Here's a list of some of the experimental show and CD projects I've done.
If you'd like to know about shows like this before they happen, sign up for my "exciting mailing list full of action" at:
If you're interested in participating in shows and projects I organize, sign up for my Experimental Music Invite list:
Unusual music shows:
Bay Inventors - A series featuring local designers of unusual musical instruments
Series occurring irregularly throughout 2005/2006. Visit here for full details.
Guided Improvisation Orchestra Show:
August 7, 2005: An orchestra of approximately 30 musicians was guided by Matt Davignon, Moe! Staiano, Aurora Rising and Eric Glick Rieman.
Click here for details, photos, observations and a list of cues used.
San Francisco Found Objects Festival
-Started fall 2002
-Continued as a 2-night fall event and 1-night spring event until fall 2004.
-Continues as a 2-night event yearly in September or October.
In this yearly festival, each night features 4 or musicians/bands playing 20 minute sets each. The artists are allowed to bring tools for modifying and organizing sounds, but not for creating sounds. (They can bring bows, mallets, samplers, fx devices and laptop computers.) All the sounds must be created from objects audience members bring from home. All the objects are placed onstage as soon as they arrive at the venue. The artists are allowed to choose which items they wish to use, and all the items are available for all the artists. Here <link to separate page coming soon> are some pictures and sound samples from the past Found Objects Festivals.
-Started/invented by John Berndt in Baltimore, in July 2002.
-My Sound/Shifts were in January 2003 in Oakland, then May 2003 and May 2004 as the Big Sur Experimental Music Festival.
Sound/Shift is a large scale performance piece where as many musicians as possible are brought together to collaborate in 7-8 hour nonstop improvisations over the course of a weekend. Each musician plays for a fraction of that time, usually 40 minutes to an hour. The musicians' shifts overlap in such a way that there are 3 to 6 musicians performing at any given time. In many cases, musicians were improvising with people they'd never met or worked with before. The last Sound/Shift in Big Sur involved just over 100 musicians from various aspects of experimental and improvised music. These shows would not have been possible without the co-organization and volunteer help of Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Lance Grabmiller, Rent Romus, Scott Looney, LX Rudis and David Leikam. Here <link to seperate page coming soon> are some pictures from the various west coast Sound/Shifts, and an example of the schedule.
-Started on a small scale in September 2004.
-First full-scale one held in March 2005.
-Likely to continue on a yearly basis.
Very similar to the Sound/Shift, except that it focuses only on drone music. Also, there are fewer musicians, and it's a shorter, single-evening event. (The last one had about 40 musicians and lasted 4 hours.) Here <link to separate page coming soon> are some pictures and sound samples from the March 2005 one.
Himp-Hoxp (improvised experimental hip-hop)
-Happened in July 2003.
This is definitely the project I sweated the most bullets organizing - a collaboration between experimental/improvising/noise/electronic musicians and freestyling alternative hip-hop mc's. (Hip Hop has been an amazingly innovative form of music over the last 10 years or so, both lyrically and musically.) Ultimately this event was tilted too far in the "experimental" direction, with half the MC's coming from experimental music backgrounds, and only 2 of the instrumental musicians having any real hip-hop experience. Audience members who were "Out" music fans mostly enjoyed the show, but most of the legitimate hip-hop fans left feeling insulted. I'd be interested in trying this event again if I could co-organize with someone with more experience in the hip-hop world who could bring in a larger number of talented and open minded mc's and hip-hop instrumentalists.
The San Francisco/Oakland Voice & Electronics 2 Night Thingy
-Happened in November 2003
An event that refused to be called a festival - 2 nights (thursday and following tuesday) of singers being paired up with electronic musicians to process their vocalizations as musical accompaniment. The vocalists ranged from 20th century vocal performers to spoken word artists to death metal singers. The electronic folks used everything from guitar pedals to laptop computers.
CD Compilation Projects
See the "Music" page.
Suitcase Ensemble For approximately 8 to 10 musicians. Requires a director (who is not performing), a highly visible clock, and a highly visible place to post numbers.
-The musicians are only allowed to bring what they can carry in a medium-sized suitcase, including amplification if needed.
-The musicians are not allowed to reveal the contents of their suitcases until the moment they are playing. The score itself borrows some ideas from Joe Zitt and Hanuman Zhang.
The written score is simply a number indicated for each period of 8 or 10 minutes. The number represents the number of musicians playing simultaneously.
Musicians position themselves in a half-circle, facing the audience.
Each musician should be able to make eye contact with the director and any other musician. At the beginning of the piece, the director displays the first number, and chooses that number of musicians to begin. The musicians begin
improvising together. Each individual will play for a period of time between one note and 90 seconds, stopping when he feels he is "done". At this point, he will "tag in" the musician he feels would make the most appropriate contribution to the current music. (Tagging in is done by making eye contact with another musician and either pointing or nodding to him.) Musicians continue playing briefly and tagging-in others in such a way that the music
does not stop, and the number of musicians is the same as the number displayed.
After 8 or 10 minutes passes, the director changes the number that's displayed, and tags-in or tags-out musicians as necessary to meet that number. Tagging out is (done by making eye contact with a performing musician and making a horizontal sweeping gesture with the hand. The director is the only person who can tag out.)
The piece ends if either 1) the director changes the visible number to "zero" after the last period of 10 minutes or 2) during the last period of 10 minutes, the current musicians all find it appropriate to stop.
All suitcases should be carry-on size or smaller. (Carry-on size is 22" x 14" x 9".) Duffel bags, backpacks, shopping
bags, etc. should not be substituted for suitcases, but containers that closely resemble suitcases (rectangular, similar dimensions, including hinges and a handle) are allowed. Items should not extend beyond the dimensions of the suitcase when it is closed - if it's slightly larger than your suitcase, it's too large. These rules are intended to both provide a visual element to the show, and to encourage many musicians to work outside what they would consider their "standard" instrumentation.