October 19, 2009

Sound improvisation performance set for Oct. 27

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Improvisation Unit (siuIU) joins the Cult of the Stage Monkey to present the latest installment of the Southern Illinois Improvisation Series (SiiS).

The performance is set for Oct. 27 in the Back Room of the Longbranch Coffee House in Carbondale. There is no admission fee.

Ron Coulter, lecturer in percussion at SIUC, founded SiiS to “facilitate sound events.” The series highlights sound experimentation and improvisation. Site-specific work sees performances taking advantage of accidental musical instruments and acoustics (such as a stair railing in a hallway).

Another hallmark of SiiS is interdisciplinary improvisation. Performances have blended theatrics, spoken word, electronics, digital images and more with music or percussive sound.

For this performance, the improvisation group Cult of the Stage Monkey presents its “Halloween Show Spectacular.” The group, including several graduate students in the Department of Speech Communication at SIUC, regularly presents free performances on Tuesdays at Longbranch’s Back Room.

The siuIU is a student ensemble in SIUC’s School of Music. Coulter describes it as “one of the few of its kind in the academic world.” It is unique because of its fierce dedication to non-idiomatic improvisation, which challenges students to re-examine their perceptions of traditional music, traditional instruments, and performance protocol. The siuIU meets weekly, and forms an integral part of the improvisation series.

For more information about SiiS or siuIU, contact Ron Coulter at coulter@siu.edu or 618/453-2823. For more information about Cult of the Stage Monkey, contact Nicholas J. Zaunbrecher at njzbr@siu.edu.