Heterodyne Profiled Ahead of DC Performance Tonight

Source: The Washington Post.

For Heterodyne — a group that makes its music exclusively out of thin air — live improvisation is an act of communication between musicians that requires absorbent ears and open minds.

How open, exactly? “I don’t think people are fully cognizant of the role that telepathy plays in this,” says the group’s co-founder, Ted Zook. Upon hearing that idea, Zook’s musical partner, Maria Shesiuk, breaks into laughter, then shrugs. “I laugh,” she says, “but I believe in that.”

Shesiuk, 38, and Zook, 70, formed Heterodyne last summer after repeatedly crossing paths on Baltimore’s improv scene, and they have since performed their telepathy with a revolving cast of area musicians — saxophonist Sarah Marie Hughes, drummer Jerry Busher and keyboardist Bob Boilen (of NPR fame ) among them. Shesiuk mainly plays keyboards while Zook bows a hybridized “basscello.” And because Heterodyne has never rehearsed, the music remains dictated by those core instruments, whoever shows up to join them onstage and the mood of the room.