Performers

Ka Baird
voice, flutes, electronics
New York City

Ka Baird is a performer, composer, and sound designer based in New York City. They are known for their live solo performances which include extended voice and microphone techniques combined with electronics and various instrumentation, in particular flutes and woodwinds. They create a present tense sound with a vigorous delivery that seeks extreme release through physical exertion and psychic extension that dances in the undefined margins of experimental sound, performance art, ritual and sport.

They are one of the founding and continuing members of Spires That In The Sunset Rise founded in Chicago in 2001. Their debut solo album "Sapropelic Pycnic" was released through independent Chicago label Drag City in 2017. Their latest recording "Respires" was released through Brooklyn based imprint RVNG Intl in October 2019. Recent national and international engagements have included performances at the Unsound Festival (Krakow), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), MoMA PS1 (NYC), Issue Project Room (NYC), The Kitchen (NYC), The Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), TUSK Festival (Newcastle, UK), Incubate (Tilburg, Netherlands), KRAAK (Brussels, Belgium), Le Guess Who (Utrecht, Netherlands), and the Festival Of Endless Gratitude (Copenhagen,DK). They have done extended residencies at such institutions and collectives as Sonoscopia (Porto), Inkonst (Malmo), Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago), and Pioneer Works (Brooklyn). They were a 2020 recipient of the Foundation of Contemporary Art's Emergency Grant as well as a Jerome Foundation Artist-in-Residence at Roulette Intermedium in 2019.

kabaird.com

Bandcamp

John Berndt
electronics, saxophone
Baltiore

Baltimore area experimental musician and philosopher John Berndt is a well-known founder of the Red Room and High Zero festival, as well as leader of groups like Geodesic Gnome, Multiphonic Choir, and Second Nature, among others. He describes his own activity as "the empirical exercise of freedom," "perfection about the ineffable," and "disorientation as positive content." Usually, each live performance is viewed as an opportunity to press into new experimental territory.

Michelle Blu
singing bowl, gong, percussion
Baltimore

Michele Blu is a Baltimore Based Kemetic Yoga Teacher, owner of Michele Blu Yoga & Art Studio; Reiki Practitioner; Founder of Blu Treasures- a hand crafted line full of creativity, art, fashion and one of a kind unique pieces ranging from clothes, jewelry, art, paint, and her cement flower pots. Michele is also a Curator, Artist, Stylist & Designer. Co- Founder of the band “Kemetic Lullaby” an experimental & improvised band of energetic call & response. Michele uses crystal & tibetan singing bowls, sample player, percussion & breathing techniques to evoke what she loves most and that is sharing the healing power of meditation, ancestral spiritual grounding and positive energy through sound healing, yoga, art & music as a force and tool to better and heal her community. Weaving a deep tapestry of powerful vibrations, with intention, awareness, transformation and healing for all.

micheleblu.yoga
shopblutreasures.com
michelebluyoga.vhx.tv
YouTube
Bandcamp

Samuel Burt
reeds, daxophone
Baltimore

Samuel Burt is a composer and improvisor in Baltimore, Maryland. His music focuses on processes and concepts that risk failing in order to discover moments of bewilderment. He curates music at the High Zero Festival, the Red Room, and Worlds in Collusion. He plays clarinets, synthesizers, and the daxophone. He teaches music composition at Towson and Johns Hopkins Universities.

Burt is an active improviser in the Mid-Atlantic. Recent collaborations include Coyfish and Lightning Golem which was featured in performances by GRIDLOCK Dance. His compositions range from solo works to orchestra and algorithmically generated musique concrète to synthesis.

Bandcamp
samuelburt.com

Tatiana Castro
piano, spoken word-poetry
Colombia

Tatiana has been interested in the field of sound and the process of improvisation. She carries out a work, a constant search to expand her listening in order to dive deep into this territory. In her work, the word began to be part of this game, taking not only its significant power, but also its value as sound itself. And then, the improvisation as a listening process itself.

Her professional artistic life started in Bogota, but she developed it intensively in Buenos Aires where she lived for 16 years, until 2021. Today, she has moved to Boston, in this new territory she hopes to continue developing her artistic and pedagogical work.

