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Kat Epple composed the music and sound effects for this movie trailer.
On April 2, President Obama announced the BRAIN Initiative, Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. The project had its genesis in a meeting convened in September 2011 by Kavli Foundation vice-president of science programs Miyoung Chun. The ideas generated at that meeting were published in Neuron (June 2012), as a proposed direction - and a challenge - for neuroscience.
The BRAIN Initiative is an audacious attempt to accelerate our search for solutions to understand and treat devastating disorders like depression, Alzheimer’s, autism and traumatic brain injury; to decipher the inner language of the brain; and even explore the mysteries of the mind. Key scientists include TSN Advisory Board Chair Terry Sejnowski (now a member of the BRAIN Working Group advising NIH Director Francis Collins) and Ralph Greenspan, newly appointed Director of CBAM (Center for Brain Activity Mapping) at UC San Diego.
TSN will be featuring conversations with BRAIN participants, and developing a unique archive of filmed conversations to document the progress of the project.
This video was commissioned by the Kavli Foundation and produced, in collaboration with Science Visualization, by The Science Network.
A SOUND ECONOMY
Gulf and Main Magazine
How local musicians are weathering the tough financial storm
by Dan Prowse Whicker
Famous psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.” Anyone with a strong creative side can relate to that sentiment, as can those who are close to someone with a creative spirit. There is a force deep inside of every artist that compels them to pursue their craft, to share it with the world in some way no matter what their circumstances. Indeed, for the true artist, the hardest of times cannot stop the flow of creativity. Rather, the drive often becomes stronger in the face of adversity.
In Southwest Florida, there is a group of artists that understands this all too well—our local musicians. They entertain us through the good times, when business is booming, people are happy, and money is flowing through the local economy. They are also there for us when times are tough, when things are slow, people need relief, and money is tight.
The business side of music is something that Southwest Florida musician Kat Epple also knows very well. Like Heck, she’s managed to continue with her music full-time despite a tough economy, but she credits her business and marketing skills with keeping her going.
For the past twenty years, Epple has witnessed a lot of change in the local music scene, both good and bad. “About three years ago,” she says, “it seemed like everything just completely dropped.” Art galleries, where Epple would often perform world flute music at openings, lacked budgets for live music, and her musician friends who entertained in clubs went from performing five nights a week to two nights if they were lucky. “I think that there was a lot of panic from club owners and gallery owners, thinking, ‘Oh my God, what are we going to do?’” recalls Epple.
During those years, many of her friends had to seek day jobs to make ends meet. That might not seem so bad to the rest of us, but according to Epple, what it means for musicians is less rehearsal time, less time for networking to find venues, and less time to market themselves musically.
What helped Epple get through some lean years was her differentiation. Since she prides herself on performing only original music, she attracts a different audience and different venues. Art events, concerts, and other special events are her outlets, instead of restaurants and clubs. She also does a lot of work in film scoring and soundtracks, which, despite becoming a little harder to find during the past three years, has kept her employed and able to stay in music full-time.
Epple has found that business savvy must be combined with musical talent if a musician wants to perform full-time. Likewise, fans and venues should understand that their support really can make or break a musician. “They are a business,” she says. “If you don’t support them, they will have to go get a different kind of job, and they may decide to never try it again. It is so much work to make a living as a musician.”
With families, bills, and the usual concerns of life, our local musicians are really just regular people who have a passion for their music and for sharing it with others. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that the person under the colored lights and behind the microphone has the same daily struggles as everyone else. They seem happy and are uniquely talented; we want them to be above any problems so that they can help us to escape ours. Yet, as most of them will tell you, they need us as much as we need them.
A Florida native with degrees in business and theology, Dan Prowse Whicker is a fiction and freelance writer based in South Fort Myers.
“Lucia’s Letter” Best News Documentary/Special on WGCU (NPR)
Written and produced by Amy Tardif
Original music by Kat Epple
2011 Edward R. Murrow Award
2010 New York Festivals Gold World Medal
The Power of Music
By Mike James
When others would sit on their hands and watch the world go to pot, Kat Epple picks up her flute and plays—and plays.
The Ft. Myers woman, an internationally known recording artist, will be coming to The Renaissance Academy at Florida Gulf Coast University in Punta Gorda Tuesday, March 8 to share her love of music. FGCU is located at 117 Herald Court in downtown Punta Gorda.
“I really enjoy talking about music and bringing new forms of music to people, helping them to see and feel music in a brand new way” she said, “I try to bring more music into their world and more appreciation of music’s power to heal, relax, and help enjoy life in general.
During her talk at FGCU, which will take place from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. March 8, Epple will talk about her collection of flutes, play music from several of her 23 albums, and talk about the influence of music in people’s lives.
John Steinbeck wrote that humans share a common soul, a tenet to which Epple subscribes.
“Often when we listen to the radio or the tunes in our CD collection we miss out on other music,” she said. “Music can be a way of opening up people to new ideas.”
Epple knows of what she speaks. Her latest project is collaboration with heavy metal guitarist Devin Townsend, who grew up listening to Epple’s haunting, evocative flute music. She speaks of her travels to other lands where, she says, she starts out as a “blonde American woman but, as I play, I become an honored guest and a member of the village.”
Epple even talks to the animals, ala Dr. Doolittle. She has played for dolphins and elephants, and remarked on how their appreciation often mirrors the reception from humans.
Of a group of dolphins, for example, she said that “the babies would listen for a while, swim away and come back, which the juveniles didn’t stick around—sort of like our demographics.” She recalls playing for an elephant at the Oakland, California zoo, and how the creature twirled her trunk in lazy arabesques while swaying with her front legs.
The busy flutist will continue her benefit work for the environment March 19, 2011 at the Bonita Springs Riverside Park Bandshell during a fundraiser for Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed Land Trust, one of many contributions she makes.
She is an Emmy Award-winning performer and composer who has written music for television shows as varied as those of National Geographic or the soaps.
“I really love that, making the music for all of those soap operas,” she said. “Almost any mood or theme will come up in the soaps. I welcome the challenge of stepping outside my musical comfort zone to create music I otherwise would not do”
The Renaissance Academy is committed to providing diverse learning opportunities in Charlotte County.
For details on how to reserve a seat for this event contact Nancy Staub at FGCU, 941-505-0130.
Mike James is a freelance writer.
and an impressive lineup of incredible musicians and artists:
Scheduled to appear:
Kat Epple - world flutes and electronics
DL Turner - harp
Chuck Grinnell - keyboard
Darrell Nutt - world percussion
David Johnson - bass
Lawrence Voytek - Theremin and audio sculptures
Laurence Getford - keyboards and electronics
Christar Damiano - movement
Nicole Long - movement
John Schellenberg - movement
Gary Neiheisel - lighting design
Don Robinson - didje
This legendary annual event is a fundraiser for Florida Repertory Theatre, Monday, February 21, 2011 at 7pm, at Florida Rep Theatre (Historic Arcade Theatre), 2267 First St, downtown Fort Myers, FL 33901
TICKETS $20, children under 12 free. Box Office (239)332–4488
Purchase tickets through Florida Rep
Plan to stay for the after concert party at Space 39!
Year in review for Knight Arts: Miami dance performance was ‘transformational’
Dancers from the Merce Cunningham Dance Company wow Miami at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Courtesy of the Adrienne Arsht Center/Photo by Justin Namon.
BY DENNIS SCHOLL
I love a good top ten list, and this year has been a year of transformative experiences for the Knight Arts program. So I thought I’d take a minute and list some of the amazing cultural events that took place this year in the eight cities where Knight Arts concentrates funding
I’ve been preaching the mantra that the future for arts presenters is to let audiences curate their own experience. Never was that approach more evident than in the six, 30-minute presentations by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in Miami during Art Basel week.
The place where the audience typically sits had been turned in a 30-foot high sculpture of white boxes, exercise balls and other flotsam and jetsam by Miami’s Daniel Arsham. Spectators proceeded to the stage where they were free to move around three areas where the dancers, dressed in costumes designed by Robert Rauschenberg, performed.
The dancers moved between three stages, with two to six dancers per stage. Tired of the first area? Move to the second. Stand as close to the edge of the dance floor as you like, hear the dancers’ exertion, see the sheen of their sweat. This is no “I dance, you sit still and watch for two hours from 30 rows away” performance … instead the dancers’ opportunity to move was also made available to the audience.
Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation’s president and CEO, has been telling me for years how special the troupe is (I think he went to all six shows over three nights!). Seeing the awestruck look on the faces of the audience members was confirmation of the transformational nature of the experience.
For the complete list, with events from other cities, go to Knightarts.org.
This Article appeared in the Miami Herald: Sonic Combine performs with Cunningham Dance Company
With the audience on stage, it’s real `Event’
BY JORDAN LEVIN
Merce Cunningham may have died a year and a half ago, his dances are still vividly, confoundingly alive. The Event that the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performed at the Adrienne Arsht Center Thursday night brought to exhilarating life the value Cunningham placed on looking and listening — heightening your awareness to deliciously disorienting heights.
