February 08, 2012

Percussionist-improviser visiting campus

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A Curator of Experimental Sound and Performance is visiting Southern Illinois University Carbondale for performances and workshops.

Michael Zerang, whose resume includes the curator title given above, is a percussionist and improviser; a first-generation American of Assyrian descent; and an internationally known performer, teacher, and proponent of music created on the spot, otherwise known as improvisation. 

Zerang will present a series of workshops for percussion students during his stay, which culminates in a free performance both solo and with the Southern Illinois University Improvisation Unit (siuIU).  The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, in the Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall.

Ron Coulter, senior lecturer in percussion at SIU Carbondale and a champion of improvisation as well, said he invited Zerang to campus because of his broad experience in the area of improvised music.

“He has traveled extensively, and performed and recorded with the Who’s Who of improvised music,” Coulter said.  “He brings this experience, along with a successful, established, idiosyncratic career in a very unusual and often marginalized field.”

Zerang combines his music with puppet theater and experimental theater.  He has taught performance technique, sound design, and sound and music for puppet theater at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and rhythmic analysis for dancers at The Dance Center of Columbia College, Northwestern University.  He holds workshops and teaches private lessons in improvisational music and percussion technique.