jscript High Zero 2014 :: 16 Years!
High Zero 2014
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Jen Baker

Jen Baker, trombonist and improviser, collaborates with dozens of artists through solo commissions in site-specific performance, concert halls, and in theatrical/mixed media settings. She has appeared in festivals internationally and nationwide with new music ensembles S.E.M., TILT brass, and the mobile ensemble Asphalt Orchestra. A sought-after improviser, her work in multimedia and contemporary chamber music has led her to performance with Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Karole Armitage, Brooklyn Ballet, art gallery performances in NYC at the Met and the Guggenheim, and a world tour with the experimental theatre work, Beowulf. As a composer, Baker often writes modular pieces, including First Nation's Ley-a Concerto for Multiphonic Trombone (co-composed with instrument-maker David Samas), performed as a telematic piece and as a duo. She is particularly interested in assisting the body's (as well as the Earth's) natural ability to heal itself and composes for this purpose. She also writes for a variety of ensembles, including her soon-to-be-famous Mikro Trio. Among many recordings, she is featured on the soundtrack to Werner Herzog's Oscar-nominated Encounters at the End of the World, and also appears on New World, Innova, Cantaloupe Music, Rastascan, and her own label, Dilapidated Barns.

Vicki Bennett
found footage sample collage
London, UK

Since 1991 British artist Vicki Bennett has been working across the field of audio-visual collage, and is recognised as an influential and pioneering figure in the still growing area of sampling, appropriation and cutting up of found footage and archives. Working under the name People Like Us, Vicki specialises in the manipulation and reworking of original sources from both the experimental and popular worlds of music, film and radio. People Like Us believe in open access to archives for creative use. In 2006 she was the first artist to be given unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive. People Like Us have previously shown work at Tate Modern, The Barbican, Centro de Cultura Digital, Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Pompidou Centre, Maxxi and Sonar, and performed radio sessions for John Peel and Mixing It. The ongoing sound art radio show ‘DO or DIY’ on WFMU has had over a million “listen again” downloads. since 2003. The People Like Us back catalogue is available for free download hosted by UbuWeb.


John Berndt
saxophone, inventions, computer
Baltimore, MD

John Berndt (b. 1967) is a polymath & auto-didact whose creative occupations have been heavily focused on new experimental sound experiences, instrumental performance in free improvisation, the exploration of "disorientation" in visual and other media, the investigation of paradoxes, and challenges to the civilization-defining intellectual position of science in fundamental philosophy. To date he is the author of three solo CDs, two books, a one-man solo art show at Emily Harvey Gallery in NYC, has been the leader of ten bands, and has participated innumerable collaborations. John has been the leader of Red Room collective / High Zero Foundation since the organization began in 1996 and has been involved in experimental culture in Baltimore since the early 80's.

Jeff Carey
Baltimore, MD

Jeff Carey is a self taught computer programmer, educated in Audio Technology (American University, DC) and Sonology (Sonology, Royal Conservatory, The Hague, Netherlands), who makes hardcore digital music with a joystick, a gamer keypad and occasionally an array of strobe lights. Computer based synthesis, noise, and improvisation combined with a no-safety-net aspect of gestural control makes his music totally physical and visceral. No overdubs and no backing vocals.

He has CDs and records available from projects 87 Central (Staalplaat, JDK Productions, Univeral/NoTV), with MoHa! (Jeff Carey's MoHa! 7"), Office-R(6) (Lampse, +3DB), and SKIF++ (Fridgesounds, LINE/12k). Recordings of his solo work are available via record labels Forwind, Banned Production, IO Sound, Sonig and CWnil.


Charles Dubé
electronics, electroacoustics
Baltimore, MD

Charles Dubé is a performer and sound artist from Baltimore, MD. His live and recorded work has ranged from vocal/tape based collage to abstract and malevolent live electronics. Recent performances & recordings have prominently incorporated acoustic elements (piano, violin) in a shift towards developing a compositional and more consciously evocative intent. Duration and juxtaposition are focal points in his approach, often inspired by inner states of horror, lust and uncertainty.


