Nu Ark Experiments Press Release

21 April 1998 at 9:00 am (Film, Music, Shows, Spoken Word, Theatre, Workshops) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

For Immediate Release
April 21, 1998

“Open Palm Prayers” Melds Music and Poetry
In Jazz-Influenced Show at Intermedia Arts, May 19, 1998
Performance Launches ‘Nu Ark Experiments,’ A 12-part Series
Exploring ‘Force and Energy of the Oral Tradition’

A talented group of improvisational musicians and poets will demonstrate a new, multi-sensory approach to uniting word and music in performance, at an evening-length show called “Open Palm Prayers” on Tuesday, May 19, 1998. The performance takes place at 7:00 p.m. at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis. Tickets are $6, or $3 for Intermedia Arts Partners. Reservations may be made by calling (612) 871-4444.

The key to the performance concept is a jazz-influenced melding of poetry and music, according to organizer e.g. bailey, a member of the performance collective Arkology. “Our goal is to create a spoken word/music synthesis based in the aesthetic of the jazz ensemble,” bailey said. “The work can originate in a word, a concept, an image, or a sound, and then each ‘instrument,’ including the voice, enters the ensemble on an equal footing and has an opportunity to lead and shape the experience.”

“Open Palm Prayers” marks the first event in a 12-part series of innovative spoken word and musical events called Nu Ark Experiments. The aim, bailey said, is “to experiment with the presentation of spoken word by melding it with other art forms, including music, dance, and film.” The series involves ten performances of set pieces and improvisational works, and two workshops designed to introduce others to improvisational techniques for blending art forms in performance. The performances and workshops will occur at several venues in the Twin Cities over the next ten months, beginning with “Open Palm Prayers” at Intermedia Arts.

At the core of the Nu Ark Experiments is a group of well-known, multi-talented artists, most of whom are members of the improvisational performance collective Arkology. At “Open Palm Prayers,” for example, e.g. bailey will contribute his skills as a “verbalist,” joined by Arkology members Kona (drummer), Dennis Maddix (bass), and writer/vocalists Mankwe Ndosi and Miré Regulus. The collective has also appeared with other Twin Cities musicians such as Kevin Washington, Rene Ford, Sam Favors, Markiss, Michael O’Brien, Doug Reed, and Tom Speath.

“We will explore forms and avenues not normally associated with spoken word, with the hope of bringing new life to poetry, and giving back to it the force and energy inherent in the oral tradition,” said bailey.

The idea for the Nu Ark Experiments series originated with Blues for Nina, a 25-minute spoken-word/music performance about the famed singer Nina Simone that bailey presented for the opening of the 1997 Twin Cities Black Film Festival, in collaboration with five other artists. “The audience response to that piece as well as the music/word interaction in the rehearsal process motivated me to explore how to further develop this performance structure,” bailey said.

Nu Ark Experiments is produced with support from a Cultural Collaborations Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Co-sponsors for the series are SASE: The Write Place and Intermedia Arts, and KFAI Fresh Air Radio 90.3 FM Mpls/106.7 St. Paul.

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Nu Ark Experiment: Under Sky Open House

21 April 1998 at 9:00 am (News, Shows, Spoken Word, Theatre, Workshops) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Come experience the Nu Ark Experiments.  Join e. g. bailey and members of Arkology for the fourth installment of the Nu Ark Experiments: Under Sky Open House on September 15th at the Powderhorn Park at 7:00pm.  The performance will focus on the concept of community and will include poets from the Powderhorn Writers Festival, Roy McBride and Amy Ballestad, and guest musician Yolanda Jackson.

Powderhorn Park is located at E 34th Street and 15th Avenue South in South Minneapolis.

The Nu Ark Experiments is a series of spoken word performances aimed at showcasing the different ways spoken word can be presented.  The series includes experiments with performance art, with improvisation, with film, with non-structural music and with visual arts.

Future performances include Wordshop: Shouting into the Storm, a workshop for poets and musicians, at the West Bank School of Music on Oct. 10th.  (Postmodern) Work Songs on Oct. 20th at Gingko’s Coffeehouse.  And Side B, a collaboration with sound sculptor and visual artist Kitundu at Intermedia Arts on Nov. 17th.

This series is supported by a grant provided by the MN State Arts Board through an appropriation from the MN State Legislature.  In addition, this activity is supported in part by a grant from the NEA.

And is co-sponsored by SASE: The Write Place, Intermedia Arts, KFAI Fresh Air Radio, KMOJ, the Powderhorn Writers Festival, Da X-Factor Newz and KFAI’s Write On RaDio! (Thursdays @ 11am). Call 288-9491 for more information.

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Nu Ark Experiment: (Postmodern) Work Songs

21 April 1998 at 9:00 am (News, Shows, Spoken Word, Theatre) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

(Postmodern) Work Songs, a celebration of experimentation uniting song, poetry and music.  e. g. bailey and members of Arkology along with community poets and musicians will share work developed at the Wordshop: Shouting into the Storm, a spoken word workshop for poets and musicians, at the West Bank School of Music.  The performance emerges from the Nu Ark Experiments, a series of spoken word performances seeking to explore the ways of uniting words (spoken, sung, written or shouted) and music of all kinds in live, sometimes improvisational performance.

