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free jazz, nu jazz, electronic, experimental music, avant rock, harsh noise, noise, laptop, field effects
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The Present Quartet

Organized by bassist Jeff Schwartz, the Present Quartet includes flutist Ellen Burr, harpist Anne LeBaron, and multi-instrumentalist Charles Sharp. They function primarily as an improvising collective, but have also worked with compositions and structures. All four are non-dogmatic players, willing to interpret any type of score, conversant in a variety of idioms, and ready to respond to the improvisational needs of any moment or environment. Each brings a wide range of sounds: Ellen plays piccolo to bass flutes, Charles draws from a large collection of European and East Asian winds and little instruments, Anne and Jeff are interested in preparations and extended technique, and Anne and Charles sometimes use electronics. All four also teach or write about music: Ellen has a thriving private flute studio, Charles and Anne are faculty at California State University Fullerton and CalArts respectively, and Jeff has published books on free jazz with Routledge and SUNY Press. Their overlapping interests and experiences evoke late 1960s improvising groups at intersections of multiple genres and communities, such as the Music Improvisation Company, Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, AMM, Gentle Fire, and many AACM projects.