Performers of the High Zero Festival

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CK Barlow
electronics, sampling

A 2015 transplant to Baltimore from New Mexico’s rich experimental music scene, CK Barlow turns real-time and field recordings into performable solo pieces using a variety of hardware instruments, laptops and mobile devices. As an ensemble player, CK spent 14 years with the acclaimed avant-orchestral conduction-improv group Out of Context using a custom live-sampling setup. Other NM bands included Useless Eaters (w/JA Deane and DJ Ultraviolet), and mJane with Molly Sturges — along with a variety of rock, metal and salsa bands. She has scored two feature-length films and dozens of short films, theater productions and choreographic works; and has had music used in more than 170 different television series.


John Berndt
reeds, computer, invented instruments

John Berndt started as a lone-wolf conceptual sound artist and electro-acoustic composer in 1980 as a teenager, while also vigorously engaging in a vanguard (or regressive, if you like) cultural conspiracy with the so-called "Neoist" movement internationally. Permanently broadening his activities in the early 90s to include free improvisation through his early collaborations with Jack Wright and John Dierker, and instrument invention through collaboration with mentor Neil Feather, Berndt's activities have always been broad, existentially partisan, phenomenological, and experimental in a disorienting sense of the word. He is the primary student of the philosopher Henry FLynt and was the first person to publish Flynt's music on CD, on his label, In 1993 he founded the Red Room and in 1999 he proposed the idea of the High Zero Festival to the Red Room collective, two streams of activity that have been crucial in his life and experimental musical practice.

His current musical projects include endless work on the long-unfinished Baltimore Relabi Style record, a document of mirage-like "always-slipping-the-pulse" structures, and novel studio compositions with Baltimore artist M.C. Schmidt (Matmos). His young sons, Drew and Aden, keep him in a permanent state of cognitive dissonance for which the avant-garde has only very partially prepared him.

Photo credit: Joseph Jean Rollande Dubé


Andrew Bernstein

Andrew Bernstein is a composer and intermedia artist based in Balitmore, MD. His work for solo alto saxophone draws on the traditions of minimalism, free improvisation, and electroacoustic music, expanding the sound palette of the instrument through extended techniques and electronic manipulations. His work has taken form in compositions for acoustic and electronic instruments, generative audio/visual software, interactive multimedia installations, solo and ensemble performances, and works for theatre, film and dance. Bernstein is 1/4 of the experimental quartet Horse Lords and is a member of the High Zero Collective. He has presented his work internationally and has released music on the labels Hausu Mountain, Northern Spy, NNA Tapes, and Ehse Records. He received his MFA from Goucher College, where he now directs the MA in Digital Arts and MFA in Art & Technology.


Tom Boram
synthesizer, computer, harpsichord

Tom Boram, aka Tom Borax, is a Baltimore-based musician and multi-media artist. He has been active in underground experimental music for 25 years and has performed all over the world. He is a member of improvised electronic noise duo Leprechaun Catering and has collaborated live with folks like Tatsuya Nakatani, Matmos, Microkingdom, Tetsuya Yoshida, Kaffe Matthews, Anne F Jacques, Juanjose Rivas, Peter Blasser, etc, has appeared on morning television variety shows, teaches art and music at several universities, has acted in art films etc. He has been an instrumental musician since early childhood, leaning most heavily on the modular synthesizer in the last 15 years, and the harpsichord in the last 1 year.


Rose Hammer Burt

Transplanted to Baltimore through her studies at the Peabody Conservatory, Rose quickly found the local experimental music and creative scene and took root. Primarily a reeds player, Rose will play most anything she can get her hands on, including small objects, water bottles, the floor, balloons, pistachio shells, etc. She is an active organizer and performer, these days playing Bari Sax with The Compositions, Bedlam Brass, and the Bellevederes; she’s been an organizer with the High Zero Foundation since the mid aughts and is currently serving as Co-President.


Samuel Burt
daxophone, bass clarinet

Samuel Burt is a composer in Baltimore, Maryland. He teaches at Towson and Johns Hopkins, is a board member of the High Zero Foundation, received his M.M. degrees in composition and computer music from Peabody and B.Mus from UGA. This academic foundation combines with the same number of years of exposure to experimental music and the avant-garde.

Since 2005, he has helped curate the High Zero Festival, Red Room series, and Worlds in Collusion. In 2007, he helped found After Now, a series of performances of Baltimore-based compositions. He's been involved in many new music performances and performed in improvisation groups like Coy Fish, Geodesic Gnome, Second Nature, and Death in the Maze. He facilitates the monthly musical improvisation workshop called Volunteers' Collective at the Red Room.

His electronic music focuses on interactivity, guided indeterminacy, and non-linear control systems. Software like Pure Data and Bitwig allow him to explore modular sound design, spectral manipulation, granulation, and more.

His sound pallet ranges from clarinets, to electronic manipulation and synthesis. To expand his pallet, he has been building, playing, and selling daxophones.

To hear recordings, see scores, or purchase a daxophone, see


Jeff Carey
computer, lights

Jeff Carey is a radical computer musician who has developed his own hardware controlled software based instrument which is used to synthesize sound and control strobe lighting and, occasionally, lasers.


Owen Gardner
guitar, cello

Owen Gardner's work in composition and improvisation is informed by his involvement in Baltimore's musical underground and by his studies in early music and ethnomusicology, 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, having been a founding member of Horse Lords, Black Vatican and Teeth Mountain and performing and/or recording with Matmos, Dan Deacon, DJ Dog Dick and Future Islands, among others.


Bonnie Jones

Bonnie Jones is a Korean-American improvising musician, poet, and performer working with electronic sound and text. She performs solo and in numerous collaborative music, film, and visual art projects. Bonnie was a founding member of the Transmodern Festival and CHELA Gallery and is currently a member of the High Zero Festival collective. In 2010, she co-founded TECHNE, an organization that introduces young female-identified women to technology-focused art making, improvisation, and community collaboration. TECHNE’s programs are delivered through partnerships with grassroots organizations that share an aligned commitment to racial and gender equity. She has received commissions from the London ICA and Walters Art Museum and has presented her work extensively at institutions in the US, Mexico, Europe and Asia. Bonnie was a 2018 recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. Born in 1977 in South Korea she was raised on a dairy farm in New Jersey, and currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.


Jamal Moore

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

His background include 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 historical acclaimed Frederick Douglass Sr. High whom notable alumni Thurgood Marshall, Cab Calloway, and Ethel Ennis graduated from. 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).

He is a long-term member of KREation and Conference of The Birds ensembles directed by Kevin Robinson. A affiliate of The Pan African Peoples Arkestra of the late Horace Tapscott, Calvin Gant ensemble directed by Calvin Gant and Nicole Mitchell; Joyful Noise Band, and co- creator of Ancestral Duo with Luke Stewart.

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

“As musicians we are healers of humanity and have a responsibility to cleanse dis-ease through positive tones, frequencies and vibrations. Music is the nucleus and universal language of the oversoul, mind, body and spirit.”
Jamal R. Moore


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 resident Paul Neidhardt plays drums and percussion. He has been a member of the High Zero Foundation and Red Room Collective since 2004.


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.


Jimmy Joe Roche

Jimmy Joe Roche is an interdisciplinary artist whose work encompasses video, sculpture, and performance. Video screenings include the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, and Museum of the Moving Image. Roche has had five solo exhibitions in New York, Texas, and Colorado. His artwork is in the permanent collection at the the Baltimore Museum of Art. Roche has created commissioned work for Dazed and Confused Magazine, Incubate Arts Festival and Harvestworks. He runs the cassette tape label Ultraviolet Light and is a member of the High Zero Collective. Roche exhibits video with the internet-based collective Undervolt & Co. and is a professor of Film and Media at Johns Hopkins University.


M.C. Schmidt
electronics, balloon

M.C. Schmidt is a solo sound artist, video artist and member of the band Matmos (with tenuously legal husband Dr. Drew Daniel) which has enjoyed making albums and/or sharing the stage with Robert Wilson, Ahnone, Bjork, Zeena Parkins, Dan Deacon, So Percussion, Marshall Allen, the Kronos Quartet, Francois Bayle, snails, oatmeal and so many other people and things. He enjoys synthesis, digital and analogue, playing percussion on unusual objects and playing the piano. 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 richer way than files on a hard drive.


9/14-15, Elastic Arts
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Jim Baker
synthesizer, piano

Jim Baker has been playing for a number of years, in & around Chicago and elsewhere; he usually plays piano, analogue synthesizer, and sometimes viola or other instruments, depending upon the context.

Photo credit: Jim Newberry


Ben Baker Billington
drums, electronics

Ben Baker Billington is a percussionist and electronic music producer residing in Chicago, IL. Through years of playing in innumerable free-improv, industrial, noise, and folk projects --- Billington has created a unique palate of techniques that are employed within each of his projects. He can most frequently be heard with his groups Tiger Hatchery, ONO, ADT, and with his solo electronics project Quicksails.


Angel Bat Dawid
clarinet, piano

Angel Bat Dawid is a Black Earth Traditional Music Composer, Improviser, Clarinetist, Pianist and Vinyl Addict...Sonic archaeologist gathering and excavating soundz//music from space, the heavens, the ether and beyond. Restoring peace, love and healing to the world using the most powerful tool imaginable --- OMINI-VERSAL SOUND.

Music is a language, you see, a universal language.-Sun Ra


Carol Genetti

Carol Genetti is a Chicago-based vocalist whose work extends to sound and visual art media. Her palette is primordial, existing in a hypothetical space where “language” and “music” have yet to be formed and formulated into familiar cultural patterns. Genetti’s aesthetic is one of raw power, yet also delicate, subtle, and precise. An exquisite soloist, she is often also heard in the company of other improvising musicians. She has been performing in North America and Europe, mostly as a vocal improviser, mostly in collaborations with other musicians, including Jack Wright, Eric Leonardson, Peter Maunu, Olivia Block, Andrew Clinkman, Albert Wildeman, Aaron Zarzutzki, Asimina Chremos, James Falzone, Jeff Kimmel, Steven Dorocke, Jim Dorling and Jim Baker. You can listen to some of her recent work at Soundcloud.


