a guide to the ruins: Improv
Metalanguage was founded in 1978 by the Rova Saxophone Quartet's Larry Ochs and avant-guitarist Henry Kaiser, and has dealt primarily with in-house projects; three Rova LP's, three Kaiser LP's, a Rova/Kaiser collaboration, a Kaiser/Fred Frith guitar spectacular, and a two-volume set documenting the 1980 Metalanguage Festival of Improvised Music.
Tom Nunn plays solo and in a number of bands, most notably Rotodoti and C-SIDE (California Sonic Instrument Designers Ensemble), a group comprised solely of original-instrument builders. Besides Nunn, the group includes Richard Waters (inventor of the Waterphone), Darrell DeVore (who makes flutes and percussion devices) and Bart Hopkin (who makes percussion instruments and a slide clarinet, and is the publisher of Experimental Musical Instruments, an international newsletter with a devoted following).
Beanbenders And Kids March 15, 1995: The incredible "Big Music, Little Musicians" with Manufacturing of Humidifiers. There were something like 30 kids there but they were pretty together, mostly thanks to the efforts of Maestro Randy Porter. As an an ensemble, the kids played Sun Ra's "Planet Earth" and various other numbers, including Peter Gunn theme, which Randy tried to take off the playlist, but was overruled by the kids. They also played from an overhead projector. Randy put up a transparency divided by types of sound (ranging from "blips and blops" to "glissando" to "snore"). Then he'd place an instrument group on a sound- and they'd make it- whether it involved their instrument or not. Silly and brilliant and very convincing.
The Manufacturing of Humidifiers didn't set out to be iconoclasts. Nor do they think themselves as excessively curmudgeonly. It's just that when we heard a dozen or so concerts of testosterone-driven noise being presented as the newest thing in creativity, we were kind of stunned. Musicians were acting like soldiers headed off to war -and this was happening just before `Desert Storm.'
Wisdom of Impulse: On the Nature of Musical Free Improvisation by Tom Nunn Chapter 3: Free Improvisation in the '90s. In the San Francisco Bay Area, currently one of the centers of free improv, a series of venues lasting from a few months to a couple of years has created a healthy interest in this music. For several years in succession, the Bay Area Improv Fest, consisting of four or five performance evenings, was held in Oakland.
Freeway Newsletter: Life Burn: musicians: Bruce Ackley, saxophone; Marc Crawford, percussion; Henry Kaiser, guitars; Shintaido practitioners led by Mr. Ito; action painter Kazu Nobu Yanagi.
Splatter Trio: Faced with the dilemma of whether to release a live or studio recording, the members of the Splatter Trio decided to combine the material from both into one computer manipulated hybrid. This was the beginning of their fifth CD release Hi-Fi Junk Note.