A Select History of Experimental Music

From Performa Arts, a two-day experimental music fest in New York.

A mini-festival of noise music curated by visual artist Mike Kelley. Born in a suburb of Detroit in 1954, Mike Kelley was brought up with the city’s music scene, which spawned bands such as Iggy and the Stooges and MC5. In 1973, Kelley formed his own band, the now seminal Destroy All Monsters. “A Fantastic World” continues Kelley’s continued interest in musical subcultures and focuses specifically on avant-garde music and sound art that employs elements such as cacophony, dissonance, and atonality.

Staged over two days, the festival will present both historic works from artists such as John Cage, Fred Frith, Fluxus, Bruce Nauman, and Max Neuhaus as well as performances by contemporary proponents of experimental music including Airway, Joan La Barbara, Tony Conrad, Jad Fair & Lumberob, Arto Lindsay, Genesis Breyer P.Orridge, z’ev, and John Zorn.

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This Week at the ISSUE Project Room

From the ISSUE Project Room:

09/23 @ 8pm – Tony Conrad and Branden W Joseph: a reading, discussion and performance
ISSUE Project Room is pleased to present: Tony Conrad and Brandon W Joseph in a reading and discussion followed by a performance by Tony Conrad. Branden W. Joseph is Frank Gallipoli Professor of Modern and Contemporary art in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. He is the author of Random Order: Robert Rauschenberg […]

09/24 @ 8pm – Littoral Series: Melvin Van Peebles Nondor Nevai w/ Mick Barr
Melvin Van Peebles is unquestionably a renaissance man and his reputation as a living legend is indisputable. The incomparable Van Peebles has found success in every medium of the entertainment industry as a director, producer, writer, actor, composer and editor. From music (a three time Grammy nominee) to television (an Emmy-award winner) to Broadway (eleven […]

09/25 @ 8pm – Byron Coley and Andy Schwartz with Loren Connors
ISSUE Project Room presents author and poet Byron Coley reading from an unpublished novel about record collectors called ”Dominos”… with musical accompaniment by the legendary Loren Connors, plus a reading by former editor of “New York Rocker” Andy Schwartz. Click to Share on Facebook and other sites

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Free Music Performances Reviews

Concert Review And Download: High Zero Festival, Saturday Night

NPR’s A Blog Supreme is offering a download of part of the recent High Zero festival.

Maybe it was the economy or maybe it was a curatorial decision, but the 11th annual High Zero Festival in Baltimore, Md. didn’t have the “star power” of previous years. There was no Tony Conrad or Joe McPhee, but in a city with a solid bed of new music practitioners — organized by the keen ears of the High Zero organization — you really couldn’t ask for a more creative line-up.

As always, High Zero puts local Baltimore musicians, artists and dancers on the same stage as international veterans to completely improvise “new music,” a rather loose term for sound with little connection to established forms. As a recent set of a CDs documenting the festival’s 11 years reveals, High Zero Festival is the premier showcase for spontaneous sound.

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Releases Reviews

Wolf Eyes’ Always Wrong Reviewed

Pitchfork reviews this relatively new release.

Wolf Eyes long ago internalized buzzing static, piercing screams, and crashing cacophony– basic elements as essential to the band’s vocabulary as finger picking is to John Fahey‘s, or violin drone is to Tony Conrad‘s. In fact, the most impressive thing about the band at this point in their career is how instantly identifiable their unruly noise is. Reference points remain, such as the industrial bombast of Throbbing Gristle, the gothic dirge of Swans, and the sheer extremity of Whitehouse. But Wolf Eyes now speak their own language exclusively.

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Floating Points Festival at the ISSUE Project Room

From New York’s ISSUE Project Room:

A month-long program experimenting with and utilizing ISSUE Project Room’s custom-built 15 channel hemispherical speaker system, the Floating Points Festival returns this year with a line-up of luminary sound artists including Hisham Bharoocha, Morton Subotnick, Stephen Vitiello, Zeena Parkins, Suzanne Thorpe, C. Spencer Yeh, and Tony Conrad.

Also on display throughout the month, Kaffe Matthews’ multichannel sound installation “Sonic Bed Marfa” will be on display before each performance starting at 7 pm.

