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ACME Observatory
Summer 2001 Season

Sunday, June 3, 2001, 8:00pm


David Kwan + Antimatter

real-time sound and image processing


K. Atchley

premiere of fountain_2001.5 (laurent-perrier mix) for Kinji Hayashi for concert fountain and interactive electronics


John Bischoff/
Tim Perkis

John Bischoff and Tim Perkis are pioneers of live computer music performance, dating back to their 1978 founding of the League of Automatic Music Composers - the first computer network band. They have worked with such artists and groups as Eugene Chadbourne, Roscoe Mitchell, the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Leo Wadada Smith, the Splatter Trio and John Zorn.

How to describe what Bischoff/Perkis do? Critics have tried: "[they] expand the boundaries of creative thought.... move electronic music decisively into the next millenium...create yet-unheard sonorities in a modern mood... makes the 'new complexity' sound like 'pop goes the weasel'..."

In addition to their duo performance, Bischoff will present 3 short pieces:

Graviton is a new piece that investigates sonic evolution within the context of massive synthetic sound. Half of the performer controls apply to the smallest details of sonic change, the other half to whether sounds are on or off. Working with these two extremes the performer constructs sonic action in real time. The title refers to a hypothetical subatomic particle thought to be the quantum of gravitational interaction.

Interlude is derived from test runs of an automatic piano score generator adapted for electronic output.

Immaterial States follows the formal trajectory of a slow rise and fall of a sound file processed in real time. The sound file is a 10 second recording of whispered text. Looping portions of the whispered sound are scanned in motoric slow motion, gradually tracing the spectral contour of the original recording. Pure tone clusters linked to this process glide first in parallel and then in contrary motion. As the clusters descend and internal motion slows down, an underlying framework of chordal relations echoes at the end. The piece attempts to create a continually moving focal point around which disparate contours ebb and flow.



Sunday, June 17, 2001, 8:00pm
the amazing english 'tone scientist':
John Butcher
solo saxophones

Butcher is one of the most accomplished saxophonists working from a "post-Parker" [Evan, not Charlie!] perspective, and has been a major player in the London improvised and new music scene for the past two decades. Butcher's music ranges from free improvisation to structured compositions for instruments with/without tape.

Butcher's saxophone playing is marked by heavy use of multiphonics and extended techniques. With a background in physics [he holds a doctorate specializing in the theoretical properties of charmed quarks], he brings to the saxophone a manner more of a "tone scientist" than a jazz musician. He has isolated and clarified these techniques in order to allow them to become the music rather than serve as a vehicle for the music.

Solo concerts have long been a particular interest for Butcher, and tonight's concert will be no exception. Please join us in this rare opportunity to hear John Butcher's only solo appearance for his 2001 bay area visit!


Hugh Livingston
cello and electronics

this local master of the cello performs new works with and without electronics by american composers:
Oded Ben-Tal
Matthew Burtner
Hiroya Miura
Mark Danks
Michael Theodore
Sean Griffin



Sunday, July 1, 2001, 8:00pm
Noise for Breast Cancer Research

vertonen [chicago]
coeurl [chicago]
the bran (another plight of medic's...) pos [sf]
seam pith [berkeley]

donations at door will be put toward the research;
for a suggested donation of $10 (or more) you will receive a copy of Bhreus Kormo, the breast cancer research benefit compilation released earlier this year:

Bhreus Kormo, a CD compilation of experimental music whose profits will be donated to the Howard Brown Health Center's Cancer Quality of Life Study. This study is the first to compare social factors between lesbian and heterosexual women with breast cancer.

One of the primary critiques of past breast cancer research concerning lesbians is that the differences and similarities between lesbians and heterosexual women have not been compared. Many don't know that lesbians have a higher risk for developing breast cancer when compared with heterosexual women-even when there are no differences in family history, in having mammograms, or in personal cancer history. Therefore, lesbian participants of this study will be compared with a heterosexual counterpart with similar demographics, such as age and race. This comparison will help to assess whether the quality of care that lesbians are reporting is due to their sexual orientation or other factors.

About the study:

The goals of the study include (1) better understanding how the availability of social support following a cancer diagnosis affects quality of life, coping, and overall adjustment; (2) providing concrete, detailed information about how to improve health care services and resources for lesbians at Howard Brown Health Center and other health and mental care centers; (3) studying the psychological and social issues that lesbians face when diagnosed with breast cancer; (4) contributing to both the improvement of cancer-related services for lesbians and the scientific literature on factors affecting the quality of life of lesbians with cancer; (5) conducting research in related areas and increase collaboration between health researchers and community-based groups that work in the area of lesbian health; (6) utilizing information gathered from this study to assist established Chicago community-based services with long traditions of providing services to lesbians with cancer.

