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Sean Ali

WTF is "experimental" music? :: Undercommonalities

photo of Amy Mills by Justina V
Monday, August 29th 2016

We sneak in three performances with underlying... commonalities... listen, think, and probably expound upon whether or which of these is "experimental" - or if that's even worth talking about these days.

Sean Ali & Feng // Amy Mills // Julia Santoli // Kevin Marin


Sean Ali & Feng

Bassist, composer, and improviser Sean Ali from Dayton, Ohio has been living in New York City since 2003, where he participates in the city’s vibrant experimental music scene both as a performer and curator. His current projects include: Fester, Hag, LathanFlinAli, Mattrey.Bordreuil.Ali, Natura Morta, PascAli, Phantom Circuit, While We Still Have Bodies, and solo performances. He is co-founder and member of the new music label Prom Night Records. He is co-founder and former curator at 65Fen Music Series. Sean Ali performs regularly in New York City and has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

Beijing/New York based Feng makes cross-disciplinary performances that are sound-oriented, humorous, improvised and site-specific, by integrating a variety of sound strategies within his own vocabulary gained from daily life: storytelling, field recording, cited Youtube videos, live Karaoke, Asian pop music, noise and improvisation, as well by morphing in between different performer's roles: the vibration source, the narrator, the commentator, the spectator, etc. As a curator, Feng produces monthly improvised and cross-disciplinary concerts at Chinese American Arts Council. He also manages Muted Portraits, a record label that releases only spoken-word context surrounding particular pieces of music. His instrument design "Tri-O", a MIDI controller based on geometric system-generated data irregularity, which was chosen the third place winner of 2014 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition judged by Cycling '74 CEO David Zicarelli. Gao recently received 2016 Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) Residency in Stockholm, Sweden.

Amy Mills

Amy Mills is a musician and photographer living and working in the NYC area. She has experience working in creative marketing, graphic design, photography, retouching, composing, and music. 
She grew up on the west coast in Portland, OR but migrated east to study classical trumpet at the Boston Conservatory. After one year she transferred to Mass. Art and studied Photography / Interrelated Media / design, then earned her masters in music composition and recording from Purchase College SUNY.
Her fine art work draws from a broad spectrum of influences and often combines multiple disciplines.

Julia Santoli

Julia Santoli is a multi-media artist based in New York. Her work synthesizes image, gesture, and sound while navigating memory and presence—how past experience manifests in the present as ruins, and how these traces transform through mediation to/from the body within the ghost-nature of sound. Her explorations take the form of vocal performance and body-generated audio feedback, sonic installation, video, and prints. She completed her BFA from the School of Visual Arts (Visual and Critical Studies), and has presented performative and visual work throughout New York.

Kevin Marin

Kevin Marin is a member and founder of Tropical Resources in addition to several DJ, sound-based and conceptual projects across New York City. Kevin will be engaging with the liminal space in between performances throughout the evening.

Phantom Circuit presents "Broken Machine"

Wednesday, May 25th 2016

For Phantom Circuit's second performance, Wenxin Zhang and Sean Ali team up with artist Yi Xin Tong to present a multimedia meditation on the purported convenience and functionality of modern life in stark contrast to its intrinsic and systemic breakdown. Utilizing acoustic and prerecorded sound, video, and sculpture, "Broken Machine" explores the inherent and ineluctable atrophy in the systems which consume us through our obligatory participation in them.


Wenxin Zhang (b. 1989) lives and works in both China and United States. She received her MFA at California College of the Arts. As a visual artist/writer, her practice focuses on the relationship between the real and the virtual, as well as interdisciplinary art practice. Zhang's work was selected in BJP's 2016 talent issue, 2014 Three Shadows Photography Award finalist, and the 2014 Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award finalist. Her work was exhibited and published widely in United States, China and Europe.


Bassist, composer, and improviser Sean Ali from Dayton, Ohio has been living in New York City since 2003, where he participates in the city’s vibrant experimental music scene both as a performer and curator. His current projects include: Fester, Hag, LathanFlinAli, Mattrey.Bordreuil.Ali, Natura Morta, and PascAli. His solo performances center around text and sound-specific preparations for the bass. He is the founder and leader of a large ensemble of low-tone instruments called The Mudbath Orchestra. He is co-founder and member of the new music label Prom Night Records. He is co-founder and former curator at 65Fen Music Series. He also co-curates the “floating” house-series Ze Couch with Pascal Niggenkemper. Sean Ali performs regularly in New York City and has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.