Wed Jul 8
See Hear Now (David and Gisele Gamper)

Fri July 10
Lesley Flanigan w/ Luke Dubois

Wed Jul 15
Mari Kimura

Thurs Jul 16
MV Carbon + Okkyung Lee

Fri Jul 17
C. Spencer Yeh + John Wiese

Wed Jul 22
Ha Yang Kim

Thurs Jul 23
Thomas Ankersmit + Tony Conrad

Fri Jul 24

Wed Jul 29
Suzanne Thorpe + Zeena Parkins

Thurs Jul 30
Dan Senn + Stephen Vitiello with Molly Berg

Fri Jul 31
Morton Subotnick

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This Week at the ISSUE Project Room

From the ISSUE Project Room:

06/25 @ 8pm – Mivos String Quartet and the CNS Symphony Orchestra play works by Tony Conrad, Huang Ruo and Luke Dubois Dave Soldier and Brad Garton

MIVOS quartet is devoted to performing contemporary music. It was founded in 2008 by violinists Olivia DePrato and Joshua Modney, violist Victor Lowrie, and cellist Isabel Castellvi. They met while pursuing a master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music in the Contemporary Performance Program. Since their inception they have performed and premiered works by both young and established composers including […]

06/26 @ 8pm – Susie Ibarra Quartet

Friday, June 26 at 8pm Susie Ibarra Quartet violin Jennifer Choi, piano Kathleen Supové, harp Bridget Kibbey, drums and percussion Susie Ibarra. Performing Ibarra’s original music for quartet, inspired by Filipino Indigenous folklore. “Composer and Percussionist Susie Ibarra is known for her individual artistry on percussion and genre-defying music. In the past decade, her willingness to step out from […]

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Weirding Module, Trigal, Heavy Hymns, March 23 in Syracuse

From Metropolis Underground:

Weirding Module is former Wolf Eyes housemate Michael Troutman’s solo project made during every available moment of time when he’s not playing bass in the Detroit/Brooklyn psych-rock band, Awesome Color (on Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label) or skateboarding. The music is a heady delay-drenched mix of synthesizers and samples, heavily influenced by repetition (Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Tony Conrad, Throbbing Gristle, et. al.) and seasoned with some Tangerine Dream and dub reggae. Weirding Module’s first release was an American Tapes bootleg cassette for the No Fun Festival (NYC) in 2004. Other releases have followed on Troutman’s own Senseless Empire label, Ozonokids (Spain), Scumbag Relations (US) and Silver Ghosts (Netherlands). Since a recent European tour with UK noise icon, Family Battle Snake, Weirding Module has been back in the studio recording new material for a killer new year. Future releases are due on: Night People (US) and an LP on Ultra Eczema (Belgium).

Trigal (Juan A. D’Amico) is a solo artist from Barcelona, Spain. After playing for the last decade in hardcore punk bands, both in Spain and in Argentina, he has decided to now focus his energy on psychedelic music. Signs of both his South American roots and more recent, experimental German and Japanese influences can be heard throughout the soundscapes invoking images of madness.

Heavy Hymns is the solo projcect of New Thing Productions founder and American Sphinx’ Michael Hentz.

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Upcoming Sonic Circuits Show

From Washington DC’s Sonic Circuits:

Sunday Feb 15, 2008
doors: 6:30pm
music: 7:00pm SHARP

8230 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring MD 20910
located three blocks south of the silver spring metro station (red line)
Free parking in gated lot out front

Mattin (Barcelona, Spain)
Mattin is a Basque artist working with noise and improvisation. His work seeks to address the social and economic structures of experimental music production through live performance, recordings and writing.

Using a conceptual approach, he aims to question the nature and parameters of improvisation, specifically the relationship between the idea of ”freedom”and constant innovation that it traditionally implies, and the established conventions of improvisation as a genre.

Mattin considers improvisation not only as an interaction between musicians and instruments, but as a situation involving all the elements that constitute a concert, including the audience and the social and architectural space. He tries to expose the stereotypical relation between active performer and passive audience, producing a sense of strangeness and alienation that disturbs this relationship.

