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By Erik Maza, The Baltimore Sun | September 23, 2010
High Zero is the anti-Virgin Mobile FreeFest. Although the experimental music festival is older by seven years (it began in 1999), it coincides this year with one of the area's biggest music festivals. For every Dan Deacon at High Zero, there is a Ludacris at FreeFest. The FreeFest might have M.I.A., but High Zero has bassoonist Karen Borca. But that's just how High Zero organizers, the High Zero Foundation, like it. They feel they are going after different audiences. It's unlikely, for instance, that there'll be noise installations at the corporate gig as there will be at this DIY festival.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | July 18, 2014
Four instruments fashioned from magnets and turntables and thick metal springs are conversing in a gallery of the Walters Art Museum . They pop and hum, plink like the teeth of a comb. One calls to mind an amplified heartbeat. Another sounds like someone far away brushing a drum head. Like drunken guests at a party, their tones blend, then break into discordant sounds. One bellows at unexpected intervals. "These are idiosyncratic machines," says their creator, artist and musician Neil Feather.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and Baltimore Sun reporter | September 21, 2012
Shelly Blake-Plock remembers well the day Japanese musician Fuyuki Yamakawa's heart stopped beating. It was a High Zero Festival highlight. "He gave a solo performance, in which he set up contact microphones to his body and amplified his heartbeat," said Blake-Plock, a local musician and an organizer of this year's 14th annual celebration of experimental improvised music. "He is very practiced in breathing techniques to modulate his internal systems. It came down to a point where the percussive beat of the heart through the amplifier got slower and slower and slower and slower -- and then stopped.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | July 12, 2014
Artist Neil Feather, who builds mechanized musical instruments from bowling balls, film projectors and cigar boxes, among other objects, received this year's $25,000 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize on Saturday evening. Trained as a ceramicist, Feather said he draws inspiration from antique machinery and "strange technology that didn't make it to the mainstream. " "I like listening to all the matter around me vibrating," Feather, 58, said in a phone interview after the award ceremony at the Walters Art Museum . The Waverly resident is a founding member of the Red Room Collective and the High Zero Foundation, groups that have pushed Baltimore to a vanguard of the international experimental music movement.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | April 17, 2012
For some people, the concert news of the day has already run, and no one's gonna top it. They'll read these names below and say, Are any of these guys VAN HALEN ??? Do they wear shiny leather pants and vaguely Middle Eastern scarves and a pinstripe vest and also a belt buckle bigger than Mitt Romney's head? Are they responsible for “RUNNING WITH THE DEVIIIIIIL!!”? Ok, no. For everyone else, here's the other concert news of the day: To raise money for the experimental music festival High Zero, Matmos's Drew Daniel, Dan Deacon and Schwarz will play DJ sets at the H&H Building's 5th Dimension April 27. Leprechaun Catering and  John Berndt's Multiphonic Choir will also perform.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | September 19, 2000
The music world is governed by all sorts of rules - structure, tempo and dynamic markings, to name a few. What happens when you throw them all out and leave everything up to the performer's whim? You get something on the order of High Zero, that's what. High Zero, billed as a Festival of Improvised Experimental Music, returns to Baltimore a year after its remarkably successful premiere, which saw dozens turned away from sold-out performances. More than 30 improvisers from this country, Canada, Italy and Holland will descend on the city for four days of spontaneous music-making, starting Thursday.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 22, 2005
A LESS LENGTHY LEAR FESTIVAL A lean King Lear will launch the season at Center Stage tomorrow. Director Irene Lewis' production of Shakespeare's King Lear features a streamlined text, a cast of only 15 and a sparse, iconographic set design by Robert Israel in the upstairs Head Theater. The title role will be played by Shakespeare veteran Stephen Markle, returning to Center Stage after 11 years. He's paired with another Center Stage associate artist, Laurence O'Dwyer, in the role of the Fool.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2011
Virgin Mobile FreeFest is finally here. And unlike last year, when only High Zero conflicted with the festival, there are a ton of other things happening on Saturday. We'll have a blog post later this week on alternatives to Virgin FreeFest for Saturday. Below is what's happening elsewhere this week: besides FreeFest, Merriweather has a couple of other solid shows; so does the Ottobar; Heavy Seas will release a new seasonal beer this week; the Wham City Comedy night returns; and Metro Gallery hosts a concert photography exhibit that will feature a performance by Secret Mountains.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | July 18, 2014
Four instruments fashioned from magnets and turntables and thick metal springs are conversing in a gallery of the Walters Art Museum . They pop and hum, plink like the teeth of a comb. One calls to mind an amplified heartbeat. Another sounds like someone far away brushing a drum head. Like drunken guests at a party, their tones blend, then break into discordant sounds. One bellows at unexpected intervals. "These are idiosyncratic machines," says their creator, artist and musician Neil Feather.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and Baltimore Sun reporter | September 21, 2012
Some 40 musicians -- half of them from the Baltimore area -- are scheduled to participate in this weekend's High Zero Festival. From the local musicians, we asked Shelly Blake-Plock to pick three whose performances might offer the most promise. Jimmy Joe Roche: Analog synth, video Roche is a member of the arts collective Wham City. His videos have screened internationally in venues including the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Boston Institute of Contemporary Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and Baltimore Sun reporter | September 21, 2012
