While he splits his time equally between curating shows, running a label and playing in numerous groups, Milwaukee artist Peter J Woods’ solo work resides within its own universe. Pulling equally from the worlds of harsh noise and absurdist theatre, Woods’ performances build a sense of terror from simple imagery, muted text and an unpredictable barrage of silence and sound. His most recent project, “Impure Gold,” represents this aesthetic and thematic sensibility through a multi-media approach that includes writing, theatre, concerts, photography and film. Woods has worked with a number of musical groups, from punk and metal bands like Galactic Cannibal and Mountain Language to collaborations with a wide range of experimental artists, including Olivia Block, Tatsuya Nakatani, xALLxFORxTHISx, Alex Kmet, Phoned Nil Trio, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Faculty members Chris Burns and Amanda Schoofs. He has toured across the country off and on for close to a decade, performing at events such as End Tymes Festival in New York and Eugene Noise Fest in Oregon, alongside artists such as Negativland, The Haters, Hiroshi Hasegawa, and more. Woods also runs FTAM, a record label and concert promotion organization that hosts a wide range of shows, including the annual Milwaukee Noise Festival for the first eight years and the St Louis Noise Fest for two. His theatre work has been shown at the Minneapolis Fringe Festival, the Chicago Sketch and Comedy Festival, and the Sensoria series at UW-Milwaukee.
Christopher Burns is a composer and improviser whose works collage and layer musical trajectories, creating imaginative juxtapositions and innovative forms. His music embraces complexity and clarity, incorporating densely braided, rapidly shifting materials alongside gradually evolving, linearly directed textures. Recent projects add digital animation, choreography, and motion capture into this mixture, integrating performance, sound, and visuals into a unified experience. Christopher’s work as a music technology researcher shapes his creative output in both electroacoustic and instrumental chamber music. He writes improvisation software which explores a variety of unconventional musical interfaces, and facilitates the performance of multilayered electronic textures. In the instrumental domain, he uses algorithmic procedures to create and elaborate distinctive pitch and rhythmic structures. Christopher is also an avid archaeologist of electroacoustic music, creating and performing new digital realizations of music by Cage, Ligeti, Lucier, Stockhausen and others. His performance of Luigi Nono’s La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura, made in collaboration with violinist Miranda Cuckson, was named a “Best Classical Recording of 2012” by The New York Times.