Jen Hill

jen hill is a composer and sound artist working with various media including sound, music, video, image, idea, the internet, code, jokes, etc. their ongoing projects, although diverse in discipline, are all rooted in a triangulation between the impossible, the imaginary, and the useless. in many of their recent works, they apply a deconstructive approach based on this trinity of absurdity to elements of both sonic and digital culture, focusing on social relations and user interfaces while usually exploiting and/or erasing their significant traits and characters. they have a bachelors of music in music composition from the university of north texas and a masters of fine arts in sound art from the school of the art institute of chicago.


Eric Leonardson

Eric Leonardson, a Chicago-based audio artist, serves as the Executive Director of the World Listening Project, founder and co-chair of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, and President of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. He is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). As a performer, composer, and sound designer, Leonardson created sound with the Chicago based physical theater company Plasticene (1995-2012). Leonardson performs internationally with the Springboard, a self-built instrument made in 1994 and often presents on acoustic ecology to new audiences beyond art world contexts; engaging and connecting communities in the interrelated aspects of sound, listening, and environment.

image credit: Dave Zuchowski, 2016


Julie Pomerleau
violin, viola

I’m pleased to be a part of the High Zero Festival again after 19-years. I am still making music, and I am still a “personality player,” which is how I described myself in the festival program notes back in 2000. Every year brings something new—I was surprised and delighted to find myself playing in the Chicago line-up of Faust for their US tour this summer. I have set the poetry of Charles Baudelaire to music for Theatre Oobleck; played on recordings by Cheer Accident, Jim O’Rourke, U.S. Maple, and on the soundtrack to Asia Argento’s film Misunderstood; written arrangements and performed in tribute concerts to Michel Colombier and Harry Nilsson; been a member of a girl group cover band, a klezmer band, and an art combo called Snail Band that mostly plays in city parks; improvised with some of my favorite musicians such as Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang, and Taralie Peterson of Spires that in the Sunset Rise. My main squeeze of a project continues to be composing, recording and performing as the musical (and life) partner of Bobby Conn. We live in Chicago with our two kids and two cats.


Tomeka Reid

Recently described as a “New Jazz Power Source” by the New York Times, cellist and composer TOMEKA REID has emerged as one of the most original, versatile, and curious musicians in the Chicago’s bustling jazz and improvised music community over the last decade. Her distinctive melodic sensibility, usually braided to a strong sense of groove, has been featured in many distinguished ensembles over the years. Reid has been a key member of ensembles led by legendary reedists like Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell, as well as a younger generation of visionaries including flutist Nicole Mitchell, singer Dee Alexander, and drummer Mike Reed. She is also a co- leader of the adventurous string trio called Hear in Now, with violinist Mazz Swift and bassist Silvia Bolognesi. Reid released her debut recording as a bandleader in 2015, with the eponymous recording by the Tomeka Reid Quartet, a lively yet charged debut album that is a vibrant showcase not only for the cellist’s improvisational acumen, but also her knack for dynamic arrangements and her compositional ability. Reid, grew up outside of Washington D.C., and her musical career kicked into gear after moving to Chicago in 2000 to attend DePaul University for graduate school. Her work with Nicole Mitchell and various Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians-related groups have proved influential to the young musician. By focusing on developing her craft primarily as a side person and working in countless improvisational contexts, Reid has achieved a stunning musical maturity. Reid is a 2016 recipient of a 3Arts award in music and received her doctorate in music from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign in 2017.


Cristal Sabbagh

Cristal Sabbagh is an art educator at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, a fine artist, and an interdisciplinary movement artist. She received her B.F.A. in Art Education from the University of Illinois, at Urbana/Champaign, and her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College, Chicago. Her work is motivated by a multitude of areas, such as: film, culture, history, death/rebirth, hip-hop, butoh and improvised sound. In Cristal’s performances her goal is to organically transform her body, awaken the senses, and cultivate deeper connections. Butoh has allowed her to receive her ancestors, distant memories, and her spirit. Cristal is part of Marie Casimir’s Djasporas dance collective, which collaborates with other dancers and musicians from Chicago and New Orleans in the bi-annual Instigation Festival. She formed Body Strata, a dance collective that developed works alongside Renee Baker’s Chicago Modern Orchestra Project. She has performed throughout Chicago, New Orleans and Baltimore.

Photo credit: Nadia Oussenko


Jason Soliday

J. Soliday is an electronic musician. A member of Cleav’d Cleaver, Ratatosk, Magic Missile, I <3 Presets, xTAL fSCK, LORD MUTE, and various ad-hoc ensembles to numerous to mention. He can usually be found traversing the boundaries between free improvisation, concrete composition, and aleatoric noise.


Katherine Young
bassoon, electronics

Katherine Young makes electroacoustic music using expressive noises, curious timbres, and kinetic structures to explore the dramatic physicality of sound, shifting interpersonal dynamics, and tensions between the familiar and the strange. As an improviser, Katherine amplifies her bassoon and employs a flexible electronics set up for solo and collaborative performances. The LAPhil, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Ensemble Dal Niente, Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Weston Olencki, Nico Couck / Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Fonema Consort, and others have commissioned her music. She’s excited about coming-soon projects with Lucy Dehgrae for Resonant Bodies Festival, WasteLAnd and RAGE, Distractfold Ensemble’s Linda Jankowska, Callithumpian Ensemble, and Yarn/Wire. She’s releasing new music this year with Michael Foster & Michael Zerang, Wet Ink, and Amy Cimini (as Architeuthis Walks on Land).


