Slave Pianos, Slave Chamber: menage a quatre, Programme Cover


Slave Pianos, Slave Chamber: menage a quatre, Programme Text

slave chamber: menage a quatre


Thursday December 2 [opening]
Lombard-Freid Projects
470 Broome Street
NY 10013

Slave Chamber: menage a quatre

FLUX Quartet perform

[four or five pieces for string quartet]

II SOLVER 3 1997
I Bill VIOLA buried secrets 1995
IV Kurt Merz SCHWITTERS ursonate 1922–32
V the GOBBLER lazy siren 1998

George MACIUNAS In memoriam Adriano Olivetti 1961

[string quartet no 2.]

I Christian MARCLAY one thousand cycles 1981
II Jean TINGUELY Hegel 1988
III Martin KIPPENBERGER new york - auschwitz 1979
IV Marcel DUCHAMP musical erratum 1913

violin Tom Chiu
violin Cornelius Dufallo
viola Kenji Bunch
cello Darrett Adkins

As graduates of the prestigious Julliard School, FLUX formed their string quartet in 1995 and have already established their regular presence at the Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art and the Knitting Factory, Substation and the Landon Gallery. As well as their exemplary performances of the modern string quartet repertoire, FLUX have uncovered exciting new composers and collaborations with musicians from other musical disciplines, including Alice Cooper, DJ Spooky, The Who and Ornette Coleman. The FLUX performance/collaboration with SLAVE CHAMBER brings together their interest in the history of shared art/music traditions.

One of the most dynamic young musicians of today, TOM CHIU has received great acclaim from The New York Times, the Village Voice, and the STRAD Magazine among others. Frequently premiering new works by the likes of Baley, Scelsi and Nancarrow with seasoned new music ensembles like Continuum and the New Music Consort, he also frequently collaborates with influential conceptualists in New York, including microtonalists JoHnny Reinhard and Virgil Moorefield, and experimental dancer Eun-Me Ahn. He can be heard on recordings on the Asphodol, CRI and Tzakik labels with artists ranging from Ornette Coleman to DJ Spooky. A noted Composer as well, Chiu has received grants from the meet-the Composer Foundation. Holding degrees in music and chemistry from the Juilliard School and Yale.

As winner of the 1994 Artists International Auditions, CORNELIUS DUFALLO was presented in his New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall, where he was hailed as a violinist of extraordinary talent. He has also won First Prize in the 1996 Sorantin National Music Competition. His recent engagements include those at Alice Tully Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium and the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace as part of the American Landmark Festivals. Away from New York he has appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, the Holland Music Sessions, andthe Music By the Red Sea Festival in Israel. A Morse Teaching Fellow at Juillard School, Cornelius Dufallo is a doctoral candidate who has worked with Massao Kawasaki and famed violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay.

As winner of the Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award, cellist DARRETT ADKINS will make his debut with the Tokyo Philharmonic later this year. He will also make debuts with the North Carolina Symphony, and the Orchestra of St Luke’s in Alice Tully Hall. An avid chamber musician, he has appeared throughout the Americas and Europe with such groups as the Taller Instrumentale of Spain, the Lincoln Center Chamber Players and the CORE Ensemble. He is also a frequent recitalist, particularly on contemporary music series such as Houston’s SYZGY, Spokane’s Zephr and New York’s Summergarden festivals. The release of his recording of duos for violin and cello (with violinist Gil Morgenstern) is schedualed for early 1999. He has recently been appointed to the faculties of the Encore School for Strings and the Juilliard School (assistant faculty).

KENJI BUNCH enjoys a distinguised career as both a violinist and a composer. Recently beginning his tenure as the composer-in-residence for Young Concert Artists, he is emerging as one of today’s most exciting young composers. His music has been played by the Omaha Symphony, the New Juillard Ensemble, and the Ahn Trio. Recent commissions have included those for the Orchestra of St Luke’s, Fear No Music, and the New York Woodwind Soloists. A CD of his Fantasia, featuring Violinist Ittai Shapira and the English Chamber Orchestra, is due out on EMI late this winter. As a violinist, Kenji Bunch performs regularly with Continuum, the Craftbury Chamber Players and the Perks Dance Music Theater. He has recently appeared as the principal violinist with the Philharmonic Virtuosi as well as with the Orpeus Chamber Orchestra.

