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Pisaro, Michael / Samuel Dunscombe / Steven Andrew Flato / Wen Liu / Celeste Oram / Johannes Regnier (Marginal Frequency)

San Diego's Parkeology director Kate Clark and composer Samuel Dunscombe organized this concert to take advantage of the Balboa Park's Spreckels Organ, inviting local and regional experimental composers to develop works for the 5,017 pipe instrument, attracting artists like Michael Pisaro, Samuel Dunscombe, Steven Andrew Flato, Wen Liu, &c.

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product information:

Label: Marginal Frequency
Catalog ID: MFLP A
Squidco Product Code: 25222

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: USA
Packaging: LP
Recorded on the Spreckels Organ, in Balboa Park, San Deigo, California.


Michael Pisaro-composer

Samuel Dunscombe-composer

Steven Andrew Flato-composer

Wen Liu-composer

Celeste Oram-composer

Johannes Regnier-composer

Justin Murphy-Mancini-organ

Jared C. Jacobsen-organ

Mary Glen Fredrick-vocals

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Artist Biographies:

"Michael Pisaro was born in Buffalo in 1961. He is a composer and guitarist, a member of the Wandelweiser Composers Ensemble and founder and director of the Experimental Music Workshop, Calarts. His work is frequently performed in the U.S. and in Europe, in music festivals and in many smaller venues. It has been selected twice by the ISCM jury for performance at World Music Days festivals (Copenhagen,1996; Manchester, 1998) and has also been part of festivals in Hong Kong (ICMC, 1998), Vienna (Wien Modern,1997), Aspen (1991), London (Cutting Edge, 2007), Glasgow (INSTAL 2009), Huddersfield (2009), Chicago (New Music Chicago, 1990, 1991) and elsewhere.

He has had extended composer residencies in Germany (Künstlerhof Schreyahn, Dortmund University), Switzerland (Forumclaque/Baden), Israel (Miskenot Sha'ananmim), Greece (EarTalk) and in the U.S. (Birch Creek Music Festival, Wisconsin). Concert length portraits of his music have been given in Munich, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, Vienna, Merano (Italy), Brussels, New York, Curitiba (Brazil), Amsterdam, London, Tokyo, Austin, Berlin, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Zürich, Cologne, Aarau (Switzerland), and elsewhere.

He is a Foundation for Contemporary Arts, 2005 and 2006 Grant Recipient. Much of his music of the last several years is published by Edition Wandelweiser (Germany). Several CDs of his work have been released by such labels as Edition Wandelweiser Records, Compost and Height, confront, Another Timbre, Cathnor, Nine Winds and others, including most recently "transparent city, volumes 1-4", "an unrhymed chord", "hearing metal 1", "A Wave and Waves" and "harmony series (11-16)".

His translation of poetry by Oswald Egger ("Room of Rumor") was published in 2004 by Green Integer. He is Co-Chair of Music Composition at the California Institute of the Arts near Los Angeles. He has performed many of his own works and those of close associates Antoine Beuger, Kunsu Shim, Jürg Frey and Manfred Werder, and works from the experimental tradition, especially John Cage, Christian Wolff, James Tenney and George Brecht."

-Edition Wandelweiser (

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"Samuel Dunscombe is a composer-performer specialising in the use of clarinets, computers, and microphones. From free improvisation to field recording and the performance of contemporary classical repertoire, Samuel is involved in a diverse range of activities. Some highlights include:

Performances at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (Australia), Tokyo Experimental Festival (Japan), Tectonics (Tel Aviv, Athens), World Music Days (Slovenia), Kontraklang (Berlin), Supersense (Australia), Monday Evening Concerts LA (USA), Athens Slingshot Festival (USA), Toronto Electro-Acoustic Symposium (Canada), STEIM (Holland), Cave12 (Switzerland), Adelaide / Melborne / Sydney International Arts Festivals (Australia).

Free improv collaborations with Seijiro Murayama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Ishikawa Ko, Richard Barrett, Tim Olive, Tetuzi Akiyama, Yoshimoto Yumiko, Mitsui Yoshiko, Murmur Collective, Kyle Motl and Tatsuya Nakatani, Golden Fur.

Premier performances of works by Anthony Pateras, Chikako Morishita, Rebecca Saunders, Wojtek Blecharz, David Chisholm, Jacob Ullman, Cat Hope, Iancu Dumitrescu, Ana Maria Avram, Elise Roy, Hunjoo Jung, Rohan Drape, Maya Dunietz, Carolyn Chen, Eva-Maria Houben.

Special performance projects based around works by Pierluigi Billone (1+1=1), Horatiu Radulescu (Capricorn's Nostalgic Crickets; Inner Time).

Ongoing collaborative projects with Klaus Lang, Dennis Cooper, Benedetta De Alessi, Golden Fur (with James Rushford and Judith Hamann), Rebecca Lane, Eva-Maria Houben, Hunjoo Jung, Seijiro Murayama.

