Michyou Issue: paying tribute to artists from Michigan
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Issue 10 :: September 2010


Jazz pianist and composer Frank Carlberg’s most recent release, The American Dream (2009), is on Red Piano Records. A 12-part song cycle with settings of poetry by Robert Creeley, it was commissioned by Chamber Music America. A native of Helsinki, Finland, Frank Carlberg has carved himself quite a niche in the New York jazz community. As a leader, Frank’s groups include the Frank Carlberg Quintet (performing settings of a wide variety of texts including poems by 20th Century writers), the Tivoli Trio (a classic jazz piano trio playing an eclectic mix of Carlberg’s compositions drawn from cinematic and circus inspirations) and the Frank Carlberg Big Band (performing original compositions as well as arrangements of standards and folk materials). In addition to his own ensembles, the Brooklyn-based pianist has been involved in many crossover projects throughout the years. Some of his most notable collaborations have included performances and recordings with saxophonist Steve Lacy, trombonist Bob Brookmeyer and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. He has been commissioned to write music for big bands, small ensembles, symphony orchestras as well as modern dance companies. In addition to performing and composing, Carlberg also serves on the faculty at New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. He is also a member of the Douglass Street Music Collective and a partner in Red Piano Records, an artist-run cooperative label.

A replanted Michigander, Lucy Carnaghi is a senior in the Creative Writing program at Eastern Michigan. Her work is marked by the desire to discover and discuss the spaces in which humans and animals intersect, the uncharted boundaries of the heart, and the observed realms of our state as it reels forward in time.

Anya L. Cobler is a poet and sound artist living in Bloomfield Hills, MI. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan in April 2007, where she was the Jane Kenyon fellow. Her work has appeared in journals such as The Canary, Verse, aslongasittakes, and gutcult. She coordinates the Oaken Transformations Sculpture & Poetry Walk, in Brighton, Michigan and is a past editor at textsound.

Patrick Elkins is a frequently bearded writer, musician, puppeteer, and performance artist. He is the author of the novel Ink on Dreams of Transient Architecture (Francis of Prussia, 2007) and has contributed poetry and essays to a number of publications including Display Magazine, Cloudrag, and Java Traveling. Patrick and his belly button lint collection reside in Ypsilanti, MI.

Carla Harryman is a poet, essayist, and playwright, known for genre-disrupting poetry, performance, & prose. She has published thirteen single-authored works, including Adorno's Noise (Essay Press, 2008), Open Box (Belladonna, 2007), Baby (2005), and Gardener of Stars (2001). She is co-editor of Lust for Life, a volume of essays on the novelist Kathy Acker and special issue editor of Non/Narrative forthcoming from the Journal of Narrative Theory. Recent articles include “Something Nation: Radical Spaces of Performance in Linton Kwesi Johnson and cris cheek,” (Diasporic Avant-Gardes, Palgrave/MacMillan, 2009) and “Notes on a Poet’s Theater,” a reworking of her writings on performance engaging issues of multi-disciplinarity, improvisation, and polyvocality (forthcoming in the on-line journal Jacket in a special issue on poet’s theater edited by John Beer). Her poets’ theater and interdisciplinary performance works have been performed nationally and internationally. She is currently working on a new play, “Romanian Play,” and a text/music collaboration with the Jon Raskin Quartet, which will be released as a CD in 2011. A frequent collaborator, she is co-contributor to the multi-authored experiment in autobiography The Grand Piano, a project that focuses on the emergence of Language Writing, art, politics, and culture of the San Francisco Bay area between 1975-1980. The Wide Road, a multi-genre collaboration with poet Lyn Hejinian is forthcoming from Belladonna. She lives in the Detroit Area and serves on the faculty of the Creative Writing Program at Eastern Michigan University. “Reading Carla Harryman,” a special feature on her work can be found here, in the most recent issue of HOW/2.

Christine Hume is the author of three books, most recently of Shot from Counterpath. She teaches in and directs the interdisciplinary Creative Writing Program at Eastern Michigan University.

Kathleen Ivanoff is going back to school to become a therapist. Are you feeling blue? Creative writing and singing Bohemian Rhapsody in cat language could help.

Megan Levad is a graduate of The University of Iowa and the University of Michigan, where she received the Roethke Prize and the Zell Postgraduate Fellowship, and where she now runs the Zell Visiting Writers Series. Her poetry is in the current issue of Spinning Jenny and was selected by Brenda Hillman for the 2009 Poetry Center of Chicago Juried Reading; it is also available in a forthcoming podcast on Jacket2. She also wrote the text of Murder, a song cycle composed by Tucker Fuller, opening at The Tank in NYC on September 21, 2010.

Chris McCall is a singer-songwriter, voice instructor and choir director at Ann Arbor School of Rock. Chris plays with The Vinyl Underground and has released seven cds of original music. Her most recent release, Contact is available at chrismccall.com. Chris also works with toning for chakra fitness and could teach you how to tone up your subtle body, too.