Mattin has published more than 50 records on different labels all over the world, alone and in collaboration. Mattin has collaborated with many musicians inlcuding:
Eddie Prevost (Sakada), ” ” [sic] Tim Goldie (Deflag Haemorrhage/Haien Kontra), Lucio Capece (NMM), Mark Wastell (Belaska), Rosy Parlane, Radu Malfatti, Taku Unami, Dion Workman, Junko, Billy Bao, Xabier Erkizia, Alberto Lopez, Josetxo Anitua & Inigo Eguillor (Josetxo Grieta), Tim Barnes, Matthew Bower, Oren Ambarchi, Margarida Garcia, Dean Roberts, Klaus Fillip, Bruce Russell, Matt Earle, Campbell Kneale, Werner Dafeldecker, Cremaster, DD Kern, Kouhei Matsunaga, Christof Kurzmann, Matthew Hyland, Joel Stern, Anthony Guerra, Takehiro Nishide, Taku Sugimoto, Yasuo Totsuka, Axel Doerner, Masafumi Ezaki, Tony Conrad, Michel Henritzi and Philip Best.

Moon Pie (DC) – Industrial / Pop / Psychedelic

Jeff Carey (Baltimore)
American composer Jeff Carey’s music is a blend of fixed-media composition and electro-instrumentalism — the music of the visceral, ecstatic, and electric moment. His inventions of fluid sound are in an ever changing state: a mobile moves in the wind, changes shape, and is in constant renewal. Listeners are invited to explore an abstract sonic universe and engage in a world inspired by fictional cosmology, code breaking, and mathematical conundrums.

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Shinkoyo Web Releases

Shinkoyo Web has new material out.

PALO – Monument to Our Common Past is Southwestern Folk Music for the 31st Century. Backcountry Zappa-esque vocals haunting tales of Arizona roads and lost loves over Parch influenced alternatively tuned C-sound synthesizers. Palo (Paul Chaikin) was a friend of Shinkoyo at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music TIMARA program (Technology in Music and Related Arts). PALO appears on secret Shinkoyo release (upcoming JUKO re-release!) Elyria Lights by Peter Blasser. Paul Chaikin is lost to us now. Paul Chaikin – PLEASE CONTACT US! If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Paul Chaikin, please contact us.

REGATTAS – Garudas – is a collection of solo saxophone pieces recorded in different spaces by Sam Hillmer (aka Regattas) co-founder of the band/chamber ensemble Zs as well as Wet Ink, a new music presenting organization, ensemble, and composer’s collective. In addition to his work with Zs, Hillmer is currently playing and performing with Dirty Projectors, MOTH, and John Dwyer (of Ohsees). Hillmer is also active as a curator and educator. In collaboration with artist Laura Paris, he organizes the biannual performance festival and installation YOU ARE HERE: 21 nights of performance in a sculptural maze. Hillmer is currently producing the youth hip-hop recording series Representing NYC. The first volume, The Fly Girlz’ “Da Bratz From Da Ville”, is due out this November on Wisdom Through Music and Socketts CDs. Hillmer has had the privilege of working with and playing the music of Mick Barr, Weasel Walter, Joe Maneri, Christian Wolff, Phill Niblock, Roscoe Mitchell, Petr Kotik, Louis Andriessen and Larry Polansky. Recordings of his music are available on labels threeoneg, Planaria Recordings, Epicene Sound Systems, Tzadik, Zum, Gilgongo, Socketts, New Sonic, and Troubleman Unlimited.

SHINKOYO is the ectoplasm connecting a diverse group of composers, visual artists, improvisers, instrument builders, thinkers, scholars and healers exploring new syntheses of sound and art. We operate on terms of collectivity and collaboration, while supporting the individual voices of all Shinkoyos. Shinkoyo submits to no genres, but Ancient Futurism, Noise Age, and True Age are terms to be discovered. Born in 2000 at the Oberlin Conservatory, we began releasing music in fall of 2002. Shinkoyo has spread its wings from California to New York, with its headquarters at the Paris London West Nile Performance/Gallery Space – Brooklyn’s donation-based center for experimental performance and art. In summer 2008, Shinkoyo launched its SHINKOJUKO free jukebox and donation-based online music store, showcasing our catalog of music releases from 2002 to the present.

PARIS LONDON WEST NILE is Shinkoyo’s donation-based center for experimental performance and art located in the old Domino Sugar Factory building in Williamsburg, NYC. Past performances/art shows/lectures include Tony Conrad, Costes (France), Non Grata (Estonia), Aki Onda, Vampillia (Tokyo), Jessica Rylan, Nautical Almanac, Graveyards (John Olsen), Paul Flaherty & Randall Colbourne, and many many more. See for more info.

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