Every summer, Music Omi invites approximately a dozen musicians — composers and performers from around the globe — to come together for two and a half weeks in a unique collaborative music making residency program.
Omi Improvisers Orchestra featuring Special Guests Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso
Sunday, July 20, 7:00 PM
Jazz greats Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso lead international musicians in residence at the Music Omi International Musicians Residency in an afternoon of "guerilla jazz." The Music Omi 2014 fellows will perform, for the first time ever, as an improvising orchestra. The Legendary jazz couple Karl Berger and Ingrid Sertso, along with Ornette Colman, founded the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY, the birthplace of world jazz and still pushing the boundaries of improvised music. They will work with the Music Omi fellows to create this very special one-night only Improvisers Orchestra.
Music Omi Concert
Saturday, August 2, 5 PM
The 2014 Music Omi International Musicians Residency will conclude with a concert of collaborative new works created while in residence. Omi invites visitors to experience a unique concert of new global music, presented under a big tent by the Charles B. Benenson Visitor Center in the The Fields Sculpture Park. Enjoy an afternoon of unforgettable new music collaborations amidst over 80 works of contemporary sculpture on 120 acres of rolling farmland, wetlands and wooded areas.
Music Omi applications are no longer being accepted for the 2014 residency.
Residency Dates: Thursday, July 17 - Sunday, August 3, 2014
Results Announced: April 1, 2014.
Check back in January of 2015 for next year's guidelines! Questions may be directed to Jeffrey Lependorf, Director
Omi International Arts Center, where the Music Omi residency takes place, is located two and a half hours north of New York City in the historic Hudson River Valley's Columbia County. Named for a neighboring village, Omi is close to the small town of Ghent, NY, as well as Albany, Chatham, and Hudson, NY, which offers train connections less than thirty minutes away.
The facilities, situated on three hundred acres of open land, include The Fields Sculpture Park and Visitor Center & Cafe, a large two-story barn and other farm structures with spaces for rehearsing; and contemporary residence buildings designed with a vernacular reference to local barns, all surrounded by abundant perennial beds and expansive lawns dotted with fruit trees.
A Federal Period farm house serves as a gathering center for residents, providing a full kitchen, television room and library; while the front porch overlooks rolling hills and the majestic outline of the Catskill Range. A swimming pool, bicycles, WiFi access and several computers are available on the premises.
Columbia County, and the nearby Berkshire Mountains, are popular destinations because of their historical, natural and cultural riches. From bird sanctuaries to summer performance festivals, presidential mansions to farmer's markets, the environs offer a singular blend of rural quiet and cultural stimulation. Staff and friends in the neighborhood are often available for excursions of interest to residents.
Links to useful websites in the area:
Columbia County Tourism
2014 Music Omi Fellows
Anil Eraslan is a cellist/improviser/composer/photographer born in 1981 in Burdur, Turkey. He studied cello and the piano in Ankara, then continued in Strasbourg on contemporary music, jazz, and free improvisation. His musical activities continue between Strasbourg and Istanbul and also worldwide for many different projects blending the old, new and the experimental music and other art forms. He collaborates with the musicians such as John Lindberg, Sylvain Kassap, Eric Groleau, Sumru Agiryuruyen, Ayse Tutuncu, Meric Demirkol, ensembles such as Auditive Connection, Ovale and Linea. So far, he collaborated with musicians such as Chris Heenan, Michael Vorfeld, Axel Doerner, Tobias Delius, Tristan Honsinger, Joost Buis, Alan Purves, Anne La Berge, Michael Moore, Ab Baars, Ig Henneman, Sergei Letov, Alexei Borisov, Olga Nosova, Christine Ott, Karl Berger, Tolga Tüzün, Lê Quan Ninh, Oliver Lake, Adam Rudolf, Kenny Wessel, Trilok Gurtu, Saadet Turkoz, Yann Tiersen, Matt Elliot. He's the associated artist at Illiade concert hall in Illkirch for three years and currently he's preparing a new project with pinhole and polaroid photography and sound performance in Berlin as an artist of CEAAC institution.
Acclaimed by the New York Times for her "fiery, full-throttle performance" and described as "enthralling" by the Los Angeles Times, violist Stephanie Griffin has performed internationally as a soloist, chamber and avant-jazz musician. As a soloist, she has worked closely with numerous composers, among them Tony Prabowo; Kee Yong Chong; Arthur Kampela; and Tristan Murail. Ms. Griffin is a founding member of the Momenta Quartet, a regular guest with Continuum, and member of the Argento Chamber Ensemble; Carl Maguire's Floriculture; Gordon Beeferman's Other Life Forms; Adam Rudolph's Go Organic Orchestra; Hans Tammen's Third Eye Orchestra; and the Princeton Symphony, where she serves as principal violist. She is also viola faculty at Brooklyn College and the former curator of contemporary music at Galapagos Art Space. Ms. Griffin has recorded for Firehouse 12, Aeon, Albany, Arte Nova, Koch, Centaur, Siam, Innova and Tzadik Records. She studied viola with William Gordon, Paul DeClerck, Wayne Brooks and Samuel Rhodes and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School.
Julie Natalie Mondor
Julie Natalie Mondor started lessons in classical cello at the age of ten. After exploring contemporary music, she specialized in baroque music, where improvisation and rhetoric are fundamental. Following work with several concerts with "Le Concert Spirituel," she has developed a physical relationship to the instrument, with much more freedom and mobility. She's always had a taste for experimentation and new encounters, which led her to follow the teaching of U.S. Dagar ( Dhrupad singer ) since 2001, and she was invited in India to perform as a soloist in the Benares "Dhrupad Festival" in 2012 and " Sacred River " Maheshwar in 2013. Since 2003 she has also created performances combining contemporary circus, music and dance, as both a composer and actress. She studied clown, butoh and improvisation with J. Léandre and performs both with various musicians in ensemble and as a butoh dancer. She also began studying electro-acoustic music last year.
(New Zealand/Mexico—guitar and horn)
Misha Marks was born in Wellington New Zealand in 1983 and grew up on NZ's West Coast and in Christchurch. He began playing guitar at age six, initially self-taught. He began lessons with teachers of a variety of styles at age thirteen, studying jazz, classical and American folk music. He began playing professionally at age fifteen and began running his own bands of original music. He later studied jazz and classical guitar at Massey University in Wellington and became involved in the free-improvised and experimental music scene. In 2006 he recorded his first solo guitar album, Husk, and was awarded a Creative NZ grant to study flamenco guitar in Barcelona. In 2008 he moved to Mexico City, where he joined the improvised-music ensemble Generación Espontánea. He founded the 'free-gypsy' group Carlos Marks which incorporates elements of Balkan music, free-improvisation and Mexican folk music, among other things. In 2009 he travelled to Sri Lanka to collaborate with dancers and drummers from the shamanic tradition 'Bali' in a inter-disciplinary project with New Zealand improvisers. He has performed in festivals such as the Wellington International Jazz Festival, Ollin Kan Festival, Mexico City, Chaak'ab'Paaxil, festival of improvised music in Mérida, Mexico, Festival Silvestre Revueltas, Durango MX, Visiones Sonoras, Morelia MX, Jazz in Opposition Fest, Mexico City, High Zero 2013 in Baltimore and No Idea Festival in Austin Texas. He currently resides in Mexico City where he is member of the bands Nabuzenko, Generación Espontánea, Rolling Eye and Carlos Marks, who's debut album, Dislalia, was named 'album of the year 2013' by La Tempestad. He also plays regularly with Zapotecan brass bands from the Sierra de Oaxaca.
Aziza is a Lebanese singer/songwriter. Aziza's love for music and the performing arts started early on, at the age of three, singing alongside her father at events and in school and university musicals. She lived her teenage years through writing songs and self-learning the keyboard. In 2010, she participated in the renowned Lebanese music academy/TV contest, "Studio Al Fann," winning the Golden Medal for the "Tarab" category, the classical genre of Arabic music. Afterwards, she started doing gigs in local and regional events and festivals. She has collaborated with sound producers on projects such as Indian/Arabic fusion, a Tarab-beatbox experiment, and most recently, a world trip-hop music production. Her debut album self-titled, "Aziza," is a concept album based on her writings, how she responds to the outside world in her relationships with people,love,aspirations, fears, causes and the society. To be released june 2014.
