act/re/act
Conversation with Audrey Chen

Conversation with Audrey Chen

August 16, 2019

Welcome to my conversation with Audrey Chen, a wonderful and captivating musician who I have had the pleasure of first seeing her perform in the early 2000s in the DC/Baltimore area, where we both lived at the time. I have also collaborated with Audrey in a work commissioned by The Kennedy Center and have had the opportunity to perform with her a number of times, but not in a number of years. It was a pleasure to catch up with her, hear how her improvisational practice has evolved, and what she's up to these days.

See Audrey's complete biography below. 

In this conversation, Audrey and I discuss practical considerations in artistic decisions (or, how one's life can dictate artistic choices), parenting, being surprised, the importance of exercise, training, her use of voice and cello, and the difference between performing in an ensemble, a duet, or solo. Was a great conversation! 

Find out more about Audrey here: www.audreychen.com

Listen to some of her music here: https://soundcloud.com/audreychen

Find out more about me here: http://www.danielburkholdertheplayground.org

Find out more about the podcast here: https://actreact.podbean.com

Enjoy! 
 
Audrey Chen's Bio:
Over the past 16 years, Audrey Chen's predominant focus has been her solo work, joining together the extended and inherent vocabularies of the cello, voice and analog electronics. More recently, she has begun to shift back towards the exploration of the voice as a primary instrument, delving even more deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. She derives her sound material in a continuous process, championing the "in-between" and overlooked. Regardless of instrument, her mode of experimentation touches both the abstractly beautiful and the aggressively unsettling, creating a kind of curiously imagined architecture, non-prosaic song or ritual that reaches beyond gravity or language.
 
Recent projects, aside from performing solo, include her long-running voices duo with Phil Minton, duos HISS & VISCERA with modular synth player Richard Scott, BEAM SPLITTER with Norwegian trombonist Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø, and the “romantic noise duo” AFTERBURNER with Doron Sadja (electronics/light projection). Past projects include work with German conceptual artist John Bock, a duo with NYC abstract turntablist Maria Chavez, and a quartet with Nate Wooley, C. Spencer Yeh, and Todd Carter. Her new projects include a double duo/quartet with BEAM SPLITTER and STREIFENJUNKO’s, Eivind Lønning and Espen Reinersten and MOPCUT with Lukas König and Julien Desprez. 
 
Among her more recent album releases include, "By the Stream" with Phil Minton - Subrosa (Brussels), "Hiss & Viscera" with Richard Scott - Sound Anatomy (Berlin), "Rough Tongue", BEAM SPLITTER'S debut LP - Corvo Records (Berlin) and her long-awaited new solo album "Runt Vigor" - Karl Records (Berlin).
 
American born but currently based in Berlin, Germany, Chen has performed across Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and the USA. 
Conversation with Ed Sarath

Conversation with Ed Sarath

June 19, 2019

Welcome to my conversation with Ed Sarath, a Professor of Music in the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, as well as the director of the U-M Program in Creativity and Consciousness Studies. He founded and serves as president of the International Society for Improvised Music, and has written two books on music, improvisation, and consciousness. 

In this conversation, Ed and I discuss jazz, free improvisation, Integral Theory, teaching improvisation, and how meditation supports an improvisational practice. Was an amazing conversation. 

Find out more about Ed here: http://edsarath.com/wordpress/

Find out more about his work here: https://www.jazzcosmos.com

Find out about the International Society for Improvised Music here: http://www.isimprov.org

Find out more about me here: http://www.danielburkholdertheplayground.org

Find out more about the podcast here: https://actreact.podbean.com

Enjoy! 
Conversation with Cass Tunick

Conversation with Cass Tunick

June 6, 2019

Welcome to my conversation with Cass Tunick, a senior teacher of Ruth Zaporah's Action Theater, and an amazing performer in her own right. 

In this conversation we talk about, of course, improvisational performance, but also training, collaboration, what happens when you walk on stage with absolutely no plan, Buddhism, and the practice of getting lost. 

Find out more about Cass here: http://www.cassieterman.com

Find out more about me here: http://www.danielburkholdertheplayground.org

Find out more about the podcast here: https://actreact.podbean.com

Enjoy! 
 
Conversation with Melanie George

Conversation with Melanie George

May 22, 2019

Finally, the beginning of the second season of act/re/act!

To start this second I have a fascinating conversation with Melanie George, a dancer/choreographer who's artistic practice is rooted in jazz dance. She is one of the few jazz dance artists, that I'm aware of, who actively incorporates improvisation in her teaching and choreography. In this episode we discuss why Melanie explores improvisation in her jazz dance practice, what she means by shared movement vocabulary, improvisation as a choreographic tool, and how to explore the known knowns. 

Find out more about Melanie George here: https://melaniegeorge.org

Find out more about Melanie's Jazz Dance Direct project: https://www.jazzdancedirectory.com

Find out more about me here: http://www.danielburkholdertheplayground.org

Find out more about the podcast here: https://actreact.podbean.com

Conversation with Alvin Hill

Conversation with Alvin Hill

December 6, 2017

In this, the fifth and final episode of season one of act/re/act, I have a conversation with multi-media artist and DJ, Alvin Hill . In this conversation we discuss how Alvin began DJing in the 80s, how he prepares for a gig, the relationship he tries to develop with a crowd, DJing as an improvisation art, and his multi-media performance group, Alvin Hill Media Ensemble.

Find out more about Alvin Hill here: https://www.alvinhill.com

Find out more about me here: http://www.danielburkholdertheplayground.org

Find out more about the podcast here: https://actreact.podbean.com

Alvin's Bio:

Alvin Hill is a technology based artist whose work takes the form of performances and installations and often combines sound, still image, video, projection, light, physical computing, and DJ arts.

