SIMF #8 – 1993

The 8th Seattle Festival of Improvised Music took place on April 15-17, 1993 at Washington Performance Hall. It was co-organized by Johnny Calcagno, Adam Griffen, John Hawkley, Robert Hinrix, Eric Muhs, Charley Rowan, and Wally Shoup.

Participating artists:

IV BRICOLEURS (Baulch, Muller); Eric Amrine, guitar (Catabatics); Brent Arnold, cello (Arnold/Kang/Samuels, BUB); Patrick Barber, bass (Kalberer Hotel Supply); Joel Barbosa, clarinet (UW Contemporary Group); Ashley Barton, ? (Diet Pope); Bob Basnich, guitar (Basnich/Fisk); David Baulch, ? (IV Bricoleurs); Dan Bertolet, bass (Big Bird Cage); BIG BIRD CAGE (Bertolet, Harrison, Lewis, Zajonc); Mikhail Bohonus, electronics (Spilling Static Orchestra); Myles Boisen, bass (Metal Men) [on poster, not program]; BUB (Arnold, Ehlis, Panasenko, S. Passarell, T. Passarell, Tallman); ÇA NE FAIT RIEN (Fein, Silberman); Johnny Calcagno, guitar (Nous Sommes Des Enfants); CATABATICS (Amrine, Galligan, Rowan, Shoup); Matt Chamberlain, drums (Critters Buggin’); CRITTERS BUGGIN’ [aka Leroy Frump on poster] (Chamberlain, Lowe, Skerik); Lesli Dalaba, trumpet (Dalaba/Greinke/Rea); Stuart Dempster, trombone (UW Contemporary Group); DIET POPE (Barton, Garrett De Luna, Marx, McLeod, Moen, Rhodes, Templeton, Walthall, Wessin); Chuck Ehlis, bass (BUB); Ron Fein, drums (Ça Ne Fait Rien); Jeff Ferguson, drums (Ultrahead, Holcomb/Ferguson/Otraskin?); Steve Fisk, electronics (Basnich/Fisk); Craig Flory, clarinets (Inside Out); Mike Galligan, drums (Catabatics); Karen Garrett De Luna, ? (Diet Pope); Lori Goldston, cello (Goldston/Kozawa/Sperry); Jeff Greinke, electronics (Dalaba/Greinke/Rea); Adam Griffen, guitar (Seizure Salad); Rob Harrison, guitar (Big Bird Cage); Eric Hausmann, guitar/trumpet (Spilling Static Orchestra); John Hawkley, metal suit (Metal Men); Robert Hinrix, guitar (Nous Sommes Des Enfants); Robin Holcomb, piano (Ultrahead); Deanna Holdren, banjo/percussion (Seizure Salad); Brad Houser, bass/clarinet/sax (Critters Buggin’); INSIDE OUT (Flory, Kirk, Knodle, Nelson-Zagar, Wheeler; KALBERER HOTEL SUPPLY (Barber, Long-Karel, Ransome, Trissel); Eyvind Kang, viola (Arnold/Kang/Samuels, Ricochet); Steve Kirk, guitar (Inside Out); Jim Knodle, trumpet (Inside Out); Susie Kozawa, voice (Goldston/Kozawa/Sperry); Jon Lewis, guitar (Big Bird Cage); Ernst Long-Karel, trumpet/electronics (Kalberer Hotel Supply); Keith Lowe, bass (Critters Buggin’); Stuart McLeod, drums/electronics (Diet Pope, UW Contemporary Group); METAL MEN (Hawkley, Muhs); John Moen, drums (Diet Pope); Eric Muhs, metal suit (Metal Men); Eveline Müller [as Evelyn Graf], percussion (Nous Sommes Des Enfants); Jeff Muller, ? (IV Bricoleurs, Seizure Salad); Tari Nelson-Zagar [Terry Nelson on poster, Tracy Nelson on program], violin (Inside Out); NOUS SOMMES DES ENFANTS (Calcagno, Hinrix, Eveline Mueller); Andrei Otraskin, guitar (Ultrahead); Dan Panasenko, guitar (BUB); Steve Passarell, drums (BUB); Tony Passarell, sax/trumpet (BUB); Key Ransome, electronics/keyboards (Kalberer Hotel Supply) Dennis Rea, guitar (Dalaba/Greinke/Rea); RICOCHET (Kang, Ring, Turner); Eric Ring, piano (Ricochet); Charley Rowan, keyboards/sax (Catabatics); Wendy Samuels, dance (Arnold/Kang/Samuels); SEIZURE SALAD (Griffen, Holdren, Wasserman); Wally Shoup, sax (Catabatics); Anne Silberman, voice (Ça Ne Fait Rien); Skerik, sax (Critters Buggin’); William O. Smith, clarinet (UW Contemporary Group); Matthew Sperry, bass (Goldston/Kozawa/Sperry); SPILLING STATIC ORCHESTRA (Bohonus, Hausmann, Your Host Bobby); Dennis Staskowski, bass (UW Contemporary Group); Debra Sykes, ? (Ça Ne Fait Rien); John Tallman, drums (Bub); Ben Trissel, bass (Kalberer Hotel Supply); Pete Turner, drums (Ricochet); ULTRAHEAD (Ferguson, Holcomb, Otraskin); UW CONTEMPORARY GROUP IMPROVISATION ENSEMBLE (Barbosa, Dempster, McLeod, Staskowski, Weber); Jeff Wasserman, ? (Seizure Salad); Jay Weaver, drums; Sabra Weber, flute (UW Contemporary Group); Matt Wessin, ? (Diet Pope); Jay Wheeler, ? (Inside Out); Your Host Bobby [Eric Bowerman], turntable/electronics (Spilling Static Orchestra); Joseph Zajonc, drums/horns (Big Bird Cage)

Thursday April 15
Diet Pope
Spilling Static Orchestra
Big Bird Cage
Critters Buggin’

Friday April 16
Ça Ne Fait Rien
Nous Sommes Des Enfants
UW Contemporary Group Improvisation Ensemble
Metal Men
Basnich & Fisk

Saturday April 17
Seizure Salad
IV Bricoleurs
Inside Out
Robin Holcomb / Ultrahead
Kalberer Hotel Supply

Seattle Times preview by Geordie Wilson, April 11, 1993:

Review by Geordie Wilson, Seattle Times, April 16, 1993:


Seattle Festival of Improvised Music, at the Washington Hall Performance Gallery, 153 14th Ave., tonight and tomorrow, $9.

Before the Seattle Festival of Improvised Music begins, the Washington Hall Performance Gallery is set as if for a demented orchestra. Wires are spread like hair on the floor of a barber shop, connecting synthesizers, amplifiers, tape decks, microphones and a television. Cellos frame a portable cart laden with plastic cups and a half dozen pieces of dried kelp, some fitted with reeds. There are three drum kits, a conga, a chord of guitars and a triad of saxophones. The apparent chaos is fitting, because for the next several hours a series of performers will do to conventional musical forms what Jackson Pollack did to canvas. Just about every musical style allows some room for improvisation. But improvised music as a style of its own bears little resemblance to jazz solos or rock. This is music without boundaries, music without fear. The ear searches for patterns amid unfamiliar sounds, occasionally settling on something only to have it shattered by a next chaotic spin. The experience can be profoundly disturbing and occasionally annoying. It can also be oddly beguiling, as it opens up new ways of listening to music. With the old guideposts removed, music is reduced to sound, first and foremost. At its best, improvised music makes you wonder what making music is really all about. Last night, six groups exhibited a wide range of improvised styles. Some relied heavily on electronics, like the Spilling Static Orchestra, whose members were virtually hidden behind their tape decks and synthesizers. Watching them perform was like watching three men hook up a VCR, but their use of tape loops repeating such phrases as “technology – the good life” over a constantly shifting background of sampled sounds and rhythms made for one of the evening’s more successful pieces. The tape loops provided a wry commentary on the very music in which they were embedded, forcing listeners to question its musicality. Other acts used little more than amplified acoustic instruments played in unconventional ways. Accompanied by the dancing of Wendy Samuels, Cornish musicians Brent Arnold and Eyvind Kang performed a cello and violin duet of such free-form intensity it seemed headed inevitably toward a Hendrix-style burning of the violin. With its combination of cello, bass, voice and kelp, the Lori Goldston Group provided some of the evening’s subtlest improvisation. Big Bird Cage kicked in the most intense sonic barrage, using every available watt in succeeding crescendos of blackboard-scratching tension. And perhaps the best comment on the evening came from a man at intermission, congratulating a performer: “Good noise, man.”