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Philadelphia Concert Series

February 9th at 8:00 PM
International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut
Philadelphia, PA. 19104
$12.00 members / $15.00 general admission

A Philadelphia Premiere!

"Aelita, Queen of Mars" (Russia, 1924) with live music for Theremin and ensemble, composed by Gene Coleman and played by Ensemble Noamnesia.

Aelita: Queen of Mars, is a silent film directed by Soviet filmmaker Yakov Protazanov made at Mezhrabpom-Rus Film Studio and released in 1924. It was based on Alexei Tolstoy's novel of the same name. For its showing at the I-House on February 9th, the film will be presented with live music created by Philadelphia composer Gene Coleman and performed by Ensemble Noamnesia. The ensemble will feature Anthony Jay Ptak playing the Theremin, an electronic instrument invented in the early 20th century, which many people are familiar with from its use in science fiction movie soundtracks of the 1950s.

Though one focus of the story is on the daily lives of a group of people during the post-World War I Soviet Union, the enduring importance of the film comes from its early science fiction elements. It primarily tells of a young man, Loss, traveling to Mars in a rocket ship, where he leads a popular uprising against the king, with the support of Queen Aelita who has fallen in love with him (after watching him through a telescope). Probably the first full-length movie about space travel, the most notable part of the film remains the constructivist Martian sets and costumes designed by Aleksandra Ekster. Their influence can be seen in a number of later films, including the Flash Gordon serials and probably Fritz Lang's Metropolis. While very popular at first, the film later fell out of favor with the Soviet government and was thus very difficult to see until after the Cold War period.

Gene Coleman is a composer, musician and artistic director. He has created over 50 works for various instrumentation, often-using complex notations and improvisation in the same score. Innovative use of sound makes Coleman, both as a composer and as a performer, an artist who seeks a synthesis between what is called noise and what is called music. Since 2001 his work has focused on globalization and music's relationship with architecture and video. He studied painting, music and film making at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where his principle teachers included legendary experimental film artists Stan Brakhage and Ernie Gehr.

Ensemble Noamnesia is a group of musicians playing new and experimental music. Founded by composer Gene Coleman in Chicago in 1987, the group now consists of about 10 musicians who work on a project-by-project basis in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York. Many of the players come from a classical music background, but are equally versed in new types of interpretation and sound production, as well as improvisation. Over the years a stellar cast of international guest artists have worked with them, including Jim O'Rourke, Helmut Lachenmann, Otomo Yoshihide, Luc Ferrari, George Crumb and many others. The group is devoted to playing music that invites new ways of listening.

Anthony Jay Ptak is an artist and a composer born in Brooklyn, New York in 1970. He grew up near the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the RCA Radio Central testing facility. An inviolable autodidacticist, he has studied with Tony Conrad, Paul Sharits, Lydia Kavina, and Herbert Brün, and had technical consultations with Robert Moog. He performed at the First International Theremin Festival. He has been a guest theremin artist under director Scott Wyatt at the historic Experimental Music Studios at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2000. He was appointed visiting researcher in 2001, and participated in the C4A Computing for the Arts initiative for Fine and Applied Arts at UIUC. He taught sound art and musique concrète for new media artists at the School of Art and Design at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has presented at Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), School of the Art Institute, Chicago Cultural Center, St. Louis Art Museum, Krannert Art Museum, FFMUP Princeton University, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, Roulette Intermedium, The Kitchen, and Issue Project Room in New York. He was first introduced to the theremin in 1987 by improviser Eric Ross . He began playing an etherwave theremin kit 0017 in 1995. A. J. Ptak is a founding member of the New York Theremin Society . He currently resides in New York City. More at:

February 26th-- "Polwechsel — Postponed!"

Soundfield's "EurEthos" program series:
Polwechsel (Austria/UK)

"The Philadelphia concert has been rescheduled for October 3rd, 2008 at Slought Foundation."

Part of the Soundfield@Slought concert series
Supported by the Philadelphia Music Project, a program of The
Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by The Pew
Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts

Slought Foundation
4017 Walnut, Philadelphia

March 5th, 8:00 PM

Mascher [Space] Co-Op
155 Cecil B. Moore Avenue 2B
Philadelphia, PA 19122
General Admission: $10.00

Dance and Music collaborations featuring:
Nicole Bindler (Philadelphia)
Alissa Cardone (Boston)
Asimina Chremos (Chicago)
Ensemble N_JP (Japan/USA)
J. Makary (Philadelphia)

Links Hall in Chicago and Soundfield collaborate on an ambitious multi phase music and dance project involving Japanese and US artists, taking place in Chicago and Philadelphia. Responding to various architectural spaces in these cites, the artists are creating a new kind of collaborative work using movement and sound in equal ways.

For the second phase of the project in March 2008, the US dance artists Asimina Chermos (Chicago), Alissa Cardone (Boston) and Nicole Bindler (Philadelphia), join Ensemble N_JP musicians Ko Ishikawa (Tokyo), Ryuko Mizutani (Tokyo/Rochester), Kazuhisa Uchihashi (Tokyo/Vienna) and Gene Coleman (Philadelphia). They all come together for work sessions on March 4th and 5th in Philadelphia, including a public performance at the Mascher Space Co-Op on March 5th. The performance will also feature the video and movement artist J. Makary (Philadelphia).

The first phase of the project in September 2007 featured the musicians Ko Ishikawa (sho, Tokyo), Shoko Hikage (koto, Japan/San Francisco), Kazuhisa Uchihashi (guitar and electronics, Tokyo/Vienna), and Gene Coleman (bass clarinet, Philadelphia) worked with Chicago-based dancer Asimina Chremos at Links Hall and Silver Space. This was followed by work sessions in Philadelphia with dance artists Nicole Bindler (Philadelphia), koto player Ryuko Mizutani (koto, Nagoya, Japan) and special guest dance artist Alissa Cardone (Boston), which took place at Studio B.

This project has been made possible with the support of The Japan Foundation New York, Links Hall and Soundfield, NFP.
Public Transportation to Mascher: Market-Frankford line to Berks Street (A train). Walk 2 blocks west to Mascher Street.
Turn left and walk 2 blocks south to Cecil B. Moore. Building is on your right. Ring the bell!

Friday, March 7th: Japanese Modern

A concert program with Ensemble N_JP (Japan/USA), featuring traditional Japanese music and contemporary works by Japanese and American composers. The program will include the US premiere of "Andolangen", a music-video composition by Philadelphia composer Gene Coleman, based on architecture by Tadao Ando.

5:00 PM to 8:15 PM
Great Stair Hall
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street
Philadelphia, PA. 19130

Admission to the museum is required:
$14 (general), $12 (seniors) and $10 (students)
Part of the Art after 5 program

Celebrate Japan with a program that focuses on Japanese music, architecture and design sensibility, viewed through the lens of globalization.

Philadelphia composer Gene formed Ensemble N_JP in 2001 as a vehicle for his ongoing work with outstanding musicians from Japan and guest artists from the USA and Europe. The goal of the group is to explore new relationships between traditional and experimental art and to create a platform for cultural exchange between Japan and the West. These ideas are made manifest through concert programs, multimedia works and educational projects. For the PMA program, traditional music for the Japanese instruments Sho (bamboo mouth organ) and Koto (large 13 string zither) is heard in relation to a new composition by the venerable Japanese composer Yuji Takahashi. A special feature of the program will be the US premiere of Andolangen, a music and video composition by Gene Coleman, scored for an ensemble of western and Japanese instruments with two screen video projection. Andolangen is one in a series of works by Coleman that explore relationships between music, architecture and video in the context of globalization. In Andolangen, the work springs from the primal language of form and space found in Tadao Ando's elegant Langen Foundation building, using it as a "catalytic text" for a music and video composition. The graphic elements of the building itself become part of the score and composition, through a process that is both formal and poetic. In this way, Coleman asks the question "what does this building sound like?"
This program is part of the Art after 5 series at the PMA and will also feature a screening of "Making the Modern", a film by Harry Lynch that follows Tadao Ando's design and construction of the Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, with commentary by architect Frank Gerry and artist Richard Serra. The film will screen at 5:45 and 7:00 PM in the PMA auditorium. An introduction by Stephanie C. Feldman, Instructor in the School of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania will accompany the 7:00 PM screening.


5:45 to 6:45

Ryuko Mizutani (Koto)

" Midare (variations)" (Yatsuhashi Kengyo) (Koto solo 17th Century traditional music)
" Tori no Yoni (Like a Bird)" (Tadao Sawai) 1985

Ko Ishikawa (Sho)
Solo composition for Sho by Ko Ishikawa

" Koto nado asobi" (Yuji Takahashi) for koto and ensemble (2000)

Ryuko Mizutani (Koto) and Ensemble N_JP


7:15 to 8:15

Improvisations featuring Ensemble N_JP (Ko Ishikawa (sho), Ryuko Mizutani (koto),
Kazuhisa Uchihashi (e-guitar) and US musicians)

" Andolangen" (Gene Coleman) For Ensemble with 2 screen video projection (2007)

Ensemble N_JP (Japan/USA), conducted by Thaddeus Squire

Ko Ishikawa (sho)
Ryuko Mizutani (koto)
Kazuhisa Uchihashi (e-guitar)
Gene Coleman (bass clarinet)
Alban Bailey (shamisen and guitar)
Gordon Beeferman (piano)
Kevin McFarland (cello)
Nick Lerman (video editor and technical advisor)

Andolangen was commissioned by the Culture Foundation of Nordrhein Westphalia and the E-Mex Ensemble (Germany).
Support for this program was made possible by:
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia
The Foundation for Contemporary Art
Soundfield, NFP

March 20th at 8:00 PM

Soundfield's "EurEthos" program series:
Ossatura (Italy) + Ensemble Noamnesia (USA)
Experimental music by Italian and American composers

Part of the Soundfield@Slought concert series

Supported by the Philadelphia Music Project, a program of The
Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by The Pew
Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts

April or May

Soundfield's "EurEthos" program series:

Roberto Fabriciani (flutes, Rome)
Alvise Vidolin (electronics, Venice)
Nicola Sani (composer, Rome)
Music by Nicola Sani, Salvatore Sciarrino, Luigi Nono and Giacinto Scelsi
(Details TBA)

May 2008 (date TBA)

Soundfield's "Crosswork" program series:
Music and Video works by Raed Yassin (Lebanon) and Amnon Wolman (Israel / USA)
(Details TBA)