International sTRANGE mUSIC Day 2014


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International sTRANGE mUSIC Day 2014 Performance Soiree
Sunday, August 24th @ SPECTRUM, 121 Ludlow St., NYC

Tickets $15 – Doors open at 6:30 pm with trouble to begin at 7:00 pm

Web site: http://www.strangemusic.com/ISMD2014.html

PDF Press Release

NEWSFLASH: All attendees of the INTERNATIONAL STRANGE MUSIC DAY performance at Spectrum NYC on Aug. 24th are eligible to enter our FREE raffle. The Grand Prize? A single ticket to the KING CRIMSON concert on Sept. 21st in NYC, Orchestra Center, Row GG, Seat 101. Why only one ticket? Out of sympathy for the poor date that always gets dragged along. We’re showing some mercy.

AUGUST 24th is International sTRANGE mUSIC Day. It’s a real holiday, yes it is. To celebrate, some of the NYC area’s best and brightest composers and performers are getting together to have a very unserious session of music making. This as an opportunity to for them to share unusual sounds, unusual instrumentation, and unusual compositions rarely heard or new ones that will never be heard from again.

For the 2014 celebration, creator Patrick Grant/Peppergreen Media partners up once again with NYC’s Lower East Side high-tech chamber-salon Spectrum NYC where the 2012 event was held. This is the perfect venue for such an event since its capabilities will enable strange musicians and performers of all stripes to push the envelope into uncharted territory.

Celebration in São Paulo: Making this a truly international event, there will be a Strange Music Day sister spectacle taking place at exactly the same time at the Paco Das Artes in São Paulo, Brazil presented by the Orchestra Descarrego. More iNFO via their Facebook event page HERE.

A SPLENDID ORCHESTRA
is in town, but has not been engaged

MAGNIFICENT FIREWORKS
were in contemplation for this occasion, but the idea has been abandoned

A GRAND TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION
may be expected; in fact, the public are privileged to expect whatever they please.

NYC PERFORMERS TO INCLUDE…

Cristian Amigo & Angela Babin

Guitarists Angela Babin and Cristian Amigo perform Empty Form Duo #5, a piece based on the non-dualistic idea of form/emptiness. Babin was a founding mother of the band The Ordinaires who received critical acclaim in the 80s in the Downtown NY music scene. She met Amigo (Guggenheim Fellow, guitarist, and songwriter) while playing Elliott Sharp’s Syndakit. During an extended wait for the subway they formed their collaboration for the Gotham Roots Orchestra via a mutual appreciation for the blues. They will keep it sTRANGE.

Lynn Bechtold

Violinist/composer Lynn Bechtold has appeared in recital throughout NA and Europe, and has premiered works by composers including Gloria Coates, George Crumb, John Harbison, Alvin Lucier, and Morton Subotnick. She is a member of groups including Zentripetal Duo, Bleecker StQ, Miolina, and SEM, and her performances have been broadcast on various TV/radio, including WNYC, 30 Rock, CBS Morning Show, and Good Day NY. She has appeared at venues from Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall to LPR and Joe’s Pub. Her electroacoustic compositions have been performed on festivals such as the Composers Concordance Festival and Kathleen Supove’s Music With A View.

Jason Belcher

Jason Belcher is a composer & multi-instrumentalist who studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He led several performance projects as a student, including a revival of music by Burr Van Nostrand, a composer whose most adventurous scores went unheard for 42 years. As a result of this project, a disc of Burr’s work was released by New World Records in 2013. Belcher currently lives and works in New York, where he is active in projects with other young improvisers.

Tom Burnett

Chime’s Swing Number 89, inspired by a set of chimes given to Tom Burnett in 1989 by the late performer and artist Winchester Chimes, is part of a continuing series of performances dating back to 1989. This performance is coincidentally the eight-ninth. Other venues have included the Bardavon Theatre, Joe’s Pub, the Kitchen, the occasional rock quarry, church, and the Canal Street subway station.

