I’m keenly looking forward to joining NY-based British vocalist and electronic sound artist Viv Corringham and the Bay Area’s maestra of neo-gaku percussion Suki O’Kane for an evening of Inverse Tribbles and so much more….
Our program will include a 6-verse mini-renga-kai, improv games, AI-driven reactive soundscapes, deviant sample-melting, and deepening confusion between words, utterance, sound, and music.
Viv Corringham has worked internationally since the early 80s, creating music performances, audio installations & soundwalks, using as her tools a gorgeous voice, a wide-open imagination, field recordings, and live electronics.
For a taste, click below to experience her multi-media collaboration with Elio Martusciello:
She’s interested in exploring people’s special relationship with familiar places and how that links to an interior landscape of personal history, memory and association.
Her ongoing project Shadow-Walks has been presented in gallery shows from New York to Istanbul to Hong Kong:
“In the Shadow-walks project I go to places and ask local people to take me on walks that are special for them in some way. I record our conversations as we walk together. Later I retrace the person’s walk on my own and attempt to “sing the walk” through vocal improvisations. These recordings are edited together to make the final sound piece. I also collect any objects I find on the person’s route.”
For an example of the multi-media convergence of walking, song and remembrance, see her evocative commemoration of collaboration with late British thaumaturge and percussionist Paul Burwell, Together Then Created A Journey That Both Forgot:
Viv’s wonderful new album of shadow-walks from 3 continents, Walking, will be available hot off the press at this show (we’ll be using some of its material from the unique sound environment of Hong Kong in piece #3).
Viv is a maestra of blending strongly place-evoking field recordings with cozy/haunting vocal lines of uncommon beauty and invention. This album of shadow-walks is the place to hear the amazing results.
Not limited to roaming physical space, Viv’s travels extend to virtual space, including the notable Avatar Orchestra Metaverse project, meeting regularly with Pauline Oliveros and other happy mutants to play audio-visual instruments in Second Life.
Viv’s training and awards include an MA in Sonic Art with Distinction from Middlesex University & a BA in Theatre Design from Nottingham Trent University. She’s a certified teacher of Deep Listening, having studied with Pauline Oliveros. Viv is a 2012 and 2006 McKnight Composer Fellow; other grants and awards have come from Jerome Meet the Composer, the English & Irish Arts Councils, Jazz Services, Millennium Funding, London Arts Board, Chisenhale Awards, and others.
Suki O’Kane is a classically trained mallet percussionist, a composer and an instigator working with artists from a wide array of of music, movement and public art genres. One of the founding members of the lo-fi sampling ensemble The Noodles (with Michael Zelner), Suki plays percussion with Moe! Staiano’s Moe!kestra!, Dan Plonsey’s Daniel Popsicle, Big City Orchestra and is an ensemble member of Thingamajigs, performing new works by Edward Schocker, Dylan Bolles and Zachary James Watkins.
Suki has performed live and recorded with She Mob and the side projects of its co-founder Sue Hutchinson: mad folk duo Junior Showmanship and it’s alter-ego, speed-metal Winner’s Bitch. She has performed in realizations of Jon Brumit’s Vendetta Retreat, and with Lucio Menegon in his Split Lip, Soundtrack Instumentals and Strangelet projects. Her long-running conversation about intermedia with Sarah Lockhart is occasionally expressed in drumkit duo and percussion trio performances of SL Morse.
Her work in theater includes three commissions for Theatre of Yugen with playwright Erik Ehn: Frankenstein (2003), The Cycle Plays (2007) and Cordelia (2011). She is a collaborator in Ehn’s Soulographie project.
She works in partnership with House of Zoka, a live recording project that has documented over 13 years of creative new music in the Bay Area, and since 2003 has been curating performances of live music and film, such as The Illuminated Corridor, a nomadic public art project that creates streetscapes of live experimental music and performative projection and Music by the Eyeful, the indoor performance series exploring the work of intermedia artists. She has collaborated with Neighborhood Public Radio to present NOVA, a culminating event of NPR’s exhibition American Life at the 2008 Whitney Biennial, and with the Overdub Club, an ensemble made of performative filmmakers Alfonso Alvarez, Thad Povey, and musician Lucio Menegon.
Rounding out the ensemble will be myself, using piano, laptop, and solkaṭṭu (சொல்கட்டு), assisted at times by my laptop-based AI colleague, Maxxareddu.
We’re planning to start off with Viv’s piece Service, a sophisticated game for 3 or more, unfolding from simple rules based on experimentation, self-limitations, listening, and integration.
Written as a set of sections and directions that put a prismatic twist on the types of procedural compositions pioneered by Pauline Oliveros, this piece has a wonderful origami/pinball feeling as the rules unfold and players bounce from state to state into a balanced(?) mesh.
We’ll also do a 6-verse mini-renga-kai, a form I’ve had the pleasure of exploring with a series of wonderful musical partners in recent months.
The piece will comprise 6 short duets which will pair each musician with every other twice and employ the game-like shifting-time rules of Cage’s Two², extended with a new renga-kai methodology to kaleidoscopically expand the palette of timbres, instruments, and events.
