String Theory: The Future of the Stringed Instrument

@ 8:00pm

Tickets: $15/12/10/7
604 876 9343 (available after September 6)

Charlotte Hug and Chantale Laplante East Van Strings
Friday, November 4, 8 PM

Suisse performer Charlotte Hug is paired with electroacoustic composer Chantale Laplante, in a bewitching merger of classical viola with unorthodox bowing techniques and live electronic processing.

East Van Strings features local talents Peggy Lee (cello), Jesse Zubot (violin), Gordon Grdina (oud and guitar), and Seattle pride Eyvind Kang (viola). EVS will perform Grdina’s latest work, an homage to the string quartets of Bartok, Berg, and Webern.

John Oliver Volute!
Saturday, November 5, 8 PM

John Oliver presents his Nylong Symphony, a spectral voyage across centuries of sound, an unforgettable composition generated by classical guitar and Turkish oud, fed live through a computer synthesizer.

Volute! is the always captivating string duo of Tom Swafford (violin) and Nathan Levine (bass). Their free-spirited spontaneous music verges on the sublime, while continuously teetering on the fence dividing melody and noise.

The Long String Instrument by Ellen Fullman With Special Guest Brett Larner Friday, November 18, 8 PM

Imagine a musical instrument with one hundred wires strung over fifty feet. This is Fullman’s Long String Instrument (LSI). By stroking the strings with rosin-covered hands and walking along its length, the LSI creates a unique texture, an enduring sound that approaches infinity.

Canadian composer and koto virtuoso Brett Larner and his ensemble of seven guitarists plucking, fretting, bowing and hammering steel strings will perform the haunting and delicate / m-7 / 21-1 / .
Presented in conjunction with LIVE Biennial

Eugene Chadbourne Khac Chi Ensemble Friday, November 25, 8 PM

Chadbourne’s music has covered a lot of territory over the past thirty years: bottleneck blues, free improvisation, protest music, country and western explosions, experimental jazz, demented rockabilly – all topped off with his trademarked absurd vocals.

Drawing from four thousand centuries of history and hundreds of musical styles the Khac Chi Ensemble will perform contemporary Vietnamese works featuring the slack string dan bao, the original whammy bar and a two string koni.

String Theory biographies

Eugene Chadbourne
Born in 1954, in Mount Vernon, New York, Eugene Chadbourne took up guitar at the age of 11, eventually trading in his rock electric for a Harmony six-string acoustic. In 1970, Chadbourne began writing for the Calgary Herald, covering classical and contemporary rock music, and freelanced for several jazz publications. His debut recording, 1975’s Solo Acoustic Guitar, was released on Chadbourne’s own Parachute label. In 1977 he played on Frank Lowe’s Lowe & Behold alongside Billy Bang.

In the late 70s Chadbourne, John Zorn and cellist Tom Cora turned to country-and-western-and-improvisation implosions, and his trio Shockabilly made rock covers into nightmare noise-rides. Reaffirming his commitment to improvisation, he played at Derek Bailey’s Company Week in August 1990. In the 90s and on into the new millennium, Chadbourne’s collaborated with drummer Jimmy Carl Black, Henry Kaiser and Italian quartet Zu. Chadbourne’s scabrously noisy guitar, his considered politics and smart songwriting have made him an unexpected rock cult.

Ellen Fullman

Ellen Fullman earned a BFA in Sculpture from the Kansas City Art Institute, leading her to create her “Metal Skirt Sound Sculpture,” which she wore to perform Streetwalker at the 1980 New Music America festival in Minneapolis. Fullman has been developing the Long String Instrument (LSI) for more than twenty years, and it has evolved into an astounding expression of artistic individuality. The instrument is based on the longitudinal mode of vibration, with one hundred long wires strung over approximately ninety feet. She has developed various extended techniques to evoke different textures from this unique instrument.

Fullman has presented her work in art spaces, festivals, and museums in the United States and in Europe. She has received numerous awards and commissions from organizations including the New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, New Forms Regional Initiative, and Meet the Composer. She was commissioned by the Artist Trust Fellowship (1999) and was awarded a one-
year residency in Berlin from the Deutcher Akademisher Austauschdienst (2000). Her music was represented in The American Century; Art and Culture, 1950-2000, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Recordings of her work appear on the New Albion, Columbia, XI, Apollo, and Deep Listening record labels. Fullman teaches composition classes and sound meditation at “The Candy Factory,” her studio in Seattle.