Ken Butler

Ken Butler is an artist and musician whose Hybrid musical instruments, performances, and installations explore the interaction and transformation of common and uncommon objects, altered images, sounds and silence. He has performed and exhibited throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe including The Stedelijk Museum, The Prada Foundation in Venice, Mass MoCA, The Kitchen, The Brooklyn Museum, The Queens Museum, Lincoln Center, and The Metropolitan Museum as well as in South America and Asia. Butler has been reviewed in The NY Times, The Village Voice, Artforum, Smithsonian, and Sculpture Magazine and has been featured on PBS, CNN, MTV, and NBC’s The Tonight Show.

Constance Cooper

Constance Cooper improvises instrumentally and vocally, in concert —today, Solo With Stadium Blanket — and for theater, using two keyboards tuned a quartertone apart. She belongs to ArtStar, which includes live painting and audience drawing, and to the women’s a cappella acoustic trio Arc Welding. Some years ago she designed an improvisation work for the cellist Ernst Reijseger, who began the performance, then stood up, walked around while playing, and then deliberately got entangled with the branches of a large potted plant. He later said that he had always wanted to be a tree.

Glenn Cornett

Glenn Cornett runs Spectrum NYC, the performance venue/gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side that supports innovation and virtuosity in the arts. He is a composer/performer, playing guitar, keyboards, electronics, etc. Founder of two biotechnology companies – Pastorus (autism, other CNS disorders) and Navitas (cardiovascular, metabolic diseases). He has worked at McKinsey and Eli Lilly. Education: MD with Distinction in Research from the University of Michigan; PhD in neuroscience from UCLA, dissertation on human deep-brain responses to musical stimuli. He has a black belt in karate and has run nine marathons, including Istanbul in November 2013.

GangBhang

GangBhang is a collective of inattentive plus ultra performers from different “walks” of life that include secular and non-secular attitudes and fashions. This time presents a very exciting, but hopefully boring, performance with the very devices that (usually) break our connection with the real world. The performers are Balldie on iPhone, Mojas on Maschine, and Preachermac on iPad.


portrait by Ted Berkowitz

Patrick Grant

Patrick Grant creates musical works that are a synthesis of classical, popular, and world musical styles that have found place in concert halls, film, theater, dance, and visual media. Over the last three decades, his music has moved from post-punk and classically bent post-minimal styles, through Balinese-inspired gamelan and microtonality, to ambient, electronic soundscapes involving many layers of acoustic and amplified instruments. He is the creator of International Strange Music Day (August 24) and the creator/pioneer of the electric guitar procession Tilted Axes.

Amy & Alex Hamlin

Amy & Alex Hamlin are a husband and wife team who enjoy their cats, Walter & Boris, their garden, & traveling to exotic places. They are the founders of the 7-piece soul/rock band Amy Lynn & The Gunshow. The duo is enjoying experimenting more with voice and baritone sax with the music from The Gunshow. Together and apart they have played all over the country with acts such as Yo La Tengo, St. Vincent, Beth Hart, Duffy, The National, Spoon, and Red Barrat.

Niloufar Nourbakhsh

Niloufar Nourbakhsh started learning piano at the age of nine at Sarang Institute of Music located in Karaj, Iran. At the age of fifteen, she won the 2nd Prize of Iran’s National Piano Biennale Competition and performed at Tehran’s Roudaki Concert Hall twice as a participant of The Music Festival from Classical to Modern. She is a music and math graduate of Goucher College and Oxford University. She has participated in numerous music festivals as a pianist and a composer such as New Paltz Piano Summer, Atlantic Music Festival, and the Rhymes with Opera Workshop. She is currently working at Brooklyn Music School Summer Institute as a teaching artist.

Lorin Roser

Lorin Roser is a multimedia artist fascinated with the expression of mathematics. He utilizes algorithms in his musical compositions and physical simulations in his 3D animations. Recent music is created with realtime manipulation of polynomials. This work began in the 80s and was ported to Reaktor in 2004. The realtime was not possible until recent advances in computing. As a musician, Roser has performed at CBGB’s, Bowery Poetry Club, the Emily Harvey Foundation with Larry Litt, White Box with Elliott Sharp, and events for curator/performance artist A. Schloss.

Zero Boy

Zero Boy is an East Village icon who uses a unique blend of sound and mime, the results being something akin to a performed comic book. He can be seen on the upcoming Nickelodeon show Alien Dawn as the evil Dr. Drago. He appeared Off-Broadway in the Yllana Production of ‘666’, and has performed regularly on NPR’s The Next Big Thing in a special “Stump Zero Boy” segment. He has been seen on the Fox and Friends, Good Day New York and MTV.

