2. Fields Amaze homemade gamelan and microtonal keyboard
3. A Visible Track of Turbulence 1 flute, clarinet, and piano 4-hands
4. Everything Distinct: Everything the Same three keyboards in Gb just intonation and three percussion
5. A Visible Track of Turbulence 2 flute, clarinet, and piano 4-hands
6. Imaginary Horror Film 1 chamber prog ensemble
7. The Weights of Numbers
aka Fractured Fictions three keyboards and drums
8. Imaginary Horror Film 2 chamber prog ensemble
9. If One Should Happen to Fall six words vs. thesaurus
“…a driving and rather harsh energy redolent of rock, as well as a clean sense of melodicism … the music’s momentum and intricate cross-rhythms rarely let up, making the occasional infectious tunes that emerge all the more beautiful for surprise.” – The Village Voice
Patrick Grant: piano, keyboards, electric guitars, gamelan, percussion – Kathleen Supove & Marija Ilic: keyboards – John Ferrari: drums & percussion – Barbara Benary: additional gamelan – David Simons: Balinese percussion & theremin – Keith Bonner: flute – Thomas P. Oberle: clarinet – Darryl Gregory: trombone – Martha Mooke: viola – Maxine Neumann: cello – Mark Steven Brooks: electric bass – Alexandra Montano: vocalise – Lisa Karrer: lead vocal on If One Should Happen to Fall.
All 2018 production, overdubs, revisions, and new stems recorded at Peppergreen Media, NYC and The Ferrari Factory, NJ. Mixed at Mercy Sound Studios, NYC – Garry Rindfuss: mixing engineer – Sheldon Steiger: album mastering – Patrick Grant: producer
Cover photo Cuming Co. Supercell, June 14, 2013 taken by Dave Rebot and used with permission. Album artwork, layout, and design by Eric Iverson. Peppergreen Media logo by Steve Ball. CD image collage created from Elément bleu XII, 1967 by Jean Dubuffet, photo credit: sTRANGE Music Inc.
Thanks and acknowledgements: The Braunschweig Family, Coudert Brothers, Bank Julius Baer, Matthews Panariello P.C., Chris LaBarbiera, Patricia McKenna, Context Studios, Music Under Construction, Philip Glass, Kurt Munkacsi, Jed Distler & Composers Collaborative Inc., Music for Homemade Instruments, Erik Satie, Kyle Gann & The Village Voice, The Bang on a Can Marathon, Stéphane Martin and the musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, The Ross Institute, The Knitting Factory, Patrick Grant Group, I Wayan Lantir, STSI/ISI Denpasar, Gamelan Son of Lion, Celebrate Brooklyn!, Johnny Reinhard & The American Festival of Microtonal Music, The Fractal Music Lab, James Gleick author of Chaos: Making a New Science, The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Harvey Lichtenstein, The Mark Morris Dance Group, The Prix de Lausanne, Exploding Music, The Living Theatre, Kalvos & Damien’s New Music Bazaar, Annina Nosei Gallery, John Schaefer, WNYC’s New Sounds, Ralph Valdez, WDET Radio, James Moore & Independent Music Promotions Inc., Jocelyn Gonzales, The NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Roget’s Thesaurus.
Joshua Fried cruises the radio dial while a construction crane groans and whines outside his window. An advertisement for a clothing sale comes on the air. He hurries to press the buttons on his mixer and his sampler grabs a phrase from the female announcer’s voice. Later, the Spinners’ “Rubber Band Man” appears. “I love that song! ” he exclaims, and again leans over his console to capture a random snippet of the chorus. From car commercials to DJ patter to frothy classics like “Help Me Rhonda” by the Beach Boys, whatever goes out over the airwaves is fair game for the Radio Wonderland machine.
Joshua Fried is Radio Wonderland, a long-time solo project in which Joshua has designed devious and danceable ways to chew up, process and re-pattern the various sounds of commercial radio into what he calls, “recombinant funk.” Nothing is pre-recorded, nothing is pre-sequenced, and the compositional results are different every single time. This kind of live, daredevil mashup shows off Joshua’s talents as a drummer, and his personal history as a pop music fan. But above all, it keeps his audiences wondering what in the world he’ll come up with next.
We took a road trip (OK, just a subway trip) to Joshua’s place to find out how he’s honed his singular craft, and he sat down to tell us how Radio Wonderland came to be. You can listen to what he said right here:
Afterward, Joshua showed us the unusual controllers he uses to trigger sound and manipulate the pitch and tempo: 2 pairs of old shoes and a Buick steering wheel. Who knew dumpster diving could be so funky? In the clip below, he builds his tracks by snatching audio off his boom-box and feeding it through the software and processors he designed himself.
Of course, you can check out Radio Wonderland LIVE at our MMiX Festival this October. In the meantime, I’m wondering what it would sound like if Joshua remixed the Howard Stern Show…
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 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
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 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).
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/
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.
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 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.
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.”
I’m considering another tattoo, so I’ve been spending some idle time looking at design and ink, wondering if a new tat will prove to be a permanent mark of pride or folly. But in my wanderings, I came across something called Bare Interactive Ink Technology – a temporary “electronic” tattoo, if you will. Imagine painting your body with this special conductive ink, and all of your movements could interact with electronic devices around you.
What? Could I just wave my dragon tattoo in the air to turn the TV on and off?
Well, not quite. Bare was developed by Bibi Nelson, Matt Johnson, Isabel Lizardi & Becky Pilditch from the department of industrial design engineering at the Royal College of Art. As described on the website, Yanko Design, Bare is:
“…this new parasitic technology being explored where you apply the special paint to your body via brush, stamp, or spray. The paint acts as a medium to send information from a person to another, transmit data from a person to a computer, or power small LEDs. It’s however limited to simple applications such as switching and data transfer that consume less power, but the potential is unlimited…the ink per-se is temporary, non-toxic and water-soluble and is composed of non-metallic conductive particles suspended in food and cosmetic additives. Thus it is safe for skin application.
The circuitry between the ink and the electronic device is completed when the small electrodes are placed directly on to the skin, which in turn transmits the data.”
Well this is a pretty futuristic type of henna, no? And although this ink is still in development stages, it seems natural that the designers of Bare foresee its use in performance. A dancer’s body, decorated with beautiful and intricate designs by makeup and costume folks would be able to trigger lighting and sound effects onstage as he or she moves to choreography. In fact, in their project video, the designers asked a dancer whose limbs were painted with Bare Ink to step into something called “The Music Box.” She improvised movements that set off pre-programmed audio samples and patterns, resulting in music that seems to be…composed by the body:
In their project paper, the designers explain how the Music Box works:
“The functionality of a MIDI keyboard was mapped onto the surfaces of the space with a matrix of resistance switches that input signals to a computer. A professional dancer was invited to interactive with the space and the conductive ink was applied to different parts of her skin in an iterative process. As different parts of her body touched the surfaces different switches were closed as electrical signals passed over her skin, creating musical notes and patterns.”
It might be the editing of the video, but at first I thought it wasn’t the most compelling display of the idea. Yet it’s clear what the potential is. It’s a start.
Take the concept of the Music Box to the stage and using human skin as a conductor could present some new opportunities for dancers, composers, set and video designers, prop masters and makeup artists to collaborate in wicked new ways. However, I still have some some practical questions about this conductive ink: How long will the ink last on the skin? What if the wearer starts sweating? Will the paint flake off the more the performer moves? Most importantly…does it come in Candy Apple Red?