Learning from freeform improvisation practices in New York City as well as practices by groups such as the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), The Muzosynth Orchestra (“TMO”) has developed an artistic practice with unique parameters. The work we develop incorporates all the following qualities:
The practice must use elements that exist outside the structure called upon by a tradition.
Spontaneous creation must be an integral part of every aspect.
Going beyond two art forms just existing beside each other, artists of different mediums must communicate and affect each other.
Artistically empowering works
Artists must create pieces that are designed to allow each individual artist to contribute what they feel is the best of themselves.
The parameters of freedom vs. structure must be clearly laid out, and each artist should know how they operate in relation to each other.
Artists must treat their creativity with vigor.
Artists must care about allowing an observer to understand their work by taking their perspective into account.
Acknowledgement of marginalized contributions for inspiration
Artists must identify inspirations for a practice by artists belonging to marginalized groups.
TMO explores the possibilities for artistic creation within these parameters to develop new languages and encourage new ways of thinking of the terms “artistic collaboration” and “improvisation”. We challenge these boundaries, exploring where the boundaries between different artistic mediums become fuzzy, questioning why certain traditions exist, and going past systematically whitewashed narratives of artistic significance. In the process, we liberate our creativity and build a language to communicate with each other.
(Formerly “The Moving Orchestra”)
Sparked by informal jam sessions in living spaces, The Muzosynth Orchestra (pronounced MŪ-ZŌ-synth) is an eclectic mix of musicians, dancers, actors, and visual artists from all backgrounds in New York City. As of 2023, the ensemble works exclusively with BIPOC artists to provide a safer creative space. They specialize in workshopping programs heavily based on improvisation, featuring 3 - 10 performers made up of recurring and new artists. The programs are developed utilizing the skills and personalities of each performing group as well as the possibilities of each venue. TMO has performed in prominent venues as well as unconventional spaces such as St. John's in the Village, Arts on Site, SLEEPCENTER, Playwrights Downtown, Massawa, and MÔTÔ Spirits Distillery. In 2020, they produced a weekly series of online concerts called the "Zoom Jam Series" as well as a three-day online festival celebrating the anniversary of its inception. TMO received a 2022 Creative Learning Grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council for its Musical Lab workshop series for children, sharing collective improvisation techniques with young students. They are a fiscally sponsored organization through the Groupmuse Foundation and a resident artist at MÔTÔ Spirits Distillery.
TMO's inception began at the very end of the summer of 2019, when six musicians came together for a friendly jam session in pianist Joey Chang's living room. He and violinist Katherine Kyu Hyeon Lim, with the help of dancers Carol Chave and Thomas A. Woodman, began workshopping ways to produce engaging group improvisation performances. Using a larger living space as a stepping stone, the ensemble started a monthly performance series, in unusual venues throughout New York City.
“Muzosynth” is a combination of the words “music” and “synthesis”, reflecting the group’s interdisciplinary nature, and "Orchestra" references the artists coming together as one.
“[Muzosynth Orchestra] combines lightness with their passion for complex improvisation, making experiences that feel both musically illuminating and human.” - Vanessa Ague, The Road to Sound