“In 1999 I declared August 24th randomly as Strange Music Day. It gave me an opportunity to come up with a cool graphic and drive home a point that I still believe in to this day: it is always good to listen and play music that we are unfamiliar with. It keeps our ears and outlook fresh. Around 2002, I started noticing that various summer schools were picking up on it as an actual holiday….Once I started seeing postings coming from Europe, I changed the name to International Strange Music Day. It’s just been getting bigger every year….” – Patrick Grant

“Recently I’ve been taking it a step further and we had the first International Strange Music Day Performance Soiree in 2012. I asked the New York new music community to submit their ideas and apply for spots on the concert. I wanted to see a lot of new music notables perform music that they were not usually associated with, to be willing to explore uncomfortable places, to reveal their guilty pleasures and hidden parlor tricks to the public. It was a blast! It was just one those things that came together and happened so well. I and everybody involved are already looking forward to raising the bar for the next event. You have been warned!” – International sTRANGE mUSIC Day creator, Patrick Grant, Exploring the Metropolis

“International Strange Music Day was created by Patrick Grant, a New York City musician. The premise is simple: to get people to play and listen to types of music they have never experienced before. The ‘strange’ part can mean either unfamiliar or bizarre – the choice is entirely yours. Patrick believes broadening people’s musical spectrums can also change the way we look at other aspects of life – his mantra is ‘listening without prejudice’. This growing movement has concerts, a record label and strong support from summer schools, where it is appreciated as a great way to stimulate young minds. Have you ever wanted to combine a tight Wonder Woman costume, a frozen turkey drumstick and an inflatable wildebeest into a percussion concert? International Strange Music Day gives you the perfect excuse. What you do with these items once the music stops, of course, is your business… “ – Days of the Year

www.peppergreenmedia.com

“IN (Key)” – New Music in Celebration of Terry Riley’s “IN C” @ 50 Years

“The IN (Key) event sounds wonderful. I am so happy my ‘1964 daughter’ is again pregnant with so many remarkable new children.” – Terry Riley

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On June 21st, as part of Make Music New York 2014, Terry Riley‘s “IN C” will be celebrated with “IN (Key)”, eleven new works by leading composer-performers in a concert co-produced by ComposersCollaborative and Peppergreen Media with the support of the Cornelia Street Cafe. The event will begin with a special performance of “IN C” itself, serving as a prelude to all that is to follow.

Completing the octave, on the program will be: “IN Db” by Eleonor Sandresky (keyboard), “IN D” by Lisa Maree Dowling (double bass), “IN Eb” by David Borden(keyboard), “IN E” by Gene Pritsker (electric guitar), “IN F” by Elliott Sharp (electric guitar), “IN F#” by Adam Cuthbért (trumpet & laptop), “IN G” by Patrick Grant(electric guitar & keyboard), “IN Ab” by Brad Balliett (bassoon), “IN A” by John King (viola), “IN Bb” by Vasko Dukovski (clarinet), and “IN B” by Jed Distler (keyboard).

Other special musical guests completing the performing ensemble TBA.

The concert will take place from 1:00 to 4:00 PM on the street outside the cafe at 29 Cornelia St. and is free and open to the public.

At 6:00 PM there will be a separate event inside the cafe performed by members of the ensemble for a nominal charge TBD.

Composers Concordance Festival 2012

COMPOSERS CONCORDANCE FESTIVAL 2012
January 27 – February 6, 2012, New York City & NJ

The Most Eclectic Contemporary Music Festival of the Season
Transversing genres, locales and aesthetic modes throughout NYC and beyond

Festival Website: http://composersconcordance.com/festival.php

Click here for a PDF version of the press release:

http://tinyurl.com/78nsqaz

With a 28-year history of leading-edge concert production in NYC, Composers Concordance presents The Composers Concordance Festival 2012. This will be a whirlwind of five innovative contemporary music concerts in ten days, including over 40 of NYC’s most distinctive and accomplished composers. This festival spotlights the composer in different contexts, engaging the audience and performer in the creative process, and contending with the dizzying multiplicity of styles within today’s music scene. All the while, Composers Concordance puts a premium on distinguishability, that factor by which we remember and denote individual identity – and it’s that aspect, the distinction and breadth of the composer’s message, on which we’ll chiefly focus.

