High Zero Festival of Experimental Improvised Music
September 21st - 26th, 2010
@ Gallery Four 4th Floor / 405 W Franklin St., Baltimore
September 23rd - 26th, 2010
@ The Theatre Project 45 W Preston St., Baltimore
What is High Zero?
High Zero is the premier festival of Improvised, Experimental music on the East Coast, being fully devoted to new collaborations between the most inspired improvisers from around the world.
Lasting two weeks in total, the festival brings together 28 core musicians each year, but also involves a much larger subculture of musicians in Baltimore and on the East Coast. Unlike many related festivals, High Zero is not narrow in terms of sensibility or subculture, but rather widely inclusive of all the different types of experimental music-making in the moment. The fact that half of the festival's core participants are from Baltimore speaks to the depth of Baltimore's experimental music subculture, which in recent years has grown to be one of the richest cities in the country for experimental art.
The festival has a unique structure. HIGH ZERO is focused solely on new collaborations in freely improvised experimental music. Internationally famous musicians play side by side with younger "unknowns," united by their commitment to the musical imagination. Each year, Baltimore becomes a fertile meeting-ground for a large group of inspired players, drawn from a fascinating international subculture.
The festival exposes large audiences to this radical music in its pure form. Large-scale public concerts, recording sessions, workshops, and guerilla street performances are all part of the heady mix. The players are carefully selected by the festival's organizers for their intense, unique music, whether it is based around dramatic intensity, humor, specially designed instruments, original approach, raw sound, or nearly superhuman instrumental technique. The resulting collaborations challenge the limits of music and delight by their audacity, expressiveness, immediacy, and innovation. It isn't about stars or established projects; it is about the most uncompromising and stimulating new improvised music we can bring together.
To say the High Zero Festival is an unusual event is an understatement. Not only does the festival intend to provide the audience with extremely varied, inspired and ingenious experiences, it is also a major challenge for the improvisers, who are put in contexts where their stock personal musical languages may not work, pushing them into terra incognita.
This year's festival again promises to be the best yet, with more performers and more music. We hope to see you at High Zero 2010, and hope that you will spread the word to anyone you think might be interested!
Directions to main High Zero concerts at: