Seven2 is one of Cage’s late numbers’ pieces scored for bass flute, bass clarinet, bass trombone, unspecified percussion, cello and contrabass.
In the scores for the number pieces, Cage used time bracketed short fragments to create parts which emerge in and out of silence and the overall tapestry of the ensemble.
Variations III, another of John Cage’s brainchilds, was dedicated to the late Lou Cohen who arranged performances of Cage’s Variations pieces for a number of years.
The score consists 42 transparencies with a circle on each, dropped on a sheet of paper. The result derives the number of actions and the number of variables that characterize an action. While some factors should be planned in advance, the performers should leave room for unforeseen eventualities and that any other activities are going on at the same time as the work is performed.
Performers: Deirdre Viau, Tom Plsek, Val Thompson, Daniel Levin, Kevin Dacey, Steve Norton, Michael Rosenstein, Howard Marin, Morgan Evans-Weiler, Jesse Kenas-Collins, Chris Johnson, Walter Wright, Joe Burgio, Seamus Williams, Jane Wang, and Lou Bunk.
The second installment of the Spectrum Ensemble took place at the Whole Shebang in South Philadelphia.
In contrast to the Rotunda performance, smaller groups of musicians performed sets of improvised music, occasionally joining forces in bigger groups and making a bigger sound.
The Ensemble features musicians from the core Archer Spade(Dan Blacksberg, Nick Millevoi), Kud (Jesse Kudler), Van Sutra (Julius Masri and George Draguns), Sirius JuJu, Bender / Stein / Tini, and Press / Connor Przybyszewski / Gottlieb-Hollis , thee Eric Carbonara and many many more.
Featuring 24 of Philadelphia’s Outest Musicians, the brainchild of Dan Blacksberg and Nick Millevoi played a series of Sunday Matinee concerts in and around The City Of Brotherly Love.
The ensemble featured musicians from the core Archer Spade(Dan Blacksberg, Nick Millevoi), Kud (Jesse Kudler), Van Sutra (Julius Masri and George Draguns), Sirius JuJu, Bender / Stein / Tini, and Press / Connor Przybyszewski / Gottlieb-Hollis , thee Eric Carbonara and many many more.
Bill Nace is one of the premiere avant-garde guitarists active today. He has one of the most personal and unique pallets of sound ever to be culled from an electric guitar.
Nace creates a distinct, mind-bending cacophony and focuses his textures with intense precision and control. He works under various guises (Body/Head with Kim Gordon, x.0.4 with Jake Meginsksy and John Truscinski, a trio with celebrated percussionist Chris Corsano & Steve Baczkowski, a duo with Paul Flaherty, Northampton Wools with Thurston Moore, and Ceylon Mange with Dylan Nyoukis and Karen Constance) and his own name.
Multi-wind instrumentalist Steve Baczkowski lives in Buffalo, N.Y. where he works as a conduit for creative music of any & every sort. Baczkowski began playing alto saxophone at age eight, switched to baritone by the time he was twelve, and has since developed a wide array of woodwind styles & formidable breathing techniques.
In addition to organizing the Buffalo Improvisers Orchestra, and the Buffalo Suicide Prevention Unit, Baczkowski also performs solo, in duo with Ravi Padmanabha, Bill Sack, Nola Ranallo, Omar Tamez & Bill Nace and in ensembles such as Genkin Philharmonic, 12/8 Path Band, Necrophonia, the William Parker Trance Quartet, and frequent collaborations with like-souled folks from around the world.
aknkvn is a duo based in Tokyo and has been performing free improv and noise in tandem since 2009.
Akihiko Akkun Ando is an alto saxophonist born in Chiba, Japan in 1986. Since moving to Tokyo in 2001, he has been an active member of underground music scenes in both Tokyo and Kansai in western Japan, performing sax, effects and electronics.
From 2012, Akkun has been a regular collaborator with pianist Kevin McHugh who is a pianist, accordionist and improviser from Seattle, WA. After graduating from Oberlin Conservatory, McHugh won a yearlong Watson Fellowship to explore improvised music scenes in 5 megacities around the world: São Paulo, Cairo, Mumbai, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Since 2009 and after living in NYC and Oakland, Kevin has been based in Tokyo, performing and recording as an active member of Tokyo’s experimental music scene.
Lead Pipe is sound artists Stephanie Bonham & Paul Irvin Brinkley. Stephanie moved to Philadelphia from Austin in 2013. Her soundscapes incorporate field recordings, drones, infinite loops, synthesizers, effects pedals, drum machines and distorted vocals. She is joined by longtime collaborator Paul Irvin Brinkley , manipulating radio and records.
Brinkley played bass synth with Lead Pipe from 2012-2013 in Austin, moving to Philadelphia in 2014 when they resumed collaboration. Other projects he is involved in include Templo X, Mirror Travel & Mermaid Blonde.
Aaron Zarzutzki is an improviser of various sorts. He works primarily with misuse and perversion of objects and systems. Virtuosity, volatility, futility, and capability are thought of. Zarzutzki currently lives, works, and plays in Chicago.
Richard Kamerman (New York)
Richard Kamerman has been breaking electronics and crashing computers while trying to coax interesting and unpredictable sounds out of them for over a decade. Occasionally, he has also presented himself as a more serious composer of re-performable written music. Keywords: amplification, magnification, obfuscation, systems design, game theory, patterns, human error, accident, failure. Although a firm believer in the axiom that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” he ceased collecting his instruments from piles of junk left on the curb several years ago, fearing he might bring home bedbugs. He additionally runs the small-press music label Copy For Your Records.
Bhob Rainey (Philadelphia)
Bhob Rainey is an award-winning composer / performer, saxophonist, and sound designer. In 1998, with trumpeter Greg Kelley, he founded the duo Nmperign, which quickly became a model for a new phase of non-idiomatic improvisation often referred to as “lowercase” or “EAI” (Electroacoustic Improvisation). In 2000 he founded The BSC, an improvising large ensemble, in which he developed techniques for an improvisational discipline that were eventually outlined in his 2011 publication, Manual. Throughout the late 1990’s and early 2000’s he performed globally and collaborated with numerous improvisers of both the (then) current and previous generations, including Axel Dörner, Andrea Neumann, Günter Müller, Michel Doneda, Lê Quan Ninh, and many others.
By the mid-2000’s, while continuing to work in the realm of improvisation, Rainey began to produce electronic and algorithmic works. He spent five years collaborating with German composer Ralf Wehowsky (RLW) on the 2007 release, I don’t think I can see you tonight, which, along with Nmperign and Jason Lescalleet’s Love Me Two Times (2006), established him as a formidable electronic composer who synthesizes streams of Musique Concréte, computer music, and improvisation.
Throughout his career, Rainey has sought out cross-discipline collaborations, working with dancers, filmmakers, and theater companies. From 2012-2014 he worked with theater company New Paradise Labs to create The Adults, which premiered at the 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival to much acclaim. He created the soundtrack to Leah Ross’s 2013 film, Levitate, which premiered that year at the Rooftop Film Festival in New York City, and he performed live in Jungwoong Kim’s and Marion Ramirez’s site-specific dance work, Capsized, at the National Asian American Theater Festival in Philadelphia in 2014.