Charlotte Hug

Charlotte Hug was born in 1965 in Zurich, Switzerland. Trained as a classical musician as well as a visual artist, she studied viola and composition in Bern and finished with the SMPV diploma. She also studied èscenic design’ at the Hochschule fur Gestaltung in Zurich. Working in the fields of composition, improvisation, electroacoustic music, performance, installation, film music, and interdisciplinary projects, Hug performs solo her own works or in collaboration with other artists such as Fine Kwiatkowski, Andrea Neumann, Maggie Nicols, Caroline Kraabel, Phil Durrant, John Edwards, John Butcher, Ivar Grydeland, Pat Thomas, Evan Parker, Phil Wachsman, Ingar Zach. She is also a member of the London Improvisers Orchestra.

Hug won significant accolades with her solo recording Neuland where use of extended techniques transformed her instrument through evolving sonic variations. Like musicians such as Phil Durrant, Mark Wastell, Nikos Veliotis, and Rhodri Davies, Hug is finding new and fertile ground for string instruments in electroacoustic settings.

Chantale Laplante

Chantale Laplante was born in Rimouski, a small town in Quebec by the St-Lawrence River.
That is where she first received musical training in classical piano, followed a few years later
by studies in piano jazz in Vancouver where she also worked as keyboard player in groups of
various styles, from rock, pop to experimental. In the 90’s, she enrolled in the composition
program at the University of Montreal (Master) which was followed by advanced studies with
Francis Dhomont (Montreal) and Jonathan Harvey (United Kingdom).

Chantale Laplante composes music for acoustic instruments (solo, small ensembles,
orchestra) and electroacoustic music. She has great interest in mixing these two types of
music, finding here the opportunity of going further into her comprehension of sound:
approach, organisation and perception. She also work improvising with her computer, surfing
on her controler with the help of a Max-MSP environment. Her improvisations reach her
diversified background, using a great variety of sounds from field recordings, to pitched
sounds or calling on the concrete school of electroacoustic music.

Chantale Laplante has been composer-in-residence at the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne
(Montreal), the Banff Center for the Arts (Canada), the Center for Contemporary Arts in
Glasgow, the Internationales Kunstlerhaus Villa Concordia (Germany) and the Centre
d’artistes Est-Nord-Est in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli (Quebec). Her works have been performed and
premiered in North America and Europe, in festivals, concerts and recitals. She regularly
performs improvising in Europe and North-America.

Chantale Laplante also teaches musical theory and gives lectures. She is currently working
with the author Chantal Neveu on an audio-spoken word project with the support of the New
Media Center Oboro. Her latest piece Les Commencements for tuba and electroacoustic music
will be performed this Fall during the Evolution Series of the Concert Society Innovations en

Brett Larner

Brett Larner is Canada’s premiere performer of new music for the traditional Japanese instrument koto. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Larner has studied with masters Anthony Braxton and Kazue Sawai, and his playing reflects the different lessons learned from these studies. Active as both improviser and composer, he constantly works to develop new techniques for the koto, most notably in his piece for koto and thirteen gyroscopes, Telemetry Transmission.

Larner has performed both solo and in ensembles throughout Canada, Japan and the United States with musicians including Samm Bennett, Anthony Braxton, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Kevin Drumm, Gianni Gebbia, Kazauo Imai, Fred Lonberg-Holm, John Fahey, Ko Ishikawa, Sachiko M, Phil Minton, Toshimaru Nakamura, John Russell, Richard Teitelbaum, Jim O’Rourke, Tetsu Saitoh, Kazue Sawai, the late Tadao Sawai, Taku Sugimoto and Sabu Toyozumi. He is a member of the contemporary koto ensemble Soemon, Otomo Yoshihide’s Portable Orchestra, and works in a duo with Taku Sugimoto. He is the founder and director of the Deluxe Improvisation Series and Deluxe Improvisation Festival in Tokyo.

John Oliver
Combining familiar musical materials and techniques with new inventions, Oliver aims for a visceral yet intelligent music that plays with the audience’s perception of sound and culture.

John Oliver came to international attention during 1988/89 when he won six prizes for five compositions ranging from chamber to orchestral to electroacoustic music. Among these the “City of Varese Prize” at the 1988 Luigi Russolo Competition (Italy), and the Canada Council’s Grand Prize at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s 8th National Competition for Young Composers for his live electroacoustic work El Reposo del Fuego. Based on the success of this work, the Canadian Opera Company commissioned Oliver’s first opera, Guacamayo’s Old Song and Dance which they produced in Toronto and at the Banff Centre in 1991, the first full-length opera of their Composer-in-Residence program.

Oliver’s music has been presented in concert in North America, France, Sweden, England, Belgium, Spain and Mexico, and heard around the world on radio. Oliver’s symphonic work Raven Steals the Light (based on the ancient Haida story as retold by Bill Reid and Robert Bringhurst) was commissioned by the CBC Radio Orchestra and broadcast to all 21 member stations of the European Broadcasting Unions network in 1999 on their special series Myths and Music. His music is published on CD by CBC Records, empreintes DIGITALes, SNE, McGill University Records, and earsay.

