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Katie Bull

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Climate Force



Climate Force, Duo the Right Thing Fall 2014 Event

At the Atlantic Theater Company's Stage II 
Note: photo series on the wall, by Harry Newman

Brenda Bufalino, tap and vocals; and Joe Fonda, bass
Brenda Bufalino, tap and vocals; and Joe Fonda, bass
Brenda Bufalino, tap and vocals; and Joe Fonda, bass
Brenda Bufalino, tap and vocals; and Joe Fonda, bass
Kevin Fitzgerald Burke, vocalist/guitarist & Joe Fonda, bass
Kevin Fitzgerald Burke, vocalist/guitarist & Joe Fonda, bass
Ted Cleary, Environmental Advocate for
Ted Cleary, Environmental Advocate for
Katie Bull, vocals & Joe Fonda, bass

Katie Bull, vocals & Joe Fonda, bass
Katie Bull, vocals & Joe Fonda, bass
Anders Nilsson, electric guitar
Anders Nilsson, electric guitar
Climate Force
Climate Force
Katie's sustainable mountain garden; Hudson River Valley, Catskills
Katie at Calling All Forces
(Photo Credits: James Spione)

Climate Force


The Climate Force “Calling All Forces” event was designed as a call and response to nature. The night carried forth messages of respect and reverence for our earth within a festive air. The evening was structured as an earth-friendly listening ‘party’ to support the development of awareness and environmental action within the inter-arts jazz community. The audience was invited to experience the dynamic energy of nature’s forces through the work of cutting edge artists in free jazz, fusion-edged jazz, improvisational dance, and visual art. The Climate Force artists came together to share a common love of the planet and in a creative act of safeguarding it from the current dangers to its vital systems.

This “first annual” Climate Force inter-arts jazz event was produced by jazz vocalist and environmental advocate Katie Bull. Her intention was to contribute to the growing climate movement via the jazz and inter-arts communities by celebrating nature’s beauty and raising awareness about the need for mitigation and adaptation solutions to global warming. Bull, influenced by protests she has joined to halt hydraulic “fracking” and the Keystone XL Pipeline, booked artists who share environmental fervor. All Climate Force artists are creative forces to be reckoned with. They included (in order of appearance): Andrew Drury, experimental composer and percussionist (The Pipeline Solo: “Pipe Dreams”); The Ras Moshe Unit, an improvised “conduction” project (Ras Moshe, conductor/tenor and flute; Ratzo Harris, bass; Andrew Drury, drums; and Anders Nilsson, guitar); The Exposed Blues Duo consisting of the critically-acclaimed vocalist Fay Victor and the red hot Anders Nilsson, guitar (Best Vocal Album 2011 The New York City Jazz Record); and the Katie Bull Group Project, whose genre-defying album of original compositions , Freak Miracle, received a 2011 NARAS Grammy nomination consideration, (Katie Bull, vocals; Landon Knoblock, piano/electronics; Joe Fonda, bass; Deric Dickens, drums; and Jeff Lederer, tenor).

At the close of the night, the acclaimed jazz-blues singer/composer Kevin Fitzgerald Burke (a veteran of the legendary Jon Hendricks’ vocal group) took the stage for a couple of final songs. Described by Stephen Holden of The New York Times as “a virtuoso scat improviser,” Burke has composed for the environmental movement the elegiac “Wandrin’ the Gasland,” which is dedicated to the lives, lands, and communities destroyed by relentless and unthinking exploitation.

Dancers Alex Romania & Amanda Hunt improvised with Andrew Drury, and visual artists Robert Black, Fran Bull, and Aileen Gural offered painting, photography, and talisman art that respond to nature’s inherent life-giving energy, and that explores the dangers of defying Earth’s natural balance.

The relaxed, humorous, and sharp insight of environmental advocate Ted Cleary (also a writer, teacher, photographer, and songwriter) bridged the sets with integrated thematic riffs and environmental updates. Cleary also entertained questions. There were volunteers from and other groups on site with literature and information about the latest actions and initiatives both local and national.

Producer Bull’s take on the current condition of our planet gives context for the event: “Psyche and weather are mirror reflections. Human psyche is collectively out of balance and this imbalance is manifesting in our planetary weather. We have over-identified with material objects. Our value system has constellated in global warming. The forces of nature are speaking to us through the howl of gale force winds and the roar of rising tides. The forces of nature are speaking to us in the silence of drying riverbeds and the tears of melting glaciers. We must call upon ourselves; call our inner forces, call ourselves to action, and heed nature’s ‘call’. There is still time to listen to nature and respond to this imbalance; the time is now.”