Morgan Evans-Weiler
violin, electronics
Boston, MA

Morgan Evans-Weiler is a Boston based musician, artist and educator who uses violin, electronics and other media to explore the dichotomy of stasis and activity. His current solo work involves a deconstructed violin and an array of natural overtones against a counterpoint of sine waves and subtle noise to create rich environments that convey both a motion and stillness in their perpetual variation.

He releases tapes by Boston artists on his Individual Lines label and produces shows at Washington St. Art in Somerville, MA. His current projects include the large Boston ensemble Deleuzer, duos with Jed Speare and Noell Dorsey (Katze), his solowork and the HMQ.


Michael Fischer
Vienna, AT

Michael Fischer works on the speech immanence of sounds on saxophone, violin, soundscapes and conducted instant compositions. In 1999 he started implementing the electro-acoustic phenomenon feedback, developing the feedback_saxophone, based on a non-effect, analogue set-up.

Exploring the common grounds and images of articulation and sound, he worked with significant artists in experimental movie, op-art, conceptual art, visual poetry such as Marc Adrian, Dmitri Prigow or Gerhard Rühm and has ongoing extensive collaborations with writers in experimental poetry. In 2005 he launched the Vienna Improvisers Orchestra; as instant composition conductor, he also works with international large ensembles/choir, f.i. for the new music festival Wien Modern.

He has collaborated with John Edwards, Marcos Baggiani, Mark Sanders, Felicity Provan, Hilary Jeffery, Michael Vatcher, Joao Castro Pinto, Daisuke Terauchi, Atsuhiro Ito a.m.o. and with early key-figures in improvised music Irene Schweizer, William Parker, Denis Charles or Burton Greene.

As soloist, ensemble musician and instant composition conductor he performs in Europe, Libanon, Japan, the USA and Canada within contexts of new music, improvised music and noise and gives guest-lectures at Bruckner University/A, University for Architecture/FL, Seiwa College/J, Conservatorio Superior Vigo/E, Goethe Institute Palermo/I a.o.


Owen Gardner
cello, guitar
Baltimore, MD

Owen Gardner is a Baltimore composer and performer, playing primarily electric guitar and 'cello.  For the past several years he has worked in just intonation, a flexible system of tuning based on the natural number series, which offers an expanded set of resources within and without traditional musical parameters.  Owen plays a modified guitar in the minimalist rock band Horse Lords and has played other instruments in other bands (e.g. Teeth Mountain, Black Vatican, Matmos), in sundry ad hoc combos and occasionally as a soloist.  Owen has been a member of the High Zero Foundation since 2009.

Jenny Gräf
electronics, guitar
Baltimore, MD

Jenny Gräf responds to the world around her with frenetic, grinding and immersive mutations of sound. For over a decade she has performed using field recordings and live processed instruments to reflect a harsh balance between seductive and dystopian realities. Using the touch-sensitive analogue Tranoe instrument, her live performances often become a conversation with the unstable nature of perception as it is created through shifting fields of sound.

Gräf has collaborated with MV Carbon, John Wiese, Twig Harper, Chris Corsano, Marcia Bassett and Chiara Giovando.

Jenny Gräf’s performs and presents her work regularly throughout the U.S. Canada and Europe in basements, sub-basements, attics and museums. In addition to her self-released titles, recordings appear on the labels Atavistic, Ehse, BoxMedia, Load, Wachsender Prozess, Hanson, No Fun, Utech, Obsolete Units and 5rc.


Andy Hayleck
electronics, clarinet
Baltimore, MD

From 2003 to 2008 he supported himself teaching at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and in 2011 received a MFA from UMBC. In 1997 he began experimenting with field recordings, contact microphones and electro-acoustics for recorded compositions and live improvisation. He has created an open-ended body of work that includes performance, video, installation and dance collaboration. In 2008 he had a two-week residency at STEIM (Amsterdam) in a project with Bonnie Jones andAllesandro Bosetti. In 2010-2011 he constructed a room-sized camera obscura to film the 12-minute video work “Mutum”. He has several recordings released; "Gong on a Wire"(2001), "Various Recordings Involving Ice" (2003), "The Disappearing Floor" (2004), "Two Gong/Wire Recordings" (2006), and "Weekend" (2012). He has a long-running group with Paul Neidhart and Tyler Wilcox, and is sometimes a part of Zomes. He has toured the United States, England and Europe. A saloon from the 1880s….

Charlotte Hug
viola, voice
Zürich, CH

Hug ́s innovative musical-visual solo performances in distinctive locations and her interdisciplinary work have created an international furore. This musician of the extreme is constantly breaking new ground with her instrument and has reinvented the viola. Hug ́s speciality is a blend of viola and vocals, which has given rise to her distinctive tonal language.

Hug lives in Zurich and on the road. Having completed her studies in fine arts and music, she received various awards and composition commissions. She has been “artist in residence” in London, Paris, Cork capital of culture in 2005 and was “artiste étoile” at the Lucerne Festival 2011. In the visual arena, as well as in a musical context, Hug ́s sound-drawings: “Son-Icons” have found international recognition. In addition to international exhibitions, she is also fully active as a concert performer, soloist, composer and conductor of her own works and an improviser at major festivals in Europe, North America, Latin America and Canada.

photo credit: Michael Sieber

Joshua Jefferson
alto saxophone
Boston, MA

"Jefferson is a player with deft reflexes and coordination, and a master of what could be called 'protective mimicry,' if he were not so original. In his playing he may evoke meadows rife with wildlife, the long trill of a hermit thrush underscored by the bellow of bullfrogs--or, the roar of a crocodile splashing into the Everglades of his native Florida. Equally at home in solo or group settings, he makes each context a true environment, with an ear quick to pick up on what his fellow musicians are doing, and nimbly knits together audience and group in sympathetic union."

--Gordon Marshall AAJ


All About Jazz Entry

New Skinny Vinny Album


John Kilduff
Los Angeles, CA

John Kilduff is an artist living and working in Los Angeles. In 1987, he received his BFA in Fine Art (Painting) from Otis/Parsons School of Art and Design in Los Angeles and in 2008, he received his MFA in Fine Art (Painting) from UCLA. Kilduff is best known for his cable access television show titled "Let's Paint TV". In 2006, Kilduff began to upload these videos to Youtube where Kilduff became an internet celebrity. Soon, Kilduff performed live on Tyra, VH1's Big in 06', and America's Got Talent Season #2. Clips of Let's Paint TV have appeared on multiple tv programs as well. Kilduff now does his show daily M-F on the internet and performs live at various venues around the world.

Okkyung Lee

A native of Korea, Okkyung Lee has been developing her own voice in a contemporary cello performance, improvisation and composition for more than a decade by blending her wide interests and influences.

Since moving to New York in 2000, She has released more than 20 albums including the latest solo record Ghil procuded by Lasse Marhaug on EditionsMego/Ideologic Organ, Noisy Love Songs (for George Dyer) on Tzadik, Wake Up Awesome with Lasse Marhaug and C. Spencer Yeh on Mexican Summer/Software Studio, and been touring extensively in the United States and Europe. Okkyung’s versatility has led her to collaborate with numerous artists such as Laurie Anderson, David Behrman, John Butcher, John Edwards, Douglas Gordon, Vijay Iyer, Mike Ladd, Christian Marclay, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Lawrence D “Butch” Morris, Marina Rosenfeld, Jim o’Rourke, Evan Parker, Wadada Leo Smith and John Zorn to name just a few.

As a composer, she has received a composer commission from New York State Council On The Arts in 2007 and Foundation For Contemporary Arts Grant in 2010 in Music/Sound. In November 2013, Okkyung curated the 27th edition of Music Unlimited Festival in Wels, Austria titled "The Most Beautiful Noise In The World".TBD

photo credit: Eckhart Derschmidt

Stewart Mostofsky
Baltimore, MD

Stewart Mostofsky does many things, often simultaneously. One of them is that he plays electronic instruments. He is also a member of the Red Room collective and the High Zero Foundation. 

