High Zero 2012
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Lea Bertucci
bass clarinet
New York

Lea Bertucci is an interdisciplinary artist who works with Photography, Sound, Video and Installation. She received her BA in Photography from Bard College in 2007. The emphasis of her work lies in exciting the liminal areas of perception. She uses tactics such as slide projection, stop motion video and lo-fi filtering of sound to engage with these ideas. As an instrumentalist, she works primarily with Bass Clarinet, electronics and tape collage. In 2009 she was awarded a residency from Smack Mellon and a Young Composer’s Commission from Roulette. She has performed solo and collaborative works at venues such as Issue Project Room, The Kitchen, Anthology Film Archives, St. Marks Ontological-Hysteric Theater, free103point9, Galapagos Artspace and The Queens Museum of Art. She has been named a 2012 composer in residence at Roulette.

Shelly Blake-Plock

Shelly Blake-Plock has been incorrectly credited with the invention of the electric washer. The US Patent Office shows at least one patent issued before Mr. Blake-Plock's US patent number 966677 (e.g. Woodrow's US patent number 921195). The "inventor" of the electric washing machine remains unknown.

John Blum
New York

John Blum was born in New York City and has been performing internationally for over 20 years. He has an MFA in Music from Bennington College and has studied with Cecil Taylor, Bill Dixon, Milford Graves, and Borah Bergman. Blum is an underground legend of the downtown music scene in NYC , known as a musician who aims for the very personal, conveying the concepts of honesty and integrity in his playing. His antecedents are apparent: late romanticism, the second Viennese School, Stride, Boogie-Woogie, Be-Bop and Free Jazz, but John has absorbed all of these styles to find a unique voice that defies classification. Currently he is focusing on his work as a soloist, performing throughout the U.S. Europe, and Canada.

Jeff Carey

Jeff Carey performs noisy computer music using a joystick and a gamer keypad and is dedicated to programming his own software instrument with hardware controllers for live performance: no safety net, no overdubs and no backing vocals. He was a founding member of the Amsterdam based N-Collective performing in electro-acoustic improv outfits Office-R(6), SKIF++, N-Ensemble, and USA/USB. He studied Audio Technology at American University in Washington DC and computer music at the Institute for Sonology in the Netherlands. As part of his role in the High Zero Foundation he organizes a computer music geek meetup called the Baltimore Technology Overdrive and encourages experimentation with the in house octophonic speaker system.

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John Dierker
saxophone, clarinet

Multi-reedman John Dierker has become a major improvisational stylist…interweaving concepts augmented by howling lines, injections of blues-drenched choruses and Albert Ayler-like display of energy." (All About Jazz) A Baltimore, Maryland native Dierker has worked in a wide variety of musical settings collaborating with Peter Zummo, Jason Willett, Jad Fair, and The Basement Boys. John is a longtime member of Lafayette Gilchrist and The New Volcanoes. Currently he is working with Quartet Offensive, Microkingdom, and 3081, a group that includes Michael Formanek, Dave Ballou and Will Redman.

Thomas Dimuzio
San Francisco

San Francisco-based Thomas Dimuzio is one of those unsung artistic figures whose influence and abilities have substantially outstripped his visibility. Composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound designer, experimental electronic musician, collaborator, and mastering engineer - Dimuzio has been busy doing his thing(s) since the late 1980's, but is still only known to a small circle of electronic music enthusiasts. A true sonic alchemist who can seemingly create music events out of almost anything, Dimuzio's listed sound sources on his various CDs include everything from "modified 10 speed bicycle" and "resonating water pipe" to short-wave radios, loops, feedback, and even normal instruments such as clarinet and trumpet. And while his wide range of musical interests make it impossible to pin a label on him, Dimuzio clearly has an insider's knowledge of older experimental musical forms such as musique concrete and electroacoustic, as well as dark ambient, noise and post-techno styles.
photo credit: R.H. Yau (2004) at Activating the Medium VII Festival, CA

Flandrew Fleisenberg

Flandrew Fleisenberg plays percussion on an assortment of everyday ephemera and modified drum parts that he has reduced and eroded through a process of playing and breaking them. A graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston with a focus in conceptual art, he is musically self-taught and has developed a cadre of idiosyncratic techniques that are all his own. Flandrew has been involved in the improvised and creative music community since 2001 performing solo, in ad-hoc improv groupings and in set projects. Additionally, he organizes an ongoing series of performances at the flopera house in Boston.

