Concerts/Uncerts

I'm hereby collecting together specifically my reports on my live audio events if only so that I can enjoy the trajectory. Somehow I've managed to present such Uncerts (Uncertainty Concerts) in many places on this planet Earth in conjunction with some amazing people. In retrospect it seems almost impossible given the generally adverse circumstances of minimal finances & minimal interest from other people. Never let it be said that I haven't been dedicated enough to pursue my 'vision' despite general hostility/indifference.

I've counted roughly 248 Concerts/Uncerts as of the end of 2020. I may've miscounted at some point - hence the "roughly". Some of these barely qualify, they're included because I performed my "Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis". That's an average of slightly over 4 Concerts/Uncerts per year over a 60 year period. I'm hardly a rock star but I haven't been standing still either. It's important to keep in mind how much variety these events represent.

I've Uncertized in Adelaide, Albuquerque, Athens (GA), Athens (OH), Bally, BalTimOre, Barcelona, Berlin, Black Rock City, Boston, Boulder, Brighton, Budapest, Buffalo, Canberra, Chicago, Debrecen, Denver, Dreamtime Village, Dundee, Durham, East Orange, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Iowa City, Jersey City, Kansas City (Missouri), London, Melbourne, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Montréal, München, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland (ME), New York City, Olympia, Ringing Rocks State Park, Saint Paul, San Francisco, Toronto, Vác, Washington DC, & Windsor. 44 cities (mostly) in 6 countries - not bad considering how little money I had most of this time.

I'm 67 now, even if I never manage to Uncertize again, I think I can say I accomplished quite alot. I hope that the thousands of people who witnessed these events will remember them with as much enthusiasm as I remember witnessing concerts by others.

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE note, November 25, 2020 (Vision)

 

001. [Student Piano Recital

- Louise Carlson's House, Woodlawn, us@

- 1959 or 1960 or 1961

- Louise Carlson was my piano teacher. I was forced to take piano lessons by my mom. Her original plan was for me to study for 6 years. Most of my life I've thought that I started when I was 6 & that the piano teacher &/or my mom gave up on me when I was 9 because I hated the lessons so much. However, in 2007, 2 of my student recital programs surfaced & I was 10 when I played one of them so I may've studied for 4 years or I may've started when I was 7. Dunno. At any rate, this was probably my 1st recital before I was ready to 'hit the big time' at the posh Evergreen House. I have absolutely NO memory of any of these piano recitals.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

002. [Student Piano Recital

- the Evergreen House, Baltimore, us@

- 1960 or 1961 or 1962

- A duet performance with my sister of what was probably a very simple child's piano piece for 4 hands. Our participation in this recital was an outcome of my piano teacher's membership in the Baltimore Music Teachers Association.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

003. [Student Piano Recital

- the Evergreen House, Baltimore, us@

- March 10, 1963

- I played Weybright's "At the Fair".]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

005. [Student Piano Recital

- Parish Hall, Luthern Church of the Redeemer, Baltimore, us@

- May 24, 1964

- I played [W?] Scher's "A Spooky Fairy Tale".]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

006. [folk music concert

- a Brooklyn, Baltimore, us@ coffee-house

- summer, 1971

- Playing 12-string acoustic guitar, upright piano, & singing I performed covers of music by the Incredible String Band, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, & whorehouse blues songs, etc.. using the guitar & probably played "Cool Mule", a boogie-woogie, on the piano along w/, possibly, songs by The Band & others.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

010. a thing involving audio tape, tape playing machine, 2 cushioned seat speaker cabinets, 2 paid book-ends, emptied pockets & pocket-books, books, a book-shelf, & an audience?

(originally written as:

.."a thing involving

audio tap(hh), tap(hh) playing machin(hh),

2 cushion(hh)d s(hh)at sp(hh)ak(hh)r cabin(hh)ts, 2 paid book-(hh)nds,

mt(hh)d pock(hh)ts & pock(hh)t-books, books, a book-sh(hh)lv(hh),

& an audi(hh)nc(hh)?")

- more simply &/or commonly known as "the human book-ends thing"

- Red Door Hall, Baltimore, us@

- fall, 1978

- Two long planks joined & supported at the middle & held up at either end by sturdy speaker cabinets on their sides formed the "bookshelves". Boxes filled with books were scattered about on either side of the planks on the floor. The "human book-ends", Laurie Stepp & Beth Downey, emptied their purses onto the speaker cabinets so that they could rattle when sounds would come from them & took their places on the cabinets facing each other across the planks. During this action they only communicated thru gesture. What was originally a 3 hour 4 track reel-to-reel tape with only 35 very narrow range sounds on it was played in stereo so that 2 of the tracks were heard forwards during the 1st 3 hours & the other 2 tracks were heard backwards during the last 3 hours. When the tape was being flipped the "human book-ends" were permitted a break. The audience was encouraged to pay in "ob(hh)ron + gold" & to react to the situation in some creative way. One friend, Augusta Leigh McDonald, went so far as to find a goldfish pond & capture a goldfish that she named "Oberon" to pay with. Bonnie Bonnell imitated the central tableau by making a miniature version of it in a corner. Gayle Hanson tied up Steve Brookes & read from the masochistic book "Venus in Furs". Most people, myself included, placed & arranged the books on the bookshelves & attempted to communicate gesturally with the book-ends. Richard Ellsberry typed a typewriter portrait of me. The essentialness of the materials & their unusual restrictiveness were meant to function as (& did function as) a catalyst to the audience to draw their inspiration from. A-Muse-ing.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

020. Visit to Lacquerland

- a construction site in Maryland, us@

- late March, 1979

- In fall of 1978, I started working as a hard-wood floor finisher. This job involved stooping over a bucket of lacquer & brushing the lacquer on the floors as a part of the finishing process. Inhalation of the fumes caused intoxication. Co-workers Brian Wolle (a.k.a. "Brain" &/or "Herr Brain Storm Drain") & Doug Retzler (a.k.a. "Sumu Pretzler") & I exploited this high & tried to have fun at work by improvising vocally while lacquering. These improvs centered around creating a mythology about the living conditions in "Lacquerland" - our name for the state of mind & body gotten into from the fumes. Our audience, when there was one, were our fellow construction workers - who were apparently entertained but who made jokes about our being "crazy". There were a fair amount of these sessions but, for the purposes of this history, I've restricted myself to only listing the 3 that we audio recorded.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

026. Another Visit to Lacquerland

- another construction site in Maryland, us@

- date uncertain, possibly mid 1979

- Another mythology-spewing plunge into derangement by myself & fellow denizen of Industrial High Society Herr Brain (see #17).

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

030. nameless wandering wind ensemble

- Baltimore, us@

- winter, 1979/1980

- cris cheek (clarinet), Chris Mason (bass clarinet), Gayle Hanson (clarinet?), Patty Karl? (clarinet?), & I (alto sax) improvised while wandering the streets & alleys. We were joined by a guy named John(?) playing recorder who heard us passing by.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

031. nameless wandering wind ensemble

- Baltimore, us@

- winter, early 1980

- With an unknown line-up that consisted of at least Chris Mason & myself, more wandering improvising on wind instruments. Again we were joined by John(?), this time on alto sax, when we unwittingly passed behind his apartment.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

032. nameless wandering wind ensemble

- Baltimore, us@

- winter, early 1980

- Again with an unknown line-up beyond Chris Mason, myself, & Doug Retzler pulling a wagon with some sort of large cardboard horn, meandering improvising thru the streets. A black guy told me I played like John Coltrane which I found strange but flattering considering that I could barely play the thing - especially in the cold weather.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

033. CRAB FEAST #3

- the Telectropheremanniversary, the Proposal Gallery, Baltimore, us@

- January 24, 1980

- With exposed knees & genitals, we (Gayle Hanson - Voice & Electric Organ, John Ellsberry - alto sax, Lee Warren - Electric Bass Guitar, & myself - Voice, Electric Guitar, & Electric Organ) played 2 sets: 1st: trying to somehow play along with recordings of incoming phone calls to the "telephone stations" that the event was a celebration of the 1st anniversary of, & 2nd: playing original songs about such relevant topics as the transmission of "(telectro)pheremones" & venereal diseases. Thruout, phone calls to our premiering 3rd phone station were forwarded to multiple phones in the gallery to be answered by anyone present who felt so inclined.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

036. B.U.T.N. related conference call audio improvisation via WJHU

- Baltimore, us@

- summer?, 1980

- A conference call improvisation by Doug Retzler, Richard Ellsberry, & myself broadcast live over the radio using phone sounds, etc, to promote our "telephone station" of the time: (301)962-0210.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

037. TINKLERS Big Band

- Red Door Hall, Baltimore, us@

- October 19, 1980

- The only big band performance by The Tinklers. This show consisted of their usual mix of "childish" charts & explanations, sign language, & songs. I played alto sax & function generator - this latter with my toes.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

052. Zero Hour

- Artifice, Baltimore, us@

- March 21, 1982

- This was my 2nd 'performance' 'performed' in absentia (others being the January 4, 1981 "Reading by Proxy", the following "Publicity Stunt (performed by Monty Cantsin)" & the "Panel Dummy Speak" of June 19, 2004). I'd been asked to do something for the "Odd Nights in March" in the Festivals of Disappearing Art(s) / Krononauts month long series of events that surrounded the Krononautic Organism's Party for People(s) from the Future(s) but I was unable to attend because I was going to be in NYC for the Neoist APT Fest. SO, I made fliers that were typewritten on plain white paper cut into 8.5"X2.75" strips with 4 lines of text in 2 variations: one: with the word "zero" on the top followed by a line with a scratched-through "it's not" & an unscratched-through "9 o'clok" (a highly esoteric reference to B.U.T.N. (BalTimOre Underground Club) & a Crab Feast song) followed by a line with the address of the 'performance' followed by a line with "tentatively, a convenience" & my P.O.Box address; two: the same as one except with the word "hour" at the top. Accidentally, nowhere was the date of the 'performance' shown. Intentionally, no explanation was provided. I spray-painted graffiti around town that had a very stark "0" overtop a very stark "HR" with one or both of the papers in between the 2.

For the night of the event, Ricky Kilreagan was presenting "A Psychosexual Inventory" where he had people come & be interviewed by him one by one on sexual matters. After this, they were to sit in a room where an 8-track cartridge tape was to play of a sound piece that I'd done called "Zero Hour" where I played the clocktower melody poorly on alto sax with 15 minutes of 'silence' between each of the 4 parts. This 'silence' was actually loud hiss from the lo-fi of the recording. Since there was no tolling of bells at the hour mark, it was always "zero hour". Unfortunately, my stringent request that the entire tape be played was not followed & only something like the 1st 15 minutes was played. I later learned that people thought that the hiss was the piece. It was my intention that the passing of time be the focus but, predictably, people became immediately bored & even in this 'performance art' context the audience (& organizers) were catered to & the tape was stopped. I had previously played this tape at my apartment in 1979 or thereabouts when a planned presentation of it at a friend's gallery hadn't happened because the gallery wasn't open when it was scheduled to be.