Michael Zerang

Michael Zerang was born in Chicago, Illinois and is a first generation American of Assyrian decent. He has been a active musician, composer, and producer since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms. He has been a long-standing member of The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Friction Brothers, Brötzmann/McPhee/Kessler/Zerang Quartet, and Survival Unit III with Joe McPhee and Fred Lonberg-Holm.

He has collaborated extensively with contemporary theater, dance, and other multidisciplinary forms and has received three Joseph Jefferson Awards for Original Music Composition in Theater, in 1996, 1998, and 2000. He has over one-hundred titles in his discography and has toured nationally and internationally to 34 countries since 1981 with and ever-widening pool of collaborators.

He was the artistic director of the Link's Hall Performance Series from 1985-1989 where he produced over 300 concerts of jazz, traditional ethnic folk music, electronic music, and other forms of forward thinking music. He continued to produce concerts at Cafe Urbus Orbis from 1994-1996, and at his own space, The Candlestick Maker in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood, from 2001 - 2005.


9/19-20, Roulette
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Lea Bertucci
bass clarinet, alto sax, electronics

Lea Bertucci is an American composer and performer whose work describes relationships between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. In addition to her instrumental practice, (alto saxophone and bass clarinet), her work often incorporates multi-channel speaker arrays, electroacoustic feedback, extended instrumental technique and tape collage. Deeply experimental, her work is unafraid to subvert musical expectation. Her discography includes a number of solo and collaborative releases on independent labels and in 2018, the critically acclaimed Metal Aether was released on NNA tapes. She has performed extensively across the US and Europe with presenters such as The Kitchen, PS1 MoMA, Blank Forms, Pioneer Works, The Walker Museum, Roulette, ESS Chicago, Sound of Stockholm Festival among many others. She is a 2016 MacDowell Fellow in composition and a 2015 ISSUE Project Room Artist-in-Residence.


Chuck Bettis
electronics, throat

CHUCK BETTIS was raised in the fertile harDCore soil, nourished within Baltimore's enigmatic avant garde gatherings, and currently blossoming in New York's downtown musical tribe. His unique blend of electronics and throat has led him into various collaborations with great musicians from around the globe.

He has performed live collaborations with John Zorn, Fred Frith, Matmos,Yoshimio, Mephista and Afrirampo to name a few, recorded & played live with; Ikue Mori, Nautical Almanac, Berangere Maximin, Yellow Swans, Toshio Kajiwara, Jad Atoui, etc, plus a long history of punk bands he was in (most notably the experimental punk band Meta-matics as well as the enigmatic All Scars). Bettis has also created soundtracks for short films by Motoko Fukuyama & provided live music for the Move Move Collective dance performances.

Current working groups are; Snake Union with Dave Grant, Die Trommel Fatale with Brandon Seabrook/Marika Hughes/Eivind Opsvik/Henry Fraser/Dave Treut/Sam Ospovat, Overishins with Mick Barr, Johnny DeBlase, Mike Pride and Mossenek with Mick Barr & Colin Marston, as well as improvising, recording, or composing with an array of musicians from around the world.


Jaimie Branch

Jaimie Branch is a Brooklyn-based trumpeter working in the areas of improvisation and composition. In her practice, Branch is particularly interested in extending and expanding the technical limitations of the trumpet and the musical language of free jazz and improvised music. Before moving to Red Hook, Brooklyn in 2015, Branch was an active member in the Chicago and Baltimore creative music scenes as a performer, presenter, and recording engineer.

In May 2017, Branch made her debut recording as a leader entitled "Fly or Die” (IARC 011), which has been met with critical acclaim by The New York Times, The Wire, NPR, Jazz Times, The Observer and more. According to the Times, "Ms. Branch uses extended technique and blustery abstraction to a dizzying effect....Sometimes charging forth, sometimes rerouting, the debut album from Ms. Branch is always on the move."


Michael Evans
percussion, theremin

Michael Evans is an improvising drummer/percussionist/thereminist/composer whose work investigates and embraces the collision of sound and theatrics combining ordered systems with intuitive choices of sound making. He often performs with an amplified snare drum, various percussion, hand drums, found objects, homemade instruments, the theremin and various digital and homemade analog electronics. He has had a whole lot of fun performing in over 25 countries throughout the world. He has worked with a large variety of artists from many different disciplines.


Sandy Ewen

Sandy Ewen is an experimental guitarist, artist and architect who has recently relocated to NYC from Houston, TX. So far in 2018, she has released a duo album with Weasel Walter and played numerous gigs in Texas, New York, Toronto and elsewhere. Sandy spent much of 2017 touring, performing solo sets and in collaboration with Steve Jansen (tapes and electronics) and Maria Chavez (turntables) around Europe. Her other current projects include the trio Etched in the Eye, a duo with Tom Carter called Spiderwebs, the trio Garden medium, and ongoing collaborations with percussionist Weasel Walter and bassist Damon Smith. In years past, Ewen has performed alongside Roscoe Mitchell, Keith Rowe, Lydia Lunch and many others, and has performed and recorded with Jaap Blonk, Henry Kaiser and more. In 2014 she performed at San Francisco's 13th Annual Outsound New Music Summit, and she has made several appearances at Austin's annual No Idea Festival. Ewen's approach to playing is centered around found objects and extended guitar techniques.