A Cunningham Event is a collage of sections from different dances, and each one is different. The Event staged here in Miami, part of the MCDC’s final, worldwide Legacy Tour and repeating twice a night through Saturday, was layered with other unique factors. The audience streamed into the Ziff Ballet Opera House to find the orchestra seats filled with a towering pyramid of white cubes and globes, a sculptural “set'’ created by artist Daniel Arsham. Instead of sitting in the plush seats, the audience stands on the cavernous, exposed stage, surrounding the 13 dancers performing on three large stage areas, one sunken, one at floor level, one a low platform, arranged in a sort of giant cloverleaf pattern.
The sense of anticipation and uncertainty starts even before the performance — where should you stand? Look? The score played by musicians Kat Epple, Laurence Getfored, John King and Lawrence Voytek, seated around the perimeter, bounces and echoes from speakers also ringing the stage, yawning, eerie, sweetly ricocheting sounds. Christine Shallenberg’s harsh white lights illuminate the towering black walls as much as the performance areas.
Once the splendid dancers stride in and begin, things become even more dizzying. Clad in brightly colored unitards designed by Robert Rauschenberg, they dance simultaneously in all three stage areas, in shifting, self-contained worlds of dancing. Everywhere you look you see movement — serene Andrea Weber lifted up and over by a quartet of men, a woman slowly tilting into arabesque, a hopping trio, a leg slashing up here, a head turned there — and you see it through the bodies and heads of the audience, drifting and walking, blocking your view of one stage, framing another. Surrounded by echoing sound and moving limbs, you find yourself more aware — as if the whole, enormous space were a kind of performing bubble.
Sometimes the sections of dancing seemed coordinated: three trios taking place simultaneously. There seemed to be more lifts on the sunken stage, raising your awareness of the towering height of the ceiling. Daniel Madoff did a section of Totem Ancestor, a jagged solo Cunningham created in 1942, and it still looks fresh and startling.
The dancers seem more human when they’re so close — we see them smile, sweat, catch each other’s eyes, and as they stretch or sit alongside the performance area, waiting to enter, they still seem part of the dance. Everything, in fact, seems part of the dance.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/03/1954809/with-the-audience-on-stage-its.html#ixzz18QgtCjL2
The Merce Cunningham Dance Company: The Legacy Tour
“Sonic Combine” (Kat Epple, Laurence Getford, and Lawrence Voytek) will be performing live original music with John King and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as a part of Art Basel Miami 2010.
ZIFF BALLET OPERA HOUSE
Thursday, December 2, 2010, 7pm
Immerse yourself in Merce!
Choreographer Merce Cunningham and visual artist Robert Rauschenberg: Two undisputed giants of American culture. See their iconoclastic work from every angle and perspective in an astonishing 360-degree event—created especially for Miami— that re-imagines their legendary mid-20th Century collaborations.
First, you’ll encounter a new site-specific installation by Daniel Arsham, constructed in the theater’s auditorium. Then you’ll proceed on to the stage itself where, on three large multi-level sets, 14 dancers, wearing original Rauschenberg-designed costumes, perform Cunningham’s dazzling choreography.
Experience this once-in-a-lifetime tribute to the Cunningham/Rauschenberg legacy as few ever will—in an unforgettably intimate 30-minute piece that shatters all the conventions of a night out at the theater.
The alternative audio performance ensemble, “Sonic Combine” consists of long-time friends, Lawrence Voytek, Kat Epple, and Laurence Getford. Their abstract sound is not always musical, sometimes discordant, regularly beautiful, often powerful, and truly interesting. It is performed on metal sculptures, electronic instruments, world flutes, and Theremin.
Laurence Getford, has been creating electro acoustic music since 1970. Writing and performing music for tape, live dance, film and digital video. Other collaborative sound projects and extra musical art performances include work with Robert Rauschenberg, E.A.T. , 2902 Dance Combo, Tourbillon Dance Project and Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Laurence formally studied Video at Rhode Island School of Design and Sound at the Mc Coll Electronic Music Studio at Brown University 1974 -76 and received a Florida Council of the arts fellowship 1978. Currently is a member of the alternative audio performance ensemble” Sonic Combine”
Kat Epple is an Emmy Award-winning and Grammy-nominated composer, synthesist, digital orchestrator, and world flutist. She has released 24 music albums, performs live in concert, at venues such as: the Guggenheim Museums, United Nations, National Gallery, and played for art openings around the world, for her friend, artist Robert Rauschenberg. Her original compositions include a wide variety of musical styles. Film music scores include “National Geographic”, “Nova”, for Carl Sagan, PBS, NASA, Apple Computers, “Guiding Light”, and NY Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was appointed as the Worldwide Peace Marker Project’s Artist/Ambassador for the United States, and travels throughout the world collecting flutes from other cultures and features those flutes in her live performances. www.KatEpple.com
Lawrence Voytek 2010-
I have learned to think with my eyes and hands, and now my ears are telling me what to do. I graduated from R.I.S.D in 82. I started working for Bob Rauschenberg that same year. Learning from Bob and his crazy collaboraters have brought me here.
