Jacob Felix Heule is an improvising percussionist with a special interest in friction techniques. His music is shaped by intuition, listening, and following where the sounds lead. He embraces limited instrumentation - like a single drum and a single cymbal - as a commitment to exploring the depth of his instruments. Heule frequently collaborates with Danishta Rivero, Guro Moe, Haavard Skaset, Bill Orcutt, Tom Djll, Matt Chandler, Kanoko Nishi-Smith, Kyle Bruckmann, and John McCowen. He also curates the monthly Active Music Series, and runs a monthly improvisation workshop, Doors That Only Open in Silence. Heule's practice is informed by his work as an audio engineer. In addition to regularly doing live sound, he has recently worked on albums by Burmese, Las Sucias, and Black Spirituals.
gabby fluke-mogul is a violinist, improviser, composer, & educator living in Oakland, CA. gabby explores the depths, infinite sounds, hues, & multitudinous voices of the acoustic violin. through improvising//composing, gfm hopes to create space for individual & collective intersectional process, intimacy, & vulnerability. they are interested in the sensual nature of sound—how desire & eroticism are embodied & translated within the political & poetic context(s) of improvisation. gabby holds a BA from Hampshire College (Amherst, MA) in Music & Critical Studies of Childhood, Youth, and Learning where they studied with Rachel Conrad, Marty Ehrlich, Jamie MacDonald, Dan Warner, & Becky Miller and a MFA in Music Performance and Literature with Improvisation Specialization from Mills College (Oakland, CA) where they worked with Pauline Oliveros, Jennifer Wilsey, Zeena Parkins, India Cooke, Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, Kala Ramnath, W.A. Mathieu, & Kara Davis. gabby believes in the power of listening, improvisation, babies, children, & kindness. gfm performs with a variety of ensembles & collaborative projects in addition to facilitating community-based workshops & teaching (toddlers-adults) in public, private, & non-profit learning spaces.
Kanoko Nishi-Smith is an artist currently based in SF/Bay Area. Despite her early training in classical piano performance and past involvement in Contemporary/New music performances, her most recent interest has primarily been in improvisational music making, both in a solo context and in collaborations with other artists. She has been exploring both on the piano, as well as on her second instrument, koto (13, or 17-string Japanese zither), various extended techniques, widening the range of vocabularies on each instrument and enabling them to adapt to different situations, both musical, and interdisciplinary.
About the festival:
High Desert Soundings was founded by cellist TJ Borden and composer Daniel Meyer-O'Keeffe in 2017. In our first year, we featured performances by 31 artists including Michael Pisaro, Michelle Lou, Jeph Jerman, Laura Steenberge, and Weston Olencki. We are dedicated to presenting performances by musicians and sound artists from across the spectrum of experimental sound practices. Featured artists draw from styles including but not limited to new and contemporary concert music, free jazz and improvisation, noise, drone and outsider pop music. We believe that by relocating these diverse musical practices outside of their sometimes restrictive social environments we can help foster a more dynamic and inclusive experimental music community.
HIGH DESERT SOUNDINGS 2019
MAY 10-11, WONDER VALLEY, CA
DOORS 9:00 PM; SHOW 9:30(ish)
$7-15 sliding scale
Oakland Freedom Jazz Society takes place every Monday night at Studio Grand. Lineups feature avant-jazz, experimental and noise performances by local and touring musicians and multimedia artists. OFJS is a long-running (6 years and counting!) series curated by Fernando Carpenter of VAMP. For more information, check out OFJS's Facebook page.