Egregoros

Egregoros represents a “thoughtform” or “collective group mind”, an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people. The Greek word ἑγρήγορος means “Watcher.”
 
 
SONY DSC
 
 
Current lineup:

Christos Koulendros – accordion, bağlama, all modules analog
Walter Wright – drums, percussion

Past members and others “sitting-in”:
Rick Breault – field recordings, guitar
Michael F Dailey Jr – drums
Stephanie Marie Germaine – electronics
Savannah Marshall – drums, percussion
Heather Noecker – guitar, electronics
Steve Norton – reeds

 
 
“Creativity is a harmony of opposite tensions, as encapsulated in our opening idea of lîla, or divine play. As we ride through the flux of our own creative processes, we hold onto both poles. If we let go of play, our work becomes ponderous and stiff. If we let go of the sacred, our work loses its connection to the ground on which we live.

“Knowledge of the creative process cannot substitute for creativity, but it can save us from giving up on creativity when the challenges seem too intimidating and free play seems blocked. If we know that the inevitable setbacks and frustrations are phases of the natural cycle of creative processes, if we know that our obstacles can become our ornaments, we can persevere and bring our desires to fruition. Such perseverance can be a real test, but there are ways through, there are guideposts. And the struggle, which is guaranteed to take a lifetime, is worth it. It is a struggle that generates incredible pleasure and joy. Every attempt we make is imperfect; yet each one of those imperfect attempts is an occasion for a delight unlike anything else on earth.

“The creative process is a spiritual path. This adventure is about us, about the deep self, the composer in all of us, about originality, meaning not that which is all new, but that which is fully and originally ourselves.”
~ Stephen Nachmanovitch, Free Play
 
 
gkw01
Christos Koulendros, Stephanie Marie Germaine, Walter Wright
 
 
Stephanie, Christos, and I start playing together in late 2014, early 2015. Our goal being, through heightening awareness and deep listening, to reduce external distractions, and expand interior mental and spiritual energies. In other words, to find a path to ecstasy, to an altered state of consciousness, in which the subjective perception of time, space and self change or disappear.

Tracks from Winter, 2014-15

12/  2/14 track01 (1) 119 Gallery
  1/13/15 track01 (1) 119 Gallery
  2/  3/15 track01 (2) 119 Gallery
  2/10/15 track01 (2) 119 Gallery
  2/17/15 track01 (1) track02 (1) 119 Gallery
  3/  3/15 track01 (2) 119 Gallery
  3/10/15 track01 (1) track02 (1) 119 Gallery
  3/17/15 track01 (1) track02 (1) 119 Gallery
  3/20/15 track01 (3) track02 (4) Outpost 186
  3/24/15 track01 (2) track02 (2) 119 Gallery
  3/31/15 track01 (5) track02 (5) 119 Gallery

(1) Koulendros, Germaine, Wright
(2) Koulendros, Wright
(3) Koulendros
(4) Germaine, Wright
(5) Koulendros, Germaine, Norton, Wright
 
 
Steve Norton drops in on March 31. On Friday April 3 Egregoros plays out at The Armory in Somerville MA. Our second live gig, goes well.

I leave for a 2 week residency at Signal Culture in Owego NY.

On Tuesday April 21 Egregoros plays out at the Aviary Gallery in Jamaica Plain MA. I bring the AVSynth, we’re all electronic, audio and video, quite surprise!

Stephanie gets a new job, moves and lands, eventually, in Jamaica Plain MA. Heather Noecker joins the ensemble. The sound develops. Heather’s guitar feedback meshes well with Christos’ electronics and my percussion.

heather

Tracks from Spring, 2015

  4/  7/15 track01 (1) track02 (1) 119 Gallery
  4/21/15 track01 (1) track02 (1) 119 Gallery
  4/28/15 track01 (6) 119 Gallery
  5/  5/15 track01 (2) 119 Gallery
  6/  2/15 track01 (6) track02 (6) 119 Gallery
  6/16/15 track01 (7) track02 (7) 119 Gallery
  6/29/15 track01 (8) track02 (8) 119 Gallery

(1) Koulendros, Germaine, Wright
(2) Koulendros, Wright
(6) Koulendros, Noecker, Wright
(7) Breault, Noecker, Wright
(8) Noecker, Wright
 
 
In late June, Christos and his family leave for Cyprus. We will miss him, but decide to keep playing once a week, to continue the journey. We invite Rick Breault to sit in. Rick brings field recordings to the mix, and additional guitar feedback. Heather adds a Line6 Delay to her electronic FX.

Heather and I play together as a duo, we switch it up, Heather plays drums and I play electronics. Sounds like Loup-Garou, my duo with Setheyny Pen, 2011-12. July 4 weekend, we’re off to the beach! Mid-month Rick, Heather and I are back in the gallery. Heather and I experiment with a drum duo.

August passes quickly, Heather and I record mid month, then it’s off to Frantasia, Penobscot, summer vacations. Christos returns at the end of the month, Heather takes a break, kids going back to school. Christos and I rehearse for a gig with Steve Norton on Sunday September 13 at UnchARTed.

The band is ROCKIN’ at UnchARTed, check out the recording below 9/13/2015 !!!

Tracks from Summer, 2015 –

  7/14/15 track01 (7) track02 (8) 119 Gallery
  7/21/15 track01 (7) track02 (7) 119 Gallery
  8/  4/15 track01 (8) 119 Gallery
  9/  1/15 track01 (2) track02 (2) 119 Gallery
  9/  8/15 track01 (2) track02 (2) 119 Gallery
  9/13/15 track01 (9) UnchARTed Gallery

(2) Koulendros, Wright
(7) Breault, Noecker, Wright
(8) Noecker, Wright
(9) Koulendros, Norton, Wright
 
 
It’s chillier, leaves turning. It’s Fall. Christos and I rehearsing weekly, Heather returning soon. Last week Christos played accordion! I play percussion and BoardWeevil. A couple of days later Christos posts this score to Facebook …

christosscore

“Percussion score is done. Looks, and sounds, great.

“I’m exploring relativity in an improv template by juxtaposing circles that represent a faster looping timeline the smaller they are. Notes are played at a fast relative tempo inside the inner circles compared to the outside. So the player can play music with multiple tempi at once, or choose jumping from the patterns on one circle to the next, creating a flow of instantly faster/slower pacing. The player can choose any combination of instruments from the percussion arsenal, and can repeat a section they like, as well as fill in with their own rhythm improv.

“This notation was inspired by the multi-timeline playing of my friend Walter Wright’s percussion dialogues.”
~ Christos Koulendros

Christos shows up with a bağlama and electronics! Things are getting interesting.

The UnchARTed gig is now a monthly series. On Wednesday October 21, we play with Mike Testa from Wired.to.the.Edge. Then on Wednesday November 4, we play with the Laurie Amat and Emmanuel Reveneau duo. Michael F Dailey Jr sits in, two drum sets. An interesting and energetic set, short, only 25min long. Pick up the pace. Christos in the middle, in stereo, flanked by two percussionists trading rhythmic patterns back and forth.

Here’s a pic by Coleman Rogers –

egregoros05

Here’re more thoughts from Christos –

“Many angles have been explored in art music and experimental music. New ways of deriving note organization. Strict rules. Loose rules. Self-indulging. Audience pandering. Audience be-damning. Academic, self fulfilling and lofty. We’ve tried so many ways to express difference and expression: New interfaces. Style juxtaposition. Technology. Data translation. Sources of inspiration from other disciplines. We’ve mapped sensor input from gestures into sound. Turned slug slime into musical lines. Made instruments out of every conceivable object. It’s been a roller coaster ride towards innovation and discovery, and every composer has struggled for uniqueness and the development of a personal voice. The ultimate goal being, largely, self-promotion and a career.

“I’m not under an illusion that I have the power to innovate in any conceivable way or become known for what I do.

“I’m interested in an area of exploration that hasn’t been overpopulated yet, a subtle one: The inner realm. Consciousness. Communication across the personhood divide. The collective unconscious. Creating rites. Loosening the boundaries between people through freeform meditative improvisation. Inviting through Ceremony. Ecstasy. Travel. Expansion.

“Current concert practices inhibit this. We attend shows to be entertained, or to witness. But I’m asking you to attend shows with the intention to participate and to meditate in the presence of musicians that dissolve their egos into pure sound and to find within the experience a language for understanding your connection to the All.”
~ Christos Koulendros posted to FB

Christos and I record a 1hr 42min track, 11/17/15 track02. I thought we had played for about 30min, where did the time go? Where were we during those missing 72min? What happens when one stops thinking about playing and plays without thinking? Generally, I think the answer is, good things happen when one plays without thinking; when one let’s go of the ego and enters into the moment.

In December we’re back at UnchARTed Gallery, on a lineup with Joe Burgio, Joshua Hahn, Savannah Marshall, Steve Norton, and Andrea Pensado. Joe, Joshua and Steve play first; followed by Savannah, solo percussion; Andrea and her puppet Andreita; and Ergregoros with Savannah and Steve sitting in. GREAT SET!

