High Zero is a vivid outgrowth of a real, unbounded subculture of people producing spontaneous genre-transcending music around the globe--so called "free improvisors." There is no clearly unified philosophy here, but instead an intensity of existential investigation and expressions of imminent freedom. The festival focuses attention on EXPERIMENTATION--a widening and exploration of possibilities, and on IMPROVISATION--real-time aesthetic risk-taking, flexibility, and sensitivity, and "raw mental processes" revealed without objectification or reductionism. To get a sense of what motivates and informs this activity, these interviews on the Red Room web site may be of interest.

To say the High Zero Festival is an unusual event is an understatement. Not only does the festival intend to provide the audience with extremely varied, inspired and igneous experiences, it is also a major challenge for the improvisors, who are put in contexts where their stock personal musical languages may not work, pushing them into terra incognita. Though not directly inspired by it, the festival has a "no groups--all new collaborations" structure which is most comparable to Derek Bailey's Company Week in London. We are interested to hear about any other events which have this sort of approach.

We have recently incorporated the High Zero Foundation as the official organizing body of the festival and are expecting nonprofit 501(c)3 status by the end of July. We are actively soliciting donations of support to fund the festival. We hope to make the festival a yearly event with an ever-growing visibility and documentation while maintaining the standard of non-pandering and undiluted approach of the previous years. High Zero is just one facet of this culture--and we strongly encourage organizers of experimental music to continue to develop their own venues and platforms, and audiences to pursue live music. The Red Room performance series also continues in Baltimore, presenting an average of 50 performances a year.

This years festival promises to be the best yet. We hope to see you at High Zero 2001, and hope that you will spread the word to anyone you think might be interested!