Renga-kai (連歌会) is a new form with extended rules based on some of the “renga pieces” of John Cage, and their unique transformations, not only of Japanese verse forms for alcohol-soaked group poetry improv based on structures of 5 + 7 + 5 + 7 + 7, but also of concepts like “duet”, “listening” and “time”.
It generates a game that, like go (碁), is rich in strategy despite relatively simple rules.
Having used this renga-kai methodology with a variety of wonderful musicians since premiering it recently with clarinetist Jacob Lindsay and guitarist Kristian Aspelin, I’m thrilled at the new improvisational vistas and completely different colors of time that it opens up, producing a uniquely beautiful sense of flow as the players move the game pieces of their musical gestures on an invisible board.
We’ll honor the renga tradition of alcohol-assisted creativity, by demarcating these sections with ceremonial libations (which may lead to some interesting musical results…).
For more details on renga (連歌) & Cage, see: this post.
Next is Island Line / Bao Shan (島綫／包山), a free improv in a reactive Hong Kong soundscape under the control of my AI improvising friend Maxxareddu.
Viv and I both have each collected field recordings from living and working in the unique and marvelous sound environment of Hong Kong.
Some of Viv’s materials from the piece Island Line, on her album Walking, and some of my field recordings from the Cheung Chau Island Bun Festival (長洲包山節), Tai Hang Fire Dragon (大坑火龍), etc., will be combined a dynamic soundscape under the control of my laptop-based associate Maxxareddu, who’ll launch place-based islands of sound to drive us forward along lines suggested by improvisational event-grammars and his analysis of our playing as he listens.
Maxxareddu may also sit in on our last piece, my Triple Inverse Tribble #1.
Using a triple-threaded event architecture of 128 events and strategies abstracted from Indian rhythmics, this piece intertwines pieces of the binary exponential series and Jacobsthal-Lucas numbers* into a moiré’d event tapestry with unexpected resolutions and resonances.
* For those who like maths, Jacobsthal-Lucas numbers, like Fibbonacci numbers, are a Lucas sequence. J-L numbers can be expressed by the relation:
L[n] = 2ⁿ + (-1)ⁿ
The rehearsals and design process for this music have been very great fun, and it’s going to be a remarkable set.
Following in Set 2 at 9pm will be IMA (今), the duo of Jeanie-Aprille Tang (鄧恬怡) & Nava Dunkelman (ナヴァ・ダンケルマン), who bring a fierce focus on the NOW MOMENT to their powerful deep-soundspace explorations.
I’m completely chuffed to share the bill with this wonderful percussion and electronics duo, who have played many barrier-shattering shows at The Lab, Berkeley Arts Festival, SIMM Series and elsewhere. Whether exploring trajectories of lyrical destruction or ethereal otherworldliness, their journey is always a brilliant thrill-ride full of sonic surprises.
IMA in their own words:
“I·MA [ii-ma] 今. 瞬間.
Hardware electronics and percussion.
Mirroring. Non-Retrograde. Reflection. Modulation. Paralleling. Echoes and Speech.
Omittance of identifiable objects for conversations between electronics and percussion counterparts.
overlap. repetition. disoriented messages. deconstruction. reconstruction. non-linear time. ”
Jeanie-Aprille Tang (鄧恬怡) is an electro-acoustic composer and improviser. Born in Hong Kong, she gravitates to rhythms of construction sites, roaming traffic, inaudible conversations, and airplanes. Natural and synthetic worlds are the polar opposites in her sonic practice. Her instrument is a collection of individual acoustic objects and electronic hardware. With an acoustic approach of mental and muscle memories in an electro-acoustic setting, coexistence and interference between natural and synthetic sounds are developed at the moment when acoustic sounds are modulated and overlapping itself in unstable manner and movement in time. She studied at Mills College with focus in electronic composition and hardware electronics. Her interests are slow wave, new colour, irregular heartbeats, and circuitry.
Nava Dunkelman (ナヴァ・ダンケルマン) is a Bay Area percussionist and improviser. Born in Tokyo, and raised in a multi-cultural environment by an American father and Indonesian mother, Nava’s musical interests span the globe from Japanes taiko (太鼓) to Indonesian gamelan to American marching band, and from classical to contemporary to the avant-garde. Nava studied percussion under Eugene Novotney at Humboldt State University before attending Mills College, where she studied with William Winant, as well as Fred Frith, Maggi Payne, Zeena Parkins, and David Bernstein, among others.
Since graduating with a degree in music performance in 2013, Nava has performed and collaborated with John Zorn, William Winant, Fred Frith, Chris Brown, Dominique Leone and many others, as well as formed the improvisational trio Dapplegray with Jeanie-Aprille Tang (鄧恬怡) and Tara Sreekrishnan, which debuted in 2012 at The Stone in New York City. She also is a member of two marvelous duos: DunkelpeK with Jacob Pek, and IMA (今) with Jeanie-Aprille Tang (鄧恬怡). Through improvisation, Nava enjoys discovering her own musical language by exploring experimental approaches to communication, progression, and space.
Join us for unforgettable sonic explorations in neo-gaku and beyond.