Perhaps one of the best outcomes of this is that I think "0 HR" was taken to be a mysterious new graffiti tag by one or more people after that.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

055. Anti-Music with/against Drz 4 "Bob"

- 2nd Church & Foundation of the SubGenius Convention, Radisson Hotel, Chicago, us@

- September 4, 1982

- Having been invited to play "anti-music" with "Drz 4 "Bob"" I came prepared with timers & flashers as my instruments. While the good Drz tried to play, I plugged all of their equipment into my devices causing them to either have pulsing power or no power at all. Apparently I blew at least 1 of their amps which wasn't my intention. I was simply trying to disrupt anything "musical" that they might try to do. 1 of the band leaders, Reverend Sterno, got increasingly irate & followed me around unplugging my devices. The climax of all this was when I got so frustrated by Sterno's interference with my interference that I clubbed him over the head with 1 of my timers. I wasn't very popular with the Church of the SubGenius for awhile after that but Sterno seems to have forgiven me.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

060. "If You've Only Got a Moustache" in "Tim Ore Frames Himself as a Graffiti Artist"

- That Frame Place, Baltimore, us@

- Sunday, August 28, 1983

- Surrounded by the environment of my Tim Ore exhibit, I sang a 19th century american song about the wonderful socio-sexual advantages of having a moustache (ever notice how almost all the guys in porno movies have them?) while wearing the Tim Ore clothes I projected a slide show on general Tim Ore lore & the history of Famous Moustaches - including such figures as Groucho Marx, Hitler, Dali, John Waters, & Frank Zappa.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

062. An Interweaving of Familiar & Comfortable Items (for the Collaborators)

- That Frame Place, APT 7, Baltimore, us@

- Thursday, September 22, 1983

- At Dave Bakker's suggestion he & I combined some of our generic motifs into 1 "performance". This took place in the space of the Tim Ore show. I was dressed in the Tim Ore clothes & Dave was dressed in an austere black suit. We began by dragging our way across the floor to each other from opposite ends of a rope that had strings attached to it that were attached to various objects in the room such as an approximately 3 foot tall inflatable "cave-man" & a table & chair, etc. Hence, when we pulled on the rope the objects attached to it moved. Dave was under a transparent plastic sheet. A tape played of muzak from an "easy-listening" radio station that ended with a news report about the Inauguration of the Bal Tim Ore Underground Club. When Dave & I met at the middle of the rope & the middle of the room, Dave came out from under the plastic & we toasted to each other with rum & coke. Dave stood on a table at 1 end of the space while a tape played with a simple Casio music-track & a voice-over of Dave's that began with "Sitting alone in an empty hospital room.." & included "Sitting & thinking about thinking about nothing..". The voice-over stopped & the music picked up speed. Dave removed his suit to reveal pajama bottoms with rappelling gear surrounding the crotch that may've seemed like some specialty sexual apparatus to the audience. His chest was wrapped tightly with wide clear plastic tape with some sort of medical device in the center. He started to rapidly wrap his face very tightly with more of the same tape so that his face became very distorted. He sat & pulled on strings that were strung thru the ceiling & down to inverted mannequin legs that were sticking up from the floor. His manipulation caused the legs to clack open & closed. I, as Tim Ore, performed the same "If You've Only Got a Moustache" presentation described in a previous entry. Dave laid down on a stretcher that he'd made that had a large, stitched wound in the middle of it. This stretcher was tied to the same rope used earlier. I dragged the stretcher & Dave across the room by pulling on the rope - knocking over all the objects that the rope was attached to in the process & various other objects in the way. When Dave reached a window, he attached a rope to his rappelling gear & climbed out the window still wrapped in tape & in his pajama pants. I jumped out another window which, unbeknownst to the audience, led to another room rather than to the outside. Dave's exit was so spectacular that no-one except Monty Cantsin/Istvan Kantor noticed me leave.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

064. "Alternatives to Vicious Cycles: The Intermingling of Subcultures to Facilitate Understanding"

- Emergency Show, M.A.P., Baltimore, us@

- Friday, December 9, 1983

- I had gotten to know drunks that were squatting in the building next to where I was residing. Their form of squatting had an unhygenic destructiveness reflective of their alcoholic/economic hopelessness. They used their 2nd floor as a toilet/dump. The floor was covered with Thunderbird bottles, piss, diarrhea, & cigarette butts. They drank & fought & passed out on the 3rd floor.

Their difficulties in many ways paralleled my own & their proximate despair helped increase my own. Having been threatened by 1 of the more psychotic of the winos, I was totally paranoid 1 night that he intended to force me into a confrontation in which 1 of us might kill the other. I decided to use this crisis as creative fuel & conducted a "live" radio show via the telephone in which I gave a "blow-by-blow" description of the accumulating fear & my way of dealing with it - with music & effects mixed in by the WJHU "DJ" Ron Cummings. Eventually the situation calmed down & the drunks & I established a fairly stable & friendly relationship. Having been invited to participate in the "Emergency" show I decided to transplant the misery of my neighbor's & my life to the gallery. I partitioned off a 2 room space & covered the floor with T-Bird bottles. I offerred to pay the winos to participate in the "performance" simply by attending it & talking to people. On the day of the "show", there was a larger group than usual of alcoholics waiting to help me. Some of them I'd never met before. They had misunderstood me & thought that I needed to assemble a gang for some sort of rumble. When they finally figured out that they weren't there to fight some of them dropped out. By the time the "Alternatives.." started there were only 3 of them left. The space was crowded, the bottles were being kicked around, my "paranoia" tapes were playing, & there was an open mike that people were encouraged to use. The drunks were being very vocal - in some cases being political & talking about alcoholism & in 1 case just being "out-of-control".

The atmosphere was intense & claustrophobic. I was passing around joints the contents of which I wouldn't identify (it was oregano with perfume) to try to increase the paranoia.

After enough "joints" had circulated & the claustrophobia seemed strong enough, I had my father come in (none of my friends knew him), wearing a policeman's uniform with a german shepherd on a leash, & just walk thru the crowd. He's had a tracheotomy, so I didn't have him say anything to break the paranoid illusion of his being a "real" cop until he left the 2 rooms where the "Alternatives.." was happening. I'd originally tried to get the railroad cop who'd arrested me for the "Poop & Pee Dog Copyright Violation Ceremony" to do this but his commanding sargeant wouldn't permit it. My intention in creating this situation was to simultaneously make the gallery attendees more aware of the oppressive misery of the drunks' lives & to give the drunks a paid vacation from it where what they had to say was of primary importance.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

065. X-Mas in Lacquerland

- a house in Baltimore, us@

- December 25, 1983

- Deciding that it would be more fun to work than to spend Christmas with our relatives, Doug "Sumu Pretzler" Retzler & I once again recorded a visit to "Lacquerland" (see #s 17 & 23). It was decided that every day is February 29th there & that the pterodactyl seems to be the most common bird.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

066. booed usic

- t he telectropheremoanin'quinquennial, Galaxy Ballroom, Baltimore, us@ - Tuesday, January 24, 1984

- This was the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Baltimore Underground Telephone Network. The word "telectropheremoanin'" being a pun that combined "telectro" (as in having to do with telephone communications) with "pheremones" (lust inducing biological signals) with "moanin'" (as in moaning with pleasure). This pun was the theme of the night. I had paid a phone sex prostitute by mail to be called by me that night. In case there was any problem with that I'd asked my friend Lisa "Wet-Legs" (as she became known after this night) to act as a back-up. The basic idea was that I'd call the prostitute & broadcast our conversation to the bar's audience - gradually making it more & more perverse. As my conversation was to get stranger, the booed usicians were to gradually start playing until their sounds would drown out the conversation. The booed usicians were: Mark Harp (tapes & radio), Craig Considine (trombone), Ron Cummings (tapes, records, & mixing board), Leroy Keltner (trombone), & myself (tapes). There was "trouble on the line" at the phone sex prostitute's so Lisa substituted. Lisa had gotten mysteriously sick earlier, had vomited & passed out - my call awoke her. This added to the general feeling of it all. Suggestions from the audience were taken & someone's friend was called too. I was too drunk &/or inhibited to carry on a very good conversation so the extremely able Buddy Johnson was called in to relieve me. The highlight of his conversation with Lisa for me was their reminiscing about school-days they never had together when he pulled out his "short fat pancake" & she "covered it with Mrs. Butterworth's". Throughout the "phone sex" & the booed usic that encroached on it, an hour long analysis projector transfer to video of the 16mm version of my film "Subtitles" was shown on a large video projection screen.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

076. booed usic

- t he No Business as Usual Benefit, St Johns Church, Baltimore, us@

- June 29, 1985

- More video simultaneous with booed usic in which the main other visual element was me frantically trying to save the borrowed stereo amplifier that I was blowing. The booed usicians: Beef Jerky (guitar), Herr Brain Storm Drain (percussion), myself (tapes, records, radio, ring modulator, voice).

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

077. [piano concert 'for' 'transitionals'

- St Johns Church, Baltimore, us@

- spring or summer?, 1985

- This wasn't originally intended to be a concert for an audience - I just wanted to use the baby grand piano at St Johns to play & record some experiments I had in mind. However, the time arranged for my access to the piano coincided with a gathering of 'transitionals' at the church. These were, I was told, schizophrenics & other people who'd been institutionalized for mental problems who were using the church as a sortof halfway house where they could attempt to 'transition' back into the 'normal' world. As such, I wasn't exactly playing 'for' them but they were there. I remember the situation being somewhat awkward because I don't think that my playing was framed for them in any formal way. In other words, I doubt that I announced that I was going to play a concert or anything like that. I just prepared the pianos & then played. I vaguely remember people meandering around, possibly talking, probably not paying much attention to me. One of the 'transitionals' did come up & critique my piano playing after it was over. Alas, I don't remember what he said. I played 2 SELECT SUSTAIN 'pieces' of mine: "Black Keys Sustained" & "Whole Tone Scale Sustained". For the 1st, I (w/ assistance from my girlfriend O. J. D'Art & possibly others) I held down all the black keys & then weighted down the select sustain pedal so that those keys would be unmuted throughout. I then took advantage of this in a half-hour improvisation where the black key pentatonic scale would've 'wallowed' in harmonics, & the tempered diatonic white key scales could've been either staccato or sustained. I alternated between these possibilities & combined them. For the 2nd, a whole tone scale throughout the entire keyboard was sustained in the same way. Again, I performed a half-hour improvisation exploiting the unique harmonic situation created by the selective unmuting.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

079. booed usic on Mozart's 200th Birthday

- Galaxy Ballroom, Baltimore, us@

- Monday, January 27, 1986, 9 - 11:30PM

- Attendees were given a paper entitled "19 Preposterous Lies About What Will & Will Not Happen" & a Mike Film Form Letter (see a previous entry for a superficial explanation of this 1) & a "bruise" rubber-stamping to indicate that they paid when they entered. I wore shoes made from loaves of bread; presented films, slides, & vaudeos; cut a "double negative" shape in my leg; I read Tony Lowe's "Universal Famine Appeal" while launching his balloons with slogans on them like "Thoughts Can Fly"; the audience was prompted to "sing along" to the "graphic notation" of my film "Sound Along WITH t he Bounding Ball(s)"; & the booed usicians played. For this occasion they were: Herr Brain Storm Drain (percussion, cornet), Beef Jerky (small instruments, etc..), Mark Harp (tapes), Norman Yeh (violin & piano), & myself (tapes, records, & radios). Projectionist: Joan Lobell. To quote from the "19 Lies" flier "The average person prefers to only experience the consonant - by which I mean experience which they fool themselves into thinking that they are comfortably familiar with. I do not want the average person near me. I prefer the dissonant vowels. That's a thought to take into consideration when you wonder why I might lie when publicizing public it shows (mad scientist didactions) that I instigate & participate in."

