Explore the history of Nameless Sound through featured essays, never before released audio, performance videos, and other notable collections from the historic vault. Starting in January 2021, monthly editions will focus on artists who have left a sonic and social imprint on the networks of Nameless Sound audiences, musicians, and youth. With materials and accounts dating from our time as a branch of The Pauline Oliveros Foundation to recent years, our website will feature a new edition on the fourth Monday of each month.
On February 26, we launch the second monthly edition featuring Maggie Nicols. The British vocalist, improviser and activist had intensive residencies in Houston in 2009 and 2016. On both occasions, she worked with Nameless Sound workshop facilitators to lead a series of sessions in a range of schools and facilities for people with special needs, learning differences, autism, and cerebral palsy. She also worked with local musicians and kids from the Kijana Youth program. The edition will include video of Maggie performing with Fred Frith and Susan Alcorn, Ivette Roman-Roberto, and William Gray. It will also include video of Maggie with the kids of the Kijana Youth program and Maggie sitting in with the band at legendary Houston juke joint, The Silver Slipper.
We began on January 25 with a spotlight on Joe McPhee. The saxophonist and trumpet player is one of the most beloved voices in creative music. Known for his expressive and ecstatic sound that extends directly from the human voice, McPhee is also known for a generous and open mind that is not afraid to experiment outside of idiom or convention. McPhee has inspired Houston listeners since his first performance in the city with Arthur Doyle in 1998 (the first ever concert presented by Nameless Sound Founding Director David Dove). In 2005, he was the inaugural recipient of Nameless Sound’s Resounding Vision Award. In 2010, he and John Butcher were the first musicians Nameless Sound presented at The Hill of James Magee, the enigmatic art installation constructed in a remote area of the West Texas desert. In 2017, he performed on the memorial and birthday concert for composer and Nameless Sound mentor Pauline Oliveros. In between all of that, he blew through town for a range performances and projects, including engagements with the youth in Nameless Sound’s community programs. We invite you to journey with us through the reflections and resonances of Joe McPhee’s Houston encounters.