Currently based in New Orleans, Ira Echo is a musician, movement artist, and interdisciplinary artist primarily known for their performances with jazz ensembles on violin. Ira currently performs in duos with New Orleans’s finest bass player, Martin Masakowski, and Argentinian guitarist Salvador Avila and as a solo artist utilizing percussive looping.
Ira began studying violin performance at the Transylvanian Kalotaszentkiralyi music academy in Sâncraiu Romania. Following this they embarked on several bicycle tours around 40 countries with a goal of learning many music styles from the people who traditionally perform them. Ira’s path of performance then took them to New Orleans where they studied the different eras and styles of jazz with the cities hardest working musicians.
Ripples and Waves is Ira’s new collection of compositions written with the movement of improvisational dancers in mind. The pieces can be performed solo on violin, voice & piano, or with accompanying musicians. Their structure embodies the natural dynamic and energetic flow of a group of dancers meeting one another in creative spontaneous physical dialogue. This work is inspired by Contact Improv dance culture and the compatibility improvisational music and dance share. In Contact Improvisation dancers work to cultivate alertness in an energetic state of physical disorientation, trusting in their physical survival instincts. Ripples and Waves is Ira’s attempt to cultivate alertness in a state of musical distortion, trusting in their musical survival instincts.
As an artist Ira is fortunate to have created an 8 model piece for the Fall Fashion show at Material Institute in New Orleans. Ira designed masks and attire for 8 models and choreographed a group catwalk showing to live violin and electronics performance.
As a dancer Ira’s practice lies at the intersection of somatics, movement improvisation, genderbending and playing with different ways of public interbeing. Their movement practice is informed by their roots in Contact Improvisation as well as their study of Gaga and butoh. As a dancer Ira performed in 2018 at San Francisco Movement Arts Festival and 2019 at Texas Dance Improv Festival. Ira dances and performs music regularly in contact improv community.
As a circus performer Ira has collaborated with two floating circuses. In 2017 the Sea Clown Sailing Circus tour of the Ionian Sea (Greece) raising funds for the refugee crisis there and finding sustainable way of circus life and promoting positive social change while sailing, and in 2019, Flotsom river circus, taking a recycled handbuilt barge of circus performers up the Willamette river in Oregon creating free shows culminating in shows with an audience of several thousands in public parks in Portland, OR. Ira also collaborates with physical theatre acts in Fringe festivals and other small circus performances as a clown.