Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain

Ken Vandermark & Nate Wooley / Jacques Demierre & Vincent Barras

As part of Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain, ISSUE presents the first duo performance by Chicago Saxophonist/composer Ken Vandermark and New York trumpet stalwart Nate Wooley, as well as two works by Geneva-based collaborators Jacques Demierre and Vincent Barras, whose vocal performances are inspired by the fundamental building blocks of human speech.

Operating in each other's orbits for the past three years, Ken Vandermark and Nate Wooley have worked together with Paul Lytton, Joe Morris, Agusti Fernandez, and Terrie Ex. This evening, for the first time, they strip all third parties away and deal with each other's iconoclastic compositional and improvisational vocabularies. Taking their cues from the underappreciated work of John Carter and Bobby Bradford, Vandemark and Wooley work together to create an organic combination of jazz tradition, free improvisation, and modern composition in this new raw and intimate duo.

Jacques Demierre and Vincent Barras have collaborated for decades, creating a diverse body of sound performances exploring ties between language and the mind. In bh n (a), part of a triptych called “Voicing through Saussure”, talk, verbal stuff, is taken as a primary component, drawn from materials found in the work of linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. The detailed analysis of the sonorities of various ancient and modern languages, their re-elaboration and re-composition is finally embodied in a score-text, spread out on stage in its concrete dimensions through the performance of the two sound artists. The body is where this vocal investigation takes place, digging in the primitive sound matter of language. anatomical poems (traghetto II, OOA, découpe), are pieces about flows of vowels and consonants as a result of bodily gestures. They speculate in a embodied and ontogenic way on the primitive language that flows out of the open mouth, occurring every time we articulate sounds and let them run out like the flow of some childish or barbarian or idiotic language.

Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain– a two-month festival celebrating ISSUE Project Room's 10th anniversary– revisits seminal past projects and initiates new relationships with over 60 artists working across disciplines of sound, dance, performance, and literature. Presented as a series of 24 evenings of provocative double billings, Ten Years Alive blurs the boundaries between divergent disciplines and practices and celebrating the vibrancy of the Brooklyn experimental arts community.

Nate Wooley’s solo playing has often been cited as being a part of an international revolution in improvised trumpet. Along with Peter Evans and Greg Kelley, Wooley is considered one of the leading lights of the American movement to redefine the physical boundaries of the horn. A combination of vocalization, extreme extended technique, noise and drone aesthetics, amplification and feedback, and compositional rigor, Wooley has been called “an iconoclastic trumpeter” (Time Out NY), and "one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today...without hyperbole” (Dave Douglas).

For the past 20 years, Chicago-based Ken Vandermark has been exploring and working to expand the possibilities of improvised and composed music in North America and Europe. He's performed and recorded in a variety of contexts, with many internationally renowned musicians including the NRG Ensemble, the DKV Trio, AALY, FME, the Vandermark Quartet, Spaceways Inc., School Days, Cinghiale, Witches & Devils, Steam, and Caffeine. The majority of his work as a composer and improviser has been directed toward the Vandermark 5, Powerhouse Sound, the Frame Quartet, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Sonore, and separate duos with the percussionists Tim Daisy and Paal Nilssen-Love, the Territory Band, CINC, and Free Fall.

Jacques Demierre is a Geneva-based pianist, performer, composer. His musical and sound work takes various directions: improvised music, contemporary music, sound poetry, sound installation. His compositions and sound realisations are concerned with the activity of listening and with sound space, and develop a very cross and interdisciplinary conception of music. He collaborates with many improvising musicians including Barre Philips, Urs Leimgruber, Thomas Lehn, Axel Dörner, Fritz Hauser, Sainkho Namtchylak, Hans Koch, Brandon Labelle, Jason Kahn, Butch Morris, and Rhodri Davis, among many others

Vincent Barras is a Geneva-based performer, historian, translator. He teaches at the University of Lausanne (history of medicine) and at the High Schools of Art and Applied Art in Geneva (sound, history of the body). He is member of Contrechamps Editions in Geneva (contemporary music and aesthetics) and programmer of sound poetry and art language festivals (La Bâtie Festival and Roaratorio in Geneva). He has published various books, essays, articles, on body theory, medicine and psychiatry, contemporary poetry and music. He has translated books by Galen, Edoardo Sanguineti, Theodor Adorno, Carl Dahlhaus, Georges Seferis, John Cage, Eugen Gomringer, Simon Cutts, Robert Lax.

Photo: Ken Vandermark by Peter Gannushkin, http://downtownmusic.net

Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain is made possible, in part, by “Lead Presenter” support from Robert Bielecki and HBO; “Festival Sponsor” support from Robert Longo, Margo Somma & John Hamilton, and Sixpoint Brewery; with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and with the support of ISSUE Project Room’s Members.

ISSUE’s Littoral Series is made possible, in part, through generous support from The Casement Fund and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Jacques Demierre and Vincent Barras' US tour is supported by the Swiss Arts Council, Fondation Suisa, the Republic and Canton of Geneva, and Schweizerische Interpretenstiftung.

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