All artists involved in the Climate Force project have strong points of view about our planet’s condition: Please also note the attached Musical Artists Statements & Biographies. Visit the visual artists websites to view their dedication to the earth & see their aesthetics, drawn from the natural world. This was a memorable night in support of a rapidly growing climate movement that is deeply meaningful within the jazz inter-arts community and beyond.


Click here for more info on

Climate Force

Click here for Poster

Click here for Press Release

Click here for Artist's Statements & Biographies


Andrew Drury - 6 pm - The Pipeline Solo, “Pipe Dreams”
For Calling All Forces, Drury will present “Pipe Dreams,” a
semi-autobiographical work-in-progress featuring solo drumming and
percussion, improvised dance (by two dancers, Alex Romania and Amanda Hunt), and text. Pipe Dreams will muse upon the landscapes of Cascadia, legacies of colonialism, the evolving cultural landscape of the US since the 1970s—all against a background of dire ramifications posed by the prospect of the Keystone XL pipeline, extraction of petroleum from
Canadian tar sands, nuclear energy, and global warming.


Ras Moshe Unit – 7 p.m. – The Ras Moshe Unit is comprised of veteran free-jazz improvisers who, under the leadership and conduction of Ras Moshe, find order in chaos, and chaos in order, spontaneously. Their improvised sessions are often soundscapes that invoke the forces of nature, landscapes, cosmic places, and local places. The soundscapes represent the confluence of machine, human, animal, and natural life. Improvisation embodies a process of true collective creation and therefore manifests Ras’s dedication to equality. Appearing at the Stone, the Evolving Music Series, and many other venues throughout the city including on his own Music Now! Series at the Brecht Forum, the Ras Moshe Unit has cultivated a remarkable synchronicity of impulse, flow, and unity.,,,


The Exposed Blues Duo - 8 p.m. - is a collaboration between guitarist Anders Nilsson and Fay Victor that has become an improvising blues duo using true blues, blues based material and all the wails and flails they can muster. With pieces ranging from the Rev. Gary Davis, Leroy Carr, Jimi Hendrix, Herbie Nichols and Memphis Slim alongside free improvisation and original tunes. In December 2007the Exposed Blues DUO was invited to perform at the Winter Nights festival in Marseille, France run by GRIM, an improvising collective based there. THE BLUES was the theme that year, where the Exposed Blues Duo was born with an electrifying set - the packed house wouldn’t go home after four encores! The Exposed Blues DUO released BARE in 2010 receiving rave reviews in the New York Times, Time Out New York and continuing to been perform around New York City at venues such as the 55 Bar, the Brecht Forum, The Stone, The Local 269, Barbes and DROM. The Exposed Blues DUO also invites esteemed guests to join, featuring prominent musicians such as cellist Tomas Ulrich, electric bassist Tim Dahl, alto saxophonists Darius Jones and Roy Nathanson. ”Accomplished vocal modernist Fay Victor manages to deconstruct the tradition of jazz song without pretension or tedium—quite a high-wire feat, if you ask us.”–Time Out New York,


Bull’s set will preview music from her next album, recorded in April and set for release in 2014 - All Hot Bodies Radiate. The title is drawn from Irish physicist John Tyndall’s 1859 discovery of how the atmosphere operates, a discovery that led to the first revelation of a “natural greenhouse gas effect.” The title has a double meaning as well: “The amount that hot bodies radiate is a function of their temperature,” writes political journalist Elizabeth Kolbert in her book, Field Notes from A Climate Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change (Bloomsbury Press 2006). Says Bull, “All hot bodies radiate. The same could be said about love.” All Hot Bodies Radiate is a collection of Bull’s new love songs, thread through with earth imagery, and the love of nature.,,,,



Alex Romania and Amanda Hunt will improvise with Andrew Drury in Drury’s Pipeline Solo, “Pipe Dreams”.

Alex Romania - Alex is a Brooklyn-based performer & artist. He recently presented a dance installation about presence, which he created and performed with Amanda Hunt at the Glasshouse in Brooklyn. Alex has performed in pieces by Simone Forti and Steve Paxton. He is a recent graduate of NYU Tisch where he trained at various studios including the Atlantic Studio, where his voice mentor was Katie Bull. He is happy to be creating multimedia work, and to be employing presence techniques. Find Alex on Facebook.

Amanda Hunt –Amanda is a Brooklyn-based performer. She recently choreographed for the “Reality Show” in Abu Dhabi under the direction of Liz Swados, and presented an original collaboration at The Glasshouse called “If I Were.” Amanda is a recent graduate of NYU Tisch where she trained at various studios including the Atlantic Studio. Her voice mentor at Atlantic was Katie Bull. She employs dance, theater, and performance presence practices. Find Amanda on FB.



