SoundOut 2019 Artists bios
Birgit Ulher: trumpet Germany
Birgit Ulher studied the visual arts, which still have an important influence on her music. Since moving to Hamburg in 1982 she has been involved in free improvisation and experimental music. Since then she has developed an individual musical language. She works mainly on extending the sounding possiblities of the trumpet and has developed her own extended techniques and preparations for producing these sounds. Besides this material research she is especially interested in the relation between soundand silence. Since 2006 she works with radiosounds, she uses extended speakers, fed with radio noise in her trumpet mutes. The trumpet functions as an acoustic chamber and modulates the radio noise, thus the trumpet is transmitter and receiver at the same time. Her solo work contents pieces with tape (Traces and splitting 21, a collaboration with Michael Maierhof) as well as pieces for sound installations like 'Reveille' for the sound- and lightinstallation 'Wake Up' by Allora & Calzadilla. She performs solo and with her working ensembles, collaborations with dancers, visual artists, composers and one-time collaborations with musicians from around the world. Lectures and Workshops: at Haifa University; SAIC - School of The Art Institut of Chicago; Hochschule für Musik Basel; The Queen's University in Belfast; Galeria Mérida, Mexico and Anahuac 33 in Mexico City. Collaborations with Ute Wassermann, Lucio Capece, Gino Robair, Bill Hsu, Leonel Kaplan, Felipe Araya, Christoph Schiller, Chris Heenan, Gregory Büttner, Forbes Graham and the Stark Bewölkt Quartet (with Michael Maierhof, Heiner Metzger and Gregory Büttner) amongst others. Soloproject 'Radio Silence No More'. Concerts and festivals in Europe, USA, South America, Russia and the Middle East. Numerous CD releases.
Brian McNamara: electronic Sound art, Canberra
Brian is an experimental instrument builder and sound sculpture artist based in Canberra, Australia. He mixes his passions for music, electronics and sculpture into unique objects that should need no explanation to play or experience but convey a deeper meaning in the context of their surroundings. Brian builds and performs with a range of experimental instruments, with a focus on both autonomous soundart sculptures and interactive installation instruments that require the engagement of multiple people or unusual kinetic movements to be played. His instruments include computer programmed elements, percussion, found sounds from used electronics and purpose designed oscillators. A key feature of his work is audience movement and participation. Art functions best when the art space is inclusive of the public so through his exploration of experimental sounds he uses engagement with the audience as a medium to convey ideas. These explorations include the link between the environment and technology, our own movement around the planet with movement of those fleeing war torn areas and the link between our own minds and those we try to create in machines. https://www.facebook.com/cupandbow/
Brodie McAllister: Trombonist, Brisbane
Brodie is an improviser, trombonist, composer, teacher and events organiser from Brisbane, Australia. His artistic practice is concerned with exploring improvisation, hyper-extended instrumental techniques, intensive performer-composer collaboration and community connection. Some career highlights include: premieres from Kupka’s Piano, WAYJO and The Enthusiastic Musicians Orchestra with performances alongside ELISION, Clocked out and The Stairwell Project. Recently he took part in some projects that were personal milestones, these projects include: Performing the world premiere of Ben Mark’s Circular Ruins 1/2/3, launching his first solo album “Tiny Particle Collider” through Made Now Music performing on Lawrence English's Cruel Optimism and releasing Rogue Three’s debut album “no Meat on Bumblebees” also through Made now Music. https://youtu.be/5kzMar9YBLo
Christian Marien, drums, SUPERIMPOSE, Germany
Christian Marien moved to Berlin in 2000, where he quickly established a reputation in the Jazz scene as a co-founder of groups including, “Olaf Ton“ and “Stereo Lisa“. More and more he turned towards free improvised music, and has since collaborated with a multitude of leading improvisers, including Frank Gratkowski, Johannes Bauer, and Gebhard Ullmann, Jürgen Kupke. His interest in other forms of artistic expression has lead to collaborations with visual artists (Thomas Bratzke, Philip Wiegard), actors (Judith Strößenreuter) and dancers (Hans-Werner Klohe, Kadir “Amigo” Memis, Julyen Hamilton), and the project “Ritsche, Zast & Marien“ (which combines improvisation in music and painting) curates regular exhibitions and performances. He is part of the Duo Superimpose along with Matthias Muller.
