( members of "Out of Context" and it's orginator, Butch Morris, speak of what this compositional method means to them)
BUTCH MORRIS: creator of conduction
The conduction vocabulary developed from a need to create a spontaneous improvisational dialogue with music, musicians, and environment. Conduction is process and product, ensemble music; its vocabulary is interpretive. It is music of personal histories and individuals. It is not limited to style or category. It is not jazz, blues, pop, folk, classical, free, and so forth, although it may encompass all or none of them. Finally all are misleading.
J.A. DEANE: conductor, bass flute, live sampling
There is a real time feedback loop between the conductor and the ensemble. The conductor gives the first sign, which is interpreted by the ensemble, and the conductor interprets the resulting sound, and the journey begins. The group dynamic takes over, and the music creates itself. As the conductor of Out Of Context, I find it very similar to Chi Kung, in that I am responding not only to the sounds I hear, but also to the energy connecting all of us in the ensemble.
CARLA K. BARLOW: sampler, live sampling
O.O.C. more than any ensemble/band/group with which I've performed creates such moments of beauty with utter clarity, and I think it is because of how we get there: with no apparent context, out of what is most assuredly perceived by many listeners as chaos. The contrast heightens the beauty, distills and delivers the moment with absolute certainty.
STEFAN DILL: acoustic & electric guitar, oud
Working in O.O.C. is one of the most illuminating musical experiences I’ve had. The process is a fabulous and very unique collective endeavor. While certainly a collective, the interesting thing about conduction as a method of music making is how different the results can be (even with the same ensemble), depending on the conductor.
STEVEN FELD: bass & contra-bass trombone
My experience of O.O.C., it’s the ocean. Part ears listening for a juxtaposition of sounds that I have never heard before; part working on that part of my tongue/slide vocabulary that is uniquely shaped by it’s relation to the other voices and vocabularies in this ensemble. It’s certainly unlike any other kind of improvising I’ve done.
KATIE HARLOW: cello
My participation in O.O.C has impacted every aspect of my musical life. It's as if I spent the first forty years of my life learning all of the rules for music, and now I've been invited to liberate myself from them and expand my vocabulary. It is an exhilarating experience to become immersed in the music of the moment and allow myself to play what I feel, not what I think. The truly miraculous part is that this work has lead me to a deeper understanding of my own potential as a creator of sound.
COURTNEY B. SMITH: harp
O.O.C. has allowed me to connect my energy and the harp's energy to one collective voice. Every session, every performance, the identity of the harp changes, and my overall relationship with the instrument has changed too. My ears are open and there is a sensitivity with my harp, and with the other instruments in the ensemble. This experience has given me the opportunity to create a new sense of energy for the harp and allows me to keep re-inventing my approach to the instrument.
ALICIA ULTAN: viola
OOC is an experience that calls on me musically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and physically. I have experienced an evolution and growth in the ensemble and in myself that is exciting and inspiring. We each bring to the ensemble our unique musical and personal instincts, experiences, voices, and ideas. It is the process of conduction that brings together all of these forces in the group to create that one voice, that one moment, that is truly out of the ordinary!
JEFFERSON VOORHEES: drums & percussion
O.O.C. has been a great challenge and enormous fun for me. The ensemble must assemble everything we've ever learned about playing music and have it at our beck and call. Responding instantaneously to the signs and the sonic textures is both exacting and free-wheeling. After witnessing audience response and listening to our recordings, I am convinced that this intensely personal playing translates into a viable, musical experience for performer and audience alike.
MARK WEBER: poet, producer Zerx records
I get the feeling that many of the people we call musicians don’t really know what music is. Jazz itself, the very apex of individualism, seems to be populated nowadays by re-hashed repertoire devoid of relevancy. You are never sure that what you are hearing has any notion of sincerity or that it comes from the soul. Now, I know that O.O.C. isn't a jazz band, but it's closer to jazz than anything else. It sounds like New Mexico to me. It has sense and relevancy to our lives here in this place.