Photo credit: Peter Gannushkin


Tom Hamilton

TOM HAMILTON has composed and performed electronic music for over 50 years. His music contrasts structure with improvisation and textural electronics with acoustic instruments, employing “aural scores” to connect performers to a changing context of electronic sound and prompting the use of “present-time listening” by both performer and listener.

Hamilton’s work has most notably developed in sound installations and CD recordings. He is a fellow of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. He recently performed with Composers Inside Electronics, both at The Kitchen and with the Stephen Petronio Dance Co. and in improvisational settings with Brian Chase, David Watson, and Al Margolis/If, Bwana.

Hamilton is a member of (the late) composer Robert Ashley’s opera ensemble, and his audio production is found on over 100 recordings of prominent contemporary musicians.


Amirtha Kidambi

Amirtha Kidambi is invested in the creation and performance of subversive music, from free improvisation and avant-jazz, to experimental bands and new music. As a bandleader, she is the creative force behind Elder Ones, featuring rising New York artists Matt Nelson on soprano saxophone, Nick Dunston on bass and Max Jaffe on drums and electronic sensory percussion. In 2018 Kidambi premiered a solo improvisatory work Yajna and Lines of Light for improvising vocal quintet with Emilie Lesbros Jean-Carla Rodea, Anais Maviel and Charmaine Lee, as the Artist-in-Residence at Roulette. She is in an active improvised duo with electronic musician Lea Bertucci, who manipulates Kidambi's voice live with tape machine.

Kidambi is a key collaborator in Mary Halvorson's latest quintet Code Girl, with Darius Jones, Maria Grand, William Parker and Charlie Looker's band Seaven Teares. As an improviser, she has played with New York luminaries including Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey, Ingrid Laubrock, Ava Mendoza, Fay Victor, Trevor Dunn, Ben Vida, Tyondai Braxton and Shahzad Ismaily. Kidambi worked closely with composer Robert Ashley until the end of his life, premiering his final opera CRASH and had the honor of working with Muhal Richard Abrams for the premiere of Dialogue Social in 2013.

Photo credit: Kholood Eid


Ikue Mori

Ikue started playing drums and joined in the band DNA soon after arrived to New York in 1977. In mid 80’s started playing drum machines and involved in downtown improving community and since then she has collaborated with numerous musicians and artists throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, while continuing to produce and record her own music. Ikue won the Distinctive Award for Prix Ars Electronics Digital Music category in 1999 and shortly after started using laptop computer to expand her vocabulary not only playing sounds but create and control the visual work as well. Actively working with visual live set and, HIGHSMITH duo with Craig Taborn, improvising trio MEPHISTA and various ensembles of John Zorn. Currently working with Joan Jonas for her performance piece.


Ras Moshe

Ras Moshe Burnett is a saxophonist, composer, improviser and poet born and raised as Theodore Burnett III on the 22 of march 1968 in East New York Brooklyn to a musical family.

His paternal grandfather Theodore Burnett I (Ted "Barnett" professionally) played tenor sax, alto sax and piano in Jazz big bands from his arrival from Jamaica in the 30's up to the early 70's. Ras' father played saxophones in free jazz and reggae bands in the Brooklyn area as well as the downtown lofts in NYC throughout the 70's.

Ras studied and performed music in the public school system playing alto, tenor and baritone saxes from the 5th grade into the duration of High School studies. He was a member of the Heritage Symphony Youth Orchestra at Pratt Institute from 1981-1983 playing traditional jazz and classical hymns written by Black composers.

After playing Reggae and African music in the 1980's he began to form his own ensembles in the mid 90's,facilitating his development of the free jazz/new music/electronic music direction featuring varying combinations of improvising collaborators. In 2000 founded the Music Now series at The Brecht Forum, a monthly night of free jazz and new music that is currently extant at The Brooklyn Commons. Ras is a recent college graduate, completing a bachelor's program at Empire State College in the spring of 2018.

Ras has performed as leader and sideman at The Knitting Factory, Roulette, Issue Project Room, Spectrum, The Brecht Forum, The Vision Festival, X-Fest,Syracuse Film Festival, Outpost 186 among others.

Ras believes in the power of creative music and it's effect on social and personal change.


Laura Ortman
amplified violin

Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) is a Brooklyn, NY composer, musician and artist. She produces solo albums, live performances and film/art soundtracks and frequently collaborates with artists in film, music, art, dance, multi-media, activistism and poetry, such as Tony Conrad, Jock Soto, Raven Chacon, Nanobah Becker, Okkyung Lee, Martin Bisi, Caroline Monnet, Michelle Latimer and Martha Colburn. She plays violin, Apache violin, piano, electric guitar, keyboards, pedal steel guitar, sings through a megaphone, and makes field recordings. Ortman’s notable performances includes venues at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The National Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen, MoMA P.S. 1, Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, SF MoMA, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, The Knitting Factory, CBGB’s, St. Marks Church, Dia Art Foundation, the Wave Farm, National Sawdust, amongst countless other established and DIY venues in the US, Canada and Western Europe. In 2008 she founded the Coast Orchestra, an all-Native American orchestral ensemble that performed the live soundtrack to Edward Curtis’s film “In the Land of the Head Hunters” (1914) that premiered to sold-out audiences at the opening of the Margaret Mead Film Festival at New York’s American Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Of recent, Ortman is the recipient of the 2017 Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Composers and Sound Artists, the 2016 Art Matters Grant, the 2016 Native Arts and Cultural Foundation Fellowship, the 2015 IAIA’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Social Engagement Resident and the 2014/15 Rauschenberg Residency.

Photo credit: Filip Wolak for The Whitney Museum of American Art, 2018


JD Parran
woodwinds, percussion

J D Parran’s most recent releases on the Mutable Music label are the collaborative Particle Ensemble and his Window Spirits Solo. His performing on clarinets, saxophones and flutes is legendary.

In his hometown, St Louis, he was a founding member of the Black Artist Group (BAG) where he participated in the early artistic statements of Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, James Jabbo Ware, Hamiet Bluiett and Baikida Carroll.

J D has made many appearances at New York’s Vision Festival, as well as the AACM series and the Interpretations series. He has performed with Edward Kidd Jordan, Reggie Workman, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor, Amiri Baraka, Joseph Jarman, Leroy Jenkins, Jamal Moore and Luke Stewart in Ancestral Duo, George Lewis, Henry Threadgill, Wadada Leo Smith, Lester Bowie, Randy Weston, and Douglas Ewart.

His recordings including You Have the Right to Remain Silent, Concerto for Clarinet by Anthony Davis, Andrew’s Hill’s Beautiful Day and Marty Ehrlich’s Trumpet in the Morning have garnered him critical acclaim as a soloist.

Parran is currently performing with his quartet Harlem Reunion as well as recording with Andrew Drury and Cristian Amigo’s Deep Ecology Trio, Jason Robinson, Scott Robinson, Adam Rudolph’s Go Organic Orchestra and Thurman Barker. He and his bass saxophone are now touring with Amir Elsaffar’s Rivers of Sound after the release of their CD, NOT TWO.

He teaches at Borough of Manhattan Community College, Greenwich House Music School and In Performance Music Workshop in Marine Park Brooklyn.


Margaret Schedel
violoncello, electronics

Margaret Anne Schedel is a composer and cellist specializing in the creation and performance of ferociously interactive media whose works have been performed throughout the United States and abroad. As an Associate Professor of Music at Stony Brook University, she serves as Co-Director of Computer Music and ran SUNY’s first Coursera Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), an introduction to computational arts. Schedel holds a certificate in Deep Listening and is a joint author of Cambridge Press’s Electronic Music. She recently edited an issue of Organised Sound on using the vocabulary of electroacoustic music to describe pre-electric sounds and she will shortly release a solo CD on Parma Records. Her work has been supported by the Presser Foundation, Centro Mexicano para la Música y les Artes Sonoras, and Meet the Composer. She has been commissioned by the Princeton Laptop Orchestra the percussion ensemble Ictus, the reACT duo and the Unheard-of//Ensemble. Her research focuses on gesture in music, the sustainability of technology in art, and sonification/gamification of data. She sits on the board on nCoda and NYCEMF is a regional editor for Organised Sound and an editor for Cogent Arts and Humanities. In her spare time, she curates exhibitions focusing on the intersection of art, science, new media, and sound and runs, a platform celebrating art with computational underpinnings.


C Spencer Yeh
voice, violin

C. Spencer Yeh is recognized for his interdisciplinary activities and collaborations as an artist, improviser, and composer, as well his music project Burning Star Core. His video works are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix and he is a senior editor and media producer with Triple Canopy and contributing editor to BOMB magazine. Yeh also volunteers as a programmer and trailer editor for Spectacle Theater, a microcinema in Brooklyn NY.

Recent exhibitions and presentations of work include "Shocking Asia" at Empty Gallery Hong Kong, "Two Workaround Works Around Calder" at the Whitney Museum NYC, "Modern Mondays" at MoMA NYC, "Sound Horizon" at the Walker Art Center Minneapolis MN, "The World Is Sound" at the Rubin Museum NYC, "Mei-Jia & Ting-Ting & Chih-fu & Sin-Ji" at MOCA Cleveland Ohio and Centre A Vancouver BC, "Closer to the Edge" in Singapore and "Crossing Over" in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, "Tony Conrad Tribute" at Atelier Nord/Ultima Festival in Oslo Norway, "Great Tricks From Your Future" at D-CAF in Cairo Egypt, and LAMPO at the Renaissance Society in Chicago IL.

In 2015 he was an Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room NYC, and was included in the performance program for Greater New York at MoMA/PS1. A new project on vinyl record, "The RCA Mark II," was recently published by Primary Information.

Photo credit: Frank Schemmann


9/28-29, Theatre Project
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Susan Alcorn
pedal steel

One of the world’s premiere exponents of her instrument, Susan Alcorn has taken the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country and western swing music. Well-known among steel players for her virtuosity and authenticity in a traditional context, Susan Alcorn first paid her dues in Texas country & western bands. Soon she began to expand the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of modern classical music (Olivier Messiaen, Edgard Varèse Krzysztof Penderecki, Pauline Oliveros), visionary jazz (John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman), and world musics (Indian rags, South American songs, tango and gamelan orchestra).