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

081. tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & t he booed usicians' Mad Scientist Didaction

- Tufts University, Massachusetts, us@

- Thursday, April 17, 1986, 9 - 11PM

- This didaction had the usual mix of films, vaudeos, anecdotes, slides, & booed usic - with the addition (which became a staple thruout the "6 Fingers Crossed Country T.Ore/Tour" that this was the 1st installment of) of mechanical "lewd" dancing during the projection of the peep show movie "Balling Tim Ore is Best" (that I co-made as Tim Ore with Dick Hertz). I was naked except for a sweatshirt with a model of 6 tits on it, ankle bells, & a plastic ball & chain that had "work" painted on it during this latter. The booed usicians were: Michael Bloom (guitar), Norman Yeh (violin & lyre), Jake Dillon (amplified electric football game - unfortunately most of his equipment had been recently stolen so this didn't work very well), & myself (tapes, records, & radios). Projectionist: Joan Lobell.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

082. tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & t he booed usicians' Mad Scientist Didaction

- the Bunker of La Société de Conservation du Présent, Montréal, CacaNada

- Samedi, 19 Avril, 1986

- John Berndt & I built a maze out of muslin (brought especially for this purpose) at the entrance of this space. While people were filtering in, Steve Estes' 1/2 hour student video "Drinking & Smoking" was shown. This tape is a close-cropped shot showing Steve from the neck down to mid-torso & his arms opening a bottle of whiskey & a pack of cigarettes on a table in front of him. He then drinks the bottle of whiskey (a pint if I remember correctly) in its entirety during the course of the tape until he slumps forward onto the table. The booed usic gradually came in during this. I was wearing my "Hair Suit" (a pair of coveralls covered with wigs - an obvious pun on "hirsute") & the usual combination of booed usic, slide show, films, skin cutting, "robotic" lewd dancing with "6 tits" + "ball & chain" + ankle bells, vaudeos, attempts to get the audience to "sound along", & anecdotes was presented. Representatives of the S.C.P. typed in a description of the (did)action while it was happening into a computer which displayed their typing on a screen to the audience. This is the "show" that led to 1 idiot labelling me a "pornographer disguising himself as an artist". The booed usicians: John Berndt (organ), Norman Yeh (violin & lyre), Guy Boulanger (sound-board & effects), & myself (tapes, records, radios). Projectionist: Joan Lobell.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

083. tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & t he booed usicians' Mad Scientist Didaction

- the Rivoli Club, Toronto, CacaNada

- Wednesday, April 23, 1986

- More of the same basic "6 Fingers Crossed Country T.Ore/Tour" ingredients: mechanistic "Balling Tim Ore is Best" "dancing" (in this case I laid on my back & did "bicycle exercises" while gently kicking the projection screen), vaudeos & films (seperately & simultaneously), an attempted "sound along", anecdotes, slides, & booed usic. The booed usicians were: Norman Yeh (lyre & violin), Gordon W. Zealot (nol - North Indian folk drum), Tom Evans (Shanai & Banseri - Indian wind instruments), & myself (tapes, records, & radios). One audience member reminded me, 9 years later, that during the presentation of "Balling Tim Ore is Best" the audience was locked in & Gordon W. lit a large quantity of incense which made the room suffocatingly dense with smoke. Given the nature of my presentation & the oppressiveness of Toronto censorship laws, both the Rivoli & the Funnel (where the next night's didact(ion) was presented) took the risk of being closed down by letting me "perform" there.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

084. tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & t he booed usicians' Mad Scientist Didaction

- the Funnel, Toronto, CacaNada

- Thursday, April 24, 1986

- A similar presentation to that of the night before with a somewhat different line-up of films & vaudeos but the basic elements otherwise intact - including the same booed usicians & instrumentation (see the previous entry). John Porter, from the Funnel, used a photo from this to illustrate an article he wrote called "Performance Postponed". Thank You John.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

107. Easter Island Bunny Booed Usic

- Hourhaus, Baltimore, us@

- April 19, 1987

- This was the 1st presentation of mine in which the simultaneous film & vaudeo (& booed usic) were of a substantially planned inter-relation. This was also my 1st collaboration with instrument-maker & player Neil Feather who was to be1 of my main collaborators over the next 7+ years. It was also the last of the "strictly booed usic" type of shows. The booed usicians: Neil Feather (vibulum, former guitar), John Sheehan (drums, horn guitar), myself (tapes, records, radios). Despite the complexity & diversity of this event, I once again became reputed to be something along the lines of "the guy who does shows about him fucking a bunch of girls". (Not intended to be) Flattering(?), but not particularly accurate.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

108. Generic As-Beenism

- Ultimatum II, Montréal, CacaNada

- Sunday, September 13, 1987

- A substantial extension of the more precise synchronization between all simultanieties begun somewhat with "Easter Island Bunny Booed Usic". This was divided into 4 parts:

1. Generic As-Beenism

2. Bird-Brain-ism

3. Tattoos

4. booed usic

Slides were shown on the audience's left, vaudeo was projected in the middle, & a super-8 mm film was shown to the audience's right. The audience was given "3-D" glasses especially made for the occasion (1 green lens (instead of the usual blue) & 1 red). I was wearing an inverted soft-shell cello case with 1 of my legs in the neck & 1 sticking out of a hole cut next to the neck. It looked like a cave-man costume. The slides were primarily text - the same text that appeared in the vaudeo (more briefly) both visually & audibly. The text was in both French & English (French translation by Andy Laken). All 3 projections contained recurring images - with the central projection having elements of the 2 flanking ones occurring around the same times. The slide projector had a polaroid filter in it between the slides & the lens & some of the slides were prepared with special tapings so that when a revolving polaroid filter was set in motion in front of the lens the colors of the slides would change. Shortly before this show (subtitled "usefulofshitlessness") the same person who had labelled me a "pornographer disguising himself as an artist" threw my box of slides in the trash - which I fortunately managed to retrieve (this same person vastly enjoyed another apparently "non-sexist" performance in the same festival in which the 2 main features of the video presented were strippers swinging around big tits & guys pretending to play big cardboard guitars - a true breakthrough in sexual roles! - I guess she just wanted to fuck him & found me too scary). During the "Bird-Brain-ism" section, Laura Trussell came on stage wearing a back brace with moving motorized wings mounted on it & began cutting the wig I'd been wearing - eventually pulling it off to reveal a "frame-of-reference" shape underneath (see mention of the same in the Ear Inn reading description) which she then shaved off. Ultimately revealed was my "3-D" brain tattoo. During the following "Tattoos" section, I meandered thru the audience with a flashlight aimed at my head so that the audience could look at the tattoo closely with the "3-D" glasses. Each section had narrative content E.g.: in the 1st section I explained its title by saying "..I decided to call "it" GENERIC AS-BEENISM - thinking that whether i'd manage to present something that gets to the essence of my interest in subverting "reality" or merely succeed in presenting something that has no substantial individuality i will, at least, succeed in "COVERING MY ASS."" & in the 2nd section I concluded with "There is a religious myth of winged homonids as beings on a higher evolutionary plane than non-winged homonids. It should be obvious by now that these beings, commonly called angels, should more properly be called Bird-Brains." & in the conclusion of the 4th section I stated "- therefore, if you dislike the way that [we] use the materials of this presentation i can simply claim that that is my intention.. - or, if you like our USIC, i can claim that you have BOOED my use of the term.." John Berndt played DX-7 & SPX-90 thruout. Thanks to Boris Wanowitch for being host & projectionist.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

109. [Something that Dissolved the Shadow of Something that Was Next to Something that Burned Twice

- Neil Feather & Valerie Dearing's Apartment , Baltimore, us@

- Easter, 1988

- The 1st "public" concert by this improvising group with the ever-difficult John Sheehan not participating (if I remember correctly). I was probably presenting Philosopher's Union Members' Mouthpieces (approximately 5&1/2 minute PXL-2000 close-ups of mouths of people responding to the question "What is your philosophy?" or some such) for the 1st time. The riddle-like name that serves as the title above was our band name. The band consisted of Neil Feather, John Berndt, & myself playing who knows what.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

110. street action with the booed usic busking unit

- Covent Gardens & Leicester Square, London, UK

- Saturday, May 28, 1988

- The "Portable booed usic Busking Unit / Nuclear Brain Physics Surgery School Lab / Philosopher's Union Member's Mouthpiece / Blatnerphone Hallucinomat", usually just called the busking unit, was a suitcase full of battery powered tape-player/radios, mixers, a tv, an amplifier, a PXL camcorder, & mouths that moved depending upon the volume output from the amplifier (etc, etc..). It was designed to enable me to present street actions with complex "concrete mixing". The tv-PXL connection enabled me to present the Philosopher's Mouthpieces (see the previous entry) - henceforth abbreviated P.U.M.M.s. The tape-player/radios & mixers enabled me to both mix prepared recordings & other "live" inputs. When set up, people could watch the tv (just barely - it was pretty small) & hear the sound coming from 4 speakers which could pan from left to right & from back to front &, of course, vice versa. This was the 1st street action "performed" with it. I was almost immediately moved along by the bobbies at Covent Gardens so I moved to Leicester Square where I was unmolested. Assistance in this was from Laura Trussell, who shot some footage with the PXL, & from Scott Larson - who threw money onto our collection cloth to try to catalyze the onlookers to do the same (to no avail). At least 1 tourist with an expensive video camcorder shot footage of us - I'd love to see it.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

111. booed usic busking

- Busking Competition, Dowanhill Park, Partick Fair, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

- Sunday, June 5, 1988

- Busking is a term for street performing mainly used in Europe - where such practices are more likely to be legal than they are in the US. Of course, most street performers play acoustic instruments. I've heard of 1 kid in NYC who plays an inverted bucket as a drum - using his foot to lower & raise the bucket to change the tone. He would be a great example of the impoverished simple means variety. With my busking unit I represented a wealthier extreme - but still, hopefully, sharing the innovative qualities of the impoverished 1. In Europe, it's fairly common practice for art students to do "old master" (& other) chalk drawings on sidewalks with a cup or a hat or a (clean?) handkerchief out for people to throw money into. Show that you can copy the "masters" & we'll help pay your way. In Dundee there was a busker who played muzak on his mid-range cost electronic keyboard. He seemed to get a fair amount of coins. So I entered the busking competition - not to try to win but to just expand the usually narrow parameters of such things. Kids loved me. As I wrote to a friend, I felt like the pied piper of Glasgow. The judges, on the other hand, were not so enthused. That was fine with me though because the woman who won (studio time?) probably didn't have much money & had a kid to support so I was glad to see her helped out.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

112. "Less English" Mad Scientist Didaction

- Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

- Thursday, June 16, 1988

- In preparation for this tour of England, Scotland, & France I'd assembled 2 vaudeo compilations: "Less English" (literally less English language & more image-centered so that I'd have something to present in non-English speaking countries) & "More English" (obviously, English text-heavy things - like "EYE-TRACKING"). As such, the 3 "shows" that I gave at Transmission were centered around the 2 compilations & the "Philosopher's Union" tape that I'd brought. As with most of my "Mad Scientist Didactions", this involved some slight "theatrical" elements combined with dense audio & unusual appearance & complex formal & visceral film & vaudeo - all strung together with anecdotes. All 3 Transmission didactions began with the door person asking attendees for the password. As response to whatever the person said, they were either told that they were right or that they were wrong & told to try again. Eventually everyone was told that they were right. Unfortunately very, very few people attended & the door-people were almost totally non-aggressive - so the impact of this was almost non-existent. After the audience had entered the space where the didaction was to be, I entered thru the rear door - setting off the burglar alarm, pulling along the busking unit (superficially explained in previous entries) with the tv exposed (& showing a Philosopher's Mouthpiece?). I'd greet the audience & give an intro. Then the vaudeo would be presented with explanations between each section & occasional simultaneous projection film. The "Balling Tim Ore is Best" section would involve similar nudist "6 tit" robotic "dancing" as during the "6 Fingers Crossed Country T.Ore/Tour". On this night I did bicycle exercises on a massage table.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

113. "Philosopher's Union Members" Mad Scientist Didaction

- Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

- Friday, June 17, 1988

- See the previous entry for a description of the beginning. When I'd entered with the busking unit, Laura Trussell plugged in the PXL camcorder to the tv showing in the front of the suitcase to show the audience itself & to create feedback. Then I introduced the night by saying "Hello, welcome to the unpopular, but non-elitist, cobbley world of user-friendly spectacle.. [more specific blither about the Philosopher's Union, etc..] ..& please keep in mind that Laura & I are the audience & you're the performers - which isn't, by the way, a role-reversal, since performers we will never be.. - ANYWAY, enjoy yourself & MIND THE GAP!!" At some point I'd congratulate them for having known the password - explaining that we'd had to turn away 157 (or whatever) people who hadn't known it (that got a few laughs). Then there was 2 hours of "Philosopher's Mouthpieces" - during the ones that were non-lingual (particularly Valerie Dearing's) I probably added busking unit audio.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

114. "More English" Mad Scientist Didaction

- Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

- Saturday, June 18, 1988

- See the previous 2 entries. This basically combined the "best" of both of these nights in the most linear & didactic way.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

115. INAUGURATION OF THE G.S.B.B.T.O.U.C.

- Glasgow Suburban Branch - Bal Tim Ore Undergound Club, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

