Ikue Mori performs a solo set on laptop/electronics, and then discusses her creative history with Ken Vandermark.
Ikue Mori moved from her native city of Tokyo to New York in 1977. She started playing drums and soon formed the seminal NO WAVE band DNA, with fellow noise pioneers Arto Lindsay and Tim Wright. DNA enjoyed legendary cult status, while creating a new brand of radical rhythms and dissonant sounds; forever altering the face of rock music.
In the mid 80’s Ikue started to employ drum machines in the unlikely context of improvised music. While limited to the standard technology provided by the drum machine, she nevertheless forged her own highly sensitive signature style. Throughout the 1990’s she collaborated with numerous improvisors throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, while continuing to produce and record her own music. In 1998, she was invited to perform with Ensemble Modern as a soloist along with Zeena Parkins and composer Fred Frith. In addition, “One Hundred Aspects of the Moon” was commissioned by Roulette/Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. Ikue won the Distinctive Award for Prix Ars Electronics Digital Music category in 1999.
In 2000 Ikue started using the laptop computer to expand on her signature sound, thus broadening her scope of musical expression. That year the KITCHEN ensemble commissioned a piece by her, which they premiered and was called “Aphorism.”
She was also awarded a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship. In 2003 the RELACHE Ensemble commissioned her to write a piece for the film “In the Street” which was premired in Philadelphia. Ikue started working with visuals to be played by the music in 2004. In 2005 she was awarded an Alphert/Ucross Residency. Ikue received a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2006. In 2007 the Tate Modern commissioned Ikue to create a live sound track for screenings of Maya Deren’s silent films, and in 2008 Ikue celebrated her 30th year in New York and performed at the Japan Society. Recent commissions include those from the Montalvo Arts Center and SWR German radio program, and the Shajah Art foundation in UAE. Current working groups include MEPHISTA with Sylvie Courvoisier and Susie Ibarra, PHANTOM ORCHARD with Zeena Parkins, a project with Koichi Makigami and various ensembles of John Zorn. She also has a new duo Twindrums project with YoshimiO. She has led workshops and lectures in various schools include the University of Gothenburg, Dartmouth Collage, New England Conservatory, Mills Collage, Stanford University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.