"Festival of Stillness" and the "Ken Butler & Dina Emerson Duo"
to Perform at Collective Unconscious

Press Release

New York, New York; February, 2003 - Two dynamic and distinguished duos to perform at Collective Unconscious. Join West Coast composer Merlin Coleman and acclaimed accordionist Dan Cantrell as they present "Festival of Stillness", a haunting set of songs using spoken text, voice, accordion, cello and musical saw. Then allow your senses to be provoked as renowned singer Dina Emerson and multi-media artist Ken Butler collaborate to perform with varying styles and instruments, ranging from golf clubs and dental dams to shovel and voice. This rare 2-evening event will take place on Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22, 10pm at Collective Unconscious, 145 Ludlow Street between Stanton and Rivington. The event is $12 per person; for more information, click here to email Merlin

"Merlin Coleman presents a devastating confection of lilting vocals, somber strings, unruly language...reminiscent of Meredith Monk crossed with Flannery O'Conner on mushroom tea" (S.F. Weekly).

Coleman, along with Cantrell on accordion, presents a set of emotionally surreal songs which meld genres, sonic qualities and text into a dramatic and environmental performance of unexplainable stories. Influences include early European music, Eastern European folk, Indonesian Gamelan, Tuvan throat singing, surrealist texts, and vocal experimentation. Merlin and Cantrell have performed extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in Japan, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago. Merlin is in New York to fulfill a residency at ENGINE 27 where she has been invited to premier a work for their acclaimed sound Gallery in Tribeca.

"It's not just that Ken Butler knows how to bow stringed parade rifles, play dental dams like trumpets, and construct keyboards from aluminum crutches, it's that he knows how to play them well" (Neil Strauss, The Village Voice).

Ken Butler & Dina Emerson have been playing together since 1989, and this month they will perform collaboratively-composed songs of varying styles influenced by Middle Eastern and raga music. Ken Butler's intensely visual hybrid musical instruments range from a golf club to a shovel to instruments made entirely of recycled detritus. Dina Emerson returns to NY after 2 years in Las Vegas as lead singer with Cirque du Soleil, and is well known as a prime interpreter of New Music, Opera and extended Vocal Techniques. Butler and Emerson have presented concerts and multimedia events at The Kitchen, The Knitting Factory, The Performing Garage, Thread Waxing Space, Exit Art and countless other venues.
Collective Unconscious

Made up of a confederation of artists specializing in visual and performing arts and founded in 1995, Collective Unconscious administers to the artistic community with a theater, rehearsal, and performance space. As a supporter of original works and experimental theater, this organization has hosted several festivals, including the New York Fringe Festival, the Downtown Arts Festival, and the New York Lower East Side Film Festival. Collective Unconscious presents this joint performance two nights only, Friday and Saturday, February 21 and 22, at 10pm. Each evening performance is $12, and takes place at 145 Ludlow Street between Stanton and Rivington.