This is the 3rd year for the Summit featuring some of the most creative and exploratory music of our time by the community of die-hard DIY self-motivated musicians of the West Coast. Heading this endeavor is saxophonist and sound artist Rent Romus.
Romus not only administers Edgetone Records, one of the many artist run new music labels in California and part of U.I.R.C., but also curates the S.F. Luggage Store Gallery New Muisc Series, The S. F. SIMM Series, Outsound Presents… (an artist collective for live performance), the production board member for the SFAlt Festival, advisor for Big Sur Experimental Sound Shift, and founder and head of U.I.R.C. (The Ultra Independent Recording Coalition), an all artist run label distribution network.
All the artists performing on the 2004 Edgetone New Music Summit reflect a wide range and genre busting exploration of new music from up and down the California coastline.
-Rent Romus, Organizer Edgetone New Music Summit
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
The Abstractions rip apart, rent asunder, and redefine music offering a sonic pallet of utter disturbance. Drawing from an improvisational body of knowledge, the unspoken words transformed to music, history, and social insight makes up this unclassifiable experimental music. http://www.edgetonerecords.com/abstractions.html
Rent Romus is a force spanning over seventeen years of creative improvised music. The current director and producer of Edgetone Records, the SIMM Music Series at the Studio 6 Musicians Union Hall, and co-curator of the Luggage Store Gallery Series with Ernesto Diaz-Infante in San Francisco, Romus has introduced countless musicians from the world over and multimedia events to the San Francisco Bay Area culture and throughout parts of the world. http://www.romus.net
During the mid 80’s, Romus enhanced his studies at the Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University, where he was blessed with the wisdom and guidance from Stan Getz, guitarist Bruce Forman, Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Martin, and drummer Eddie Moore. In 1984 at the age of 16, Romus re-organized directed NAYJE (the North Area Youth Jazz Ensemble), a seventeen piece big band featuring some of the best young high school and college bay area musicians at the time. In the fall of 1986, while attending the University of California at Santa Cruz, he formed the group Jazz On The Line which became the focus for his compositions and productions. JOTL was an acoustic jazz sextet that fused jazz, blues, gospel, and hip-hop into original compositions. Romus produced three albums for this group including his critically acclaimed CD Jazz On the Line with Chico Freeman, In The Moment on Edgetone Records soon to be reissued. Mid span the group changed it’s name to 2AM, and was considered one of the founding bands of the “acid jazz” scene popular in the early nineties parallel to Charlie Hunter and the like.
In 1993 seeking a more expanded format to explore, Romus formed the modern music group RKZtet, which featured ex-ESP recording artist and drum master James Zitro and former Sun Ra Arkestra cellist Kash Killion, both noted for their contribution to the development of the “new jazz” of the sixties. Later in 1994 Romus renamed the group, The Lords of Outland, and brought in soon to be film music composer Vytas Nagisetty (Brock Lee) on bass, Andrew Borger (currently drummer for Tom Waits) and Jason Olaine (Jay O), (currently AR director for Verve Records Universal) on trumpet.
The Lords of Outland recorded their first album You’ll Never Be The Same, Jazzheads Records JH9493 in 1995, and were featured on the then fledgling BET Channel National Network Show, “Jazz Central” as part of the Jazz Discovery program. That same year Romus self-produced his first overseas national tour of Denmark which featured many of Copenhagen’s young improvisers discovering such musicians as pianist/trumpet player Jonas Müller who has recently moved the S.F. Bay Area, and drummer Stefan Pasborg.
In 1996 Romus returned to Denmark for his second tour with Jonas as the Rent Romus Sound Cirkus. The group also included San Francisco basists George Cremanchi and saxophonist Alex Weiss. After returning to the U.S. they continued on to the Bay Area to finish the tour. During that year he also assisted bluesman Paris Slim produce his first major American release with guitarist Joe Lewis Walker and Sonny Rhodes. In 1997 Romus had the honor of recording with tenor sax master John Tchicai. Tchicai is best known for his work with the NY Art Quartet, NY Ear and Eye Control, and his recordings with John Coltrane and Albert Ayler. The CD of this recording, Adapt…or DIE! was released at the end of 1997. In 1998 Romus released Blood Motions featuring his young Danish protégés Stefan Pasborg and bassist Jonas Westergaard.