From 1989 to 1995, Oliver was Composer-in-Residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, The Camargo Foundation, Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, and Music in the Morning. He has been commissioned by the Editions Opus 102 (Montréal), National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, CBC Radio, CBC Radio Orchestra, Vancouver New Music, La Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, Ensemble Pierrot, among others.

Oliver’s music has been heard at major international festivals, including the International Society for Contemporary Music World Music Days, the Juilliard School of Music Pacific Rim Festival, New Music Across America, Budapest Spring Festival, Ars Musica Festival (Brussels), Rendezvous Festival (London, England), En torno a los sonidos electronicos (Mexico City), and the Subtropics III Music Festival (Miami, Florida), as well as in concert and on radio, in performances by The Borromeo String Quartet, Camerata Transsylvanica, Canadian Opera Company, CBC Radio Orchestra, New Music Concerts, Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne, L’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Pierrot Ensemble, Saint Lawrence String Quartet, Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, Vancouver New Music, Vancouver Opera, and others.

Oliver’s “virtual opera” Alternate Visions, with a libretto by Vancouver writer Genni Gunn, will have its World Premiere in a production by Chants Libres (Montréal) in 2005. Go to the Alternate Visions, page for more details. Oliver’s first Opera, Guacamayo’s Old Song and Dance, was produced by the Canadian Opera Company in 1991 in Toronto and at The Banff Centre.

Oliver also writes orchestral, and electroacoustic music, and has produced a significant amount of chamber music in recent years as Composer-in-Residence for Music in the Morning and the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival. Recent works include: Raven Steals the Light, commissioned by the CBC Vancouver Orchestra and Music in the Morning; Raven’s Cry, commissioned by the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Competition for Young Performers; Forging Utopia, commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra; Gallery, commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for the Principal Winds of the National Arts Centre Orchestra; and a string octet, Summer (F)ayre, commissioned by the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival (which was interpreted by the combined forces of the St.Lawrence and Borromeo Quartets). The chamber music series Music in the Morning commissioned four works from 1993-1994: a string quartet, Traces, for the Saint Lawrence String Quartet, as well as works for Salvador Ferreras & Beverley Johnston (From Thunder and Rain to Crossing the Great Stream), Russell Braun (In the Flesh), and Unseen Rain for Judith Forst and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, conducted by Mario Bernardi published on CBC SM5000 series compact disk (SMCD-5191).

East Van Strings: Gordon Grdina, Jesse Zubot, Eyvind Kang, Peggy Lee

Gordon Grdina (Oud, Guitar)
Born in Vancouver B.C. Gordon Grdina is a highly sought after guitarist that has toured extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. A protégé of jazz great Gary Peacock, he is a well respected contributor to the Jazz, Improvised, and World Music scenes constantly being sought after for projects that need a unique sound. Gordon studied the Oud with Iraq Oud virtuoso Serwan Yamolky and performs in such diverse groups as Box Cutter (Genre bending modern jazz) (, Maqam (Modern interpretations of Iraqi folk music), Loose Acoustic (Improvising groove trio) ( and Sangha (Arabic/Indian/Persian traditional ensemble) ( ) each of which has received much critical acclaim. He has also performed or recorded with Francois Houle, Eyvind Kang, Jesse Zubot, Chuck Isreals, Abraham K. Adzenyah, John Stowell, Jon Bentley, Hidayat Honari, Neelamjit Dhillon, Don Powrie, Jon Korsrud, Dylan Vander Schyff, Randall Stoll, and Brownman

His Ensembles have performed at Concerts by the Sea, Kelowna Arts Alive Festival, the DuMaurier International Jazz Festival and Canada trust Jazz Festivals, Sweet Basil Jazz Festival, Zula Productions Spectre Nova, Revelstoke Roots and Blues Festival, Pemberton Folk Festival, Everett Concerts in the Park Festival, a CBC World Rhythms National Broadcast, Caravan World Rhythms Showcase CBC Broadcast, CBC Canada Day Granville Island Celebrations, CBC Espace Musique, Filberg Festival, the Asian Heritage Month Western Front concert series, Caravan Commercial Drive Festival, In the House Festival, and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens Enchanted Evenings concert series.