The first concert, ‘Songs‘, shows the various vocal styles the composer writes songs for. From the traditional western classical soprano and baritone, to the modern pop/r&b diva, to voices of other world cultures that stretch the boundaries of notation and pitch.

The Composers Play Composers Marathon‘ shows the composer as a performer of his or her own music. A common practice in baroque, classical and romantic periods but rarer in the mid 20th century. Toward the end of the century and into the new 21st century, the art of the composer-as-performer is re-emerging, and on this marathon we hear no fewer than 27 composers interpreting their own works.

New Blues‘ asks the composer to show his or her compositional skill and voice in this very particular genre that influenced so much of the music in the 20th century. With the 100-year anniversary of the first publication of a blues piece by W.C. Handy, we look at how the 21st century composer is influenced by this style.

The development of technology was quick in the 20th century, and it inspired composers to create brand new timbres and sonorities with the possibilities electronic manipulation of sound provided. We see what the 21st century composer has to offer to progress further the art of computers, amplifiers, and circuits in the ‘Electronics‘ concert of the festival.

With the final concert: ‘Ensemble‘, we witness the composer in an ensemble setting, performing each others’ music. The ensemble in question is the Composers Concordance Ensemble (which is the ensemble-in-residence at William Paterson University), made up of the directors of comp cord as well as regular performers and composers associated with the group.

NOTE: There will be a press conference before the first performance on January 27th, at 5:30pm at The Turtle Bay Music School. Members of the press are invited to attend and learn more about the festival. RSVP: composersconcordancerecords@gmail.com

Festival Schedule:

I. SONGS
Composers Celebrate the Diversity of Song
Part of the Turtle Bay Visiting Artist Series

January 27th at 6:30pm

Turtle Bay Music School
Em Lee Concert Hall
244 East 52nd St, NYC
(212) 753-8811
http://www.tbms.org/
Admission: Free

Composers: Cody Brown, Dan Cooper, Charles Coleman, Luis Cobo, Duke Ellington/Pritsker, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, and Bob Rodriguez

Performers:  Bobby Avey, Gernot Bernroider, Cody Brown, John Clark, Charles Coleman, Dan Cooper, Mat Fieldes, Laura Kay, Taka Kigawa, Milica Paranosic, Edmundo Ramirez, Chanda Rule, Sean Satin, and Keve Wilson

II. MARATHON
The 3rd Annual Composers Play Composers Marathon
Composers Performing Their Own Music
January 29th at 7pm

DROM
85 Ave A, NYC
(212) 777-1157
http://www.dromnyc.com/
Admission: $20

Composer/Performers: Cristian Amigo, Loop B, Dan Barrett, Eve Beglarian, Svjetlana Bukvich-Nichols, Peter Breiner, David Chesky, Luis Cobo, Valerie Coleman, Dan Cooper, Jed Distler, Patrick Grant, Franz Hackl, Sara Holtzschue, Peter Jarvis, Andrew M. Lee, Peri Mauer, Daniel Palkowski, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, David Saperstein, Larry Simon, David Soldier, Rubens Salles, Eleonor Sandresky, Ezequiel Viñao, and Michael Wolff

III. NEW BLUES
Marking 100 Years of the Blues
Composers Bring the Genre into the 21st Century
Performed by The International Street Cannibals Ensemble
January 31st at 9pm

Nublu
62 Ave C, NYC
(646) 546-5206
http://www.nublu.net/
Admission: $10

Composers: Dan Barrett, John Clark, Dan Cooper, Glenn Cornett, Patrick Grant, Robert Johnson, Earl Maneein, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, and Joseph Pehrson

Performers: Dan Barrett, Lynn Bechtold, John Clark, Dan Cooper, Glenn Cornett, Glenn Cornett, Jennifer DeVore, Patrick Grant, Earl Maneein, Cesare Papetti, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, and Malik Work

