In a rare joint appearance, filmmaking luminary Takahiko Iimura and Tokyo-based sound artist Tomomi Adachi present an evening of films and performances. Since the early 1960s, Iimura has been renowned for his groundbreaking films and videos, ranging from surreal underground narratives to elegant explorations of time and perception, many produced with performance artists and avant-garde composers. Adachi has garnered similar acclaim for his work with voice, electronics and self-made instruments. The two will present four of Iimura's early films, a selection of Adachi's sound works, including the Chicago premiere of the ten-voice "Minna no Uta (Song for Everyone)," and a new collaboration for film, voice and electronics.
Tonight's program includes Iimura's films "Junk" (1962), "Love" (1963), "Onan" (1963) and "Flowers" (1968-69) with music by Takehisa Kosugi, Yoko Ono, Yasunao Tone and Adachi. Together, Iimura and Adachi perform with "White Calligraphy," Iimura's 1967 film of Japanese characters copied from the 8th century text Kojiki and scratched directly onto black leader. Here, the filmmaker manipulates the projection while Adachi improvises with voice and electronics. Adachi also will perform sound poetry works and improvise with his self-made instruments. In "Minna no Uta (Song for Everyone)," a DJ sends sounds from turntables to headphones worn by ten voice performers, who imitate what they hear. The audience cannot hear the original turntable sounds.
Tomomi Adachi (b. 1972, Kanazawa, Japan) is a performer, composer, sound poet, installation artist and theater director, working in voice, live electronics and self-made instruments. He founded the punk-style choir "Adachi Tomomi Royal Chorus" in 1997 and the "Ensemble for Experimental Music and Theater" in 2011. Adachi has collaborated with numerous sound artists, dancers and theater troupes and has presented works around the world, including at the Tate Modern, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Museum of Art Osaka; La Mama Theatre Melbourne; among others. He lives in Tokyo and Berlin.
Adachi last appeared at Lampo in April 2010, in his Chicago debut. He performed his own text-sound compositions and work from a collection of historical Japanese sound poetry—seldom heard material by Hide Kinoshita from 1924, and Seiichi Niikuni from the 1960s and 70s. He also performed "Voice and Infrared Sensor Shirt," and improvised with the Tomoring II, made of springs and metal wire, and the Tomomin II, one of his Tupperware instruments.
Takahiko Iimura (b. 1937, Tokyo, Japan) is a pioneering figure in the world of experimental and underground cinema in the United States and Japan. He began making films in Tokyo in the early 1960s and played an important role in the establishment of a number the city's seminal film collectives and screening series. Iimura moved to the United States in 1966, where he became an established fixture of New York's experimental film scene. His works span film, video and computer art and have been exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo; among many others. He divides his time between New York and Tokyo.
SAT OCT 12 8pm
4 West Burton Place
Admission FREE; RSVP here
Ben Vida, of Brooklyn, formerly from Chicago, returns to screen a new video piece and premiere a 4-channel electronics work that the artist and traitor made for the occasion. We joke, Ben.
In "Tztztztzt Î Í Í…" Vida presents the video realization of his sound poem of the same title, voiced by Sara Magenheimer, Tyondai Braxton and Vida himself, who writes:
In showing the visual record of the vocalists' performances re-coupled with the synthesized translations of those vocalizations, the physical actions of the performers are reframed. We perceive a more abstracted relationship between the actions of the face and the quality of the synthesized sounds. We can perhaps understand the relationship through a rhythmic syncing but the complex and polyphonic nature of the soundtrack complicates a clear read of the causality between vocalist and voice.
This attention to shifting relationships of inputs and outputs, cause and effect, was created with the intention of recalibrating the viewer's awareness of their own senses. The possibility of a recalibration and the desire to remind the viewer of how well they are able to receive and decode discordant information acts to reveal the brain's ability to create order out of multi-sensory distortions. And just as the afterimages in the video resonate with the psychoacoustic sound materials in the soundtrack, the recalibration of the viewer's senses within the gallery space is meant to be internalized—this realigning of perception prompting a resonance between our awareness of our senses and our everyday surroundings.
Vida also will perform "Damaged Particulates," his new composition for fixed and live electronics presented in four-channel-expanded stereo. Organized into eleven short movements this new work derives its compositional strategy from the concept of "Particulate Systems Construction."
