Public Events
Brian Harnetty : The Star-Faced One
6-Channel Sound Installation 60 minute continuous loop 2010
Title borrowed from poem by Konstantine Balmont via Igor Stravinsky:
“His eyes were like stars, like flames which furrow space. His visage was like the sun when it shines at its zenith. The luminous colors of the heavens, purple, azure, and gold, dappled the gorgeous robe he wore to be reborn among us....”
On one level, this piece is a way to access a vast collection and explore the many facets, dichotomies, contradictions, and beauty contained within. The collection in itself is already a kind of large-scale composition, a finite world that points to the endless universe. My contribution is but one of an infinite number of pieces that can come from it.
I am not a jazz musician. I cannot lay claim to Sun Ra’s history, nor can I ever fully understand him or his music. But I can listen, intently, and enter a dialogue, bringing my own knowledge and thought and experience. How to enter a dialogue with Sun Ra? Start playing along, always listening with imagination and empathy....soon, your own voice emerges, runs along side, converses with, connects, while all along staying independent; they are “co-habitating” together.
In this conversation, there is also the gift economy: finding a way to bring the archives out of the defined world and into the daylight, to hold them, and pass them on. Their energy lies in the exchange, and is how they can stay alive and in motion.
Many thanks to the trustees for the Sun Ra/El Saturn Collection in the Creative Audio Archive at Experimental Sound Studio, who have generously given permission and access to the recordings.
Samples: All from the Sun Ra/El Saturn collection housed at the Sun Ra/El Saturn Collection in the Creative Audio Archive at Experimental Sound Studio.
Brian Harnetty, Piano, Rhodes Electric Piano, Celesta
Jeremy Woodruff, Saxophone, Flute
Fred Lonberg-Holm, Cello
Jeff Kimmel, Bass Clarinet
Aaron Butler, Vibraphone

Public Events

mike reed

 MIKE REED: Myth/Science

An interpretive commission based on the artist's research into

the Sun Ra/El Saturn Collection at CAA



(Jackson Blvd. & Columbus Dr., Chicago)



Rather than using the Sun Ra/El Saturn Commission to comment on the life and work of Sun Ra, drummer Mike Reed decided to focus on one particular tape in the Archive (labeled "NY 1961"), more interested in using someone's discarded musical ideas as source material for entirely new music—regardless of whose ideas they happen to be.


The tape in question features Ra, John Gilmore and Ronnie Boykins. Stretching just over one hour in length, it is the document of a stream of consciousness songwriting session with few details worked out but many ideas played through.


Reed enlisted vibrophonist/composer Jason Adasiewicz to write arrangements for the ensemble he assembled to execute the project. Adasiewicz set his intense skill set to work orchestrating the sounds originally heard from the trio on the tape to a tentet alignment that had yet to play together. Reed revisited the Archive to select material which Nick Butcher will manipulate in his handmade "electronic" set up (comprised of cheap consumer goods such as tape players, radios, record players) and a computer, further utilizing the archive in collage sample snippets and improvisational background material.



Greg Ward – alto sax
Taylor Ho Bynum – cornet
Ingrid Laubrock – tenor sax
Tomeka Reid – cello
Mary Halvorson – guitar
Jason Adasiewicz – vibes, arrangements
Nick Butcher – electronics
Tomas Fujiwara – drums
Mike Reed – drums, electronics


This project is supported by a generous grant from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.

Mike Reed: Biography


Mike Reed is a drummer, composer, and presenter based in Chicago, IL. He has been part of the vibrant Chicago jazz and improvised music scene for years, and has had the great pleasure of performing with and presenting some of the city's finest. He presents music events such as the Pitchfork Music Festival, Umbrella Music Festival, and the Hungry Brain Sunday Transmission Series, among others. He leads two acclaimed ensembles—Loose Assembly, and People, Places, & Things—both of which released new albums in 2010.