Owen Gardner
violoncello, guitar

Owen Gardner's work in composition and improvisation is informed in equal measure by his involvement in Baltimore's musical underground and by his study of Medieval European and certain non-Western musics, aiding in the development of an ever-widening sonic and emotional language. Toward this end, he has worked almost exclusively in Just Intonation, applied primarily to 'cello and modified electric guitar, since 2006. He has been a member of the Red Room Collective since 2009. Owen has worked in a wide variety of collaborative contexts, being or having been a founding member of Black Vatican, Horse Lords and Teeth Mountain and a performing member of Matmos and Second Nature, among other projects.

Darius Jones
New York

I am instrument
I am an instrument
the timbre of my voice flies with the
winds of heaven
I belong to one who is more than a
he is an artist
I live to be his pleasure,
I do not flee from him when he
comes to me
for instruments are not sufficient in
they are cold and lifeless without the
tortured hands and mind
the artist holds myself tenderly in
his hands
first he touches the strings of my heart
too fine to be in tune with the universe
then suddenly vibrant thoughts
strikes there
and music from the world of time
and space is born
-Sun Ra

Ayako Kataoka
dance, electronics

Ayako Kataoka is an artist originally from Tokyo. Her practice and research interests include; Experimental Movement, Immersive Arts, Japanese Mythologies, and Perceptual Transformation in Sounding Space. Kataoka holds an MFA from Mills College, Oakland, CA. She has been a resident of Baltimore, since 2009.

Mazen Kerbaj

Mazen Kerbaj, born in 1975, lives and works in Beirut, creating comics, paintings and music. He has published 11 books and many short stories and drawings in anthologies, newspapers and magazines in Lebanon, Europe, and the USA, and exhibited his work both in solo and in collective exhibitions around the world. Mazen is also one of the founders of the Lebanese free improvisation scene, both as a trumpet player and as an active member in the MILL association that organizes the annual Irtijal festival (www.irtijal.org) in Beirut since 2001. In 2005 he launches Al Maslakh, the first label for this music in the region (www.almaslakh.org). In 2009, after fructuous collaborations with Lebanese cult punk rock band Scrambled Eggs he launches a new sub-label, Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu (www.johnnykafta.com) to produce alternative and experimental rock music from Lebanon. Between 2000 and 2011, Mazen Kerbaj played in solo and with various groups in the Middle East, all around Europe, and in the USA.

Walter Kitundu
invented instruments
San Francisco

Walter Kitundu is an artist and designer, instrument builder and photographer. He is the inventor of a family of Phonoharps, multi-stringed instruments made from record players and rely on the turntable’s sensitivity to vibration. As an artist he has created hand built record players powered by the wind and rain, fire and earthquakes, birds, light, and the force of ocean waves. Walter has performed and been in residence at art centers and science museums internationally. He has performed with the renowned Kronos Quartet, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, the electronic music duo Matmos, and the legendary Marshall Allen - in venues from Carnegie Hall to a high school library in Egilstaadir, Iceland. In 2008 Walter received a MacArthur Fellowship.

Duncan Moore
drums, miscellany

Performance artist, percussionist, professional bagpiper, member of tribal haus group home in waverly, and a recent upstart in the christian noise scene.

Stewart Mostofsky

Stewart Mostofsky does many things, often simultaneously. One of them is that he plays electronic instruments. He is also a member of the Red Room collective and the High Zero Foundation.

Paul Neidhardt

Baltimore's Paul Neidhardt is one of the countries most astonishing new music percussionists. A trained, highly disciplined player with a flair for complex textural sound produced by friction, Neidhardt's approach to improvising covers the majority of the terrain explored by the explosive side of European free music and subtle textural players like Sean Meehan and Jason Kahn, while retaining a freshness and flexibility of purpose all his own. His background playing rock and African music adds a potential for propulsive intesnivty to his playing not usually found in players so skilled in the arts of minimalist reductionism. Despite recovering from injuries that limited his time playing in recent years, he is a highly in-demand player, working with groups like Trokeneis, Death in the Maze, and Multiphonic Choir, as well as frequent collaborations with Jack Wright. He is currently a member of the Red Room collective and High Zero Foundation.

Tom Nunn
invented instruments
San Francisco

Tom Nunn has designed, built and performed with original musical instruments since 1976, having received a B.Mus. and M.A. in music composition from the University of Texas at Austin and S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, and post-graduate work at U.C. San Diego. His instruments typically utilize commonly available materials, are sculptural in appearance, utilize contact microphones for amplification, and are designed specifically for improvisation with elements of ambiguity, unpredictability and nonlinearity.

N. Podgurski

N. Podgurski has been actively composing/performing for the past 13 years and has released over 20 recordings. Currently based in northeastern Maryland, he records as Feast of the Epiphany, is a member of brooklyn-based band Extra Life, and is sole owner of the New Firmament record label.

