Slave Pianos, ¡¡Emancipate the Dissonance!!, Press Release
127 Charles St Abbotsford, Vic, 3067
Phone: –613–9419 0206
LOMBARD-FREID FINE ARTS present the New York Premiere of
SLAVE PIANOS ¡¡EMANCIPATE THE DISSONANCE!! : a, b, a’+c
exposition and recitals of visual artists’ music and sound works
[a series of 3 performances from the slave repertoire]
470 Broome Street
New York 10013
Phone 212 334 5060
2 - 5 December 1999
SLAVE PIANOS is a project initiated by Australian artists Michael Stevenson and Danius Kesminas. It has grown out of their common interest in the history and practice of visual artists working with sound. The project is a collaborative undertaking with Australian composers Neil Kelly and Rohan Drape and pianist Barney McAll.
SLAVE PIANOS seeks to broaden the knowledge, appreciation and understanding of sound works created by persons who are predominantly known in the field of the visual arts. Stevenson and Kesminas have used the practice of ethnomusicology to collate the SLAVE ARCHIVE, an expanding audio library of sound works by sculptors, painters etc. Original recordings from the SLAVE ARCHIVE have been recomposed, arranged and transcribed for Slave Piano by Kelly, Drape and McAll. The New York exposition consists of a series of installations and performances featuring the Slave Piano - a computer controlled mechanical piano player at a Steinway grand. The piano in recital creates, as it were, a trace back to the original recording and a portrait of the original artists’ performance.
The apotheosis of the grand piano within modern and contemporary art/music practices is at the center of the SLAVE PIANOS philosophy. Recently in Australia the particularly colonial obsession with this instrument has been highlighted through films such as Jane Campion’s ‘The Piano’, the David Helfgott story as portrayed in ‘Shine’ and ‘Passion’ , about Australia’s most innovative 20th century composer, Percy Grainger.
The Slave will be in recital during exposition hours: Thursday Dec 2 thru Sunday Dec 5, 4.00pm - 8.00pm The SLAVE PIANOS installation includes the published musical scores in the form of sheet music and features the full repertoire of piano transcriptions.
In addition to the piano recitals the SLAVE COLLECTIVE presents aba’+c, a series of three evening performances that will take place during the SLAVE PIANOS exposition.
Thursday December 2 at 8.00pm (SLAVE CHAMBER: menage a quatre) the FLUX Quartet will present the world premiere of visual artists sound works from the SLAVE ARCHIVE recomposed for string quartet. The performance will feature works by Schwitters, Marclay, Macuinas and Duchamp. FLUX are: Tom Chiu-violin, Cornelius Dufallo-violin, Kenji Bunch-viola and Darrett Adkins-cello. FLUX have an established presence at the Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art as well as cutting edge venues like the Knitting Factory and are world renowned for their performances of the modern repertoire. FLUX has also worked with a wide range of contemporary musicians and artists.
Saturday December 4 at 8.00pm (Anti-Jazz: the vibrational liquid of improvisation) a jazz ensemble working under the umbrella ANTI-JAZZ will perform Barney McAll’s arrangements from the SLAVE ARCHIVE including works by Anderson, Ono, Prina and Cole. Barney McAll has performed with Gary Bartz, Bill Harper and Vincent Herring. ANTI-JAZZ includes Ben Monder, guitar and Ben Street, bass.
Sunday December 5 at 8.00pm (Caged/Uncaged: unleash the beats) Australian and NY performances including works by Cage, Nauman, McCarthy, Boltansky and Ousler for violin (Tom Chui of Flux), prepared piano, flugelhorn, accordion, harmonica, percussion and tape. From 9.00pm, Sunday, DJ OLIVE will be cutting breaks from the SLAVE ARCHIVE. Renowned as an experimentalist, DJ OLIVE performs internationally as a cutting edge audio janitor.
The SLAVE PIANOS ARCHIVE includes works by: Magdelena Abakanowicz, Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Hany Armanious, John Baldessari, John Barleycorn, Joseph Beuys, John Borofsky, Louise Bourgeois, Glen Branca, George Brecht, L. Budd, Chris Burden, David Byrne, Jon Campbell, Ciurlionis, Tony Clark, Domenico de Clario, Martin Creed, Julian Dashper, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Terence Fox, Katharina Fritsch, Marco Fusinato, Dan Graham, Jeny Holzer, Joe Jones, Ilya Kabakov, Mike Kelley, Martin Kersels, Martin Kippenberger, Alison Knowles, Barbara Kruger, Sergei Kuryokhin, Louise Lawler, Thomas Lawson, Richard Long, Marinetti, Paul McCarthy, Bruce McLean, Daniel Malone, Christian Marclay, Jonas Mekas, Milkstar, Thurston Moore, Bruce Nauman, Herman Nitsch, Yoko Ono, Dennis Oppenheim, Gabriel Orozco, Tony Ousler, Nam June Paik, Martin Popperwell, Stephen Prina, Dieter Roth, Kurt Merz Schwitters, Ross Sinclair, Solver, Ricky Swallow, Takis, D M Thomas, Jean Tinguely, Peter Tyndall, Ronnie van Hout, Bill Viola, Lawrence Weiner, Emmett Williams and David Wojnarowicz.
The New York exposition/recital of SLAVE PIANOS is part of a world tour, which began at the Museum Fridericianum (Kassel, Germany) and the Auckland Art Gallery (New Zealand) where it featured as part of the exhibition Toi Toi Toi: three generations of artists from New Zealand curated by Rene Block. SLAVE PIANOS has also performed at Stills Gallery (Edinburgh, Scotland), Lovers ( Melbourne, Australia ), Darren Knight Gallery (Sydney, Australia ). SLAVE PIANOS will also be in performance in Los Angeles at China Art Objects Galleries in February 2000.
SLAVE PIANOS tour is supported in Australia by the International Export and Touring Program of Arts Victoria and the Australia Council.