Some 40 musicians -- half of them from the Baltimore area -- are scheduled to participate in this weekend's High Zero Festival. From the local musicians, we asked Shelly Blake-Plock to pick three whose performances might offer the most promise. Jimmy Joe Roche: Analog synth, video Roche is a member of the arts collective Wham City. His videos have screened internationally in venues including the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Boston Institute of Contemporary Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and Baltimore Sun reporter | September 21, 2012
Shelly Blake-Plock remembers well the day Japanese musician Fuyuki Yamakawa's heart stopped beating. It was a High Zero Festival highlight. "He gave a solo performance, in which he set up contact microphones to his body and amplified his heartbeat," said Blake-Plock, a local musician and an organizer of this year's 14th annual celebration of experimental improvised music. "He is very practiced in breathing techniques to modulate his internal systems. It came down to a point where the percussive beat of the heart through the amplifier got slower and slower and slower and slower -- and then stopped.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | April 17, 2012
For some people, the concert news of the day has already run, and no one's gonna top it. They'll read these names below and say, Are any of these guys VAN HALEN ??? Do they wear shiny leather pants and vaguely Middle Eastern scarves and a pinstripe vest and also a belt buckle bigger than Mitt Romney's head? Are they responsible for “RUNNING WITH THE DEVIIIIIIL!!”? Ok, no. For everyone else, here's the other concert news of the day: To raise money for the experimental music festival High Zero, Matmos's Drew Daniel, Dan Deacon and Schwarz will play DJ sets at the H&H Building's 5th Dimension April 27. Leprechaun Catering and  John Berndt's Multiphonic Choir will also perform.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2011
Virgin Mobile FreeFest is finally here. And unlike last year, when only High Zero conflicted with the festival, there are a ton of other things happening on Saturday. We'll have a blog post later this week on alternatives to Virgin FreeFest for Saturday. Below is what's happening elsewhere this week: besides FreeFest, Merriweather has a couple of other solid shows; so does the Ottobar; Heavy Seas will release a new seasonal beer this week; the Wham City Comedy night returns; and Metro Gallery hosts a concert photography exhibit that will feature a performance by Secret Mountains.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | August 11, 2011
This year's High Zero Festival will take place between September 22 and 25, organizers said earlier this week. That gives it an entire weekend of its own, unlike last year, which coincided with Virgin Mobile FreeFest. The 13th edition of the experimental music festival will feature outdoor concerts, recording sessions, workshops, and like last year, guerilla street performances.  This year, there will also be a dance performance on September 20 at 2640 Space and a film night at the Charles Theater September 21. Most concerts will take place at the Theatre Project in Mt. Vernon.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza, The Baltimore Sun | September 23, 2010
High Zero is the anti-Virgin Mobile FreeFest. Although the experimental music festival is older by seven years (it began in 1999), it coincides this year with one of the area's biggest music festivals. For every Dan Deacon at High Zero, there is a Ludacris at FreeFest. The FreeFest might have M.I.A., but High Zero has bassoonist Karen Borca. But that's just how High Zero organizers, the High Zero Foundation, like it. They feel they are going after different audiences. It's unlikely, for instance, that there'll be noise installations at the corporate gig as there will be at this DIY festival.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | August 11, 2011
This year's High Zero Festival will take place between September 22 and 25, organizers said earlier this week. That gives it an entire weekend of its own, unlike last year, which coincided with Virgin Mobile FreeFest. The 13th edition of the experimental music festival will feature outdoor concerts, recording sessions, workshops, and like last year, guerilla street performances.  This year, there will also be a dance performance on September 20 at 2640 Space and a film night at the Charles Theater September 21. Most concerts will take place at the Theatre Project in Mt. Vernon.
FEATURES
By Lori Sears and Lori Sears,SUN STAFF | September 26, 2002
If just the mention of the words "improvised experimental music" brings to mind a man tapping a spoon against a couple of tin cans, chances are you've probably never been to the High Zero Festival. The four-day event, running through Sunday at the Theatre Project, breaks all those preconceived notions about the instruments, the music and its supposed simplicity. The festival features roughly 30 musicians from all over the globe, performing on-the-spot collaborations of improvised experimental music.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Brad Schleicher and Brad Schleicher,Sun reporter | September 20, 2007
If five Baltimore artists were given the task of crafting a new instrument, how big would each instrument be? What would each look like? Better yet, how would each sound when played individually or in unison? Those who ponder the possibilities of instrumental invention will have the chance to experience the audio and visual unknown beginning tonight at the opening of the new High Zero Sound Installations at the Current Gallery. Events for the festival run tonight through Oct. 3. "The idea for this year was to turn the whole gallery into an instrument," says Chiara Giovando, an improvisational vocalist and violinist and this year's Sound Installation curator.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 22, 2005
A LESS LENGTHY LEAR FESTIVAL A lean King Lear will launch the season at Center Stage tomorrow. Director Irene Lewis' production of Shakespeare's King Lear features a streamlined text, a cast of only 15 and a sparse, iconographic set design by Robert Israel in the upstairs Head Theater. The title role will be played by Shakespeare veteran Stephen Markle, returning to Center Stage after 11 years. He's paired with another Center Stage associate artist, Laurence O'Dwyer, in the role of the Fool.
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