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Master|Doctor is a new collaboration between Austin-based percussionists Scott Charvet and Elayne Harris. NMASS 2020 is their first performance together (sort of).
Scott Charvet (Master) is an active percussionist and educator in Austin, TX, teaching private lessons by day and performing across town by night. A California native, Scott is an alumnus of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (B.A. Music – 2011) and Bowling Green State University in Ohio (M.M. Instrumental Performance – 2017). As a performer, he touts a literal binderful of experience (some 100-200+ concerts so far) with a variety of groups and organizations, including the the Austin Brass Band, Density 512, Mongoose, the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, the Santa Clara Vanguard, and even a few rock bands here and there. Scott has also participated in master classes with Steven Schick (U.C. San Diego), Matthew Duvall (Eighth Blackbird), Daniel Karas (Grand Rapids Symphony), the Boston Brass, and the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. His music tastes range from the traditional to the surreal, but his absolute favorite is music with character, funk, and groove; the fun stuff that makes you dance. Outside of music, Scott thoroughly enjoys watching movies, writing screenplays, listening to podcasts, and eating vegan comfort food.
Elayne Harris (Doctor) is an active performer and music educator. She has performed with a variety of large ensembles and chamber groups, including: Ensemble X, Massanutten Brass Band, the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony, Finger Lakes Community Orchestra, Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Concert Band, University-Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra, the Staunton Music Festival, Austin Brass Band, and Inside Out Steelband. She has also been active in commissioning and performing new works for percussion in both solo and chamber settings. Elayne holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from James Madison University, where she also received a Bachelor of Music, studying with Bill Rice, Michael Overman, and Marlon Foster. She received a Master of Music from Ithaca College, where she studied with Gordon Stout. She currently teaches piano and percussion at Armstrong Community Music School and applied percussion at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas.
Inventions 1-3 from Eight Two-Part Inventions for Percussion Duo by Daniel Levitan (b. 1953) Performed by Master|Doctor
“The form of a traditional piece or song even is that you have a theme or a tune, then you have your way with it, and then you repeat it, and now you’re done. But for these, there is a musical germ, or phrase. This musical germ was something that I came up with when I was taking out the garbage and accidentally started banging on the garbage can, something that I banged on the sink that came to me while I was waiting for the water to heat up…So, I would have these musical germs in my head all day, and I would be singing them everywhere and then suddenly I would realize, “oh, I’m in a different time signature,” or I was in a different part of the bar. I would sketch these ideas down, and then once I had enough, I would put these ideas together and form the piece. I didn’t care if it ended where it began. That was a real act of courage for me. I’m not going to end where I started. I don’t have to, so there. (Laughter)”
– Daniel Levitan, on Inventions Eight Two-Part Inventions for Percussion Duo (2006-2007) is a set of works for unspecified instrumentation that focuses on short rhythmic ideas traded between players with manipulation and embellishment of phrases that change the feeling of the music. Motives shift starting places within measures to alter perception of the beat, lengthen or shorten to inexactly resemble previous iterations, and undergo various meter changes. The effect is a metamorphosis of the same material, different yet sounding familiar.
Each player has a set of four sounds, ordered by relative pitch with one of the sounds having a long sustain. Instrumentation for different performances range from traditional instruments (e.g. snare drum, toms, cymbals, etc.) to nontraditional/found objects, and can vary for each invention. In true “stay-at-home” fashion, we opted to use a mix of sounds found in our homes–wine bottles, coffee cans, drinking glasses, metal–and instruments from our personal collections.
“unintentional intersections” by John Alan Kennedy.
“intersections, where things meet, when times converge, in opposition and intervention, why things stall, why things accelerate. the natural world recycles itself without ever trying.
i’m deeply interested in the place where “the natural world” intersects with the evidence and residue that humankind heaps upon it. absent-minded interventions, unconscious inevitabilities that once took the form of thought and industry: these things are trash, are marks, are signals, are sigils, are evidence of mind. this is a conflict we are conscious of—occasionally—which leaves a residue on nature, on invention and each other. what is this one thing, of all the things, that cannot be ignored? it is the thing most unlike its environment. a stray thought, a lost ball, a disembodied sound, an empty bottle.
i’m repurposing these intersections by combining video of an improvised exploration through the rolling woods beyond my back gate with a soundtrack created by improvising musicians using that video as a score. no one will hear each other’s sonic contribution until the final project is realized, they will each be flying blind. because the position and perspective of the camera is quite foreign to that of my own eyes, the result will be a document of an event that even i never actually witnessed, accompanied by a soundtrack of unintentional intersections that the musicians never heard.”
