Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser Fred Frith has been making noise of one kind or another for almost fifty years, starting with the iconic rock collective Henry Cow, which he co-founded with Tim Hodgkinson in 1968. Frith is best known as a pioneering electric guitarist and improviser, song-writer, and composer for film, dance, and theater. Through bands like Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, and Cosa Brava, he has stayed close to his roots in rock and folk music while branching out in many other directions. His compositions have been performed by ensembles ranging from Arditti Quartet and the Ensemble Modern to Concerto Köln and Galax Quartet, from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to ROVA and Arte Sax Quartets, from rock bands Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Ground Zero to the Glasgow Improvisers’ Orchestra. The recipient of Italy’s Demetrio Stratos Prize for his life’s work in experimental music and an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield in his home county of Yorkshire, Frith is Professor Emeritus at the legendary epicenter of American experimental music, Mills College, in Oakland, California. For ten years until his retirement in 2020 he co-directed the improvisation master’s program at the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland and is visiting faculty at the Universidad Austral in Valdivia, Chile, where he helped to develop the curriculum for the new Escuela de Artes Musicales y Sonores. Frith is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel’s much-loved Step Across the Border, cited by Cahiers du Cinéma as one of the 20th century’s hundred most influential films.
gabby fluke-mogul is a New York based violinist, improviser, composer, educator, organizer, & doula. fluke-mogul weaves within the threads of avant & free jazz with deep roots in improvised & experimental music. Their playing has been described as “embodied, visceral, & virtuosic" & "the most striking sound in improvised music in years..." gabby is humbled to have collaborated with Nava Dunkelman, Joanna Mattrey, Ava Mendoza, Charles Burnham, Fred Frith, Luke Stewart, Zeena Parkins, Tcheser Holmes, Mara Rosenbloom, William Parker, & Pauline Oliveros among many other musicians, poets, dancers, & visual artists. fluke-mogul is a Roulette 2023 Jerome Artist in Residence. “The way they construct sound with their violin is ageless. They are sounds built from the ancient geology beneath us; from shards of broken cosmic glass; from hidden corners within their heart and mind…fluke-mogul plays the moment to its fullest amplitude” (Brad Rose, Foxy Digitalis).
The Ghost is a leatherdaddy free jazz trio led by Michael Foster fusing composition and extensive improvisation to make a uniquely paranoid and homoerotic vision of jazz. The Ghost is Michael Foster (saxophones / compositions), John Moran (bass), and Joey Sullivan (drums). Their newest record 'Vanished Pleasures,' was released on Relative Pitch Records earlier this year.
For Abasement #66, New Jersey-based multi-media artist Tom Thayer collaborates with his fourteen-year-old son, Henry Thayer. Drawing on Art Brut, children's art, and experimental education, Thayer's surreal works have a crude, naive spirit. He activates his paintings and sculptures with animation and music in improvised performances he calls Scenographic Plays. Thayer has exhibited and performed since the early 90s at venues including The Living Theater, Issue Project Room, SculptureCenter, The Kitchen, the 2012 Whitney Biennial, and MoMA.
A. Helicopter and Dr. Evilletown Duo are primarily a saxophone and guitar-based collaboration, using improvisation and listening to create sonic conversations. Against a backdrop of 20 years of friendship, they only recently began collaborating. Their work has most notably appeared on the critically acclaimed Distant Duos Project by Mary Staubitz and Russ Waterhouse.
New York war zone denizen Sandy Lane bringing the hinterland exploration sound to your mind town.
Scott Kiernan is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in New York City. Through his video, photo and installation works, electronically synthesized and photographic elements interact to address their own materiality and means of distribution. He is co-director of live televisual performance project E.S.P. TV and director of Various/Artists Records.
Abasement has been curated by Joseph Frivaldi and Robert Mayson since 2015.