MC Trashpedal plays trumpet and other source noise through a home-grown labyrinth of electronics. On myspace and youtube.

Mall Mutants is a project of Dustin Krcatovich, who currently resides in Ann Arbor, MI. Besides Mall Mutants, he also has performed music and/or sound art under the name Actual Birds, and has played in the bands Forever Stoked, Blood Necklace, Patrick Elkins & The Endless Vibrations, Hakuna Matata, and approximately 25 more. He has never been to Europe, lived on a house boat, or eaten liverwurst. He runs the label FM DUST (details at http://www.fmdust.com).

Ken Mikolowski is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Big Enigmas. He teaches poetry writing at the University of Michigan's Residential College. For more than thirty years he was editor, publisher and printer of The Alternative Press. Recently he has been collaborating with pianist/composer Frank Carlberg and vocalist Christine Corea. A performance of their work together was presented at the Gowanus Jazz Festival in May, 2010.

Nebulagirl is an experimental sound librarian and circuit-bent multimedia artist from Cincinnati, Ohio. Her myspace site is http://www.myspace.com/nebulagirl.

The Jon Raskin Quartet: Besides over 30 recordings with Rova, Jon Raskin's recording experience include Anthony Braxton, Eight (+3) Tristano Compositions 1989 For Warne Marsh (1989) and The Bass & the Bird Pond with Tim Berne (1996), Wavelength Infinity- A Sun Ra Tribute, Between Spaces with Phillip Gelb, Dana Reason & Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley's In C 25th Anniversary, and solo work on the Art Ship Series. His current CDs include Let's go Juke Box Suite (Not Two) with the Rova Saxophone Quartet, JR Quartet (Rastascan) with Liz Allbee, George Cremaschi and Gino Robair, Music + One (Rastascan) an improvisation compendium for improvisers to play along with and Kaolithic Music, Jaw Harp Music recorded in a 587 Gallon Vase (Evander Music) He is working on several new recordings, one with a JR Quartet for release in 2009, a Rova project of graphic scores composed by Steve Adams and Jon Raskin, a compilation from the 2 + 2 series that Phillip Greenlief and Jon Raskin presented at the 21 Grand Performance Gallery in Oakland and a poetry and music project with Carla Harryman called Open Box.

Lizz Allbee's work spans many genres, most often encompassing improvisation, electronic composition, noise, weird pop, minimalist/maximalist brawls, and experimental rock. She enjoys collaborations. Allbee's main instrument is the trumpet. She plays also conch, electronics, and sometimes she sings.

Gino Robair has performed and recorded with Tom Waits, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Nina Hagen, Terry Riley, Lou Harrison, John Butcher, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, Otomo Yoshihide, and the ROVA Saxophone Quartet. He is one of the "25 innovative percussionists" included in the book Percussion Profiles (SoundWorld, 2001), as well as a founding member of the Splatter Trio and Pink Mountain. His opera, I, Norton, based on the life of Norton I, Emperor of the United States, has been performed throughout North America and Europe.

John Shiurba is a composer and guitarist whose musical pursuits include improvisation, art-rock, modern composition and noise. Shiurba has recorded and toured the U.S. and Europe as a member of the bands Eskimo, The Molecules and Spezza Rotto, as a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Anthony Braxton's ensemble and the SFSound Group, and as an improvisor. Shiurba has conducted the premieres of his compositions at ODC in 2005 ("Moon Cycle" for SFSound) at New Langton Arts in 2002 ("Triplicate") and at SFAlt in 2002 ("5x5 1.4" for SFSound). Shiurba was invited to play at the Seattle Improvised Music Festival in 1998, at the High Zero Festival in Baltimore in 1999, at the SFAlt Festival in 2004 and at the Olympia Experimental Music Festival in 2002 and 2004, and at the Push International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver in 2007.

Theresa Rickloff graduated from Eastern Michigan University and lives and works in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Dedicated to the culture of rustbelt Michigan, she has stayed in the area to see the artwork and livelihoods that arise and grow out of her city. Rickloff runs The Sexy Poets Society out of Beezy's Cafe in Downtown Ypsi. Her poetry is often collaged internet material, translations, processed commercials or fractions of language that seeks to make people ask "why would anyone ever bother making this into poetry?" For more information on The Sexy Poets Society, log on to www.sexypoetssociety.blogspot.com.

WOLVERINE ACCESS was formed in 2009 by poets Amy Berkowitz and Elisabeth Divis after the demise of their original project, a rock band called The First Things First. WOLVERINE ACCESS serves as a creative outlet for the kind of poetry they don't submit to workshop. Amy Berkowitz's poems can be found in the latest (Michigan-themed) issue of 751 Magazine, among other places, and are forthcoming in Model Homes (based in Detroit). Elisabeth Divis' work can be found in Wanderlust Magazine and All Things Considered. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Michigan and works with young poets in Detroit through InsideOut Literary Arts Project. Amy and Elisabeth fell in love with collaboration as co-members of the collective behind The Feeling Is Mutual anthology, WCWPCCS.