High Zero 2017
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id m theft able
voice, electronics, objects
Portland, Maine

id m theft able performs within and without the realms of noise, avant-improvisation, sound poetry, performance, et c. et c. et c. using voice, found objects, electronics, and whatever else is available......

He has given hundreds of performances across 4 continents in settings ranging from the scummiest of squats to the fanciest of festivals.

OKOKOK, o c e a n @ FITS,,,busted lobster trap,,,
__longparent O C E A N onna fit SKYSCRAPER ) teen-apply
As buoy as, OK pin-to u n d u l a t i n g f a t s of
**ZAP** after/or as pop-sulk-seaweed ,,, teen-claw
Weak dock/a pissing rain/wet LedZeppelin T-shirt torso wrap
swimlegless/bikelegless yet dapper like Boo Berry

Andrew Bernstein

Andrew Bernstein is a composer, artist, and multi-instrumentalist based in Baltimore, MD. His work addresses themes of stasis, repetition, noise, and multiplicity and has taken form in solo and ensemble performances, generative audio/visual software, interactive multimedia and robotic installations, and works for theatre, film and dance. He has toured extensively and performed at venues such as Issue Project Room, Cafe Oto, The Stone, Unsound Festival, Fort Worth Museum of Contemporary Art, Pioneer Works, and Big Ears Festival, in addition to countless bars, homes, and makeshift performance spaces. He recently composed the score for Mary Helena Clark's film Delphi Falls, which premiered at the 2017 Whitney Biennial. His work has been featured in the New York Times, The Wire Magazine, the Washington Post, Bandcamp Daily, Spin Magazine, NPR, and the Baltimore Sun, among other publications. Bernstein has collaborated with countless other artists, including Matmos, Dan Deacon, Greg Fox, Mary Helena Clark, Katt Hernandez, Thomas Lehn, Michael Zerang, Alan Resnick, Karen Yasinksy, Justin Frye, and Lola Pearson. He has released music on Hausu Mountain, Northern Spy, NNA Tapes, and Ehse Records. Bernstein is 1/4 of the experimental rock band Horse Lords, is a member of the High Zero Collective, and is on the faculty of Goucher College's Digital Arts program.

Tania Chen
London, UK & San Francisco, CA

Tania Chen is a performance, sound artist, and free improviser. She performs internationally on piano, keyboards, digital, vintage electronics, found objects and video. She creates multidimensional sound pieces for video and live performance, her latest work is "Strands" for video and quintet.

Tania has recorded with Stewart Lee, Steve Beresford, Henry Kaiser, William Winant, Wadada Leo Smith, Thurston Moore, David Toop, Jon Raskin and with the bands Bad Jazz and Tender Buttons. Forthcoming recordings are John Cage's "Electronic Music for Piano." Her solo recordings include Michael Parsons & Cornelius Cardew's Piano music, John Cage's "Music of Changes" and a forthcoming recording of Andrew Poppy's piano music. Tania is Sound Artist in Residence at Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco.

Recordings and performances:

Dan Deacon
electronics, mechanical instruments

Dan Deacon (b. 1981) is an American composer and performer whose work focuses on a maximalist approach to density with a fixation on sample manipulation, synthesis, mechanical instruments and audience collaboration. The bulk of Deacon’s recorded work are his 8 solo electronic LPs, most recently Gliss Riffer (2015) and America (2012). Collaborations and commissions included work for Kronos Quartet, Bang On A Can All-Stars, Sō Percussion, Calder Quartet, and the LA Philharmonic. His music served as the score for Justin Peck’s New York City Ballet's piece 'The Times Are Racing’ (2017) and he has scored several feature films including ‘Twixt’ (Francis Ford Coppola, 2011), ‘Rat Film’ (Theo Anthony, 2016), and ‘Time Trial’ (Finlay Pretsell, 2017). Over the past decade he has relentlessly toured internationally with a wide range of artists including Lightning Bolt, Miley Cyrus, Arcade Fire, Doug Aitken and The Flaming Lips. His compositions and arrangements have premiered at Carnegie Hall, the Barbican Centre, Lincoln Center and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Deacon’s music is released via Domino Records. He lives in Baltimore, MD.

Michael Gayle
Philadelphia, PA

Originally from Buffalo, NY and currently based in Philadelphia, Michael Gayle is a pianist and composer from a generation of musicians that emerged from the influence of avant-garde and post-bop jazz. Gayle's music is a glorious mix of artful fire and intelligent craft. His piano playing is deeply spiritual and sonorous. Gayle's musical collaborations have included Hamiet Bluiett of New York City and Baltimore natives, John Berndt and Jackie Blake. After performing and traveling across North America, Europe, and Asia for over 20 years, Gayle took a 12 year hiatus to focus on teaching. Along with a series of minimalist recordings that explore the nature of contemporary human communication, this High Zero performance is his return to the public space.