Artists performed

BILL VIOLA (b.1951, New York, US) had an early interest in experimental music that developed via the soundtracks to his pioneering video installations. On study trips to Indonesia and the Pacific Viola made recordings of traditional music. As ethnographer of universal human experience, notions of ritual - such as the rites of passage - have themselves become the focus of his own work which has diverse roots in Sufism, Christian mysticism and Zen Buddhism. The acoustic potential of sound in space lead him to explore the sonic characteristics of Gothic cathedrals, Greek amphitheatres and ancient architecture. Viola uses the acoustic properties of site such as reverberance to envelop the viewer in a total environment.

MIKE KELLEY (b. 1954, Wayne, Michigan, US) became aware of Fluxus, composers Harry Parch, New York Minimalist LaMonte Young, the noise music of Karlheinz Stockhausen, the free jazz of Sun Ra and the Chicago Art Ensemble while enrolled at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the early 1970’s. ‘Destroy All Monsters,’ a band he co-founded in the mid 1970’s was linked to the influencial ironic proto - punk bands of the Detroit area. Through non-traditional instrumentation, predominantly vacuum cleaners and squeeze toys the band blended experimental techniques, particularly noise with pop exploring links with free jazz, radical politics and rock and roll counter-culture as a site for social experimentation. Since this time Kelley generated numerous musical collaborations with other artists working within the rock idom, some as one of performances others as working bands.

PAUL MCCARTHY (b. 1945, Salt Lake City, Utah, US) developed his musical interests initially through the Destruction Arts Symposium in London which included composers such as Gustav Metzger, Wolf Vostell and Ralph Ortiz. In particular his interest lay in the piano smashing performances that reportably inspired The Who’s guitar wrecking stage antics. Additionally McCarthy followed the works of the beat generation, the music of John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

JOHN BARLEYCORN (b. 1939, Sydney, Aust) established his musical path via an awareness of the punk music scene from the mid 1970’s. His retrieval of the DIY attitude first associated with punk lead him to develop Anti-Music, an umbrella term for a number of anonymous experimental music/art recording groups. Anti-Music showed the influence of Pere Ubu’s first LP (‘The Modern Dance’) along with Futurist, Dada and film music. Solver, was founded by Nixon in 1997, named after a commercial brand of paint he used when executing monochrome paintings. Using classical rock instrumentation the noise music produced maintains the vitality of punk’s energy but is mediated by the sound excursions of bands like Sonic Youth and by what could be called musique concrete, a ‘truth to materials’ approach which disavows all musical virtuosity. The music develops as free improvisation, each track being only briefly considered prior to recording.

MARCO FUSINATO (b. 1964, Melbourne, Aust) began composing from his interests in rock, experimental and noise music. He sites the early works of Glen Branca and the New York no-wave scene as being particularly important to his practice. Fusinato has developed a repertoire that investigates the harmonic relationship between music and colour (pitch and hue). To date his compositions have concentrated on the primacy of the E chord and red, its harmonic equivalent hue. These constant wavelengths - aural and ocular - under amplification and feedback expand or cancel nodal/anti-nodal characteristics thereby creating kinaesthetic interference.

KURT MERZ SCHWITTERS (b. 1887, Hanover, Deut, d. 1948, London) was the great lyrical composer of Dada. He made music from the incidental social intercourse heard on the street; the city being the contemporary trace of every living moment. His use of random events and verbal phrases clearly owes much to Marinetti’s Futurist theatre. His major opus, the Ursonate 1922–32 composed for solo voice, is grand opera, mechanical Wagner. The sonata consists of four movements; an introduction, an end, and a cadence in the fourth movement. Although Schwitters was very specific about articulation, phrasing and rhythm he conceded that as with any printed music, many interpretations were possible.

CHRISTIAN MARCLAY (b. 1955, San Rafael, California) emerged from the community of concept-orientated sound artists active in the late 1970’s. With fluxus punk and no wave as his precedent Marclay was drawn to the turntable as the central form of instrumentation defined by the DJ musicians of the early 1980’s. Marclay’s personalised approach to the turntable and its attendant vinyl is very much that of the structuralist/materialist. By contrast Marclay’s vinyl collages (cut up records reglued together ) and his ‘record topographique’ ( modified with paint and other textured materials ) redefine the very notion of what a vinyl sound recording can be. Marclay also works with prepared turntables - these customised instruments allow him to create and improvise his music to a much more personalised degree. One Thousand Cycles (1981), contains rhythms created by the process of cutting vinyl records into pieces and reconfiguring them in different combinations. The stylus tracing over each vinyl shard amplifies not only the sounds of the original recording but the rhythmic pop as it jumps unpredictably between cuts. Groove (1982), was created from loops recorded from multiple copies of the same seven inch single. They were composed directly on to vinyl by sticking small dot stickers onto the record which causes the needle to skip.