Jimmy Joe Roche
analog synth, video

Jimmy Joe Roche is an American Visual Artist residing in Baltimore, MD. Roche is a member of the arts collective Wham City. His videos have screened internationally in venues including the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Incubate Arts festival in Holland and Rojo@Nova 2010 in Brazil. In 2008 Roche had his first solo exhibition at Rare Gallery in New York, 2010 marked his second solo exhibition in Colorado at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and in January 2011, he opened his third solo exhibition, Under Pressure, at Rare Gallery. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Beautiful Decay, The New Museum's "Younger Than Jesus" Artist Directory, "100" a new book by Francesca Gavin published in 2011, and a feature article in the November 2011 issue of the Spanish Art Magazine BELIO. Roche is a recipient of the 2012 new work residency at \\ Harvestworks // in NYC and is preparing for a two man show with fellow artist Nathaniel Mellor at the Baltimore Museum of Art in the Summer of 2013.

Margaret Rorison

Margaret Rorison is a Baltimore filmmaker who works with 16mm film, writing, video and sound. Her work develops from extensive walks through rural and urban landscapes, combining memories, field recordings and text. She often projects her films accompanying experimental sound artists and is interested in the live dialogue between music and film.

Rorison just completed her MFA in Photographic and Electronic Media from The Maryland Institute College of Art. She is the co-curator and founder of a new experimental film series in Baltimore, Sight Unseen and is a member of The Red Room Collective. Her recent films have been screened at The Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and in various venues and galleries throughout Brooklyn, D.C. and Baltimore.

Angela Sawyer
voice, toys, electronics

Angela Sawyer a.k.a. Preggy Peggy & the Lazy Babymakers (Cambridge, MA)
After finishing a philosophy degree specializing in Husserlian phenomenology in the mid-1990s, Angela felt fully prepared to start astonishing audiences around the Boston area using her mouth, some broken electronics, toys & noisemakers. Impromptu squealing & gargling has become her specialty, and she's released a steady trickle of small-run lps, cds, cdrs & cassettes over the years. Changing the names of her projects to suit her every whim, the current active roster includes Preggy Peggy & the Lazy Babymakers, Duck That, Exusamwa, & Victor Coker & the Yacht Club. Angela has also been selling vinyl locally for more than 20 years, & runs the one & only Weirdo Records in Cambridge (www.weirdorecords.com).

M.C. Schmidt

M.C. Schmidt is a solo sound artist and member of the band Matmos (with gay lover Dr. Drew Daniel). Matmos has shared the stage with Terry Riley, the Kronos Quartet, Bjork, Leprechaun Catering, Marshall Allen, Sam Haberman, Antony Hegarty, a lemon, and probably hundreds of other people and things. Since 1993 they have released at least 11 "albums" actually selling tens of thousands of actual, physical copies! Speaking of which, there's another one in January, The Marriage of True Minds™. He is very pleased that it's all going so unbelievably well and tries to appreciate it.

Davindar Singh
baritone saxophone

Davindar Singh is a young baritone saxophone improvisor who’s been called “a talent to watch” by allaboutjazz.com contributors, praised for “a new level of technical achievement on the baritone saxophone” by Jason Moran, and compared to “Godzilla” and “A Blast from the mouth of Hell” by Gunther Schuller. He studied jazz performance at Berklee with Greg Osby, and composition and improvisation at New England Conservatory with Jason Moran, Anthony Coleman, and John Mallia. He has performed internationally in contexts ranging from quiet improvisation with Japanese electronic musicians to salsa in Paraguay. Events and venues performed at include Monterey, Kutchan, Tomisato, and Montreal Jazz Festivals, Ryle’s, Sculler’s, The Stone, Blues Alley, multiple embassies, and the Kennedy Center.

Lily Susskind

Lily Kind is the founder of Effervescent Collective, an award-winning Baltimore based dance organization that explores and promotes the power of movement, creating dance based wonders in collaboration with the many beautiful artists of Baltimore. With Effervescent, Lily hosts donation-based Effervescent Open Class every Sunday, for dancers and 'non-dancers' alike. Mentored as a teenager by post-modern dance icons Richard Colton and Amy Spencer, Lily now travels to NYC and Tel Aviv to train in Gaga, the movement language of Ohad Naharin. She is also a devout Lindy Hopper and advocate of jazz history. She swings and shouts at the Mobtown Ballroom in Pigtown and humbly attempts to lock, break, and club with Guardian, a vernacular dance preservation group based in Sandtown. Lily can also be found in full body spandex lighting things on fire with the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS).

Wilfrido Terrazas
Mexico City

WILFRIDO TERRAZAS (Camargo, 1974) is a Mexican flutist, composer and musicologist. He collaborates with composers frequently and has premiered over 180 works to the date. He is a member of the Mexican improvisation project Generación Espontánea and teaches flute at the Conservatorio de las Rosas in Morelia. He has recorded three solo albums: Open Cages (Umor, 2007), Bóreas (Shival, 2010) and Bug/ ge/d (Mandorla, 2010). He lives in Mexico City, where he is active in both the written and improvised experimental music scenes.

Suzanne Thorpe
flute, electronics
New York

Suzanne Thorpe is an electro-acoustic flutist and composer. Her fixed compositions tend to be site-specific multichannel works that employ psycho-acoustic phenomena and tuned filtering techniques, while in performance she extends her instrument with an ever-evolving set-up of analogue and real-time software components.From 1989 to 2001, she was a founding member of Mercury Rev, an internationally acclaimed band with which she composed, performed, recorded, produced, and toured, earning critical praise and a gold record for 1998's Deserters' Songs. As an improvisor she has performed with Chris Brown, Annette Krebs, Maggie Nicols, Pauline Oliveros, Gino Robair, Phillip Greenlief, Miya Masaoka, Fred Frith, Ulrich Krieger, Zbigniew Karkowski, Anti-Matter, Miguel Frasconi, and Zeena Parkins and many more. Her composed works have appeared in major venues internationally and she has released over 20 recordings on labels such as Sony, V2, Beggars Banquet, Geffen, Specific Recordings, and Tape Drift. Currently she can also be heard as 1/4 of the quartet Volume, featuring Shelley Burgon (electroacoustic harp), Maria Chavez (turntables) and Stephan Moore (laptop).

Mario de Vega

Mario de Vega explores the potential of instability and contextual relations between objects, spaces and users through semi-controlled accidents and its outcomes. He works with a multiplicity of mediums that include: site-specific interventions, performance, photography, sculpture, and sound installation. In the context of music, his work is the result of the intensification of acoustic space through the manipulation electronic devices, exposing unpredictable situations produced by fragile systems and the potential of its failure. His work has been exhibited around Europe, Mexico, United States, Canada, Africa, Russia, Korea and Japan. He works and lives in Berlin and Mexico City.

Jennifer Walshe
voice, ideas

“The most original compositional voice to emerge from Ireland in the past 20 years” (The Irish Times) and “Wild girl of Darmstadt” (Frankfurter Rundschau), composer and performer Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her music has been commissioned, broadcast and performed all over the world. She has been the recipient of fellowships and prizes from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York; the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm, the Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt and Akademie Schloss Solitude among others. Walshe has written a large number of operas and theatrical works, including “XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!!” an opera for Barbie dolls, available on DVD from Mere Records. Her visual work has been exhibited most recently in the Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Project Arts Centre, Dublin and the ICA, London.

Khristian Weeks

I am an artist and improviser working in the fields of sound, kinetics, assemblage, and optics. My primary interest is in the process of discovery experienced through observation and experimentation. Playing a fundamental role in my creative processes as well as in their realization is the use of chance, non-intention, and natural phenomena to produce spontaneous and self-sustaining systems of movement, sound, and light. My sound work includes musique concrete, field recording, installation, and electronic, electro-acoustic, and electro-mechanical improvisation. In addition to sound, my work also exhibits various types of movement, and reveals optical phenomena such as shadow, caustics, reflection, refraction, and projection. Pieces are presented as performance installations and as autonomous, kinetic assemblage-environments. In addition to solo activities I have created sound and light design in collaboration with dance, film/video and theatre artists.

Musicians from Afar »

Lea Bertucci (bass clarinet) New York

John Blum (piano) New York

Thomas Dimuzio (electronics) San Francisco

Flandrew Fleisenberg (percussion) Boston

Darius Jones (saxophone) New York

Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet) Beirut

Walter Kitundu (invented instruments) San Francisco

Tom Nunn (invented instruments) San Francisco

Angela Sawyer (voice, toys, electronics) Boston

Davindar Singh (baritone saxophone) Boston

Wilfrido Terrazas (flute) Mexico City

Suzanne Thorpe (flute, electronics) New York

Mario de Vega (electronics) Berlin

Jennifer Walshe (voice, ideas) Ireland

Musicians from Baltimore »

Shelly Blake-Plock (recordings)

Jeff Carey (computer)

John Dierker (saxophone, clarinet)

Owen Gardner (violoncello, guitar)

Ayako Kataoka (dance, electronics)

Duncan Moore (drums, miscellany)

Stewart Mostofsky (electronics)

Paul Neidhardt (percussion)

Nick Podgurski (drums)

Jimmy Joe Roche (analog synth, video)

Margaret Rorison (projections)

M.C. Schmidt (electronics)

Lily Susskind (dance)

Khristian Weeks (preparations)