IV. ELECTRONICS
Music for Electronics and Electro-Acoustic Ensemble
Composers Working with New Media
February 3rd at 8pm

Gallery MC
549 West 52nd Street, 8th Floor
(bet. 10th & 11th Ave), NYC
(212) 581-1966
http://www.gallerymc.org/h/
Admission: $10

Composers: Loop B, Lynn Bechtold, Glenn Cornett, Dan Cooper, Dinu Ghezzo, Patrick Grant, Lainie Fefferman, Franz Hackl, Mari Kimura, Daniel Palkowski, Milica Paranosic/Joel Chadabe, Gene Pritsker, and Eric Somers

Performers: Loop B, Glenn Cornett, Lynn Bechtold, Gene Pritsker, Daniel Palkowski, Lainie Fefferman, Peter Christian Hall, Mari Kimura, Milica Paranosic, and Franz Hackl

Visual projections: Carmen Kordas

V. ENSEMBLE
Composers Performing within an Ensemble
The Composers Concordance Ensemble at William Paterson University
February 6th at 7pm

William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road Wayne, NJ
(973) 720-2315
http://www.wpunj.edu/
Admission: $5

Composers: John Cage, Dan Cooper, Robert Dick, Patrick Hardish, Peter Jarvis, Otto Luening, Milica Paranosic, Joseph Pehrson, and Gene Pritsker

Performers: Dan Barrett, Lynn Bechtold, Robert Dick, Peter Jarvis, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, and Michiyo Suzuki

For press inquiries, contact Composers Concordance composersconcordancerecords@gmail.com

Complete iNFO at:
http://www.composersconcordance.com/festival.php

Composers Play Composers Marathon – NYC

An audio-slideshow message from co-directors of Composers Concordance Records:


video editing: J. Gonzales – audio editing: P. Grant

Composers Concordance’s 2nd Annual
COMPOSERS PLAY COMPOSERS MARATHON
January 30th at Club Drom, NYC

music & performances by:

Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper, Patrick Grant, David Morneau, Robert Voisey, Kevin James, Peter Jarvis, Dave Taylor, John Clark, Jay Rozen, Hayes Greenfield, Valerie Coleman, Lynn Bechtold, Robert Dick, Franz Hackl, Milica Paranosic, Arthur Kampela, David Claman

CLUB DROM
85 Avenue A
(b/w 5th & 6th)
New York, NY
(212) 777-1157
http://www.dromnyc.com

$20 at door includes one drink

Read the PRESS RELEASE

- Patrick Grant

DJ Rekha – Basement Ace

image from Honolulu Weekly

image from Honolulu Weekly

For the last 12 years, Basement Bhangra, the monthly dance-party at S.O.B’s, has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most exciting, beloved, ethnically and musically diverse events in New York City nightlife.  At the center of it all is the renowned DJ Rekha, who fuels the enthusiastic Basement crowd with a mixture of bhangra (Punjabi folk music originating from India and Pakistan), hip-hop, dance hall rhythms from Jamaica and the U.K., live MC’s and dhol players, plus video mixing. Long before mainstream rap started sampling Indian tunes, or reality show contestants bopped onstage to “Jai Ho”, DJ Rekha spearheaded South Asian music’s introduction to the NY club scene, establishing herself as a dance music innovator.

I first met Rekha around 7 years ago, after I went to Basement for the first time and wanted to profile the event for Studio 360. I remember being nervous about waking up a DJ before noon to do a radio interview, but she was gracious and laid-back about it all. She described how Basement Bhangra started, and talked about her desire to change the pre-conceptions about her community and its culture through the power of music. You can listen to that piece from the 360 archive RIGHT HERE. There’s also a great package about Rekha that CNN did a little while back:

After a whirlwind summer of festival touring (Tulsa, Lake Tahoe, Madison, Chicago, Cleveland, etc), Rekha was back in New York last week. Since her whole career started “the hard way”, with learning to DJ on turntables, we chatted with her about how lap-top technology has changed the art of rocking the decks. You can hear what she told us right here:

Over the years, DJ Rekha’s star has continued to rise and she stays busy. She launched a second monthly party called Bollywood Disco through her production company, Sangament; she produced a satellite radio show to broadcast her sets to a global audience; and she arranged the music for Bridge and Tunnel, the Obie-Award winning Off-Broadway show. She was an NYU Asian/Pacific/American Artist in Residence and she lectures at the Clive Davis School of Recorded Music. I’m also proud to mention that Rekha and I were co-associate producers for the radio documentary, Feet In Two Worlds: Immigrants in a Global City, back in 2005. Last year, she released her first record, DJ Rekha Presents Basement Bhangra, which featured collaborations with Wyclef Jean, Panjabi MC, and Bikram Singh among others. That’s available on iTunes and you should go download it now, if you don’t have it.

