SIMF #19 – 2004

The 19th Seattle Improvised Music Festival took place February 11-22, 2004, at Consolidated Works, Cornish College of the Arts, Lo-Fi, Velocity Dance Center, Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), and Jack Straw Productions. This festival was curated by Gust Burns, Angelina Baldoz, Annie Lewandowsky, and Adam Weiss.

“After 10-plus years in a primary organizing role, I’ve decided that I need to step back and open up a little more room in my life, so I’ll be overseeing its transition to some folks with fresh ideas and energy. For the 2004 edition, the prime mover will be the superb pianist Gust Burns and a cadre of people we’ll be assembling to help him carry the festival forward. Henry Hughes disengaged from the festival to focus on Polestar last year, and Wally [Shoup] and I will be taking more of an advisory role from here on in.

Gust joined us on the organizing committee last year, and through his myriad activities as an organizer of improvised music events in Seattle has proven himself a worthy steward of the tradition. Gust has been the force behind the Sound of the Brush, Open Music Workshop, and Prospectiva Plural series over the past few years and has probably instigated more improvised music performances than anyone else in town during that period. I’m confident that the festival will be in good hands under he and his co-organizers (thus far including Annie Lewandowski), and Wally and I will always be available to steer them through any difficulties and share the resources we have. Gust and the Open Music Workshop people have begun the process of forming a nonprofit…” (Dennis Rea, email July 31, 2003)

Participating artists:

Jason Anderson, electronics/guitar (BNSF); Angelina Baldoz, trumpet; Michael Bisio, bass (Bisio/Hession/Shoup); BNSF (Anderson, Crane, Diller); Matt Crane, drums (BNSF); Adam Diller, woodwinds/percussion (BNSF); Tim DuRoche, drums (Portland); Bryan Eubanks, sax (Portland; pd/pm); Tara Flandreau, viola (Thingsome Q); Ivar Grydeland, guitar (Norway); Ron Heglin, trombone/bass (Bay Area; Heglin/Perkis); Paul Hession, drums (UK; Bisio/Hession/Shoup); Joane Hétu, sax/vox (Montreal; Les Poules); Mark Kaylor, drums (Portland; pd/pm); Kathleen Keogh, dance (Portland; pd/pm); Diane Labrosse, electronics (Montreal; Les Poules); Annie Lewandowski, accordion/saw (Lewandowski/Müller-Graf); Janice McKeachern, guitar (Portland; pd/pm); Sean Meehan, snare drum (NYC); Eveline Müller-Graf, percussion (Lewandowski/Müller-Graf); Tari Nelson-Zagar, violin (Thingsome Q); Pauline Oliveros, accordion/electronics; Danielle Palardy Roger, percussion (Montreal; Les Poules); PD/PM (Portland; Eubanks, Kaylor, Keogh, McKeachern, Pittman, Sundstrom); Tim Perkis, electronics (Bay Area; Heglin/Perkis); Kelvin Pittman, sax (Portland); pd/pm); LES POULES (Montreal; Hétu, Labrosse, Palardy Roger); William Roper, tuba (Los Angeles); Paul Rucker, cello (Thingsome Q); Wally Shoup, sax (Bisio/Hession/Shoup); Leif Sundstrom, electronics (Portland; pd/pm); Tom Swafford, violin (Thingsome Q); THINGSOME Q (Flandreau, Nelson-Zagar, Rucker, Swafford); Dave Tucker, guitar (London); Adam Weiss, sax; Ingar Zach, drums (Norway)

Wednesday, February 11 (Consolidated Works)
Pre-Festival Kick-off Party

Thursday, February 12 (PONCHO Theater at Cornish College)
Pauline Oliveros

Friday, February 13 (Cornish College)
Pauline Oliveros workshop

Friday, February 13 (Low-Fi Gallery)
Duo – Dave Tucker, William Roper (watch video here)
Duo – Angelina Baldoz, Sean Meehan
Trio – Burlington Northern Santa Fe (Anderson, Crane, Diller)

Saturday, February 14 (Velocity Dance Center)
Duo – Ivar Grydeland, Ingar Zach
Duo – Eveline Müller-Graf, Annie Lewandowski

Sunday, February 15 (CoCA)
Meeting of Improvisers – featuring festival performers from the past weekend and invited Seattle musicians.
Watch video here of ad hoc set by Matt Crane, Dave Tucker, Ingar Grydeland, and unknown bassist (Ron Heglin?).

Thursday, February 19 (Consolidated Works)
Trio – Michael Bisio, Paul Hession, Wally Shoup
Duo – Ron Heglin, Tim Perkis

Friday, February 20 (Lo-Fi)
Adam Weiss Ensemble

Saturday, February 21 (Jack Straw)
Improvised Music Workshop – Facilitated by festival participants and Seattle musicians.

Saturday, February 21 (Consolidated Works)
Les Poules
Thingsome Q

Sunday, February 22 (CoCA)
Meeting of Improvisers – featuring festival performers from the past weekend and invited Seattle musicians.

Review by Cristin Miller, Signal to Noise, Number 34, June 1, 2004 (excerpt):

The 19th annual Seattle Improvised Music Festival took place this winter over two week-ends in February. This year brought a turning point for the festival, as the long-term organizers turned over the reins to musicians newly very active in the scene, all of whom are directly or indirectly affiliated with Open Music Workshop. Open Music Workshop (or OMW) is a relatively young entity, less than two years old, but has constituted something like a second wave in the improvised music scene in Seattle. This shift in leadership was reflected in the shape of the festival this year, which cast a wider net and included a broader range of approaches to music making.

The next weekend I also managed to catch Les Poules (Montréal) at Consolodated Works, a large warehouse-like art gallery and performance space. Les Poules have been playing together for over a decade, and every passing minute of their long history and musical intimacy. Joane Hétu (vocals, alto sax) staked out a minimalist territory of voiceless fricatives and static noises, which she mined over the course of the performance. Diane Labrosse (electronics) explored a similarly focused territory, while Danielle Palardy Roger’s percussion poured out speech-like with orchestrally various gestures accumulating over time into a complex field. A drama of highly attuned listening slowly emerged full of simultaneous starts, frequent finishing of each others’ sentences, and sudden collective laughter. Occasionally, certain silences were allowed to move with grace to the center of the circle.