Praise / Press
2000 Tour: Ensemble Members
John R. Snyder
Thom the World Poet
Thomas F. Bickley
Thomas F. Bickley, born in Houston, Texas holds
degrees in music, liturgical studies and information
science. His studies included African American sacred
music with J. Jefferson Cleveland, recorder with Scott
Reiss, Gregorian Chant with Ruth Steiner and Deep
Listening and composition with Pauline Oliveros. He is
based in Houston, Texas and Washington, DC, where he
is on the music faculty of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop,
teaching private lessons and classes in early and new music.
Active as a composer and performer of sacred music, he
assists with the multicultural liturgical music at St.
Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, in
Washington, DC. His work Christe Redemptor Omnium
was commissioned and performed by organist Ronald
Stolk at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the
Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC in August,
1993. His setting of the Magnificat for cantor,
congregation and tape has been sung in numerous
services in Houston and Washington. He assisted in the production of the CD Praise
the Lord: Gospel music in Washington, DC (Smithsonian/Folkways 40113) for the
Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History & Culture. He has provided music
for walking meditation at the labyrinth at the Church of the Epiphany in DC, creating the
works Lunations I-IV as part of that project.
In addition to Comma, Bickley performs in Gusty Winds May Exist (with
shakuhachi player Nancy Beckman), Gray Code, a new music quartet/quintet based in DC and
Chicago, as well as with Pauline Oliveros at MECA in Houston.
Tom Bickley has performed with a variety of ensembles in concert, theatrical and workshop
settings. Concert performances, in addition to work with Comma and Gusty Winds May
Exist, include the SonicWorks New Music Festival in Houston, Ione's Dream Festival in
Kingston, NY, unCAGEd II & III in Baltimore.
Learn more about Bickley at
or reach him by email at
Joseph Zitt's texts and music have been
performed across the country. His book
Shekhinah: The Presence was published by
Metatron Press. He has created multimedia
works with the Human Systems
Performance Group and sound poetry
performances with Question Authority, the.
He is a member of the new music vocal
ensemble Comma, and can be heard on
their CD (voices). He founded and manages
Silence: the Internet John Cage Mailing List,
and develops technologies for human
empowerment near Washington, DC.
You can learn more about Joseph Zitt at
and you reach him by email at
Additional Photos are available at
Nancy Beckman is a shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) player and teacher
who learned the traditional solo Zen Buddhist meditational repertoire in
Japan. She plays in churches, bathtubs, cornfields, hospitals, waterfalls,
graveyards, and onstage. She studied ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University,
Inter-Arts at San Francisco State University, and collaborated in
site-specific performance art pieces using Japanese language and
photography. Currently, she studies Deep Listening with Pauline Oliveros
and engages in guerilla deep listening as social action. Based in San
Francisco, she performs experimental music with recorder player Thomas
Bickley in the duo Gusty Winds May Exist, improvises with the Sisters of the
Sound Continuum, and composes improvisational sound meditations. Her saving
grace may be an irrational rapprochement with reality. For updates on
garage doors opening in San Francisco, contact her at
Austin-based musician and poet John Snyder was a member of the
sound/poetry/improv group Empty Words and has appeared in numerous
live and recorded performances across the country with long-time
collaborator Tom Bickley. His poetry has been featured at the Austin
International Poetry Festival and appears in the e-zine Webgeist. He
holds degrees in music theory, computer science and philosophy. He
studied composition with Robert Nelson, viola with Wayne Crouse and
Steve Ansell, computer sound synthesis with Barry Vercoe, and
Javanese gamelan with Jarrad Powell and Endo Suanda. He teaches 9-12
year olds at Austin Montessori School.
John Snyder can be reached by email at
Jonathan Matis studied composition at Connecticut College with Noel Zahler, and at the Hartt
School of Music, studying with Steven Gryc, Robert Carl, and David Macbride. He received the
Mahan Prize in Music from Connecticut College in 1993, and the Diemente Prize from the Hartt
School in 1999.