- Wednesday, June 29, 1988

- Glasgow is 2nd only to London as the railroad capitol of the UK. It had had (& still has?) various competing railroads & had some abandoned lines as a result. Laura Trussell & various new friends of ours & I explored Glasgow trying to find a suitable underground location to found a "club". We finally picked an abandoned subway station underneath a botanical garden. Decorating the club with two 5 foot long papier maché "boats" from the Transmission basement & various other things, we inaugurated the club with about 17 people. We provided free booze, badges (buttons) made by Mark Pawson that identified the club somehow but were printed black-on-black in honor of the subterranean darkness, & set up the busking unit & let them play with it. The station had large air vents that vented in the botanical gardens park but they were surrounded by bushes & most people probably didn't even know they were there. So when the busking unit was playing, people walking by in the park would hear strange sounds coming from the bushes. Eventually, someone must've alerted the cops to these sounds because they forced their way thru the bushes & shone flashlights down into the pit to try to see what was going on. Threatening to flush us out with dogs if we didn't come out, we finally left. Fortunately, by then, the party had already basically climaxed. There were no arrests.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

116. Tent's Muir

- Tentsmuir Park, Scotland, UK

- July 11, 1988

- a movie version is on my onesownthoughts YoUTube channel here: http://youtu.be/oBBjSe3REHA

- Laura A. Trueseal, Pete Horobin, & I lugged about 120 pounds or more of equipment for several miles at my not-very-enthusiastically received suggestion so that I could play with the booed usic busking unit (see previous entries for explanation) in front of seals in their natural habitat. I'd wanted to wear a seal mask while doing so to "attempt to blend in" (more to observe their reaction) but Dundee's modest costume shop only had Donald Duck representing the aquatic world so I reluctantly rented the duck mask. In order to reach where the seals were, we had to ford a narrow point of an arm of the North Sea to reach a sand bar & walk further out on it. When we arrived, most of the seals slithered into the water to watch from greater safety. Their heads bobbed up & down - continuously looking in our direction. Only a couple of younger seals stayed ashore. 1 older 1 stayed briefly but finally left somewhat sluggishly. I stripped & put on the Donald Duck mask & set up the busking unit to play it. The seals were too far away to have much of an experience of that, especially considering that it wasn't very loud in contrast to the sea & the wind, so I nervously decided to get in the rather cold water to give them a closer look at me at least. Knowing nothing about seals, & not being able to see very well with the mask on, I was afraid the seals might try to bite me thinking I was threatening their children. Back ashore again, I was squatting by the water-line when 1 of the younger seals approached from a few feet away curiously coming directly toward me. Still awkward as an inter-species diplomat (despite that being my partial purpose for being there) I started to stand to back away. This body language was apparently interpreted as an act of hostility & the seal hunched its back & hissed at me. So for those likely to "follow in my footsteps", don't hunch your back at a seal if you want to "break the ice".

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

117. "More English"

- Festival of Non-Participation, VAUDIO Weekend, Dundee Resource Center for the Unemployed, Dundee, Scotland, UK

- Friday, July 22, 1988

- The space had an intricate Graham Harwood xerox mural on the wall behind me. Given that this was the Resource Center for the Unemployed & that Graham had lived on the dole for something like 8 years by this point, this was remarkably appropriate. There was a 4 foot screen tv in the middle with a film projection screen above & behind it. The booed usic busking unit was on top of the tv. Starting off wearing my "leper-skin suit" (a tattered white linen suit with color xerox heat transfers of pictures of lepers & rotting skin of lepers & an obvious take-off of the leopard-skin clothes that were popular when I made the suit), I eventually stripped off a layer to reveal my zipper clothes (pants & a jacket made entirely from zippers) & during the "Balling Tim Ore is Best" section unzipped the front of my jacket to reveal my "6 tits" sweatshirt. Following the usual procedure of showing films &/or vaudeos with anecdotal prefaces in between, by midway thru I'd added the moving around of a safety lamp to complicate the lighting, reveal the mural when the lights were otherwise off to enhance the projection situation, & to enable me to use the busking unit. For the last half of the show, I played the busking unit & presented Philosopher's Union Member's Mouthpieces on its tv. For the last 3rd of the night, I had "You Haven't Heard the Record, You Haven't Read the Book, NOW! Don't See the Movie!" projecting at a slow speed while a couple of other vaudeos preceeded its presentation on the tv at a faster speed - enabling the 2 versions to be out-of-sync, in-sync, & out-of-sync with each other again.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

120. Murraygate Busking

- Murraygate Shopping Mall, Dundee, Scotland, UK

- Saturday, August 13, 1988

- A movie version can be witnessed on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: http://youtu.be/Wk-J_nDrVSo

- Busking is legal in Scotland. Therefore, buskers are a regular feature of shopping areas in Dundee. On the day that we decided to busk at Murraygate, there was a guy playing acoustic guitar & playing such things as Simon & Garfunkel songs. The only other busker there that day was doing representational chalk drawing on the sidewalk. No-one seemed to pay much attention to them but they would throw them coins. We set up the booed usic busking unit in front of a John Menzies store. I was wearing my zipper clothes & had an infinity symbol shaped hair-do (it looked more like ring worm ouroborous). Vex (Mike Kane) played his guitar amplified thru the busking unit. L.A.W. (Laura Ann Walker) made more original & personalized chalk drawings than the usual fare. Laura A. Trueseal & I alternated between shooting PXL footage & "concrete mixing" with the busking unit. The mixers allowed us to move both our sounds & Vex's guitar playing thru the 4 speakers. We put a white shirt on the ground that had "Yes, This Is Busking!" written on it & I made an attempt to get people to give us money. We attracted a fairly large crowd of curious & baffled people, unlike the other buskers, who actually stayed & watched. However, again unlike the other buskers, only a few people would give us money. Eventually, the John Menzies employees complained to the police about the noise & about the crowd blocking their store without coming in & the police chased us away. We made approximately 2 pounds. Pete Horobin shot a vaudeo quasi-document of all this.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

121. street action with the booed usic busking unit

- during the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival (or whatever it's called), Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

- Saturday, August 20, 1988

- Setting up with the busking unit on a field of stones 40 feet or so across from a woman selling extremely generic water-color landscapes as a part of some sort of outdoor crafts fair. Playing the busking unit with dense gusto, I attracted a crowd who turned their backs on her water-colors. Georg Ladanyi shot a super-8 film of this (I'd like to see it some day Georg!). However, perhaps being intimidated by my zipper clothes, my shaved head with brain tattoo, the stone field I was in the middle of, & the conceptually perverse aggressiveness of my sound output, people kept a "safe" distance of at least 20 feet or more from me. Before long, the woman trying to sell her landscape paintings came over & screamed at me to stop because I was distracting her customers! I just screamed back & continued until I was bored with it all.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

123. demonstration of the booed usic busking unit

- First International Anathema Party Takeover (the One Millionth Apartment Festival), Stockwell Galero, Lower East Side / NYC Akademgorod

- Steam Power Friday, November 25, 1988

- Another contentious evening in which the cops came to stop a scrap-metal concert from occurring as a result of a noise complaint (or some such). D.J.Steve (of the scrap metal contingent) was angry because he'd carried all that heavy metal to the gallery & saw no good reason why he should stop playing just because the cops had once again interfered. Pamela, from the gallery, & Monty argued with him that the gallery couldn't afford the trouble. Both D.J.Steve & Monty/Istvan are very energetic & argumentative. Their face-off reached monumental proportions during which Steve raised a lead pipe as if to strike Istvan on the head. Meanwhile, John Berndt wandered around blindfolded. Being rather bemused by it all rather than emotionally involved (for a change), I suggested to Steve that hitting Monty on the head with a lead pipe might be overkill. A friend of Steve's later told me that Steve had told him that I had prevented Steve from killing Monty. Somewhere in the midst of all this, Peter Pan (a.k.a. Peter Zahorecz) & I gave a brief & unobtrusive demonstration of the busking unit.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

124. [Concrete Mixing

- The Attic, Baltimore, us@

- November 30, 1988

- This was originally scheduled to be the cLosing of Karen Eliot's "Paracultural Exhibition" but it coincidentally turned into the aftermath of the Losing of my bookstore job (weelll.., I didn't actually lose it, I was fired). This presentation was from Karen Eliot (John Berndt), Karen Eliot (Peter Pan), & Karen Eliot (myself) - all playing various tapes & electronics. I played the busking unit/blatnerphone with Philosopher's Mouthpieces. Given that I was a bit angry about the circumstances of "losing" "my" job, my penultimate participation was spent ranting about money etc.. - followed by a spirited playing of a pan of meat. The other Karens contributed such things as rewritten Hardy Boys material & Muson playing.]

 

125. Generic As-Beenism

- D.C. Space, Washington DC, us@

- Wednesday, February 8, 1989

- This was much the same as the premier of "Generic As-Beenism" already described with the same personnel. The main difference was the addition of the booed usic busking unit with which I ended the "spectacle" by wheeling it, still showing a "P.U.M.M.", thru the audience & out the door to the streets.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

126. [Volunteers Collective I

- Art Strike Attic, Baltimore, us@

- April 16, 1989

- I've fantasized about a group to be called the "Vengeful Clowns" which would consist of all the most abused outcasts that I know taking revenge in creative ways. The initials for this group being "V.C." would be reminiscent of the "Viet Cong". John Berndt kept these initials & proposed the "Volunteers Collective" as "a loose ensemble of changing "membership", focused on goals by their individual enthusiasm at each point, on projects which suggest the participation of a defined group but for which no suitable context exists here". Most, or all, of our manifestations so far have been as a social group in which people get to "know" each other thru audio improvisation. Only those "V.C."s which had an audience & which I participated in are in this list. This manifestation included: Neil Feather (former or bendy guitar), Alan Barysh (alto & soprano sax), John Berndt (oddly-strung guitar, percussion, SPX-90), Caroline Armstrong (floor percussion & drum-set), Elyce Semenec (floor percussion), Miekal And (alto sax, voice, computer manipulated recordings?), myself (drum-set, floor percussion, guitar, alto & soprano sax), Scott Larson (radio?, small electronics?, animal recordings?, etc?), Liz Was (drum-set).]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

128. [Volunteers Collective II

- Neil Feather & Valerie Dearing's Garage, Baltimore, us@

- June 11, 1989

- More audio improvisation from: Neil Feather (nondo, bendy guitar, vibulum, etc..), John Kennedy (a.k.a.: John Berndt - oddly-strung guitar, SPX-90, percussion, etc..), Caroline Armstrong (nondo, percussion), Elyce Semenec (percussion), Clark Snell (?), & myself (percussion, oddly strung guitar, nondo, etc..).]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

129. Generic As-Beenism

- Kombat Vaudeville, Edge of the Lookingglass, Chicago, us@

- Wednesday, July 12, 1989

- Basically the same "Generic As-Beenism" as before with the personnel changed to being Jake T. Unclean wearing the mechanical wings & giving the haircut & Peter Pan playing 2 digital delays & tapes. The busking unit was used & the "3-D" glasses were thrown to the audience before I went amongst them to show off my head. Thanks to Jason for his help.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

130. Generic As-Beenism

- Gallery X, Phoenix, us@

- Sunday, July 16, 1989

- Same line-up as in the previous entry. This 1 ended as the Washington DC 1 did with me wheeling the busking unit, still showing a P.U.M.M. thru the audience & out onto the street. Thanks to Chris Winkler for projecting the slides.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

131. park presentation of the booed usic busking unit

- Without Borders @n@rchist G@thering, San Francisco, us@

- July, 1989

- Another outdoor "concert" with the busking unit. Peter Pan, dressed as a "chaos scout" (a boy scout with a "chaos" flag), plugged in his digital delays to it. 1 kid came up to us & asked if he could rap with us. We tried miking him with a contact mike but it didn't work too well.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

132. booed usic

- JAVA, Athens, Georgia, us@

- August 16, 1989, 1AM

- This was most interesting for its location: an ex-gas-station turned into a combination bicycle repair place & late-night coffee shop - very cramped. I projected films & Peter Pan & I played with the busking unit & the 2 digital delays - all squished into the general mish-mash.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

133. Something That Dissolves the Shadow of Something Which Was Once Close to Something That Once Burned Twice

- Displace, Baltimore, us@

- November 4, 1989, 9PM - 1AM

- The 2nd & final public presentation by this group. Neil Feather & I spent 20 hours installing our equipment in this room. John Berndt put in alotof time too. John Sheehan pulled his usual "difficult" routine by refusing to say whether he'd participate or not & then showing up at the "last" minute after Neil & I had set up his equipment for him. Neil's set-up was the most extreme: he had bowling balls hanging from a metal frame from piano wire which swung as pendulums against moveable bridges on necks - the resultant sound of the strings hitting the bridges was processed thru a 16 second digital delay. His other instruments included: Bendy Guitar, Nondo, & Contraption. I surrounded myself by 15 drums & cymbals & other metal things, a guitar, & a VCR & monitor playing a fairly complex feedback vaudeo I'd made. John Berndt was using some sort of home-made oscillator & Oddly-Strung Guitar - amongst other things. John Sheehan played a bass that he'd made from a kit. The agreement that we'd had before-hand was that we'd play for about 5 hours - with any of us taking breaks whenever we felt like it - but with at least 1 of us playing at all times. There were a few other agreed-upon things (few, if any of which, would John Sheehan commit to cooperating with) such as playing for an hour straight without any of us dropping out & with all of us playing as intensely as we could stand. When the time came for this latter, I had been drinking alcohol & taking oral morphine & was a bit worried that I might have overdone it so I played frenetically to try to work it out of my system. After John Sheehan dropped out, the rest us entered a nudist phase. The way the equipment was set up was basically so that it filled the large room we were in but so that people could walk anywhere around us. In the meantime, Brad Hwang & his room-mate Matt were having large mobile machine battles in an adjacent room. In 1 highlight & neoist reference, John Sheehan donned a sortof hockey face mask, lit a steam iron on fire that had a pick-up attached to its bottom, & played the pick-up by banging a piano wire against it that was mounted between 2 boards that he held between 1 foot & 1 very begloved hand.