Though mostly a solo performer, she has collaborated with numerous artists including Pauline Oliveros, Chris Cutler, Joe McPhee, Nate Wooley, Evan Parker, Zane Campbell, Ingrid Laubrock, and Mary Halvorson among others.

New releases include solo albums “Evening Tales” (Mystra), “Soledad” (Relative Pitch), and Awards include the Baker Artist Award in 2018 and, along with saxophonist Joe McPhee, the Instant Award in Improvised Music in 2018.

“As an improvisor and composer, Alcorn has proven to be visionary. Her pieces reveal the complexity of her instrument and her musical experience while never straying from a very direct, intense, and personal musical expression.”
- UK Guardian

Susan currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Photo credit: David Lobato


Stephanie Barber
performance, spoken word

Stephanie Barber is a multidisciplinary artist whose work has been focused on an expanded poetics that results in the creation of movies, books, installations and songs. This work sits between essay and story, cinema and literature, science and spirituality. It moves beyond allegiance to media and works hard at defying classification.

Barber’s work considers the most basic existential questions of human existence; its morbidity, profundity and banality, with the unexpected tools of play and humor. She approaches these questions rigorously while side stepping the oppressive, class-bound implications of academic form and language.

Major museums and festivals in the US and abroad have hosted solo exhibitions of these films and videos and books, essays and poetry have been widely published. The past five years have seen the release of two feature films which focus on an imaginative approach to poetic essay represented in dialog, radio play and song (in DAREDEVILS) and lecture, song and monologue (in In The Jungle.) as well as other projects.


Shelly Blake-Plock
electric guitar

During his first Red Room solo performance, circa 2007, Shelly Blake-Plock set his tongue on fire.


April Camlin

April Camlin is a percussionist, labor artist, weaver, educator, and ventriloquist. Her work focuses on the transcendent power of polyrhythmic repetition, both on the drums and at the loom. She has performed, recorded, and toured extensively with her project Wume. She also plays drums in Persephone, an improvisational poetry-driven group. She spent four years studying Central Javanese gamelan in Chicago, and first began playing the drums in her middle school band.


Allison Clendaniel
voice, piano. cello

Allison Clendaniel is an interdisciplinary artist living in Baltimore, MD. Her work encompasses sound, extended vocal technique, technology, and theatre. She has studied voice and movement with legendary performer and composer, Meredith Monk at the House Foundation, clowning with Globus Hystericus, and has toured extensively through North America as a teacher and performing artist. An avid advocate for the arts, she is the Artistic Director of Mind on Fire, a modular chamber orchestra. You can find out more at


Dan Conrad

I have lived in the Baltimore area since I was 4 and I have played flute since I was 6. I have left and returned to both several times. While in college I conceived color-changing art, which motivated me, in the 1970's, to build an instrument to perform color-changing light in San Francisco. Later, in Baltimore, working with improvisational musicians and dancers, I helped develop “Color Mandala Theater”, supported by a Baltimore City Arts grant in 1978.
During the lifetime that has passed since then I received an MFA from MICA, taught high school physics at Baltimore Polytechnic, and helped raise a family. Much of my art has involved investigations of physical properties and perceptual responses under various conditions. The several musical instruments I have invented, my color-changing “light paintings”, and my approach to flute playing are investigations as much as they are art.


Patrick Crossland

Patrick Crossland was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Growing up in southern Louisiana, he began playing trombone at age 10. His musical study continued at the University of Southern Mississippi, the Manhattan School of Music, the Royal College of Music (London), the University of Minnesota, and the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik – Trossingen (Germany). Prominent solo performances include the Walker Art Center’s “Festival Dancing In Your Head” and the Darmstadt Course for New Music, where he was awarded a Solo Performance Prize. In addition to his activities as a soloist and chamber musician, he is an avid improviser, performing and recording with artists including Günter Christmann, Alexander Frangenheim, and Jack Wright. Patrick is the recipient of Maryland State Arts Council Awards and currently teaches trombone and improvisation at UMBC.


Neil Feather
invented instruments

Neil Feather is an inventor of experimental musical instruments and mechanical sound sculptures. The inventions combine strings, springs, magnets, motors, flywheels, electromagnetic pickups, bicycles, bowling balls and other matter to explore the sounds of unlikely physical events. He has performed hundreds of concerts across the United States, Canada and New Zealand. He also composes site- specific kinetic sound installations.

Neil Feather was a founding member of the Red Room Collective and the High Zero Foundation. He won the Sondheim Art Prize and the Trawick Contemporary Art Prize. He is a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow. He has been part of many groups including Two To Tutu Too, Thus, Aerotrain, Mugwump, The Elephantitans, Broydelic Sidecar Eye, The Official Project, and Big If. He was recently a designer/builder for the 4 th manifestation of Mauricio Kagel’s Zwei Mann Orchester


Carrie Fucile

Carrie Fucile is an intermedia artist focused on sound, installation, and performance. Her work addresses issues of territorial and bodily boundaries, political upheaval, and global capital. She has exhibited and performed at numerous venues in the United States and abroad including The Walters Art Museum/Baltimore, IA&A at Hillyer/Washington, DC, Vox Populi Gallery/Philadelphia, Casa Contemporânea/ São Paulo, Brazil, VMK – Gönczi Gallery/ Zalaegerszeg, Hungary, and the Director’s Lounge/Berlin, Germany. She lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.


