Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ryoji Ikeda's "Superposition" at The Met NYC, Walker Art Center Minneapolis & UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance: Oct 17 - Nov 7

Ryoji Ikeda, the sound artist who in the late 20th Century redefined the parameters of what digital composition could be with his "Matrix" series while touring with multimedia theatre group Dumb Type bringing their visceral explorations of perception, time, light, sound and the body to (literally) sense-stunned audiences around the world. This couple year span was a rare stint of international performances from Ikeda and the Kyoto based theatre group exhibiting two major works on the subjects of mortality, "OR" and that of memory, "Momorandum". In the ensuing decade since, Montreal, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles have played host to exhibits, installations and performances of his work, but very little in the way of other west coast opportunities. San Francisco's Recombinant Media Labs being one of the only exceptions, and even then, that was some eight years ago.

Since 2011 we've seen a reversal on this dearth of live activity, with New York hosting his awe inspiring "The Transfinite" installation at the Park Avenue Amory inspiring many viewers to "Voyage into the Cosmic Minimalism of Ryoji Ikeda". This fall New York City again finds itself as the focal point for his work in North America, with an exhibition of his visual work at Salon94 a performance at The Met of his current evolving audio-visual representation of research into the subatomic wold, "Superposition" coinciding with Prix Ars Electronica awarding Ikeda a residency at CERN and Ikeda's "Test Pattern" gracing the screens of Times Square every night at the stoke of midnight. New York won't be the only ones witnessing these sublime exercises in what the New York Times called, "Putting Cold Data in the Service of Language and Music" as Minneapolis' always progressive Walker Art Center presents "Data Swarms & Physical Sound: The Cerebral and Bodily Art of Ryoji Ikeda" and UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance hosts their own live representation of his singular lexicon of "Superpositions and Hyphens".

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Slowdive & Low US Tour: Oct 22 - Nov 8

Two decades since their disbanding, Slowdive perform with Minnesota downer-rockers, Low at Neptune Theatre the first week of November! It's been a memorable year for those who saw the heyday of Spacerock and Shoegaze as a pinnacle in what followed in the wake of the iconoclastic era of 1980's post-Punk. We were not only witness to the third domestic tour since their reformation by My Bloody Valentine but the first new album in 22 years, "MBV" which finally manifested after years of legend and rumor. Equally unexpected, the return of LOOP after decades of it's founder Robert Hampson claiming if you weren't there to witness their staggering volume and endurance-testing live performances in the 1990's, then you'll never quite know what the band was about.

Possibly topping both in way of the improbable, the announcement that Slowdive would be performing a one-off at the Primavera Sound Festival and in the wake of the massively received event, the band recognizing the ongoing dedication of their fanbase in interview with The Quietus, "There Seems To Be A Lot Of Love Out There: A Slowdive Interview". With an enthusiasm for performing and writing again, suggesting the very real possibility of a reformation as the "Slowdive Reunion Expands with More Shows, Possibility of New Music" and following in rapid succession, "Slowdive Announce North American Tour, Reunion". For followers of the band, after the breakdown of the mid-90's, the last thing one would expect to hear is that it's their overlooked final album created in mid-rift, "Pygmalion" that stands out amidst the sonic bluster of this new incarnation.

Made all that much more surprising for Neil Halstead's often-expressed sentiment that that era of his music was definitively closed and it was his 4AD released project Mojave 3 and solo work that would be his larger legacy. Halstead not the only band member with a vital and prolific post-breakup creative arch away from the path carved by Slowdive, the work of drummer and sound designer, Simon Scott is equal to the band's sonic summits. One only need hear the atmospheric, Angelo Badalamenti-like jazz informed doomscapes of his excellent "Bunny" for the Miasmah label for it to be made clear that the adventurous pop-work Scott created with Halstead, Rachel Goswell, Nick Chaplin and Christian Savill decades before was a point of entry, rather than a destination.
Photo credit: SWiener