John Alan Kennedy (Austin) is a multi-instrumentalist and multimedia artist who specializes in the composition of unusual sights and sounds. An avid improvisor, he has also been performing and recording experimental, electronic and electro-acoustic music as Cyclops Joint since 1991. He relocated to Austin in May, 2020.
Sandy Ewen (Houston) is a guitar player, video artist & architect currently based in Houston. She hates the pandemic.
Lisa Cameron (Austin) uses amplified/acoustic percussion and strings to locate resonant frequencies in space to create oscillating overtones, which are then employed as sound sources for live improvisation.
Chris Cogburn (Mexico City / Austin) is a percussionist who works mainly in the field of improvised music. Current practices focus on the threshold between acoustic and electronic sounds, their differing timbral qualities, and their sites of resonance. The tension between just intonation and the unfettered resonances of objects is a burgeoning concern informing his most recent work. He has organized the annual No Idea Festival since 2003.
Parham Daghighi (Austin) is an Iranian-American multi-instrumentalist active in contemporary improvised music. Recent foci include electric guitar, alto saxophone, and instruments from the Persian art music tradition including setar, dozaleh, and tombak.
Rebecca Novak (Houston) explores sound through a constellation of instruments and objects including piano, cornet, melodica, Autoharp and shortwave radio. Her interdisciplinary approach extends to text-based & visual scores that merge writing, movement, acting, drawing, sculpture, photography and sound.
“Nail Club grew out of isolation. In many bedrooms over many years. A musician that plays solo, Sara Nicole Storm, brings her own past, in relationships and locales, to Nail Club. First picked out on small keyboards or an old guitar with vocals whispered the way you might if someone was sleeping in the next room, soon, the music grew with new equipment and a voice more comfortable being heard, equal parts forlorn and defiant. Sometimes the music feels like a forgotten piece of a varied music history and at other times, like some of the most stimulating music, electronic or otherwise, being made today. Dance music for
desolation.” – Lynn Stevens | New Orleans, LA | 7/4/2020
Treinta Años en un Tren is a short film created virtually by Natalia and Jeannelle as a visual and audio exchange during the 2020 Pandemic. The short film combines sounds and visuals created during live instagram and Facebook sessions, rescored everytime using elements of water, trains, and carribean drums. The surrealist visuals are paired with our contrastingly different experiences and memories of Latin America, imagining trains going through islands and floating fish in the sky. Collaboratively, Jeannelle and Natalia work as Las Raras, an experimental synthesis collective aiming to awaken a transcendent consciousness.
Jeannelle Ramirez is an Austin-based multimedia artist and ethnomusicologist. Her foggy, ambient soundscapes are composed from densely textured layers of found sounds and synthesized melodies that evoke a cyclical stasis. Theory and praxis are in constant dialogue through her work as an artist-scholar, with recent electro-acoustic works like “Oceanography” exploring migration and heritage through live-processed sound and video. Since completing formal musical training as a vocalist at NYC’s New School for Jazz, she has continually moved towards more experimental modes of creative practice. In 2019, she founded Future Traditions Festival as a platform for Latinx artists to explore intersections between experimental multimedia and traditional music and dance. She is also a founding member of Las Raras, a Latina experimental audio-visual artist collective. As part of Las Raras she has performed at various events hosted by Me Mer Mo Monday, COTFG, Cheer Up Charlies, and the Museum of Human Achievement.
Natalia Rocafuerte is a Mexican-American new media artist, filmmaker and community organizer creating work on perception, analog technology, and spatial identity. Born in Cuidad del Carmen, Campeche to a pianist and ballerina, Rocafuerte was encouraged to expand her techniques in visual art from an early age. Rocafuerte was part of the 2018 Young Latinx Artists exhibit highlighting immigrant and Latinx artists at the Mexic-Arte Museum as well as being awarded a performance grant from Jolt Texas. She is also a recent fellow for the New York Foundation for the Arts Immigrant Mentorship program and current artist in residency for The Line – Big Medium Residency. “
The Transitory Sound and Movement Collective, based in Houston, Texas, founded by Lynn Lane (artistic director/sound artist) and founding member Jennifer Mabus (choreographer/movement artist) create experiential work based in sound/movement and multimedia arts. For this new work, “Collective Isolation #5”, part of their “Collective Isolation” series, they have brought in Federico de Michelis (bass-baritone/guitar), Ben Roidl-Ward (bassoon), Carson Marshall (violin) and Jade Devault (movement artist) to explore this idea of creating during a time of pandemic and using Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, “Dream Within A Dream” as an inspiration and guiding point for this improvisational work created with artists located in Canada, Illinois and Texas.
