Nicole Bindler and David Dove have collaborated for over 10 years. They improvise together, creating spontaneous, evening-length compositions that draw from the architecture, acoustics, light, and the areas surrounding the stage for inspiration and material. Bindler’s performance practice broadens the possibilities for dance virtuosity beyond athleticism towards a sensitive, intricate, and deeply weird performance presence. Dove’s Subwoofer Trombone uses pitched-down trombone and subwoofers site-specifically, filling spaces with slow-moving sub-bass frequencies and doom-blues. The evening will include a solo by musician/composer Bhob Rainey.
Nicole Bindler––dance-maker, Body-Mind Centering® practitioner, writer, and activist––has practiced contact improvisation for 25 years, and her work has been presented on four continents. Recent projects include curating an evening of Palestinian dance films at Fidget Space; somatic research on the embryology of the genitalia from a non-binary perspective; workshops on Disability Justice, Neuroqueering Embodiment, and Polyvagal Theory and Protest through freeskewl; conference presentations about rebuilding in-person dance and somatics communities in ways that tangibly address the inequities laid bare by the pandemic; co-producing the Consent Culture in Contact Improvisation Symposium at Earthdance; and a solo dance, The Case for Invagination, in which her scars speak candidly about trauma and desire. She was a founding member of the DEI Committee at Earthdance, and organizes with Jewish Voice for Peace-Philadelphia and The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund.
David Dove’s Subwoofer Trombone uses pitched-down trombone and subwoofers site-specifically, filling spaces with slow-moving sub-bass frequencies and doom-blues. A trombone player, composer, improviser, and workshop-facilitator, David Dove has given performances and workshops across the US and internationally. As Founding Director of Nameless Sound (a non-profit organization in Houston, Texas), he curates/presents a concert series of international contemporary experimental music, and has developed a philosophy and practice for music workshops. Nameless Sound’s pedagogy identifies collaborative improvisation for its potential towards goals of knowledge exchange, creative work, healing, community building, and play. Nameless Sound serves hundreds of youth annually in Houston homeless shelters, community centers, public schools, and refugee communities. Dove has written on music pedagogy, including a chapter titled “The Music is the Pedagogy” that has been published in the collection “Beyond the Classroom” (Routledge). Dove’s early musical background ranged from studies in jazz and symphonic music, to punk rock bands. As a creative artist, free improvisation has been his primary (but not exclusive) approach to performance and collaboration. In addition to collaborations with other musicians, Dove has made music for film, dance, theater, poetry and visual/installation work. He has focused on acoustic playing for most of his career, developing a style that draws influence from a range of sources including jazz, 20th century composed music, electronic music and free improvisation. He’s inspired by a diverse range of influences from outside of his form, including hardcore punk rock, visual/conceptual arts, modern/contemporary dance, and Houston mixtape visionary DJ Screw. The influence of DJ Screw was the catalyst for an electronics-based development in Dove’s music. In an attempt assimilate the effect of Screw’s extremely slow and low mixes (as a real time, improvisational music), Dove extends the trombone with the use of guitar pedals, pitch shifters, and (most importantly) sub-woofers. Another special interest is site-specific performance (especially when a special acoustic environment is available) and durational events (lasting for as long as 5-8 hours). Non-musical performative activity has also been explored in recent projects. Dove has collaborated with a wide range of local, national and international creative musicians. He performs in both set groups and ad hoc ensembles, as well as solo.
Bhob Rainey works with sound, both acoustically and electronically. He, like a lot of people, is interested in quite a few things, but he is especially invested in matters relating to consciousness – its possibilities, limitations, absurdities, threats and futures – how to “think” climate change, how to “think” the nonhuman stuff that makes us. As a result, ideas from philosophy, technology, psychology, and the plain old grind worm their way into his work. So do horror and humor. His music is visceral, sometimes. Thoughtful, sometimes. Sometimes both.
Because he is at least pretty good at what he does and is also persistent and capable of putting some sentences together, Rainey has received some noteworthy honors, like the Pew Fellowship in the Arts (2013), and some nice grants and residencies. Colleagues who have not received such things probably also deserve them and should not feel left out, because making a living as an artist is still extremely difficult, financially and psychologically.
But there is joy. Some of that comes through collaborations with smart, fun people. Rainey has spent a lot of time in recent years working with theater company New Paradise Laboratories, which has given him a long leash (if there’s a leash at all) and a lot of resources and inspiration to make sound scores that break all sorts of rules and reach very far into the unknown. He also spent a good chunk of recent good time working with choreographer JungWoong Kim and a fantastically diverse team to create the site-specific installation / performance, SaltSoul. He got to mess with mobile phone sensors and sprawling game concepts working with the War of the Worlds Philadelphia team, and he also made music for film and video with Chet Pancake and Leah Ross.
Let us not forget some classic collaborations, such as with Greg Kelley in Nmperign. If you don’t know about Nmperign, someone is probably available to scold you. For a potential pull-quote, let’s say that Rainey, very much along with Kelley, was instrumental in defining the “lowercase” or “EAI” movement in non-idiomatic improvisation. People are building on their work to this day. And there’s also the BSC, a group of folks who lived in Massachussets and decided to undertake large group improvisation as a serious thing. Rainey formed and led the group starting in 2000, and then, in 2011, put together the book, Manual, that talked about their history, ideas, and techniques.
DAVID DOVE/NICOLE BINDLER DUO & BHOB RAINEY
Friday, July 22, 2022 | 8:00pm
Icebox Project Space, 1400 N American St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Tickets: $10-$20 sliding scale
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