In 2000 Romus re-opened his avant, free music lable Edgetone Records, where his current release can be found, interweaving science fiction, horror literature, improvisation, Finno-Ugric music traditions, and the inspiration of Albert Ayler.
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser is an active member of the vital San Francisco experimental music scene. Born in Salinas, California, Diaz-Infante's early musical life began with private piano lessons and in high school jazz, marching and concert bands, garage rock bands and Mexican conjunto/pop bands. In his teens, he became immersed in writing poetry, drawing, playing synthesizer and guitar, and lo-fi 4-track recording of songs. He received his formal musical education from the University of California Santa Barbara College of Creative Studies (1992-94) and California Institute of the Arts (1994-96), where he studied a variety of music, composition, electronic music, film music, Gamelan, modern dance, and performance art. Diaz-Infante has composed contemporary chamber music for solo, ensemble and orchestra. He has been awarded residencies at the Centre International de Recherche Musicale (CIRM), the Villa Arson (both in Nice, France), The Millay Colony for the Arts, Centrum, Villa Montalvo, The New York Mills Arts Retreat, The Ucross Foundation and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. He has recorded more than 15 albums/CDs of music, collaborated with numerous musicans, and he has had performances and radio broadcasts all over the world. http://www.paxrecordings.com/ernesto/
Lance Grabmiller is currently producing and currating events throughout the Bay Area while trying to straddle the gap between the "avant-garde" and the "electronic". He has played in improvisational groups with Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Rent Romus, Philip Gelb, Joseph Zitt, LX Rudis, Dina Emerson and many more. He has also opened for such notable electronic acts as Kid606, Sagan, Wobbly, Uprock and Meg Lee Chin among others. Someday he will teach himself to play Fugazi covers on his weasing accordion and start that record label he has always talked about. He also refuses to teach himself to DJ in order to join the electronic elite and was last seen burning vinyl to keep warm. http://www.bayimproviser.com/artistdetail.asp?artist_id=185
Bob Marsh originally hails from Detroit MI where he honed his skills as an avid artist. He’s founded dance companies, art galleries, invented public instruments, exhibited as a painter, teacher, multi-instrumentalist, and art therapist, and built award-winning guitars. When ribbed jokingly by a colleague “what instruments do you not play”? He responded dryly, “what I don’t have”. He currently performs regularly on violin, cello, piano, vibraphone, flute, and extended vocal techniques, just to name a few.
He is the leader of the Emergency String Quartet, the Robot Martians, the Illuminated Orchestra, Opera viva; co-leader of Lucha de Leche with Ernesto Diaz-Infante and member of Aaron Bennett's Nonet, Jim Ryan's Left Coast Improv Group, and The Abstractions. http://www.edgetonerecords.com/marsh.html
Phillip Everett began music at the age of 9 on clarinet shortly there after moving on the drums when he was 13 where he began his studies in junior high school with Warren George from the Stan Kenton band. Warren believed in trial by fire and stuck Phillip in a room alone for an hour a day, told him to learn drum rudiments, and put him in advanced orchestra & marching band the following semester. That trial led him directly to Bartok, Debussy, and Gershwin as well as New Orleans style 2nd line marches. Furthering his studies he sought after George Marsh and Eddie Moore where he was taught the finer subtleties of the drums. Phillip states, “These guys taught me to relax and trust my own instincts and that pursuit of one's own uniqueness was not a negative quality”
Armed with an array of teachings Phillip, became the leader of various groups over the years. In 1967 he began his first group Ice, a psychedelic R & B group performing music in the style of Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix & Obscure Soul & Blues & funk jazz. The band toured the Midwest in an old black city bus, opened for bands like Canned Heat, and Sweetwater utill the group members went their separate ways in 1972. Many of the members went on to play w/Peter Frampton, Tommy Bolin, Cannonball Adderly, Luther Tucker, Members of the Eagles and other lesser known artists in the one minute of fame category.
