Olivia Block

AMODA Performance Series with Austin New Music Co-op Present: Olivia Block
Sunday, December 5th, 2004 8:00pm
LOUNGE @ ARTHOUSE (700 Congress Avenue)

Olivia Block (Sedimental) with the Austin New Music Co-op
Imbroglio String Quartet (NMC)
William Meadows (NMC)
Josh Russell (bremsstrahlung recordings)

Olivia Block is a contemporary composer and sound artist who combines field recordings, scored segments for acoustic instruments, and electronically generated sound. Her recorded work seeks to introduce, set at play, and ultimately reconcile nature with artifice in the realms of music and sound. In the process, "organic" sound becomes subtly processed, digitized and abstracted; "inorganic" sound becomes self-replicating and animate; and "musical" elements such as chamber instruments are defamiliarized from their traditional associations, freeing them to participate in the larger aesthetic possibilities of sound.

Upon release, her debut solo CD, Pure Gaze (Sedimental, 1998), and subsequently her solo CD, Mobius Fuse (Sedimental, 2001) have garnered national critical acclaim. Julian Cowley, of The Wire, described her as "a composer who demands serious attention." She has also received favorable attention for her sound installations, live performances and collaborative recording projects.

Feature articles and interviews have been published about her in The Chicago Reader, Blow Up magazine, and The Sound Projector, and in Internet publications such as PerfectSoundForever.com, as well as others. Her most recent article was in The Chicago Tribune about a public installation she created for a botanical greenhouse in a Chicago.

Olivia consistently performs in festivals and tours throughout Europe, America, and Japan. Her latest release, Sunder, Unite, a collaboration with Seth Nehil is on Sedimental records. A forthcoming solo project will be released on Idea records. She will be created the first large scale sound installation featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in the stairwell, January, 2005.

The Imbroglio String Quartet consists of violinists Elizabeth Warren and Travis Weller, violist James Alexander, and cellist Steve Bernal. The ensemble was formed in January of 2001 to explore ideas for openly composed, experimental and improvised musics in the context of a traditional string quartet. Since its inception, the quartet has performed numerous times in central Texas, recorded soundtracks for film and theatre, collaborated with world renowned improvisers such as John Butcher, and premiered new works by many composers. An early collaboration with Austin composer Bill Meadows produced "Folded for String Quartet and Electronics" which was accepted to the Seamus 2001 electronic music conference.

William Meadows has worked as a composer, performer, and sound designer for over twenty years. His compositions have been performed at the Austrian Society for Electro-Acoustic Music, the Los Angeles New Music Festival, SEAMUS National Conferences, and at new music concerts around the country.

Meadows created and performed in multimedia works at the International Symposium of Electronic Arts in Montreal, Caravan of Dreams Theater, the Dallas Museum of Art, and Richland Planetarium. He performed with Tina Marsh accompanying the silent film Nanook of the North, and has appeared in concerts produced by the Austin New Music Co-op.

Meadows has worked as a sound designer and composer for many choreographers, including Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, Deborah Hay, Trˇ Arenz, Johnson/Long Dance Company, Sharir/Bustamante Danceworks, Heloise Gold, and Stephen Brown. This year was his eighth season working with Sally Jacques.

Josh RussellÕs (Austin, TX) work lies in the gully between academic electro-acoustic and ambient. Inspired by the soft incidental noises that one normally filters out, he distills these sounds down and composes with them. By manipulating previously recorded sounds live as well as amplifying miniature sound environments he tries to give performances that keep the listener engaged and present in the moment. A recording of a recent performance at the ThomFariCraw's Loft Series is available for download at www.stasisfield.com. He also runs the record label bremsstrahlung recordings, www.lowercasesound.com.