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  • SASSAS Presents
    sound. at the Schindler House: Tape Music
    Rare Reel-to-Reel Tape Concert in West Hollywood
    Featuring Recent & Historic Works
    Saturday, August 25, 2012

    LOS ANGELES, CA – July 27, 2012 – The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS), in conjunction with the MAK Center for Art and Architecture (R.M. Schindler House), presents sound. at the Schindler House: Tape Music, a rare concert of music composed for reel-to-reel tape on Saturday, August 25, 2012.  The unique architecture of the Schindler House creates multiple listening spaces to revisit this historic concert form featuring recent works from John Wiese and William Basinski; historic works from Pauline Oliveros, and the collaborative duo of Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw; as well as selections from Gary Todd’s Cortical Foundation label that were composed for tape, on tape, and originally presented on tape.  Produced by SASSAS, the sound. concert series pushes new music boundaries by creating unique listening experiences for audiences that combine experimental music and unconventional settings.  The August 25th sound. event starts at 2:00pm and runs until 8:00pm.  Advance tickets are $12; $10 for SASSAS members, Friends of the MAK Center and students/seniors; and can be purchased at www.sassas.org/sound/2012.  Tickets are $15 at the door.  The Schindler House is located at 835 North Kings Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069.  For more information on this concert, as well as other upcoming SASSAS events, please call 323-960-5723 or visit www.sassas.org.

    When composers first began to write music on computers and electronic instruments, the only way for them to perform those works live was by playing back a tape recording.  This was the origin of the tape concert.  The audience sat facing a pair of speakers, with the tape recorder and sound equipment behind them. The sound engineer was thought of as a technician not a musician (almost like the conductor.)  The speakers took the place of the instruments.  As technology changed, computers and synthesizers became more portable, and tape concerts faded away. Today, musicians play back their compositions on laptop computers, but the controversy over what constitutes a live performance and what constitutes the instrument remains.

    For this concert, SASSAS transforms the four studios of the Schindler House into distinct listening spaces, each containing a unique work or collection of works.  Noted noise artist John Wiese’s installation, Magical Crystal Blah (2005/2012), will run in one of four studios while William Basinki’s live performance of Vivian & Ondine will take place at 5:00pm and 7:00pm in the courtyard; Pauline Oliveros’ Bye Bye Butterfly (1965) and I of IV (1965-66), Mike Kelley/Jim Shaw’s Tape Collage (1975), and Jim Shaw’s solo work, Guitar Tape Loop (1975) will run in rotation in another studio; while selections from Gary Todd’s now defunct Cortical Foundation label, organ of Corti, will run continuously in the fourth studio.

    In conjunction with sound. at the Schindler House: Tape Music, SASSAS also presents a special edition of its free monthly soundShoppe workshop devoted to working with reel-to-reel tape on Sunday, August 26, 2012 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock (2225 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041).  This FREE unstructured workshop/jam for experimental musicians and sound artists will feature a demonstration of looping and cutting.

    William Basinski (photo credit: Peter J. Kierzkowski)

    William Basinski –
    William Basinski is a classically trained musician and composer who has been working in experimental media for over 25 years.  His epic 4-disc masterwork, The Disintegration Loops, received international critical acclaim and was chosen as one of the top 50 albums of 2004 by Pitchfork MediaArtforum selected The River, his 2-disc shortwave music experiment, as one of the top ten albums of 2003.  His concerts, installations and films, made in collaboration with artist-filmmaker James Elaine, have been presented internationally, most recently at the Venice Biennale of Music (Venice, Italy), Happy New Ears Festival (Belgium), FOCUS ONE Festival (Poland), Filosophia Festival (Carpi, Italy), and Cite de la Musique (Paris), among others.  Basinski’s latest albums, 92982 and Vivian & Ondine were released in 2009. The Wire magazine selected 92982 as one of the top 50 releases of 2009.

    Gary Todd –
    From 1992 to 2001, Gary Todd was on a one-man mission, tirelessly tracking down aging reels of magnetic tape containing historically important works of experimental music, some of which had never even been heard.  The most spectacular example of this was Todd’s discovery of long-buried tapes containing some early Terry Riley pieces that he had only read about including The Gift, a prototype tape-loop piece from 1963 with jazzman Chet Baker and a precursor to In C.  “They’d been down in his barn for 15 years in this garbage can.  They were on their way to the dump, essentially.”  Todd digitally transferred the tapes and released them on his Cortical Foundation label, organ of Corti.

