Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Restless Brilliance" at The Hammer Museum : Oct 23 / Nov 7 - LA

Two evenings or advanced, modern-minimalist audio and video arts at Califonia's Hammer Museum.
A fine roster of composers selected for this one including magnetic-tape maestro William Basinski
(best known for his 'Disintegration Loops' series) and 12k label-head Taylor Deupree. As well as a/v
screenings by Raster-Noton's Frank Bretschneider and Semiconductor, who it was reported, turned in
an exceptional body of work at this years Mutek Montreal.

Link to Hammer Museum site

Link to Volume Projects site

"Join Volume Projects and the Hammer Museum as we co-present RESTLESS BRILLIANCE, two evenings
exploring new trajectories in music and video." Showcasing new work in the emergent field of experimental
electronic and audiovisual performance, RESTLESS BRILLIANCE presents seven artists that are blurring the
lines between music, cinema, performance, and art."


William Basinski
Steve Roden

Screening: The Sound of Microclimates by Semiconductor


Taylor Deupree
Christopher Willits
I8U & Chika

Screening: RHYTHM EXP by Frank Bretschneider

RESTLESS BRILLIANCE is free to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Alex Ross & "The Well-Tempered Web" : Downloading is doing THE OPPOSITE OF KILLING classical music


Link to The New Yorker "Well-Tempered Web" article

"If, as people say, the Internet is a paradise for geeks, it would logically work to the benefit
of one of the most opulently geeky art forms in history."

Thanks Alex Ross at The New Yorker for further shattering the illusion that digital file transfer,
paid downloading and/or sharing of music is KILLING anything other than the sh*tty commercial
music industry and that people don't want to pay for lame major-label 'as seen on this weeks car ad'
albums just to get that 'hit single'. So yes, I'm an advocate of DISCREETLY sharing musics online
and making individual judgements based on the particulars of the availability of the release, the
artists in question and how large/who in its audience its going to - on a album by album basis.
Looks like its working out just fine for the classical music community.

And it appears our well-informed gentleman Mr. Ross here has a newly published book on 20th Century
Composers too in the event you were ever wanting to get with the more knowledge on the subject:

Link to "The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century" Book / Official site

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

"A Man Vanishes: The Legacy of Shohei Imamura" series at NWFF : Oct 26 - Nov 12


Link to NWFF "A Man Vanishes: The Legacy of Shohei Imamura" site


Still adventurously taboo, irreverent, psychologically scathing and often graphic in their depiction
of the urban human experience, and rarely seen on the big(ger) screen in the US, the films of Shohei
Imamura are long overdue for this kind of retrospective treatment. As a filmmaker he got his beginnings
under Yasujiro Ozu,but his movies came to carve out a *very* different path in Japanese cinema history.
A much deeper exploration of the 'lower aspects' of the human experience, involving the underbelly of
the 'baser' instincts, the depths of the subconscious and the lives of the urban-underprivileged, the
destitute, the desperate, the exploited and the broken-spirited. Often twisted and pushed to the limits
of what the mind/spirit can endure, his characters lived out there lives in sometimes graphic, but never
sensationalized (or morally banal) tales of urban life in post-war urban, modernizing Japan. Highlights
of the series include "Insect Woman", "Vengeance is Mine", "A Man Vanishes" and some of the later,
more humanistic films such as "Black Rain".

From the Northwest Film Forum:

"Last June, international cinema lost one of it's most cherished filmmakers, Japan's Shohei Imamura.
Imamura, whose credits include the masterpiece THE BALLAD OF NARAYAMA and PIGS AND
BATTLESHIPS, was a true maverick. He's the first major post-humanist to emerge in Japan, starting
out just before the other great rebel of Japanese cinema, Nagisa Oshima, went into feature filmmaking.
While his peers busied themselves telling classical humanist tales such as THE HUMAN CONDITION and
THE BURMESE HARP, Imamura scratched and got beneath our skin. Much like his mentor Yuzo Kawashima
at Nikkatsu studios, Imamura had a preference for contemporary themes, explored with frankness, humor
and a lack of cant. He also had an enduring interest in the inhabitants of cultural backwaters and the lower
depths, particularly earthy, strong-willed women who disdained bourgeois morality. Gradually he emerged
as one of the leading figures of postwar Japanese cinema, an insightful, creative artist with a near-scientific
interest in Japanese society, new and old, and a flair for depicting the human condition audaciously and
entertainingly. Northwest Film Forum honors Imamura on what would have been his eightieth year with a
retrospective of his work, rarely shown in the U.S."

Oren Ambarchi / Keith Rowe : Chapel Performance Space / JewelBox Theatre
- Oct 15 / 25


October in Seattle is not only overrun by an abundance of film and music,
but these two distinct opportunities to witness true modern innovators of
minimalism and the electric guitar. Keith Rowe, being one of the founding
members of the legendary (in improv circles at least) AMM and a artist/
performer who has found a new circle of like-minds since his split with that
seminal outfit a couple years back. Among these new sonic compatriots are
Christian Fennesz, Otomo Yoshihide, Toshimaru Nakamura and yes, Oren
Ambarchi. In fact three of those four and Rowe have formed a new collective
outfit for his particular take on the instrument: 4G - or 'The Four Gentlemen
of the Guitar'. Rowe's recent recorded material released on Erstwhile finds him
refining his distinctly identifiable sound into one of pure tone, texture and
feedback. We also have the fortune of having these perfomances booked in
appropriate/complimentary spaces, with Rowe at the Chapel Performace Space
in North Seattle, again brought to the Northwest by those fine folks at Nonsequitur:

Link to Keith Rowe Archive / Discography

Link to Erstwhile Records site

Link to Nonsequitur / Chapel Performance Space site


Ten days later the JewelBox Theatre is going to be hosting a rather ideal opportunity
to catch guitar/effects/feedback/laptop tone-maestro Oren Ambarchi in its small
intimate, live setting. His work, for all its subtlety is also very physical and sometimes
plumbs the depths (and heights!) of the frequency spectrum in ways that are both
immersive and sensorially stimulating/visceral. Especially live from what I've seen/
heard at Mutek back in 03. This is a rare opportunity to catch him performing solo,
outside of the various Doom-Metal outfits he is currently touring with (Burial Chamber
Trio, SUNN O)))) stateside, as Mr. Ambarchi is a Ausie import who doesn't often perform
over here on our continent. Performance presented by our freinds at Wall of Sound:

Link to Official Oren Ambarchi site

Link to Touch label / Oren Ambarchi site

Link to Wall of Sound 'Events' site

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Raster-Noton 11th Anniversary / Performances : Volksbuhne Berlin - Oct 10

On the evidence of last months Raster-Noton showcase at Decibel Fest and having
witnessed Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto), Frank Bretscheider and Olaf Bender live at
Mutek 03 and MOCA LA in 04, I would say this is going to be an event of a nature
above and beyond the known/experienced sphere. A meeting of many of the worlds
finest digital/aural/visual minimalists as a anniversary celebration for the label-archiv:

Link to Raster-Noton site

Any, even 'somewhat' or 'possible' proximity to Berlin would make this one a must!
You have friends in Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland? - Tell them to go!

Link to Volksbuhne Berlin venue site