Artist talks, guest lectures, and conference presentations at the Sound of Memory Symposium (Goldsmiths, London), Oberlin College (Ohio, USA), Musashino Art University (Tokyo, Japan), Hearing Landscapes Critically (Harvard, USA), Affective Habitus (ANU, Australia), RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia), CALIT2 IDEAS (San Diego, USA).

Field recording projects with Francisco Lopez (Mamori Art Lab), Kate Clark (Parking Lot Park), and an ongoing quixotic attempt to single-handedly create a total sound map of the entire state of California.

Samuel is an ABD (all but dissertation) candidate at UCSD (University of California, San Diego) for a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in performance. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (Sound) from RMIT University (Melbourne), and Masters and Bachelors degrees in Music Performance from the VCA in Melbourne, Australia. In 2015, Samuel was a visiting doctoral fellow at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, where he worked with Ernesto Molinari."

-Samuel Dunscombe Website (

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"Steve Flato is a composer and guitarist from San Diego, CA. He is interested in using the wide vocabulary of sounds and techniques found in experimental music to express and process his own internal experiences. He aims to use sound as a therapeutic tool by exploring anxiety, trauma, and loss and its potential for generating personal growth and meaning."

-Bandcamp 10/3/2022

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"Born: China, 4th of July 1988. Resident of Vienna, Austria since 2004. Founder & Artistic Director of Festival M.A.R.S.(Music&Arts ReSound). An annual international festival for contemporary music and arts.The first edition of M.A.R.S.was launched in Los Angeles, April 2017. (M.A.R.S.Festival website)

Compositions & Performances

Wen's works have been featured at international festivals and she has been commissioned and received performances from various ensembles and orchestras around the world(see Lists below).

Her debuts at worldwide concert halls, such as Konzerthaus Berlin, Wiener Konzerthaus, Wiener Musikverein, Centre Pompidou Paris, Vienna Porgy & Bess, Beijing Concert Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Center-Concert Hall. She has been invited to complete composer residencies in Johannesburg (South Africa),Theater Reutlingen Die Tonne (Germany) and Dian Red Kechil International Composers Resident in Singapore. She was also invited to give lectures about contemporary music and composition at the Universitas Pelita Harapan Jakarta (Indonesia).

Her compositions have also been broadcasted on the radio station ORF/Ö1 Zeitton, Ö1 Kunst Radio, Radio Orange Vienna 94.0. Radio Helsinki, Radio Today(South Africa), Radio 2000(South Africa), Television SABC2 - Weekend Live Calendar of Events. And her artist portrait telecasted by channel ORF/Ö2, CCTV3, and Beijing TV1.

Publishers of Wen's recent works are Universal Edition and Primera Edicion. CD recording and released by ORF(Austria),Odradek Records(Italy).

Her composition Penumbra - for accordion Trio has been used for teaching repertoire at Academy Of Music in Gdańsk, Poland, as well as the composition N+1 Dimension - for alto saxophone & accordion for Post-graduate Master in Interpretation of Contemporary Music at Conservatorio di Musica S. Cecilia in Rome, Italy."

-Wen Liu Website (!/page_about)

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"Celeste Oram (b. 1990) is a New Zealand composer who was born in Manhattan, learned to walk and talk in London, grew up in Auckland, and is presently based in Southern California.

Celeste's scored works investigate new media and strategies for musical notation: namely, video and audio scores. These works have been performed and recorded by ensembles including the Callithumpian Consort (Boston), wasteLAnd (Los Angeles), the Karlheinz Company (Auckland), the Intrepid Music Project (Auckland), and Three Shades Black (Melbourne), and presented at festivals including SICPP at the New England Conservatory, the soundSCAPE festival in Maccagno, Italy, and the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Older works for standard forces and notation have been performed and recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Song Company (Sydney). Celeste was the Auckland Philharmonia's 'Rising Star' young composer-in-residence for 2013-14; her commissioned orchestral work macropsia was selected as a finalist in the 2014 SOUNZ Contemporary Award for excellence in New Zealand contemporary composition.

Another avenue of work is non-instrumental performance with audio and visual media; Celeste performed her solo piece O I at the 2016 Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music in Germany and was awarded the Kranichstein Prize for composition.

A third ongoing project is the renovation of histories of New Zealand music and sonic cultures. At present, this revolves around research into early 20th-century ham radio activity, and the figure of Vera Wyse Munro (1897-1966). This project is rapidly snowballing into an obsession with building re-creations of early radio circuits.

Celeste is currently pursuing a PhD in music composition at the University of California San Diego, where she completed an MA in 2016. She completed a BMusBA with first-class Honours at the University of Auckland in 2012, studying with Eve de Castro-Robinson, John Elmsly, and Leonie Holmes."

-Sounz (New Zealand) (

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"Johannes Regnier, born in 1975 in Paris, lives and works in Berlin since 2011. In parallel to his work as a sound engineer, he's since 2002 working as an electronic music composer. He performed all over Europa, in Japan, in Mexico, USA, Australia, Brazil, and Russia among others. He's pursuing since 2013 a Sound Studies Master Degree at the Berlin University of Arts."