We’re honored that DJ Rekha will be joining us to close out the MMiX Festival on October 11th. So go ahead and bust out those Slumdog moves – we know you’ve been itching to try them out. :)

- Jocelyn

I, Culturebot

CULTUREBOT.COM INTERVIEW

Name: Patrick Grant
Title: Composer/Performer/Producer
Affiliation: Curator & Co-Producer of “The MMiX Festival of Interactive Music Technology

patrickgrant

1. Where did you grow up and how did you end up where you are now?

I grew up in Detroit where I studied music composition and classical performance by day while playing in Punk/New Wave bands by night. I read about the loft and gallery concert scene in 1970s NYC and that sounded more preferable to me than LA. It was artsier and I wouldn’t need to have a car. When I moved here in the late 80s that scene had played and wasn’t to return in a new form for a while. I quit the band I moved out here with found work writing and performing music for downtown theater groups and assisting well-known composers like John Cage. It was experiences like that that taught me more about making a living as an artist than the Juilliard education I never completed and even so, as they say, only in New York.

2. What do you look for when you’re seeking out new work?

I fell into the role of curator-by-proxy through various self-produced concert series. Early on, I sought to fill the void that was left when the loft and gallery concerts that brought me to NYC had (temporarily) fallen out of vogue in the late 80s and early 90s. My association with theater music always meant that I at least had a space to work and to do concerts. The same was true when I expanded into Chelsea galleries in 2000. Being in spaces such as these creates circumstances which are “extra-musical” so care is given to selecting artists which are a compliment to and an augmentation of the hosting venue’s creative discipline. Ultimately, it is really about audience and community building. Being a composer and performer myself I would naturally pick artists whose work I admired and wished to collaborate with. That’s how I get to meet people. That’s my microcosm. The macrocosm is in introducing artists, performers, and audience members to each other who might not normally cross each other’s path. When I see further collaborations being made as a result of these events, I consider that a great success. That’s something we all benefit from well beyond the scope of the seeds that were planted.

3. What was your most remarkable moment as a curator/presenter/producer?

I may be speaking out of turn here but so far it’s been the upcoming MMiX Festival of Interactive Music Technology on Oct. 8-11 at Theaterlab. Truly, and I can back that up. At the beginning, I envisioned it taking place at the same time as the Audio Engineering Society’s annual convention in NYC. If you’re into audio and musical gear, that’s a big deal. Deciding to have the festival then quickly gained us the support of interactive software leaders Ableton and Cycling ’74 (makes of Live 8 and Max/MSP/Jitter respectively). This in turn brought us some of the best and most diverse performers in that field. The idea of having something bigger than the festival itself to tap into has been very powerful. It’s given me the power to call up complete strangers, some of them very well known, and get them to come onboard. I couldn’t see myself doing that a couple of years ago and that, for me, is remarkable.

4. Which performance, song, play, movie, painting or other work of art had the biggest influence on you and why?

Anyone who knows me knows that I always cite Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film “A Clockwork Orange.” That may sound strange but let me explain. ACO was originally released as Rated-X by the incipient rating system (along with “Midnight Cowboy” and “Last Tango in Paris” due to their adult themes) and was re-released in 1974 reduced to an R-rating. The porn industry had made a joke of the X-rating by saying, “Well then, we’re XXX,” so it became meaningless. So, with an R-rating, ACO was able to air television commercials. I was eleven at that time. One day I heard it on the TV: The “Glorious 9th Symphony by Ludwig Van” but, as we know, being “performed” by Wendy (née Walter) Carlos on the Moog synthesizer. I didn’t know then what the music was or what was making those strange sounds. It was to be the very first LP that I ever bought for myself. Coming home from the store, I was reading the back of the album (who were these guys with the foreign names?) and couldn’t figure out which track I had heard on TV. I dropped that needle everywhere on the disc, but could not find it. What was up with all this classical stuff? I thought that was only used for goofing around in Warner Bros. cartoons! I noticed that one of the tracks looked a bit different in the middle, a darker color due to less activity in the grooves. I cued up that spot, and there it was: the march section of the 9th’s choral movement. It rocked my 11 year-old world, or as the Moog tagline ran at the time, I was instantly “switched-on.”