Sarah Hughes
reeds, flute, voice, loops

Sarah Hughes is a performing artist from Pasadena, Maryland. On the collegiate level, Sarah studied first with the classical saxophonist, Dale Underwood, at the University of Maryland. She received a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education in 2008 and taught beginning band and strings programs for five years before leaving Maryland in 2013 to pursue a master’s degree in jazz saxophone performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston. There, she studied with Jerry Bergonzi, Ran Blake, Anthony Coleman, and Donny McCaslin. Having absorbed a deeply rich variety of concepts and styles, Sarah returned to Baltimore/Washington DC in 2016 to find out who she is. Thanks to the curators and band leaders in the area, Sarah performs regularly in solo, small ensemble, and large ensemble formats at such local venues as Rhizome in Takoma Park and various art galleries, museums, and concert spaces in DC, Maryland, and New York. She is currently a member of the jazz adjunct faculty at Towson University and teaches privately at Music and Arts Centers in Laurel and Greenbelt, MD. Sarah's style and musical interests are ever evolving as she is active in both the jazz and experimental/electronic realms. Her social and political beliefs often shape her art-making and manifest through her approach to and the language of her performances. The best way to hear and see what she is up to is to attend a live performance. Events are often listed here at


Orlando Johnson
mandolin, found objects

We embrace nonsense and chaos. Non verbal exploration to cope and understand through multi-disciplines of expression. May such research inspire, create beauty, and add to the nonsense and chaos of what we call everyday.


Wendel Patrick
electronics, keyboards

Wendel Patrick has been referred to as “David Foster Wallace reincarnated as a sound engineer” by Urbanite Magazine and as “wildly talented” by the Baltimore Sun. He has been referred to by XLR8R magazine as “a hip-hop producer that could easily make any fan of Squarepusher, Boards of Canada, or Madlib flip out.” In the February 2018 issue of Baltimore Magazine, Wendel Patrick was named one of 30 Baltimore Visionaries, calling him “one of the most influential and omnipresent figures in the local arts scene”. The alter ego of classical and jazz pianist Kevin Gift, Wendel Patrick is rapidly making a name for himself as a producer to be recognized. With five solo albums to his credit, on which he played every instrument, he is equally at home behind two turntables, beatboxing, improvising, or playing a Mozart Concerto on stage with an orchestra. He is a co-founder of the Baltimore Boom Bap Society and co-creator of “Out of the Blocks”, the Edward R. Murrow award winning documentary radio program that has aired on WYPR, NPR and The BBC. Mr. Patrick is a recipient of the 2015 Baker Artist Awards’ Mary Sawyers Baker grand prize, and was a professor of music at Loyola University Maryland for eleven years. He currently teaches at Johns Hopkins University and at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he teaches “Hip Hop Music Production: History and Practice”, the first course of its kind to be taught at a major traditional music conservatory anywhere in the United States.


Ada Pinkston

Ada Pinkston is a multimedia artist, educator, and organizer living and working in Baltimore, Maryland. Born in New York, her art explores the intersection of imagined histories and sociopolitical realities on our bodies using monoprint, performance, experimental video, and collage techniques. Inter-subjective exchange is also the primary substrate of her work. Over the years, her work has been featured at a variety of spaces including The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum, the Peale Museum, Transmodern Performance Festival, P.S.1, The New Museum, Light City Baltimore and the streets of Berlin. She is a recipient of a Mississippi State Arts Council Grant, an Andy Warhol Foundation Grit Fund Grant in Visual Arts, administered by The Contemporary, and a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Ruby's Project Grant in Visual Arts. Her most recent collaborative project includes founding the LabBodies Performance Art Laboratory in Baltimore, Maryland. In the fall of 2018, she will begin her fellowship as an at the Halcyon Arts Lab in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about Pinkston, visit


Peter Redgrave

Peter Redgrave is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. He trains as a dancer and has created work in many media - books, records, tapes, and stage shows.

He organizes the Move Move Collaborative, a ten day workshop with a collaborative teaching and performing model. He has performed across the USA and Europe.

He is a founding member of Smelling Salt Amusements, Sweet Thunder (NYC ’97), and Irratum. He has trained with Tadadhi Endo, Mushimaru Fujeida, Mark Young, and Lynne Price. He has danced with Effervescent Collective, Deep Vision Dance Company, Alex D’Agostino/ Noelle Tolbert, Lynne Price, Matt Williams, and Khristian Weeks.

He is currently researching the relationship between vaudeville, technology and the forging of the homogenized American identity.


Bob Wagner

The step of Bob Wagner is characterized by a perpetual will to surprise, destabilize and amuse. Percussionist, inventor and improviser, his drumming is deeply perplexing and seems to do injustice to musical parsimony while hitting it with a little plastic dog.