North River Music Season 25: The Particle Ensemble (Thomas Buckner, Earl Howard, Mari Kimura, and J.D. Parran)

Thomas Buckner (baritone), Earl Howard (electronics and saxophones), Mari Kimura (violin and electronics), and J.D. Parran (winds) join forces in the Particle Ensemble to appear at Greenwich House Music School on Friday, December 3rd at 8 p.m.

The ensemble—formed after several successful collaborations, performing compositions and improvisation by its members—will present the premiere of J.D. Parran’s Pundititus (2010), and new performances of Earl Howard’s Frond (2010) and Mari Kimura’s Bucknerian (2002). The evening, co-presented by Mutable Music, is offered as part of the 25th anniversary season of North River Music—one of New York City’s first concert series devoted to new and experimental music. It will be followed by a reception.

The Particle Ensemble will premiere J.D. Parran’s Pundititus (2010), a trio for voice, winds, and electronics. Commissioned by Mutable Music for baritone Thomas Buckner, the work will feature Buckner, J.D. Parran on alto flute, bamboo flutes and mbiran, and Earl Howard on the saxello (the almost extinct soprano saxophone) and electronics. The title refers to the text it is inspired from—a collection of ancient and modern phrase-bites commenting on cultural, philosophical or political matters.

Other highlights include Earl Howard’s Frond (2010) for baritone voice, bass saxophone, electronics, and Mari Kimura’s Bucknerian (2002) for baritone voice, violin and electronics. In Bucknerian—a celebration of Buckner’s prodigious vocal versatility and improvisational skills—the voices of the violin and the baritone mix, mesh, or collide acoustically and are processed with others sounds in real time through Max/MSP. Mari Kimura explains: “I feel that this kind of performance is done with almost a telepathic sensitivity between the players, and the process is a sort of 'alchemy.' I almost have this crazy vision of a witch in a black robe, mixing a boiling pot of two sounds, violin and voice, with a big wooden spoon!” The evening will end with an improvisation grouping the Ensemble’s members in various configurations.

Venue: Renee Weiler Concert Hall, Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow Street (between Bedford St. & 7th Ave. S), NYC

Tickets: $15 General Admission/$10 Students/Seniors. All tickets are payable at the door from 7:30pm

For additional information please call (212) 242-4770.

About the Artists:

For more than 40 years, baritone Thomas Buckner has dedicated himself to the world of new and improvised music. Buckner has collaborated with a host of new music composers including Robert Ashley, Noah Creshevsky, Tom Hamilton, Earl Howard, Matthias Kaul, Leroy Jenkins, Bun Ching Lam, Annea Lockwood, Roscoe Mitchell, Phill Niblock, Wadada Leo Smith, Chinary Ung, Christian Wolff and many others. He has made appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Herbst Theatre, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Ostrava Days Festival, the Prague Spring Festival, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. His most recent solo recording, New Music for Baritone & Chamber Ensemble, includes works by Annea Lockwood, Tania Leon, and Petr Kotik. He also appears in the newly released CD/DVD Kirili et le Nymphéas (Hommage à Monet). For the past twenty years, Buckner has co-produced the Interpretations series in New York City. He also created the Mutable Music record label to produce new recordings and reissue some important historic recordings, previously unavailable in CD format.

Earl Howard creates orchestrated sounds with electronics, using live improvisational performance to create a unique, densely layered composition. Howard graduated from California Institute of the Arts in 1974. He has performed at Merkin Hall, The Whitney Museum, The Kitchen, The Knitting Factory, Roulette, and Carnegie Recital Hall. Howard has received fellowships and commissions from Harvard's Fromm Foundation, UCSD, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2004, his first sound installation was commissioned for the Queens Museum of Art. Recent performances include work with Georg Graewe, Mark Dresser, Yuko Fujiyama, Evan Parker, Thomas Buckner, and George Lewis. Recent releases have appeared on Random Acoustics, Erstwhile Records, New World, and Mutable Music.

Hailed by The New York Times as “a virtuoso playing at the edge”, composer/violinist/improviser Mari Kimura is widely admired for her revolutionary extended technique “Subharmonics” and her works for interactive computer music. She is a winner of 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, and 2010 Composer in Residence at IRCAM in Paris. Described as the “Plugged-in Paganini for the Digital Age”(All Music Guide), Ms. Kimura’s works have been supported by grants including NYFA, Jerome Foundation, Arts International, Japan Foundation, Meet the Composer and NYSCA. Since 1998, Ms. Kimura has been teaching a graduate class in Interactive Computer Music Performance at The Juilliard School. Her new Mutable Music album, The World Below G and Beyond, features her works for Subharmonics.

J.D. Parran has mastered a wide variety of woodwind instruments, including alto clarinet, contrabass clarinet, and bass saxophone. He has recorded and performed with Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Don Byron, Andrew Hill, Adam Rudolph, Wadada Leo Smith and James Jabbo Ware, among many others. His most recent recordings include Window Spirits Solo (Mutable) and Kokopilau (Freedonia), and his releases as a leader include J.D. Parran & Spirit Stage, and Omegathorp: Living City (Y'All). Parran has premiered a concerto by Anthony Davis at Miller Theatre and Spoleto USA; performed the music of Julius Hemphill with Marty Ehrlich and Ursula Oppens at Tanglewood and the Gardner Museum; and travels regularly with cabaret vocalist Rosemary George. He is currently composing, performing and recording collaboratively in Ensemble Helacious with Kevin Norton (percussion) and Peter Zummo (trombone).

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