In recent years, her artistic work has been increasingly focused on improvisation, from the musical side, incorporating when the moment enables: poetry, movement, performance. From that place she has worked with artists/musicians in Argentina and Colombia such as: Gonzalo Muruaga (guitar, Periplo Duo), Matías Coulasso (drums, Folga Duo), Florencia Otero, Ada Rave, Camila Nebbia, Daniel Iván Bruno, Mark E. Herr, Guillermo Roldán, Andrés Elstein, Juan Bayón, Cecilia Quintero, Amanda Irarrázabal, Nicolás Garzón, Pablo Ledesma, Santiago Botero, Mauricio Ramírez, among others. And with dancers such as Mara Padilla, Carmen Pereiro Numen, Sara Regina Fonseca, Laura Monroy.

Between 2016 and 2019 she programmed an interdisciplinary cycle: "Plataforma Impro" where music, improvisation and other arts can intersect. She hopes to activate it at some point in the future.

Bandcamp
Spotify

Raven Chacon
electronics
Albuquerque

Raven Chacon is a composer, performer and installation artist from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation. As a solo artist, Chacon has exhibited, performed, or had works performed at LACMA, The Renaissance Society, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, REDCAT, Vancouver Art Gallery, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Borealis Festival, SITE Santa Fe, Chaco Canyon, Ende Tymes Festival, and The Kennedy Center. As a member of Postcommodity from 2009-2018, he co-created artworks presented at the Whitney Biennial, documenta 14, Carnegie International 57, as well as the 2-mile long land art installation Repellent Fence.

A recording artist over the span of 22 years, Chacon has appeared on more than eighty releases on various national and international labels. His 2020 Manifest Destiny opera Sweet Land, co-composed with Du Yun, received critical acclaim from The LA Times, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, and was named 2021 Opera of the Year by the Music Critics Association of North America. Since 2004, he has mentored over 300 high school Native composers in the writing of new string quartets for the Native American Composer Apprenticeship Project (NACAP). Chacon is the recipient of the United States Artists fellowship in Music, The Creative Capital award in Visual Arts, The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation artist fellowship, the American Academy’s Berlin Prize for Music Composition, the Bemis Center’s Ree Kaneko Award, the Pulitzer Prize in Music, and in 2022 will serve as the Pew Fellow-in-Residence.

His solo artworks are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and National Museum of the American Indian, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Research Institute, the University of New Mexico Art Museum, and various private collections.

photo credit: Jamie Drummond

James Fei
saxophones
Oakland

James Fei (b. Taipei, Taiwan) moved to the US in 1992 to study electrical engineering but lost his way in music, becoming a composer, saxophonist and live electronic musician. Works by Fei have been performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, Bang on a Can All-Stars, and Noord-Hollands Philharmonisch Orkest. Recordings can be found on Leo Records, Improvised Music from Japan, CRI, Krabbesholm and Organized Sound. Compositions for Fei's own ensemble of four alto saxophones focus on physical processes of saliva, fatigue, reeds crippled by cuts and the threshold of audible sound production, while his sound installations and performance on live electronics often focus on electronic and acoustic feedback. Fei received the Grants for Artists Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2014 and he is president of Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation. Fei has taught at Mills College in Oakland since 2006, where he is Professor of Electronic Arts, director of the Center for Contemporary Music and head of the Art and Technology Program.

