Improvisation Performance Features International Musicians and Dancers

Carr Nord Hofmann Maddox (Richard Carr on violin, Mike Nord on guitar and electronics, Art Maddox on piano)Japanese dancers Makoto Matsushima and Mao Arata (front)The free improvisation group Noru Ka Soru Ka will perform Sunday, July 1, at 7 p.m. in Hudson Hall at Willamette University. The performance features American and Swiss musicians and Japanese dancers, and will be recorded for a live-concert DVD.

Noru Ka Soru Ka ("Take the Leap") emerged from a jam session performance in Tokyo in 2006. A chance conversation in a local restaurant there led to this collaboration between the group Carr Nord Hofmann Maddox (Richard Carr on violin, Mike Nord on guitar and electronics, Georg Hofmann on percussion, and Art Maddox on piano) and Japanese dancers Makoto Matsushima, Mao Arata and Kenzo Kusuda. The artists, who share a passion for collective free improvisation and the blurring of artistic boundaries, will make their first American appearance as an ensemble.

Carr Nord Hofmann Maddox has performed live and on broadcasts in Europe, the United States, Japan and Mexico. The group shares a dedication to jazz as well as a desire to explore classical, blues and folk traditions. Their improvised works embrace everything from abstract textural ambience and "noise" to groove, swing, and tonal lyricism.

Describing their recent recording, Biosphere, Down Beat Magazine notes that "Outcomes are driven by the inspirations and impulses of the participants. Their performances transcend established idioms of jazz, folk or classical music." The quartet, they write, "constructs eerie organic landscapes with levels of detail that stand up to repeated listening."

Tokyo dancer Matsushima was a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Japanese dance theatre company Pappa Tarahumara, which has toured internationally for more than 20 years. Dancer and choreographer Arata, who joined the dance company in 1997, creates solo dance pieces and collaborates with musicians, object creators and sculptors. Kusuda, a choreographer, dancer and performing artist from Tokyo and Amsterdam, has performed traditional and modern Japanese dance forms worldwide.

The Amsterdam magazine Theater Maker observes, "By virtue of Kusuda's fluent and intense movement language, his ability to interweave disparate emotional layers, his sense of irony and, not least, by the breathtaking dancing, his 'Hypnos Loco Locomotion' is a performance both touching and impressive."

Tickets at the door are $10 for adults and $3 for students with ID. Visit or for more information, or call 503-370-6255.