Below is my unsound statement about my sound.
I am not your normal noisemaker, I make my sonic children, they are entities that have been prepared for their voices, I listen for those seldom heard, the weak, the strange the lost, the cries that last fast. Sound events that have never been remembered or heard. Even the voiceless- Play! “True alchemists know in the mix of the elements one must include magnetism to attract the essence of what matters”. Living on this wet dirt ball spinning in space and knowing such great ghosts as Bob, John and Merce, I find my permission to Play…
Posted on November 3rd, 2010 by Kat.
Powerful electronic instrumental music performed by world renowned visual artist, Robert Rauschenberg, Kat Epple, and Bob Stohl on a series of musical metal sculptures called “Strategic Structures”. The 29 minute spontaneous composition features other-worldly, resonant tones, ranging from foreboding to angelic, and was created and performed live, late one night in 1989 at Rauschenberg’s Beach House on Captiva Island, Florida. This is a digital recording of the music exactly as it happened, live, with no editing, mixing, or overdubs. It was a magical night, an inspired collaboration, in an exhilarating setting.
The “Strategic Structures” were a collaborative artwork created by the three performers Stohl, Epple, and highly acclaimed metal sculptor/designer, Lawrence Voytek. The structures are constructed utilizing a variety of metals, including aluminum, bell grade brass, steel, and both elemental and Alpha/Beta weapons-grade titanium, using an 8000 degree arc welding torch with high frequency current at 440 volts and 310 amps. In physical form and appearance, each of these sound structures has the qualities of integral strength and beauty, and are stripped bare of superfluities. Electronic audio processors are incorporated into each structure to shape, color, finely tune, and amplify the rich timbres generated by these exotic metals as they are bowed, plucked, struck, and stroked. Each instrument has its own musical personality, name, and unique set of performance parameters.
Robert Rauschenberg - Strategic Structures
Kat Epple - Strategic Structures, synthesizer, and electronic flute
Bob Stohl - Strategic Structures and Lyricon
Lawrence Voytek - Strategic Structures co-creator
audio mastering - Mark Haffner
Lengendary artist, Bob Rauschenberg, came into prominence in the 1950s, and continued to be a pivotal figure in the world of art for many decades. He worked with non-traditional materials and objects to create innovative combinations in painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, paper making, and performance art. He won many awards including a Grammy Award for his album design of Talking Heads’ album “Speaking in Tongues”. Rauschenberg said: “Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made. (I try to act in that gap between the two)”
Bob Stohl recorded, performed, and composed music with the electronic/new age band, “Emerald Web”, in the late 1970s through the 1980s. He was renowned for his innovative synthesizer orchestrations and Lyricon playing. The Lyricon is an unusual hybrid synthesizer/woodwind instrument that used additive synthesis, and a bass clarinet mouthpiece. Emerald Web was a band that performed in Planetariums, composed soundtracks for Carl Sagan, concert toured around the US, and released nine albums from 1978-1990. They were known for innovative synthesizer orchestration and created a unique blend of “electronic space music” and acoustic instruments.
Kat Epple was a friend of Bob Rauschenberg and traveled extensively with him to perform at his art openings around the world. Emmy Award-winning, and Grammy-nominated composer, synthesist, and flutist, Kat Epple, has performed at the Guggenheim Museums, Metropolitan Museum of Art, United Nations, and the National Gallery. She has released 23 CDs albums of original music, and composes music for television and film, including “National Geographic”, PBS, CNN, “Nova”, and “Guiding Light”. She was a member of the bands “Emerald Web” and “White Crow”, and now performs with her various many ensembles which include in a variety of styles including: jazz, celestial, electronic, space, art, and world music. http://www.katepple.com/
Sculptor Lawrence Voytek has been the director of art production for Robert Rauschenberg and his friend, for over 25 years. He has consulted for art installation, fabrication, and restoration with renowned national and international museums and galleries. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Voytek’s work can be found in many important corporate and private collections around the world. He is currently designing new sound sculptures and alternative audio performance art.
©1989 Kat Epple
Emerald Web Publishing