Meridian Music presents Natural History: a new piece by Gusty Winds May Exist and Heloise Gold
Date: Feb 09,2011
Time: 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM
Meridian Music: Composers in Performance presents "Natural History," a new piece created and performed by dancer Heloise Gold and Gusty Winds May Exist, a duo featuring Tom Bickley (recorder) and Nancy Beckman (shakuhachi). "Natural History" is inspired from Pliny the Elder's 1st century text de Natura Historia, and his comments about birds and insects. Woven throughout the piece will be movement and sound connected with traditions of Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Deep Listening, using vocal, instrumental and electronic sounds, surprising costumes, lighting effects, and a range of celebratory effects from solemn to humorous and back and forth.
In conjunction with this performance, Heloise Gold will lead a workshop at Meridian Gallery on Sunday February 6th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM that is open to the public. Deeply Listening Body is an introductory Intensive in T'ai Chi, Chi Gong, and Movement/Sound Improvisations. For more information click the link above.
Nancy Beckman encountered shakuhachi as an exchange student at Waseda University in Tokyo in 1971. From 1972-1976 she studied the traditional meditational solo shakuhachi repertoire (Myoan-Ryu honkyoku) through Meianji temple in Kyoto. She received the name Fukushin and the license to teach shakuhachi from Meianji. She studied various types of shakuhachi and ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University from 1976-1978, and has continued her studies of various types of shakuhachi both in Japan and in the US.
She lives in Berkeley, California where she teaches Myoan-ryu honkyoku as a spiritual practice. She is also a Certified Music Practitioner from the Music for Healing and Transition Program. As a member of the ensembles Gusty Winds May Exist, the Cornelius Cardew Choir, and Dream Down Duvet, she improvises and plays experimental music and composes improvisational sound meditations. Nancy Beckman can be heard on CD's on the Metatron Press label.
Tom Bickley listens to the world always hoping to hear more and more fully. He plays and teaches recorder, and composes and performs using recorders, electronics and voice. He grew up in the semitropical soundscape of Houston, sojourned in Washington, DC (studying music, religion, and information science) and came to the Bay Area as a composer in residence at Mills College. He performs with Gusty Winds May Exist (with Nancy Beckman), Three Trapped Tigers (with recorder players David Barnett and Judy Linsenberg), co-founded and directs the Cornelius Cardew Choir, and is on the Library Faculty at CSU East Bay. He holds the Certificate in Deep Listening from Pauline Oliveros and the Deep Listening Institute.
Heloise Gold lives in Austin, Texas. She is a performing artist, choreographer, dancer, comedian, T'ai Chi/Qi Gong instructor and co-founding director of Art From the Streets, a project for homeless artists. Front and center in all of Heloise's creations: her commitment to experimentation; her deep caring for humanity; her trust in the intelligence of the body; her love of humor; her lifetime passion for creativity.
Originally from New York City, Heloise trained in ballet, performing as a young teen with the Bolshoi and Kirov Ballets during their early visits to the US (1962-64). In her early 20's her interests shifted to experimental forms. She performed in Robert Wilson's legendary twelve hour opera The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin (1973); studied and performed with Simone Forti (dance) and was a member of Quena Company (an Open Theatre ensemble). She moved to Austin in 1978 and danced and toured with the Deborah Hay Dance Company from 1980 to 1985. In 1980 she began creating original full-length works. Heloise was a key player in the experimental work spawned in Austin in the 1980s, and continues to create new work with many Austin artists. She has co-led 20 years of Deep Listening Retreats with New Music pioneer/composer Pauline Oliveros and author Ione in the US and Europe and also runs week-long T'ai Chi Retreats annually in New Mexico. Her book Deeply Listening Body was published in 2008.
As a choreographer/performance artist, Heloise has been the recipient of numerous grants from the City of Austin and Texas Commission for the Arts, and a New Forms Initiative from the NEA. She has been a sponsored artist of Women and Their Work, in Austin; at Diverse Works in Houston; at Jumpstart, San Antonio; and The Deep Listening Institute in New York. Her work has been presented by Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors Festival; International Society For Improvised Music in Chicago; Deep Listening Institute, NY; SITE, Santa Fe New Mexico; Ears Eyes + Feet at the University of Texas Austin; Quiet Music Ensemble, University of Cork, Ireland; and Fusebox Festival, Austin Texas. She recently appeared in "Oracle Bones," a piece created for Pauline Oliveros's award concert at Columbia University.
In addition to performing, Heloise has taught T'ai Chi for over thirty years. Heloise has served on the faculty of The Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin (AOMA), and Omega At The Crossings in Austin, and teaches private and group T'ai Chi/Qi Gong classes at her movement/arts studio, as well as retreats at Rose Mountain Retreat Center, New Mexico.
Heloise co-founded Art From the Streets in 1990. She continues to be a dedicated player in the project, as co-director, art facilitator, and volunteer coordinator for the annual AFTS art show.
See photos from the concert here.