An evening of Experimental Music and Film:
Annie Lewandowski and Tim Feeney with films by Michael Ashkin & Craig Shepard, Larry Polansky, and David Kant with a film by Beth O’Brien
Finding a shared interest in works of abandonment and stasis, improvisers Tim Feeney (percussion) and Annie Lewandowski (piano/electronics) began a collaboration with artist Michael Ashkin in Ithaca, NY in 2011. Often performed as short videos with live improvised soundtracks, their work Depot/Centralia/Tiber was released on DVD in 2013. In the DVD liner notes, Jonathan Skinner writes: “Like the accompanying music, the indeterminate rhythm of these videos, enflamed via minimalist stillness, emerges in conjunction with clouds, insects, birds plants… The drone of Lewandowski’s and Feeney’s musical collaboration, the drum of the earth itself, offers a surface taught with myriad events.”
Depot/Centralia/Tiber has been performed and screened in Ithaca, New York, and Oberlin.
On a West Coast tour, video artist Beth O’Brien composer/trumpeter Craig Shepard present On Foot: Brooklyn (recently released on Edition Wandelweiser Records). Shepard walked 780-miles in 91 days in New York City, walking everywhere he went. Each week, he composed a new piece and wrote it down. Each Sunday, he led a silent, cell-phone free walk to a different location in Brooklyn, performed the piece, and walked back. O’Brien documented the walks.
This performance features a video of animated still photography by O’Brien together with a live performance of two pieces composed on the trek with Shepard, Larry Polansky, and David Kant.
Michael Ashkin’s work spans various media, including sculpture, installation, photography, video, poetry, and text. His work addresses issues of landscape, architecture, and urbanism, specifically the intersection of subjectivity with the social, economic, and political production of space. After receiving a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA from Columbia University in Middle East Languages and Cultures, he worked in the business world for eight years before choosing to become an artist. He received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993. Since then he has shown extensively nationally and internationally including the Whitney Biennial (1997), Greater New York (2000), Documenta 11 (2002), and Vienna Secesion (2009). He has been awarded two Pollock-Krasner Fellowships (1997, 2012) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009). He is currently Chair of the Department of Art at Cornell University.
Tim Feeney has performed as an improviser with musicians including cellist/electronic musician Vic Rawlings; the percussion trio Meridian, with Nick Hennies and Greg Stuart; pianist Annie Lewandowski; tape-deck manipulator Howard Stelzer; trumpeter Nate Wooley; sound artists Jed Speare and Ernst Karel; saxophonist Jack Wright; and the trio ONDA. As an interpreter, Tim was a founding member of the quartet So Percussion, the duo Non Zero with saxophonist Brian Sacawa, and the ensemble LotUs. He has toured throughout the United States, including notable performances at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, New York’s The Stone, the Center for New Music and Audio Technology at UC-Berkeley, the Stanford Art Museum, Mills College, Princeton University, and Oberlin College. He has recorded for labels including Accidie, Full Spectrum, Sedimental, Soul on Rice, Audiobot, Homophoni, and Brassland/Talitres. Tim is currently Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Alabama.
Annie Lewandowski is a composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist whose work has situated her between the worlds of improvisation and independent rock music. As an improviser on the piano and accordion, she has recorded with Fred Frith, the London Improvisers Orchestra, Caroline Kraabel, Tim Feeney, and Doublends Vert, and performed with improvisers including Theresa Wong, Miya Masaoka, Chris Cutler, Evan Parker, Ellen Fullman, CAGE, and Charles Hayward. Lewandowski and percussionist Tim Feeney have an ongoing project improvising to the short videos of artist Michael Ashkin.
As a singer, guitarist, and keyboardist, Lewandowski has recorded with rock bands Emma Zunz, Xiu Xiu, The Curtains, Former Ghosts, William Ryan Fritch, and Hawnay Troof. Her band powerdove has released five recordings: Live at the Maybeck House (self-released, 2010), a self-titled EP (Circle into Square, 2011), Be Mine (Circle into Square, 2011), Do You Burn? (Circle into Square/ Murailles Music/ Africantape, 2013), and Arrest (Murailles Music/Sickroom, 2014/2015). Lewandowski has performed at festivals and venues across the United States and Europe, including the Casa da Música (Porto, Portugal), the Hippodrome (London), Musica Nelle Valli (San Martin Spino, Italy), the Great American Music Hall (San Francisco), the Frieze Arts Fair (London), Avalon (Los Angeles), and Redcat (Los Angeles).
Lewandowski is a lecturer in music at Cornell University.
Beth O’Brien is a photographer, filmmaker and visual artist living in Brooklyn, NY.
Craig Shepard (1975 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA) is a composer, trombonist and sound artist. He is a member of the Wandelweiser Composers Ensemble. His work has been called “touchingly beautiful” (Wolfgang Fuhrmann, Berliner Zeitung) and “truly invulnerable” (Martin Preisser, St-Galler Tagblatt). It has been featured at Moments Musicaux Aarau, the Akademie der Künste Berlin, the Kunstraum Düsseldorf, Experimental Intermedia New York, Real Art Ways in Hartford, the Deep Listening Center in Kingston, New York, and throughout Europe and the United States.
His most successful work is On Foot, a 31-day, 350-mile trek from Geneva to St. Margrethen, Switzerland on which he composed, wrote down and performed a new piece every day. As a trombonist, he has performed with Christian Wolff, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Jürg Frey, Collegium Novum Zürich and many others. He has played on recordings with the Vokal Ensemble München and with Burkhard Schlothauer. At the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (Zurich University of the Arts), Mr. Shepard served as a lecturer and listening researcher. A paper detailing the results of his work has been published in the Schweizerische Musikzeitung. From 2001 to 2005, he studied sacbut with Ulrich Eichenberger. In 1998, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music, magna cum laude, from Northwestern University, where he studied trombone with Frank Crisafulli and composition with Michael Pisaro and Alan Stout.
Craig Shepard lives in Brooklyn, New York City.
Larry Polansky (b. 1954) is a composer, theorist, teacher, writer, performer, programmer, editor and publisher. He lives in Santa Cruz, California, teaching at UC Santa Cruz. He is also the Emeritus Strauss Professor of Music at Dartmouth College, and co-director and co-founder of Frog Peak Music.
His five solo CDs are available on New World Records, Artifact, and Cold Blue, and his music is widely anthologized on many other labels. His own works are performed frequently around the world. From 1980-90 he worked at the Mills Center for Contemporary Music, where he was one of the co-authors (with Phil Burk and David Rosenboom) of the computer music language HMSL, and a contributor to the widely-used program SoundHack (by Tom Erbe).