Sunday, November 11, 2007

30 Years of KINO at SIFF Cinema : Nov 16 - Dec 5

Some of the greatest films of the past century, showing in this three week series - all released by the distribution
house KINO in celebration of its 30th Anniversary as a significant figure in global cinema. From classics by Fritz
Lang, Von Sterberg and Luis Bunuel to mid-20th Century masters like Kurosawa and Tarkovsky to some of the
best among the ranking modern visionaries; Michael Haneke, Aki Kaurismaki and Wong Kar-Wai. Of particular
note is Andrey Zvyagintsev's "The Return" - which had a very, very limited theatrical release on its premier in
2004 - and stood as the cinema highlight of that year for me.

Link to SIFF "30 Years of Kino Films" site

All films at SIFF's McCaw Hall theatre there at the Seattle Centre, 321 Mercer Street. From SIFF: "For the next
three weeks we have the pleasure of bringing to the big screen some of the greatest films in the world, made
possible by the great independent distributor of classic and revelatory new cinema, Kino International.
Happy 30th Anniversary, Kino!"

Link to Kino Films site

Link to Kino "The Return" site

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hauschka "Prepared Paino" US Performances : Nov 3 - 13

November sees Hauschka bringing his minimal electronics and prepared piano work
into a live context to select theatre venues here in the states. His sound borrows as
much from John Cage's same-titled 'prepared piano' works and the historic
predecessors of Les Six, namely Erik Satie, along with his contemporaries in more
electronic 'pop' sounds like Aoki Takamasa, Max Richter, Swod and Goldmund. I'm
a fan, as it revives a avant-tradition and breathes a little 'lighter' contemporary air into
the form without reducing it to insubstantial appropriation or a 'pop' gesture of quotation.

Link to official Hauschka site

Link to Triple Door calendar site

Here in Seattle we have the benefit of seeing this tour hosted at the (what I sometimes
find to be rather too bourgeoisie) venue that is the Triple Door. Who's soundsystem,
theatre-style seating and environs will actually be ideal for this type of sound-work.
Rather impressive and audacious to bring this tour to the states, not to mention book
larger, more upscale venues like the Triple Door to host the performances. As outside of
avant, classical and academic music circles, I've encountered very little awareness that this
music, and its tradition now going on almost a century, even exists. So! Hats off to Hauschka
and Rafael Anton Irisarri for bringing this tour to town and making a conscious, like I said,
somewhat audacious, choice in the venue.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

SUNN O))) : Northwest Tour : Nov 1 - 3


Pushing the boundaries of the absurd into the truly profound and transcendental -
and using the format of UrMetal-Doom to do it through tone-based frequency compositions
- who else would aspire to such a thing but Southern Lord mavens SUNN O))):

Link to Southern Lord Northwest Tour site

Link to Southern Lord SUNN O))) site

Last nights Seattle performance was their usual onslaught of lower-frequency building-shaking
bass barrage, slabs of cosmic-sized feedback, and more guitar-torture squall than I've seen
them produce live before. The extended lineup including Attila Csihar of Mayhem on vocals
and (either?) Justin Broadrick or Oren Ambarchi on guitar (Grimmrobes make it kind of difficult
to tell) added not only to the sheer weight and volume of sound (can you say Sound
Pressure Levels?) but brought more textural/tonal complexity to their usual proceedings.  No
shortage of Grimmrobes and the impenetrable crepuscular gloom of fake fog to be had either.
This was the second night in this short Northwest tour as SUNN O))) are in Seattle with Ambarchi
 recording with the band after his excellent sold out show at the Jewelbox Theatre and one of the
 loudest, most sonically crushing performances I've seen in my life at Chop Suey as Burial Chamber
 Trio just weeks ago. Final show of tour tonight in Portland!