A movie from this is on YouTube broken into 2 parts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McbJXs4XC7w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCQHJk7I8DA

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

134. Generic As-Beenism

- Displace, Baltimore, us@

- Saturday, December 16, 1989

- The final version of "Generic As-Beenism" had projection problems but was distinguished by having Laura A. Trueseal back, John Berndt playing synthesizer from the back of the space, & Jake T. Unclean performing a shadow-puppet show with giblets on the side from behind a parachute or some other large drop. This audience-surround aspect, the over-all funkiness of it, & the wacky visceral irrelevance of the giblets' squishy presence made this a particularly memorable moment in "Cobbley World History".

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

135. ["Eloquent Voices", subtitled "Pathetique" for car horns (by Dick Turner)

- VEX, Swann Park, Baltimore, us@

- March, 1990

- This Krononautic Organism's Vernal Equinox party took place at a particularly toxic waste dump type environment in Baltimore City. Dick Turner's contribution was to premier his piece scored for car horns (& lights). I participated as 1 of the car players.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

136. [the Official, May 5th, 1990ev, 31st St. Between Greenmount & Barclay Block Party Combo

- Block Party, Baltimore, us@

- May 5, 1990

- This was the premier of the group that Neil Feather & I founded that we decided to call the "official group for any occasion". Given that 36 of the next 42 entries were done under the umbrella of this project, it's probably a good idea to restrict the information of "official" entries in some way to avoid too much redundancy. Therefore, I won't list our instrumentation, I'll try to give a coherent general outline of our approach in this entry only, & I'll stick to concise participant info at the end of each. We worked with what we call CAMUs - an acronymn for "Cue Activated Modular Units". This means parameters for playing that can be activated by any player at almost any time by cueing with previously agreed upon signals. The rules for these parameters could be anywhere in the range between simple to convoluted with players having to make quick mathematical calculations in order to play accents in sync with the other players, etc.. The CAMUs included guidelines for behaviour. The "John Trubee Squee-Gee Blivet" (named by John Berndt partially in honor of the "reality" undermining confrontationalness of John Trubee' s infamous prank phone calls) was performed by suddenly confronting an audience member as if you were a "schizophrenic" street person (perhaps with Tourette's Syndrome) & screaming emotionally charged gibberish in their face as if it were "all their fault". This early show was fairly simple but the later shows got to be so complicated that it amazed all of us that we could remember so many parameter guidelines & follow them so quickly. Personnel: Herr Brain Storm Drain, Courtney McCullough, Neil Feather, myself.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

138. the Official, Saturday, June 23, 1990ev, Patapsco Park, McKeldin Area, Paul & Cindy's Wedding Trio

- Patapsco Park, Maryland, us@

- June 23, 1990

- Our 2nd "official" gig this was actually for some friends' wedding! During 1 part when we started rhythmically describing the trees around us 1 friend got so excited that she started jumping up & down. To her embarrassment, she was wearing a dress with nothing underneath that was tied loosely behind her neck & the dress fell off. At another point, after a plant in the audience cued us with "Just show us your bathing suits & eat your pretzels!" we stripped off our outer clothes to reveal 1 piece "girl's" bathingsuits. Other highlights, other than the greatness of our playing, were the wedding guests trying to convince us that the state police had come to the park because of complaints & that we really should stop. Personnel: Jake T. Unclean, Laura A. Trueseal, Courtney McCullough, Neil Feather, & myself.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

139. [the Official, July 10th & 11th, 1990ev, Punch Night at the BAUhouse Trio

- Baltimore, us@

- July 10, 1990

- Two sets with the same line-up as the previous entry (our briefly stabilized quintet - notice that the # of players indicated by our name never coincides with the actual # of players).]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

140. the Official, July 21st, 1990ev, disPlace, 1220 Curtain Avenue Sextet

- Baltimore, us@

- July 21, 1990

- More & more CAMUs coupled, for this show, with my "Wallpaper Video" of a loop of an initially intact set of windows being wrecked by a wrecking-ball with the loop causing its reconstitution playing over & over & over.. In the spirit of wrecking, I accidentally smashed my watch during the "Wreck" CAMU. Personnel: the same quintet as the previous 2 entries.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

141. [the Official, Friday, August 17th, 1990ev, People Who Play as a Part of Approximately the Same Event That Features Bands from Baltimore, Philadelphia, & New York Sextet

- Displace, Baltimore, us@

- August 17, 1990

- More & more & more CAMUs with the introduction of my explaining that we play "Aleatoric "Fortean" Novelty MYTHO-GOSSIP Usi(al Service Industry So-Called Whatevers".]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

142. the Official, Sunday, August 26th, 1990ev, (12:30-1:15PM) Ringing Rocks Ensemble

- Ringing Rocks State Park, Pennsylvania, us@

- August 26, 1990

- Ringing Rocks State Park is a park in N.E. Pennsylvania with a boulder field with rocks that ring with substantial resonance when struck. Prepared with hammers to strike the rocks & other small sound-makers (slide-whistles, deer grunt, salsa, etc..) we played 5 "sets" of "free-form" & CAMUs. The 1 listed here was the 1 that attracted a small audience. On all but this 1, Alfred Merchlinsky played with us. Personnel: the stabilized quintet minus Courtney McCullough.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

143. the Official, August 28th, 1990ev, Shattered Wig Review Night at the Bow-Wow House One Man Band of Slip-Shods

- Baltimore, us@

- August 28, 1990

- More & more & more & more CAMUs. This time coupled with an explanatory "Official Business" booklet & my "One Word per Person Party" vaudeo. By now, we'd probably started playing with fire - so, during the "Wreck" section we lit pieces of flash paper that we'd taped around & carried off the "injured". I introduced us wearing a Gorbachov mask & clothes that were all black on 1 side & all white on the other. My hair was dyed to match. Personnel: the afore-mentioned quintet.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

144. the Official, September 14th, 1990ev, People Who Send People Back Somewhere Without Having Been There Before Twins

- BAUhouse, Baltimore, us@

- September 14, 1990

- Even more CAMUs. This may've been the beginning of our snake-charming music bit. The quintet.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

145. [the Official, October 12th, 1990ev, 14 Karat Cabaret Hungry Rabbit Touring Colony

- Baltimore, us@

- October 12, 1990

- Even even more CAMUs. Snake-charming had become "Worm Charming". The quintet.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

146. [the Official, October 13th, 1990ev, 14 Karat Cabaret Hungry Rabbit Touring Colony

- Baltimore, us@

- October 13, 1990

- A different show from the night before given that almost every show involved new CAMUs in a new modular relationship that became more & more complicated. Both these Cabaret shows involved at least video & probably film. The quintet.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

147. the Official, October 25th, 1990ev, Only Band in Town Without Courtney McCullough in it Quintet

- BAUhouse, Baltimore, us@

- October 25, 1990

- Courtney McCullough preferred to be bar-tender this night. Another action-packed night full of drastically shifting structure with unusual instrumentation & even a little bit of "3rd World" "rip-off". The quintet minus C.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

148. the Official, December 31st, 1990ev, Kinko's Office Party, We-Miss-You-Neilers

- Masonic Temple rental space, Baltimore, us@

- December 31 (New Year's Eve), 1990

- Neil Feather was in Mexico during this 1. Flaming kitchen sink, flashlight on a turntable, a Spike Jones cover, Brad-A-Lon, a pre-programmed electric piano deserted by Courtney's Xanax addled lounge lizard dad.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

152. [the Official, May 18th, 1991ev, Open House in the Garage at 3PM Solo Quartet

- Neil Feather & Valerie Dearing's Garage, Baltimore, us@

- May 18, 1991, 3PM

- The "official" project had shrunk to its founding duet. This marked the premier of the "78" CAMU - a sequence of 78 beats that was to generate many a groan of anxiety from "official" players to encounter it. Personnel: Neil Feather, myself.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

153. [the Official, May 19th, 1991ev, Open House in the Garage at 3PM Solo Quartet

- Neil Feather & Valerie Dearing's Garage, Baltimore, us@

- May 19, 1991, 3PM

- See the previous entry.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

154. with Laughingtree

- an alley in the SoWeBohemian Festival, Baltimore, us@

- Memorial Day Weekend, 1991

- Laughingtree was a "performance" group that based their themes around extrapolated hypothetical insect culture. They wore elaborate insect costumes & did things like dragged around huge clumps of cutlery while playing tightly worked out rock'n'roll medleys. Toward their demise, they started concentrating more on improvising rather than r'n'r. I had a cameo appearance playing piezo miked small percussion. The other main personnel were: Clark Snell (insektar), Peter Williams (bass), Lyle Kissack (drums), Carol Shuford (cutlery clump), & probably others..

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

155. [the Official, August 13rd, 1991ev, Bughouse Apex Roto Zither Auxillary

- BAUhouse, Baltimore, us@

- August 13, 1991

- The premier of Neil Feather's new instrument: the "Apex Roto Zither". This is a 24 string semi-automatic music machine made using such things as a steering wheel, a fishing rod, a sewing machine, a door-knob, multiple pick-ups - some moving, etc, etc.. It can be played by "remote-control". For this show we started out in a different room from the audience & the instruments. Thru a mike with a long cord we instructed members of the audience to go to the instruments & do certain things to get them started on their semi-automatic course. "Blaster" Al Ackerman was asked to turn on the vibrators of Neil's "Vibulum", Laura A. Trueseal was asked to turn the Roto Zither's steering wheel, Carol Shuford was asked to step on the bowling ball fragment which activated the 16 second digital delay. Eventually Neil, John Berndt, & I came out wearing red clown noses & proceeded to play for another 80 minutes - trying to highlight Neil's instruments. This was probably the 1st time that we'd used foot-pedal controlled lights for "atmospheric" lighting effects.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

156. the Official, October 28th, 1991ev, Pixilatin' Deadly Drolls

- 'Patanational PXL-2000 Movie Festival, BAUhouse, Baltimore, us@

- October 28, 1991

- Leading to the intermission in the PXL fest, Neil Feather & I played such things as small & demi Nondos while Valerie Dearing's Philosopher's Union Member's Mouthpiece played. I played my Nondo with wind-up toys & played vibraphone in public for the 1st time.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

157. [the Official, Friday the 13th, Generic Neuro-Linguistic Programming Party Band

- Baltimore, us@

- December 13, 1991

- The premier of the "Big Band" version of the "official" project. "Medium Band" might be a better way to describe us since we'd started out with 20 members & shrunk to 10 by this time. Fortunately, we'd already recorded the 1st side of our record when there were still 15 members left. Our 1st 2 shows, other than a "Beach Party" tv show, had been cancelled. 1st we'd been scheduled to play at an elementary school under a joint arts department / science department sponsorship. Then we were scheduled to play at a prison where they hadn't been able to get any "entertainment" for months. Supposedly a convict committee had listened to our tape & rejected us! By this point we had a complex repetoire more tightly challenging than what the founding quintet had played with if only because of the doubling of membership. This was at our warehouse practice space & we played in a circle, as was our typical rehearsal practice. Personnel: Jake T. Unclean, Neil Feather, Courtney McCullough, Dawn Culbertson, John Berndt, Peter Williams, Scott Larson, Chris Astier, John Eaton, & myself.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

158. [the Official, December 14th, 1991E.V., Oh, I Forget..

