The Herb Alpert School of Music at the California Institute of the Arts will launch its first-ever Artist in Residence Week.
From Monday, Nov. 7 through Friday, Nov. 11, four artists will visit the CalArts campus in Valencia to give presentations and workshops, perform, collaborate and engage with the student body and the School of Music faculty. During the week, most instruction will be suspended to allow students the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the programming.
Inaugural Artists in Residence include acclaimed artists Ellen Arkbro, Olivia Block, Steve Cardenas (the 2022 Charlie Haden Artist in Residence) and LARAAJI.
“CalArts prioritizes opportunities for students to learn directly from working artists,” said Josephine Shetty, CalArts Music Technology faculty. “In this inaugural residency, we hope student artists can experiment and collaborate with experienced artists across musical styles and practices to inspire creative growth, genuine industry connections, and new, innovative musical work.”
While the week’s activities are primarily intended for the CalArts community, LARAAJI’s residency will be conducted online, with several virtual events open to the public, including: talks on Tuesday, Nov. 8 and Wednesday, Nov. 9; Laughter Meditation on Thursday, Nov. 10; and Guided Meditation on Friday, Nov. 11.
On campus, resident activities will include a panel discussion, presentations and workshops and in-studio and live ensemble collaborations between residents and students.
A Composition Masterclass with Arkbro and Block will be open to the public on Monday, Nov. 7. The week will close with a culminatory group concert at the Wild Beast on Friday, Nov. 11.
A full calendar of activities can be found at music.calarts.edu/arw2022.
About the Artists:
Ellen Arkbro is a composer, musician, and sound artist working with precision-tuned intervallic harmony. Her work includes compositions for acoustic instruments and for synthetic sound, and for combinations of both, as well as installation work. She has presented her site-specific work at Barbican in London, Kölner Philharmonie, Serralves in Porto, Issue Project Room in New York, Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, Silent Green in Berlin, Ina GRM in Paris and Tempelaukkio Kirke in Helsinki. In all of her work, Arkbro focuses on the qualities of harmonic sound that reveal listening as an active process of creative participation, inviting the listener to gradually transform into the sound itself.
Olivia Block is a media artist and composer. Currently, her practice includes live performance, recordings, audio-visual installations, sound design, and scores for orchestra and chamber music concerts. Block’s studio pieces often combine field recordings, electronic sounds, electric organ, piano and long chamber music passages. She composes scores for ensemble, orchestra, pipe organ and piano. Her recordings are published on Another Timbre, Erstwhile, Glistening Examples, NNA Tapes, Room40, Sedimental and Touch, among other labels. Block performs using various techniques and instruments. She plays improvised and composed pieces on synth organ, laptop, analog synth, amplified objects, inside of grand piano and microphone, among other materials. Block creates multi-channel diffusion concerts and site-specific, multi-channel sound installations. She recently completed a 14-channel sound installation featuring sounds from Harry Bertoia’s “Sonambient” sculptures for the Nasher Sculpture Gallery in Dallas, Texas.
Steve Cardenas has performed and recorded with many well-known and highly esteemed musicians. Notably, he was a longstanding member of the Paul Motian Electric Bebop Band, Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, Steve Swallow Quintet and Joey Baron’s Killer Joey. Steve is currently a member of the John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet, Jon Cowherd Mercy Project, Adam Nussbaum Lead Belly Project and Ben Allison Band. Steve has also performed regularly with such artists as Madeleine Peyroux, Eliane Elias and Norah Jones, as well as toured extensively performing at countless international music festivals, theaters, and clubs. Steve has six recordings as a leader, as well as appears as a sideman on over 100 recordings. His most recent albums, “Healing Power – the music of Carla Bley” and “Blue Has a Range,” are on Sunnyside Records. Additionally, Steve is on faculty at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York and is also co-author with editor Don Sickler of the Thelonious Monk Fakebook, Hal Leonard Publishing.
Edward Gordon/LARAAJI is a musician, multi-instrumentalist, mystic and laughter meditation practitioner based in New York City. He attended Howard University, a historically black university in Washington D.C. on a scholarship to study composition and piano. LARAAJI’S experiments and explorations with the open tuned electric autoharp/zither began with a gentle nudge from his divine guidance. In 1976, in Queens, N.Y., he had gone into a pawn shop to trade his guitar for much-needed cash, but was guided to instead acquire the autoharp/zither in the store window. Heeding this mystical and startling guidance, he left the shop with a Kentucky BlueGrass instrument he had never touched before. Within a few weeks, LARAAJI had discovered a new sound vocabulary with this 36-stringed American folk instrument. After open-minded experimentation with altered tunings, LARAAJI arrived at a deeply engaging and exotic new age music performance sound, which he sometimes refers to as “Celestial Vibration,” recalling an earlier paranormal sound hearing experience. LARAAJI began studying Eastern mysticism and improvising trance-inducing jams on his modified autoharp, processed through various electronic effects. In 1979, Brian Eno saw LARAAJI playing in Washington Square Park in New York and invited him to record an album for his seminal ambient series “Ambient 3: Day of Radiance,” released 1980. Since then, LARAAJI has recorded over 50 solo and collaborative albums, the latest of which are three solo piano improvisation LPs, SUN PIANO, MOON PIANO and THROUGH LUMINOUS EYES. He also conducts healing laughter playshops around the world.
The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts places a high priority on providing professional training that gives its students the abilities and means to become effective practitioners in diverse musical styles—to become culturally informed, artistically versatile citizens of an expansive musical world.
For more information visit CalArts.