Duane Pitre (NOLA) is an American avant-garde composer, performer, and sound artist. His work often focuses on the interaction between electronic sound and acoustic instrumentation, chaos and discipline, as well as site-specificity. The composer frequently utilizes alternate tuning schemes that focus on microtonality, enabling him to explore unaccustomed intervallic relationships.
Pitre has been featured in publications such as The Wire, Foxy Digitalis, Pitchfork, Dusted, and NewMusicBox. His work has been released by various labels including Important Records, Root Strata, NNA, and Quiet Design. His newest album, entitled Feel Free, was released to critical acclaim in April 2012 on Important Records (CD/LP).
The composer has presented and performed his live works across the U.S., U.K., and Europe at spaces such as Roulette, The Stone, Muziekhuis Utrecht, MoMA's P.S.1, Phillips de Pury & Co., Les Ateliers Claus, St. Ann's Cathedral, and ISSUE Project Room. In June of 2012 Pitre kicked off his U.K./E.U. tour in support of Feel Free, with a sextet performance of the piece at London’s Café OTO. And most recently Pitre performed the solo version of the piece at The Wire’s Adventures in Modern Music Festival (October 2012) in Chicago at The Empty Bottle.http://www.duanepitre.com/
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (SF/Berlin) is a musician based in San Francisco. His solo work is often centered around the electric guitar, and finding new ways to process it. He is a founding member of many groups, including Tarentel, The Alps & Portraits. http://www.shiningskull.org
Jesse Sparhawk (NYC) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser whose instruments include harp, guitar, and electric bass. He studied harp with principal harpist of the New York Philharmonic, Myor Rosen and Eastman School of Music’s Kathleen Bride between the ages of 10 and 17 and performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall at the age of 15. He has over 40 independent recording credits to his name performing various instruments. He has toured the US and Europe as a solo artist and with several singer-songwriters and bands including Fern Knight, Free Energy, The Valerie Project, Timesbold, Marissa Nadler, and Greg Weeks (of the Philadelphia-based band Espers).
Sparhawk has performed at other notable venues including The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, The Castro Theatre in San Francisco, and The Royal Festival Hall in London. He can also be heard performing on the original soundtracks for the independent feature films "Tarnation" (2003), "The King" (2005), and "Home Front" (2006). In 2009, New York-based singer-songwriter Larkin Grimm invited Sparhawk to play harp on her recently released album "Soul Retrieval" in an ensemble including Tony Visconti (producer / arranger of T. Rex / David Bowie). In late 2010 Jawbone Press released the book Seasons They Change by Jeanette Leech which featured sections about Fern Knight, The Valerie Project, and other artists with whom he has collaborated. Sparhawk has continued to develop his own instrumental guitar compositions, one of which, titled "Light Cycle / Tetrahedra," was released in 2006 on Tompkins Square Records Imaginational Anthem Volume II compilation. 2011 saw the release of 'or Kestrel', his debut solo instrumental guitar LP and 'Raptor Attention,' a four song EP. Sparhawk toured Europe with Philadelphia-based guitarist Eric Carbonara to support the release of 'or Kestrel' and the Spring 2011 vhf records release of their duo album, 'Sixty Strings', just before embarking on the BalletX / Wilma Theater performance of Proliferation of the Imagination, an inter-disciplinary production combining ballet, dialogue and live music, as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts in April 2011. He performed both with Eric Carbonara and the Duane Pitre Sextet at the Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, NC in September 2011. The 2011-12 holiday season saw multiple performances with This Ambitious Orchestra and Lady Circus at The House of Yes in Brooklyn, and at the grand opening of the Beauty Ballroom in Austin, TX, where the orchestra accompanied Daniel Johnston. Jesse is currently finishing a collaborative EP with Barcelona singer-songwriter Alberto Montero.http://jessesparhawk.bandcamp.com/album/sixty-strings
Zachary James Watkins (OAK) “My art practice involves the invention of instruments, the live performance of these instruments in my original compositions, improvised settings and sound installations. Instruments include hand made “simple” automata, circuit bent electronics and SuperCollider software instruments that analyze and generate sounds and control data. These instruments employ a range of interfacing methods and performance paradigms, which are both areas of critical concern that my work will continue to engage.
New compositions begin with the invention of a tuning. These tunings investigate whole number interval relationships. I create tunings based on desires to explore harmonic territory, periodicity, composite waveforms, resonance and texture. It is my affinity for rich resonances and textures that informs many aspects of my music. I explore the harmonic series, live computer processing, site-specific resonant spaces and the spatial diffusion of sound sources to achieve rich, saturated environments. I prefer to work site specifically, observing the acoustic properties of a space and shaping new works around these perceived phenomenon.”
Zachary James Watkins has received commissions from Cornish College of The Arts, The Microscores Project, The Beam Foundation, Somnubutone Radio Series, the sfSoundGroup and the Seattle Chamber Players. Zachary has participated in numerous festivals including the Second Biennial SJ01, the 2009 Klankunstfest in Berlin, Germany, the 14th Annual 23Five Activating the Medium Festival and the 12th Annual SFEMF. He is a co-organizer of the Annual Music For People and Thingamajigs Festival and currently lectures in the Music Department at the University of California Santa Cruz. http://www.zacharyjameswatkins.com