Jesse Zubot
Jesse Zubot, of Vancouver, B.C., is a member of the acoustic roots group ‘Zubot & Dawson’. Their recent recording was produced by Lee Townsend (Bill Frisell, John Scofield) and released on True North Records in Canada. Zubot is also a member of the Great Uncles of the Revolution which includes well-
known Toronto bassist Andrew Downing and trumpeter Kevin Turcotte. Both groups are Juno Award winners. Beyond this he has been heavily involved in improvisational, folk and contemporary music having recorded and performed with the likes of Kelly Joe Phelps, Eugene Chadbourne, Tony Wilson, Torsten Muller, Dave Douglas, Radiogram, Dylan van der Schyff, Kid Koala, Jim Byrnes, Chris Gestrin, Veda Hille, Francois Houle, Bob Brozman, The Buttless Chaps, Po’ Girl, Ox, Debashish Battacharya, Viktor Krauss, Oh Susanna, Gerry Hemingway, JP Carter and countless others. At the 2003 National Jazz Awards, Jesse won ‘violinist of the year’.

Some of Jesse’s performance highlights of the past few years include the Monterey Jazz Festival, Era Jazzu (Wroclaw, Poland), the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the New York Guitar Festival, Traz & Folk Fest (Rudolstadt, Germany), Dobrofest (Trnava, Slovakia), the Atlantic Jazz Festival (Halifax, NS) & the International Folk Festival (Spilimbergo, Italy).

Eyvind Kang
Eyvind Kang leads many projects, and has recorded and toured with the Bill Frisell Quartet, Robin Holcomb, The Secret Chiefs, Beck, Mr. Bungle, Blonde Redhead and John Zorn. He has two CDs on the
Tzadic label. Eyvind graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in 1992.

Peggy Lee Upon arriving in Vancouver in 1989, Peggy Lee has participated in numerous creative projects. She is a member of Talking Pictures and the Tony Wilson Sextet. As well, she performs with the NOW Orchestra, who have made their musical presence felt through their work with Barry Guy, Rene Lussier, Koch, Shutz & Studer, and Butch Morris. Lee also works with Standing Wave, a new music ensemble dedicated to performing new written works, principally by Canadian composers. Other performance collaborations include work with electo-acoustic composer Paul Dolden, trumpeter Dave Douglas and pianist Paul Plimley. In addition to her SPOOL recording with Dylan van der Schyff (These Are Our Shoes), Lee has also recorded with Talking Pictures, Vinny Golia, the NOW Orchestra with Barry Guy and with Rene Lussier, Carlos Zingaro, and François Houle’s John Carter Project, which features Dylan van der Schyff, Mark Dresser and Dave Douglas.

Khac Chi Ensemble
The Khac Chi – Sounds of Vietnam features two of Vietnam’s premiere musicians, performing exquisite music on rare and unique instruments native to Vietnam. These virtuoso artists offer an intriguing glimpse into the rich musical tradition of Vietnam and its 4000-year history.

Famous for their musical skills innovation throughout Vietnam, the Khac Chi takes you on an adventure in sound. Extremely versatile, their concerts may include a combination of styles or feature any one style of Vietnamese traditional music, Vietnamese folk music or contemporary music to world music. They are as equally comfortable performing solo chamber concerts, as they are on folk festival stages, or as guest soloists for symphony orchestras.

Their rare talents and superb musicianship have won them numerous awards for excellence, as well as many invitations for international appearances.

Volute! Tom Swafford, Nathan Levine

Tom Swafford was born in Seattle in 1972. After studying jazz piano and classical violin, Tom was introduced to free improvisation when he joined the Tufts University New Music Ensemble in 1991. He continued to improvise while he pursued a Ph. D. in composition at U. C. Berkeley (1195-2001); he performed with 024c, Emergency String Quartet, Dan Plonsey, John Schott, Matt Ingalls, Miya Masaoka and others. He has won several awards for composition, including a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Hertz Traveling Fellowship from U. C. Berkeley. Tom spent a year in Amsterdam studying composition with Louis Andriessen and playing the violin in carious improvisation ensembles. Tom returned to Seattle in 2002. He plays in several local groups in a wide variety of styles including bluegrass (Devin Brewer), Irish punk (Meisce). String quartets (with his mother and others) and improvised music (Doulends Vert, Tone Action Orchestra, Cipher, Thingsome Q, Volute! etc.). Tom has recorded with pop bands (Guster, Papas Fritas, SweetLou) and improv groups (Doublends, Emergency String Quartet, 024c).

Eighteen years of bass instrument study has shaped Nathan Levine into a musician who understands what is fundamentally desired from a piece of music. From slow and beautful to freaky and frantic, the sounds he coaxes from his instrument can be delightfully spellbinding at times. At other times, well, we’ll just say that he has had this penchant of late for the weird and wondrous. Many fun and exciting things are to be expected from this Seattle-based double bassist and bandleader before he flees the country for different pastures.