Friday, September 3, 2010

Sound Art/Music Abstracted & Spoken in Riverside

I can't begin to tell you how cool the sound art installation was at the Culver Center of the Arts last night during downtown Riverside's Art Walk. Shane is doing an incredible job at curating the monthly events that were a "countdown" to the grand opening of the center.

From the Culver Center website: [with notes]
An Evening of Light, Space and Sound is a live sonic/visual performance that will transform the fa├žade of the Culver Center of the Arts into a large abstract space of color, light, and form. Through video projections, abstract imagery, and live sound compositions, the artists will blur the distinction between public and private space while exploring new possibilities of live performance and art practice. In respect to Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor, the moon, the artists will summon its equinoctial presence through the projection of its abstracted form on a series of large weather balloons and again through musical improvisation.

A sequence of three sound-art ensembles will perform music exploring the realms of space and the immaterial in human language through amplified spatial arrangements
[A beefy, impressive but non-intrusive speaker and amp set-up]  and sonic improvisations. 

[Although it is noted that the work was improv, you could have fooled me. It seemed pretty obvious that there had to be some kind of previous collaborations before. I know the 3 different performer-groups work together regularly, but the way the separate groups transitioned, they must be a mass of geniuses.]

Performing outdoors, color-field light projections will fall upon the musicians and illuminate their actions, activating the visual space of the acoustic. 
[Everyone was wearing white, and it was a really beautiful effect]
Each group will perform individually and together through improvised segues from one ensemble to the next, yielding a collaborative score. 
[The transitions were quite seamless. As a sound piece was dwindling or becoming more fragmented, you would notice off to the side, someone stepping into the "stage" by their instrument. They would begin noodling, or playing a note, long drawn out or perhaps little snips...until finally, the first group would fade away completely, and the next group would be in full performance mode.]

In this moment of dematerialization, the artists will transform the Culver Arts Center into a mediated space of ambient form. 

[Ok, so of course, not being able the HEAR the performance on this blog still gives you no idea of what went on. These adjectives come to mind: beautiful, kinetic, soothing to stimulating, mysterious, modern, comfortable, ambient

As for me, to put it in perspective with some more well-known composers, some of the touches - and I mean touches, as in "if I were to make a comparison"...I always get nervous about this, because I don't want to be off base with the artists inspiration and I don't intend this blog to be editorial, but rather visceral and personal. Anyway, the touches I heard were Laurie Anderson, Michael Nyman, Debussy and Nohgaku. Lady Noise describes their work as "leaving the audience with the aching beauty of harmonic decay"....]

So, here is a link to some of the artists websites, many of whom have a way for you to hear their work.
Ann Homler
Jorge Martin ( I hope this is the right Jorge)
Greg Kenczycki
Lady Noise (trio) with Kelly Coats, Kathleen Kim and Gabie Strong

Here is the whole line up:
Featuring video and film by Doug Henry, Joe Potts, and Gabie Strong, with music performances by: Jorge Martin (electronics and live processing) and Anna Homler (vocals and electronics) Greg Lenczycki (keyboards & electronics), Albert Ortega (resonant electronics), Ted Byrnes (drums and percussion), and Steuart Liebig (bass guitar) Lady Noise - Kelly Coats (flute and vocals), Kathleen Kim (Mandicaster and amplified violin), Gabie Strong (electric bass), and Sandy Yang (drums and guitar).

A few more images here on the Slide show courtesy of the Press Enterprise*

*Thanks to William who took my picture. What a nice guy!

  bookstore revisited: a curated bookstore of delightful and compelling things