Visual artists will explore the forces of nature and the impact of human nature. Their works will be hung on the walls that surround the playing space at JACK. Talismans made of turquoise on string will be available for sale; all proceeds will be gifted to Please visit the artists’ websites for their bios and galleries.

FRAN BULL - paintings (Sophia Series)


This poem is the artistic "fruit" of living life and gardening on the mountain:


The Rose and the Trumpet:
Ode to a Sustainable Mountain Garden
By Katie Bull, July & August 2013

from my garden
an orange rose
an orange rose
a trumpet vine
a trumpet vine


1. four days without cutting vines back
and everything    looks like wild           hair
  or the eyelashes of     a giant sorceress

"It's better this way mom," says my girl,
who has become a woman.
"Like Alice in Wonderland.”

wish we    lived here    year round  wish we
lived here   wish   we      lived        here

sword, knife, wand; the common garden tool
cutting wrestling wrangling with
the tangle of
entwining vine runners
inside there are
gaping holes that

make no

it feels good to sweat here   it is good  it is
it’s good here   good to sweat

I don't care
if I get stung
anyway the bees seem to know that I am unafraid
they have a mind of their own; they are
mind reading

the encroaching stems of the invasive vine
are as strong as steel, threaded through the orange rose bush
adorned with petals that are feathery
almost sheer in the light, rustling like saffron robes

it’s like a fishing line – you know – the way the encroaching vine tugs
and something on the other end pulls back; roots, I guess
the rose bush and the rambling lasso are in a dance
of cultivation and chaos

the reality is

earth's green web would revert back to thick thick thicket
but for the choice to use
sharp shears

everything is going every which way – must navigate
to the source

and in the clearing I see
the knitted vine’s tendril
is a latticed "hand"
stems matted to form
 a forceful grasping handshake


on knees this mortal is noticing
how some root systems live side-by-side and others
are incompatible

the orange roses are surrounded

trumpet vines
are fascinating because they contain both
masculine and feminine
functions; generation and regeneration

on knees this mortal is noticing
a fleeting moment of thinking about the man I was once
married to, and how
we planted together before we
parted ways


in a time lapse this growth would look like a spill because
nature is about flow patterns


thorns draw blood from bare hands

the orange rose reveals a heroic
elegance all her own
my god this raw
 loud heroic
explosion of life
humming and proliferation
“Should I cut it back
more evenly?”  I ask again.
“No, no” says my girl,
“no no it’s better
this way.



I can feel how, especially after rain, the garden has the
hot       breath       of 
what comes to mind is
the                           black hole                              in
an    imagined mountain lion’s    mouth
but in a good way
and it’s kind of oh how do I say
overwhelming for a moment.
Makes me realize why western civilization
wants to make everything, - what’s the word?

It’s symphonic
uncurled, wavy and expansive

birch and pine trees are singing, coyotes and brown bears stop and watch at crossroads

those raspberries in the sun are
attracting fleets of black winged
beetles who create lace because they consume
raspberry leaves which then become something like ancient manuscript paper
with some secret alphabet

what does it say?
 seed roots burst light feeds
the imperfection the overlapping the whole
blossom survives intact and bears forth
the edible

it could be tropical this north eastern climate
hosting a vegetable and insect menagerie,
this rowdy caucus
shooting up
things growing like Will incarnate;
every every
every which way

“Mom, listen to the birds,” says my girl.
She pauses and closes her eyes, turning her face
into the light, then – she smiles.
I watch her legs floating in the swimming pool as she hooks
her long arms on the edge, resting her spine
against the warmth of the stamped concrete.
  “When will you come in? Come in mamma.”
She is getting to the age where she
understands that this is
very special.


pulling weeds peacefully beside hoards of  bumble bees
winged round striped furry, they sound like
miniature goats, or helicopters
which is amusing
I am laughing
they are hanging onto the yellow centers
of the violet flowers rimming
maroon-brown eggplant

Gaugin comes to mind
the sensuality

In 1974 an African elder in the Volta jungle of Ghana
was holding my hand, and he said:

“Green is the true
color of all blood, under all skin.”


So, I just want to thank the gardeners who
wake up at the crack of dawn and have, for millennia.
You are awarded the reward of the bounteous land.
It’s vines, it’s struggles, it’s blossoms.
You put your hands in the dirt.
Gardener’s dirt has been under your nails
since the birth








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