Paul Neidhardt
percussion, friction
Baltimore, MD

Baltimore resident Paul Neidhardt plays drums and percussion. He has been a member of the High Zero Foundation and Red Room Collective since 2004.

Wendel Patrick
turntables, electronics
Baltimore, MD

Wendel Patrick has been referred to as "David Foster Wallace reincarnated as a sound engineer" by Urbanite Magazine and as "wildly talented" by the Baltimore Sun. He has been referred to by XLR8R magazine as "a hip-hop producer that could easily make any fan of Squarepusher, Boards of Canada or Madlib flip out." The alter-ego of classical and jazz pianist Kevin Gift, Wendel Patrick is rapidly making a name for himself as a producer to be recognized. His five albums were recorded without the use of sampling, with Wendel Patrick playing every instrument. Equally at home performing on stage with his band, behind two turntables, beatboxing, improvising, or playing a Mozart Concerto on stage with orchestra, Wendel Patrick has toured Europe on several occasions and performed throughout the world with spoken word artist and poet Ursula Rucker. Wendel Patrick is a co-founder along with Erik Spangler (DJ Dubble8) of the Baltimore Boom Bap Society, and co-producer with Aaron Henkin of the award winning radio documentary feature, "OUT OF THE BLOCKS: 3300 Greenmount Ave." which has been featured on NPR and The BBC.


Andrea Pensado
electronics, voice

Andrea Pensado works with sound as a performer and programer. She has been using digital media and live interactive musical systems since 1995. She studied in Argentina and Poland where she graduated in Composition with honors. However, her music started to gradually move from composition to improvisation.

Presently, Pensado plays solos or with other improvisers mainly across the United States. She collaborates frequently, among others with, Los Condenados (with Walter Wright, Jules Vasylenko and Chris Strunk), Bats From Pogo (with W. Wright), in a trio with Stephanie Lak and Jen Gelineau, and Crunch (with W. Wright and Jack Wright). She has been featured in South America and Europe. Pensado performs in all sorts of varied venues from regular concert halls to art galleries, clubs, lofts, basements, record stores and "house-shows". She co-produces the Sonorium series in Salem, MA since 2010.

Pensado uses Max as her main programming tool. The voice is constantly interwoven in the improvisations. The approach to programming and performance is highly intuitive. Occasionally, the combination of the performance situation, the often abrasive sounds, the irrational use of the voice and the inherent uncertainty of improvisations contributes to discoveries of unknown places in her mind.

photo credit: Gordon Marshall

Mick Ricereto
alto clarinet, electric piano
Baltimore, MD

Mick Ricereto is a Baltimore-based autodidact improviser focusing on extended technique clarinet and composition through non-traditional notation and graphic scores. A latent dabbler being inspired by local avant-garde performances, the artist realized he still had a clarinet in the attic from elementary school. Remembering at first little technique, renewed love for the earthy tone and intimacy of the instrument turned into the perfect medium for a new spontaneous freedom. Exploration of free improvisation ensued, picking up cues from Minimalism, jazz and contemporary music to blend as a fresh new approach on the instrument.

As an emerging Baltimore-area performer Mick has played with various ensembles at the Red Room, the Out of Your Head Collective, Worlds in Collusion, Rip Rig in Philadelphia and Sonic Circuits in Silver Spring, MD. Mixing his college-level training in art and design with spontaneous music, the artist has recently been exploring the area of non-traditional notation and graphic scores. Mick is presently performing and recording with Baltimore-based viola/violinist Liz Meredith in the acoustic chamber duo X|i|O (pronounced She-Oh). X|i|O recordings and samples of Mick's graphic notation can be viewed at facebook.com/X.i.O.Sounds

Margaret Rorison
projections, sounds
Baltimore, MD

Margaret Rorison is a filmmaker and writer from Baltimore, Maryland. She is interested in the potentials of storytelling through the use of live projection and sound. Rorison has been a member of The Red Room Collective since 2011 and is also the co-founder and curator for a roaming experimental film series, Sight Unseen which began in 2012. Rorison's work has been screened at Anthology Film Archives, Ann Arbor Film Festival, CROSSROADS, Images Festival, Mono No Aware VI & VII, Sonic Circuits Festival, Microscope Gallery, & The Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Her films are distributed by The Filmmakers Co-op in New York.

M.C. Schmidt
electronics, electroacoustics, percussion
Baltimore, MD

M.C. Schmidt has lived in Baltimore for 8 years or so and has enjoyed it very much. The music scene here seems to him to be lively, caring, brave, and possibly even reckless. He hopes it is rubbing off on him and his band Matmos in which he has been playing for 17 or 18 years with his evil-genius boyfriend Dr. Drew Daniel. He has played lemons and heaters and water and oatmeal and cannisters and ice. He has also played with and for Robert Wilson, Terry Riley, The Kronos Quartet, Antony, Bjork, Wobbly, Marshall Allen, Jason Willett and 11 other people. He tires of writing in the third person now, but looks forward with excitement toward listening to and playing "music".

LaDonna Smith
Birmingham, AL

LaDonna Smith is a violinist, violist, vocalist and musical impresario, pioneering the field of free improvisation since 1974 with the first collaborations with Davey Williams, co-founding TransMuseq Records. www.transmuseq.com She worked with world class improvisers and notable first generation European and American improvisers in both music and dance. She is editor and publisher of the journal dedicated solely to the philosophy and genre free improvisation, the improviser, which published XI issues, and currently lives on the web at www.the-improvisor.com. In 2007, LaDonna was invited to the Board of ISIM (International Society of Improvised Music) and served for three years. She organized a month long festival in 5 American cities celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the improvisor, which exists today in archive. Dedicated to the movement of music in the moment, LaDonna has performed hundreds of concerts in the U.S.A. Canada, Europe, China and Japan. She performs a highly personal solo style of instant composition and extended techniques, and she enjoys musical collaborations with fellow improvisers wherever she goes. She especially loves the topic “Improvisation as Cultural Recreation.”

Even as I practice, I propose the musician as proponent and leader of primal ritual celebration, using music, as a tool of cultural recreation. Accepting the premise that all people have their own unique voices and expressions, translate that into a common musical gift, which can realized in all people.


Dafne Vicente-Sandoval
Paris, FR

Dafne is a bassoon player, who explores sound through improvisation, contemporary music performance and sound installations.

Her instrumental approach is centered on the fragility of sound and its emergence within a given space. In a concert situation she seeks to create a parodoxal presence of vulnerability and strength by testing the limits of control and unstability.

The deconstructed usage of her instrument is another central aspect of her practice. Dafne amplifies fragments through miniature microphones distributed within the instrument. This exploded version of her sound sometimes meets more conventional bassoon playing to generate aural discontinuities between the exterior and the interior, the whole and the parts, wood and electricity - a reverse-engineered emergence.

Dafne currently lives in Paris and works mainly everywhere else. She favours long term face-to-face collaborations within which her work keeps an integrity while holding a dialogue with that of others (current projects with Klaus Filip, Bonnie Jones, Pascal Battus, Jakob Ullmann, Éliane Radigue and Klaus Lang).

Her work has been shown in contemporary music festivals (Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, England; Blurred Edges, Hamburg; Visiones Sonoras, Mexico), as well as in improvised music (Konfrontationen, Austria; No Idea, Texas) and sound art (Tsonami, Chile) festivals.

Bob Wagner
Baltimore, MD

Bob Wagner has been trying to play the drums for three decades.

His first performance was in a cornfield in southern Indiana playing trash cans with Belgian Waffles! Returning to Baltimore, he fell in with local tricksters, John Berndt, John Deirker and Jason Willett in the Recordings. Later with Willett he formed emo-spazz band, The CanOpeners.

Throughout the 2000's Bob forged new associations, exposing him to new ideas. Neil Feather's Mugwump pressed him with musical rigor. The French Mustards explored style above content. The Pleasant Livers taught him to keep playing even if no one in the band knows what song they’re on. Smilodon reminded him that the audience knows you’re under the tarp even if you can’t see them.