Enjoy! 

Conversation with Ferne Bronson

Conversation with Ferne Bronson

November 8, 2017

In this, the forth episode of act/re/act, I have a conversation with Founder and Artistic Director of Ko-Thi Dance Company, Ferne Bronson. In this conversation we discuss West African dance, improvisation, how Ferne finds the dance in the transitions between the steps, and some wonderful clay pots she found while traveling in Africa. It all adds up to an amazing conversation - I'm sure you will find this converstion with Ferne as insightful and delightful as I as did! 

Find out more about Ferne Bronson and Ko-Thi Dance Company: http://www.ko-thi.org

Find out more about me here: http://www.danielburkholdertheplayground.org

Find out more about the podcast here: https://actreact.podbean.com

 

Ferne's Bio: Caulker is the founder and Artistic/Executive Director of the Ko-Thi Dance Company, Wisconsin’s oldest African American arts organization. Ko-Thi, founded in 1969, is dedicated to the preservation and expression of the performing arts from the African Continent, Caribbean and United States. She taught at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee since 1971, where she was a Full Professor in the Peck School of the Arts – Dance Department until she retired as Professor Emerita in 2016. Her research is focused on links between traditional African danced and musical forms throughout the African Diaspora. She is particularly interested in the relationship between arts training and exposure, increased self- esteem and social behavior. She is a Fulbright Scholar. Her Fulbright award allowed her to study and travel in Tanzania, East Africa for 3 months. Caulker has served on many panels including the NEA and WAB. She served on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Arts Board for one 3-year term.

Conversation with Mark Chalfant

Conversation with Mark Chalfant

October 25, 2017

In this, the third episode of act/re/act, I have a conversation with Artistic Director of Washington Improv Theater Mark Chalfant. We discuss a multitude of elements of improv theater and WIT, as well as seek to find some common ground between theater improv and dance improv. I loved this conversation and I'm sure you will as well! 

Find out more about Mark Chalfant here: http://witdc.org

Find out more about me here: http://www.danielburkholdertheplayground.org

Find out more about the podcast here: https://actreact.podbean.com

 

Mark's Bio: Mark Chalfant is the artistic & executive director of Washington Improv Theater (WIT), a mission-driven not-for-profit performing and teaching throughout DC and based at Source (14th & T, NW). Since helping to refound the company in 1998, Mark has spearheaded WIT’s robust growth into a teeming community of collaborative creativity and transformative impact for people throughout the DMV. WIT serves over 23,000 audience members and the company’s comprehensive longform improv classes enroll nearly 1,600 students each year. Mark is a founding cast-member of WIT company ensemble iMusical (now in its 11th year) and regularly directs, teaches, and facilitates workshops for WIT@Work, WIT’s organizational training arm. Twice honored with an Artist Fellowship Grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Mark is a member of Leadership Greater Washington’s Class of 2017. Mark lives in Columbia Heights with his partner David Steib.

Conversation with Sharon Mansur

Conversation with Sharon Mansur

October 11, 2017

In this, the second episode of act/re/act, I have a conversation with long-time collaborator and friend Sharon Mansur. We discuss a range of subjects from why and when Sharon started exploring dance/movement improvisation as a performance form, to our collaborations, and her current projects. It was a wonderful conversation I'm sure you'll love!

Find out more about Sharon Mansur here: http://www.mansurdance.com

Find out more about me here: http://www.danielburkholdertheplayground.org

Find out more about the podcast here: https://actreact.podbean.com

NOTE: This interview was recorded before Sharon's recent project, Dreaming Under A Cedar Tree, and my intention was to release it before or during that project. Unfortunately that did not happen - consequently we talk about the project in the future tense, when, in fact, it is not in the past. You can find more information about it, as well as a short video, at https://www.outpostwinona.org/portfolio/cedar-tree/

 

Sharon's bio: 

Sharon Mansur is a Winona, MN based contemporary dance and visual artist, movement architect, experimentalist, educator, curator, mover and shaker. Originally from Boston, MA, Sharon’s creative practice and research integrates improvisational techniques, somatic (body/mind) practices, and interdisciplinary collaborative approaches. She has a keen interest in site responsive art, weaving the visual and visceral, body and space, internal and external landscapes. She is also committed to dance as a transformational and healing catalyst for individuals and communities. 

Her performance projects as well as dance films have been presented throughout the United States and abroad. During 2017 she's been awarded a Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council Established Artist grant, presented at the Inverse Performance Art Festival in Arkansas, and selected for a Springboard for the Arts- Hinge Arts Residency in Fergus Falls, MN. She has taught as a full-time dance faculty member at Winona State University and the University of Maryland-College Park, and recently as a guest dance artist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Luther College. Sharon is also a therapeutic bodyworker at Infinity Chiropractic Wellness Center. 

act/re/act interview with Stephen Nachmanovitch

act/re/act interview with Stephen Nachmanovitch

September 20, 2017

Joint host Daniel Burkholder for the primier episode of act/re/act, a podcast exploring improvisation through conversations with improvisationaly based artists. 

In this first episode, Daniel is joined by musician and author Stephen Nachmanovitch, who you may know through his excellent book, Free Play. Daniel & Stephen discuss improvisation, the role of contraints and experience, as well as how an improvisational artistic practice relates to one's everyday life. 

Find out more about Stephen Nachmanovitch at http://www.freeplay.com 

Find out more about Daniel Burkholder at http://www.danielburkholdertheplayground.org

You can also follow actreact on Twitter @actreactpodcast  

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