Kazuhisa Uchihashi
daxophone, guitar
Tokyo, Japan and Berlin, Germany

Eli Keszler
New York City, NY

Eli Keszler is a New York based artist, composer and percussionist. Keszler’s installations, music and visual work have appeared at Lincoln Center, MIT List Center, Victoria & Albert Museum, Sculpture Center, The Kitchen, South London Gallery, Hessel Museum, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Luma-Foundation, Tectonics Festival (Harpa Hall) Reykjavik, Centraal Museum in Utrecht, Barbican-St. Lukes, LAX Art, 3s Arts and Greater New York at MoMa PS1. His work has been featured in Frieze, Bomb Magazine, The New York Times, Wire Magazine, The Washington Post, Gramophone and Modern Painters among others. He has released solo records for Empty Editions, Esp-Disk', Pan and REL records. He has lectured as a visiting artist at Brooklyn College, Columbia University, New England Conservatory, Dartmouth University, Washington University, Mass Art and UMass Boston. As a composer Keszler has received commissions from the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, ICE Ensemble, Brooklyn String Orchestra and Sō Percussion. Keszler is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and was a 2016 New York Foundations for the Arts fellow.

Baba L'Salaam
abujaphone, voice, found objects

Baba L Salaam is a native of Baltimore Maryland who is a multi-disciplinary artist (writer, visual art, poet, vocalist, woodwind and percussionist) and social activist. He has worked and collaborated with Dr. Bill Cole (Untempered Ensemble) whom he studied with in undergrad, along with Baltimore native artist Chris Taylor, Ancestral Duo (Luke Stewart, Jamal Moore), Jeron White’s Polarity, Organix Trio (Jamal Moore, Warren Cruddup, Jeron White) and Wendell Patrick.

Baba L Salaam currently leads his own groups: That’s Us and Twisted Circles. He formerly co-led “Soul Shake Us” creative music ensemble.

Joe McPhee
sax, pocket trumpet, reeds
Poughkeepsie, NY

Since his emergence on the creative jazz and new music scene in the late ’60s and early ‘70s, Joe McPhee has been a deeply emotional composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist, as well as a thoughtful conceptualist and theoretician. He began playing trumpet at age eight and in 1964 and 1965 he was a member of the 3rd Infantry Division Band, stationed in Wurzburg, Germany.

In 1969, his first recordings as leader appeared on the CJR label, co-founded with painter Craig Johnson. These include the now legendary underground free jazz classic NATION TIME, a tribute to poet/author Amiri Baraka and recorded right here at Vassar College, in concert at Chicago Hall. From 1969 to 1971 he was a member of the Vassar faculty in the Black Studies program, presenting a course titled REVOLUTION IN SOUND.

Joe McPhee holds the distinction of having two record labels created specifically to document his music. Hat Hut Records of Switzerland, which began in 1975 with the release of BLACK MAGICMAN, a follow up/continuation of the Chicago Hall concert. Today, Joe continues to follow his muse in concerts and recording internationally as well as here in the US.

Photo by Frank Rubilino

Jamal Moore
woodwinds, electronics, percussion

Jamal R. Moore is a native of Baltimore Maryland whom is a multi-instrumentalist, composer/performer and educator.

His background includes the California Institute of The Arts (M.F.A. 2012), Berklee College of Music (B.M 2005), Eubie Blake Jazz Orchestra (2000) under the direction of Christopher Calloway Brooks and historically acclaimed Frederick Douglass Sr. High from which graduated notable alumni Thurgood Marshall, Cab Calloway, and Ethel Ennis.

Some notable luminaries Jamal has worked with are Wadada Leo Smith (2013 Pulitzer finalist) whom he studied with at California Institute of The Arts, Nicole Mitchell, Sabir Mateen, Roscoe Mitchell, David Ornette Cherry (Organic Roots Nation), Tomeka Reid, Dr. Bill Cole, DJ Lou Gorbea, George Duke, Sheila E, David Murray, JD Parran, Ras Moshe, Tatsua Nakatani, Hamid Drake and Yahyah Abdul Majid (Sun Ra Arkestra).

Jamal currently leads his own groups, Akebulan Arkestra, Napata Strings, Black Elements Quartet, Organix Trio, and Interstellar Duo and co-leads Ancestral Duo.