(USA/India/UK—tabla and percussion)
Sarathy Korwar is a percussionist/composer born in the US, raised in India and now based in London. Trained as a classical tabla player under the guidance of Sanju Sahai (current head of the Benares gharānā), Sarathy is equally at ease on the tabla and drum-kit. Sarathy graduated with an MMus in Performance from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) in London, with a focus on the adaptation of Indian classical rhythmic material to non-Indian percussion instruments. Sarathy still continues his tālīm (education) and work as a classical tabla player along with his interest in other forms of improvised music. He has worked as a performer, composer and musical director on a variety of theatre, film and dance productions. At the centre of his aesthetic is a strong faith and reliance on intuition and improvisation. As a performer/composer, Sarathy strives to create a space for music to spontaneously interact and evolve by itself. He has performed at venues across the UK, Europe and India.
(Australia—trumpet and electronics)
Peter Knight is a multidisciplinary musician who has gained wide acclaim for his eclectic approach, which integrates jazz, world music, and experimental approaches. Peter's work as both performer and composer is regularly featured in a range of ensemble settings, he also composes for theatre & creates sound installations. In 2013 he was appointed Artistic Director of the Australian Art Orchestra. Perpetually curious, Peter's practice defies categorization; indeed he works in the spaces between categories, between genres, and between cultures, developing an international following for his work with nine albums in as many years showcasing a diverse range of ensembles and approaches: "Hard to categorize... hauntingly memorable" (The Wire, UK). Peter is the recipient of numerous awards, including most recently an Australia Council Music Fellowship. He was also recognized with a 2012 Bell Jazz Award for Fish Boast of Fishing and two nominations for the APRA/AMC Art Music Awards (2011/2010). He holds a doctorate from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and was awarded 2013 Alumnus of the Year.
Ana Zhdanava was born in a small town. Since early childhood she was fond of music and fine arts, and studied in three schools at one time (music school, gymnasium and school of fine arts), perhaps positioning herself as a serious and busy child). She began writing songs at the age of 14, and gave her first concert, (at the "Y" Gallery in Minsk) at 16. She formed her first group along with a friend at 17, featured as an acoustic vocalist. She is currently studying at European Humanities University.
Elisabeth Fügemann was born in 1985, and received her diploma for classical cello in 2003 in Dresden. After that she decided to study jazz cello with the great improviser Frank Gratkowski in Cologne, where she completed her bachelors in 2012. She is intensely interested in free improvisational music, new contemporary music and cooperating in multi-disciplinary arts, including visual art, performance and writing. As part of the Trio CEL she received a scholarship to Italy and organized and performed the concert series CELing with a variety of guest artist. As a composer and cellist (improvising and live-acting) she has created many ensembles, including Les Polychromes, Oktopus, Galakreidekorb, Emißatett and phase::vier. With Tonverbrechung, she created a performing combining writing and the visual arts. She is also the creator and co-founder of the new Cologne collective for improvised music known as -Impakt-. Elisabeth has played concerts with musicians such as Ernst Reijseger, Robert Landfermann, Pascal Niggenkemper, Frank Gratkowski, Sebastian Gramss, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Francesco Dillon, Ingar Zach and Scott Fields. She has taken part in several theater productions and CD-recordings (on Kintsugi), and debuted many works from contemporary composers.
Girilal Baars was born in Moscow, USSR, to Dutch and Indian parents, and has lived in Sweden since the age of 10. He is currently based in Uppsala, Sweden, and is currently pursuing a PhD in composition at the University of Huddersfield, UK. His previous musical studies include an MA in Sound Art from DI, Stockholm (Sweden), voice and folk music study at the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki, Finland), and music composition at EMS, Stockholm. He is co-founder of the male vocal quartet Äijä (Finland), who's 2009 release "Jet-Black" was nominated for a Finnish Grammy. His composition "Litanies in Zero Kelvin" represented Sweden at the 2009 Nordic Music Days. In 2010, I wrote and staged an opera for two voices based on Karin Boye's novel "Kallocain." Apart from regular concerts and projects in Sweden, in 2013 his work was also selected for performances as far apart as Toronto, Belfast, Perth, Tanjung Malim (Malaysia), Kaunas (Lithuania), Vaasa (Finland) and Lisbon.
