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.
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.
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
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!