About the contributors:

The diverse contributors on this disc-both new and underrepresented-cover a wide terrain of sound:

* irr. app. (ext.), a sound collage artist from central CA
* Negative Entropy, a brand new collaborative project featuring renowned British sound composer Michael Prime and Geert Feytons, a member of the established Belgian experimental group Noise Maker's Fifes
* coeurl, the solo work of J. Soliday, one-half of Chicago's premiere experimental duo, gunshop
* seafoam, the sound project of Chicago-based artist Philip von Zweck, who also hosts the long-running "something else" radio program on WLUW 88.7 FM Chicago every Sunday evening from 10:30 PM to 2 AM
* Skin Crime, a noise unit from NH, featuring the proprietor of the seminal U.S. noise label self abuse
* Josh Norton Cabal, a solo noise artist from Scotland
* seam pith, a sound composer from the Bay Area
* Brutum Fulmen, an electro-acoustic pioneer from CT
* Bran (another plight of medic's...) Pos, spewing bizarre sounds from San Francisco, CA
* Vertonen, the sound project of Blake Edwards, who hosts the fortnightly radio show War Bride on WHPK, 88.5 FM Chicago Tuesday mornings from midnight to 2 AM
* John Wiese, an experimental musician who also runs the eclectic label helicopter

Sunday, July 15, 2001, 1pm - 11pm

join us to hear dozens of the Bay Area's best-known practitioners of adventurous, improvised, non-standard music. We will have plenty of charcoal on hand, so bring a slab of meat [or meat-like products], or any other items for yourself or others to consume while listening to some damn-fine music!

[program order subject to change]
Phyll Smith/Andre Custodio -- Ethereal/Dark Ambient/Experimental/DarkWave/Noise
Ron Thompson -- solo guitar+computer
Dan Plonsey's Garbaggio Truckio Fantastico -- truly improvised music


Rubber City -- David Slusser [sax], Ralph Carney [horns], Richard Saunders [bass], Michel Dumonceau [drums]
Saint of Killers -- avant-space-rock-metal-noise


sfSound Group -- a new music ensemble
Compomicro-Dexall -- Noise-free-mad-jazz-punk-grindcore duo
Jessica Loos / Damon Smith Duo -- Improvised Sound Poetry/String Bass


Marco Eneidi -- solo saxophone
Myles Boisen & Karen Stackpole -- prepared guitar and gongs
Tori Anus -- computer/guitar/viola/drum/random circuits from:
[Jorge Boehringer, Kris Miltner, and David Horton]


tonamatt -- Nancy Beckman [shakuhachi], Tom Bickley [recorder&electronics], Marianne MacDonald [harp], Kattt Sammon [voice]
Phillip Greenlief -- solo saxophone
Double Nickels -- a double quintet with
[John Shiurba/Myles Boisen, matt ingalls/John Ingle, Tom Djll/Tom Yoder]
[Morgan Guberman/Eli Crews, Gino Robair/Karen Stackpole]


Bob Marsh [cello,etc]/Scott R Looney [computer]/Ernesto Diaz-Infante [guitar extensions]/Garth Powell [drums]
Transmission Trio -- [Colin Stetson, Eric Perney, Andrew Kitchen]

Sunday August 5
8pm - set order tba


From Questa, New Mexico!
Jeff Gburek
is a multi-instrumentalist following the path of a butoh-inspired transformational music. Using a modified javanese gamelan percussion set up, he deploys a cyclical structure of tones, texture, resonances and ruptures reminiscent of classical javanese music. For his ACME performance, he will present

electronic sound from rewired devices other objects forged and found with balinese rythmic ideas mixed and deconstructured into modern percussion feeling no sense of cycle but shifting sound horizons interweaving ear or two

Gburek, a self-taught guitarist for 26 years, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Poetics from the New College of California and has studied various literatures and ethnomusicology. He studied classical Javanese gamelan with Pak Suhardi in Yogyakarta and has been strongly influenced by Indian music, microtonalists, experimental improvisors and freedom jazz. His composition for two microtonal guitars and micro-incremental movement, "Aint Observin Increments", premiered at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin in March, 2000. Last year he did concerts as guitarist, violinist and rebab player throughout Germany with Konrad Bauer, Joachim Gies, Michael Vorfeldt, Michael Walz, Joe Williamson, Panik Musik and his free jazz trio ON. He toured Djalma last September along with Neel Murgai, Chris Forsyth and Rich Gross. In New York he has performed alongside Toshi Makihara, Daniel Carter and Graham Haynes. He composed/ performed the music for Djalma"s performance of Null Achtzehn in Italy, Germany and Poland. He continues to modify his gamelan set-up with diverse preparations and integrates disintegrated circuitry sounds into his performances.

