|When The Kitchen launched the New Music, New York festival in 1979, it created a "genuine landmark in the evolution of a genre" (The Village Voice).
N E W S O U N D , N E W Y O R K F E S T I V A L
25 Years Beyond New Music, New York
March 31 (Wed): DJ Spooky and Greg Lynn
April 7 (Wed): Philip Glass and Thom Mayne
April 14 (Wed): Laurie Anderson and Martha Schwartz
April 21 (Wed): MOBY and Bernard Tschumi
WHAT: Paul Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky, and architect Greg Lynn will embark on an existential adventure together with Christopher Janney revolving around the phrase, “If architecture is frozen music, then is music liquid architecture?”
i heard them today on npr. they couldnt quite nail down the attribution. flw, schindler? im having a little trouble putting together why architecture is any more like frozen music than anything else. any ideas ? host john schaffer quipped : that in turn, music should therefore be like melted architecture.
Gee, I’ve seen all of these headliners back in the day, and now they’re anniversary fodder. Makes me feel old. I don’t think I’ve been to the Kitchen since being on stage there in Steve Doughton’s muck-man performance. I can also remember seeing Jon Gibson at the original space in Soho. We mentioned Moby in this thread; I certainly rate him above DJ Spooky, whose half-baked academic blather offends me more than his beats, but there are DJs who post to these pages I’d rather listen to. Anderson the performance artist made me wince, but I have to admit her pop-minimalist music was pretty good, at least when accompanied by lots of projections and a light show. I’d almost say the opposite of Phillip Glass, though that wouldn’t give Robert Wilson enough credit for image making. Storytelling is a different story. Einstein on the Beach was a landmark when I was in school, but I didn’t see one of their collaborations until The Civil Wars in the 80’s. That had some striking visual effects, but the whole thing came off as over-long and a bit ludicrous. A Glass chamber-size group I saw at Town Hall (with Teenage Jesus and DNA as openers) was more digestible and entertaining. But that was 25 years ago; must try to get out more…
My favorite Laurie Anderson story was when she talked about being the first artist-in-residence at NASA and it making her want to write a really big poem... When she showed up for her first day there, she asked what she should do. Their reply: "Dunno -- never had an artist in residence before."
Re: Robert Wilson
I hear his Temptation of Saint Anthony is coming to BAM in October.
I've never really known what to make of Philip Glass, but I guess I can say I try to 'appreciate' him...
I kind of wish I'd been at the Met when the opera buffs boo-ed Robert Wilson for his Lohengrin. The set did look pretty silly. Ditto his "solo show" at the Houston CAM, where he showed metal cowboy boots and the like. (He's originally from Waco, TX.)
Philip Glass's score for the horror movie Candyman is spooky. I heard him perform solo piano pieces once. It was very...minimal.
I heard about the boo-ing but opera fans can be pretty tough no? Not that I am doubting that he was not derserving...
You too can buy a Robert Wilson (Alex, see the Einstein Chair, 1976, whatdayathink?)
According to Robert Wilson's website, he is doing an installation at the Isamu Nogushi Museum when it re-opens in June 2004. I don't see the connection?
i helped paint bernard tschumi's (and kate's) chelsea loft last year.
was he wearing a red scarf?
charcole grey flanel pants, black turtleneck, black blazer, black shoes and belt. no scarf that i recall. is it a signature?
The chair is a strong image, but you wouldn’t want to sit in it, which is sort of the problem with the operas. Note that Wilson says that upon agreeing to collaborate, he and Glass decided on the length of the production before almost anything else. I was taught in school that once Existential angst and Abstract Expressionist flailing became hackneyed we got to the point where boredom became exciting, hence Minimalism. We used to take pride in how long one could look at a blank painting, or whether you could sit through something like Einstein, or a four hour landscape movie by Michael Snow. I suspect Wagner’s fans have a bit of that in them (don’t mess with those folks.) Epic scale has its rewards, but one recalls Borges’ comment about why should he write a novel when he could say what he needed to in a short story. Still, I’ve found Minimalist music can be engaging and can transport one into a trance-like state which requires a certain duration and immersion to achieve. Try getting stoned and renting Koyaanisqatsi.
Wilson, I think, can be a skillful manipulator of images. It’s interesting that he’s now doing St Anthony. As I recenty mentioned, in relation to Gunewald, this is a subject of some concern to me, though I imagine our interpretations differ. All protestations aside, theater and visual art dispense with the viewer’s body, at least compared to a performance of popular music where the audience dances. Certain mind-altering experiences of that sort were ultimately more important to me than anything I got out of the “serious” art world, but there’s been a degree of overlap. That’s why electronic dance music has inherited the cachet of psychedelic freak-out jamming, and both have employed hypnotic rhythms and long duration. Dave recently posted something about My Bloody Valentine, which was a really great band that straddled the line between rock, art, and dance music. I saw them play one chord for twenty minutes, a very Minimalist trope, but you could dance to it. Of course my ears were ringing for a week after…
"shot mostly in the desert Southwest and New York City on a tiny budget with no script, then attracting the support of Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas and enlisting the indispensable musical contribution of Philip Glass--" I will have to check it out, thanks!
Despite the negative link I posted on R. Wilson's Temptation of Saint Anthony I have heard it is a pretty interesting interpretation. Apparently he and Bernice Johnson Reagon put it together after a week out at watermill together (conceived in one week?! can we say minimal amount of time?). I don’t really have anything of interest to add re: Grunewald (unless the fact that the few painting I have seen have given me bad dreams counts).
I'd say bad dreams count for a lot, but try this one.
trivia from last night:
Philip Glass was the studio assistant to Richard Serra for three years.
saw and heard:
Glass composed non narrative music to architecture for the opening sequence of Soderbergh's NAQOYQATSI.
Mr. Glass reports:
if you look at one image to different kinds of music, the music will change how you view the image.
But, if you try the exercise the other way around, and listen to one composition while viewing different images the images will not change what you hear in the music.
Sounds like a musician talking.
I think two things next to each other will each effect the other every time.
"text, image, movement and music are my earth, wind, water and fire" P.Glass
Wait, Earth Wind & Fire were there - and I missed it?!?!?!?!?
LOL, you really missed a great "Jungle Boogie" jam.
DJ Spooky doesn't have a lot of fans on the Tree, but I didn't feel like being dyspeptic (again). I kind of want to like him, but he's such a pedant. Rereading what I wrote about him a few years back (scroll down), damned if that "architecture is frozen music" line isn't in there.
I had wanted to like him too.
He says a lot, I just wish he would slow it down and stop trying so hard to impress. I am sure the line was in there, but that is the problem I think, too many lines are in there. He is like a dictionary of quotations minus the linking thread, at least he was last night...
oh and tom I learned the inventor of musak was a retired army general named George Owen Squier.
I think he used that one too.
Yeah, Spooky has always struck me as a poseur, but it’s always good to check things out for oneself, though most of us get to a place where we don’t have the time and energy to devote to anything but our own passions, leading us to miss good stuff along with the bad.
As far as blather goes, I guess it’s always part of the game, but some artists have more need than others. Two voices can cite the same sources and spout the same buzzwords, and one may be profound while the other is just full of it. The only way to know the difference is to actually study the sources for yourself, but artists are often too busy with art to do that in depth. As an impressionable youngster it was important for me to realize that for all the verbiage being slung around, very few critics, and fewer artists, actually proceeded from a consistent, programmatic application of a specific philosophical or critical methodology. More often the words came afterwards, as a means of justifying a gut-level recognition of what it was one liked. There’s a difference between following the zeitgeist and following instructions. It’s ironic that today someone like Spooky seems desperate for intellectual validation, while the art establishment seizes on him as a representative of the “authentic” vitality of popular culture, a validity they are equally hungry for.
In the 70s, continental theory was just beginning to take over academia; many of the important texts hadn’t even been translated. A generation later, students are awash in the stuff, and often without much guidance or sense of history. I would point them to the nuts and bolts of formalism and structuralism first of all; a lot of the problems come with post-structuralism, which is more of a critique than a platform. In an anti-intellectual age this has led to the even more vulgar realm of identity politics. I hate being in the position of agreeing with many of the points made by practitioners of these trends, but having to watch them throw the baby of Western culture out with the bathwater of human fallibility. Voices like Spooky’s also smack of intellectual bullying; a pretense at knowing everything. But as suggested elsewhere, it’s been a while since anyone could do that.
