joe formanek – drums, laptop
hervé perez – alto saxophone
sndsukinspook @ live.com
info @ latermusic.com
Mirror Shards is the project of Joe Formanek, multi-tasking on drums, live processing, electroacoustic techniques and DJing to perform a fluent orchestration of improvisation and composition.
Hervé Perez features on alto saxophone bringing a highly individualised style of jazz melody, extended techniques and contemporary harmonic rhythms in a single honed voice.
The group balances the use of technology and interfaces into the exciting movements of live spontaneous composition. The two strong voices of multidisciplinary artists and powerful improvisers performing with laptops keep alive the performative aspect of playing acoustic instruments.
Drawing from both traditional and non-traditional backgrounds, and a long experience of both composition and performance, Mirror Shards is an exciting reflection of new directions in jazz.
Mirror Shards started with Hawaiian composer / improviser Joe Formanek’s creation of two unique innovations: What he calls “Percussionist 2.0” and improvising with history using a database. Percussionist 2.0 was the result of an attempt to create an instrument in which a percussionist could fluently express himself acoustically and digitally via DSP. However, while doing the acoustic input and the digital output is usually done by two as common practice, the Mirror Shards apparatus is an attempt to do both actions simultaneously. This new instrument proved to be more than just an instrument but a new way to play percussion. It now seems like the natural step in the evolution of percussion, as doing these functions at the same time -instrumental and digital manipulation – feels percussive. After several layered improvisations a database of recordings came about, and within it an organized recorded history of all the improvisations which have been all based on older improvisations. With it a sense of time, mood, and a progression of wisdom seem to all mix and blend with each new play, resulting in a constantly improving richness of the myriad of the Self.
Improviser and composer, Joe Formanek employs an electro-acoustic apparatus, Mirror Shards, which is at once a drumset-laptop using digital signal processing and a history-database DJ station.
A large collection of recorded material are at a fingers touch during a performance. Central to the concept of Mirror Shards is a layering of samples and digital processing which confront the live sound with past events.
The experience of “driving” the apparatus is a surreal encounter with one’s previous stages of artistic development, forcing a critical reflection and interaction with one’s past.
Joe Formanek has been involved with Francisco Lopez (composer), Chris Formanek (composer), François Ducat (film director), Kouta (composer), and Hervé Perez (sax, composer).
sound artist/composer/performer from France, now based in Sheffield, UK.
Hervé has been composing music and performing live around europe for 20 years. Playing solo and in various groups, he draws from jazz, electro-acoustic, contemporary music, experimental electronics, free improvisation, immersive sound art and ancient techniques of sound therapy alike.
His research approaches sound as vibration, the relation between sound and objects or spaces, architecture and the body.
On the soprano saxophone, Hervé focuses on extended techniques and abstract peripheral sounds structural to the instrument as a physical resonant object. His work on alto merges traditional and jazz harmonic approaches with extended techniques and multiphonics.
Sounding out, one of his current projects, is an exploration of architecture, outdoor acoustics and sacred sites. Documents of in situ improvisations, inspired by the spirit and the special characteristics of a location.
With a focus on collaboration and interaction, Hervé has performed with artists whose practice is immersed in free improvisation, closely working with Mick Beck (sax, bassoon), Martin Archer (winds, el.), Philip Thomas (piano), Jez Riley-French (el.), Ian Simpson (el.), Charlie Collins (drums), Constantin Popp (live processing, diffusion), etc. in the UK and also Michel Doneda (sop sax), Jonas Kocher (accordion), Simon Berz (dr, el.), Rodolphe Loubatiere (dr), d’Incise (el, objects), Cyril Bondi (dr), Heddy Boubaker (sax), Cia Barbet (dance), Joe Formanek (dr, el) in Europe.
sounding out – explorations of outdoor acoustics, sacred sites with the soprano saxophone, investigating the nature of space and architecture, natural topography.
room harmonics – experimental recording technique using sound to represent architecture and spatial relationships
”The quartet”, contemporary jazz improvisation
“inclusion principle”, duo with martin archer (discus label) – electroacoustic improvisations with laptops, winds, objects
“Mirror Shards” EAi to melodic jazz with Joe Formanek (drums and live processing)
“weave/unravel”, duo with constantin popp – soprano sax, processing, multi-speaker diffusion
“WHM” minimal improv/free jazz trio.
“kipple”, free jazz/improv sextet
“Ethernet Orchestra” networked improvisations by Roger Mills
“Graphic Ships” generative graphic score for networked improvisations by Jesse Ricke
technical details / requirements:
drums – 2/3 mikes+stands
electronics – 2 channels stereo out
sax – 1/2 mikes+stands
optional: feed from saxophone into electronic setup via 1/4 inch jack
further documentation of collaborative work:
other site with audio, visual and text work: