Idle in the Saved Night (silent)

Tonight, I’ll be performing at Bunker at SubTonic, the 2nd show of a developing performance called Idle in the Saved Night, inspired by the writings of Deborah Levitt. It’s a mixed piece for live visuals and acting. In a nutshell, I’ll be playing video (of mental patients from the 40s) from my laptop to the projector, standing in front of the projection screen …acting funny… and capturing my strange behavior and gestures with a live camera, which’ll then get chopped up and spit back out to the screen on top of me. It will be divine. And since the music at SubTonic is curated separately from the visuals, I’ll be doing it mute. Instead of speaking the texts I’ve gathered for the videos, I’ll run them on the screen as text. ‘Twill be an interesting challenge.

By the way, I highly recommend EyeWash tonight. Most of the visual acts will be getting physical: from performance art to burlesque to unique interfaces. This is good. For did John not say, let’s get into physical/ Let me hear your body talk? Should be swell. I’ll be there if I get my patch ready in time.

This just in, a great show to see Saturday night featuring my Gunshow-mate Ryan Sturt:

Have you ever seen Showgirls? Pretty crappy right? What would make it better you ask? If it were done with sockpuppets! Yup. I’m in a sockpuppet version of Showgirls. It’s been running for a few years in Chicago and played in New York in 2002, and now it’s back in our city with fresh jokes and extra filth. It’s every Saturday night at 8pm until the end of June.

It’s super raunchy. The puppets will dance your face off! I’m playing a couple different characters in it, and the character voice stuff has been a lot of fun.

Come if you can!

For more info, directions, and tickets, here’s the flyer and the ticket link:

http://www.theatermania.com/content/show.cfm/show/115654

vade// will play at the Bunker as well — he has been absolutely tearing it up lately with his visuals — just brilliant work. He played at {R} A K E at Monkeytown with Larry 7 on Wednesday, an unusual pairing that kept them both on their toes. It was gorgeous. The entire evening was, to be precise, ecstatic. Now you know I am often accused of hyperbole and over-enthusiasm and to this I would retort: wake up! The world is full of beauty and interest and commonality if you’re paying attention. I pay attention. Hence, I enjoy things more fully, perhaps, than the next human.

Joyful details of which I speak, of {R} A K E, the evening of electro-acoustic music and visuals run by Satoshi Takeishi, Shoko Nagai and Adam Kendall:

  • the first act was Kato Hideki (solo bass guitar) and Giles Hendrix* (video). Kato was exceptionally sensitive to his instrument and the sound in the room. He drew unusual sounds out of the bass, from the lightest of touches with a bow to heavy slams of his fist against the body, punctuated with long, deliberate silences. Giles’ visuals were equally slow and exploratory. I must admit I went into a trance/fell asleep at some points, which sounds bad but felt great: I drifted lightly in and out of the sound and light. As I suspected, Kato uses a custom tuning system based on prime numbers. I suspected it was different — not that it was prime. 😉
  • How can I describe Vortex’s music? Words fail me. It was an ecstatic experience. Satoshi is a percussionist but not limited to struck instruments — he also played the waterphone with a bow that night. Shoko plays keyboards and (what I can only describe as) Pan pipes. They both do some Max/MSP manipulation and layering of the sound, which seems to run on auto-pilot mostly. Each time I’ve heard them play it’s been a unique performance, an environment of sound created entirely of the moment. Unlike many musicians, they respond to your visuals when you play with them; I feel honored that my first visual gig was with them at {R} A K E. Wednesday they played with visuals by Shimpei Takeda, who used only a video camera, a flashlight and a jar of water to make a truly beautiful light show. Chika whispered to me that it reminded her of my work with live camera, which is quite a flattering comparison. Seeing it gave me a shove to do a similar work with water and bubbles I’ve had in mind for a while.

  • It was an evening of synaesthesia, the visuals and the music combined – to use the oft-abused word — in synergy. The last act was no exception. Anton (vade//) and Larry 7 played the room like a drum. Monkeytown’s back room, if you haven’t seen it, is a hard-walled cube with projections on each wall. A visualist can easily blind the audience and break the mood with the combined light from the four projectors and I’ve been thankful for my earplugs on several occasions when the audio artists have found the resonant frequency of the room and made it ring how I imagine the inside of the fuel chamber of the Space Shuttle must sound. (Alright, that last was definitely hyperbole.) However, Larry 7 and vade// did no such thing. Larry, who I’m told used to work for Andy Warhol, played with a bunch of analogue electronics, tube amps, a multi-stringed instrument with mics on it, and four mics arranged in a cross on a rotating turntable. Also quite difficult to describe. Let’s just say he succeeded in his aim, “to set up situations where he has almost no control over what happens, so he can be entertained along with the audience.” Anton’s setup is as digital as Larry’s is analogue — just a laptop — and he usually doesn’t take his MIDI keyboard along so it’s all controlled with the mouse and keyboard.

Again, beautiful stuff. I almost stayed home to program but I’m so glad I went. Time to program now: the patch for tonight is almost ready. I rebuilt it from scratch to make sure I got the order of operations right.

* note: I am very envious of Giles’ domain name.

Addendum

If you don’t bother to read my del.icio.us links in the spliced feed, you’ll have missed a great listening opportunity: an album of Radiohead covers called Exit Music – Songs with Radio Heads. I particularly recommend the cover of Just by Mark Ronson and Alex Greenwald, which reveals the hidden funk of RH with handclaps, djembe and sexy horn blasts. My Flickr photos are also in the spliced feed and I’m just about to upload a shitload of cameraphone pics featuring the flowers of which I spoke yesterday. Name the purple pom-pom, s’il vous plait.

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