And our special guest:

Yi Xin Tong is an artist living in New York, NY. He received his MFA from New York University (2014) and BFA Honours from Simon Fraser University (2012). His work has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Blue Roof Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Dumbo Arts Festival, Katzman Contemporary, Vanguard Gallery, Galerie de La Rotonde de Stalingrad, 80 WSE Gallery, Gallery 44, and VIVO Media Arts Centre. He received Joan Mitchell Foundation Scholarship, Takao Tanabe Award in Visual Arts, British Columbia Arts Council Scholarships, Orange Corporation Annual Award in Visual Arts, and May and Samuel Rudin Foundation Multimedia Technology Scholarship. Tong was the British Columbia winner of BMO 1st Art! Award (2012) and a finalist for Equitable Bank’s Emerging Digital Artists Award (2015).





Floy Krouchi : fretless bass and live electronics

Emilie Lesbros : voice

Mark Bingham: guitar, effects and spatialisation


Hosted in residency in May 2016 at Spectrum NYC, the French composer and performer Floy Krouchi will develop a new piece on site, She will work as a main collaborator with Mark Bingham, guitarist and producer, who produced her last record “Below sea Level” in New Orleans, and invite Emilie Lesbros for a series of performances .

Inspired by Indian music and its most ancient instrument, the Rudra Veena, Floy Krouchi has developed an augmented bass which uses electronics and real-time transformation. Her encounter with Emilie will take place in experimenting improvisations in a semi-fixed form 

at the junction of ambient, noise, improvised and electroacoustic music, diving into the swirls of an “electronic raga”.





Floy Krouchi is a composer and performer born in Paris in 1971. She has been present in the world of contemporary experimental music since 1994. She studied jazz with David Patrois and electroacoustic under G.Favotti in the conservatory in Paris and Indian music under Pandit Hindraj Divekar in Pune, India .

She founded the Mafucage ensemble and gave a series of performances on a train from Paris to Pekin .She has been commissioned numerous pieces, installations and performances by GRM, La muse en circuit, France Musique, Gmem, France Culture and her work has been performed in festivals and venues in France , all over Europe, Switzerland, India, China, Lebanon,Israel and USA .

In 2009 she was a recipient of Villa Medicis Hors les murs. She composes for different media - dance, theatre, web-art, experimental video, cinema, and installations - and also works as a radio and sound artist, producing Hôrspiel radio pieces, (in the tradition of Luc Ferrari), who received several international prizes such as Prix Italia in 2011 , and Phonurgia Nova in 2013 .



Through her atypical experiences the singer, composer, performer and writer Emilie Lesbros blurs the boundaries between different genres. She started to play on eclectic musical projects in various formations ranging from rock, punk, to electronic music. At 20 years old she decided to study classical and jazz music at the conservatory. All those experiences leads her to develop an insatiable curiosity regarding sound. She was Rosa’s vocal lead, a very untypical rock band where Lesbros could explored a real “Unbounderies”way to sing, mixing rock, experimental and classical technics with her voice.


Trauma salon : mastication & medication

Thursday, February 25th 2016

we need catharsis but not right now. catharsis is the last great vestige of alien life yet composed of earth. we are catharsis. all the time. we're just moving wrong.
run faster. scream louder. speak deeper. seek closer. love fuller. do more. do less. do less of more. do more of less.
in such a way, we endlessly confess.

The Endless Scrape
(Michael Foster, David Grollman, Sean Ali)

layne garrett/nate scheible (DC) - ,

jeffrey hayden shurdut -

martha cargo -

tom matera (MD) -

hey exit -

Valerie Kuehne & the Wasps Nests -

Say Something In a Little Bit of Time

Wednesday, October 28th 2015

Say Something In a Little Bit of Time


Have been thinking more about the birthday show. I would like to have 10 five minute sets. Some solo, some duo. The theme would be say something in a little bit of time. The lab part would be the challenge of the five minute set. 10 sets equal 50. Does that sound cool?


Rita Stein
Sam Gordon
Rob Price
Brian McCorkle
Brendan Landis
Valerie Kuehne and Natasha Steinbach
Fester w/ Sean Ali
Lipchitz w/ Ryan Krause
Michael Foster
Dear Nugget w/ Aliza Simons

trauma salon : masking & metanoia

Thursday, August 27th 2015

the response carries over. the cry from the incision, the desire for intoxication. depression. adrenaline. hypnophobia. in the blank stare of incomprehension, immediacy is perfectly dangerous.
the beginning is lost. the solution eradicates.
yet : it is possible to live beyond oneself. it is possible to exist outside of time.
in such a way, we endlessly listen.

installment 6 :

sean ali :
i dont wanna stop

jeffrey young :

We drone to stop time. We look for the essence of phenomena, the permanent instant that describes everything. We drone to confront the universal anxiety and the existential need to divide the indivisible.

DARK MATTER is Mene and Antonio Savasta, Argentine siblings. They have been collaborating in their artistic productions since always. They are now presenting themselves as experimental duo, exploring the possibilities of improvisation in order to build minimalist atmospheres and drones, fused with light experimental songs.

david ian griess :
an exploration of bodies hurtling through space.

public speaking :
Enhanced financial/conversion/interrogation techniques.
Public Speaking is composer/multi-instrumentalist Jason Anthony Harris. Live, he uses voice, electronics and found objects to build percussive, layered music that draws equally from noise and R&B.

5 - 15$
beer/wine provided

Turn the Tape Off

Wednesday, April 22nd 2015

"The experiment is to see how the tapes are interacted with and interpreted on the spot by the performers who will have never heard them before. Does the tape change the performers approach? Do the performers literally change the quality of the tape? I'm particularly interested in considering the inanimate nature of the tape and its supposed impossibility to interact. Also, I make the tapes to extract the dream essence inherent in waking consciousness. So, part of the experiment will also be to see how successful I am in this regard." - Sean Ali Sean Ali performs a text intro to the evening "side a" -w/ Emilie Lesbros (voice) solo Maryam Parhizkar (text & viola) "side b" -w. David Grollman (snare drum)

STORIES, NARRATIVES, and MUSIC and other stuff too.

Thursday, November 20th 2014

STORIES, NARRATIVES, and MUSIC and STUFF A night of storytelling through musical means and also comedy and also poetry and other stuff too. You'll love it.

Featuring Billy Mullaney from Minneapolis, MN performing 10 minute pieces between each performer entitled GEOMETRY. Lorelei Ramirez "Who's the God?" Felix Morelo Versify - Allan Andre suggested donation $5-15 beer lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery

What is "experimental" music? Part 1

Tuesday, June 3rd 2014

What is "experimental" music?

The term "experimental" often denotes someone consciously toying with the paradigms of their medium and the expectations of their audience.

Panoply hosts 5 music artists which could fall into this category, experimenting with traditional instruments, electro-acoustics, multi-media, spoken word, and the body. The night will close with a talk-back about the meaning of "experimental" as it relates to each artists' practice.

Sean Ali

TJ Borden

Hot Date (Chris Welcome and Shayna Dulberger)

Future Death Toll

Silent Isle

Pascali + ViolaTwoViola + Lipchitz

Wednesday, September 18th 2013


Oh and also some vocal work that is also undeniably human and yet sounds very little like much vocal work one typically hears.

PascAli Sean Ali and Pascal Niggenkemper (prepared basses) NOT THIS:

ViolaTwoViola Frantz Loriot & Cyprien Busolini (violas) NOT THIS:

Lipchitz Ryan Krause (voice) and David Grollman (percussion) NOT THIS:

Beer lovingly provided by The Brooklyn Brewery


Saturday, June 1st 2013

Bushwick Open Studios at Panoply Performance Laboratory FORENSICS OF THE FUTURE DAY TWO: SELF AND IMPROVISATION

From 2pm-7pm, there will be installations by resident artists Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle, in addition to the PPL store.

Beginning at 7pm, there will be solo performances by Ryan Ferreira, Daniel Blake, and others TBA, culminating in a new quartet formed by trumpet player Brad Henkel with Sean Ali and Pascal Niggenkemper on Basses and Carlo Costa on Drums. FACEBOOK EVENT HERE

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