Rather than building up multi-voiced sound events, "Damaged Particulates" emphasizes the morphology and spatialization of single and dual-voiced sonic particulates. These particulates are ordered and aggregated to create stark juxtapositions. This process is occasionally disrupted when four voices are presented in parallel, all interrelated through a shared system of control sources. Although minimal in elements, this composition is at once sonically dense, grossly visceral and disjunctively rhythmic. Sound objects take on an almost physical presence within the performance space, allowing spatialization to become a compositional material, and discordant sonic composites act to complicate traditional compositional logic.
Speech and music can be thought of as "particulate" systems in which a set of discrete elements of little inherent meaning (such as phonemes and tones) are combined to form structures with a great diversity of meaning (Hockett & Altman, 1968; Merker, 2002).
Although what can be communicated through speech and music in terms of cognitive processing is inherently different, the commonality between the two structures is that both utilize a particulate system to communicate a wide range of meaning in an economical way. Through the ordering and combining of particulates one controls the building up, and inversely, breaking down of meaning or sense.
And it's this tipping point: that space between building up and breaking down meaning, or between musical representation and sonic abstraction, that is the conceptual starting point for "Damaged Particulates." A finite number of sonic elements are used to produce a composition that, through the ordering of non-specific sound objects, creates a sonic space where both musical sense and nonsense can exist in parallel. It is one's own personal biological sound system and history of listening that will determine for each individual listener whether this sound work is capable of communicating any musical sense at all.
Ben Vida (b. 1974, Dubuque, Iowa) is a Brooklyn-based artist, improviser, composer and writer. His current body of work includes compositions and videos that examine the relationship between sense and sensing. These pieces use analog and digital synthesizing technologies and expanded compositions for voice and focus on aural/visual phenomena and illusions. Vida has been an active member of the international experimental music community for the past seventeen years with a long list of collaborations, bands and releases to his credit. In the mid-90's he co-founded the group Town and Country and has worked as a solo artist under his own name and as Bird Show with releases on such labels as PAN, Alku, Thrill Jockey, Drag City, Amish, Bottrop-Boy, Hapna and Kranky. He has presented his work in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, South Korea and Japan. Recent activates include performances at the Kitchen in New York with David Behrman, the debut of the Tyondai Braxton/Ben Vida Duo at the Sacrum Profamun festival in Krakow, a solo performance at Electrónica en Abril festival in Madrid, the publication of his long form sound poem "Tztztztzt Î Í Í…" from Shelter Press and touring Scandinavia playing modular synthesizer as a member of Will Oldham's band. He had his first solo exhibition, "Slipping Control," at Audio Visual Arts in New York this past spring. He is a 2013 Artist in Residency at ISSUE Project Room and at the Clocktower in New York.
SAT NOV 2 8pm
4 West Burton Place
Admission FREE; RSVP here
Mark Fell, in his Chicago solo debut, presents new tonal work from music he developed as guest composer at the historic EMS in Stockholm.
Mark Fell (b. 1966, Rotherham, England) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sheffield, England. After studying experimental film and video art at the local polytechnic he reverted to earlier interests in computational technology, music and synthetic sound. In 1998 he initiated a series of critically acclaimed record releases, featuring both collaborative projects (notably, SND with Mat Steel) and solo works, on labels including Mille Plateaux, Line, Editions Mego, Raster Noton and Alku.
In 2003 Fell contributed to a project led by the British Algorist Ernest Edmonds at Loughborough University in the UK, enabling him to study the philosophy of technology in relation to contemporary art. During this project he developed a close relationship with Yasunao Tone, with whom he would exchange ideas and offer technological support. Encouraged by Tone, Fell developed an interest in the philosophy of Martin Heidegger which would lead to a shift of focus from philosophy of technology, to technology and time, principally music, technology and time.
Fell is widely known for combining popular music styles, such as electronica and techno, with more academic approaches to computer-based composition with a particular emphasis on algorithmic and mathematical systems. His recent musical practice has become increasingly informed by non-Western musics, evident in two linked works "Multistability" and "UL8," which explore a number of unfamiliar timing and tuning systems. In addition to recorded works, Fell produces installation pieces, often using multiple speaker systems. Although well versed in the use of ambisonics, his work in this area is characterized by "non-illusion based" approaches, where multiple wave shapes are spatially distributed to form complex synthetic sonic environments. This methodology became prominent in a 48-channel work commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna) in 2008, in collaboration with Roc Jiménez de Cisneros for the Morning Line project.
