Rhys Chatham On Tony Conrad

English: A self-portrait photograph by and of ...

Source: The Quietus.

Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain, a film and live music installation conceived by the late Tony Conrad, premiered in 1972 at a New York City experimental art space called the Kitchen.

The installation saw Conrad take up violin duties, alongside Rhys Chatham and Laurie Spiegel, who had been enlisted to play stringed instruments built by Conrad himself. Chatham played the Long String Drone, a 6-foot long strip of wood with bass strings, electric pickup, tuning keys, tape, rubber band and metal hardware, with the three of them coming together to play Conrad’s minimalist score for two hours, set against black-and-white projections.

Conrad’s recording of the performance has now been released more than 40 years later by the Superior Viaduct label, capturing the performances in full and taking in liner notes from Rhys Chatham and Andrew Lampert, edited by Jim O’Rourke.

With the recording just released, we spoke to Rhys Chatham about that first performance of Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain, and hearing the recording over 40 years later.