8pm - 12am / $10-$20 sliding scale
Nice -N- Clean
2400 Cesar Chavez (map)
1pm - 4pm / $8 - $15 sliding scale
Lecture / Presentation
Mexico City author, artist and educator, Carlos Prieto, will give a lecture/presentation on his new 3-volume book "Voltage Variations: Conversations with Mexican Sound Artists and Electronic Musicians". Prieto will discuss the history of sound art and experimental music in Mexico and play audio/video samples from the previous and current Mexican vanguard.
The afternoon program will be augmented with two sets of improvised music by a handful of artists from Mexico City’s burgeoning experimental music scene.
8pm - 12am / $10 - $20 sliding scale
8pm - 12am / $10 - $20 sliding scale
Misha Marks Large Ensemble with Damon Smith, Arturo Baez, Michael Zerang, Chris Cogburn, Steve Parker, James Fei, Jonathan Horne, Bonnie Jones, Gudinni Cortina
4pm - 9pm / $10 suggested donation
Lecture / Presentation
Carlos Prieto lecture begins at 4pm, music begins at 6pm
9:30pm - 12am / $5 donation (free if you went to the show at Southwest School of Art)
Tortilleria La Popular
1415 S Presa St (map)
San Antonio accordion maestro Juanito Castillo will be joined by several No Idea artists including Misha Marks, Arturo Báez, Michael Zerang, Bob Hoffnar and others, in an impromptu, improvised, free-conjunto, noise set not to be missed.
Libations provided by Tito’s Vodka and Saint Arnold Brewery within the relaxed environs of Tortilleria La Popular form the backdrop to this most sublime way to part ways...
no idea festival
po box 684335
austin, texas 78768
11th annual No Idea Festival 2014
This year’s festival brings together musicians and movement artists from around the US and Mexico City in collaboration for four nights in the fields of free improvisation, composition, noise, and sonic intervention.
Follow the No Idea Twitter feed for the latest updates.
James Fei (b. Taipei, Taiwan) moved to the US in 1992 to study electrical engineering. He has since been active as a composer and performer on saxophones and live electronics. Works by Fei have been performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, MATA Micro Orchestra and Noord-Hollands Philharmonisch Orkest. Recordings can be found on Leo Records, Improvised Music from Japan, CRI, Krabbesholm and Organized Sound. Compositions for Fei’s own ensemble of four alto saxophones focus on physical processes of saliva, fatigue, reeds crippled by cuts and the threshold of audible sound production, while his sound installations and performance on live electronics often focus on feedback. He received the Grants for Artists Award from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts in 2014. Fei has taught at Mills College in Oakland since 2006, where he is Associate Professor of Electronic Arts.
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.
Aaron Tucker is a circus clown and member of the trio Perruque with Chris Cogburn and Kurt Newman. He currently divides his time between hospital work in New England for the Big Apple Circus, and with the Colombian/American performance troupe "The Fabulous Problemas". In June Aaron will return to Japan to clown for Kinoshita Circus.
Kurt Newman is a guitarist and improvisor. A native of Toronto, Canada, Newman lived in Austin, Texas for several years and now lives in Santa Barbara, California. 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, Dave Dove, Nick 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, and Weird Weeds.
Percussionist Chris Cogburn is an active performer, curator and educator, currently living in Austin, Texas. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Misha Marks (NZ, 1983) was born in Wellington, New Zealand and grew up near Karamea, on the West Coast of the South Island. He started playing guitar when he was six years old and later did two years at music school in Wellington before abandoning the confines of university walls in search of something more fulfilling. He became involved in the free-improvised music scene of Wellington, based around the experimental music venue Happy, where he played regularly with local and visiting improvisers, worked at the bar and was the janitor.
He studied flamenco guitar in Spain, lived and played in Vienna and London, collaborated with Singhalese shamans in Sri Lanka, and in 2008 he transposed himself to Mexico City with the idea of staying for about six months, which soon became five years. A multi-instrumentalist, Misha plays guitar, baritone horn, accordion and latarra (a homemade electric guitar made out of a cookie tin).
Misha is active in diverse scenes throughout Mexico City playing numerous projects, such as the free-improvisation collective Generación Espontánea, in the primitive-evolutive-harmolodic-gypsy band Carlos Marks (who’s debut album Dislalia was named Album of the year 2013 by Mexican contemporary art magazine La Tempestad), freejazz trio Rolling Eye, and Balkan music band Nabuzenko. Misha also regularly sits in with Zapotecan brass bands from the Sierra de Oaxaca.
Arturo Báez Velázquez was born in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán. He began playing folkloric music of the region at the age of 14, and moved to Mexico City at 19 to pursue his musical studies. Arturo took courses and played with ensembles at the Higher School of Music and studied double bass at the National Music School, while also taking private lessons with Aarón Cruz and Agustín Bernal.
