Straylight is dedicated to the art of improvised ambient avant world music
The Biographies of Straylight
is an ambient, avant world trio featuring Jason Finkelman (berimbau,
percussion), Geoff Gersh (guitar) and Charles Cohen (Buchla Music Easel).
Dedicated to the art of improvised music, Straylight's members have
been performing concerts and theater works since 1993. Their Knitting
Factory concert series Straylight Dialogues explored the languages of
improvised music with many artists across the genre including Pauline
Oliveros, Steve Gorn, Joe McPhee, Brian Ritchie, J.D. Parran, Burton
Greene, DJ Olive, and Bradford Reed. They received a New York Dance
and Performance Award, a Bessie, for composing the music for Cynthia
Oliver's SheMad (2000). Their debut release, Straylight, on the Deep
Listening label features a live concert recorded at the Knitting Factory.
Philadelphia-born Jason Finkelman is a percussionist who specializes in the Afro-Brazilian bow instrument berimbau. His extended instrumentation includes African and Brazilian percussion, congas, riti (African fiddle), found metal, bird calls, and ocarinas. His compositional credits for theater and dance include Cynthia Oliver's works from 1995 to 2002, Carl Hancock Rux's No Black Male Show (2000), and Shakespeare's Henry V (2001) produced by the theater department of the University of Illinois. He recently founded the Nu Orbit Ensemble while seeking unusual instrumentation for improvised music in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois where he currently resides.
in Philadelphia, Charles Cohen, has been composing and performing
electronic music since 1971. He specializes in collaborative, cross-disciplinary
projects with theatre, dance, music, and media artists, and is especially
interested in live performance and improvisation. His instrument is
the Buchla Music Easel. It is an extremely rare integrated analog performance
instrument made by synth pioneer Don Buchla. In regards to his work,
he states, "Mood, atmosphere, and landscape are what my sounds
are about. Collaboration and exploration are what my process is about.
The intent is sharing our favorite pastime with others."
Guitarist/Composer Geoff Gersh performs in various ensembles of improvised and composed music in NYC, as well as composes for dance and film. He is currently a band member for the Off-Broadway production of Blue Man Group: Tubes, where he plays the electric zither. In the spring of 1999 he began his studies on the shamisen with Kiharu Nakamura, who teaches in the Nagauta style. He has received a Special Opportunity Stipend from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Meet the Composer Awards on multiple occasions.