Lexie Mountain
voice, electronics

Lexie Mountain is an artist, writer, and comedian. From programming public events, art shows, pop-up galleries, comedy nights, and free festivals to creating work that investigates women in art history through the lens of digital media and performance, Mountain’s expansive practice has been a part of Baltimore’s cultural landscape for thirteen years. Currently she works in watercolor, field recording, group performance, and poetry. Her writing appears in Art in America, Baltimore City Paper, The Toast, and Ladyparts Magazine. She loves lobsters, dance parties, and feminist science fiction.


Paul Neidhardt

Baltimore resident Paul Neidhardt plays drums and percussion. He’s played in numerous rock, jazz, and experimental groups as well as provided music for dance, plays, and theatre productions. Paul studied percussion at UMBC. He has been a member of the High Zero Foundation since 2004.

Kate Porter
voice, cello

I am a cellist of 32 years. I went to Baltimore School for the Arts, University of MI, Ann Arbor, San Francisco State University and spent a year abroad in Germany 2001-2002. (That’s when the Euro came.) I have worked extensively in food and service, but have been teaching music (and now art!!!) to young ones in Baltimore City Public Schools for 10 years. I also teach cello privately. (And I plan on making a brood of cellists at my school this year!) I am deeply involved in spiritual and energetic pursuits. Time to wake up. I’ve been singing forever. Just coming back to it now. That’s my cat Bear in the picture. He doesn’t like pictures. Neither do I. But I love my cat.

Lynne Price

Lynne Price is an improviser/choreographer/educator and holds an MFA in Dance from University of Maryland. In 2017, they choreographed/produced Dream State at the Creative Alliance; were a DanceOMI International Collaborative Dance Residency Fellow; were the recipient of The 2017 Clarice Alumni Commissioning Project in Dance in collaboration with Kristen Yeung; were a member of the inaugural Move Move Collaborative; were a Visiting Instructor in Movement and Modern Dance at St Mary's College of Maryland, Spring 2017; and will be the Artist-in-Residence in dance at UMBC, Fall 2017. Lynne is a founding member of Baltimore Independent Dance Artists (BIDA). Lynne has been dancing, improvising, teaching and making work in the Baltimore/DC area since 2009. During this time, they have danced with and for Sharon Mansur, Adriane Fang, The Collective, Robin Neveu Brown, PearsonWidrig Dance Theater, Lauren Withhart, Peter Redgrave, The Baltimore Composer's Forum, Tatsuya Nakatani, Kristen Yeung, Sarah Beth Oppenheim, Erica Rebollar, Nicole McClam, Angie Hauser and Chris Aiken, and many more.

Shelly Purdy

Shelly Purdy is a contemporary percussionist and educator committed to new and experimental music. She performs with various ensembles including the percussion quartet Umbilicus, the science/music ensemble The Inverse Square Trio, Sonic Meditations Baltimore, arts-in-education ensemble Envirodrum Maryland, and The Columbia Orchestra. In addition to ensemble pursuits, Ms. Purdy regularly partners with local composers, dancers, sculptors, and visual artists within the Baltimore community. Ms. Purdy’s passion for contemporary works has led to a vast array of opportunities including performances at Baltimore’s Artscape Festival, Sō Percussion’s Summer Institute, IFCP at Mannes, June in Buffalo, Make Music New York, The Livewire Festival, The High Zero Festival, The Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale, and has performed with ensembles such as the Talujon Percussion Quartet, the Wooden Cities Contemporary Ensemble, and the Baltimore trio Microkingdom.

Purdy received her B.A. in Percussion Performance at UMBC where she studied with Tom Goldstein and was a recipient of the Linehan Artist Scholar Award. For her Masters she attended the State University of New York at Buffalo where she studied with Tom Kolor of the Talujon percussion quartet. Ms. Purdy currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland where she teaches at Carroll Community College, the BSO’s inner city outreach program Orchkids, and is a member of the experimental improvisation organization The Red Room Collective.

Tomeka Reid
Chicago, IL

Chicago based cellist, composer, and educator, Tomeka Reid is equally adept in classical, jazz experimental, and improvised music. She composes for a wide range of instrumentation, combining her love for groove along with freer concepts.

Ms. Reid is a part of many performing groups including Evolution Ensemble, Black Earth Ensemble/Strings, Loose Assembly, AACM, and Hear in Now, playing all over the world. A shortlist of collaborators includes Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, and Mary Halvorson.

As an educator, she has led improvisation workshops in Italy and the US. She co-directed the 2012 Vancouver Jazz Festival's High School Jazz Intensive and the string program at the University of Chicago's Laboratory School for young people. She is an ABD doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign.

As a composer, she's been commissioned by AACM, Chicago Jazz Festival, and Chicago Jazz Ensemble. She's showcased her work abroad at many festivals. She was a participant in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute 2012 at UCLA.

