The Playground Ensemble, in Residence at Metro State University of Denver, is the Rocky Mountain Region’s premier new music group. We are professional musicians, composers, educators, and fans dedicated to presenting chamber music as a living art form.
The Noise Gallery is a collective of musicians who spontaneously compose and perform music using the “soundpainting,” a universal multidisciplinary live composing sign language. Development of the language began in 1974 when Walter Thompson began an association with the Creative Music Studio and Anthony Braxton. In the years since, Soundpainting ensembles have spread across the globe and the language has developed over two thousand gestures. The music created varies from electronic ambient to free jazz with stops between that include Reichesque minimalism, Tchaikovsky, and The Blues.
The Noise Gallery was convened by Conrad Kehn (The Playground), Lynn Baker (The Bottesini Project, Miguel Espinoza Flamenco Jazz) and other important enablers that include Mark Harris (Hamster Theater, Thinking Plague), Steve Gordon (Animal/Object), Evan Mazunik, and Gil Selinger. Mazunik and Selinger have recently relocated to Denver from New York City, and have performed in Walter Thompson’s and their own soundpainting ensembles for years.
Character Assassins (formerly Approval Seekers)
Character Assassins is a duo featuring Oakland-based composer/ performer Mark Clifford and Denver-based composer/ performer Conrad Kehn.
The duo performs a series of compositions for acoustic and digitally manipulated piano and vibraphone. The dialogue formed between the two players, the hammers of the piano and the mallets of the vibes, the acoustics vibrations moving forward and the electronic manipulation of those vibrations, becomes something more than the words we used to describe it. It is not classical, or jazz, or electronic, improvised or composed. It is new music; organic and sincere.
Rhythmic Void- Ambient Experimental Jazz; a trio; powerful words that mean nothing. Ideas are criminal. We're getting old (as we speak; we play). Ideas are suspect; moans… squeaks…….collisions………farts………craziness……..fun. Ideas are void. Welcome to the club
We are Conrad Kehn. Lynn Baker, Alan Joseph.
Kallisti is an eclectic mix of various genres. It is a lie to say that metal
and the urge to rock don’t impinge on our good senses at times. So, some of
our music rocks. Not in a vainglorious and trivial way, rather in a tasteful
way that affirms that cruelty and humor do go together. Add some violin, old
analog synths, and you might get an inkling of what our songs are.
Colors not used to describe Kallisti’s music: yellow, magenta, pink, robin’s
Animals not associated but would enhance our image: bunnies, kittens, teenagers.
Kallisti is Conrad Kehn, Brandon Vaccaro, Carrie Beeder, David Hesker, Lawrence Kung
Kallisti is available for licensing. Email me for a playlist of 30 and 60 second clips.
Skull Flux was formed in 1992 by Jesse Woods and Conrad Kehn. They added David Hesker (drums) and Greg Stretton (guitars) and started gigging in Denver. In 1993 they released a 4 song cassette (remember those?) called Mother’s Favorite. Sometime after that Jesse quit and was replaced on bass by Steve Millin. In 1996 they released their first (and only) album, Ophelia, to much local and little national acclaim. At some point the track 3-peat was included on the Dim View of the Future a compilation on the Triple X/ Hollow’s Hill Imprint. Skull Flux was in the process of recording a second album when they disbanded in 1999.