Chris Pitsiokos & Miya Masaoka
Friday, June 2nd, ISSUE presents two generations of artists working between the boundaries of improvisation and composition: saxophonist, composer and improviser Chris Pitsiokos and celebrated musician, composer and installation artist Miya Masaoka. The two artists present new work in solo and duo performance, exploring their varied methods across the spectrum of their unique instrumental research.
Chris Pitsiokos premieres compositions incorporating sound recorded at ISSUE Project Rooms 22 Boerum theater in late March, 2017. Specifically addressing the theaters unique reverberant properties, the works consolidate Pitsiokos intensely lyrical musical ethos into the spaces acoustic personality. Amongst these new works is Four Alto (to Anthony Braxton), a piece presented in quadraphonic sound -- spatialized within the drastic listening differences occurring throughout various locations and positions within the theater space.
Miya Masaoka also presents new work on the monochord and one string koto, showcasing her masterful and conceptually restless performance style that ushers Japanese instrumentation into contemporary contexts. Electronics may or may not be employed.
Following, both artists perform a series of collaborative miniatures structured with finite timbral and rhythmic materials. The works function as strategies for new modes of interaction and sonic exploration that seek to showcase, rather than limit, their unique voices and spontaneous aesthetic visions and decisions. In this dialogue, new considerations emerge -- how does one work to expand the field of compositional and instrumental techniques and strategies through abstraction without letting that abstraction and search for a new vocabulary work against the power of the personal, the gestural, and the emotive?
Chris Pitsiokos, who has been forging pathways in new music since his entry into the Brooklyn music scene five years ago, continues to break new ground. His first several albums, featuring the likes of Weasel Walter, Philip White and Kevin Shea, expanded the language of the saxophone without divorcing it of its lyrical and cathartic power. At the same time he was working with artists as diverse as Tyshawn Sorey, Lydia Lunch, and Peter Evans. In the past three years, Pitsiokos focus has turned towards composition. His well-rehearsed bands like CP Unit and the Chris Pitsiokos Quartet and Quintet showcase his contrapuntal compositions while adding their own performative power as the musicians involved showcase their own unique talents. Some of these pieces offer new strategies in interaction, empowering the musicians involved to make structural as well as content based musical decisions. In 2017, Chris bands and his solo project have major festival engagements on three continents. In particular, he is taking his solo saxophone and quadraphonic electronics project on the road, in a three continent tour performing at ISSUE Project Room in New York City, Copenhagen Jazz Festival in Denmark, Jazz Art Sengawa Festival in Tokyo, and other venues in the UK, Chicago, and Sweden. In November 2016 Chris was a resident at John Zorns club the Stone and he is a contributor to the forthcoming Arcana VIII a book of essays edited by Zorn. Chris is currently in Nate Wooleys Quartet. In addition to performing and composing music, he has been presenting concerts in New York since 2012, was a long time DJ at radio station WKCR-FM NY, and runs his record label Eleatic Records.
Miya Masaoka resides in New York City and is a classically trained musician, composer and sound artist. She has created works for traditional Japanese instruments, chamber ensembles, symphonic orchestra, mixed choirs, telematic performances and designed interactive wearable textiles. She has composed pieces using spatialization, sonification of data, mapped behavior of plants, brain activity and insect movement to sound. The Wire publication calls her work, virtuosic, magnificientessential.
Her works have been presented at the Venice Biennale, Park Ave Armory, the Fridman Gallery, Merkin Hall, ICA Pennsylvania, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and many others. Awards include the Doris Duke Award, the Alpert Award, Gerbode, Asian Cultural Council, the MAP Fund, Asian Art Foundation, The Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle.
She has collaborated and worked with many leading artists including Pharoah Sanders, Pauline Oliveros, Toshiko Akiyoshi (Both Oliveros and Akiyoshi have written pieces for her), Ornette Coleman, Steve Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Fred Frith, Christian Wolff, Henry Brandt, Andrew Cyrille, Reggie Workman, Vijay Iyer and Gerry Hemingway, Myra Melford and Zeena Parkins. She has recently recorded a duo recording with Anthony Braxton.
She is a Fulbright Fellow for Japan 2016, She has been a faculty member of the Milton Avery MFA Sound/Music Department at Bard College since 2003 and has taught composition at NYU and is the Director of Sound Arts MFA program at Columbia University. She is currently writing an orchestra piece for the Glasgow Orchestra. (2018)
ISSUE Project Room (View)
22 Boerum Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
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