Jonathan plays the electric guitar primarily, and has performed in many different types of
ensembles, in a wide variety of venues. He has performed live on radio, television, and in
festivals. He played in the prog-core band Snuggles and the ambient free improv ensemble
Tiktok, both in Austin, Texas and with Casual Saturn, a Connecticut-based collective of
improvising musicians. Matis currently lives in the Washington, DC area, and performs with
many other Metatron Press artists.
For additional recordings and info, please see Jonathan's page at mp3.com:
For upcoming concerts and events, see Jonathan's mp3.com "artist calendar". He can
be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
fran carris is a visual/video/performance artist. Recent
poetry/multi-media credits include "Running With Wolves"
at Barnes & Noble and a minitour of Texas cities with
the sound/poetry ensemble "Comma". Poetry video credits
include "Manifesto" and "Ignition". Other video credits
include "Lady in the Dark" shown at the Dallas Video Festival
and the San Antonio Museum of Art. Recent performance credits
include "Two to Tango" at the Eagle Dallas and "Miss Goddess
Goes To Tea" for Fieldwork at the Bathhouse Cultural Center.
She is a member of C. J. Critt's "Angry Girl Sextet" who
have performed in multiple venues including the "Femmathon"
in New York City at the Pulse Ensemble Theater. When she
grows up she wants to retire from the telephone company.
fran can be reached by email at
Thom The World Poet
THOMTHEWHIRLEDPOE is a biodegradable yet volatile mix
of possibilities,probability theories and lateral
thinking.He used to live in the moment,but shifted
when the Doppler Effect entered politics.He lives in a
caravan in a distant star system,practising making
mantras for a departing moon.He chews slowly,digesting
poetry 33 times before ingesting.He was last seen as a
human jukebox,and heard as an optical soundtrack for a
movie that will never be released.His first words
Trust this will awaken the sleeping!
Thom the World Poet can be reached by email at
Tim Wood's work is usually described
simply by calling on names of some
of the more surrealistic and bizarre figures
in the twentieth century. One critic raised the name of Dali.
Christopher Soden, Director of the Dallas Poets Community,
introduced Tim's poetry at the 1995 Autumn Equinox Poetry
Gala as "a fusion between Laurie Anderson and George Orwell."
He later amended his comments in a review of Mr. Wood's book
Voices: "After reading Voices: painting with words, I stand
by that diagnosis, with perhaps a bit of Rod Serling thrown
into the mix." His work ranges from poetry to visual art to
video and has been featured in New York, Chicago, New Mexico
and across Texas. Upcoming performances include several venues
in San Francisco. He has three collections of poetry to his
credit. Tim Wood is also Publisher of artsDFW. You can learn
more about Tim Wood and his work on his website 4til7.com or email him at
Rod Stryker writes poetry because he desperately wants to please "she-who-is-my-mistress,"
the muse. What her reasons are, he can't even begin to guess. As Rod puts it,
"I just do what I'm told." He is the founder of the Sun Poet's Society and Editor and Publisher
of the literary and artistic quarterly Sun Poetic Times. He has performed
at schools and prisons, on radio Stations and at various events throughout Texas.
He recently completed a tour of England with features that included
the Bristol International Poetry Festival, the Southampton International Poetry
Festival, BBC 1 Radio and Bath Spa University.
Rod Stryker was born January 19, 1967 under the given name Carlos Emilio Rodriguez.
He has two boys, served 7 years in the U.S. Air Force and
works at Baptist Medical Center in San Antonio.
Rod receives email from the muse and the occasional mere mortal at
Bobby Corbell was born and raised in a teensy-weensy West Texas town, where he learned
to really love music.. Trombone in the high school band, piano lessons on
the side. He moved to the Austin area in 1989 and have since been expanding
my list of likes. Upon meeting Joe Zitt in 1994 or so, his exposure to
various "underground" and/or previously-unbelieved music (and more!) has
increased his hunger for New and Unusual. He's performed with Joe Zitt and
various combinations of his groupings a few times, and enjoys it immensely!
Bobby Corbell has an outpost on the web at