- Baltimore, us@

- December 14, 1991

- The 2nd set of our premier - distinguished from the 1st set because Peter Williams didn't play with us on this 1 (&, besides, we had a different name!).]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

159. the Official, January 18th, 1992E.V., Fake Party

- Baltimore, us@

- January 18, 1992

- 1 of my favorite aspects of the "official" structure is that it's a conceptual approach that doesn't always require the use of specific instruments & props. Given my usual interest in penetrating "ordinary" situations, I tried to co-ordinate participants in the project to structure their interactions in social situations around CAMUs - as always, keeping a straight face in the interest of making it difficult for any unwitting audience to be "sure" about what was going on. E.g.: 1 player would start telling a wild story that would lead to something that the listener would presumably want to hear the outcome of & then digress - continuing this pattern to prevent any story climaxes from being reached. Other players would respond by either talking simultaneously or sequentially using the same structure. This is called, predictably enough, the "Digression" CAMU. Or a player could cue the "Ill-timed Preparation for an Encore" by suddenly leaving a room & doing something furtive somewhere - with the other players also leaving & doing something furtive. Our 1st attempt at this was at a party at Alan Barysh's. It wasn't very successful partially because the other partiers (our un-witting "straight" "men") were too few. Realizing that there wasn't much likelihood of arranging & (quasi-)documenting a more successful version of this, I decided to throw a "Fake Party" to do this in so that I could vaudeo it more easily. This was accomplished with the assistance of the late, great John "Santa Claus" Fonda, the ever-humorous "Blaster" Al Ackerman, Mora Majorowitz, the ever-enthusiastic Megan Hamilton, Tim Sheehan, & the ever-overkill John Sheehan as the fake partiers. John & Tim made enormous quantities of samozas. The "official" fake partiers were Scott Larson, Neil Feather, John Eaton, & John Berndt. Chris Astier crossed the line back & forth between the 2 categories - usually helping with the food preparation & ignoring the "official" procedures. I was the cameraperson & "director". Since most of the unofficial fake partiers had never witnessed an "official" presentation before, they were reasonably good "dead weight".

The movie from this is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here:

Part 1:  http://youtu.be/rpYh80gWvpw

Part 2: http://youtu.be/LqBoLNQJEaU

Part 3:  http://youtu.be/9BXYWDnxvsE

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

160. the Official, March 21st, 1992ev, 14 Karat Cabaret, We're Not As Intense As John Duncan But We're As Worth Paying Attention To For Reasons More Complex Than There's Time To Explain In This Measley Band Name Band

- 14 Karat Cabaret, Baltimore, us@

- March 21, 1992

- Being on a double bill with John Duncan I decided against using any "sexual" film &/or vaudeo material & chose to present the more subtly conceptual "official" material instead. With Neil Feather surrounded by his inventions on the front of the stage to the audience's frontal left & me surrounded by my "erector set" percussion & many other devices behind him, the visual emphasis was overwhelmingly on construction. To the audience's frontal right was a movie screen on which I premiered an approximately 1/2 hour version of my 16mm film (still in progress as of this writing) entitled "John Lennon's Erection As Blocking Our View Homage & Cheese Sandwich" - a technically diverse, "non-linear", multi-mood extravanganza that parallels the "official" project in its genre reference juxtapositioning. Neil & I played largely in the dark occasionally flashing our foot-pedal controlled lights like lightning flashes to give the audience fleeting glimpses of the elaborateness of our gear. Much of the film contains construction footage so the feeling was of something elaborate being built inexorably in front of you too quickly to be able to grasp it all.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

161. the Official, April 29th, 1992ev, Band That Does Accept Money From Institutions

- "Progressions" Series, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Campus, us@

- April 29, 1992

- I had been invited to present films as a part of this "interdisciplinary" required course for the supposedly more sophisticated arts students. Wanting to present the "official" "Big Band" that had been practicing for almost a year with no place to play outside our practice space, I plugged a "show" with both my movies & the band. The result was probably 1 of the biggest extravaganzas of "reality" undermining the students are ever likely to be subjected to. They hated me. They hated US. They wrote papers about it which the teacher was kind enough to give to me. I published them, unedited (i.e.: replete with spelling errors) in a book called "Reactionary Muddle America". Don't expect to get much of an idea about the presentation from their papers though. More inaccurate accounts could hardly be generated. 1 woman wrote that after she left the show she could hardly find her way out of the building. I'm surprised any of them ever found their way in in the 1st place. A large poster with computer graphics greeted them at the entrance. A tad-pole on the poster became a "sperm" in 1 of the students papers. 14 page carefully computer typeset booklets were available at the door as hand-outs. These contained a list of the movies to be shown, a political-philosophical text, my complete movieography (with 114 listings), graphics, a list of band members & their instruments, a table of the CAMUs that we planned to use in the presentation, a brief explanation of our playing, a brief description of a complex sample CAMU, an article advertising the "show", & the 3 posters made for the show. All of this was made especially for this night. In other words, we gave them something more carefully made than any of them were ever likely to make in order to get their diplomas! I presented 8 vaudeo projected movies - a total of 67 minutes + the time of my prefaces. 1 woman walked out after 15 minutes & cried for the next 45. Then it was time for the band. A 55 minute version of "John Lennon's Erection As Blocking Our View Homage & Cheese Sandwich" was projected with a black rectangle blocking its middle so that there would be a blank space that the vaudeo could be projected into. I was on stage & the rest of the band were spaced about in the audience. In a carefully pre-planned sequence, I improvised a meandering "Neuro Linguistic Introduction" in which, by using hand signals, the band was cued to anticipatorily call out words in unison that fit my "narrative". These words collectively formed a stretched out sentence introducing our band name. Then we segued into a "Simon" in which each band member said the word or words that the previous band member had said & added a word to the sequence until every band member had added something twice. Then we segued into a simultaneous reading of a text in which our simultaneous accenting of 35 out of 78 beats was an example of what the text was about. Then John Berndt came on stage from the audience wearing a turban-like head piece & led the group in an "Imitative Unison" after which the whole band came on stage playing screamers. To kick off our stage set, we played an instrumental version of "78" in perfect coordination. This was what 1 brilliant young scholar called "everybody doing their own thing all at once". Gee, I'm sure glad we got recognition for our 10 months of practice. I had 4 videos playing simultaneously with the ability to have 1 of the 4 projected into the middle of the 16mm projection & 1 to appear on the 2 monitors on either side of the stage. The 4 tapes were: "Teaser" - a continually repeated shot of a penis trying to penetrate a vagina & popping out before getting a chance to fully enter; "Wallpaper Video" - the previously described wrecking ball wrecking of a building that had once housed 1 of Baltimore's biggest newspapers (now defunct) "The News American", "Concrete Mixing Usical Material Vaudeo #1" - an hour long sequence of carefully excerpted portions of some of my more sensationalist or strikingly imagistic vaudeos, "Concrete Mixing Usical Material Vaudeo #2" - an extremely fast moving summary of most of my movies from 1979 to 1989 - the slowest shot being a quarter second long. Most of the band members had foot-pedal controlled lights which they flashed periodically. For the penultimate section, the "Worm Charming" part (meant to charm the worms in the audience with its simple-minded steady beat) we set various things on fire. We had our favorite flaming sink, flaming Brad-A-Lon, flaming cymbals, etc.. John Eaton came out playing an alto sax that he'd liberally dosed the inside of the bell with the flame-paste that we used to make things flammable. Flames were shooting 2 or 3 feet out of the bell & shooting out the lower finger holes. When John finally put the sax down in the sink, all the welds came apart & the sax fell into its components! 1 student complained in his paper that we hadn't properly miked the flaming sax. Too bad we didn't just hand it to him so that he could've played it himself. Personnel: John Eaton (alto sax, voice), Scott Larson (medium accordion, voice, sink, abomination), John Berndt (DX7 synthesizer, voice, VSS-30 sampler, soprano sax, stephanie palmer apologetica), Peter Williams (bass, voice, pots & pans, pipe xylophone), Sarmad Brody (voice, Ensoniq VFX synthesizer), Courtney McCullough (voice, tenor sax, bass clarinet), Eric Myers (voice, cello), John Dierker (voice, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax), Dawn Culbertson (voice, bass, brad-a-lon), Neil Feather (former guitar, voice, R.E.SK1 sampler, bell tree, apex roto zither), myself (voice, "erector set" percussion, [thwarted] "terrence dougherty" electronics, trumpet, vibraphone), & Chris Astier (voice, fretless bass, tom).

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

162. "Behavioral Drift #8/9 (The Slo GAME)" (by Franz Kamin)

- the Parish Hall, First Unitarian/Universalist Church of Baltimore, us@

- June 11, 1992

- This 15 minute piece coordinated by Sarmad Brody under the direction of the composer involved a "Narrator-Translator", 2 "Players", a "Thread Man" & a "Stain Lady", & 6 "choric Depots" - each with 4 members. This was an elaborate performance in which the 2 "players" played a game in stylized dancer slow motion while the "Narrator-Translator" recited a text partially about non-competitiveness, the "choric Depots" vocalized - occasionally ringing hand-bells, the "Thread Man" had to weave certain color clothes thru a fabric prepared with slits from the back to produce certain symbols & the "Stain Lady" had to place certain colored stains from the back of the same fabric. Both had to react quickly to signals from the "Narrator-Translator". I was the "Thread Man".

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

163. the Official, July 25th, 1992ev, Band That Stretches The Amount of Typeface that Their Name Occupies Wildly Beyond the Parameters of Easily Remembered &/or Repeated Band Names in the Interest of Excessive (Self) Promotion Which Can Never Be Stressed Enough Given the Incredible Greatness & Simulated Originality of the Reality Bending Qualities of Their Quantum Psychological Playfare & Aleatoric Fortean So-Called Whatevers (not to Mention CAMUs) etc.., etc..