jamesfei.com
Bandcamp

photo credit: Alice Wu

Lafayette Gilchrist
piano
Baltimore

Katt Hernandez
violin
Sweden

Katt Hernandez is a violinist, improvisor, composer, producer and most likely some other things. She moved to Stockholm in 2010, and rapidly began working with many artists and music organizations. In addition to her solo projects, she has worked with a host of artists in a swath of scenes in Europe. After earning a Masters in electro-acoustic music composition from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, she began a PhD at Lund university in 2015, entitled The Ephemeral City: Songs for the Ghost Quarters, comprised of a group of multichannel, field recording, synthesizer, string and organ works about the psychogeography of Stockholm, and the how peoples' inner-most imaginary cities are Important when the world dissappears. The latest composition for that project was for the 1926 Wurlitzer theater organ that is now housed in the R1 former nuclear reactor hall, deep under the Royal Technical Institute in Stockholm. In recent years she has also worked with Klas Nevrin's Music in Disorder, Fire! Orchestra, GGR Betong, multi-disciplinary artist Björn-Ola Lind, the Denis Egberth Quintet, Butoh artist KAI-EN and Lotte Anker's ensemble sub-habitat at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, amongst a host of others. Her work has been featured on festivals, series, museums, conferences and radio stations throughout the world, most recently at Antenn Festivalen at the Ljudtornet water tower in Gnesta, Datscha Radio in Berlin, BlowOut in Oslo, PULS festival of multichannel music in Bergen and Visby, Nordic New Music Days in Bodø, Klubb Primi in Copenhagen, N:EAR in Slovenia and more. Before leaving the U.S., Katt was a 13 year veteran of experimental music scenes on the East Coast, where she produced fistfuls of concerts, and worked with a vast array of musicians, dancers, visual artists, puppeteers, film makers and performance artists, in venues ranging from underground art spaces to ivy league concert halls.

katthernandez.com
Motvind Records
Pzombie Album
Discogs

photo credit: Marie Gavois

Eze Jackson
voice
Baltimore

Eze Jackson is an Emcee, Host/Producer and community organizer. He recently founded the record label/collective EPIC FAM. As the frontman of the hip-hop/fusion band Soul Cannon as well as a solo artist, he has toured the US and released 6 projects independently, bringing high energy and forward thinking lyrics to almost any musical challenge. His most recent solo album, “Fool”, has been well received in Baltimore & surrounding areas with critical acclaim from Media and fans. He has been the host of Lineup Room’s Bmore Beat Club, and a frequent collaborator with the Baltimore Boom-Bap Society. Along with collaborating with a myriad of artists who range in styles and genre, Eze has shared the stage with many nationally and internationally known artists in over 15 years as an active member of Baltimore's Music and Arts Scene.

Bonnie Lander
voice
Baltimore

Immersed in the eclectic world of new and experimental music, Bonnie Lander has performed in a great variety of concert programs, with a wide selection of collaborators in improvised music, new opera, new chamber music, and composition. Versatile, dramatic, with a “stratospheric legato” and a “signature ability to embody a seemingly endless supply of vocal timbres and personalities,” Lander combines an intuitive, spontaneous use of the voice with resonant operatic technique, in order to create a performance experience that is virtuosic, intimate, and sonically overwhelming.

Norman W. Long
sampler/synthesizers
Chicago

Norman W. Long’s practice involves walking, listening, improvising, performing, recording and composing to create environments and situations in which he and the audience are engaged in dialogues about memory, place, ecology, culture, value, silence and the invisible. Norman Long has performed and exhibited at Experimental Sound Studio, Kavi Gupta Gallery,Yale University’s Center for Collaborative Arts & Media, The Renaissance Society, High Zero Festival, Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago Cultural Center and 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Norman performed and toured with Angel Bat Dawid and the Brothahood, and has also performed with the Ali/Harris/Long/McKenna group, Dan Bitney, Todd Carter, Xris Espinoza, Carol Genetti, Damon Locks, Tatsuya Nakatani, Joe Namy, Cristal Sabbagh and Sara Zalek. He has released his compositions on Hausu Mountain, Reserve Matinee, LINE and Room40 labels. Anemoi is the latest ensemble release with Ishmael Ali, William Harris and Wills McKenna. His solo album, BLACK BROWN GRAY GREEN was released in September 2021 on Hausu Mountain. Return and Recovery is his latest solo release on LINE.

normanwlong.wix.com/soundartdesign
Blogspot
Soundcloud

photo credit: Ricardo Adame

Sarah Manley
trombone
Baltimore

Sarah Manley is a Baltimore based trombone player and visual artist. After completing her degree at Peabody Conservatory she fell into the local community of experimental and new music. She is a core member for local new music collective, Mind on fire, she plays in Baltimore based brass band, Bedlam Brass, and the ambient noise trio, The Arm. She had performed at the Baltimore Symphony New Music Festival, The Boulanger Initiative WoCo Festival, and attended the Bang on a Can festival as a performer. Locally she was collaborated and performed with Dan Deacon, Horse Lords, Infinity Knives, Chiffon, Occasional Symphony, Sonar Ensemble, and the Washington Chamber Orchestra. Sarah is excited about collaborating in any form with any genre, and plans on doing it as long as possible

Jamal Moore
reeds, percussion
Baltimore

Jamal R. Moore is a native of Baltimore Maryland, a multi- instrumentalist, a composer, a performer, and an 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 whose notable alumni include Thurgood Marshall, Cab Calloway, and Ethel Ennis.

