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"Organism" is a chain reaction of improvisational gestures encompassing visual art, movement, and sound.

The Latest Update

Our show in Narrowsburg was a great success!

Posted on December 11, 2019 by Creative Music Studio

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated Organism. 

Special thanks to Delaware Valley Arts Alliance and Tusten Theatre for hosting us and bringing in your local community.

More special thanks to featured artists below:

Yoshiko Chuma

Nicholas Van Young

Billy Martin

Karl Berger

Ingrid Sertso

and the fabulous CMS Improviser Orchestra!

More Updates ▼


Posted on September 19, 2019 by Billy Martin

VIDEO FEATURETTE for ORGANISM presented by Creative Music Studio and Delaware Valley Art Alliance


Organism is a collaborative project featuring the CMS Improvisers Orchestra (CIO), Billy Martin, Karl Berger, Yoshiko Chuma, and Nicholas Van Young that will take place at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) in Narrowsburg, New York. This original performance will feature music performed by CIO, Martin, and Berger and dance performed by Chuma and Young. Martin will also contribute original visual scores to guide the improvisation of both the musicians and the dancers throughout the performance.

In Organism, projections of animated visual scores will activate the performance space, providing cues for the musicians, conductor-instrumentalists (Martin and Berger), and dancers as they spontaneously create sound and movement based on their aesthetic responses to the visual artwork. The performance reimagines notated music by presenting a central reference point for the artists that encourages subjective interpretations, ultimately producing one-of-a-kind, dynamic musical compositions and dance. Musicians and dancers will translate Martin’s visual scores utilizing their instruments and bodies, and the resulting music and dance will invite further creative reactions from the performers. This framework will create an evolving cycle of spontaneous collaboration catalyzed by Martin’s visual scores.

Martin debuted his visual score concept in July 2015 during a three-day run at the Drawing Center in New York City titled Wandering that featured musicians creating spontaneous compositions inspired by his original artwork. Participating artists included Cyro Baptista, Nels Cline, Anthony Coleman, David Fiuczynski, Bill Frisell, Annie Gosfield, Rakalam Bob Moses, and Marcus Rojas.

Most recently, Martin applied his visual score process to music education, turning the concept into an interactive game for children in a collaboration with TILT Brass.

Organism further expands Martin’s inventive creative process by adding dance to the interplay of visual queues and spontaneous responses. Throughout their careers, Chuma and Young have experimented with creative processes that have inspired bold, new forms of expression. Chuma has pushed the boundaries of dance and theatre through her company School of Hard Knocks since founding the group in 1984, and 2014 Bessie Award recipient Young has participated in a variety of experimental dance productions, notably by the critically acclaimed company Dorrance Dance. By participating in Organism, Chuma and Young will help pilot Martin’s concept in the field of dance.

CIO, Martin, and Berger will perform the musical component of Organism. CIO serves as the flagship performance group of the Creative Music Studio (CMS). The orchestra, which features a rotating cast of more than 100 professional musicians, demonstrates CMS’ improvisational methodologies in performance settings. By participating in Organism, CIO will expand the boundaries of its expression and discipline, generating new outlets for its members to develop their individual musical voices in a collective setting.

The performance will occur at DVAA, which presents challenging contemporary art for the cultural enrichment of Sullivan County residents. By working with DVAA for this project, CMS will expand its reach to new communities, thereby increasing the impact of its programming.

CMS will record and film Organism, posting full audio and footage of the performance online to further expand its reach.

Project Media

Visual Score by Billy Martin from “Wandering” (2015)

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Features: Billy Martin

This visual score by Billy Martin premiered on July 8th, 2015 in New York City as part of Martin’s original work “Wandering.” This performance series debuted Martin’s visual score concept and featured musicians from a variety of artistic backgrounds creating spontaneous compositions to Martin’s visual artwork. Composed and performed by Martin and Rich Bologna, the music in this video was written in response to the accompanying images. This footage exemplifies the visual art Martin will produce for “Organism.”

Karl Berger Conducts the CMS Improvisers Orchestra at El Taller
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This clip showcases the CMS Improvisers Orchestra (CIO) performing at El Taller on June 23, 2018. Conducted by Karl Berger, CIO created spontaneous compositions based on initial musical themes that evolved according to the moment-to-moment creative interactions between orchestra members and conductor. Billy Martin performed percussion in this performance. For “Organism,” CIO will contribute its fluid and genre-defying sound (exemplified in this video clip) to the creative interplay between Martin’s visual artwork and the dancers’ movement.

Rehearsal Featuring Yoshiko Chuma and Billy Martin for Duet at The Drawing Center (2015)
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Cue mark: 1:05

This video clip features Billy Martin and Yoshiko Chuma rehearsing for a duet performance that occurred during Martin’s residency at the Drawing Center in 2015. Evident in this video, the two artists have built a cross-discipline chemistry through years of collaboration that will help the participants in “Organism” coalesce around the project’s singular creative framework.

Start and End Dates



Narrowsburg, New York

2 updates
Last update on December 11, 2019

Project Created By

Woodstock, New York
The Creative Music Studio (CMS) provides immersive opportunities for musicians and listeners to deepen and broaden their musical sensitivity, expression, and understanding through workshops, recordings, and concerts worldwide. Through its various programs, the organization champions new creative music while bringing together musicians and music-lovers from all nationalities and styles. Formed in 1971 by musician-educators Ornette…

In Collaboration With

New York, New York
Woodstock, New York
Conductor/Performer/Visual Artist
New York City, New York
New York, New York
Narrowsburg, New York


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