contemporary chamber music [performance + composition + research]

Andrew Bliss, Artistic Director

Andrew Bliss is a versatile percussionist, specializing in the performance and education of contemporary solo and chamber music. His work has been heard at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), the Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music (Germany), the Patagonia Percussion Festival (Argentina), theSEAMUS National Conference (IN), the LiveWire Festival (Baltimore, MD), the Intermedia Festival (Indianapolis, IN), and in Bangkok (Thailand).

Kerry O'Brien, Research Director

Kerry O'Brien a musicologist specializing in post-1945 experimental music. She lives in New Haven, where she is a Lecturer in the Yale University Department of Music. O'Brien has presented her work at the national meeting of the American Musicological Society, the Society for Minimalist Music, the Royal Musicological Association Music and/as Process Symposium, and the New Music Gathering. With research supported by a Presser Foundation Music Award, a Paul Sacher Stiftung Research Grant, a Getty Research Library Grant, and an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women, her writings have appeared in the Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher StiftungNewMusicBoxThe New York Times, and The New Yorker online. O'Brien is a percussionist with Nief-Norf and directs the research component of the Nief-Norf Summer Festival. 

Christopher Adler, Composition Director

Christopher Adler is a composer, performer and improviser living in San Diego, California. His compositions encompass cross-culturally hybrid forms drawn from contemporary concert music and traditional musics of Thailand and Laos, the application of mathematics to composition, and the integration of improvisation into structured composition. He is a foremost performer of traditional and new music for the khaen, a free-reed mouth organ from Laos and Northeast Thailand. He is a pianist for the nief-norf Project, NOISE, an Affiliated Artist with San Diego New Music, a co-founder of the soundON Festival of Modern Music, Director of Composition for the nief-norf Summer Festival, and Professor of Music at the University of San Diego.

Abby Fisher, Director of Operations

Abby Fisher is a versatile percussionist based in New York City. She is interested in performing and supporting the continued growth of new music. Notable performances include winning the 2013 New York University Steinhardt Concerto Competition, performing at the 2011 and 2013 Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, composing the score and performing as the featured musician in the production of The Secret Paris Project at the Secret Theatre (NYC), and performing at the One World Gala at the opening of the Observatory Deck at One World Trade Center (NYC). In 2013, she co-led a consortium of percussionists from all over North America in commissioning a vibraphone and speaking-voice work from composer Lawton Hall. In 2015-16, Abby will present Lawton Hall’s work All Your Thens for Now at a TEDx talk (Stony Brook University, NY) and will perform Hall’s work at New Music Gathering in Baltimore. Abby is pursuing her Doctorate in Musical Arts at Stony Brook University, where she studies with Eduardo Leandro and serves as a teaching assistant for the ethnomusicology department.  Abby is a Young Artist endorser for Vic Firth sticks and mallets.

Eric Retterer, Director of Production

Eric Retterer is an Alaskan-born percussionist with a passion for the collaborative arts and contemporary music. He is a founding member of the Soundmark Project, and an alumnus of the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, Open Score Ensemble, and Ensemble 64.8. He has served as a guest percussionist in Crossing 32nd Street and the Nief-Norf Project, and his performances across the United States and abroad have included events such as the Intermedia Festival, Piteå Percussion Repertoire Festival, Open Ears Festival, Big Ears Festival, and PASIC. Eric received his B.M. and M.A. studying with Scott Deal and Morris Palter at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is a Doctoral candidate at Arizona State University under the guidance of J.B. Smith. Eric currently serves as the Director of Production for Nief-Norf and is the Term Instructor of Percussion at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.