Some notable luminaries Jamal has worked and recorded with are Wadada Leo Smith, Roscoe Mitchell, Nicole Mitchell, Archie Shepp, David Ornette Cherry, Tomeka Reid, Dr. Bill Cole, DJ Lou Gorbea, George Duke, Sheila E, David Murray, JD Parran, Ras Moshe, Hprizm, (Antipop Consortium) Tatsua Nakatani, Hamid Drake and the late Yahyah Abdul Majid (Sun Ra Arkestra).

He is an affiliate of The Pan African Peoples Arkestra of the late Horace Tapscott, Black Praxis of David Boykin, member of Konjur Collective, 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 Mojuba 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

Paul Neidhardt
percussion
Baltimore

Accomplished percussionist Paul Neidhardt has played in numerous rock, jazz, and experimental groups as well as provided music for dance, plays, and theatre productions. He's a member of the percussion quartet Umbilicus. He has been a member of the High Zero Foundation since 2004. Neidhardt is known in improv circles for his ability to easily switch from tight, traditional drumming to expressive sound-focused techniques like doweling, bowing, and suction.

Sarah Belle Reid
trumpet, electronics
Los Angeles

Sarah Belle Reid is a performer-composer who plays trumpet, modular synthesizer, and an ever-growing collection of handcrafted electronic instruments. Her unique musical voice explores the intersections between contemporary classical music, experimental and interactive electronics, visual arts, noise music, and improvisation. Often praised for her ability to transport audience members through vivid sonic adventures, Reid's sonic palette has been described as ranging from "graceful" and "danceable" all the way to "silk-falling-through-space," and "pit-full-of-centipedes" (San Francisco Classical Voice). Her debut album for trumpet and interactive electronics, "Underneath and Sonder," was released on pfMENTUM in October 2019, followed by a self-released EP, "MASS" in February 2021.

When watching Sarah Belle Reid perform live, one quickly notices that her trumpet is also unusual—the blinking lights and colorful wires attached to her horn are part of an electronic sensor-based interface she co-designed, called MIGSI (Minimally Invasive Gesture Sensing Interface). Reid was inspired to build MIGSI as a way of integrating her passion for technology, trumpet, and improvisation. She frequently performs, leads workshops, and lectures at notable festivals, institutions, and conferences around the world, such as Moogfest, Stanford University, and the International Conference of New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), among others.

sarahbellereid.com
Bandcamp
Patreon

Robin Rhodes
double bass
Baltimore

Robin Rhodes is a bassist, improviser, and educator committed to dynamic projects that utilize art as an entry point for building community. Robin is active in Baltimore/DC and performs with Mind on Fire, Waco Mammoth, AfroHouse, and Cal Rifkin. Robin holds a Masters’ degree in Modern American Music from Longy School of Music of Bard College and a Bachelor of Music from Shenandoah Conservatory. He is deeply grateful to his teachers Donovan Stokes, Pascale Delache-Feldman, and John Lockwood.

Patreon
Mind on Fire

photo credit: Rohan Pathare

Erik Ruin
overhead projector
Philadelphia

Erik Ruin is a Michigan-raised, Philadelphia-based printmaker, shadow puppeteer, paper-cut artist, etc., who has been lauded by the New York Times for his "spell-binding cut-paper animations." His work oscillates between the poles of apocalyptic anxieties and utopian yearnings, with an emphasis on empathy, transcendence and obsessive detail. He frequently works collaboratively with musicians, theater performers, other artists and activist campaigns. He is a founding member of the international Justseeds Artists' Cooperative, and co-author of the book Paths Toward Utopia: Graphic Explorations of Everyday Anarchism (w/ Cindy Milstein, PM Press, 2012). Current projects include the Ominous Cloud Ensemble, an ever-evolving, collectively-improvising large ensemble for projections and music.

