Death in the Maze was a long running quartet with John Berndt, Rose Hammer Burt, and Paul Neidhardt. The music focused heavily on ritualistic soundscapes composed of microtonal, often very quiet flutters, gurgles, scratches, and squawks. The quartet played almost as one mind, creating accessibly alien textures that could turn suddenly into completely different soundscapes.
Second Nature was another long running project. John Berndt led a large ensemble of some of Baltimore's most versatile improvisors, teaching them rehearsal techniques for making large group improvisation transparent and dynamic.
Geodesic Gnome was a conceptual performance troupe seeking to explore dissociative compositions. Diverse shows included performing in complete darkness with mirrors and lazers, a play celebrating the essence of the first season of Dark Shadows, and performing under the influence of placebo placebos.
Samuel Burt's music can be found on several compact discs from the Recorded label.
Improvisation has impacted many composers. For Burt, it has given him more trust to give performers opportunities to create interesting material in a composition. It has increased his ability to think of performance as dynamic conversation. Above all else, it has introduced him to worlds of sounds often ignored by composers. Instruments are capable of so much more color, if you are willing to take them apart, bow them the wrong way, stop them up, or change embouchure.
Samuel Burt has worked with some of the finest experimental musicians in the world. Co-curating the High Zero Festival and the Red Room series has given him access to a diverse menagerie of outside-the-box thinkers.Here's a list of a few: