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Conduction: Bridging the Divide

Date, location, and tickets

Sunday, February 16, 2020
at 4:00 PM

Big Medium
916 Springdale Rd
Austin, TX 78702


event image for Conduction: Bridging the Divide

Event Information


What happens when musicians from different musical backgrounds join forces with an audience in spontaneous co-creation? In an afternoon of conducted musical improvisation fueled by the imaginations of the musicians and audience members alike, we will bridge the divide between musical traditions in real time.

With Conduction, a vocabulary of conducted gestures for improvising ensembles developed by Butch Morris, the possibilities are instantaneous and endless. Through intense listening and trust in each others’ instincts, the Conduction framework encourages musicians to transcend their stylistic boundaries while maintaining a cohesive sound. Musicians might leap out of their comfort zones to imitate the sound of crumpling paper, which turns into an eerie orchestrated whisper. An operatic soprano and flute might punctuate a jazz duo’s call and response.

A show for casual listeners and experienced music-lovers, we’ll explore the ways we communicate, listen, and share with others. Together we’ll follow the shared threads of imagination to find cohesion across our stylistic differences and make something strange, unexpected and even beautiful!

Conduction®: The practice of conveying and interpreting a lexicon of directives to construct or modify sonic arrangement or composition; a structure-content exchange between composer/conductor and instrumentalists that provides the immediate possibility of initiating or altering harmony, melody, rhythm, tempo, progression, articulation, phrasing or form through the manipulation of pitch, dynamics (volume/intensity/density), timbre, duration, silence, and organization in real-time.


Seetha Shivaswamy, flute

Alan Chen, violin

Diana Burgess, cello

Charissa Memrick, soprano

Rebekah Smeltzer Staley, soprano

Bob Hoffnar, pedal steel guitar

Alan Retamozo, electric guitar

Sarah Ann Phillips, keyboard

Mike St. Clair, synthesizer

Jordan Walsh, percussion

Taylor Turner, upright bass


Kenzie Slottow, Conductor & Artistic Director

As a flautist, composer, and dancer, Kenzie Slottow collaborates with performers and creators to tell stories in diverse genres and media. Conducting group improvisations is her way of bringing the things she loves most about collaborating – listening, trust, and openness – onto centerstage. An Austin resident for the last decade, she has gathered musicians from live and classical music communities to bring this show to life.


Presented by Density512

Density512 is a chamber orchestra and collective of brave and open musicians who champion contemporary programming. They connect with the people of Austin, TX by producing imaginatively curated live music experiences, amplifying the voices of groundbreaking and emerging artists, and cultivating interdisciplinary collaborations.


Big Medium

Big Medium is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting artists and building community through the arts in Austin and across Texas. They provide opportunities for artists to create, exhibit, and discuss their work and connect to an engaged and diverse audience. They strive to make art a part of everyday life. Density512 is currently hosting its 2019-2020 concert season at Big Medium Gallery in East Austin.

Participants: Kenzie Slottow