Clayton Thomas: Bass, Sydney
Clayton Thomas is a bassist who has dedicated himself wholly to the pursuit of improvisation, studying with master bassists Wilber Morris and Henry Grimes in New York and Peter Kowald in Germany. He has performed around the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand with three generations of improvisers – including Alexander von Schlippenbach, Axel Dörner, Johannes Bauer, Sonny Simmons, Marilyn Crispell, Jon Rose, Jim Denley, Newton Armstrong, Tim O’Dwyer, Sabir Mateen, Daniel Carter, Mike Pride, Mary Halvorson, Tony Buck and Makigami Koichi amongst many others. His use of extended techniques and extreme physicality give his music unexpected dimension. He is also an active grass roots organiser, founding the „now now festival“ of improvised music and the regular concert series „if you like improvised music, we like you“ as well as the 30-piece electro-acoustic ensemble „The splinter orchestra“. Clayton lived in Berlin from 2007 to 2014.
Cor Fuhler: piano, Sydney
Hannah Reardon-Smith, Flautist, Brisbane
C o r F u h l e r, described by the ABC as ‘A Modern Day Renaissance Man’, is an interdisciplinary eclectic musician, improviser, composer, sound artist, multi instrumentalist, instrument builder, inventor, visual artist, researcher and scholar whose practice crosses into installation, visual art, dance, puppetry, comic strip, music theatre and site-specific performance. He is a conservatorium trained pianist, guitarist and experimental electronics player, and is renowned for his pioneering extended piano techniques and his invention the keyolin, a hybrid violin and piano. He often functions as axle between various art forms: he has written scripts, choreographies and music for theatre, radio plays, dance and puppetry. Cor has a preference for juxtaposing old and new technologies (from super 8 film to the latest digital software) and he has composed for ethnic instruments, western instruments, self built devices and various electronic media. In his work, he puts a strong emphasis on awareness of acoustic and visual phenomena at a specific time and place. He has been the artistic leader of his own ensembles (e.g., Corkestra, Wayang Detective, Fuhler/Bennink/de Joode, Cortet and solo), he toured internationally (Europe, Canada, USA, Japan, etc.) and released over 50 CDs, mostly with his own works and artistic concepts. After a two-year research period Cor attained his PhD in composition in 2016 at the University of Sydney (with supervision by composer Damien Ricketson) and is now an active researcher with special interest in the relationship improvisation-composition, compositional multiplicity, corporeal kinetic installations, Fluxus, magic and mystery in art, and acoustic ecology. In 2017 he published his book Disperse and Display (which demonstrates a holistic approach to his research on modular compositional techniques and extended instrumental techniques) and he started working at the Conservatorium of Music in Hobart and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music; here he partly lectures composition, improvisation and ensemble as well as marks composition students’ essays. In 2018 Cor started a position as senior lecturer in sound and creative media studies at the SAE Creative Media Institute in Sydney. "Sun Ra, Braxton, Mengelberg: in their different ways each is a genius at organizing organic, half-composed, half-improvised group music. Theirs are big footprints to walk in, but Cor Fuhler has big shoes of his own." Corkestra liner notes, Kevin Whitehead
Hannah is a flutist, improviser, composer, conductor, and curator. She is a co-artistic director of Brisbane-based contemporary art music ensemble Kupka’s Piano, and a founding member of improvisation trio Rogue Three (Brisbane/Melbourne: flute/s, trombone, and recorder/s) and electro-acoustic duo Richard&Linda with Liam Flenady (flute/s, electric guitar, and live electronics). She has performed in international festivals including ManiFESTE (Paris), IMD (Darmstadt, DE), SPOR (Aarhus, DK), Kunstenfestival des Arts (Brussels), BIFEM (Bendigo, AU), Totally Huge New Music Festival (Perth), and the Queensland Music Festival (Brisbane). Hannah is a current PhD candidate at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, exploring a queer-feminist thinking of free improvisation, featuring the work and voices of women and non-binary folk practicing in the field. She blogs at stayandmakekin.wordpress.com and more of her work can be found on her website hannahreardonsmith.com.
