Black and white photo of Stuart and Renko Dempster, Stuart holding a trombone.

Renko and Stuart Dempster

Renko Ishida Dempster. a.k.a. Suiren (Water Lily), artist name given to her by her father, was born and brought up in San Francisco, California. She inherited Japanese aesthetics and Buddhist philosophy from her parents. Upon moving from San Francisco to Seattle, Renko engaged in formal art studies at the (now defunct) Factory of Visual Art and then the University of Washington School of Art, where she maintains an affiliation with Lambda Rho. Renko’s prior work includes costume design/construction for theatre pieces, a performance of drawings with the sound and movement artists ROOM in December 1999, a first solo exhibition at the Northwest Asian American Theatre’s RAW Gallery in February 2000, and a selection of her work at Tacoma’s Commencement Art Gallery during this early Spring. Her work typically explores aspects of spontaneity, interplay of yin/yang, light/dark, negative/positive, dry/wet, and rough/smooth along with a primary sense of joyous freedom and openness to expression.

Stuart Dempster, a.k.a. Fusei (Voice of the Wind), artist name given to him by Renko’s father, was born and brought up in Berkeley, CA. He is a Sound Gatherer, composer, trombonist, didjeriduist, et al; Guggenheim Fellow; and Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington. He has recorded for numerous labels including Columbia, Nonesuch, and New Albion. Dempster, a leading figure – indeed, a pioneer – in the development of trombone technique and performance, published his landmark book The Modern Trombone: A Definition of Its Idioms in 1979. As a founding member of Deep Listening Band, he has toured extensively and produced the first three DLB recordings including award winning Deep Listening CD on New Albion, the first CD made in the now infamous Fort Worden (Port Townsend, WA) cistern with its 45” reverberation. His New Albion recordings “In the Great Abbey of Clement VI” at Avignon (in the words of one reviewer, “a cult classic”) and “Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel” (consisting of music sources for a 1995 Merce Cunningham Dance Company commission) have achieved wide critical acclaim. Dempster also soothes aches, pains, and psychic sores with his meditative and playful Sound Massage Parlor.

New Media Gallery 2000-01: Dream-Time-Pieces

A gallery space with backlit paintings on a wall, people seated in the foreground. Stuart Dempster blows into a long, winding tube and Loren Dempster plays cello.

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