Artists: Ricardo Arias, Diego Chamy, Luis Conde & Gabriel Paiuk, Pascal Boudreault, Dafna Naphtali & Yasunao Tone, Sean Meehan, Jefferson Rosas & Juan Sebastián Suanca, Roberto García, Daniel Leguizamón, Daniel Prieto & Rodrigo Restrepo, Nate Wooley & Hans Tammen, Tim Feeney & Vic Rawlings.

Selection edited by Audition Records. Picture by Ricardo Arias. Design by Aniana Heras. Listen to the music here.

About the music

"Even though these recordings are now published under my name, all the music included was created collectively. I am by no means the composer, except perhaps for Miscelánea en General, which we made based on a basic premise that I defined. All the remaining pieces were improvised, and as I think most practitioners would agree, improvised music is in essence a collaborative endeavor. If anything, I could be credited with bringing the musicians together.

In Miscelánea en General my aim was to create what I thought of as a "media soundscape" by having the musicians use recordings of Colombian radio stations as the source material for their performance. Some of that can be heard, but the result has much more to do with the strongly idiosincratic character of the sound of the performers involved. For this piece I use the "Interactive Mapophone, a magnetic playback head detached from its usual fixed position on a tape recorder and housed in the carcass of a computer mouse which can then be moved over a pad of magnetic audio tape oufited with pressure sensors to generate audio and MIDI signals through Max/MSP. I developed this project as an artist in residence at Harvestworks in 1999 with the programming assistance of Dafna Naphtali. The contraption was inspired by Nam June Paik's 1963 sound installation Random Access and Jon Hassell's piece Map.

In October of 2000 I visited Buenos Aires at the invitation of Claudio Koremblit to perform at the Experimenta Festival. There I met the Trio de Improvisación: Diego Chamy, Luis Conde and Gabriel Paiuk. We organized a private session and one year later they visited New York and we performed as Cuarteto Agregado at Roulette. Musically at that time the trio was, I think, at a transitional fase in between a traditional european free style of improvisation and the more subdued, Berlin-influenced "lower case" or "reductionist" approach which some of them later adopted. Apart from the music, during the trio's visit I had the pleasure of enjoying Luis's unforgetable "paella" and of hearing Luis, Diego and Gabriel's a capella rendition of Piazolla's Adios Nonino.

During the years I lived in Barcelona in the 1980's I worked intensely on live electroacoustic improvisation and collective composition with Roberto García and Luis Boyra under the name Sol Sonoro (Sonorous Sun). Years later a similar group was formed in Bogotá by Daniel Leguizamón, Rodrigo Restrepo and Daniel Prieto. When I first heard the music 3x3 were making It was like hearing Sol Sonoro using digital synthesis and processingg instead of reel to reel recordings, tape loops and live analog modifications (ring modulation, filtering, etc). The esthetic affinity between the two projects can be heard in this recording of our first (and last) meeting.

When my dear frind Sean Meehan visited Bogotá in 2009 as an artist in residency at LIA (Laboratorio Interdisciplinario para las Artes) I organized a concert and a recording session with this quartet. Sean and I have worked regularly as a duo and in other groupings since 2003. In 2004 when we visited Bogotá for a concert in a trio with Barry Weiblat we met and played with Jefferson Rosas. Three years later, when I returned to live in Bogotá I met Juan Suanca and began collaborating with him. The music reflects the musician´s interest in long sounds and silences.

In July of last year I returned to New York for one month and organized a few concerts with old and new friends. Hans Tammen and I first improvised together in 1999 and have since then collaborated many times as a duo, in trios with Pascal Boudreault, Gunter Muller, and Dr. Stanley Schumacher; and in quartets with Bruce Gremo and Dafna Naphtali and with Chris Forsyth and Ernesto Díaz.Infante. I first played with Nate Wooley During the No-Net concerts organized by Jack Writhg (https://www.springgardenmusic.com/no-net.html). Since then we´ve played and recorded as a duo, in a quartet with James Fei and Vic Rawlings and as part of an octet piece the Bronx River Arts Center comissioned to do for their Summer Concerts in 2007. This recording documents the first meeting of this particular trio.

I met Vic Rawlings in 2003 when we both took part of the High Zero festival in Baltimore. A few months after the festival we began working as N. R. A, a trio with percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani. During the following four years, N.R.A. published two CD's and performed at the Vision Festival and Roulette in New York; at FIMAV in Victoriaville, Canada, and at the Festival Musique Action in France among other places. The trio's activities stopped when I moved to Bogotá in 2008. These days, Tatsuya is contantly on the road and posting pictures of his dishes on Facebook (he is also a virtuoso cook), so for this performance we premiered a trio with another extraordinary percussionits, Tim Feeney, who has collaborated with Vic for some time. The concert was part of the Floating Points festival at Issue Project Room. The festival was conceived an curated by Stephan Moore and makes use of his unique 15 speaker system (https://www.oddnoise.com/aboutme.html).

This compliation is a partial documentation of my activities during the last 10 years which had to do with improvised music and collaborative composition."

Ricardo Arias, Bogotá, September 2011


1-2. Sol Sonoro & 3x3
Ricardo Arias, bass balloon kit, cracklebox
Roberto García, electronics
Daniel Leguizamón, amplified acoustic guitar
Daniel Prieto, electric guitar, laptop
Rodrigo Restrepo, amplified homemade instruments, laptop.
Recorded in 2008 at the music department, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá.

3-4. Cuarteto Agregado
Ricardo Arias, balloon kit
Diego Chamy, drums, percussion
Luis Conde, tenor sax, bass clarinet
Gabriel Paiuk, piano.
Recorded by Gisburg live at Roulette (228 W. Bway), New York City, October 27, 2001.

5. Miscelánea en General
Ricardo Arias, interactive mapophone, recordings
Pascal Boudreault, computer
Dafna Naphtali, sampling and processing
Yasunao Tone, wounded CD’s.
Recorded by Jim Staley live at Roulette (228 W. Bway), New York City, March 26, 2000.

6-7. Arias-Meehan-Rosas-Suanca
Ricardo Arias, bass balloon kit
Sean Meehan, snare drum & cymbals
Jefferson Rosas, tuba
Juan Sebastián Suanca, laptop.
Recorded at Avila musical st., Bogotá, February 29, 2009. Engineered by Nestor Acosta. Mixed and Mastered by Ricardo, Juan and Jefferson.

8-9. Arias-Wooley-Tammen
Ricardo Arias, balloon kit
Nate Wooley, trumpet
Hans Tammen, endangered guitar, processing
Recorded in concert at Harvestworks, New York City, July 23, 2010.

10-12. Arias-Feeney-Rawlings
Tim Feeney, amplified percussion
Vic Rawlings, surface electronics, amplified prepared cello
Ricardo Arias, bass balloon kit
Special thanks to Stephan Moore.
Recorded live at the Floating Points Festival, Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, New York, July 21 2010.

Special thanks to Carol Parkinson & Harvestworks, the Issue Project Room, Gisburg, Jim Staley & Roulette, and the Music Department at the University of Los Andes.