- 14 Karat Cabaret, Baltimore, us@

- July 25, 1992

- This was the last "Medium Band" show before a smaller version of the group left to go on tour. It was also the only time we performed our "Ersatz Buddhist Intro" - followed by a great puppet routine from John Berndt in which a punching puppet played a monofilament string held taught by a circular saw blade & miked with a piezo transducer. The players lined the side walls & the front of the space to partially surround the audience so that they could get a clearer perception & sensation of the speed & complexity of the player interaction. Many of our CAMUs build &/or move from player to player in a circular direction. The more the audience is surrounded, the more they can be aware of this. E.g.: in the "Off Beat Off", the cueing player plays a pulse, the player to their left plays triplets off the pulse, the player to the 2nd player's left plays in sync with the note durations of the triplets but shifts the accent to the 1st of every 4 beats rather than the 1st of every 3. The next player plays a pulse again but in sync with the accented beat of the preceeding player rather than that of the initial pulse provider - this results in 2 pulses - the 2nd being slower than the 1st. The process continues. To the inattentive, it seems that people aren't "playing together" when in actuality this playing in different tempos requires strict discipline. This performance involved our 1st use of foot-pedal controlled lights in a systematic rhythm. In a CAMU called the "2 Note - Atomizing Split", the cuer starts alternating in a steady rhythm between 2 notes, the rest of the band joins in rhythmic sync, half of the band "splits" from the other half by playing another 2 note in a different rhythm, then the half from which they'd split splits into 2 smaller halves - the splinter group again playing a different 2 note, this process continues bouncing back & forth between the 2 sides until every player is playing only 2 notes but in different rhythms. Then the process is reversed until all the players are in sync again. With the lighting, each player flashed their light on the 1st of their 2 notes. Thus, it starts with all lights flashing on & off in sync & gradually becomes much more complex - creating elaborate flashes & shadows - & eventually reunifies. Very disorienting if 1 isn't following the rhythmic progression. This was also the 1st time that we partially used a new element of the projection/playing relationship. The final 10 minute reel of my film "John Lennon's Erection As Blocking Our View Homage & Cheese Sandwich" was shown. New footage in the film was of various people "cueing" CAMUs. At the end of the reel shown, the "Wreck" was cued in the film & the players responded in kind. Personnel: John Dierker, Scott Larson, John Berndt, Dawn Culbertson, Eric Myers, Neil Feather, Courtney McCullough, John Eaton, & myself.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

164. the Official, August 4, 1992ev, Band That If You Don't Hear Your Vital Organs will Shrivel up & Disappear

- Portland School of Art, Portland, Maine, us@

- August 4, 1992

- This marked the beginning of our "official" Tour/Ture. The group for this was: Peter Williams (bass, I.V. stand percussion, voice, etc), John Eaton (alto sax, stephanie palmer apologetica, voice, percussion, etc), Neil Feather (bendy guitar, bell tree, recombinant electronics SK1 sampler, SK1 sampler, 16 second digital delay, demi nondo, portable vibulum, trombone, voice, etc), myself ("erector set" percussion, "terrence dougherty" electronics, trumpet, lap guitar, voice, etc), & Rebecca Barten (projectionist, voice, etc). The usual array of much modular interaction, "2 Note - Atomizing Split" foot-pedal lights, flaming metal objects during the "Worm Charming", & silliness. 1 of our CAMUs, "Normality", is performed by stopping whatever 1 is in the midst of & performing some "normal" activity like combing one's hair or some such. In our usual "anti-normal" interpretation of this it could be more accurately called the "Argument" because we'd usually pretend to be completely disgusted with each other & start yelling criticisms. It's best when the audience isn't sure whether we're serious or not. This proves to be very successful as a silly cognitive dissonance trick. This was the only stop of the tour where we projected 4 16mm films simultaneously: 3 ten minute reels of the "Official..Sandwich" & the 10 minute "OUR" - this latter being a collaborative film made by Rebecca Barten & myself especially to be shown in an "official" context. Both the "Official..Sandwich" & "OUR" have the same footage of people cueing CAMUs in them. The difference between them, of course, is how they're edited & what their other footage is. When they're shown simultaneously, they cross-reference each other. In "OUR" a diversity of "found" spectacle footage is used. Hurricanes, clowns, earthquakes, musclemen, floods, demolition derbys, etc.. During the "ture" we mainly played "Atavistic Electronics" during the showing of the films. This was our more "atmospheric" genre section. This CAMU is cued by a player playing a sine-wave at approximately 300 c.p.s. Then another player plays a pitch very close (often generated by a looping of Neil's playing his bull's horn) to create a beating pattern in the space. The way this can fill a room is very potent. Then players with pitch-specific instruments (bass, alto sax, & keyboard were used on this tour) play a whole tone scale that includes 300 c.p.s. Thus a simultaneous tonality & non-tonality is established. The "tonality" being the result of there being the central tone & the "non-tonality" being the result of there being no hierarchy of relations between the pitches. The common associative effect of the whole-tone scale being the feeling of "floating" or "drowning" (as 1 friend put it). This was further developed by the "free" playing of less pitch specific recordings, sound effects, & electronics. I often used the sounds of loons, african animals, boat horns, explosions, sirens, mutated speech, etc, etc as evocations. The combination of the floating imaging of the sounds & the visuals as well as the link between the screened cueing & the cueing seen amongst the players during other times of the performance created strong mutual reinforcement.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

165. the Official, August 7th, 1992ev, CKUT, Late Night Atrocity Exhibition Barkers

- Montréal, CacaNada

- August 7, 1992

- Our 1st promotional radio show of the tour. Such situations were good opportunities for interaction similar to that of the "Fake Party" described earlier. Under the guise of an interview we could follow our "official" rules & gradually "abstract" the language. E.g.: the "Mime Pathos Verbally Articulated" - 1 of us could suddenly cry out "Ohh, Noooooo.." & start describing an imaginary grossly exaggerated mime situation. In this instance it was "..I'm a mime & my arms have been cut off. I'm on the radio & I'm miming & I'm miming & no-onnnne is paying attention to anything that I'm doing.." etc.. Further complicating things were our inclination to perform these CAMUs simultaneously as well as the same 1 in sync. Thus Neil was "Explaining" our "Social Security #s" CAMU in a "normal" tone of voice when I began wailing the "Mime Pathos". "Conceptual" rather than "melodic" counterpoint. Personnel: John Eaton, Neil Feather, myself.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

166. the Official, August 7th, 1992ev..(another radio show)

- CKUT, Montréal, CacaNada

- August 7, 1992

- See the previous entry. Personnel: John Berndt, Scott Larson, Neil Feather?, John Eaton?, myself.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

167. the Official, August 7th, 1992ev, Foufounes Electriques CosmoRobotic $350.00 Boxers

- Foufounes Electriques, Montréal, CacaNada

- August 7, 1992

- Hey! A show in a big rock club / disco. Arranged by Jean-Luc Bonspiel (formerly known as Kiki Bonbon). The usual array of lighting, simultaneous dual projections of a reel of the "Official..Sandwich" & "OUR", flashlight on a turntable, disorienting vocal routines, complex rhythms, unusual instrumentation, etc, etc.. This was the premier of the CAMU CAMU in which players pretended to cue & respond to CAMUs that don't exist. We confused the audience of this 1 by wandering off stage in a diffused way to end the show in such a way so that people would, once again, not "be sure" of what was happening. Additional "official" tourists came to Montréal especially for this show partially because we thought we might make some money in the big rock club. As usual, the joke was on us. Personnel: Eric Myers, Scott Larson, John Berndt, Neil Feather, John Eaton, Peter Williams, myself, & Rebecca Barten.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

168. the Official.. (another radio show)

- Toronto, CacaNada

- August, 1992

- See the previous "official" radio show entries. Personnel: Peter Williams, Neil Feather, myself.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

169. the Official, August 12th, 1992ev, Zerowork Jubilee John Cage Cover Band Orchestra

- Zerowork Jubilee, the Monastery, Toronto, CacaNada

- August 12, 1992

- Dedicated to John Cage, whose music I love & who had just recently died. Our already huge repetoire of CAMUs was added to with the premiers of the "Ersatz Manicini", the "Ersatz Orientalism", & "78 Set". Back to the touring quintet with the usual array already described with the addition of the "Baghdad object" (a large metal object with holes in for having a candle inside which gave off flickering grid shadows particularly effective during our "Worm Charming" section) & a great intro from our beloved friend Monty Cantsin/Istvan Kantor/AMEN.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

170. the Official, August 15th, 1992ev, Zerowork Jubilee Morphing Center Orchestra with John Cage Interpreters

- Zerowork Jubilee, the Monastery, Toronto, CacaNada

- August 15, 1992

- Having been approached by Katrini after the preceeding so-called whatever & asked whether we'd like to work with dancers, I worked out an interactive proposal usually referred to as the "Dancer Conducting". The dancers had 4 cues with which they could conduct the "official" players whose playing they could then respond to in their dancing & further cueing (which were all part of the same thing): 1 for silence, 1 for a Mexican Hat Dance, 1 for a "See-Saw" alternating between textures, & 1 for an "Ersatz Arabic" theme. As usual, these possibilities were modular & could be played simultaneously in any combination. Katrini co-ordinated 2 other dancers & this was premiered for some "prime-time" national tv show (which I never saw). The other new element was the introduction of the "'Patamorphic Institute Seminar(s)". While we'd been in Montréal we'd collaborated with Barnoz on making some Morphing movies in which the image of 1 thing could be shown transforming into another thing. The movie that we worked into the "seminar(s)" was of the face of Rebecca Barten transforming into the face of John Eaton & back again. While this tape would show, Rebecca & John would stand on either side of the monitor with their faces "frozen" into the same expression that their faces have in the video & they would foot-pedal-control lights to alternately show their faces at approximely the same rate that their faces were showing on the screen. Simultaneous with this, I would give a sortof "self-help" lecture on the psychological advantages of Morphing throwing in jargon of our invention or, in the case of "gravipause", borrowed from astronomy. Personnel: the touring quartet + the 3 dancers.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

171. the Official, August 22nd, 1992ev, Dreamtime Corroboree Comb Salepeople

- Dreamtime Corroboree, Dreamtime Village, West Lima, Wisconsin, us@

- August 22, 1992

- Dreamtime Village is a very special HyperMedia PermaCulture Hometown. As such, we were happy to have the opportunity to participate in its annual Corroboree (those Australian Aboriginals keep popping up). The space was a booming big gym. This so-called whatever included the premier of "Big", 1 of Neil's new CAMUs, & fire-breathing to begin the "Worm-Charming" bit. The "Dancer Conducting" became another audience participatory element. Only "OUR" was projected at this show. The audience was deliriously responsive.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

172. the Official, August 27th, 1992ev, Mercury Café Neo-Re-Exciters

- Mercury Café Theater, Denver, us@

- August 27, 1992

- As usual, what this show actually consisted of is far too complex to describe in detail here. It began with us opening a theater prop door (i.e.: a door in a frame on wheels) & popping out our heads in a vertical arrangement "singing" a "Barbershop Quartet Intro". Personnel: the touring quintet.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

173. the Official, August 28th, 1992ev, Mercury Café Neil-Re-Exciters

- Mercury Café Theater, Denver, us@

- August 28, 1992

- More of our full-blown so-called whatevering here. This performance will probably be most remembered as "The One Where Neil Set His Face On Fire." Yes, in our fledgling fire-breathing, Neil set his "Fu Manchu" face-hair on fire & melted a bit of flesh. This put an end to his fire-breathing career but the rest of us still continued to risk it. Films, video, spieling, tonal & rhythmic genre evocations, whirling flashlights, audience participation, fire, silliness, mindfucking, structuralism. Personnel: the touring quintet.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

174. the Official, September 2nd, 1992ev, Kansas City Artificial Intelligence 'Tute Photo Studio Unknown Camera Obscura

- Kansas City Art Institute, Photography Studio, Kansas City, Missouri, us@

- September 2, 1992

- By now Neil had a siren. There were no new CAMUs for the rest of the ture. This show had 1 of my favorite Nondo/Stephanie Palmer Apologetica duets followed by a "Normality" argument. We actually didn't have any technical trouble with the dual projection during this 1! Personnel: the touring quintet.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

175. the Official, Saturday, September 5th, 1992ev, Union Bar & Grill (Voted Athens Best Bar Live Music Featuring National Acts) Bug-Eyed H23 Visitors From Chronolytic Time

- Union Bar & Grill, Athens, Ohio, us@

- September 5, 1992

- Perhaps the finest of our so-called whatevers on the tour. Action-packed stimulation for the desperate pervert anarchist intellectual. Personnel: the touring quintet.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

176. the Official, October 17th, 1992ev, Blank Blank Space Blank Space Blank

- W.P.A., Washington DC, us@

- October 17, 1992

- Perhaps the finest of all of the "official" so-called whatevers. The players were arranged in an oval in such a way that the audience could be inside the oval or witnessing it from either end. Our playing with fire had extended to my setting my thumb on fire & lighting John Eaton's cigarette & John setting his chest & hands & arms on fire - not always the safest thing to do. The combination of all the new CAMUs from the tour/ture & the reinvigoration from having the group be a "Medium Band" again made this extremely convoluted & pleasurable. For an idea of some elements of this presentation, read most of the preceeding 40 entries. Personnel: Sarmad Brody, John Berndt, Neil Feather, John Eaton, Dawn Culbertson, Peter Williams, Courtney McCullough, myself, & Rebecca Barten.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

177. the Official, March 12th, 1993ev, Medium-Sized Band Who Have Just Put Out Their First Record & Who Will Be Selling Them At the 14 Karat Cabaret for a Fabulously Reasonable Price as well as at Normal's Music Store at 429 E. 31st st. & Who are more Wonderful, Original, & Imaginative Than Even the Most Overblown Hyperbole Could Possibly Even Begin to Praise & who have a Penchant for Very Long Hard to Remember Band Names That Even They Find Hard to Remember but how else can they Make Laure Drogoul, Baby MaDenney, & the Ever-Lovin' Pamela Purdy Laugh Otherwise? - &, Besides, This is Probably Their Last Show So Why Not indulge them a Little, Eh? Incredibly Rapidly Shrinking Big Band Orchestra OOMPH!!