Elchin Shirinov was born in 1982 in Baku, Azerbaijan. He did not attend any music school, but took lessons from teachers including jazz pianist Vagif Sadikhov, Aaron Goldberg, Kevin Hays, and Yakov Okun. His own education included intensively analyzing the playing of such musicians as Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau.
(Uganda—adungu traditional African harp and voice)
Abraham Sekasi is both a traditional and contemporary musician with interests to develop Ugandan traditional music and bring it to the world scene. Many of his musical abilities and composition derive from the traditional folk tales and songs that used to be sung and recited generations ago. He lives a confident life and believes that these traditions hold the best ethics of life that everybody must treasure. With his great ideas and music enthusiasm he has shared many of his music experiences, both at home and on the international music scene. He is a versatile traditional instrumentalist and composer with an outstanding talent in arranging Ugandan traditional music masterpieces. Abraham has a belief that the world will speak the same language and that language is music.
(Argentina—voice, piano and guitar)
Juan Tobal started writing songs in high school and formed the band "Trijaus," an indie folk pop duet, creating the albums "Treehouse" (2007) and "No importa" (2010). Distributed in Japan by Little Pad Records and re-released in France by the label Camaraderie Limited, this last brought the band to tour through France, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany. In parallel, Juan formed the psychedelic pop rock quintet "Mompox," where he is the main composer and lead vocal. Mompox released the albums "Mompox and The Big Umbrella" (2009), "▲"(2011) and "Beat, Sweet Bit" (2013), gaining great exposure on the Argentinian indie scene and touring around South and North America, highlighted with presentations at SXSW 2013 (Austin, Texas) and Vive Latino, in Mexico, where the album "▲" was re-released by the label Intolerancia. Juan studied composition at the Fine Arts University of La Plata (Argentina) where he studied piano, voice and music composition. His musical formation and field of interests cover a wide spectrum. He composes and arranges music for films and theatre, creates works for piano, guitar, strings, brasses and woodwinds, computer and other electronic devices, both for multi-performer and solo works.
Chuck Ver Straeten
(USA - voice)
Chuck Ver Straeten uses voice as an instrument, with a focus toward improvisation, seldom using words. His musical background includes 26 years of playing trombone. During that time he studied three years at the legendary Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY. This yielded a deep, broad experience of core musical practices; work with artists from avant-garde jazz, western classical and world music styles; and endless playing. In his 30s Chuck returned to school for studies in Geology, during which time his voice began to evolve as his primary instrument of musical expression. Studies in recent years include coaching in improvisation with Karl Berger and voice technique with Franco Spoto, and attending new workshops of the Creative Music Studio. Chuck's musical approach is largely improvisational, working from a variety of musical influences and non-stylistic musical elements, combined in various ways. Attending recent Omi Music concerts, he's been fascinated with possible musical conversations between musicians of such diverse backgrounds. Elsewhere in life, Chuck is a Ph.D. research geologist and curator at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY.
Music Omi expresses its gratitude to the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, Friends of Music Omi, the Rajshekhar Parikh Fellowship Fund, and Francis Greenburger.
Omi's residency programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts
Jeffrey Lependorf, Director of Music Omi, received a doctorate in music composition from Columbia University and his undergraduate degree from Oberlin Conservatory. He also received the venerable name "Koku" ("empty nothingness") from Kinko Master Yoshinobu Taniguchi. His Masterpieces of Western Music audio course is available through Barnes & Noble's "Portable Professor" series and through download on audible.com. A composer of operas and chamber music, he is also a certified master of the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese bamboo flute, and has helped create a new repertoire of music for this ancient instrument. His music has been performed around the globe — literally. A recording of his Night Pond for solo shakuhachi was launched into space when the shuttle Atlantis took off on May 15, 1997 and remained for a year aboard the Russian space station Mir. He has also performed or been performed across the United States, Europe and in Japan. Some of his recordings can be found on iTunes and Amazon.com.