Undaunted by the end of his first group Phillip pushed ahead and created Arrival in 1974. This group was significantly different then his early psychedelic R & B days. This progressive rock band featured the electronics of David Toby & bassist Ray Schaeffer. This group combined elements of hard rock, folk, world music, electronic improvisation & composition. They found themselves almost signed to several major record labels but the music was difficult for the music corporations to pigeonhole.
In 1985 he formed Sound Oasis, a six piece jazz group theat performed at the Vintage Inn in West Oakland for a number of years.
After numerous other projects Phillip found himself making a living performing with various country & western groups including his own such as The Homewreckers, and The Ghettobillys. They performed at honky-tonk bar rooms up & down the delta between Richmond & Stockton California until 2000. Although he was making a living his calling was not being fulfilled. His experience from his earlier development brought him to the conclusion that discovering new music was much more truer to his heart and left it all for his decision to play only creative music in the direction of sonic exploration.
His current projects include Tri-Cornered Tent Show, an improvisation group that explores music inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, various group concepts with saxophonist Rent Romus including the Abstractions, and writing experimental country music for his project “White Buffalo, Midwestern Gothic”. http://www.edgetonerecords.com/everett.html
Marina Lazzara was born and raised in Easton, Pennsylvania where the Lehigh River falls into the Delaware. Her appreciation for music began at a young age when her mother encouraged her and her sisters to sing in bed before falling to sleep. A San Francisco based poet-musician, she graduated from New College of California where she received a Masters of Arts in Poetics and wrote an expressionistic thesis entitled The Ear is the Last Face: the Epistolary-Poems of Emily Dickinson. She has published in various small press magazines as well as a book of poems entitled The Backdrop Line. At the turn of the 21st century, she was a member of the rotating indie-rock trio, Blue Gum Art. Besides ambitious endeavors toward a life of creativity, selfish social activism to enhance the urban imagination, and endless schemes to dodge student loan payments, Marina's current musical projects include singing backup for the gypsy rock band, Liesl's Wet Dress as well as the indie-rock-christian-mock band, Smile God Loves You. She also writes, plays guitar and sings for the electric-folk band, Poetiks, currently playing the Frisco scene and working towards a full-length collection of songs about war, senseless fortune, dirty dishes and really heavy thoughts.
Miba (Kristin Miltner & Mark Bartscher) uses various self-created software patches to scan audio files, creating rhythmic granular textures ranging from harmonic washes to dense noise. Their installation work is made of suspended objects that trigger fragments of found sound. On this CD they perform their latest sample-based audio compositions. A limited edition of 250 copies worldwide. http://www.paxrecordings.com/Artists/Marina_Lazzara.html
Matt Davignon of Oakland, California has been performing and recording his own brand of experimental music for the last 9 years. Completely self-taught, he performs on a large variety of less-than-professional grade instruments. (Including samplers, turntable, cd player, toys, found objects, prepared guitar, store-bought keyboards and drum machine.) Matt also organizes a plethora of unusual shows in the bay area, including the Found Objects Festival, the "2 Night Thingy for Voice & Electronics", The Suitcase Ensemble and Himp-Hoxp (which mixes experimental improvisers with underground rappers). http://www.edgetonerecords.com/davignon.html
Marjorie Sturm was born in Manhattan and raised in Rockland County. She studied psychology and art at the University of Michigan and then moved out to San Francisco in 1991. She has lived for extended periods in Mexico, Nepal/India, and Israel studying poetry, film, music, and religion. She received her MFA in filmmaking from San Francisco State University, and supported herself by working with the mentally-ill homeless.