Paul D. Miller and MIT Press.
And, I hear he is now being represented by Paula Cooper Gallery and has his first show coming up!
Home of Minimalist Relics...and DJ Spooky.
I am a little disappointed, I can't go to number three tonight (I know, doesn’t that girl have anything better to do with her time?!). I was enjoying learning more about some of these music 'legends' and listening to them struggle to find commonalities. Laurie Anderson is tonight with landscape architect Martha Schwartz.
Do you think it was a conscious decision to have the two women involved in the series speak to one another?
”WHAT: Path breaking composer, performer and visual artist Laurie Anderson talks with Martha Schwartz, a leading exponent of artistic expression in landscape design, about new ideas in gardens and environmental sound.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 14, 2004, 8:00 pm”
again with the radio interviews w/ john anderson on wnyc today. it has to do with parks. andersons project in japan and schwartz a landscape architect w/ classical music training (best known for the comfort bandage on the old tilted arc site). she mentioned a mad hatter tea party theme !? that nyc dont want modernism so she gave em olmstead redux in a mad new way. and they both thought piped in music was very important. selma your plan "b" is probably a better choice.
who wants to sit in a park without trees in the boiling sun and get spritzed!?.
Thanks bill, plan b sounding better already..
Curlicues! Very sprightly. I kind of like'em though (being a curlicue and sphere man), at least in the photos.
Next week (last one, I am sure you are thrilled to see this thread come to a close):
"WHO: Moby, a versatile musician, gained recognition in the early 1990s for his contributions to dance and techno music. His albums, "Everything Is Wrong," "Animal Rights" and "Play," span several different genres of music including contemplative ambient, hard rock, techno, and an unusual bluesy and hip-hop feel that earned him critical acclaim. With a background in architecture, Moby believes his recordings are an extension of the discipline and, subsequently, views his music as architecture.
Bernard Tschumi, one of the great theorists and educators on architecture, is known for creating forward-looking projects that articulate the contours of the emerging century. Lead by Mr. Tschumi, Bernard Tschumi Architects is dedicated to the interface between 21st century conditions and architecture. The firm, known for its innovative solutions, has been the recipient of award-winning prizes for works ranging from concert halls in France to a new student center on the Columbia University campus.
Curator/moderator Christopher Janney has created numerous permanent architectural installations, attempting to make architecture more "spontaneous" (Harmonic Runway, Miami Airport; REACH:NY, 34th St. subway, New York) and, on the other hand, to make music more physical (HeartBeat:mb with Mikhail Baryshnikov).
WHAT: A lively discussion between Moby and Bernard Tschumi, two dynamic contemporary artists together with Christopher Janney exploring some fresh connections between music, architecture and the visual arts.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 21, 2004, 8:00 pm"
Okay, one more:
"Remembrance of New Music Past, When Downtown Was Magic" By John Rockwell.
One of the great mysteries of life is whether all the really good stuff is clustered in our heady coming of consciousness days, or if it just looks that way in retrospect. Probably both.
I got to see part of the Town Hall concert last night. I was late (or snuck in late) and walked in during the middle of Pauline Oliveros' Tuning Meditation (1972). For those of you that know this performance you will understand that this is a very strange piece to walk in on in the middle of - and I certainly had no idea. It is an audience participation performance. Everyone is asked to carry one tune in the sound of a vowel for the length of a breath. You pick any pitch you want, then you listen and pick a tune you hear and try to match it, then you go back to any vowel sound you want, then you match one you hear, you keep alternating etc. Imagine walking into a dark auditorium hearing these waves of pitches coming from the audience. It was very surreal to say the least (and a bit frightening).
Next was Meredith Monk, performing Dolmen Music (1979). I have to admit to never seeing Meredith Monk perform live. For fear of saying anything naïve, I will only say “wow.”