Variant State [bi-continental]

This trio is a collaboration between Jesse Kenas Collins, analog electronics and feedback systems (Boston, U.S.A); Alistair Quietsch, bass and electronics (Scotland); and Michael Rosenstein (Boston, U.S.A), distressed sound recordings, electronics, and amplified surfaces. It began as a result of the intersection of long-term musical collaborations between Collins/Quietsch when Quietsch was based in Boston as well as the Boston based duo of Collins/Rosenstein. We began working on the idea of a trio in the Spring of 2019, trading recordings of rehearsals back and forth and layering parts on top. All playing is collectively improvised.

The trio will be embarking on a tour of the UK from November 9th through November 15th 2019.


Variant State [bi-continental] improv 1

Variant State [bi-continental] improv 3

Variant State [bi-continental] improv 4



Working and living in Boston since 2008, Jesse Kenas Collins (U.S.A.) performs in both solo and group contexts, focusing on the confusion of brass and woodwind instruments integrated with analog electronics and systems of feedback. Recent explorations in instrument building have led him to use accordion and khaen reeds sounded by small fans and balloons. These instruments are often distributed around performance spaces and used as a tonal ground against shifting layers of transient electronic and percussive material. As an improviser, he works closely with many artists around New England and maintains an active performance schedule.

Alistair Quietsch (Scotland) is a Glasgow based double-bassist, who was initially influenced by Jesse Kenas Collins in Boston to begin playing in a free-improvised style back in 2013, where he then went on to discover a similar scene in Glasgow. His practice with the double bass explores both the potential sounds of the instrument in both traditional pizz, arco and col legno styles, as well as using found objects such as cans, wrappers and Styrofoam, to further expand on the potential for the instrument. For his solo recording work, he often focuses on electronic manipulation of the bass to contort and twist the acoustic sounds to investigate new areas away from the classical confines of the bass.

He is the fourth member of the self-composing and free-improvising string group Mhenwhar Huws who run their own part-monthly night of experimental performance-based art at The Old Hairdressers in Glasgow and have been actively playing since 2016. 

Michael Rosenstein (U.S.A.) explores the interaction of acoustic and electronic sounds in collectively improvised settings and compositional frameworks. Process is central to his practice. This includes building and modifying sound-gathering devices, amplified surfaces, salvaged instruments, and simple oscillators. It extends to gathering recordings at ocean beaches, bogs, subways, city walks, and as part of architectural investigations utilizing microphones, photo diodes, contact microphones, hydrophones, and electromagnetic sensors. He develops these raw sonic sources, transforming, distressing, and combining them, and feeding off of the unstable sonic results.