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Multilayered Improvisations: Shih-yang Lee x Bruce Gremo | Phill Niblock x Katherine Liberovskaya

2015/10/27 (Tue) @ 20:00 - 22:15

| ¥80

This exceptional concert in two sets, Sample 2 of the [INSERT NAME HERE] Meridian Experimental Minifest, will bring together four extremely accomplished composers and performers, each of them coming from very different backgrounds.

UPDATE (26/10): THIS EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE AT FRUITYSHOP (17 Dongsi Toutiao Hutong, Dongcheng district).

PART 1: Acoustic improvisations – by Shih-yang Lee and Bruce Gremo

Both are consecrated artists and each has a vast experience pushing the boundaries in the different music ranges they usually work: Lee Shih-Yang is a versatile Taiwanese pianist, leader and co-founder of the improvisation group Ka Dao Yin; Bruce Gremo, a multiple flutist, brings improvisation, new music composition, world music, experimentalism, and interactive computer programming. They join forces at Meridian for the first time to deliver a show consisting of four free improvisation pieces, in which the performance itself will intensify the effect of their simultaneous musical experiments.

Bruce Gremo

Bruce Gremo Cilia+Fls-682x1024 photo Array Music(1)Beijing-based composer and classical flutist Bruce Gremo also performs on bass flute, alto shakulute, Japanese shakuhachi, glissando flute, and shakulute. He is also principal flutist in the Peking Sinfonietta, founding member of the Beijing Mozart Ensemble, Muse Ensemble, the Syneme Telemusic Ensemble and an active classical recitalist. Since the late 1990s, he has composed interactive computer applications that include pitch-tracking intensive applications, and performs on the Cilia, his patented flute-controller instrument.

Gremo is interested in developing concert formats where different performance practices meet: classical repertoire and improvisation, hi-tech electronic and acoustic, western and eastern, old and new, functional and ecstatic. These interests are born out of the mix of his graduate academic composition education and his practical education as a participant in the free improvisation and experimental music scene in New York City where he lived from the late 1980s, until he relocated to Beijing in 2006.

He has been a featured soloist at the Lincoln Center Festival, Wien Modern, the BBC Proms Festival at the Royal Albert Hall, and the Knitting Factory Jazz Festival under Ornette Coleman’s direction. He toured over fourteen months as synthesizer programmer and soloist with the Peter Sellars production of the KunQu opera The Peony Pavilion. Recipient of numerous awards, his music has been performed around the world.

Watch Bruce perform on Vimeo and YouTube.

Shih-Yang Lee

leeShih-Yang Lee (李世扬 – b. 1982) is certainly one of the greatest musical talents in Taiwan. He studied classical piano at age six. After more than twenty years of classical and conservatory training, he started to have interests in composition and improvisation as well. He is the founder and co-leader of the improvisation group Ka Dao Yin, having a unique instrumentation with piano, saxophone, guzheng (Chinese zither), and sheng (Chinese mouth organ). In 2012 Ka Dao Yin’s first CD “Four Characters” has won the Taiwan Golden Indie Music Award for “Best Jazz Album” and “Best Jazz Track”. The second CD “Slow” won the 25th Golden Melody Award of Traditional Arts and Music.

Lee has played with the main bulk of Classical and Avant-garde musicians in Taiwan. He has performed with drummer legend Sabu Toyozumi from Japan, pioneer of European free jazz pianist Fred van Hove from Belgium and many others including Gene Coleman, Erik R. Lund, Hans Fjellestad, Tobias Delius, and many more. LEE has also cooperated with poets, painters, theatre like “Shakespeare’s Wild Sisters Group”, and contemporary dance like “HORSE”, “T.T.C. Dance”, WCdance, among others.

Shih-Yang Lee is a pianist of depth and passion, style and enthusiasm whose duos with Belgian veteran Fred van Hove have been getting some very positive and well deserved responses from critics and listeners alike. He tours in different countries. (France, Germany, United Kingdom, Austria, Holland, China…) In 2013 LEE is the first Taiwanese musician being invited for performing in the closing concert of MÉTÉO Festival Mulhouse, France, to celebrate its 30th anniversary. His latest live recording with Fred van Hove “Galactic Alignment” has won the New York City Jazz Record “Honorary Mention of the new releases of 2013, and nominated for the “Best Musician” of 5th Indie Music Award.

