from Jason Adasiewicz & Josh Berman to Clarence Frogman Henry; from Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel to the Boodle-Am Jug Band.

 
 

This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division. Further funding provided by Meet The Composer’s MetLife Creative Connections program.