Tilted Axes: Signals Through the Flames — Sept. 10

burning blue fire flame on black background

French surrealist and theatre theorist Antonin Artaud, so wished for a searing realness upon the stage, that he called for the actors to strip themselves of all artifice and to present themselves as “…being like victims burnt at the stake, signaling through the flames.” (The Theater and Its Double, 1931)

His writings had a tremendous influence on the creators of The Living Theatre, Julian Back and Judith Malina, when their vision was coming together in the 50s and 60s. A 1983 documentary about The Living is even titled, “Signals Through the Flames,” such is their association with the Artaud.

In their early days, the LT’s history is almost like a who’s-who of Village artists and aesthetic innovators from the theater, art, musical, and progressive political worlds. In 1959, with the help of a producer in collaboration with John Cage and Merce Cunningham they were able to open the theater on 14th St. and 6th Ave. which was the Theatre’s home for five years. Cunningham had his dance studio on the top floor. The Living occupied floors two and three.

Many years after that I met Judith when I was in my 20s and was lucky to work alongside her, creating music for theater, off and on for the group, for over twenty years. This included performances in the USA and extensively throughout Europe. The modus operandi abroad was that we would perform whatever current production we were touring plus we’d give workshops and create activist street theater with the local population. NYC was no exception. Performative political protests were a part of city life when the LT was based here. Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars might not have ever come into being had I not had this experience in my formation.

It is in that spirit, taking it to the streets, that we present our latest musical procession, as part of The Village Trip Festival opening on September 10th in Greenwich Village. For the event, we will premiere a new piece with that name: “Signals Through the Flames.”

This performance is dedicated to all of the politically active artists and troupes that The Village has given birth to over the years, but especially to The Living Theatre. Our aim is to bring positive attention to their work and legacy and to all of us who owe them a debt for initially breaking down The Fourth Wall.

To read more about The Living Theatre and its connection to The Village go to: https://www.livingtheatre.org/detailed-history by Thomas S. Walker. Some portions of this text were taken from that page.

Tilted Axes Launched Its 10th Season at Make Music Autumn

Tilted Axes Begins Its 10th Anniversary Season With a Return to Astor Place as part of Make Music Autumn

On September 19th, between 1pm-4pm, Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars returns to Astor Place and environs with a procession and performance as part of the inaugural Make Music Autumn. Tilted Axes is a group of guitarists and percussionists lead by classically trained post-rocker Patrick Grant. They perform original music untethered via mini-amps strapped over their shoulders. For this occassion they have partnered with the iconic Astor Place Hair Stylists who also serve as their base. The performance spectacle will begin at the plaza sculpture The Alamo (a.k.a. The Cube). From there they will perform in-procession around the neighborhoods that have been key to their origin: The East Village and Greenwich Village. They will stop along the way at various landmarks to perform special compositions significant to the location. Bringing the event full circle, they will return to Astor Place Plaza to complete their performance.

Meet the core members of Tilted Axes 2021:

Angela Babin — e. guitar

John Halo — e. guitar

Jeremy Nesse — chapman stick

jc (jon clancy) — percussion & composer

Elisa Corona Aguilar — e. guitar & composer

Howie Kenty — e. guitar, composer & asst. music director

Dan Cooper — 7-string e. bass

Patrick Grant — e. guitar, composer, & artistic director

Caitlin Cawley — percussion

Kevin Pfeiffer — axe alternate

Christopher Caines — movement director

Jocelyn Gonzales — media producer

Tilted Axes is powered by Vox Amplification & Blackstar Amps courtesy of KORG USA. Our Tilted@10 anniversary season is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The ASCAP Plus+ Awards, the NYU Tisch Adjunct Development Fund, Alchemical Studios, but mostly through the generous support of people like you. Thank you for helping us keep our performances and events free to the public whenever and wherever possible. Join our Tilted Team at http://www.tiltedaxes.com.

A huge thanks to James Burke of Make Music New York, Rachel Brandon of The Village Alliance, but especially Big Mike Saviello of Astor Place Hair Stylists. For this event Big Mike will be curating artwork on the street in front of the shop. Check it out!

10 Weeks Away

Sunday, December 20, 12 noon to 3pm ESTTilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars presents “A Tilt for Our Time”, a new music procession and socially distanced public action through Lower Manhattan. Post-rock composer Patrick Grant will lead the group in a “tilt” from Greenwich Village to the East Village and back again with a ceremonial stop at the Astor Place Cube (The Alamo). Tilted Axes will present a program of new pieces created for the event along with classics from their catalog. Procession route and performance details TBA. “A Tilt for Our Time” is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. This event is part of Make Music Winter NYC. Tilted Axes is powered by Vox Amplification.

TILTED AXES TO PERFORM IN NYC’s VILLAGE HALLOWEEN PARADE OCT. 31st

“Monster Riffs & Tritonic Tintinnabulations”

New York’s Village Halloween Parade is an annual holiday parade and street pageant presented on the night of every Halloween in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Stretching more than a mile, this cultural event draws two million in-person spectators, more than sixty thousand costumed participants, dancers, artists and circus performers, dozens of floats bearing live bands and other musical and performing acts, and a world-wide television audience of one hundred million. The Village Halloween Parade, initiated in 1974 by Greenwich Village puppeteer and mask maker Ralph Lee, is the world’s largest Halloween parade and the only major nighttime parade in the United States.

Among the parade’s signature features are its pageant sized puppets — giant rod puppets “articulated” by teams of puppeteers — and its open participation to anyone in a costume who wishes to march. It has been called “New York’s Carnival.” Although the parade is currently not as informal and wild as it was in its earliest years, it is in effect still an alternative festival.

The parade has been featured in many national magazines and travel guides, and has been a subject of study by leading cultural anthropologists. According to The New York Times, “the Halloween Parade is the best entertainment the people of this City ever give the people of this City.” “Absolutely anything goes,” says USA Today. “Be prepared to drop your jaw.”

More iNFO to come at: https://www.halloween-nyc.com/

Tilted Axes web page: http://www.tiltedaxes.com/tiltedaxes.html