“In improvisation I try to think less and experience more. The primary experience for me is listening. Then, I want to respond quickly, honestly, playfully, and intuitively.”
Charles Cohen (b. 1945) has been characterized as a “special and singular musician” with a highly developed and refined voice. His music is entirely improvisational, produced solely on a vintage Buchla Music Easel synthesizer, a rare analog instrument designed in the early 1970s. Cohen has been playing his self-described “beeps and boops” since he first acquired a Buchla Music Easel in 1976, one of only 25 ever produced, and remains committed to exploring its unique qualities. He has studied with musical mavericks such as accordionist and electronic composer Pauline Oliveros and jazz pianist Cecil Taylor, and is dedicated to the art of abstract improvisation, seeking out collaborations with fellow musicians who share his love of spontaneous creation during live performance. “In improvisation I try to think less and experience more,” says Cohen. “I consider each performance as an instance of my collaborative improvisation practice, which has spanned over 30 years.”
Cohen has performed regularly in Philadelphia for nearly four decades. For most of his career he has eschewed distributing recordings of his music in order to focus deeply on live performance. However, after receiving the Pew Fellowship, Cohen was invited by Morphine Records in Berlin to work on a complete retrospective of his recordings from the 1970s through the ’90s, in vinyl and CD formats, with biographical information, pictures, and liner notes. This retrospective was released in late 2013.
Focusing on the work of Bach, Beethoven, and Britten, Farewell explores how each composer addresses themes of departures.
Over its 18-year history, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Lively Arts Series has engaged local and national artists to share their work with the college and surrounding Blue Bell community.
Jennifer S.B. Calienes is an independent consultant and senior advisor for the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) at Florida State University, where she served as founding director (2004–14).
The third article in the American Impresario series features Wein, pianist, founder of the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and many others.
The Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change is scheduled to perform at Love Park, in recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
On Monday, June 13, 2016, we announced and honored the 2016 grantees of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage with a celebration at Christ Church Neighborhood House.
Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys (2013 Pew Fellows) explore the potential of new tools, fabrication technologies, and construction to expand the beauty and sustainability of the urban landscape.
Since his emergence as a professional jazz saxophonist and composer in the 1950s, Wayne Shorter has earned a reputation as one of the most influential jazz musicians of our time.
Relâche is a new music ensemble whose unique sound includes flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, piano, percussion, viola, and bass.
Zydeco Crossroads: A Tale of Two Cities is an 87-minute documentary that highlights the current state of the Creole music scene in and around Lafayette, Louisiana.
Kim Arrow is a dance artist and a 2003 Pew Fellow.
Pew Fellow Christopher Colucci on his progression from musician to sound designer, the music and books that inspire him, and more.