  Henry Kuntz
will present an AN AVANT-SHAMANISTIC MULTI-INSTRUMENTAL SOLO IMPROVISATION. Instrumentation will include Javanese gamelan, rhaita (Moroccan double-reed instrument), Mexican Indian violin, flutes, and tenor saxophone. In this solo presentation, Henry applies in concentrated form "avant-shamanic" concepts he has developed over many years both on his own and with the group OPEYE.. Henry notes: "The alertness demanded by the free improvisation process shifts one's state of being into a place not unlike that described in various accounts of trance, dream or shamanic reality. The inherently creative and explorative aspects of free improvisation -- the manner in which it seeks to alter, realign, and reconfigure cultural paradigms -- place it on a path that is parallel to that of the shaman. Yet while the shaman seeks to restore individuals who are out of cultural sorts to harmony with their surroundings, the avant-shamanic free improvisor does not so much seek to restore connections with a particular culture, but to find and experience One's True Self /Our True Selves in the midst of a culture/world cultures that are in many ways lacking in wholeness."

Kuntz has been intimately involved in free jazz and free improvisation for more than 25 years. From 1973 to 1979, he was editor and publisher of the internationally-acclaimed newsletter-review BELLS. He first recorded on tenor saxophone in 1977 on Henry Kaiser's Ice Death (Parachute 005). He has played musette and various flutes since 1981, miniature violins since 1983, gamelans and xylophones since 1988. On Humming Bird Records, he has released 2 LPs, 16 cassettes, and 3 CDs of solo, group, and multi-tracked free improvisations. In 1986, he co-founded the "avant-shamanic trance jazz" group, Opeye. He has traveled extensively (over 20 years) to Mexico, Central and South America, Asia, Indonesia, and North Africa recording, studying, and drawing upon aspects of music, ritual, dance, and performance -- from which 5 ethnographic cassettes have also been produced. Henry's recently released solo tenor saxophone music, One One & One (Humming Bird CDs 2&3), has been critically acclaimed in various publications, including Jazz Journal International, Cadence, One Final Note, Musings , and New Creative Music.

Sunday August 19
8pm - set order tba


From Zürich!
Jason Kahn
drums, metals, electronics

"minimal kit drum percussion pieces, very inventive, simple and original, where rhythm is a mirror through which shifting sonorities and melodic modulations are explored. a strong concept excellently realised. sound counts (engineered by bob drake)." - Chris Cutler
Jason Kahn has been active in the European new music scene since moving from Los Angeles to Berlin in 1990. He has given concerts with, among others, Sainkho Namtchylak, David Moss, Evan Parker, Shelley Hirsch, Christian Marclay, Dietmar Diesner, Johannes Bauer, Günter Müller, Dieb13....

Kahn was originally a drummer / percussionist but later began integrating sampling into his playing, at first with hardware sampling units; later using the computer and live sampling software. Kahn was a guest of STEIM (Studio for Electro Instrumental Music) in Amsterdam, working there on combining STEIM's interactive sampling program LiSa with live drumming.

Over several trips to Japan Kahn has performed with Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Taku Sugimoto, Tetuzi Akiyama, Utah Kawasaki, Uchihashi Kazuhisa and Koji Asano. In 1997 Kahn formed the project "Repeat" with no-input mixing board player Toshimaru Nakamura. Repeat has toured both Japan and Europe several times as well as releasing three CD's to critical acclaim.

While living in Berlin Kahn was from 1994-99 a member of American composer Arnold Dreyblatt's ensemble The Orchestra of Excited Strings, performing in installations, multi-media pieces and concerts. Kahn has also composed music for theater, dance and sound installations (most recently: klangturm )

Kahn currently lives in Zürich, where he curates a series of concerts for new improvised and electronic music, "sonique serie". He started the cut label in 1996, releasing to date five CD's.

  The Brown Bunny Ensemble
"has not decided if they are a band, a collective, or a new music ensemble. The Brown Bunny Ensemble has not decided to compose, install, improvise, or program. The Brown Bunny Ensemble has only decided to make absurd, challenging, and beautiful music at the highest level." - Village Voice

Sunday September 2
8pm - set order tba


Funding from Meet The Composer, Inc. is provided with the support of National Endowment for the Arts, ASCAP, and Virgil Thomson Foundation.

  From Seattle!
Bill Horist

As a solo artist, Bill's improvised, prepared guitar work is informed by Hans Reichel, Fred Frith, and Henry Kaiser, but shows a unique style and personality. He has received critical praise internationally from The Wire and Alternative Press. His performances have been paired with musicians such as Bobby Previte, Wayne Horvitz, Cul de Sac, and Subarachnoid Space. In May 1998, Bill toured the United States in support of his CD SOYLENT RADIO.

  ma++ ingalls performs
a retrospective of compositions and improvisations for clarinet, computers, violin, turntable, and tape
"shapeless sonic tinkering..." - LA Times