Jim Denley, wind instruments, Sydney
Jim is one of Australia's foremost improvisers of new music known for his improvisations on wind instruments and electronics. His radio work Collaborations, produced by ABC Radio National radio won the 1989 Prix Italia for radio production. He was a member of the group Machine for Making Sense with Rik Rue, Amanda Stewart, Chris Man and Stevie Wishart and has performed in Australia, Europe, Japan and the US with artists such as Chris Abrahams, Clare Cooper, Keith Rowe, Joel Stern, Robbie Avenaim, Jon Rose, John Butcher, Otomo Yoshihide, Fred Frith, Phil Niblock, Trey Spruance, Clayton Thomas, Tess de Quincy, Axel Dörner, Adam Sussman, Ami Yoshida, Oren Ambarchi, Tony Buck, Ikue Mori, Sachiko M, Malcolm Goldstein, Michael Sheridan and Annette Krebs. https://soundcloud.com/jim-denleyhttps://youtu.be/eTTsouLU8AA
Laura Altman, (Great Waitress) clarinet, Australia
Laura is a clarinetist, improviser and composer, born and based in Sydney, Australia. She has been an important voice on the Sydney improvised music scene since 2007, playing with groups such as The Splinter Orchestra and Prophets, and collaborating with many other Australian and international musicians. Laura has toured Australia and Europe with a range of projects including the internationally renowned trio ‘Great Waitress’, featuring Monica Brooks on accordion and Berlin-based pianist Magda Mayas, who also have several acclaimed CD and LP releases to their name. As a composer, Laura writes both instrumental and electro-acoustic music. She has had works commissioned and performed by various ensembles in including Sydney Antiphony and Ensemble Offspring and has developed exploratory pieces for primary school students. She has more recently been exploring sound installations. Laura also plays clarinet in and composes for folk/balkan/jazz ensemble Chaika. Laura has and continues to organise exploratory music events in Sydney, including the NOW now Series and Festival of Exploratory Music from 2010 until 2013, and the current Nights at Tempe series. She has co-founded the Sydney exploratory music calendar www.emus.space. https://youtu.be/-oFRznISths
Lenny Preston, Drums,Canberra
Lenny is a brilliant drummer/percussionist based in Canberra, Australia. He has been doing a solo drum/guitar singer metal "band" for many years called "Leisure Suit Lenny" to rave reviews. In the last couple of years has been experimenting and dappelling in the avant garde jazz world doing music to silent films and working in such things as a production of John Zorn's Cobra, as well play in a experimental free improvisational trio EMSC with Rhys Butler, Richard Johnson and Millie Watson.
Marlene Radice: clarinet, Canberra
Marlēné Radice is a Canberra based composer/improviser who specialises in notated electroacoustic composition by exploring how art and sound compliment one another. Taking recorded sounds away from their original sources, she processes and manipulates these into new musical structures. Raw industrial noises, looped voices and hypnotic soundscapes are layered to create a nuanced and original sound. Marlēné’s music has been performed and recorded by Fbi Radio’s Ears Have Ears program (NSW), the Sonic.Art Quartet (Berlin), The Music Box Project (NSW), Art Not Apart Festival (ACT), COUP (VIC/ACT), Feminatronic, Future Creatives Festival (VIC), Monash New Music Ensemble (VIC) as well as her electronic duos Erwartung (NSW) and A S P I R A T O R (VIC/ACT). She has been commissioned as a sound designer and composer for Canberra’s National Museum of Australia in 2017 and Questacon in 2013. She interns for Making Waves; an online platform which promotes emerging Australian composers, and is on the committee for the Tilde New Music and Art Festival (VIC). https://youtu.be/Lw12DuInwQE
Matthias Müller, trombone SUPERIMPOSE, Germany
Matthias Müller has been living in Berlin since 2004, playing regularly with internationally recognised improvisers such as John Edwards, Mark Sanders, Johannes Bauer, Tobias Delius, Olaf Rupp, Burkhard Beins, Frank Paul Schubert, Clayton Thomas, Michael Vorfeld, Axel Dörner, and many more. He can be heard on more than thirty releases, and his CD „Bhavan“ (2004) was produced by Chicago-based musician and journalist John Corbett. Müller is a member of the 24-piece improvising ensemble “Splitter Orchester“, and was also a member of the “German-French Jazzensemble“, under the direction of Albert Mangelsdorff. In addition, he is also active in the field of contemporary music. He is part of the Duo Superimpose along with Christian Marien. http://matthiasmueller.net/superimpose