Lynn Lane: Lynn Lane is a sound/intermedia artist based in Houston, Texas and the founder/artistic director of the Transitory Sound and Movement Collective.
Jennifer Mabus: Jennifer Mabus, the founding choreographer/movement artist of Transitory Sound and Movement Collective, has had a long performing career in NYC and Texas, and is now also the dance program director at the University of St. Thomas, Houston.
Federico De Michelis: Federico De Michelis, bass-baritone born in Argentina has appeared on some of the world’s most renowned stages singing a vast variety of repertoire.
Ben Roidl-Ward: Ben Roidl-Ward is a bassoonist and improviser based in Chicago as well as a founding member of the Transitory Sound and Movement Collective.
Carson Marshall: Originally from western Massachusetts, violinist Carson Marshall aims to inspire audiences in both conventional and creative concert settings.
Jade Devault: Jade Devault is a movement artist based in Houston, TX with a BFA in Dance from Texas State University, and she has danced with regional companies and artists, such as Pilot Dance Project and Noble Motion Dance.
DNA Studies is the project of Sarah King and Zachary Smith.
This recording is a performance from December 7 at cloud tree studios in Austin, Texas . It features field recordings from a Lubbock junk yard in 2019. As well as the Bernese Oberland alpine zone in Switzerland. Cities including Montreal’s transportation. And finally highlighted is the Black Friday foley of San Antonio, in a study of Consumerism Studies. This 15 minute performance required no looping, reverb or delay. The recording was taken from the mixer board operated by the curator Alex Keller under Phonography Austin: Annual Report and Album Release.
Sarah King is a visual and sound artist living in San Antonio. TX. They utilize found material including metal for recording purposes. Using found objects they manipulate objects for samples. With partner Zachary Smith they use samplers and other effects to recontexualize sound. Various microphones and vocal techniques are employed by this artist included bowing metal and processing via modular outboard gear. They are a part of dna studies with Zachary Smith.
Zachary Smith is a founding member of the Mt.Borracho. Mt.Borracho is a audio-visual project founded in 2013 by Zachary Smith and Cameron Day. Since forming Mt.Borracho has released material surrounding personal surrealism, paranormal and abstract sound design. Mt.Borracho appeared alongside local veteran deejays Katrina Fairlee, Nick McDonnough and NY-based Umfang for a set in 2018. Zachary Smith recorded an in-studio broadcast at Red Light Radio Amsterdam and abstract set at Asile404 Marsaille, France . Prior to SXSW, Mt.Borracho was featured in the March 2020 Wire UK magazine for their long abstract track as an “A/V collagist” according to writer Raymond Cummings. They are members of DNA Studies with Sarah King.
PR0SC1UTT1 is an experimental sound project that touches on sonic and visual elements, each informing the other to create an organic and hopefully transcendent mix of looping and playful building of multi-instrument orchestration and sound collage.
Todd Mein (MC T-O Double D) is a multimedia visual artist from Austin. He has a show called ToddShow (Fusebox 2020). He loves his dog Moon. IG: @meandtodd
Wayne Champagne (AKA Paul Wainright) is a bagel entrepreneur and a badminton connoisseur from Austin, TX.
Sonic Vibe: Loops, samples, synthesizers, vocoder, found sound audio, banjo, harmonica, electronic, improvisational, glitchy, indie, hip-hop
Visuals: Live video mixing by Todd Mein with original and found media
Stop Motion Orchestra formed in 2013 and quickly got to work recording their debut, Instant Everything! (2014 Egg Helmet Records), a collection of cartoonish prog mini epics drawing equally from early Zappa instrumentals, ‘70s synth rock, and post punk. After some line-up shuffling and a brief hiatus, the band resurfaced with a new aesthetic and a new line-up featuring several virtuoso players from Austin’s fertile rock scene. On Lightworks (2018 Knock’Em Dead / Megaphone Records) the band presents a more organic sound, drawing on influences including Henry Cow, Magma, Haniwa-Chan, and Picchio Dal Pozzo, as well as traditional music from Eastern Europe and South Asia.