Why? It enabled me to listen to music stripped of fashion, the opposite of popular music (which I love too). It led to the original book by Anthony Burgess and got me literate beyond my years, leading to Vonnegut, Brautigan and others at an early age. Mostly, it’s a story about the choice between good and evil, and our free will to choose, motifs which stick with me to this day and inform just about everything I’m interested in, one way or another. Or at least I can explain it that way. Even with my guilty pleasures! ACO was my gateway drug.

5. What skill, talent or attribute do you most wish you had and why?

Absolutely it would be the ability to be a convincing and charismatic public orator. Presently, I feel that I could do a lot better in that department. The thought are there but something gets lost when I convert them into words let alone how those words get expressed. After being surrounded by actors, poets and other performers all these years you’d think I’d have learned something. It’s been slow going but I believe there’s still hope! Countless times I’ve let myself get bullied into situations just because somebody had a better gift of gab when, deep in my gut, I felt it wasn’t right. I had to defer to the power of the word only to regret it down the road. I’ve learned to trust my intuition more and more often these days, even if words still fail. Yet, if I had that skill, I may not have become the person I am. Maybe I’d be someone who’s better at talking about what they’re going to do than just doing it. I hope not.

- Patrick Grant (reposted frm Culturebot)

…Merely Meatware?

MEATWARE: the human element in a technological system.

Here’s but a few links to some artists in NYC that have been embracing new technologies on the stage in the creation of their work. We’ll be adding more as time goes on. I’m sure that many of you reading this blog know of them, if not personally or as collaborators, but they are worth pointing out, especially if they are news to you.

3-Legged Dog

3-Legged Dog

3-LEGGED DOG is a non-profit theater and media group focusing on large-scale experimental artwork. Their work has been seen in New York City at such venues as the Kitchen, La Mama, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, PS 122, and Signature Theatre Co. Since 1994, they have become a mainstay in the experimental arts community and have been performing downtown ever since.

Five years after the destruction of their headquarters at 30 West Broadway on September 11th, 2001, 3-Legged Dog Media and Theater Group announced the launch of a new home in Spring 2006. 3LD Art & Technology Center is located at 80 Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan, just 3 blocks south of the WTC site.

3-Legged Dog is the first producing arts group to sign a lease in the Liberty Zone and the first to rebuild downtown. A cultural anchor for the Greenwich Street Arts Corridor, 3LD Art & Technology Center provides complete production and presentation facilities for emerging and established artists and organizations that create large-scale experimental works, many of which incorporate and create new tools and technologies.

Fire Island by 3-Legged Dog

"Fire Island" by 3-Legged Dog

3LD ART & TECHNOLOGY CENTER is a community-oriented and artist-run production development studio.  They offer artists a unique experience with specialized equipment, flexible space and expert knowledge, as well as the desperately needed time to fully realize their visions.  If New York City is to remain at the forefront of experimentation, then its artists must have the means to create cutting-edge work.  Since opening in 2006, they have offered the latest materials and innovative tools to more than 900 artists from veterans like Laurie Anderson to the newest prodigies like J. Reid Farrington, recently of the Wooster Group.  They have structured programs to ensure the aesthetic and financial success of their residents.  They provide a critical resource and development home for these artists, who carry on the traditions of risk-taking and boundary-pushing aesthetics, a tradition that reaches back in New York City’s history to the late 1800s.

Troika Ranch

Troika Ranch

TROIKA RANCH is the collaborative vision of artists Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello. Established in 1994, and based in New York City and Berlin, Germany, Troika Ranch produces live performances, interactive installations, and digital films, all of which combine traditional aspects of these forms with advanced technologies. The artists’ mission in producing this wide range of art experiences is to create artwork that best reflects and engages contemporary society.

