Sound/Shift is an unusual event occurring in Baltimore
at Artscape 2002, July 26th, 27th & 28th.
Over 50 experimental musicians from Baltimore and the rest of North America are coming together to play
a freely improvised twelve-hour piece of music each day. The music will be continuous each day from 10 AM to 10 PM.
The musicians are extremely varied and unique. They will play in overlapping shifts, with densities ranging from solo to big bands, and everything in between.
This project is organized by John Berndt and is an outgrowth of the broad-based Volunteers Collective.
As far as we know, this event may be the largest grouping of free improvising musicians ever attempted in North America.
The event is essentially a "living gallery installation" organized in conjunction with a gallery show, Oddstruments, featuring original musical instrument designs by Neil Feather, Q. R. Ghazala, Eric Leonardsen, Catherine Pancake, Andy Hayleck, Dan Conrad, and Colin Hinz. Between the two events, the goal is to give Baltimore as huge a dose of non-conventional experimental culture as possible, and to help the scattered and decentralized experimental subculture feel the depth of its vision and imagination.
In Sound/Shift, each of the "shifts" will overlap with the previous and next, hopefully drawing out an uncanny, constantly-shifting range of emotions, sounds, and possibilities. The musicians performing are largely varied in approach and sensibility, but many if not all of them have an amazing ability to collaborate and connect musically across apparent cultural or personal boundaries. Sound/Shift hopes to demonstrate this on an unprecedented level.
The music and structure of the event has a strong philosophical aspect, combining an openness to unplanned and relatively uncontrolled experience, an awareness of infinite un-cataloged possibilities, and an extremely broad concept of what constitutes "structure,"--drives that are far out of phase with the basic material of the current civilization (namely mechanistic control-obsessed reductionism, repetitive-nostalgic cultural patterns, denial of the unknown and of possibility, and a desire for hygienically "consumable" conceptual or experiential "units.")
It is planned communal cultural anarchy, more or less, within an inspired but ill-defined do-it-yourself subculture.
For more information about the strong cultural wave of experimental and improvised music in Baltimore, check out The High Zero Festival, The Red Room Performance Space, The Harmonic Baltimore Festival, and the Once Twice Festival.