MSP/Piano: The Mirror of Non-Existence — Electro-acoustic Auto-duets (solo set, Sun 27 Jan, @ Berkeley Arts Festival, 8pm), + Gestaltish @ 9pm

Berkeley Arts Festival (2133 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA) at 8pm on Sun 27 Jan.

Onchi Kōshirō - Mirror (恩地孝四郎「鏡」)

To play 2 different instruments at the same time is to split one’s awareness into duplicated consciousnesses, each listening to each other through a membrane of silence, like self and its reflection in a mirror seen through a transparent film of glass.

Like the split muscle control of circular breathing, such mirrored-consciousness “solo duets” can induce unique psychotropic effects….

Kusama Yayoi - Infinity Mirror Room (草間彌生「無限鏡屋」)

… ones I enjoy as often as possible, by means of electro-acoustic auto-duets involving piano + laptop.

The sensation of oscillating between who is Self and who is Other in the duet (when you are both…) is a delicious moiré.

Andy Warhol & iPad-based friends

The computer is a unique mirror for such reflection because you can leave bits of yourself in it in an algorithmic AI nutrient bath, and then these bits grow and start to surprise you. Because you can teach it. Because it can teach you.

But once it starts teaching you, who is the distorted xerox? who is reflecting whom?

Kusama Yayoi - Fireflies on the Water (草間彌生「螢火蟲水燈」)

To learn from, to teach, and to duet with your “software-other”, is a hall of mirrors, within which any firm basis for existence dissolves.

Travel between worlds via mirror in Cocteau's « Le sang d'un poète » - Check-in

Let’s go, shall we…?

Travel between worlds via mirror in Cocteau's « Le sang d'un poète » - Boarding

The aim is to focus this self/other sonic moiré to induce multidimensional hysteresis loops and chaotic episodes in both performer and listeners.

The mirror consciousnesses of the laptop-piano auto-duet will be enhanced by certain high-reflectivity devices:

The symmetrical meta-rāga of Saturn, Śani-Haṭakaṅgi (शनि-हटकङी)

— Rāgas & meta-rāgas whose intervals reflect symmetrically from a central node point

Distributions of cortical data… Retrograde vs anterograde amnesia

— Retrograde and inverse transformations & erasures of structures, melodies, rhythms

Bent time reflecting in on itself

— Reflective waves of warped time sent through captured signals

Daoist Bāguà (八卦) mirror bounces back evil on demons

Like the Yì Jīng (易經) and Chinese Bāguà magic mirrors (八卦), we can use 8-fold-symmetric combinations of these 3 dualities to see through time, repel demons, and purify infinitely large spaces.

The invisible magic reflections of the Bāguà (八卦) Mirror

Kusama Yayoi - Fireflies on the Water (草間彌生「螢火蟲水燈」)

But if infinite space is purified reflection, then what is the mind?

Shén Xiù (神秀)

Shén Xiù (神秀) laid claim to the mantle of the 5th Ancestor of Zen, Hóng Rěn (弘忍) on the 5th Ancestor’s passing, with this answer:




The mind is a standing mirror bright.

Polish it diligently all the time.

Don’t let dust collect.

However, then there is the reply of Huì Néng (惠能), whose even better answer made him the 6th Ancestor instead…




What bright mirror?

Fundamentally there is not a single thing —

Where would the dust stick?

Huì Néng, 6th Zen Ancestor (惠能、禅の六祖)

Join me and the developing rudiments of my software-other, Maxxareddu, in the space….

Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo:,

Set 2 (9pm): Gestaltish

Gestaltish is a flexible quartet of improvisers that, when organized as a whole, may be perceived as more than the sum of its parts. This group traipses freely through diverse musical territories from wonky rhythms to timbral landscapes to melodies woven in counterpoint. They are fearless, fun, occasionally metaphysical and always unpredictable.

Those who have heard their recent Luggage Store show have experienced the unique sonic space this ensemble opens and will want to revisit it at the first opportunity.


