THE FRICTION BROTHERS
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Bios (RTF format) : The Friction Brothers Bios
The Friction Brothers (Michael Colligan, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang) are perhaps the only dry-ice/cello/percussion trio in the visible world.
Begun in 2005 to perform improvised works that explore their love of scraping, rubbing, hitting and freezing various objects to the point of vibration, they have appeared at a number of questionable venues in Chicago. While often sounding like electronic music, they make all their sounds mechanically. To produce these sounds each member has developed an expansive vocabulary of extended techniques. Zerang has raised the back scratcher to an essential component of the modern drummers stick collection. Colligan, warms up metal objects and the super cools them on a block of dry ice making them vibrate in the audible range. Lonberg-Holm's grind tone remains an unexplainable phenomena by acousticians.
Although the trio is a relatively new group, the members have worked together extensively for over 15 years in a wide variety of settings from the seminal lower case 4tet Pillow to the internationally known free improvised jazz powerhouse Peter Broetzmann’s Chicago 10tet.
Their first CD was released by the Sort Of Records imprint Abstract On Black.
They are currently working on a second release due out on the Flying Aspidistra label in June to coincide with their first North American tour.
Fred Lonberg-Holm currently lives in Chicago where he works with a wide variety of musicians in as many situations as possible. Current and ongoing projects include the Valentine Trio (with Jason Roebke and Frank Rosaly), the Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet, Ken Vandermark’s Territory Band, Frame Quartet and Vandermark 5, Joe Mcphee’s Survival Unit III (with Michael Zerang), Friction Brothers (Colligan, Lonberg-Holm and Zerang), The Boxhead Ensemble, Horses Ha (Janet Bean and Jim Elkington), Flatlands Collective (w/Jorrit Dykstra), Tony Malaby’s Cello Trio, Vox-Arcana, Sherpa, Keefe Jacksons Fast Citizen’s as well as numeorous one off ad-hoc groups.
Improvisors he has worked with include Clare Cooper, Charlotte Hug, Andrea Neumann, Shelly Hirsch, Carrie Shull, Carrie Biolo, Birgitte Uhler, Rachel Wadham, Mary Halvorson, Joelle Leandre, Joanne Powers, Zeena Parkins, Judy Dunaway, Lotte Anker as well as a number of guys. He also leads a revolving cast large ensembles under the name Lightbox Orchestra.
He has studied composition with Morton Feldman, Anthony Braxton, Pauline Oliveros, Bunita Marcus and Noah Creshevsky and cello with Orlando Cole and Ardyth Alton
Michael Zerang was born in Chicago, Illinois and is a first generation American of Assyrian decent. He has been a professional musician, composer, and producer since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms. He has collaborated extensively with contemporary theater, dance, and other multidisciplinary forms and has received three Joseph Jefferson Awards for Original Music Composition in Theater, in 1996, 1998, and 2000. He has over sixty titles in his discography and has toured nationally and internationally since 1981 with and ever-widening pool of collaborators. He was the artistic director of the Link's Hall Performance Series from 1985-1989 where he produced over 300 concerts of jazz, traditional ethnic folk music, electronic music, and other forms of forward thinking music. He continued to produce concerts at Cafe Urbus Orbis from 1994-1996, and at his own space, The Candlestick Maker in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood, from 2001 - 2005. He has taught as a guest artist at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in performance technique, sound design, and sound/music as it relates to puppetry; rhythmic analysis for dancers at The Dance Center of Columbia College, Northwestern University, and MoMing Dance and Arts Center; courses in Composer - Choreographer Collaborations at Northwestern University; music to children at The Jane Adams Hull House. He has held workshops in improvisational music and percussion technique and teaches private lessons in rhythmic analysis, music composition, and percussion technique.
Michael Colligan uses dry ice as an instrument. He made the discovery you could make sound with dry ice while working his first job at Baskin Robbins as a scooper.
He has also played various homemade and traditional reed instruments. Past and current projects include Math ( Mr. Quintron, Monotrona), The Flying Luttenbachers (Weasel Walter, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kurt Johnson), Pillow ( Liz Payne, Ben Vida, Fred Lonberg-Holm), Corine (Kevin Drumm, Matt Weston), Friction Brothers (Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang), and other fleeting groups. He has improvised with numerous people over the years including Taku Sugimoto, Ken Vandermark, Rhodri Davies, Hamid Drake, Frank Rosaly, John Butcher, Carrie Biolo, Jim O'Rourke, Jeb Bishop, Phill Niblock, Radu Malfatti, Sean Meehan, Sarah Washington, Jeff Parker, and many others. He was a host for the Improvised Music Workshop at Myopic Books in Chicago for many years, and currently resides in that city.