The performance will take place on October 20th at 7:30pm at Gingko’s Coffeehouse located at 721 Snelling Avenue in St. Paul.  It will include guest poets and musicians from the Wordshop spoken word workshop.

The Nu Ark Experiments is a series of spoken word performances aimed at showcasing the different ways spoken word can be presented.  The series includes experiments with performance art, with improvisation, with film, with non-structural music and with visual arts.

Future performances include Side B, a collaboration with sound sculptor and visual artist Kitundu, finding the spaces between spoken word and visual arts, at Intermedia Arts on Nov. 17th.

This series is supported by a grant provided by the MN State Arts Board through an appropriation from the MN State Legislature.  In addition, this activity is supported in part by a grant from the NEA.

And is co-sponsored by SASE:  The Write Place, Intermedia Arts, KFAI Fresh Air Radio, KMOJ, the Powderhorn Writers Festival, Da X-Factor Newz and KFAI’s Write On RaDio! (Thursdays @ 11am). Call 288-9491 for more information.

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Nu Ark Experiments

21 April 1998 at 9:00 am (Shows, Spoken Word, Theatre) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

The Nu Ark Experiments is a series exploring the creation and presentation of spoken word, the art of combining poetry with music.  The goal of the series is to create a reflective, improvisational performance structure by melding music and spoken word.  It is to create a synthesis based on the idea of the jazz ensemble and create a multi-sensory experience with several elements coalescing at once.

The series will also explore the intersections between other art forms and spoken word, i.e. visual arts, film, performance theatre.  And will aim at working with non-profit and grassroots orginzations to cultivate interaction and community building.  We hope to build stronger relationships between musicians and poets, and among the growing Twin Cities spoken word community.  To achieve this, performances will occur at different venues, including sites traditionally reserved for either music or poetry, but not necessarily both.

The series will involve ten performances and two workshops.  The ten performances will be a public form to test the growth and accessibility of this style, while the workshops will instruct participants on combining the elements of live music and spoken word, and allow practical experimentation by bringing in experienced musicians.

The series is a produced by e. g. bailey and two organizations, Intermedia Arts and SASE, The Write Place.  Intermedia Arts is an arts organization, known for its commitment to new art and multi-disciplinary projects, its involvement with arts in the community, as well as its support of projects that are specifically by artists of color.  SASE is a more grassroots organization focused on connecting with writers where they are in their communities, through a reading series in coffeehouses and art spaces, and grants.

The series involves artists from the spoken word and music collective, Arkology.  Arkology has been creating spoken word performances for the past year, at a number of venues in the Twin Cities, including Groove Garden, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the University of MN, Phyliss Wheatley Community Center and the Walker Art Center.  And they recently open for Roy Ayers at the Hyatt Regency.

There will also be collaborations with local artists and musicians, including Kitundu, painter and dj; Truthmaze, poet and producer; and Rajiah Johnson, musician.

The goal of the Nu Ark Experiments is to allow the community to experience spoken word in new and vital ways.  To experience the power and force that poetry can affect in their lives.

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@rkology

1 March 1998 at 9:00 am (Music, Recordings, Spoken Word) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

ARKOLOGY is a spoken word collective, which melds poetry with music.  Our goal is to create a spoken word/music synthesis based in the aesthetic of the jazz ensemble where each instrument, including the voice, enters the ensemble on an equal footing and has an opportunity to lead and shape the resulting sound, creating a multi-sensory experience.  The work originates, variously, in concept, word, image and/or sound.  We perform original work, and the works of other writers and musicians, including Nikki Giovanni, Nina Simone, Larry Neal, and Stevie Wonder.

The collective was co-founded by members:  e.g. bailey (verbalist), Mire Regulus (writer/vocalist), Kona (drums), Dennis Maddix (bass), Mankwe Ndosi (vocalist), ANIKA (vocalist), and Malo Adams (guitar).  Currently performing with the collective are e.g. bailey, Mire Regulus, Kona, Dennis Maddix and Mankwe Ndosi.  The collective has also performed with other Twin Cities musicians including Kevin Washington, Rene Ford, Sam Favors, Markiss, Michael O’Brien, Doug Reed and Tom Speath.

Arkology currently performs at Groove Garden Sundays at the Cabooze and will have upcoming performances at The Front and Kiernan’s Irish Pub.

‘That said, the five groups listed above each offer intelligent twists on their genres and, most important, share a commitment to simplicity and clarity of vision–be that the elegant authority of Mason Jennings, the poetic abstraction of the spoken-word/jazz collective Arkology, or the unironic teen-rebellion anthems of Selby Tigers.’ – Kate Sullivan (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

‘Arkology, a jazz/soul/spoken-word collective, has really come into its own over the last year…the group’s Nikki Giovanni-meets-Brand New Heavies vibe has attracted more people each time I see them…’ – Rachel Joyce (Walker Art Center)

‘ARKOLOGY is spoken word and a hell of a rhythm section.’ – Jen Downham (KFAI and Groove Garden Records)

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