Sonoluminescence: a cabinet of curiosities

Musicians Todd Barton and Terry Longshore, dancer Suzee Grilley, visualist Michael Maag and digital artist Bruce Bayard will present two performances of improvisational sound, movement and light at the Black Swan Theatre in Ashland. Performances Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at online at

According to the group, Sonoluminescence is a group of five creative artists improvising together in an experimental environment to explore the boundaries of time, light, sound and space. The experience is created in the moment of each performance, which consists of a variety of segments: duets, trios and full ensemble, within which anything could happen. The evening's playbill is an electronic collage designed by Bruce Bayard.

Barton is the resident composer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and director of composition studies at Southern Oregon University. Barton and Longshore have been performing improvised music at various venues around the United States and Canada for the past seven years.

Barton has also provided new compositions for Grilley's choreographies over the past 10 years and, like Longshore, performed live music with Grilley and her dancers. Barton's main instruments are the electronic valve instrument, an extremely expressive instrument that allows him to control entire soundscapes with his breath; a battery of analog synthesizers; and the Japanese bamboo shakuhachi flute.

Longshore is active as a performer, composer and educator of percussion and has performed internationally and throughout the United States. He performs regularly at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and with ensembles Skin & Bones, Conundrum, Alba Flamenca, T2 and Caballito Negro. He is a Yamaha performing artist and an artist/endorser for Remo Drumheads, Vic Firth sticks and mallets and Zildjian cymbals.

Longshore has provided music for Grilley's choreographies both as composer and as composer/performer. Their collaboration "Dum Taka Zing Bop" was performed in two seasons at SOU and at Britt Festivals, as well as a segment on SOPTV's "Arts Moment" series. He has taught at several universities and currently serves as associate professor of music and director of percussion studies at Southern Oregon University.

Grilley is a dancer, choreographer, educator and founder of the DanceSpace and the Suzee Grilley Dance Ensemble. She has choreographed for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and performed at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre and with Rogue Opera. Among numerous projects, Grilley has shared with Barton, Bayard, Longshore and Maag, was choreographing Barton's Genome music based on human DNA, and the percussion/dance opus "Dum Taka Zing Bop!" with Longshore. Sonoluminescence takes Grilley back to her roots with the Nikolais DanceTheatre, where performance is the melding integration of sound, light, image and dance.

Michael Maag has been collaborating with Barton, Longshore and Grilley on a variety of creative endeavors for the last six years. Maag is a freelance visualist and lighting designer. He is also the lighting department manager at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He improvises and mixes moving multimedia art with luminaires and projection equipment to sculpt space and time with light.

Bayard is a self-taught visual artist producing ink jet prints of his electronic collages. He is currently in the process of completing a 1000-image series called "The Weekly Press" and has also produced an audio electronic collage for Grilley's choreography "Drawn Onward."

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