Carlos Santistevan
bass, electronics
Santa Fe, NM

Carlos Santistevan is a musician, sounds engineer, and organizer. Since 2001 he has helped establish an oasis of creative music in the high desert southwest as the director of the High Mayhem Emerging Arts collective based out of Santa Fe, NM. Using an upright bass and electronics he creates soundscapes and spontaneous compositions from the extremes of acoustic and electric music. Early influences of punk rock and free jazz have led him to develop a unique approach to music and improvisation. He has performed at venues such as The Outpost Performance Space, Hemlock Tavern, Outsound Creative Music Festival, The Olympia Experimental Music Festival, High Mayhem Festival and more performing with such artists as: Roscoe Mitchell, Chris Jonas, J.A. Dino Deane, Henry Grimes, Nicole Mitchell and more. Carlos is a seasoned improviser and a member of diverse ensembles such as iNK oN pAPER, The Late Severa Wires, Out of Context, Black Iron Trio, Taiji Pole and more.


M.C. Schmidt
electronics, percussion

M.C. Schmidt is a solo sound artist and member of the band Matmos (with tenuously legal husband Dr. Drew Daniel). He has performed experimental music in every country in the European Union except Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Cyprus, Malta, Lithuania, Finland, and Romania. He has also not played in many other political entities. He enjoys synthesis, digital and analogue, and playing percussion on unusual objects. At home in Baltimore he is a supporter of The True Vine Record Shop, Normal's Books and Records and believes that physical media, while taking up space, is likely to bring illumination for a longer time and in a more committed way than files on a hard drive.

Sharif Sehnaoui
Beirut, Lebanon

Sharif Sehnaoui is a free improvising guitarist. He plays both electric and acoustic guitars, focusing on expanding the intrinsic possibilities of these instruments without the use of effects or electronics. He now resides in Beirut, his hometown, after more than a decade in Paris, where he started his career as an improviser in 1998, playing at Instants Chavirés as a member of several orchestras. He has played in many clubs and festivals worldwide such as Soundfield (Chicago), Moers, Konfrontationen (Nickelsdorf), Météo Music Festival (Mulhouse), CTM and Maerzmusik (Berlin), and FEST (Tunis).

In Lebanon, he actively contributed to the emergence of an unprecedented experimental music scene. Along with Mazen Kerbaj he created “Irtijal” (www.irtijal.org) in 2000, a yearly international festival that is the oldest improvised and new music festival in the Arab world. “Irtijal” celebrated its XVth anniversary in 2015.

He runs two record labels: “Al Maslakh” (www.almaslakh.org) devoted to "publish the un-publishable" on the Lebanese musical scene. And “Annihaya” (www.annihaya.com), focusing on sampling, recycling and the displacement of various aspects of popular culture.

His groups and projects include the “A” Trio (with Kerbaj and Raed Yassin), “Wormholes” an audio-visual performance with Kerbaj drawing live on a glass table, and Karkhana (www.karkhana-music.com), a Middle-Eastern based super-group combining musicians from Beirut, Cairo and Istanbul.
Over the years he has collaborated with musicians including Michael Zerang, Paed Conca, Thierry Madiot, and Fabrizio Sperato name but a few.

Maria Shesiuk
keyboards, synthesizer

Maria Shesiuk is an experimental improviser from Baltimore. She uses vintage Casio keyboards manipulated through various effects for live experimental music improvisations. Recently she also started composing electronic music using Moog synthesizers, manipulated vocals, and field recordings. In addition, her musical journey included playing guitar, bass guitar, and jazz piano lessons. In the last two years her devotion to experimental music exploration has taken on a more central role.

Maria comes from a family of classically trained musicians. She started out on the same path by playing classical piano as a child in Ukraine in a musical school for the gifted. She also spent many evenings along side her father during rehearsals when he was the chief conductor of Kyrgyz National Opera, and Ballet theatre. At age 11 Maria moved to the U.S. with her family and circumstances shifted her focus to athletics, but music remained her biggest passion. In 2010 Maria moved to Baltimore from Detroit to complete graduate school in Physician Assistant studies. After graduating she jumped back into music. She discovered Baltimore’s Volunteers’ Collective and became a regular there. She always wanted to compose, but it took her many years to find her voice. The Volunteers’ Collective has helped her do just that.

Julian Valdivieso
synthesizer, electronics
Bogota, Colombia

Julian Valdivieso is a composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist currently based in Bogotá Colombia. He works with the relationship between music and image. He often uses graphical and animation scores to trigger different kinds of improvised music. Furthermore, Julian has a passion for creating and turning almost any object into a music controller, by using them in a new and unexpected way, he can effectively re-contextualize them in new and distinctive musical terms.