MARCEL DUCHAMP (b. 1887, Blainville, France, d. Neuilly, France, 1968) Musical Erratum of 1913, is the first specific example of the exploitation of chance to arrive at what might be described as a musical Readymade. The composition itself is in effect the application of Lewis Carroll’s recipe for chopping up an existing sentence and mixing its parts. Composed with his sisters Yvonne and Magdeleine during a New Year’s visit to Rouen, Duchamp recalled this event in 1951 as follows: “Each one of us drew as many notes out of a hat as there were syllables in the dictionary definition of the word imprimer [empreinte], picked by chance.” The notes were inserted in the score in the order drawn, it is thought that Duchamp’s sisters who were both musicians simply cut up a piano score to obtain the requisite seventy-five notes. Writing on John Cage and his circle, Henry Cowell points out several interesting precedents for this procedure: “Various combinations of chance and choice, preestablished or improvised, are not without respectable musical precedent, in the tala and raga systems of India, and possibly, on a less serious plane, in the music of Mozart. Mozart is said to have composed a set of contra-dances in which dice are to be thrown to determine the order in which the measures are to appear…(He) composed and set down all the measures that might be called for by the dice; a typical collection of opening measures for the first cast, a typical set of second measures for the second cast, and so on.” In the esoteric tradition, music is an allegory for the synthesis of polarities, the union of opposites thus we may recognise in Musical Erratum a sacred ceremony-the hierosgamos-that involves two archetypal polarities: the Virgin (represented here by Duchamp’s two sisters) and the Bachelor (the composer of the music).

JEAN TINGUELY (b. 1955, Fribourg, d. 1989) from his first musical experiments in 1955 Tinguely’s machines were constructed as much for their sonic potential as their kinetic and sculptural properties. Since a silent engine is an engineering impossibility, Tinguely composed with the inherent sounds of mechanisation exploiting their expressive characteristics multifariously. This approach shows the influence of Pierre Schaeffer’s musique concrete and Luigi Russolo’s notion of the revival of music through noise explained in his manifesto ‘The Art of Noises’. Tinguely orchestrated a system for sound imagery, a dramatic aural visualisation that enhanced sculptural motifs. His early percussive compositions were produced with metal hammers striking at irregular intervals on resonators: every day objects retrieved from the street, glasses and bottles, tuna fish and sardine cans. He continued to explore the ‘concrete music’ elicited from ordinary, non-musical objects, as well as sounds produced by more conventional instruments, including electronic ones such as those found in his monumental musical objects of the 1960’s.

MARTIN KIPPENBERGER (b. 1953, Dortmund, Germany, d. Vienna, 1997) came to prominence in the 1970’s through the radical extremes of the punk music scene. Kippenberger’s oeuvre embraces found sound as well as traditional jazz and rock structures. More significantly he elevated the miming form known as karaoke by developing ‘cover’ or ‘tribute’ performances to create his own ‘rogue’ compositions. By arranging diverse musical forms such as jazz standards and sound art he positioned them in such a way as to highlight their equality as forms of musical expression. Kippenberger’s position within musical culture is complex and one that has had him assume various roles from manager to performer, promoter to mimic. In Berlin he ran the famous S.O. 36 bar which became a venue for films and concerts including performances by Lydia Lunch, Wire and Adam and the Ants. He also founded ‘The Grugas’, a punk band, with Christine Hahn and Eric Mitchell. Disillusioned with the irreverant hothouse scene in ‘alternative’ Berlin he moved to Hamburg and began to intensivly collaborate on various musical compositions with Albert Oehlen, Georg Herold and Werner Butner. Compositions such as ‘The Girl Who Can’t Dance Says the Band Can’t Play’, embraced the process of musical performance where mastery of any instrument became irrelevant in the culture of forming a band, performing and arranging gigs.

Slave Pianos, Slave Chamber: menage a quatre, Programme Text