Saturday, January 13, 2007

Artist Profile: Charity Chan

Charity Chan (Oakland, CA): NanoHz No.10

Charity's live performances focus on the evocation of alternative timbres from the piano, and the combination of these sounds with more traditional performance techniques. The immediacy of physical gesture and collaborative communication are also strong influences in her improvisations. While her creative work is primarily in contemporary improvised music, she has also worked and studied extensively in the classical and contemporary classical idioms. Charity has performed throughout Canada and in the United States. Selected collaborations include: Lori Freedman, Anthony Martin, Sam Shalabi, Steve Bagnell, Dave Chokroun, Scott Thomson, Gordan Allen, John Heward, Damon Smith, Gino Robair, Simon Rose, Fred Frith, Maggie Nichols, Frank Gratkowski, Jean Derome, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Nicolas Caloia, Joane Hétu, and Danielle Palardy Roger. As a member of the trio Fenaison (Kris Covlin, saxophones; Rémy Bélanger de Beauport, amplified cello), she is an Ambiances Magnétiques recording artist with their first album arriving in Fall of 2007. In 2006, she conducted a tour of the Pacific Northwest (USA and Canada), performing with Noah Phillips, Scott Thomson and Jordan Glenn . She has conducted workshops in improvisation at the 1412 Gallery in Seattle WA and the 20-20 Arts Collective in Victoria BC. The summer of 2007 will include her debut at The Stone in New York City with the Ensemble Supermusique and the WONDEUR Quartet. Having earned a Bachelor of Music degree (piano) from McGill University (Montreal, QC), she is currently completing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Improvisation at Mills College on full scholarship. There, her primary instructors are Fred Frith and Joëlle Léandre. Prior to that, she worked with Lori Freedman, Tom Plaunt, Sara Laimon, Jesse Stewart, Heather Toews, and the Penderecki String Quartet. She has also participated in workshops with Jean Derome, Malcolm Goldstein, The Sun Ra Arkestra, Joe McPhee,William Parker, Oluyemi Thomas, Lé Quah Ninh, Maggie Nichols and Frédéric Blondy. In 2006 Charity organized the inaugral "Free Improvisation Series Masterclass and Concert Series" at McGill University and has also worked as the Contemporary Performance Ensemble and Music Improvisation Ensemble at Mills College (under the direction of Steed Cowart and Fred Frith, respectively). Her academic research approaches music from a socio-cultural perspective, and focuses on embodiment, aesthetics, ethics and legitimacy, and cultural memory in improvisation. Her master's thesis is focused on the idea of expectation in different areas of improvisation: pedagogy, institutionalization, performace, reception, and aesthetics. She is a member of the International Society of Improvising Musicians and the American Musicological Society. Her academic work has been presented at the 2006 Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium (University of Guelph), the 2006 International Society for Improvised Music (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and the Fourth Annual Interdisciplinary Jazz Colloquium, 2007 (University of Kansas).

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