Rachel Condry – clarinets

Gretchen Jude – electronics, voice

Jacob Pek – guitar

Jennifer Wilsey – piano, percussion

Rachel Condry

Rachel Condry is an Oakland based clarinetist, improviser, composer and educator.  Her musical interests span from pop to classical to free improvisation to acousmatic composition. She is often found collaborating with other disciplines such as art, poetry and dance.

In 2005, Rachel made her Carnegie Hall debut with The Matt Small Chamber Ensemble, a group that blends jazz and classical approaches with free improvisation.  She is also a founding member of the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra with whom she has frequently been featured as a soloist.  She is also the principal clarinetist of the Golden Gate Park Band, the oldest civic band in the nation. Rachel  has also been known to occasionally play “heavy chamber music” with the bass clarinet quartet, Edmund Welles. Rachel holds an MFA from Mills College and a BA and BM from Oberlin College and Conservatory.

Gretchen Jude

Gretchen Jude has studied with a variety of teachers in Japan, Idaho, and the Bay Area: vocal performance & technique with Molly Holm, Giselle Wyers & Bruce Browne; improvisation with Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell & Zeena Parkins; traditional Japanese music with Sawai koto master Curtis Patterson & shamisen expert Nishimura Makoto (西村真琴); Urasenke tea ceremony with Hagiwara Kimiko (萩原きみ子); electronic & computer music with Ted Apel, John Bischoff, James Fei & Chris Brown.

Gretchen has appeared with artists such as Kazue Sawai, William Winant, Keith Rowe & Lona Kozik, in new works by composers like Christian Wolff, Fred Frith, Amy X Neuburg, Ellen Fullman & Edward Schocker.  In addition, she has played/composed music for dance works by Anne Bluethenthal, Shinichi Iova-Koga (シンイチ・イオヴァ・コガ), Peiling Kao (高沛齡) & many others.

Gretchen has an MFA in Electronic Music & Recording Media (with the Donna Peterson Vocal Prize) from Mills College, as well as an intermediate koto certificate (with distinction) from the Sawai Koto Institute (沢井箏曲院) in Tokyo.  She teaches music technology at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

Jacob Pek (L) and Jennifer Wilsey (R) at The Luggage Store, 21 Jun 2012

Jacob Pek is a guitarist from Las Vegas, NV. He’s currently based in Oakland, CA where he studies with Fred Frith & William Winant at Mills College. His music follows in the lineage of Sun Raand Karlheinz Stockhausen — a “Cosmic Spirit Music” inspired and informed by jazz, jamming, bird song,Bach, Jimi Hendrix, and the reality of interwoven realms. He plays in the wonderful quartet Gestaltish with Rachel Condry, Gretchen Jude, and Jennifer Wilsey.

If you have heard him, then you know

If not, you will want to know, so come hear his unique an highly refined exploration of the sound generating possibilities of the guitar and a variety of other objets sonores.

In addition to Gestaltish, Jacob also plays in the trio Ell3, with Andrew Jamieson and Joshua Marshall.

Jennifer Wilsey

Jennifer Wilsey, improviser/composer/educator, currently performs with improvising ensembles The Bloom Trio (with W. Allaudin Mathieu and George Marsh), Timeless Pulse (with Pauline Oliveros, Thomas Buckner, George Marsh, and David Wessel), and Gestaltish (Gretchen Jude, Rachel Condry, Jacob Pek).  In addition to ongoing activities as a concert percussionist, Jennifer’s past projects included work with The Good Sound Band, Wrestling Worms, Petr Kotik and the S.E.M. Ensemble, Stuart Dempster, and Anna Halprin, among others.  Jennifer’s recordings can be heard on the Deep Listening, Mutable, Cold Mountain Music, and Pitch-A-Tent labels.  She received her BA in Music from UC Santa Cruz and MFA in Improvisation from Mills College, and is a Deep Listening Certificate holder.  As an educator, Jennifer teaches percussion, percussion pedagogy, and directs the Percussion and Improvisation Ensemble at Sonoma State University.  At Mills College she teaches Advanced Musicianship while serving as the Musicianship Program Coordinator.  She also maintains a private studio, offering creative music lessons in Santa Rosa and Oakland, California.

Join us (and Alice) through the looking glass….


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