    Todd managed, similarly, to beg, hound, schmooze and cajole obscure works from the closets and garages of dozens of others besides Riley including: Derek Bailey, John Cage (with Kenneth Patchen), Hermann Nitsch, Cornelius Cardew (Scratch Orchestra), Henri Chopin, Intersystems, The Los Angeles Free Music Society, Morphogenesis, The POETICS (Mike Kelley, Tony Oursler, Jim Shaw), Stephen Prina, and Pauline Oliveros.

    In September 2001, Todd suffered a very serious fall, resulting in severe brain damage, which left him unable to talk or move.  Since then, he has made incredible progress in regaining speech and mobility, but the Cortical Foundation ceased to function and most of its releases are now out of print.

    Gary Todd (photo credit: Fredrik Nilsen)

    Jim Shaw & Mike Kelley –
    Jim Shaw and Mike Kelley formed the band Destroy All Monsters with Cary Loren in 1973 in Ann Arbor, Michigan while attending the University of Michigan. Shaw and Kelley relocated to Los Angeles to attend the California Institute of the Arts in 1976 and continued making experimental music as they began to embark on visual art careers.  The tape collages presented here are examples of their work together during the 1970s.  Shaw and Kelley have exhibited their artwork to international acclaim over the past 30 years.  Kelley, who died this year, will be the subject of a major retrospective exhibition being planned for the reopening of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, later this year, which will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2014.

    Pauline Oliveros –

    Pauline Oliveros is one of the foremost composers of the 20th and 21st centuries as well as a pioneer of electronic music, alongside forerunners like Morton Subotnick and Terry Riley.  She was one of the original members of the San Francisco Tape Music Center, where she continued her explorations in electronic improvisation.  From 1961 to 1966, the Tape Music Center became an integral part of the San Francisco music scene, with a growing subscription audience for its monthly concerts and favorable reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle.  In 1966, the center moved to Mills College in nearby Oakland, California, with Oliveros as its first director.  She is the recipient of the Gaudeamus Foundation Contemporary Music Center Interpreters Competition Prize, 1962; The Guggenheim Fellowship, 1973; The Dance Theater Workshop Bessie Award, 1991; and The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999.

    John Wiese –

    John Wiese is an artist and composer residing in Los Angeles.  His ongoing projects include LHD and Sissy Spacek, as well as collaborative work with GX Jupitter-Larsen, Sunn O))), Wolf Eyes, Merzbow, Evan Parker, Smegma, Kevin Drumm, Cattle Decapitation, C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core) and Kommissar Hjuler und Frau.  He has toured extensively throughout the world, covering Europe, Scandinavia and Australia as a member of Sunn O))), the UK as part of the Free Noise tour (a tentet including Evan Parker, C. Spencer Yeh, Yellow Swans, etc.), and the United States alongside Wolf Eyes.  He recently performed in the 52nd Venice Biennale with artist Nico Vascellari.

    sound. at the Schindler House: Tape Music is curated by Scott Benzel in conjunction with Cindy Bernard, Gregory Lenczycki, and Joseph Potts.

    SASSAS –

    The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that serves as a catalyst for the creation, presentation and recognition of experimental art and sound practices in the Greater Los Angeles area.  Inspired by the resonance that occurs when experimental music is combined with unconventional performance environments, SASSAS seeks to foster new collaborations and improvisation to spark further exploration in the field.  Programs include the sound. concert series; soundShoppe, a monthly workshop for experimental musicians; Ad Hoc, a new project supporting touring musicians seeking to perform in Los Angeles, online concert archives at www.sassas.org and www.youtube.com/sassasdotorg; and soundNet recordings, CD compilations drawn from sound. concerts.  The organization is supported in part through grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Good Works Foundation, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and the West Hollywood Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission.

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    For more information, images, or to request an interview, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.com.

    Posted on July 27th, 2012 lynn-hasty No comments

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