Austin Cooley / Carol Sandin Cooley / Sandy Ewen / Damon Smith

4:00pm Sunday 6/26/2016

Austin Cooley is a non-musician based in Houston, Texas.  He was a founding member of the early Texas noise rock band Turmoil In The Toybox, had a long-running harsh noise project, Concrete Violin, and co-hosted KPFT Houston’s Funhouse, a legendary punk and experimental radio show.  He is currently a member of Black Leather Jesus, a Houston harsh noise/power electronics project led by Richard Ramirez that has been active for over 25 years, as well as a number of other experimental music and noise projects including Illicit Relationship, Unified Space over America and perhaps the world’s only intentionally funny wall noise duo, Painful Vigil.  Austin has hosted Genetic Memory, radio station KTRU Houston’s sound oddity showcase, for the past 23 years.

Carol Sandin Cooley has been active in the Houston experimental and underground music scene for over 30 years. Carol was formerly involved in such projects as Rotten Piece, Sad Pygmy, Trailor Trash, Disband, Ouroboros and Glass Snake Lizards.  She is also a member of Black Leather Jesus, Illicit Relationship, Unified Space Over America and Painful Vigil and is a member of the improvisational group Garden Medium.  As well as playing bass in Poor Dumb Bastards, Carol’s current solo project is Zahava and she is an accomplished photographer and painter.

Sandy Ewen is an experimental guitarist, artist and architect based in Houston. Her current projects include the trio Etched in the Eye, a duo with Tom Carter called Spiderwebs, the trio Garden medium, and an ongoing collaboration with bassist Damon Smith. She has performed alongside Roscoe Mitchell, Keith Rowe, Lydia Lunch and many others, and has performed and recorded with Weasel Walter, Jaap Blonk, Henry Kaiser and more. In 2014 she performed at San Fransisco’s 13th Annual Outsound New Music Summit, and she has made several appearances at Austin’s annual No Idea Festival. Her groups Garden Medium and Spiderwebs both have recently released CDs and performed in Mexico City in February. Ewen’s approach to playing is centered around found objects and extended guitar techniques.

Damon Smith studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and has had lessons with Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser and others. Damon’s explorations into the sonic palette of the double bass have resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. Visual art, film and dance heavily influence his music, as evidenced by his CAMH performance of Ben Patterson’s Variations for Double Bass, collaborations with director Werner Herzog on soundtracks for Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, and an early performance with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Damon has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including: Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra’s Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Roscoe Mitchell, Michael Pisaro, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. After many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, he is now based in Houston, Texas and works regularly with Alvin Fielder, Sandy Ewen, David Dove & Chris Cogburn. Damon has run Balance Point Acoustics record label since 2001, releasing music focusing on transatlantic collaborations between US and European musicians.

Sunday, 6/26/2016 NMASS PASS
NMASS2016 4 day EVENT PASS