In the present collection of her short films (six films from the six years between 1998-2004), this Bay Area filmmaker explores different aspects of the tension between Nature and Culture in contemporary American society. A limited edition of 100 copies worldwide. http://www.paxrecordings.com/Artists/Marjorie_Sturm.html
With Meredith Monk and others, Dina Emerson has toured The US, Europe and Asia and performed at the SF Symphony, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Theatre de l"Odeon in Paris and many other prestigious venues. In addition to Meredith Monk, other artists with whom Dina has worked include Tan Dun (2 world premieres), John Kelly, Nam Jun Paik, Ken Butler, David Soldier with Komar & Melamid, and various downtown theater companies including Tiny Mythic Theatre Company, Cucaracha Theatre and The Talking Band.
In 2000, Dina was invited to replace the lead singer during her maternity leave in the acclaimed Cirque du Soleil production, "O," at Bellagio in Las Vegas. This temporary position was extended into a full-time contract when Dina was asked to move to Cirque's other resident Las Vegas show, "Mystere." Dina stayed with Cirque du Soleil until January, 2002 when she moved to Corte Madera, California. http://www.edgetonerecords.com/dina.html
Jonathan Segel is a composer, performer and multi-instrumentalist. He plays guitar, violin, computer, electric bass and sings. He is also the Puppet Figurehead of Magnetic , a company run by unseen forces.
Born September 3rd 1963, grew up in Davis, California (with a couple
years' side trip to Tucson, AZ.), went to college at UCSC in Santa Cruz, CA, where he hooked up with Camper Van Beethoven, moved up to San Francisco in 1989, moved to Los Angeles in 1997 to work for Dane Davis at Danetracks , a film sound post production facility, then back to Oakland in 2001, where received a Master's Degree in Music Composition at Mills College.While in Santa Cruz, he played with Camper Van Beethoven , Eugene Chadbourne and various other semi-musical projects, while in SF with Sideways, Virginia Dare, Granfaloon Bus, Dieselhed and his own bands Hieronymus Firebrain which dissolved and reformed as Jack and Jill , which later led to various records of rock music under his own name. While in Los Angeles, besides doing shows with Eugene Chadbourne, he played with Clyde Wrenn (as Clyde Wrenn and the Container), with Mike Marrt's Beaumont, occaisonal shows with Mark Goodman's group, Magnet , and spent a great deal of time touring the globe with Mark Linkous' group, Sparklehorse .Upon return to the Bay Area, Jonathan has been playing rock shows with his own eponymous band, as well as a reformed and revitalized Camper Van Beethoven. A new Camper Van
Beethoven cd will be out in the fall of 2004. In addition to this, a self-ostracization from Los Angeles and the film and music industries led Jonathan back to the world of improv and electronic music, and he has been performing improvised music for instruments and computer around the world for the past few years, including shows in the SF Bay Area, New York, Europe and Japan. 2003 saw the CD release of several improv collaborations, and one electronic music CD.
He has also been composing music for the Nesting Dolls Dance Company since 1992, and has composed music for Curt Haworth 's Dance Company, and Maxine Moerman
Say Bok Gwai is San Francisco's first Chinese American hardcore band, melding two distinct cultures into a completely unique sound. Say Bok Gwai's original compositions are rooted in American punk/thrash/ hardcore music and sung primarily in Cantonese. The subject matter ranges from Chinese American identity to grappling with traditionalChinese values and down with "the man" aesthetics.
Say Bok Gwai is a Chinese American band that pushes the envelope of musical, social, and political extremes. Say Bok Gwai shows a new face of Chinese American music and is not for the timid or easily offended.
Frontman Alex Yeung is a long time San Franciscan musician who has worked in both the local rock and experimental music scenes. Alex serves as the songwriter and guitarist for Say Bok Gwai---as well as playing guitar for the instrumental group Fear of Math. Drummer Andre Custodio has been an integral part of the Bay Area experimental music scene for over10 years and is also part of the experimantal trio, Tri-Cornered Tent Show. http://www.edgetonerecords.com/sbg.html
C. J. Reaven Borosque is a San Francsisco based, Sound Artist, Abstract Visual artist and Poet. Having both a father and a brother who are jazz musicians, Borosque was exposed to a great variety of music at an early age.
