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the 2000 Tour

The Ensemble
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The Ensemble

The group's mouth filling name (a question mark, a slash and a comma) is a reference to the membership of the ensemble. Three of the group's members --Fran Carris, Tim Wood and Joseph Zitt-- were core members of the Dallas performance ensemble "Question Authority, the". A number of the other members --Tom Bickley and Joseph Zitt-- are members of the Washington D.C.-based Comma. The name is also a reference to the group's irreverent sense of humor and fun.

The ensemble's current all-star lineup combines members of a number of ensembles. Many of the groups have current or future releases through the Metatron Press label. Other members include Austinites Thom the World Poet (multiple international tours), Bobby Corbell (Comma and Friends) and John Snyder (Empty Words), Washington D.C.-based Jon Matis (formerly of Gray Code and Austin band Tiktok), Rod Stryker (Sun Poets Society) and San Francisco-based shakuhachi player Nancy Beckman.

The ensemble works with their own material and that of other composers including John Cage and Pauline Oliveros. Their repertory includes newly composed musical works, performance poetry, chant from various early traditions, and group improvisations. Techniques include many extended uses of the voice as well as electro-acoustic environment. Technically, the performers form "an ensemble specializing in music that involves improvisation and mindfulness practices." In practice that means performances that are a fun, unpredictable and eye-opening mixing of different musical styles, poetry and dance in improvised collaboration.

They perform work that straddles the line between improvisation and composition and between music and poetry. That alone puts the ensemble and the performers in very select company. The ensemble is unique in creating visually exciting work that can be both funny and challenging. Even more uniquely, the work appeals to children and captivates adults.

More information on groups related to ?/, can be found under the related groups link to the left.