A pleasure to play with Savannah, a truly amazing percussionist –

savannah

“The fruit of this Fall’s enlightening sessions with Egregoros makes me proud. After a year of consistent weekly rehearsals and concerts we are getting to a point of true ESP improv. We never discuss or plan. We just enter a trance and let the inner mind guide the limbs in a probabilistic way. Though listening is ok/fun/a bit hard to comprehend, it is the fruit of a mental experience, creating in the moment without following standardized ‘scales’ and ‘chords’ ‘rhythms’ we have practiced in our lifetime. We create unheard of groups of events, learning from and influenced by each other’s controlled chaos. Patterns emerge because of personal familiarity.”
~ Christos

Tracks from Fall, 2015 –

  9/29/15 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
10/  6/15 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
10/13/15 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
10/17/15 track01 (10) 119 Gallery
10/20/15 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
10/21/15 track01 (  6) 119 Gallery
10/27/15 track01 (  6) track02 (  6) 119 Gallery
11/  3/15 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
11/  4/15 track01 (11) UnchARTed Gallery
11/17/15 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
11/24/15 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
12/  1/15 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
12/  8/15 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
12/16/15 track01 (12) UnchARTed Gallery
12/20/15 track01 (  2) 119 Gallery

(  2) Koulendros, Wright
(  6) Koulendros, Noecker, Wright
(10) Koulendros, Noecker, Norton, Wright
(11) Dailey, Koulendros, Wright
(12) Koulendros, Marshall, Norton, Wright
 
 
Christos and I rehearse weekly, no snow days in sight, no snow! We play out, at UnchARTed Gallery as part of my “Music :: Performance” series featuring new, experimental music.

We are doing more with less, Christos plays fewer modules, my drum kit shrinks.

Our rehearsals continue to include long jams. This is the pattern. The first jam, a warm up, is usually about 30 minutes, and feels like 30min. The second jam however is usually an hour long or more, and it feels like 30min. Actually, I find that I lose any sense of time. I experience the set as one continuous now, transitions occur naturally.

This is, for me, a successful improvisation. It exists outside of time.

Tracks from Winter, 2016 –

12/22/15 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
12/30/15 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
  1/  7/16 track01 (  2) 119 Gallery
  1/12/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
  1/12/26 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
  2/  3/16 track01 (  2) 119 Gallery
  2/  9/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
  2/16/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
  3/21/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery

(  2) Koulendros, Wright
 
 
A year plus, we rehearse weekly, play out when we can. Christos continues to collect analog synth modules, continues to expand his sonic territory, and I continue to explore free drumming in relation to his electronic rhythms. Is it music? I think so. Improvisation as a practice that reveals the nature of the creative process.

Tracks from Spring, 2016 –

  4/12/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
  4/13/16 track01 (  2) UnchARTed Gallery
  4/26/16 track01 (13) track02 (13) 119 Gallery
  5/  3/16 track01 (  2) 119 Gallery
  5/10/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
  5/17/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
  5/24/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
  5/31/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
  6/  7/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 119 Gallery
  6/14/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) The Hearing Room

(  2) Koulendros, Wright
(13) Koulendros, Tracy, Wright
 
 
“At the Hearing Room last night, last gig of the year. We played about 35 times this year, Walter Wright and I. That’s 70+ hours of improvised music. Quite a feat, a never ending dialogue.

“I’ve never experienced a moment where I didn’t know what to do next, or run out of ideas. Developed a ‘style’, without once talking about it. Form, harmony, rhythm, and melody naturally developed out of a totally free interaction and coalesced into a coherent (to us) musical language. It is possible to accomplish a lot non-verbally, non-academically. Challenging, but possible.

“That’s what Egregoros is all about: sharing, subliminally, learning by doing. Ordo Ab Chaos.”
~ Christos
 
 
In late June Christos and his family are off to Cyprus for the Summer. Before he leaves we have one last gig at the Hearing Room. I miss our weekly sessions. We are beyond simple improvisation to a point where, without thinking, we create music in the moment, free from predetermined structure.

Christos returns, we play once in late September, then I’m off to High Zero and then on the road with Al Margolis until early November.

Tracks from Summer, 2016 –

  6/21/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) The Hearing Room
  9/20/16 track01 (  2) 114 Grand Street

(  2) Koulendros, Wright
 
 
[notes]

Tracks from Fall, 2016 –

10/26/16 track01 (  2) track02 (  2) 114 Grand Street
11/  1/16 track01 (  2) 114 Grand Street
11/12/16 track01 (  2) 114 Grand Street
11/16/16 track01 (  2) 114 Grand Street
11/29/16 track01 (  2) 114 Grand Street
12/13/16 track01 (  2) 114 Grand Street

(  2) Koulendros, Wright

3 Responses to “Egregoros”

  1. Gigs, March 2015 | Noh TV Says:

    […] Egregoros represents a “thoughtform” or “collective group mind”, an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people. The Greek word ἑγρήγορος means “Watcher.” […]

  2. Inaugural Providence Live Film Score Festival an exercise in sound and vision - Vanyaland Says:

    […] synth sounds will be scoring an original film and the same will be going for Lowell avant-grade act Egregoros as well. Electro duo Twin Goat will be doing a score to the 1977 short film One Hundred Watts 120 […]

  3. Providence Live Film Score Festival an exercise in sound and vision - Vanyaland Says:

    […] synth sounds will be scoring an original film and the same will be going for Lowell avant-grade act Egregoros as well. Electro duo Twin Goat will be doing a score to the 1977 short film One Hundred Watts 120 […]

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