erikruin.info
justseeds.org

Nate Scheible
drums, electronics, tapes
District of Columbia

Nate Scheible is a DC-based drummer/improviser who has performed and recorded in a variety of bands and ensembles spanning multiple genres over the past 25 years. Collaborators in recent years include Sarah Hughes, Nik Francis, Layne Garrett, and the bands Mock Identity and Zara. While his background is largely based in improvisation, his recent solo work has focused on the manipulation of magnetic audio tape, radio waves, and fancy electronics his friends are willing to lend him, featured prominently in releases by such labels as ACR, Never Anything, and Unifactor. His most recent album Fairfax received a vinyl reissue by Warm Winters Ltd in spring, 2022. Nate is also an active organizer and curator at the non-profit community arts space Rhizome DC.

bandcamp.com

Will Yager
double bass
Baltimore

Will Yager is a double bassist committed to experimental music, improvisation, and collaborating with other artists in the creation of new solo and chamber repertoire for the double bass. Yager has worked directly with such composers as Michael Gordon, David Lang, Miya Masaoka, Scott Wollschleger, Sivan Cohen Elias, Mary Jane Leach, Jean-François Charles, and Amy Williams among others. He is a founding member of both LIGAMENT, a duo with soprano Anika Kildegaard, and the experimental trio Wombat with Justin Comer and Carlos Cotallo Solares. Performance highlights include appearances the University of Iowa Center for New Music, High Zero Foundation’s Red Room in Your Room series, Experimental Sound Studios’ Quarantine Concerts, 2022 SEAMUS Convention, 2021 International Society of Bassists Convention, Open Air Media Festival, Oh My Ears Festival, MOXsonic, Big Ears Festival, Feed Me Weird Things, Nief-Norf Summer Festival, New Music on the Point, Cortona Sessions for New Music, and the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival. In addition to his varied performing activities, Yager previously held teaching positions at Maryville College, the University of North Alabama, and is currently on faculty at the North Carolina Governor’s School West. He is currently based in Baltimore, Maryland.

willyager.com
Bandcamp
bassplayersforblackcomposers.com

Ami Yamasaki
voice
Tokyo, Japan

Ami Yamasaki is a voice and visual artist. She uses her ears, vocal cords, and skin to perceive her own voice and the echoes it makes. Using a method similar to echolocation to recognize a space, she transforms this space through a type of acoustic shading. Through performance and installation, she questions how the world is created. These questions also stem from her interest in quantum physics and her collaboration with scientists in this field. She was a fellow at Asian Cultural Council (2017), and Japan Foundation Asia Center (2018). Recently her works were featured at Setouchi International Art Festival (2019). “WAYS OF TELLING”(Tokyo Shibuya Koen-dori Gallery, 2021), “Christian Marclay: Found in Odawara” (Enoura Observatory, 2021), “Kyoto Steam 2022 International Competition” (Kyoto City Kyocera Museum, 2022), and “JAPAN. BODY_PERFORM_LIVE Resistance and resilience in Japanese contemporary art” (Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Italy, 2022).

amingerz.wixsite.com/ami-yamasaki

YouTube

Bandcamp

James Young
bassoon
Baltimore

James Young is a texpat making music in Baltimore. He is a composer and improviser, administrator, educator, and show runner. “There is seemingly no limit to his intensity.” (I care if you Listen)

He has built, housed, or developed a number of musical projects and organizations. Of these, Mind on Fire, established early 2017, is the apotheosis of a decade’s worth of musical research and observation. It is a modular chamber orchestra featuring the works of contemporary composers and showcasing performers of all disciplines for people of all backgrounds. Mind on Fire “offers some of the most fascinating experimental productions in the area.” (Baltimore Sun)

His band, “Mowder Oyal” (like the car fluid), was recently named ‘best band to watch’ by Baltimore Magazine. It’s a hardcore/jazz (?) band that you should consider.

James carries a doctorate in music composition, having devoted much of his life to exploring the ability of organized sound to communicate the shape of time. He received his DMA in Composition at the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Michael Hersch.

jamesdavidyoung.com
mindonfire.org
Bandcamp