sarah weaver : composer


4/28/18 Conference Presentation: Improvisation in the Age Beyond Mechanical Reproduction

Presentation on "Network Music" by Sarah Weaver

a conference/festival
curated by David Rothenberg and Nicola Hein

Improvisation, the spontaneous creation of music live, has paradoxically benefited tremendously from the value placed on recording performances, so past improvisations can be meticulously praised and studied. Now that recordings stream endlessly everywhere for free, and their value to some has plummeted to zero, how does this relationship proceed.

Spectrum NYC
70 Flushing Avenue
Brooklyn, NY  11205

1:00  David Rothenberg, musician, philosopher, Professor of Philosophy and Music, NJIT
1:30  Nicola Hein, musician, philosopher
2:00  George Lewis, musician, philosopher, composer, Professor of Music, Columbia
2:30  Dafna Naphtali, composer, performer, lecturer, NYU
3pm  BREAK
3:20  Andrew Drury, musician, director of Continuum Culture & Arts, Soup & Sound, Different Track Recordings
3:50  Tanya Kalmanovich, musician, composer, professor, New School and New England Conservatory
4:20   Hans Tammen, electronics wizard, former deputy director, Harvestworks, lecturer, NYU, etc...
4:50   Sarah Weaver, musician, inventor, deep listener
5:20   BREAK
5:40   David Grubbs, professor of music, Brooklyn College
6:10   Ally-Jane Grossan, senior editor, Bandcamp, former editor, 33 1/3 Book Series, Bloomsbury
6:40   Fred Moten, professor of performance studies, NYU

Musician and philosopher David Rothenberg wrote Why Birds Sing, Bug Music, Survival of the Beautiful, Sudden Music and many other books,published in at least eleven languages. He has more than twenty CDs out, including One Dark Night I Left My Silent House which came out on ECM, and most recently New Cicada Trio and Bird Saw Buchla. He has performed or recorded with Pauline Oliveros, Peter Gabriel, Ray Phiri, Suzanne Vega, Scanner, Elliot Sharp, Iva Bittová, and the Karnataka College of Percussion.  He also worked on the films SONG FROM THE FOREST and the upcoming NIGHTINGALES IN BERLIN is based on his next book.  Rothenberg is distinguished professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Nicola L. Hein: As a composer he finds different ways of integrating philosophical ideas into music and to play music as a form of philosophy. In order to actualize itself the compositional work is always aimed at the improvising musician as a dialectic partner of the composition. From the interplay of these partners an ästhetic emerges that is based on the spontanity of the performance and the setting of aesthetic action spaces alike. As a philosopher he is interested in philosophy of music, epistemology, aesthetics and media theory. He wrote about the understanding of music based on theories from epistemology. Ideas from the philosophy of language (Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Derrida, Lyotard, Rorty) and skepticism (Sextus Empiricus, Nietzsche etc.) form to major sources of influence for his thoughts about music. The philosophical work is on the one side beeing carried our in the form of texts and on the other hand in form of aesthetical works in the realm of soundart.

George E. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Lewis’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), a United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2011), an Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis's work in electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, and notated and improvisative forms is documented on more than 150 recordings. Lewis received the 2012 SEAMUS Award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and his book, A Power Stronger Than Itself:  The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society’s Music in American Culture Award; Lewis is the co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016), and his opera Afterword (2015), commissioned by the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, has been performed in the United States, United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic.

Dafna Naphtali is a sound-artist, vocalist, electronic musician and guitarist.   A performer and composer of experimental, contemporary classical and improvised music since the mid-90’s, she creates custom Max/MSP programming for sound-processing of voice and other instruments, music for robots, audio augmented reality sound walks and “Audio Chandelier” multi-channel sound projects. Dafna has been associated with the Music Technology Program at NYU for many years. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses, and is an academic advisor.