Fell has been recognized by ARS Electronica with an honorary mention in the digital musics category, and was shortlisted for the Quartz award for his contribution to research in digital music. He also has been involved in a number of academic research projects ranging from computer science to musicology. As a curator he is widely recognized for his contribution to the development of experimental electronic music in Europe.
For this very special evening we happily welcome Eli Keszler, as he performs solo percussion and creates a gallery installation that becomes part of the performance. Come early and stay late to view "Reading Lampo," an exhibition of Lampo design, posters past and other selections from our 15-year archive of printed matter, organized with friends at the Post Family.
In Keszler's installation, multiple tuned and extended piano wires of varying length are extended around the space, overlapping in geometric formations and tuned in a tightly knit harmonic pattern. The wires are struck, scraped and vibrated by microprocessor-controlled mechanical arms, making harmonically complex tones that are percussive yet resonant. Keszler plays drums and percussion with the sounds from the installation.
Eli Keszler (b. 1983, Brookline, Mass.) is a composer, artist and multi-instrumentalist. He began playing drums at eight, and composing at twelve. Before finding an interest in experimental music and improvisation, he played in rock and hardcore bands; his work retains an intense physicality and churning, often ferocious energy. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory, where he studied composition with Anthony Coleman and Ran Blake. He has collaborated with Phill Niblock, Roscoe Mitchell, Tony Conrad, Joe McPhee, Christian Wolff, Loren Connors, Jandek and many others, and has recorded more than a dozen CDs and LPs for ESP-DISK, REL and PAN. His installations have appeared at Eyebeam (NYC), Boston Center for the Arts, Nuit Blanche NYC and the Shreveport MSPC New Music Festival. Additional recent projects include work at the Tectonic festival in Reykjavik with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, an installation for the Gaudeamus Festival at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, and a performance at the Barbican in London. His visual work often features dense, fine detailed drawing and painting. In 2013 he released "NEUM", a book of drawings, prints and diagrams made in conjunction with his installation at the South London Gallery. Keszler lives in New York City.
"Reading Lampo" opens November 16, 2013 from 7-10pm at the Post Family Gallery, with the opportunity to view the show by appointment through December 15; organized in cooperation with the Post Family.
SAT DEC 7 8pm
4 West Burton Place
Admission FREE; RSVP here
New work and a novel direction from Steve Hauschildt (Ex-Emeralds). For Lampo, the Cleveland-based artist premieres music made in part by gesture—translating movement into sound and, he writes, "conducting the music in a three-dimensional field."
Here, in this multimedia performance with video, Hauschildt will use the Buchla Lightning for the first time. This specialized controller was designed by synthesizer pioneer Don Buchla and operates on the principles of optical triangulation. It works by spatially sensing the horizontal and vertical movement of tiny infrared transmitters that are built into two wands. As the wands are moved in space, data such as velocity, acceleration and pitch is tracked. This data is then transformed into MIDI information and sent directly to his synthesizers and electronics, allowing Hauschildt to control the system through gesture as opposed to a traditional keyboard.
Steve Hauschildt (b. 1984, Cleveland, Ohio) is an electronic musician and founding member of the band Emeralds (2006-2013). He has performed at numerous festivals and venues across North America, Europe and Japan. In 2011, his debut full-length recording, "Tragedy & Geometry" (Kranky) was a post-kosmische album that referenced the Greek muses Melpomene (Muse of Tragedy) and Polyhymnia (Muse of Geometry) as inspiration. The album was an audio treatise on the general disposability of technology, expressed through the re-appropriation of stylistic conventions across electronic music. His 2012 studio album "Sequitur" (Latin for "it follows") featured nearly 20 different electronic instruments ranging from the 1960s to the present. He cited the work of Donna Haraway, Camille Paglia and Rosalind Picard as being conceptually influential on the compositions. In 2013, Editions Mego released "S/H," an anthology of unreleased and rare works from Hauschildt's archives. Consisting of 37 tracks across two discs, it provides a thorough overview of his work from 2005-2012. To a degree, Hauschildt's compositions are intuitive yet grounded in the past, as they preserve the legacy of electronic music and Minimalism. However, his work also explores the domain of the avant-garde through experimentation with synthesizers and digital processing. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never, Hollywood sound designer/composer Alan Howarth and Aaron Dilloway of Wolf Eyes, among others.
The Lampo series of performances is a project of Lampo, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. Current programs are supported in part by the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, mediaThe foundation inc., the John W. and Clara C. Higgins Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Essential contributions also come from individuals, members and volunteers.