Afternoons (time TBA), Free
Maggie Bennett + Chris Cogburn’s Individual Artistic Practice As Curatorial Conversation: an open process/ work for public viewing featuring Gill Arno, Andrea Neumann, Bonnie Jones, Chris Cogburn, Maggie Bennett and Nick Hennies.
8pm / $8 - $15 sliding scale
8pm / $8 - $15 sliding scale
8pm / $8 - $15 sliding scale
2pm-4pm at Spider House 29th St Ballroom
Afternoon Performance and Reception
3pm - 5pm / $5 - $10 sliding scale
8pm / $10
Presented by heavy Denim
8pm / $10
no idea festival
po box 684335
austin, texas 78768
Join our email list
The Ninth Annual No Idea Festival of Creative Improvised Music.
No Idea Festival 2012 presents a select group of musicians and inter-media artists who share multiple configurations at various stages of development and experience. This year’s festival creates a space where the individual artist is presented in relation to others, as well as to his/ her own working groups.
Percussionist Chris Cogburn and dancer Maggie Bennett will present their curatorial work the opening night of No Idea and Nick Hennies will present a piece for vibraphone and ensemble written especially for this year’s festival.
No Idea :: January Sunday series // four Sundays in January leading up to No Idea Festival 2012 featuring regional improvisors.
Festival passes are $25 for all events in Austin and $40 for events in all three cities. Passes can be purchased online through PayPal, using the buttons below. Festival passes will be picked up at the door the night of the concerts.
Andrea Neumann studied classical piano at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. She has been active primarily as a musician and composer in the fields of new music and experimental music since 1994 and co-organizes “Labor Sonor,” a series for experimental music, film and performance in Berlin since 2000.
Her exploration of the piano for new sound possibilities has led her to reduce the instrument to its strings, its resonance board and the cast-iron frame. Playing this unmounted ‘leftover’ of a piano, with the help of electronics to amplify and manipulate the sound, she has developed several of her own playing techniques, sounds, and ways for preparing the instrument. For reasons of weight, a lighter special instrument was crafted in 2000 according to the measurements of the original heavier inside piano (piano builder, Bernd Bittmann, Berlin).
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 on a dairy farm 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). She is interested in how people perceive, “read” and interact with these sounds and texts given our current technological moment. Bonnie 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 from the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College.
Bhob Rainey, a soprano saxophonist and composer, is best known as a solo artist and as one half of Nmperign, with whom he plays alien extended technique effects that are influenced by electronic music, environmental sounds and free improvisation.
Rainey studied at the New England Conservatory of Music with free jazz saxophonist Joe Maneri. Rainey’s music during his early- to mid-twenties was, like Maneri’s, characterized by long microtonal lines. Rainey’s first CD, Ink, featuring Dan DeChellis, was released in 1997. After a controversial 1998 solo concert in Washington D. C. attracted a considerable amount of attention to Rainey’s music, he and trumpeter Greg Kelley formed Nmperign with the goal of avoiding linear approaches to form and melodic contour. Nmperign, including Rainey, Kelley and Tatsuya Nakatani, recorded its first CD in 1998.
Since 1998, Rainey has recorded extensively, including a number of projects with nmperign (minus Nakatani) and collaborations with musicians and composers like Jason Lescalleet, Le Quan Ninh, Ralf Wehowsky, etc. He continues to pursue a more sound-based (as opposed to note-based) approach in his work with nmperign, whereas his solo work, while far from traditional, often involves the use of more melodic lines. Since 2000, he has also led the bsc, a large ensemble that uses both acoustic instruments and electronics.
Beginning in 2005, Rainey has released a handful of works based around electronics and field recordings, notably his 2006 collaboration with Ralf Wehowsky, I don’t think I can see you tonight and his solo EP, Two Bites of a Bitter Sweet.
Rainey also occasionally appears as a sideman in more traditional settings, most recently in recurring work with ex-Galaxy 500 indie rock duo Damon & Naomi, for whom he has also done horn and string arrangements.