-48 Stunden-Neukoelin (

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"Justin J. Murphy-Mancini is a composer and keyboardist based in San Diego, California. He collaborates frequently as historical, contemporary, and liturgical musician in San Diego and around the United States. His performance interests include renaissance England and early modern France, and he is composing music that focuses on the development of timbrally-oriented material in response to poetic forms.

Justin earned degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music. He is currently a Ph.D. student in composition at UCSD and serves as organist and pianist of First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego."

-Justin Murphy-Mancini Website (

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"Mary Glen hails proudly from Kansas City. She recently received her MFA from UC San Diego, after attending Stanford University for undergrad. Some of her favorite credits include: Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew(d), Goneril in King Lear, Ethel Rosenberg in Angels in America: I & II, Varya in The Cherry Orchard and Colombina in The Venetian Twins. She is also thrilled to be a part of the Machinalia team, a touring two-person adaptation of Machinal from California to New York."

-CLA Talent Management (

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track listing:


1. Secular Reason 11:14

2. An Inside-out Map Of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion 9:48


1. Face South Toward the Storm 12:19

2. Artificial Horizons 7:23
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"In 2016, San Diego's Parkeology director Kate Clark and composer Samuel Dunscombe began brainstorming as to how this massive instrument's potential might be further uncovered, planning a concert that would highlight qualities that hadn't been explored. These discussions resulted in the Parkeology event, Organ For the Senses, sonically archived here. Local and regional experimental composers were invited to develop works with the aim to explore all acoustic and physical aspects of the organ, to shine a light on the old to reveal something new.

Michael Pisaro's "Secular Reason" takes as its mission to reveal the full dynamic and timbral range of the instrument's 5,017 pipes - from ground rattling full-spectrum fortissimi to the extreme delicacy of a single flute stop - while Dunscombe's work "An Inside-Out Map of the Spreckels Organ" aims to reveal the deepest inner working of the instrument by taking pan-perspectival field recordings from deep within its bowels. Steve Flato's "Face South Toward the Storm," which draws inspiration from the 100 years of recurrent weather patterns an outdoor instrument such as this must inevitably face, speaks to the organ's endurance as a physical structure, augmenting the organ's acoustic sound with live electronics to create a rich fog. And "Artificial Horizons" (Liu, Oram, Regnier) zooms out to show us the organs place within the larger space of Balboa Park, with a particular emphasis on the flight path that runs directly above it."-Marginal Frequency

Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Compositional Forms
Piano & Keyboards
Improvised Music
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Electronic Forms
Solo Artist Recordings
Trio Recordings
New in Compositional Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Marginal Frequency.

Other Releases With These Artists:
Pisaura (Michael Pisaro / Zizia)
Formanex w/ AMM / Christian Wolff / Keith Rowe / Ralf Wehowsky / John Tilbury / Phill Niblock / ONsemble / Seth Cluett / Radu Malfatti / Michael Pisaro / Julien Ottavi / Kasper T. Toeplitz
20 Years Of Experimental Music [10 CDS]
(Mikroton Recordings)
Legmann, Shira / Michael Pisaro
Lang, Klaus / Golden Fur
(Another Timbre)
Pisaro, Michael
Nature Denatured and Found Again [5 CD Box Set]
(Gravity Wave)
Viola Torros: Catherine Lamb & Johnny Chang
Viola Torros / Catherine Lamb / Johnny Chang [2 CDs]
(Another Timbre)
Pisaro, Michael / Reinier van Houdt
Shades of Eternal Night
(Gravity Wave)
Pisaro, Michael
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)
Pisaro, Michael (w/ Didier Aschour / Stephane Garin)
Resting in a Fold of the Fog
Farmer, Patrick
Wild Horses Think Of Nothing Else The Sea - Tape Readings [2 CASSETTES + TEXT]
(Winds Measure)
Cage . Pisaro . Frey . Beuger
Accordion Music [2 CDs]
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)
Wolff, Christian / Wandelweiser Komponisten Ensemble
(Edition Wandelweiser Records)
Pisaro, Michael
Melody, Silence (For Solo Guitar)
Pisaro / Chabala
Black, White, Red, Green, Blue (Voyelles) [2 CDs COLOR EDITION]
(Winds Measure Recordings)
Pisaro / Chabala
Black, White, Red, Green, Blue (Voyelles) [2 CDs]
(Winds Measure Recordings)
Pisaro / Chabala
Black, White, Red, Green, Blue (Voyelles) [CASSETTE]
(Winds Measure Recordings)
Pisaro, Michael / Greg Stuart
Hearing Metal 3
(Gravity Wave)
Pisaro, Michael / Greg Stuart
ricefall (2)
(Gravity Wave)
Pisaro: Chabala / Porter
asleep, street, pipes, tones
(Gravity Wave)
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