Mohadev – Electric Guitar. Mohadev is a guitarist, composer and producer active in a variety of forms of creative music. Stop Motion Orchestra has been his primary creative outlet since its formation in 2013.
Sam Arnold – Bass, Acoustic Guitar. Originally from Grand Rapids, MI, Sam Arnold is a bassist, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter/composer based in Austin since 2001. In addition to Stop Motion Orchestra and other current work with local progressive rock bands Opposite Day, StarMind Ceremony, and Dream Eater, he has performed and/or released recordings in a range styles including jazz, big-band, punk, pop, metal, R&B, country, afro-pop, reggae, Americana/country, and electronic.
Aaron Parks – Drums. Aaron Parks started playing drums in his birthplace, Houston, TX. He moved to Austin in 2005 and has been on the scene ever since. He can be seen around town with singer-songwriters, jazz groups, prog-rock ensembles, and many more. He loves the drums, he lives the drums.
Alden Doyle – Violin. Alden Doyle started playing violin in Kindergarten. After studying at UT, he has performed in a variety of styles including classical, bluegrass, rock, and experimental. He also works professionally designing algorithms for audio signal processing.
Leila Henley – Saxophones, Flute. Leila Louise Henley is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist specializing in saxophone, flute, and various other aerophones to the delight and amusement of other humans (and the distinct displeasure of certain dogs). Past projects include the bands Churchwood, The Invincible Czars, Go: Organic Orchestra (Austin chapter), Poon (all-female Ween tribute), and Sweetmeat and the musicals Speeding Motorcycle at Zach Scott Theater and Cabaret at St. Edward’s University. In addition to Stop Motion Orchestra she currently performs with Andrew Nolte Band, Fontanelles TX, and Super Creeps (David Bowie tribute).
“From the Texas you don’t hear so much about, Stop Motion are a seven piece, rock-inflected, late sixties-mid-seventies influenced band (drums, bass, piano, synth, violin, cello, sax, banjitar) playing highly harmonically based, rhythmically interesting and through-composed music that’s a pleasure to listen to… Familiar echoes of the better bands of the era, but still very much on its own track. Nice work.” – Chris Cutler
“With one foot firmly in the rich bed of Euro-folk and another in a more classic melodic proggy space, this Austin based quintet brings a lot of great ideas to the fore with a snappy and clever songwriting style and an interesting combination of instrumentation. De-facto bandleader and primary composer Mohadev plays guitars, keyboards, banjo, bass, computer and other stuff, pulling together a wide array of compositional ideas that all mesh together well, but still challenge conventional senses.” – Peter Thelen, Expose
Georgina Lewis – visuals
Howard Martin – sound
This piece started as a drawing / score made by Georgina at home with materials on hand – graphite + red acrylic paint, which Howard interpreted with layered electric bass and bird song. From there, Georgina recorded a response video.
The domestic spaces in each one – a kitchen corner studio, a deck, and a spare room – are porous. Shadows of herbs, houseplants, trees, and whole flowers move across the drawings, while layers of bird song surround the bass notes.
collaboration – process – texture
Raised in Pennsylvania and Nova Scotia, Georgina Lewis is a Boston based artist, writer, and curator. She received her MFA in Sound from Bard College and holds undergraduate degrees from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts and Franklin and Marshall College. She works across media in photography, installation, drawing, text, sound, and sculpture and is interested in forms of interchange and the aberrations and novelties, intentional or not, introduced by the act of correspondence: what happens when one or more things come in contact with each other.
Georgina has been a resident at the Millay Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and VCCA France, as well as a fellow at Harvard University’s metaLAB. Her work has been written about in The Boston Globe, Big Red and Shiny, The Wire, and Afterimage among others. Georgina is one of the studio artists at the Boston
Center for the Arts, a former member of the Collision Collective, and a member of Fountain Street Gallery in Boston. Her work has been presented at numerous venues including the Visual Studies Workshop, National University of Ireland, REDCAT in Los Angeles, Boston Cyberarts Gallery, the Mills Gallery, Boston University’s 808 gallery, and Grapefruits Art Space in Portland OR.
Howard Martin is a Massachusetts based librarian and instrumentalist focused on the interactions between sounds and resonant spaces. His playing favors timbre and isolated pitches or clusters in place of melodic or harmonic development. His solo saxophone performances have included free improvisations, graphic and text score interpretations, and engagements with the jazz tradition. He plays in Variant State […] an electro-acoustic improvising unit with some combination of Michael Rosenstein, Jesse Kenas-Collins, and Steve Norton.