Melanie Herbert: violin, Sydney
Melanie creates site specific multi speaker compositions. Using manipulated field recordings and instrumental improvisations she fits her installations, like a glove, to space and time. As a violinist Melanie's playing is naive - she refuses to know the instrument in a systematic way, instead developing her own unique relationship to the violin by freely exploring and improvising with it - largely within Splinter Orchestra since 2011. https://melanieherbert.net
Millie Watson, piano, organ, sound objects, Canberra
Millie is a graduate from ANU School of Music and apart-time member of the Canberra Experimental Music Studio. She performs with piano/organ/objects and found sound recordings that in turn inspire her live improvisation. Inspired by Feldman, Cage, and Taylor Amelia’s style draws upon free improvisation and her classical roots. She performs regularly around Canberra and has started working in the free improvisation EMSC trio and well as her solo pop material that was released on the 21st July 2018. https://ameliawatson.bandcamp.com/releases
Monika Brooks, accordion, Sydney
Monica Brooks has modelled sound works, compositions, and improvisations from piano, computer, field recordings, glasses, radio, and accordion. As a performer she has collaborated with various fabulous folks such as Jim Denley, Dale Gorfinkel, Herminone Johnson, Chris Abrahams, Robbie Avenaim, Kraig Grady, Richard Nuns, Eugene Chadbourne and Joe Talia. She is renowned for the subtlety of her approach on accordion with Magda Mayas and Laura Altman in the trio Great Waitress.https://great-waitress.com/ and https://monicabrooks.bandcamp.com/
Niki Johnson: percussion Sydney
Niki is a contemporary percussionist and graduate of a Bachelor of Percussion Performance degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. As a member of the theatrical aquatic duo Throat Pleats, improvisation ensemble Ensemble Omsombl, sound design collaborations with Josephine Macken, and solo improvisations on giant wind chimes hand made by college William Naayan, Niki explores sound, relationships through collaboration, and theatre. She is a member of contemporary chamber music ensemble Ensemble Muse, and has worked on Tapsapce Publications professional recording of Robert Oetomo’s percussion quartet, recording at Trackdown Fox studios for the Lego Batman film, performing in a Percussion Ensemble in the 2018 Sydney Festival, recording with ABC and Ross Edwardes for his 2019 released album, and working with Urban Theatre Projects.
Pierre-Yves Martel, viola da gamba / objects , Quebec
Following a unique artistic path, Pierre-Yves Martel is constantly renewing his musical identity and practice. Though an instrumentalist, he identifies himself first and foremost as a sound artist whose work oscillates between research and experimentation. It is in this spirit that he has revisited the viola da gamba, utilizing this traditional instrument in new contexts and thus reengaging it with the contemporary world. Having created an authentic musical language through non-conventional techniques and instrumental preparations, he also works outside of instrumental music altogether, using a variety of objects rife with new sonic possibilities, from contact-mics and speakers to motors, wheels, surfaces textures. https://www.pymartel.com/main.cfm
Rhys Butler: alto sax – Canberra
Rhys has come to know the cities he has lived in through improvised and noise music. The trio Dinner Sock (Stephen Roach (drums), David Keyton (feedback), and Rhys Butler (saxophones)) formed from the weekly Fugue State Sessions in Guanzhou. The group performed with local experimenters such as Yan Jun, Feng Hao and Li Zenghui and collaborated with musicians transiting China such as Uwe Bastiansen (Faust) and Lucas Abela. Despite living in different corners of the world, Dinner Sock has continued to participate in China's experimental music scene and played Beijing's Sally Can't Dance festival and NOIShanghai in 2012. In Santiago, Chile, Rhys participated in events run by Productura Mutante and played in the free-for-all Collective Improvisation NO. Now residing in Canberra, Rhys has been working in a duo with Reuben Ingall (live processing). More recently he has been part of the Psithurism trio with John Porter and Richard Johnson, which have a new release called Lure out with French clarinetist Xavier Charles. See the SoundOut bandcamp and Francois Houle site in the following links: https://soundoutrecordings.bandcamp.com/ http://www.francoishoule.ca/franois-houle-psithurism-trio/
Richard Johnson: wind instruments – Canberra
Richard performs with the texture of sound on soprano/baritone saxophone and bass clarinet and is experimenting with use of a bass drum with soprano saxophone to create a language of microtonal textural resonance. Also he has been making instruments from conical gourds from PNG, which allow the stripping back of the wind instruments to their most visceral and most sensuous form and allow for the exploration of extended techniques. He has performed at the SoundOut 2010 – 2016 festivals; What is Music Festival, Nownow Festival; the Make it Now performances; also performances with the Brice Glace Ensemble and the 102 Club Orkestra in Grenoble France; “Whip it“ series in Sydney; various Precipice annual Improv workshops hosted by Tony Osbourne as well as hosting local/interstate/international improvisation nights in Canberra. He is the Director/Curator/Producer/Administrator at SoundOut festivals. As a sound artist he worked with renowned visual Artist Savanhdary Vongpoothorn for the Australia Exhibition at The Casula Power House as well collaborated with conceptual-visual artist Denise Higgins on soundscapes. He has performed with the likes of Jaap Blonk, Jon Rose, Hans Koch, Guylaine Cosseron, Jim Denley, Kim Myhr, Annette Giesreigl, Rodrigo Motoya, Antonio Panda Gianfratti, Thomas Rohrer, Luc Houtkamp, Clayton Thomas, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Yan Jun, Laura Altman, Michael Norris, Evan Dorian, etc. Currently performs in a wind trio with John Porter and Rhys Butler called Psithurism, which has a digital release with the renowned Canadian clarinetist Francois Houle and a new Cd release called Lure on the SoundOut label with Xavier Charles in 2017 SO-003. Also in June 2016 released Cd with Rhys Butler; Guylaine Cosseron and Stephen Roach called Swarm on SoundOut Cd’s SO-001. Lure CD Review: http://www.freejazzblog.org/2018/06/recent-releases-of-french-clarinetist.html
January 20th Sunday Launch 2 - 4pm @Smiths Alternative, Canberra City
With Petr Vrba Trumpet: Czech Republic
His unrelenting explorations of non-idiomatic improvisation using trumpets, clarinet, vibrating speakers, egg cutters etc., made him one of the most active experimental musicians in Prague these days. During autumn and winter of 2016 he released six albums including (with George Cremaschi and Irene Kepl) on Another Timbre, by Poisonous Frequencies on Meteorismo and duo with on Kandala records. Intensive collaboration arose from meeting with American musician/composer George Cremaschi (doublebass, electronics) with whom they established Prague Improvisation Orchestra, Los Amargados duo, an international dance-visual-music project Arthuur etc. In 2013 they released “Villa K” album and 2014 “Los Amargados with Susanna Gartmayer”, limited MC with comics. In 2010 Petr became one of the founding members of improvisation ensemble IQ+1 which released in 2011 highly acclaimed CD “tváří v tvář” and in 2013 IQ+1 (released by Polí5), album which was nominated for Czech Vinyla Prize 2013. In 2011 he constituted Yanagi duo with Korean experimenter Ryu Hankil (alarm clock, typewriters). A year later they released their first album “clinamen” waiting for its second album to be released in Korea. He is also member of psych-rock band . During past years he started and still continues many projects: Poisonous Frequencies (with Federsel and DD Kern), NOIZ (with Thomas Lehn and Tiziana Bertoncini), Doppeltrio (with Maja Osojnik and Matija Schellander), Junk & the Beast (with Veronika Mayer) etc. Among others Petr has recorded or played with musicians like Xavier Charles, Isabelle Duthoit, Kai Fagaschinski, Franz Hautzinger, Chris Heenan, Matthew Goodheart, Irene Kepl, Christof Kurzmann, Seijiro Murayama, Ivan Palacký, Ingrid Schmoliner, Jaroslav Šťastný (aka Peter Graham), Miro Tóth, Michael Zerang etc.