Some of his music:
Solo Improvisations


Ka Dao Yin:

PART 2: Live video and audio mixing – by Phill Niblock and Katherine Liberovskaya

While Niblock mixes live between audio pieces based on diverse field recordings, Liberovskaya mixes video live with Jitter/Max/MSP from a vast personal database of clips shot over the past twenty years. Their performance will also includemusic & images compositions produced by Phill Niblock in recent years. Together, they conjure a rich trans-media capsule, in which the audience’ senses are stimulated in a systematic, almost hypnotic way, both by the music and the visual imagery.

Phill Niblock

PNbyKL_NYCNiblock (b. 1933) is an intermedia artist using music, film, photography, video and computers. He makes thick, loud drones of music, filled with microtones of instrumental timbres which generate many other tones in the performance space. Simultaneously, he presents films / videos which look at the movement of people working, slides, or computer driven black and white abstract images floating through time.

Since the mid-60’s he has been making music and intermedia performances which have been shown at numerous venues around the world. Since 1985, he has been the director of the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York where he has been an artist/member since 1968. He is the producer of Music and Intermedia presentations at EI since 1973 (about 1000 performances) and the curator of EI’s XI Records label.

Niblock has no formal musical training. His minimalistic drone approach to composition and music was inspired by the musical and artistic activities of New York in the 1960s (from the art of Mark Rothko, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Robert Morris to the music of John Cage and Morton Feldman’s Durations pieces). Niblock’s music is an exploration of sound textures created by multiple tones in very dense, often atonal tunings (generally microtonal in conception) performed in long durations. The layering of long tones only very slightly distinct in pitch creates a multitude of beats and generates complex overtone patterns and other fascinating psychoacoustic effects, utterly distinct in sound and technique to other music which shares such common elements.

Niblock’s work continues to influence a generation of musicians. Much of his pieces are based on collaborations with specific musicians. Over the years he has thus worked with a large number of the most diverse players including: Susan Stenger, Robert Poss, Jim O’Rourke, Ulrich Krieger, Seth Josel, Tom Buckner, and many others. He is the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Foundation for Contemporary Arts John Cage award. His music is available on the XI, Moikai, Mode Records, and Touch labels.

See Phill on a solo music+film set: Excerpt from China ’88


Katherine Liberovskaya

KL_byGalya_square_mediumLiberovskaya is a video and intermedia artist based in Montreal, Canada, and New York City. Involved in experimental video since the 80s, she has produced many single-channel videos, video installation works and video performances which have been presented at a wide variety of artistic venues and events around the world.

Since 2001 her work predominantly focuses on collaborations with composers and sound artists for fixed screen works and installations and notably in live video+sound performance where her live visuals seek to create improvisatory “music” for the eyes. Frequent collaborators include Phill Niblock, Al Margolis/If,Bwana, Leslie Ross, Zanana, Kristin Norderval, Hitoshi Kojo, David Watson, David First and o.blaat (Keiko Uenishi).

Since 2003 she has explored improvised video with numerous artists including: Monique Buzzarte, Anne Wellmer, Tom Hamilton, Margarida Garcia, Manuel Mota, Anthony Coleman, among many others.

Recent solo projects include the audiovisual installations “NoizeBreeze” (2014), “sonimaginations tissulaires” (2014), “Air-Play” (2013), “Amplifontana” (2012) and “Shines” (2008-09). Concurrently she curates and organizes the Screen Compositions evenings at Experimental Intermedia, NYC, since 2005 and, since 2006, the OptoSonic Tea salons at Diapason, NYC, and in various locations in Europe and elsewhere with OptoSonic Tea On the Road. In 2014 she completed a PhD in Art Practice entitled “Improvisatory Live Visuals: Playing Images Like a Musical Instrument” at the Université du Québec in Montréal (UQAM).

Katherine and Phill on a joint performance: Flussi Festival, Avelino, Italy, 2014


Time: Tuesday October 27, 8pm
Venue: FRUITYSHOP (17 Dongsi Toutiao Hutong, Dongcheng district)
Cover: 80 RMB (door), 60 RMB (advance)

Meridian Borderline:
A laboratory for contemporary art, music and film

Borderline is an ongoing series of events hosted or curated by Meridian 时差, dedicated to avant-garde and/or experimental sound, performance arts, visual arts, and indie cinema. Borderline events are occasions to explore new creative territories.

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