“I’ve decided to stop using the word ‘music’. I’m replacing it with ‘Rainey’.” Wayne Rogers, Twisted Village
Greg Kelley began studying the trumpet at age 10. He attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, where in addition to studying the Conservatory curriculum, he also immersed himself in a deep study of avant-garde and experimental music, eventually coming to the conclusion that his musical focus fell outside of the academic sphere. After his studies, Kelley moved back to his native Massachusetts, quickly insinuated himself into the local avant-garde circles and soon commenced a period of intense travel and collaboration, bringing him across the United States, throughout Europe, Japan and South America.
He has appeared on over 60 albums and, despite a more limited travel schedule, he still manages to play in a number of groups including Nmperign (as abstract improvisatory duo and as horn section for ex-Galaxie 500-ers Damon & Naomi), Heathen Shame, the undr quartet and the BSC, among others. Other collaborators have included Jandek, Keiji Haino, Donald Miller (Borbetomagus), Anthony Braxton, Kevin Drumm, Christian Wolff, Pauline Oliveros, Joe McPhee and Lionel Marchetti.
Internationally renown sound artist Jason Lescalleet uses reel-to-reel tape decks to explore the textures of low fidelity analog sounds and the natural phenomena of old tape and obsolete technology. He is one of a growing list of master producer/musicians, whose skill lies as much in reworking, assembling and mastering the material available as in creating it in the first place. His physically visceral solo performances slowly construct a dense mix of lo-fi grit and precise, pure sounds that go from glacially slow and quiet to blisteringly loud and frenetic. An overwhelming creative force, Lescalleet is operating in his own league of contemporary noise, improvisation and electroacoustic composition.
Jason Lescalleet has worked with such wide-ranging artists as Joe Colley, Phil Niblock, Graham Lambkin, Keith Rowe, nmperign (with Bhob Rainey and Greg Kelley) and Jason Kahn. International festival performances include MUTEK, Instal, AMPLIFY and Living Rooms Festival. He has released a string of superb and critically acclaimed discs on such labels as Erstwhile, CUT, rrr, Glistening Examples, Intransitive and Chloë. He currently lives and works in Maine, USA.
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.
Primarily working in the field of improvised music, Cogburn has collaborated with many of the premiere international artists in contemporary music, including: Pauline Oliveros, Joe McPhee, John Butcher, Lê Quan Ninh, Tetuzi Akiyama, Joelle Leandre, and avant-rock outsider Jandek (his first appearance in the US). 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; LUCRE, a trio with electronic musicians Bryan Eubanks and Vic Rawlings; and Towards Curation, an interdisciplinary work/ practice with NYC dancer/ choreographer Maggie Bennett.
Beginning in the summer of 2003, Cogburn has hosted and curated an annual festival of improvised music - the No Idea Festival - showcasing a handful of the U.S.’s premiere creative musicians in collaboration with improvisors from across Europe, Japan, Mexico, Canada and the world. No Idea aspires to connect creative musicians, providing the space and time where artistic process can flourish, leading towards new areas and approaches in the music. No Idea events have been held in Austin, Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, San Antonio, New Orleans, Mexico City and Mérida, Yucatán.
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.
Bryan 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 NYC.
Vic Rawlings employs a still and unstable sound language ranging from visceral excess to extreme austerity.
He uses an amplified cello augmented with extensive and invasive preparations of his design, adapted from Baroque-era designs. On this instrument he has developed a vocabulary of extended techniques, approaching near-total abstraction from the cello. As an entirely separate unit, he uses and continually develops an electronic instrument with a highly unstable interface, acoustically realized by an array of exposed speaker elements. Rawlings primarily presents improvised music in the predictable settings and durations. Exceptions to this are installation-length performances and a series of performances in standard music venues that suspend concepts of site, context, and content.