Many a day she would sit at the Cooper House in Santa Cruz and listen to her father play jazz standards on his vibraphone. Her education as a musician started early when she began playing the violin at the age of five. From there she moved to the clarinet, and had a brief spin with trumpet. In her late teens she began playing saxophone. Although she fully expected at this time to become a jazz musician (and thus follow in her brothers and fathers footsteps) Her own musical interests were taking her elsewhere. She became fascinated by Industrial, punk, metal and harsh sounding music. And would spend hours making tape compilations comprised of snippets of people speaking and a wide range of samples of anything that caught her ear, be it rap or country or demonic chanting.
Her fascination with aggressive sounding music, led her to guitar. And her association with saxophonist/improviser Rent Romus led her to experimental music (in particular: noise).
She is currently most often seen working with small sets of noise pedals and she very often incorporates turntables in her musical experimentation. She has performed with Kaylee Coombs in the ambient experimental duo Swoon Doll, Rent Romus’ Lords of Outland, The Abstractions, and John Berndt among others. http://www.edgetonerecords.com/borosque.html
Flutist/Saxophonist/Pianist/Ethnomusicologist/ Improvisor-Composer Ellen Weller divides her musical performance activities between jazz, klezmer and improvisation. One of the original members of Maiden Voyage, an all-female big band out of Los Angeles, Weller has performed with Vanessa Tomlinson, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Muhal Richard Abrams, Clocked Out Orchestra, Skeleton Key Orchestra, Michael Dessen, various members of the Trummerflora Collective, Second Avenue Klezmer Ensemble, the Binacional Mambo Orchestra and the Weller Family Jazz Quartet. Her compositions have been performed in New York, Detroit, San Diego and Los Angeles, and she composed and performed music for the acclaimed 1996 UCSD revival production of "Terminal" directed by Joseph Chaiken.
Ellen received the Ph.D. in music (Critical Studies and Experimental Practices) from UCSD in 2002. She has taught music at all levels, from kindergarten, junior and senior high, through community colleges, and she currently teaches World Music courses at California State University, Long Beach and the University of California, San Diego. Her research has focused on multicultural performance in San Diego, public arts funding and cultural tourism, with recent interest on a cross-cultural approach to the music of war. http://www.trummerflora.com/about/ellen.asp
Damon Holzborn is an improviser and composer who works primarily with electronics. In performance, he makes the recognizable unrecognizable, subjecting sound sources such as guitar and field recordings to manipulation through custom-programmed interfaces, traditional effects and interactive processes. He is a founding member of the Trummerflora collective and co-creator of zucasa.com, recently named one of the top 25 essential online music resources by The Wire. Holzborn holds a degree in music from UCSD, where he studied improvisation with George Lewis, guitar with Celin Romero, and composition with Frederic Rzewski, Brian Ferneyhough, Will Ogden and Rand Steiger.
Holzborn has presented his work in the US, Mexico and Japan, performing as a solo artist and with several ensembles, including Donkey (a decade-long collaboration with musician/filmmaker Hans Fjellestad), Quibble, and Titicacaman (with Nathan Hubbard and Marcelo Radulovich). He has performed and/or recorded with Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, Lê Quan Ninh, Eugene Chadbourne, Matt Ingalls, Andrea Polli, DJ Marcus B to name a few. Holzborn also regularly creates music for dance, often collaborating with innovative dance collective Lower Left, producing both custom compositions and improvised performances. http://www.accretions.com/artists/damon.asp
C.O.M.A. began in the minds of John Vaughn and Dax Compise years ago. With influences such as Ornette Coleman and others, the sax and drums duo began writing and performing original and borrowed works. Their sound is free and often described as "avant-garde." People who are into free, expressive jazz, really enjoy their performances.
In the last year, Brian Clark was added on bass, and the trio sounds better than ever. The three are very talented musicians with deep backgrounds in music education and performance. Their styles have ranged from classical to modern rock and everything in between. Dax and Brian were both graduates of the Conservatory at the University of the Pacific (UOP), and John has bachelors and masters degrees in music.