The name Troika Ranch refers to Coniglio and Stoppiello’s creative methodology, which involves a hybrid of three artistic disciplines, dance/theater/media (the Troika), in cooperative interaction (the Ranch). This method preceded the organization Troika Ranch, which was formed as a means to support the artists’ engagement in this process. During the 1990’s, Coniglio, Stoppiello and their company Troika Ranch were among the pioneers in the field that came to be known as Dance and Technology.

As the use of technology in the arts has developed and integrated over the last decade, the need for the separate moniker Dance and Technology has dissolved. Troika Ranch’s present concerns correspondingly reflect this broader scope, expanding across genres and pioneering new frontiers. As innovators and visionaries, Coniglio and Stoppiello produce art that values live interaction – between viewer and viewed, performer and image, movement and sound, people and technology. It is time-based but typically includes an element of spontaneity, in that the events and images that unfold lie within a certain range but are not exactly replicable. As authors, they establish images, direct performances, determine time frames, and devise technologies. The works may be presented as performances, installations, or in portable formats. In sum, Troika Ranch engages in creative endeavors using all that contemporary invention has to offer.

The arts world, well, the world in fact, recently suffered the loss of MERCE CUNNINGHAM. He extended the frontiers of choreography for more than half a century, most recently with his use of the computer program called DanceForms (formerly LifeForms).

DanceForms

DanceForms

Merce was on the development team for this dance software. Each work he choreographed since 1991 made use of this program, and each one was quite different from the others. Those of you interested in seeing firsthand how DanceForms works can download a demo of the program from their web site at http://www.charactermotion.com/danceforms/

Jonah Bokaer

Jonah Bokaer

Former Cunningham performer, choreographer & media artist JONAH BOKAER seems to be the heir apparent to Cunningham and his use of technology in the creation of dance.

Over the past several years, Jonah Bokaer has developed a body of work addressing the creative potential of digital technologies in movement production. He makes choreography by rendering a virtual body in the built domain, employing motion capture, digital animation, 3D modeling, and choreographic software to generate movement material. “Choreography” involves designing a body inscreen, embodying its movements in real time, and performing the choreography live.

While developing this new artistic practice, Bokaer frequently questions (and subverts) the spaces in which works are performed, creating site-specific installations that playfully critique the venue presenting a dance. This generally involves a visual or sonic intervention in the periphery of each individual venue.

Minus One

The Invention of Minus One (2008) by Jonah Bokaer

VIDEO: The Invention of Minus One

As an arts activist, Bokaer is also deeply committed to fostering interdisciplinary dialogue with artists across media. With this in mind, he has established a cooperative studio space called “Chez Bushwick,” in which artists can congregate, develop ideas, and present their work in a catalytic environment. Bringing innovative new work into direct conversation with contemporary thought and culture is the main interest of this artist.

Bokaer’s unparalleled dancing in Merce Cunningham’s company, his co-founding of the Brooklyn performance space Chez Bushwick, and his well-crafted yet cutting edge choreography that moves dance into the new century, have made him a convincing advocate for the dance community.

Chez Bushwick

Chez Bushwick in Brooklyn

CHEZ BUSHWICK, an artist-run organization based in Brooklyn, is dedicated to the advancement of interdisciplinary art and performance, with a strong focus on new choreography. Since its inception in 2002, the organization has been acknowledged as a new model for economic sustainability in the performing arts, offering New York City’s only $5 subsidy for rehearsal space, and thereby fostering the creation, development, and performance of new work. Chez Bushwick is also responsible for a number of monthly performance programs that encourage artistic freedom, collaboration, and creative risk-taking.

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This is just the tip of the iceberg and, even then, this is just one city. I’m very interested in where all this development is leading us. Personally, I feel that much of it still has far to go. As advanced as it may seem to us now, I still get that feeling that we’re like those folks who first marveled at the Model T.

Whatever progress is to be made, one thing I am sure of, is that it is going to be based on the “meatware” which has a much longer tradition of moving the people’s hearts and minds. My hope is that a lot of what I like to call “The Gee Whiz Factor” will fade as this ubiquitous technology is increasingly greeted by a de-mystified public, one that will demand more and more meaningful creations that will continue to close the gap between the hardware/software and the “meatware.”

Still, at this point, a it’s mighty gap to fill.

- Patrick Grant