He organized numerous site-specific “shows” for High Zero (High Jinx) and learned that playing for unsuspecting strangers was often more rewarding than for paying ones. He’s played in several cover bands: Electric Junk Band (blues), Oella (country), B.A.S.(afrobeat), and Broydellic Sidecar I (TV theme songs). Earlier this year, he recorded a solo project of 31 songs in 31 days.

In spite of this varied history, Wagner’s approach to the drums remains largely the same as when he started.

Harry Walker
electric bass
Baltimore, MD

Bassist Harry has played bass for 4.5 decades. He has opened for Nils Lofgren and played with Larry Young of the Tony Williams Lifetime. He has performed spontaneous compositions with Henry Letcher, Duke Ellington's cousin. In 2013 Harry was guest bassist with Calvin Weston, Vernon Reid's drummer. He took the stage with singer songwriter David Wilcox at Wolftrap to rave reviews. He performs with New Loft, a Richmond based avante trio.

Harry loves Kronos Quartet and Steve Reich. Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" had him sitting in a car on a winter night.

Harry says while some music may rub us the wrong way, due in part to cultural unfamiliarity, it all has the potential to move us. It can slip past our thinking and go to our real selves. The stories that accompany music's inspiration give a clue to our shared experience.

He confounded the avante group Noiseless Ensemble with percussionist extraordinaire, Robin Ghertner. It underpins some of its compositions with Korean rhythms. Noiseless Ensemble can be enjoyed at http://noiselessensemble.bandcamp.com.

Harry performs on a tiny electric bass called an Ashbory. Its strings, while extremely short and flexible, unleash huge fundamental.

Jack Wright

Jack Wright has been playing free improvisation exclusively since 1979, when he returned to his childhood instrument, the saxophone. This was after two decades of political and academic involvement. He was called the "Johnny Appleseed of Improvised Music" for his extensive touring, spreading the seeds of free-form music to people and places that had never imagined it. In the 80s he also spent much time in Europe, searching for interesting partners. He lives in Easton Pennsylvania. is active in Philadelphia, but almost all his playing is on the road. Preferring small, informal situations, he has been able to avoid the music career, seeing it as a musical hindrance.

He is basically self-taught, gaining ideas from interacting with partners. His current playing involves all his exploration, leaving little behind. In the 90s he began to pull back from “free jazz” and later shifted to very reduced playing, visiting Berlin and then Paris for this purpose. Slowly he began to return to more physically engaged playing, but with a different phrasing and space. Jack plays for the love of playing, of the instrument, and of his partners, and feels capable of greater freedom now than ever before.



JD Zazie
turtables, CDJ, mixer, found sounds
Berlin, DE

Born in Bolzano (IT), JD ZAZIE is a DJ, turntablist and sound artist based in Berlin. Coming from a DJ and a radiophonic background JD Zazie has explored over the years different approaches of real-time manipulation on fixed recorded sound. In her work she redefines DJ and electroacoustic activities. As a solo performer, in small groups or large ensembles she moves in an area which is constantly stretching the borders of what is supposed to be DJ mixing, free improvisation and composed music.

Intended as music instruments CDjs, turntables and mixer are her tools to mix the specific sound-sources she plays (mostly electronic music, electroacoustic music, musique concrète, field recordings and improvised music).

The typology of the sound-sources varies from already existing audio publications and sound effects, to self recorded audio files – as live-set and field-recordings -, to selected pre-mixed material. Juxtaposition, decontextualization, fragmentation, repetition, sonic texture, scratch and error are elements of the grammar adopted to relate, organize and rearrange the sound material following her “Äpfelzerstörer’s method”. She is a member of the Italian label Burp Enterprise and co-runs Staalplaat Radio.

She is director of MuseRuole Festival (IT) and has participated in numerous exhibitions and events including Audiograft 2014 (UK), Music Unlimited #27 (AT), Tuned City Bruxelles (BE), Open Provocation festival (UK), Festival Rue du Nord (CH), Echtzeitmusiktage 2010 (DE), STEIM’s Turntable Night #7 (NL), Avantgarde Festival Schiphorst (DE).


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