Unsound Festival NY 2014

Sean Meehan & Ben Manley / Håkon Stene / Hubert Zemler

An afternoon concert of unshrinking percussion music features Sean Meehan and Ben Manley, Håkon Stene, and Hubert Zemler. The diversely talented Polish percussionist Hubert Zemler performs a solo set crossing new music, world music and improvisation. Norway’s Håkon Stene plays a short work by Lars Petter Hagen as well as Michael Pisaro’s Ricefall, which involves rice falling upon a surface at varying intensities. American percussionist Sean Meehan has pared down his kit to a single snare and uses different obeys to activate vibrations; he will be joined by longtime collaborator Ben Manely, performing on fans and other everyday appliances.


* Hubert Zemler

* Håkon Stene
Lars Petter Hagen: Seven Studies in Self-Imposed Tristesse (2003)
Michael Pisaro: Ricefall (2004)

* Sean Meehan and Ben Manley

Sean Meehan’s music practice began in the late 80's at the amica bunker series for improvised music, then housed at the Anarchist's Switchboard and later ABC No Rio in New York City. His most recent projects include an audio book of Hermann von Helmholtz's foundational text On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music, and a composition for string trio and pair of zimbelsterns. For nearly 20 years he has collaborated with Tamio Shiraishi on an annual summer concert series exploring the social construction of space. Meehan also creates object-based discursive compositions for speculative listening, such as: Field Recordings, Vol 3, a letterpress folio of aural suggestions; audio, a boxed set of four cassettes without sound; and the recent Meehan Reads Helmholtz.

Composer Ben Manley explores the natural variability of wind, amplified small vibrations, and resonant objects to generate dynamic musical environments. Sound sources may include fans, large bass drums, radio interference from light bulb filaments, and the rebroadcasting of spaced microphones onto the live acoustic space. Manley has worked extensively in noncommercial music and audio in New York since 1986. He has presented solo performances and installations of light and sound across the country and overseas. Manley has collaborated with Sean G. Meehan, Connie Crothers, Jim Staley, Dan Evans Farkas, Jens Brand, Linda Austin, the Manley Family Trio, and has appeared with Composers Inside Electronics at Lincoln Center and with Essential Music and the Downtown Ensemble. He has installed realizations of works by Alvin Lucier, including The Queen of the South and Music on a Long Thin Wire, at Studio Five Beekman, Greenwich House Music School, Subtropics 18, and the MFA, Boston.

Håkon Stene is a Norwegian percussionist specializing in contemporary music performance. Stene has collaborated with composers including Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Finnissy, Klaus Lang, Helmut Lachenmann, Alvin Lucier and Mathias Spahlinger, among many others. He has performed solo-and chamber concerts with ensembles including asamisimasa, Oslo Sinfonietta and Klangforum Wien, and at acclaimed festivals Ultima, Bergen Festival, Wien Modern, Venice Biennale, Huddersfield, Stockholm New Music and Darmstadt; Stene has toured throughout Europe, Mongolia, Vietnam and Indonesia as well as recording for several labels, radio and TV. Stene studied in Oslo, Freiburg and San Diego with Rob Waring, Kjell Samkopf, Bernhard Wulff, Pascal Pons and Steven Schick among others.

A percussionist born in 1980 in Warsaw, Hubert Zelmer is an active member of Warsaw’s independent music scene. He studied at the Fryderyk Chopin’s Musical Academy in Warsaw where his was focused on jazz, contemporary music and improvisation. He has collaborated with musicians across musical realms; from symphonic orchestras (Sinfonia Varsovia, The National Opera), through jazz (Zbigniew Namysłowski, Wojciech Staroniewicz), world music (Rei Ceballo & Calle Sol, Ritmodelia), rock and blues , sophisticated pop, to contemporary music (Tadeusz Wielecki, Zdzisław Piernik, Arturas Bumsteinas) and improvised music. Zemler’s Moped, a live record of solo percussion improvisations, was released by Lado ABC in 2011.

Photo: Sean Meehan at ISSUE Project Room

Photo: Sean Meehan at ISSUE Project Room.

Unsound Festival New York is presented by: Fundacja Tone and the Polish Cultural Institute New York, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Production Partner: ISSUE Project Room.

In co-operation with: TMU (Trust for Mutual Understanding), City of Krakow, Krakow Festival Office, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York, Goethe-Institute New York, Electronic Music Foundation, the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, BAMcinématek, The Bunker, Mutual Dreaming, Experimental Intermedia and SubPac.

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