Open Box with Jon Raskin


Open Box sm

Composer and improviser Jon Raskin and cross-genre poet Carla Harryman collaborate in bringing together music and poetry, using Harryman’s texts as scores for musical interpretation and speaking voices. Improvisation and a thirty-year period of friendship and sharing ideas have resulted in a recording of four music-text works that animate the contingent connections between music and language. Deploying a range of approaches and musical styles—from the elaborately sound edited, collage improvisations of the long-poem Open Box and the text-based score A Sun and Five Decompositions to the more raucous, heavy metal interpretation of Fish Speech and the art music of Song for Asa—Raskin and Harryman reimagine idioms for instrumental and speaking voice improvisation. The collection includes two instrumental works, derived from memes, that further elaborate the spirit of collaboration in the collection.     Jon initiated the recording project while reading Carla’s Open Box: Improvisations (Belladonna, 2006), a work written between November 2002 and 2003 after she turned the news off to listen to the music and the sounds of her local world in psychic protest against the news media’s representations of American Government’s scaremongering and push to war under false premises. The open form of the fragmentary quatrains that constitute the poem was inspired by listening to improvised music during this period and by earlier performance and theater collaborations with Jon and other Bay Area and Detroit musicians and performers. Jon responded to the book by initiating a series of live and studio performances that gave him the materials to develop the piece. This process then led to this extended series of recorded works.


 Preview Tracks

Fish Speech

Song for Asa

A Sun and Five Decompositions

Open Box Pt.2






Jon Raskin:

Conference of the Birds:

Papers from the Border:

Other Selections from Open Box:

Open Box (book):

Galatea Resurrects #10, Review of Open Box by Tyrone Williams: Purchase: