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April 20-21, 2024

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Hosted and Sponsored by Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

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RF-A2 Artists


Bridge Bassoon Duo

Founded in 2022 by Dana Brink and Andy Sledge, the Bridge Bassoon Duo explores the expressive capabilities of the bassoon duo as a genre. They have performed and given masterclasses at festivals, conferences, and universities throughout the United States and internationally. As creators and commissioners, the duo places a special focus on expanding the bassoon duo repertoire written by historically marginalized composers, especially queer and transgender artists. Andy and Dana call Morgantown, WV home, where they work with students from pre-college to graduate studies at West Virginia University.

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Joe Reilly

Joe Reilly is a singer, songwriter, social worker, Dharma teacher, and educator who writes songs from his heart. Joe’s songs are playful, clever, engaging, joyful, and always have something meaningful to say. The core of his message is an invitation to heal our relationships with our selves, with each other, and with the earth. Joe uses his music to bring people together and build community across lines of race, class, gender, ethnicity, religion, age, and nationality. Joe is Italian, Irish, and Native American (Cherokee/Choctaw) and was raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan in a creative household by musical parents who encouraged him to find his own voice. Joe loves to inspire others to do the same and to water seeds of compassion, joy, wisdom, and peace in our collective consciousness through the sharing of his music. 

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BlackBox Ensemble

BlackBox Ensemble is a collective of contemporary music performers based in New York City dedicated to exploring experimental boundaries of music through projects resonant with our ever-evolving contemporary moment, expanding relationships between music, other arts mediums and definition of performance spaces uniting them. Founded in 2018, their 2023–24 season has major performances in New York City and beyond, including touring engagements in Washington, DC, Florida, Michigan, and throughout the Northeast, from universities to museums to concert halls. The ensemble believes that music, as a cultural medium, fills the role of the “black box,” enacting an ambiguous but vital relationship between artistic expression and human connection. In doing so, they strive to follow the inspiration of the theatrical definition, fostering this connection as a creative laboratory for adaptable experimentation and collaboration.

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New Music Detroit feat. Justin Snyder

In search of new modes of communication and expression, pianist Justin Snyder has joined forces with artists spanning a wide spectrum of backgrounds, from choreographers, poets, and digital artists to perfumers, durational performance artists, fashion designers, and laser artists. With a focus on the music of living composers, he has had the great privilege of working with Libby Larsen, Molly Joyce, My Brightest Diamond (Shara Nova), Kelly Moran, Jonathan Dove, Evan Ziporyn, William Bolcom, and Jake Heggie, amongst many more artists. Justin is the creative director of New Music Detroit.

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Alexis C. Lamb's Resonant Gratitude 

Resonant Gratitude explores humans’ musical relationship to our natural soundscapes, specifically how our music can coexist with, or be in service to, our natural surroundings. This long-form composition will bring listeners to a place of attentive listening and reflection, which can then become a catalyst for preserving, protecting, and nurturing one's environment. The performers, as well as all attendees, will be invited to listen and respond in real time to their surroundings in hopes of building a respectful sonic relationship with the Living Earth. The resulting awareness of the Living Earth’s sonic beauty will become a call to environmental conservation. 

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Jack Vees' Terraphonograph

Jack Vees has a particularly distinctive and personal musical style that is instantly recognizable. His music unselfconsciously combines rigorous formal thinking with the raw energy of rock, along with an irreverent, acerbic wit, which is often displayed in his installation pieces. His book, “The Book on Bass Harmonics” (Alfred Mus, 1981) became a standard reference work for bassists around the world, and cemented his reputation as an imaginative performer. Vees is the co-founder of Yale University’s Center for Studies in Music Technology (CSMT) at the Yale School of Music, where he has taught since 1986, shortly after his graduation from CalArts.

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Maritza Garibay's Solar-Powered Instruments

Maritza Garibay is a sound artist and music educator based in Detroit. Her current practice reclaims public spaces through community-oriented DIY synthesizer-making workshops and site-specific, historically and environmentally informed sound installation. These instruments are built utilizing found and recycled materials, and invite new approaches to performance through an absence of keyboards, knobs, or any traditional interface. Power is derived from solar panels which allow environmentally-influenced modulations. The use of solar power and shadows as performative elements enables multiple actors, human or otherwise, to impact the sound. The anti-idiomatic nature of the circuit’s construction encourages the player to explore the instrument as if it were an unknown terrain. 

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Peter Ferry leads "Flowerpot Music" by Elliot Cole

Chicago-based percussionist Peter Ferry is known for creating innovative and meaningful audience experiences. “Flowerpot Music”, written by composer Elliot Cole and artistically directed by percussionist Peter Ferry, is a composition for an unlikely but beautiful percussion instrument - the flowerpot! Bell-like tones are “passed” from performer to performer in improvised gestures called “blooms” that sweep through the outdoor space, creating an immersive soundscape. Learned through simple games and instructions, it can be performed by non-musicians and musicians alike. Be a part of this unique musical experience!


Darian Donovan Thomas

Composer, multi-instrumentalist, and interdisciplinary artist Darian Donovan Thomas was born in San Antonio, Texas, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. He is interested in combining genres and mediums into a singular vocabulary that can express ideas about intersectionality (of medium and identity). Necessarily, he is interested in redacting all barriers to entry that have existed at the gates of any genre - this vocabulary of multiplicity will be intersectional, and therefore all-inclusive. 

Darian has been commissioned and premiered by Jennifer Koh, Ensemble Signal, Adam Tender, So Percussion, ~Nois Quartet,YOSA (the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio), among others around the world. 

RF-A2 Educators

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Diana Martinez

Diana Martinez is a Master's in the School for Environment and Sustainability focusing on Behavior, Education, and Communication. Ms. Martinez is passionate about science education and hopes to provide multilingual experiences for children and adults of all backgrounds. She is excited about creating opportunities to connect with nature and spark curiosity about our natural environment.


David Wilkerson-Lindsey

David Wilkerson-Lindsey is a graduate student studying Agroecology in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at University of Michigan. Before starting at U of M he received a B.S. in Integrative Biology & Environmental Sustainability from the University of Illinois. With this he branched out from his past work doing research in animal behavior and rotational grazing systems to work at an environmental restoration firm and native plant nursery in central Illinois. He also ran an urban farm and orchard on the Southside of Chicago. He facilitated teen education programs and community college courses in agroecological farming, greenhouse management, and aquaponics to share knowledge and resources on bringing biodiversity and healthy food to Chicago neighborhoods.


Lindsay Karty

Lindsay “VIKI” Karty is an educator, artist, and performer who lives in Jefferson Chalmers, the Venice of Detroit, where she collages sound, builds electronic devices, kayaks in the river, gardens, and works on her 1915 home. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is certified in Pauline Oliveros’ practice of Deep Listening. She continues to hold Deep Listening study groups throughout southeast Michigan. A couple of artworks she’s most proud of are The Mothership and Mental Machine, a tribute to the Electrifying Mojo, and Electric Curtain, an architectural music instrument. She’s had the opportunity to work with youth at schools, community centers, maker spaces, and a roller rink. She currently works with kiddos on the spectrum and will be continuing her graduate studies at Wayne State’s School of Education in Fall 2024.

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Isaac Smith

Isaac is a dedicated birder and bird researcher who will be completing a master's degree from the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability this spring. He studies the effects of climate change on how birds develop, and is passionate about bird conservation, ecological restoration, and environmental outreach. He spends a part of every single day paying attention to local birds he sees and hears, and is eager to share that knowledge with others.


Lee Smith Bravender

Lee is curious about human learning, health, and nature connection, and her curiosity continually points her to the value of nature-based, outdoor play. As UM MBGNA’s Nature Play Advocate, Lee creates environments for outdoor play, provisions these environments with natural loose parts, and extends inclusive invitations to play as one desires, seeking to build community relationships to increase childhood nature access and play equity. Lee finds her flow in wildside gardening, and knows outdoor play is essential, healthy human development, a potential pathway to pro-Earth behavior, a powerful practice of self-directed learning.

Ongoing Activities at RF-A2

Human Music/

Nature Music

Oral History Collection

Do you have a story you want to share about how the natural soundscape has impacted you? Record it with us! These recordings will go into an archive to be shared back to the local community and will also be included in our “Human Music/Nature Music” repository of oral histories on RF's website!

Creating and Interpreting Non-Traditional Music Scores

Explore other ways music can be composed without using traditional Western notation, and create your own musical score!

  • Text scores, graphic scores, etchings/pressings, etc.

  • What does the music sound like from these scores?

  • How can we continue to incorporate our natural elements into these non-traditional scores?

Guided Sound Walk

Take a walk around the RF-A2 area with one of Maritza Garibay's solar-powered instruments, and identify sounds you hear along your journey. It allows for some breathing room between RF events, and you may notice sounds you have never heard before!

Nichols Arboretum
"Stage in the Arb"

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA


Use the 1610 Washington Heights (peony garden entrance) for the main route (includes dirt trails and steps) or Nichols Drive entrance for an ADA accessible route

Saturday: 12:30 pm-7:30 pm

Sunday: 12:30 pm-7:30 pm

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