He has worked as electric bass and double-bass instructor at the DIM music school, and has played live and/or recorded with jazz figures such as Joe Morris, Sam Newsome, Elliott Levin, John Blum, Dennis Gonzalez, Blaise Siwula, Brian Allen, Leo Genovese, David Borgo, Linda Briceño, Justo Almario, Víctor Mendoza, Remi Álvarez, Cristóbal López, Héctor Infanzón, Gabriel Puentes, Alejandro Campos, among others.
A prolific artist, Arturo is a regular member of several projects including Big Band Jazz de México, the Remi Álvarez Trío, Chocolate Smoke Gang, Carlos Marx, the Jorge Fernández Project y The Celso Duarte Ensemble, with whom he has performed twice in Carnegie Hall playing sones veracruzanos. In 2011, he performed with the Marimba Nandayapa and Víctor Mendoza in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in the national homage to Zeferino Nandayapa in Mexico City.
He’s currently forming his own quintet with original compositions.
Julie Nathanielsz is a dance-maker based in Austin, Texas. Her choreographic work is chiefly concerned with connections between sensation and design, and explores narratives embedded in touch, movement, sight, and vibration. Recently, she has been artist in residence at Saaren Karteno (Finland) (2013), and choreographer for projects of Forklift Danceworks (2013, 2014). She has also taught improvisation and technique independently and in higher-education for many years. Julie’s work has been presented by Fusebox Festival, Musical Bridges Around the World, Church of the Friendly Ghost, and the Blanton Museum, among others. Julie also enjoys ongoing collaborations with dance artists Beverly Bajema, Elaine Dove, and Heloise Gold; she is currently developing new work with composer Maija Hynninen.
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, Birgit Ulher, Fred Frith, 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.
Christina Carter was born in the bayou city of Houston, Texas in November of 1968, and co-founded the group Charalambides there in December of 1991. Ever since then, she has deeply mined her own vein of sound-as-music with voice, guitar (both electric and acoustic), piano, and keys. For the past several years, Christina has utilized extended improvisational guitar passages within and without song-medley structures; re-contextualized certain Charalambides songs within the spare single guitar/voice form that birthed much of the group’s music; and recently, investigated ‘the song’ as a thing unto itself, specifically concentrating on ‘the word’ - both in her own lyric writing and her interpretations of the work of other lyricists.
In addition to performing extensively in the US, UK and Europe as a solo artist, Christina has played and recorded in various groups and duos with Black Forest/Black Sea, Maria Chavez (as Weird Cookie), Loren Connors, Chris Corsano, Dredd Foole, Sandy Ewen, Paul Flaherty, Gown (as The Bastard Wing), Shawn David McMillen, and Thurston Moore. She is also a permanent member of Scorces (with vocalist/pedal steel player Heather Leigh Murray).
Concurrent with her work as a musician, Christina has expanded her involvement in writing and visual art. Her poetry has been published by Digitalis Industries, The Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal, Glass Eye, and Slow Toe Press. In 2007, her art piece Forever 21 appeared at Salon Mijangos in San Antonio, Texas as part of a concert/exhibit featuring Tom Carter, Warmer Milks, and Tetuzi Akiyama.
Christina currently resides in Austin, Texas. Her latest albums are the Charalambides album Exile (Kranky), the double LP reissue Texas Blues Working (Blackest Rainbow), and two solo CDRs: Imaginee (Many Breaths) and Texas Modern Exorcism (Many Breaths). Shelter Press has also published Juvenile Record, a chapbook of Carter’s poems, in their Poetry Room series.
Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Steve Jansen is a Texas-based experimentalist whose musical pursuits focus on alto saxophone, tape-manipulation, extended guitar loops, and contact mic-aided soundscapes.
Jansen has played with improvisors from around the world, including: Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Tim Daisy, Parham Daghighi, James Fella, Chris Cogburn, Damon Smith, Sandy Ewen, and Whoopi Pupi. He has shared the stage with such musical luminaries as Frank Rosaly, Dave Rempis, Retox, Christina Carter, Richard Ramirez, and The Home of Easy Credit. He’s also toured throughout the American west and southwest, adding sounds to folk and punk acts ranging from Whitman and Stellaluna to JJCnV and Nicole Kidman.
Jansen has traveled extensively throughout Africa, Latin America, Europe and across the USA to unearth sound. These recordings and found sounds from around the world play a significant role in his unique sonic constructions. He is currently a member of various live and recorded projects that range from left-of-field free jazz and harsh noise to no-wave and funeral doom. Projects include: Green eater, Plumbing, Posture, Holy Ghost Trio, Randall Cunningham Dance Company, Wingnut, Probably, Mom Jeans, Kid Rock Paper Scissors and Friendship Cemetery.
Apart from performing, Jansen is an award-winning, long-form investigative journalist as well as a visual artist and radio DJ. He has published a feature story and recorded reviews in Signal To Noise and runs the label That’s Cool Records. His recorded output is comprised of releases on Gilgongo, Subjazz, and onewordlong, and his music has been featured on WFMU (NYC), KTRU (Houston), and the Tabs Out cassette podcast.
Media artist and musician Gudinni Cortina lives between Mexico City and Hacienda Santa Barbara, Tlaxcala. With his instruments (trumpet/no input mixer/contact mics) Gudinni moves from drone and long development to more risky sonic material including the resonance of different objects, including the performance space. Currently one of the most active musicians in the burgeoning improv scene of Mexico City, Gudinni is co-curator of the concert series UMBRAL. He has played with Andrea Neumann, Mario De Vega, muz-muz, Chris Cogburn, Dafne Vicente-Sandoval, Rolando Hernandez, Juan Garcia, among others. You can visit his sounds here.
Gudinni is also a photographer.
Houston born Parham Daghighi is an Iranian-American artist currently living in Austin, Texas. His artistic focus is on using electric guitar, alto saxophone, and voice in the context of improvised musical performance. Parham’s approach to the instruments employed in performance is based on deconstruction with the primary goal of providing essential sounds to the environment of each improvisation. The focus of Parham’s vocal/text work is on creating works based in the tradition of concrete poetry and sound-text, however, made personal by his use of Persian language as the foundation.
Justin Boyd received his BFA from The University of Texas at San Antonio and completed his MFA at The California Institute of the Arts. As a sound artist he has exhibited in several solo shows and has had the privilege of participating in numerous group exhibitions. In addition to being the Chair of the Sculpture and Integrated Media Department at the Southwest School of Art Justin also hosts a weekly radio show on KRTU 91.7 FM.
Sandy Ewen resides in Houston, TX where she pursues her musical and visual projects and her architecture license. Ewen has performed music throughout North America as a collaborative improviser and as a member of the Weird Weeds. Lately, Ewen has been focusing on her visual art, frequently presenting it alongside experimental music. In 2012, Ewen released a duo LP with guitarist Tom Carter, a trio CD with bassist Damon Smith & drummer Weasel Walter, and a rock LP with Austin’s Weird Weeds. She performed music throughout Texas as well as in New York City and Mexico City.
Steve Parker is a musician based in Austin, TX. He is interested in broadening the expressive palette of the slide trombone and in exploring the combination of electronics + didgeridoo / conch / trombone.
Steve is currently Artist-In-Residence at the Blanton Museum of Art, the Asian Arts Initiative, and is on faculty at UT-San Antonio. He previously worked as a Fulbright and Harrington Scholar.
Steve has performed in the US, Europe, Asia, and South America in solo, chamber, and electro-acoustic settings, appearing at the Spoleto Festival, Bowerbird (Philadelphia), the Stone, Miller Theatre, Roulette, BACKFABRIK (Berlin), and futureplaces (Portugal). He is an artist of Ensemble Signal, described as “a new music dream team,” (Time Out NY) with appearances at Tanglewood, the Guggenheim Museum, le Poisson Rouge and the Bang on a Can Marathon. Premiering over one hundred new works, he has worked with Pierre Boulez, Helmut Lachenmann, Peter Eötvös, David Lang, and Charles Wuorinen. His compositions have been featured at Fusebox Festival and on thirdbird.
Winner of the 2012 Austin Critics’ Table Award, Steve directs SoundSpace, a concert series that features simultaneous, hybrid performances at the Blanton Museum of Art. He studied Mathematics and Music at Oberlin, Rice, and UT.
Presenting: Variación de Voltaje: Conversaciones con artistas sonoros y músicos electrónicos mexicanos / Voltage Variations: Conversations with Mexican Sound Artists and Electronic Musicians
Born in Mexico City, Carlos Prieto Acevedo studied Philosophy at the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and specializes in Aesthetic Theory. He has worked in music and art criticism and journalism, writing for magazines, fanzines, and other publications since 1995.
Acevedo was artistic programmer and producer for festivals and events revolving around electronic music, most notably MUTEK Mexico, where he worked from 2003 to 2008. Since 2009, Carlos writes the programme notes and texts for experimental music festivals RADAR and AURAL in Mexico City. In 2008 he was artistic director of a public art project called Peatonal, Encounters with Art and Politics, under the auspices of the Mexico City government. Carlos also produces radio programs, mostly with RADIO UNAM, where his last programme was “1978: The year we lived in fear”.
In 2012, Acevedo was invited to produce a series of sound pieces for the 20th Century halls of the MUNAL (Museum of National Art) as part of a programme entitled “Contemporary Dialogues”. His series of sound art pieces were called “Sonoral Intermitencies of Modernity” and were installed alongside pieces by José Clemente Orozco, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera among other painters.
Over the last few years, Acevedo has been researching and writing the Voltage Variations book, which compiles dialogues with 25 Mexican electronic musicians, young and old. The three-volume book was released in May and October 2013, and will be accompanied by a series of concerts. Voltage Variations was developed with the support of the FONCA (National Fund for Culture and Arts).
Since 2009, Acevedo is a full-time professor at the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, where he teaches a seminar on the philosophy of communication.
This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.