Longtime collaborators include Greg Kelley, Liz Tonne, James Coleman, Bhob Rainey, Mike Bullock, Tim Feeney, Bryan Eubanks, Chris Cogburn, Tatsuya Nakatani, Ricardo Arias, Jason Lescalleet, and Laurence Cook. He has collaborated with Ikue Mori, Eddie Prevost, Jaap Blonk, Daniel Carter, Donald Miller, and Andrea Neumann. He has performed the works of Christian Wolff (with the composer), Michael Pisaro (with the composer), Stockhausen, Cage, and Cardew. He has toured extensively and has appeared at: Victoriaville (Quebec), Musique Action (Nancy, France), Vision (NYC), Cha’ak’ab Paaxil (Merida, Mexico), Improvised and Otherwise (NYC), Festival of New Trumpet Music (NYC), and No Idea (Austin, TX). His recordings are on: Grob, RRR, Sedimental, Absurd, Emanem, Intransitive, Boxmedia, Semata, YDLMIER, Cathnor, and Rykodisc, among many others. His writings on music/ instrumentation and contemporary music education have been published in Leonardo Music Journal and Intransitive Magazine.
He has authored sound-based music and listening curricula that engage students at all levels in participatory experiences in which they often encounter unfamiliar experiential/ aesthetic territory. He presents in settings ranging from Ivy-League Universities to juvenile detention facilities. This has included an extended residency teaching collective improvisation to Electronic Music Composition to students at Harvard University as well as multiple residencies (ranging from single-day to an 8-week intensive course) in sound and electroacoustic instrument-making in elementary- and secondary-school settings ranging from suburban Massachusetts to a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico. Other visiting artist/ teaching residencies have included Oberlin Conservatory, MIT, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University, and Tinicum Art and Science High School, among many Universities, elementary- and secondary-schools in many states.
Maggie Bennett is an independent dancer and choreographer living in New York City. She was an Artist in Residence at Dance Theater Workshop in the Fresh Tracks Program in 2008, and again in 2010/2011 through the Studio Series Residency Program. She was a 2009/2010 Movement Research Artist in Residence, through which she was a guest artist at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels, Belgium (March 2010), and participated in and presented work during Moving Dialogue: A New York and Bucharest Exchange in New York City (October 2010). Bennett has worked with Jennifer Monson (on-going), Paul Matteson, Vanessa Justice, Charlotte Gibbons, David Hurwith, Milka Djordjevich and Chris Peck. She was a member of two collectives: Cheap Cake, an improvisation/ research collective, and Propel-her Dance Collective, a collaborative administration collective for choreographers.
Current projects include: a collaboration in interdisciplinary curatorial practice with musician Chris Cogburn entitled “Individual Artistic Practice as Curatorial Conversation,” first developed in residency at Pieter (pasd) in Los Angeles, CA and is extending into No Idea Festival 2012 in Austin TX; developing a new work for Facade/Fasad in Redhook Brooklyn, NY, in collaboration with the space’s director, Gabriel Rivera; dancing in a work by Kota Yamuzaki’s company Fluid Hug Hug, premiering at EMPAC in Troy NY April 6th, and in New York City at the Japan Society at the end of April; on-going development of collaboration with visual artists Liliana Dirks-Goodman through a video and photography project rendered from Bennett’s Form of Stasis. Bennett also teaches movement education and body organization through Pilates to the non-dancer population in New York City.
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, Tim Feeney, Greg Stuart 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, L’innomable and more. Notable appearances include the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Blanton Museum (Austin), Festival Agora (Paris), the Streaming Festival (The Hague) and the LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gill Arnò is a sound artist, performer and visual artist. In his work he engages sound and light as well as notions of memory, presence and time in complex constructions and performances. He is known as an improviser and as a phonographer, as well as for his intermedia project "mpld", in which he plays sequences of modified found slides while processing and amplifying the projectors’ mechanical sounds.
Arnò was born in Italy and moved to NY in 1997. He runs the experimental label Unframed and hosts the performance series Fotofono in his Brooklyn apartment and studio.
Collaborators in past and present projects include Aki Onda, Andrew Lafkas, Ben Owen, Bruce McClure, Bryan Eubanks, Daniel Neumann and Richard Garet. He has performed at Experimental Intermedia (NY), The Stone (NY), Diapason Gallery (NY), Seattle Improvised Music Festival, Images Festival (Toronto), Courtisane Festival (Gent), Link (Bologna), Staalplaat WS (Berlin), WORM (Rotterdam).
photo credit: Phillip David Stearns