Andrew Drury is a drummer, percussionist, composer, improviser, educator, and presenter whose work embraces the continuum from tradition to exploration. He has worked in groups with Wadada Leo Smith, Bill Barron, Wayne Horvitz, John Tchicai, Steve Davis, and Brad Mehldau, and explored performances incorporating poetry, performance art, and environmental theater. Currently Andrew leads the quartet, Content Provider, whose debut recording was selected as a “Top Ten CD of 2015” by Andrey Henkin of the NYC Jazz Record. Drury also performs as a soloist and collaborates with a wide range of artists including 1032K (featuring Frank Lacy), Jason Kao Hwang, Stephanie Richards, Robert Dick’s Telepathic Television, Jack Wright, JD Parran, Gordon Beeferman’s Other Life Forms, and the Brooklyn Infinity Orchestra. He founded and curates the Soup & Sound House Concert Series in Brooklyn which has presented over 75 concerts with musicians from around the world. As an educator he has presented clinics and master classes in conservatories in Tallinn and Sarajevo as well as at UC San Diego, Columbia, Virginia, Wesleyan, Rutgers, CUNY Hunter, Western Oklahoma, Ithaca College, and others. Drury is Director of Continuum Culture & Arts, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Tanya Kalmanovitch is a Canadian violist, ethnomusicologist and author. Her diverse interests converge in the fields of improvisation, social entrepreneurship and climate action, with projects that explore the provocative cultural geography of locations around the world. Based in Brooklyn, she is currently performing in duo settings with pianist Marilyn Crispell and violist Mat Maneri, as well as in a collaborative trio with pianist Anthony Coleman and accordionist Ted Reichman.  In 2013, she joined the faculty at Mannes School of Music at The New School New York City, where she is an Associate Professor and a fellow of the Graduate Institute of Design, Ethnography and Social Thought. Kalmanovitch is currently developing the Tar Sands Songbook, a documentary theater piece that tells the stories of people whose lives been shaped by living in close proximity to oil development in her native Alberta, Canada. She is one of the Grist 50, a select list of innovators with “ambitious solutions to humanity’s biggest challenges.”

Hans Tammen likes to set sounds in motion, and then sitting back to watch the movements unfold. Using textures, timbre and dynamics as primary elements, his music is continuously shifting, with different layers floating into the foreground while others disappear. Whether richly processed guitar sounds from his hybrid interactive guitar/software instrument Endangered Guitar, traditionally notated material for his Third Eye Chamber Orchestra, or graphically notated elements for the all-electronic Dark Circuits Orchestra, his music flows like clockwork, “transforming a sequence of instrumental gestures into a wide territory of semi-hostile discontinuity; percussive, droning, intricately colorful, or simply blowing your socks off” (Touching Extremes).

Sarah Weaver is a New York-based contemporary composer, conductor, and technologist working internationally as a specialist in Network Music. Weaver has composed for groundbreaking musicians for over twenty years, integrating influences of jazz, contemporary classical, improvisation, computer music, world music, and the innovative individual music languages of performers. Weaver is the Director of NowNet Arts Inc., a not-for-profit organization for Network Arts production. As an innovator in telematic music—live performance via the internet by musicians in different geographic locations—her projects involve groups such as the NASA Kepler/K2 Mission and the United Nations. She is a PhD Candidate at Stony Brook University in Music Composition.

David Grubbs is Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY.  At Brooklyn College he also teaches in the MFA programs in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) and Creative Writing.  He is the author of Now that the audience is assembled and Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording (both published by Duke University Press). Grubbs has released fourteen solo albums and appeared on more than 190 releases, the most recent of which is Creep Mission (Blue Chopsticks, 2017).  He is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with poet Susan Howe, visual artists Anthony McCall and Angela Bulloch, and choreographer Jonah Bokaer, and he has performed with the Red Krayola, Will Oldham, Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, and Loren Connors, and many others.

Ally-Jane (AJ) Grossan is a senior editor and head of communications at Bandcamp. She was previously commissioning editor in Popular Music and Sound Studies at Bloomsbury/Continuum and editor of the 33 1/3 book series. For Bloomsbury, she co-edited the textbook How to Write About Music. She writes about independent music and food and is the host of the podcast Moneysplained.

Fred Moten is a teacher and writer whose areas of study and practice include Black Literary, Aural and Visual Culture, Critical Theory, Performance Studies, and Poetry and Poetics. In particular, Moten is interested in the relation between insurgent social movement and experimental art, and has been preoccupied with understanding these fields of endeavor as indissolubly linked and irreducibly popular. Over the last 25 years, Moten has addressed these concerns, by way of poetry and criticism, in a number of books, including In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (University of Minnesota Press, 2003); Hughson's Tavern (Leon Works, 2009); B. Jenkins (Duke University Press, 2010); The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions, 2014); The Little Edges (Wesleyan University Press, 2015); The Service Porch (Letter Machine Editions, 2016); and consent not to be a single being (Duke University Press, 2017, 2018). Moten lives in New York with his partner and long-term intellectual collaborator, Laura Harris, and their children, Lorenzo and Julian. He has served on the editorial boards of Callaloo, Discourse, American Quarterly, and Social Text; as a member of the Critical Theory Institute at the University of California, Irvine; on the board of directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, City University of New York; and on the advisory board of Issues in Critical Investigation, Vanderbilt University. Moten teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University.