Warrior Ethos is that ancient-to-the-future, elemental battle cry that embodies the fighting spirit of right beliefs, right action, duty, and personal courage.

Music Research Strategies presents Warrior Ethos: Listening Session as a two-night engagement designed for audiences to participate through listening and viewing the discipline and dynamics of Improvisation-as-social practice and performing-research in action.  The program features a secret, exclusive screening of a fantastic new film focusing on one of our favorite musicians and a Creative Music performance by the Oakland-based trio Mutual Aid Project. 

Warrior Ethos full show


Mutual Aid Project is a Creative Music power trio exhibiting a strong compositional language for collective Improvisation fueled by internal political education producing a unique brand of sonic accountability and anti-oppression community building. The trio self-released “Preface” in 2011 online, then spearheaded “Decolonizing The Imagination: Arts Practicum,” in the wake of the Oscar Grant verdict, interpreted Chicana feminists Chela Sandoval’s “five technologies of the methodologies of the oppressed” as a social science framework for a weaponized synthesis of ritual, warrior ethos, embodied cognition and improvisatory praxis. Reunited, Mutual Aid Project presents “Our Instinctual Voices”

Marshall R. Trammell (drum set)
Born in 1972, Marshall Trammell is a mid-career, multidisciplinary, multi-instrumental percussionist, teacher, conductor, and visionary, social practice artist. He is keenly focused on investigating the nature of Improvisation and organizational, sense-making and cultural technologies embedded in indigenous design principles. Trammell founded Music Research Strategies as a social science-based platform to document critical community engagement, embodied social justice vernacular, organizational strategies, & alternative infrastructure development, and other formations that emerge from his drum set practice. Trammell grew up marveling at the deep ridges the Ko’olau Mountain Range in Kaneohe, on Oahu, Hawai’i, experiencing the many narratives embedded in folkloric arts, crafts and complimentary tales. After 25+ years in the San Francisco Bay Area, he now resides in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Marshall Trammell has worked with members of Postcommodity, Black Spirituals, Ishmael Reed, Saul Williams, David Murray, India Cooke, Pauline Oliveros, Akira Sakata, Roscoe Mitchell, John Tchicai, Joe McPhee, Francis Wong, Jon Jang, and many others. He has been featured in festivals in Texas, Norway, Mexico City, Ontario, Baltimore, San Francisco Bay Area, and others.

Tracy Hui (banjos, tambourine suitcase and voice)
Hey folks!   I’m Mendocino County based composer/improviser/songwriter/songster/dancer/teacher/martial artist/meditator/organic farmer Tracy Hui…

With 25 plus years of performance experience under my belt I aim to uplift, surprise, energize and inspire my audiences with a warmly interactive, intuitively responsive and inventive live music experience.  Absolutely immersed in the sonic instant of nowness, I give 110% of my body, heart and soul to every moment of each performance. If I’m not dripping with sweat, I haven’t genuinely spoken my truth in the cosmic dance.

Armed only with my voice, banjos, suitcase kick, bells/tambourine and lo-fi mixer noise, I conjure up a one of a kind musical stew: re-wilded Psychedelic Appalachian juju, noise jazz, indie punk-hop soaked in some delicious r+b sauciness. I’m an avid collaborator I will play with anyone who asks and is willing to be present in the moment.  Although I prefer to be enigmatic, please don’t take me too seriously and try not to be a stranger unless it suits you . . . I only bite occasionally.

Nick Obando (alto saxophone and electronics)
Filipino-American saxophonist Nick Obando excites audiences with his gritty and unfiltered sound. From simple bold melodies to minimalist ostinatos, his unique and experimental style reflects his personal journey and struggles around identity and race. He has released music ranging from Mutual Aid Project’s “Preface” to Sound Etiquette’s self-titled album on Orenda records.

As the music director for American Center of Philippine Arts (ACPA), Obando taught Rondalla ensembles and performed for student dance presentations. His interested in Filipino dance resulted in composing the music to “Palau’an Bird Call,” a contemporary and tribal Philippine dance directed by Jay Loyola and performed at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Currently Obando works as an educator sharing his love and passion for music.

Warrior ethos:

April 13, 2018

Warrior Ethos: Nommo

Secret film screening
Listening session with Mutual Aid Project

April 14, 2018

Tracy Hui - banjos, tambourine suitcase and voice
Nick Obando - alto saxophone and electronics
Marshall R. Trammell - drum set

Our Instinctual Voices, part 2

Simultaneous Multi-Dimensionality 
a Warrior Ethos composition expressed both individually and collectively in word and sound.

Special Thanks to Tracy Hui, Nick Obando, Jake Meginsky, Matt Volla