Automated Organism

Duo:
Maya Bennardo (violin)
Kristofer Svensson (kacapi)

Trio:
John McCowen (amplified contrabass clarinet)
Ryan Packard (amplified percussion)
Fredrik Gran (feedback industrial robot)

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Maya Bennardo is a violinist and improviser, based in Brooklyn, NY and Stockholm. She has been a key player in New York's contemporary art music scene for the past decade, and is a member of the Mivos Quartet and the violin/viola duo andPlay, which she co-founded with Hannah Levinson in 2012. After premiering several pieces by the composer and kacapi musician Kristofer Svensson, both solo as well as part of the New York ensembles Contemporaneous, Arcus Collective, ensemble mise-en, and andPlay, Bennardo and Svensson started playing music together as a duo in 2020. Playing duo with kacapi and violin is a traditional Sundanese format known as 'kacapi-biola'. Svensson studied this music with Ade Suparman and Dody Satya Ekagustiman in Bandung. A light perfume of this tradition can possibly be traced behind the ascetically restrained, improvised tonal movements that Bennardo and Svensson bring forth based on the microtonal tuning of the kacapi.

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John McCowen is a composer/clarinetist originally from Southern Illinois. His work focuses on extending the possibilities of the clarinet. His work has been described by The New Yorker as “the sonic equivalent of microscopic life viewed on a slide”. His music has been released on Edition Wandelweiser, International Anthem, Astral Spirits, Cairn Desk, and others. Performances include ISSUE Project Room, Norður og Niður Festival(Reykjavik), B10(Shenzen), Berkeley Art Museum(BAMPFA), Ende Tymes Festival, National Sawdust, The Lab, and Roulette Intermedium. John was a 2017 & 2019 artist-in-residence at Lijiang Studio in Yunnan, China, and also the 2020 artist-in-residence at ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn. He received the Elizabeth Mills Crothers Award for excellence in music composition in 2016 from Mills College where he received an MA in Music Composition under Roscoe Mitchell. He currently resides in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Ryan Packard is a percussionist, composer and sound artist currently based in Stockholm, SE and Chicago, IL. His sound installations have been featured at the MCA Chicago, Graham Foundation, Defibrillator, Hyde Park Arts Center, Galeria Labirynt, High Concept Labs, Constellation Chicago, and Experimental Sound Studio. His compositions have been performed by Fonema Consort, Ensemble Chartreuse, Seth Parker Woods, The Morton Feldman Chamber Players, and the AndPlay Duo. As an improviser and collaborator, Ryan performs with Nelly Agassi, Dave Rempis, Brandon Lopez, Jasper Stadhouders, Nate Wooley, Oscar Jan Hoogland, ZRL (Zach Good and Lia Kohl), John McCowen, Nestle (Cyrus Pireh and Rob Lundberg), ombra di organo (Keefe Jackson and Manuel Troller), Kieran Daly, Jason Roebke, RGB (Paul Giallorenzo and Charlie Kirchen), Daniel Wyche amongst many others. He’s a member of the new music ensemble, Fonema Consort and has performed with Ensemble Dal Niente, Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society, MOCREP, a.pe.ri.od.ic ensemble, Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, NYC experimental rock group Skeleton$, Slow Mass, V.V. Lightbody, Michael Albert Music Group, Nate Kinsella’s Birthmark and Architek Percussion Quartet as a founding member. Ryan has a masters of music from McGill University and bachelor of music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Fredrik Gran is a composer originally from Stockholm. His music and research intersect acoustic and electroacoustic sound ideas, employing mechanic/robotic units, amplified instruments/objects, and computer-assisted transcription and transformation into the notated sphere of acoustic instruments. His work covers orchestral, chamber, vocal, electroacoustic and live electronic music, as well as music for installations, dance, digital and visual art. His music includes performances at Warsaw Autumn (PL), ISCM World New Music Days (CA), Nordic Music Days (DK/FI/NO), SICMF (KR), ICMC (N-IR), MANCA (FR), Tage Neue Musik (DE), Druskomanija (LT) and NoiseGate (US). He has worked with, among others, Ballet und Orchestra des Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz (DE), Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra (NO), International Contemporary Ensemble (US), London City Philharmonics (UK) and Ensemble Kwartludium (PL). Fredrik was awarded 1st prizes in London Music Society International Composers Competition, Eleanor Stubley Recording Award and Codes d’accès Acces Arkea, as well as GRAME finalist and CIRMMT Research award. He studied composition at the Music Academy in Stockholm and at McGill University in Montreal, where his doctoral research is connected to the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology.

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