Jonathan Zorn, Jackson Moore, Seth Dellinger (electronics, saxophone, voice)
Chris Mason (poetry)
The Red Room presents Musical Antistrophes a special concert and reading featuring astonishing new approaches to voice, technology, language and music. These artists work within the realm of the imagined and impossible – seeking new systems and musical structures based on the rhythms of speech, phonetics, computer processed voice, and programmatic constraints.
Zorn, Moore, and Dellinger first met while studying composition and improvisation at Wesleyan University. Together they formed the Middletown Creative Orchestra, a large ensemble of musicians and non-musicians who over time developed a unique musical language derived from group improvisation. This desire for understanding, shaping, and examining what constitutes a “language” carries through in their current work. Zorn has constructed a speech-based music using electronic technology, Moore has created a pidgin language with a musical phonology called Moss, and Dellinger works with his own imaginary language called Beeayboll.
At the Red Room they will present both solo and ensemble improvisations as well as new compositions by Jackson Moore.
Chris Mason’s poetry is an exhilarating journey that speaks to the possibilities of language, sound/language, visual/language to re-architect our day-to-day reality; from the voices in our minds, our feet on the ground, and our dreams while we sleep. He is also a member of cherished Baltimore bands The Tinklers, Old Songs, and Coocoo Rockin Time.
Chris Mason is a poet and a member of three bands, The Tinklers, Coocoo Rockin Time, and Old Songs, the last of which translates archaic Greek poetry and puts it to music. Books of poetry include Where To From Out (Furniture Press, Baltimore, 2013), Hum Who Hiccup (Narrow House, Baltimore, 2011), Click Poems (shabby editions, London, 1982), and Poems of a Doggy (pod books, Baltimore, 1977). He grew up in Minnesota but has lived in Baltimore since 1970. He and his wife Ann have 2 children, Elizabeth and Will.
Jackson Moore is a composer, wind player, and teacher based in New York and Vermont. He moved to Hartford at the age of seventeen to study jazz with Jackie McLean, and soon became involved with a community of musical autodidacts in Middletown, an hour to the south. From 1997 to 2001, he apprenticed with Anthony Braxton, touring with him and helping to research and develop his Ghost Trance music. In the nineties his work examined the symbolic systems that musicians use to think and communicate with one another. Since then his projects have included a body of formalized music based on the resources of natural language, a book of antisymmetrical songs, a melodic pidgin, an auditory spacecraft, and an agent-based system for mass improvisation. From 2005 to 2010 he ran the New Languages Festival, the first jazz festival dedicated to musicians that came up in the eighties and nineties. Since then New Languages has organized events that explore new conventions, sites, and time frames for live musical collaboration. He has taught privately, as an early childhood music teacher in public schools, and leading seminars and pedagogical experiments in anarchist schools. From 2010 to 2013 he worked at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, where he researched auditory localization. He currently teaches coding and runs the digital arts lab at Bennington College.
Jonathan Zorn is a composer, performer, and educator of experimental, electronic, and improvised music. His electronic music pairs improvising musicians with interactive computer systems to create hybrid, human-machine ensembles. Zorn’s interest in vocal utterance has resulted in a series of pieces in which spoken language is interrupted by electronic forces, drawing attention to the gap between speech and sound. Zorn has been active as an improvisor on bass and electronics for 15 years and has performed at Red Cat, the Walker Art Center, the Verona Jazz Festival, the Library of Congress, the Seattle Festival of Improvised Music, Line Space Line Festival, and the Chelsea Art Museum. He has performed under the direction of Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier, and Alison Knowles. His work has been published in Ord und Bild, the SEAMUS Journal, Notations 21, and UbuWeb.
Seth Dellinger is a composer and improviser whose primary vehicle is the experimental investigation of the voice in the borderline realm between speech and song. In the late 90s, Seth began to compose mantras and, eventually, an imaginary language called Beeayboll, made from a malleable sequence of 88-syllables. The reverse of these sounds a couple of years later, Eebayloh, doubled the vocabulary. By repetitive practice of chanting the syllables in multiple numeric groupings, he achieved a semblance of “fluency” designed to mirror the sound of a native speaker of any language, who can rearrange her speech at the speed of thought. Two more such languages, Vyeurneuray and Nanshyuteng are in development.
Dellinger has also explored the sound of language on an intuitive level through extensive meditations in the realm of speaking in tongues. All of these ideas have been cross-pollinated with an experimental approach to the voice in general, including vocal overtone and undertone singing, inhalation singing, beatboxing, chant, and controlled screaming. Since 2011, Seth has practiced the Feldenkrais Method, an exploratory form of somatic self-education. This work has clarified a more systematic approach for the experimental discovery of deeper levels of internal control for use of the human body as an expressive instrument. Dellinger has previously led experimental vocal workshops and hopes to continue to develop a creative vocal pedagogy in the future.
Dellinger has led or co-led many creative ensembles over the years, including the Correspondence Quartet, the String Army, the Martian Vocal Ensemble and the Middletown Creative Orchestra.