The group performs in Stockton weekly, occasionally in San Francisco, and in other Northern California cities. They have projects in the works with local dancers, poets, and artists. http://www.edgetonerecords.com/coma.html
Poet, writer, philosopher and musician, Jim Ryan is an original member of the exploratory family of artists of the 20th century. His powerful playing style and truly original voice permeates the San Francisco Bay Area with vibrant spirit.
Jim Ryan was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and began listening to bebop at age 15. In 1958 after obtaining a degree in philosophy from the University of Minnesota, Jim was drafted into the army and sent to Europe. After serving for 21 months, Jim found himself attending the Sorbonne in Paris France. After a short time he discovered he was infected with the writing bug and became involved with the beat poet community that was blossoming in France and throughout the world, rubbing elbows with such poets as Boroughs, and Ginsberg. Nearing his mid-30's it became more difficult to make a living writing and he found many of his former-writing friends were becoming involved in painting and other artistic endeavors. In 1968 Jim was given a wooden flute and shortly thereafter acquired a c-melody sax. At the same time many of the American new music musicians, Sonny Murray, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp, Anthony Braxton, and the AACM were given funding by the US Government and settled in Europe including France. Jim was in the right place at the right time and found himself jamming and performing with these rebels of creative music. As the migration of cutting edge American artists continued more straight ahead artists like Johnny Griffith and Steve Lacy began to arrive to take advantage of the European scene. In the early 70's Jim participated in a yearlong workshop organized and led by Steve Lacy while continuing to develop his writing. In 1975 Jim formed the Free Music Formation, a group which performed in Paris and other European cities.
In 1975 he returned to the United States in search of a fresh start and settled in Washington, D.C. where he formed the Art Performance Group performing throughout the area. In 1987 he moved California and lived in Marin County until 1993 when he moved to Oakland and became part of the San Francisco Bay Area improv and jazz scene.
After a long hiatus, in 1997, he launched one of his current groups Forward Energy featuring stellar artists like trumpet
player Eddie Gale and drummer Donald Robinson. Jim also performed with Marco Eneidi's "American Jungle Orchestra," and Eddie Gale's "Orchestra for World Peace." In 1998 he became the editor and publisher of Outside, an underground art and music zine in Oakland, which featured such artists as Positive Knowledge, Marco Emeidi, as well as many artists of Bay Area improv scene. For two years beginning in 1999 Jim was the booker for the Luggage Store Gallery Series in San
Francisco. At that same time he was also booking for the Starry Plow new music series in Berkeley, 2310 Telegraph Gallery in Oakland, and he currently curates shows occasionally at 21Grand Gallery in Oakland.
In the spring of 2000, he founded the Electro/Acoustic Sextet of Oakland, which was a melding of free jazz and avant academic styles. The group performed in Oakland and at the Big Sur Experimental Music Festival in May 2000. In the spring of 2000 he performed in the 401 Festival at Theater Artaud in composer Matthew Burtner's piece for nine tenor saxophones, "Portals of Distortion." You can hear this pivotal Bay Area saxophonist presently with Forward Energy and the Left Coast Improv Group. http://www.edgetonerecords.com/ryan.html
Bill Noertker has been an active member of the Bay Area music and composing scene for the last fourteen years. He studied jazz history and theory in the early '80's with Bobby Bradford, Ornette Colman's first trumpet player. He began composing under the tutelage of Albert Ryz-Ryzky in the band Bardo in the late 80's. In 1989, he and other members of Bardo formed the After the End of the World Coretet (AEWC) as a forum for their compositional and improvisational ideas. The AEWC has released 3 recordings and continues to perform a unique style of jazz. Currently, Noertker is the bassist for the Lords of Outland.
Noertker has collaborated with dancers, composing music for ODC's "Pilot Project", and for "Liberty's Breast." He is currently composing music and seeking funding for two projects, "Angels and Acrobats," a jazz ballet inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies, and "San Francisco Suite," tone portraits of San Francisco neighborhoods. http://www.noertker.com/