[Jan 17] ZOOM IN: OLAP #1 With guests John King and Brandon Collwes

A new collaboration with Experimental Intermedia. To launch our ZOOM IN: OLAP (Online Live Art Performance) community discussion forum we have invited  John King, composer, and Brandon Collwes, choreographer to share their experience conceiving and running Sonic Gatherings a weekly series of performances with a rotating cast of dancers and musicians in Zoom that they began in March 2020 in response to the pandemic, and in-person concerts being shut down.

Date: January 17, 2021

Time: 3 pm – 5 pm New York Time

Location: online on Zoom. Free. Check back for more information or click here to RSVP

Following a presentation by King and Collwes and a Q & A, the forum will be open to anyone attending wanting to discuss any online live art performance ideas or projects as well as any technical or conceptual concerns.

The discussion forum will be led by Katherine Liberovskaya of Experimental Intermedia and Harvestworks Director Carol Parkinson.

Screen Photo by Carol Parkinson

About the guest artists

John King is a composer, performer/improvisor and curator. He has written spatialized concert music (socially distant before it was cool) as well as telematic choral, instrumental and electronic music created within the vagaries of – and with respectful disregard for – internet latencies. He has co-curated, with Brandon Collwes, a weekly series of dance/music performances in Zoom which began in late March 2020, with a rotating varying cast of 39 musicians and 24 dancers. This series ran throughout the remainder of 2020 and will continue into 2021

Brandon Collwes is a dancer/choreographer. He joined the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in January 2006 where he danced up until the close of the Company in 2011 in the finale Legacy World Tour. He is currently a dancer and rehearsal assistant of the Liz Gerring Dance Company, performs for Sally Slivers and Dancers, performs his own work and continues to teach and stage Cunningham pieces for the Merce Cunningham Trust. Since April 2020 he has collaborated with composer John King on a weekly live unedited performance event called “Sonic Gathering” which has a rotating cast of dancers and musicians performing on Zoom and is also an abstract painter. 

About Sonic Gatherings

Inspired by the concept of a Merce Cunningham “Event,” Sonic Gathering is a structured 30-minute live music and dance performance done weekly on Zoom. Sound, movement, lighting, costume and set design {within zoom this equates with individual apartment spaces/roofs/outdoor spaces/music studios, etc] – all these elements are created and assembled individually and brought together for the first time for each unique iteration of these performances. At every Sonic Gathering dancer/choreographer Brandon Collwes appears with a rotating cast of guest performers while the live music is organized by John King, also with a rotating cast of creative musicians.

Some reviews





A collaborative initiative by Harvestworks and Experimental Intermedia ZOOM IN: OLAP is an online community forum conceived by Katherine Liberovskaya and Carol Parkinson to reflect on the aesthetic and technical dimensions of live streaming and to share knowledge among the participants. The meetings feature guest practitioners from different artistic fields (music, live visuals, performance, dance, theater) who to speak about their approaches and experiments with online performance (sound, video, conferencing, streaming software, aesthetic and organizational approaches), followed by Q&A. The forum is also open to hearing about new ideas and projects that are in development as well as technical and/or conceptual concerns from the participants. 

This initiative is a response to the unexpected arrival of the Covid pandemic that forced many live performance artists into live streaming as a make-shift temporary presentation alternative. Figuring it out on the fly, they were able to continue to produce some form of creative activity on the new platform… While this was so exciting, even keeping us sane in the early days of the coronavirus, the ever-increasing online live streaming events are starting to seem more and more all the same and are holding our attention less and less. We quickly found out that commercial web conferencing software was not designed for artistic performance. Worldwide, the virus seems here to stay, and the reality of in-person audiences being able to convene safely is moving further and further into the future. It is time to re-think the online presentation of live art practices and to imagine new approaches that are far better suited for the new performance stage.  


CCRMA Quarantine Concerts (Stanford) https://ccrma.stanford.edu/concerts

Culture HubLiveLab

Registration for Sonic Gatherings: https://tiny.cc/SonicGathering

OBS Ninja

CCRMA JackTrip Virtual Studio (JackTrip Foundation) can use Amazon web services: https://www.jacktrip.orghttps://www.jacktrip.org/studio.html

Quacktrip and Netty NcNetface – network audio for musicians

Sonobus High Quality Network Audio Streaming sonobus.net

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