Ben Zucker and Amy Brandon first met at the Atlantic Center For The Arts, working with Myra Melford as Associate Artists In Residence. A shared love of eclectic improvisation brought them together for a set of duo performances at the residency’s end, and they have continued to correspond and collaborate. The program will feature a mix of stylistic and free composition and improvisation drawing upon jazz, classical, and electroacoustic music.
Ben Zucker is a composer, improviser, sound designer, and multi-instrumentalist. Recent phrases he has begun using in describing his work include “object relations”, “situation creation”, and “human algorithms”. Said work includes elements of chamber music, improvisation, electronica, songwriting, and performance art, and has been performed by the Mivos Quartet, Apartment House, New York Virtuoso Singers, Distractfold Ensemble, Tre Voci, and the Bienen Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, among many others. He has also collaborated with numerous creative individuals in over a dozen films, plays, and dances, including music for the world premiere of The Last Days Of The Old Wild Boy by Rinde Eckert, and multi-media “vocal theatre” with the Analema Group at the Roundhouse and Baltic Art Form. Ben performs as a percussionist, pianist, singer, and brass player, as a founding member of The Improvisers Choir, Don Froot, Arcadio, and Ensemble Apres-Garde, and with the Vocal Constructivists, Entropy Ensemble, Notes Inegales, with Jen Shyu and Matana Roberts, and solo at the Audio Branding Academy Congress, Bowery Electric, and University of Kent. Ben received a BA in music and critical theory at Wesleyan University, where he studied composition with Anthony Braxton, David Behrman, Paula Matthusen, and Neely Bruce, and vibraphone with Jay Hoggard, and received the Leavell Memorial Prize for “outstanding work in music”. He recently received an MA in Experimental Music from Brunel University London, where he studied with Jennifer Walshe and Christopher Fox. His debut solo album, “Confluere”, has just been released in September on Not Art Records. (www.benzuckersounds.com)
Guitarist Amy Brandon’s solo compositions and improvised pieces draw from the worlds of jazz, classical and electroacoustic music. Sculptural and evocative, her music explores the boundary between the carefully composed and the freely improvised. Currently an MA student in composition at the University of Ottawa, she has performed at several festivals including the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, the 2013 Guitar Now Festival and participated in the 2015 Banff Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. She has toured with several Canadian musicians including Juno winner Mike Rud, composer and guitarist Roddy Ellias and classical guitarist Sylvie Proulx. Recent performances in 2016 include a solo concert at the Open Waters experimental music festival and a Canadian tour with experimental jazz duo Radio Intro. In addition to performance and composition, she writes and presents academic work concerning improvisation and guitar pedagogy. Upcoming and recent presentations include papers for the 2015 International Society for Improvised Music’s conference in Switzerland and the 2016 International Guitar Research Centre Conference at the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. Her 2016 solo album ‘Scavenger’ was nominated for Classical Recording of the Year by Music Nova Scotia. (http://www.amybrandon.ca/)