- 14 Karat Cabaret, Baltimore, us@

- March 12, 1993

- The 1st of the last(?) "official" so-called whatevers. Simultaneous with a snow storm, we went ahead with these 2 shows anyway. This included the premier of Dawn's variation on Neil's "Roto-Debacle" entitled the "Roto-Moe" in which the "Roto-Debacle" was "performed" using only 3 Stooges jokes. Also the premier of the "John Trubee Squee-Gee Blivet" described in the 1st of the "official" entries & Sarmad's tribute to Ruth Crawford Seeger entitled the "Seeger". Personnel: Neil Feather, Eric Myers, Scott Larson, John Berndt, John Eaton, Sarmad Brody, Dawn Culbertson, Peter Williams, myself, & Rebecca Barten.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

178. the Official, March 13th, 1993ev, Medium-Sized Band Who Have Just Put Out Their First Record & Who Will Be Selling Them At the 14 Karat Cabaret for a Fabulously Reasonable Price as well as at Normal's Music Store at 429 E. 31st st. & Who are more Wonderful, Original, & Imaginative Than Even the Most Overblown Hyperbole Could Possibly Even Begin to Praise & who have a Penchant for Very Long Hard to Remember Band Names That Even They Find Hard to Remember but how else can they Make Laure Drogoul, Baby MaDenney, & the Ever-Lovin' Pamela Purdy Laugh Otherwise? - &, Besides, This is Probably Their Last Show So Why Not indulge them a Little, Eh? Incredibly Rapidly Shrinking Big Band Orchestra OOMPH!!

- 14 Karat Cabaret, Baltimore, us@

- March 13, 1993

- The last of the last(?) "official" so-called whatevers, it's a fitting memory of this dedicated group that they played despite public transportation's having been shut down by the "blizzard" & there being little audience. It's a fitting memory of the audience that there was 1 at all considering that some of them had to walk for miles under difficult conditions (being drunk probably didn't help their slipperiness coordination much either). John Eaton wore a damn cute cat suit. On both nights we tested the audience's patience by having them introduce the show by reading off of papers that John E handed out that went thru our entire (& tiring) band name. We even played the rarely performed "Hillbilly" - a muthafuckin' crowd-pleaser if there ever was 1. Personnel: same as the preceeding night minus Dawn Culbertson who couldn't make it because she lived in the county where the snow was too bad. Alas, our band name for this occasion doesn't say it all..

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

179. ["Radio Music" (by John Cage)

- Church of Saint Michael & All Angels, Baltimore, us@

- Sunday, October 10, 1993, 3:00PM

- A performance of the 1956 Cage piece as part of the Baltimore Composers Forum's tribute to him. The other players were: Sarmad Brody, Dawn Culbertson, Scott Larson, Mark Longaker, John Eaton, Leroy Keltner, & William-John Tudor.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

180. "Red 19" & "Angerds engMudsroodn" (by Franz Kamin)

- 14 Karat Cabaret, Baltimore, us@

- mid November, 1993

- Two "performance poems" (perhaps) by Franz Kamin. Angerds engMudsroodn had Leroy Keltner playing trombone, Kirk-Evan Billet playing flute, & Sarmad Brody playing keyboard. Its narrators were myself, Dawn Culbertson, Franz Kamin, Sara Epple, Jeanine Farrall, David Yaffe, & Neil Feather. Our texts were in a nonsense (?) language invented by Franz.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

181. "She Turns Alone" & "Unknowing Games at the Hut (Behavioral Drift 10)" (by Franz Kamin)

- Church of Saint Michael & All Angels, Baltimore, us@

- Sunday, November 21, 1993, 7:30PM

- She Turns Alone was another "performance poem" (perhaps). The "Choir" consisted of myself, John Berndt, John Eaton, Leroy Keltner, & Sarmad Brody. We lined the walls spread out on 2 sides of the audience. Franz read while we extrapolated off his text with scored vocal sounds. Jeanine Farrall stood on the stage & performed scored motions as the "Gesturalist". The term "Behavioral Drift" is derived from a side-effect warning on a mood control pill packaging (see also #161). Unknowing Games at the Hut was a sortof perverse subversion of Freudian Psychology & cyclical epics performed in the style of a mental institution talent show or high school play with "20th Century" "performance poetry" as the text-style basis. Every performer played most of the roles at one or more times during the approximately 22 minutes of its duration. There were the old woman/women, the sexy girl(s), the wood chopper(s), the tree(s), the card players, & the angel(s). Sarmad Brody provided a repeating narration throughout. The gist of it was that an old woman lived alone in a hut & fucked a tree, giving birth to a child who grew up to be a wood-chopper & chopped the tree down without knowing it was his father, then leaving for the city to meet a sexy girl who he takes back to the hut only to get himself killed by a vengeful tree, the sexy girl then becomes an old woman at the hut only to repeat the cycle all over again. In the meantime, the 3 card-players each personify 3 archetypes of attitude: the winner, the loser, & the person whose problems are always "somebody else's fault". Each performer changes costume to change roles. The sexy girl costume consisted of a grotesquely stuffed bra, a black wig, & a decorative waist chain; the old woman's was a wig & a shawl, the angels wore sheets & yellow wigs. The wigs were made from mops. The tree was represented by a person standing in "crucified" position in front of some branches on a ladder. The card players wore hats & held big cards. The wood chopper wore a hunting vest & a sortof mining light. Each character had a way of acting. The old woman walked with a shaky stoop & talked with a wavery voice. These ways of acting were cartoon archetypes. Each performer drifted into other characters than the ones whose costumes they wore at times. As such, this was a "true" "Behavioral Drift". There were variations in the cycle which such as having more than one sexy girl & old woman etc.. at the same time. Everyone ends as an angel. The sets & costumes were created by Leroy Keltner, Sarmad Brody & members of the New York crew who had performed this piece's last presentation (Pixie Alexander, Steve Clay, Mitch Highfill, & Peggy Young). The performers were myself, Martha Colburn, Dawn Culbertson, Sara Epple, Jeanine Farrall, John Berndt, John Eaton, & Leroy Keltner. "Back-stage" assistance (performance expiditing) was provided by Peggy Young. Franz directed it.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

182. [Volunteers Collective XVI

- 14 Karat Cabaret, Baltimore, us@

- Friday, December 3, 1993

- Yet another audio improvisation from: Jack Wright (Alto, Tenor, & Soprano Saxes), Neil Feather (NuGuitar, Effects), John Berndt (1 String Stand-Up Zither with Spring & Bridges, Electronics, Stephanie Palmer Apologetica, Soprano Sax, & Guitar), myself (DX27S Synthesizer, K1m Synthesizer, Mirage 8 bit Sampler, Multi-Verb Processor, Small Instruments, Voice), & John Eaton (Alto Sax & Mouthpiece, Stage). Further visuals were provided by my "Color Bars" video.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

183. "Theatre Piece" & "Radio Music" (by John Cage)

- 14 Karat Cabaret, Baltimore, us@

- February 11 or 12, 1994

- Theatre Piece (to quote from the previous performance's program notes):

"(1960), generated by Cage using the same set of transparent overlays that gave rise to the electronic work Fontana Mix (1958), is for eight performers. Each performer is asked to make a deck of cards containing nouns or verbs, one to a card. One then undergoes a card-dealing process, specified by Cage, which creates a unique part from one's own set of 18 pages containing time lines and numbers (the numbers indicate choices of actions during the dealing process and modifications of those actions).

The performer, meant to appear as her-or-himself, prepares a thirty-minute part withour consulting the other performers. Rehearsals, as Cage says in the instructions, are for avoiding dangerous collisions. A committed performer in Theatre Piece acts almost as composer, and will spend as much time creating and learning to execute a part as a performer in a more traditional piece of music. (The word more is used in the sense that Theatre Piece , now 33 years old, was a seminal work in a whole generation of performance art which has itself gained the status of tradition in the experimental atmosphere of the late 20th century.)"

The result, in this case, was fairly intricate. An interweaving of actions conceived of independently by each performer. To describe it all would take a long time & severely tax my memory of it at the moment. Alas, no vaudeo quasi-documentation of this performance exists (thanks to the videographer erasing over it). There is, however, a vaudeo from the performance of it with almost the same cast presented as part of the tribute to John Cage mentioned in #178. The performers were the same except that Neal Woodson performed instead of me. The other difference was that, due to snow, Sara Epple was unable to perform in this presentation. The cast were: myself, Kirk-Evan Billet, Sarmad Brody, Dawn Culbertson, L.J.Schollenberger, John Eaton, & Leroy Keltner. Sarmad & I (at Sarmad's suggestion) resorted to each listening through headphones to our own prepared tapes to tell us precisely when to do what.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

190. The Official..TV Audience..Medium Band

- Blau-Milch Kanal/Kaffee Sendeschluß, TV Hospital - X94: junge kunst + kultur, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany

- April 17, 1994

- In preparation for " Das Offizielle, 21 Mai 1994 Era Vulgari Hypothetisches Tagediebetage Mittel-Band/Landesjugendorchester" I had scheduled the 1st public appearance of the Berlin "Official" Project to be a "Blau-Milch Kanal" audience-participation event for a Saturday night. The audience was to have the option to call in & give instructions to specific band members. At this point the band had one additional member, an accordion player named Eric, who dropped out before the May 21st "show" (for the rest of the personnel see entry #191). I think we were scheduled to start around 22:00 (10:00PM). The band arrived almost uniformly rip-roaring drunk around 21:30. There was a big party happening in the Akademie that night that I hadn't anticipated & the "Kaffee Sendeschluß" was unusually packed. The band members were none-too-confident of their abilities to perform the material & were dismayed to see this crowd. Yvonne was particularly drunk & was in a reckless mood because her boyfriend had "broken up" with her that day. She was angry because she had wanted to be the one that broke up with him & felt "one-upped". Since I was lusting for Yvonne, I humored her request that we wait to play until later after a friend of hers was scheduled to perform so that she wouldn't miss it. At 1st, this wasn't supposed to be any later than midnight. We didn't finally start until 1:30. In the meantime, Florian, usually a pretty sober guy, was also pretty drunk (although he sobered up as the night progressed). He decided to "drive away" the unwanted audience by playing very loud & redundant "italo-disco chords" that he knew I hated while he & Björn played a very loud boat horn (or some such) of the sort used to warn other boats of one's presence in fog. This went on for hours while I tagged after Yvonne's pussy - largely ignoring what was happening with the band. I figured that in their condition most of them wouldn't be able to play worth shit so I wasn't in any hurry to start either. In the meantime, the "Blau-Milch Kontroll" staff (Ügzel, Nicola, Kerstin, & Herr Studios) had been very helpful & were waiting patiently to assist with the "show" - which they knew that I'd been eagerly rehearsing for. But, they were getting increasingly annoyed with Florian's "obnoxious" behaviour. The waitresses kept going to Florian & begging him to stop because they couldn't stand working in those conditions. Stiletto was furious because he felt that my friends were ruining one of the only nights when we had a chance to seduce a large studio audience. Since I had encouraged Florian to drive away the audience & since I was more preoccupied with my sex drive, I was fairly amused by the whole ridiculousness of the situation. The Kontroll staff left in disgust before we even played. A few extraordinary people actually stayed & danced when we finally did play! One of them, whose name I never did learn, gave a fantastic late night performance there within the next couple of weeks. Very few people called in to participate - I think we'd driven away the tv audience too. It was a mess.

 

191. Klauhütte Bangzeit 2000's "Excavated Jewels of Ersatz Exoticism"

- The Zap Club, Brighton, UK

- Wednesday, May 11, 1994, 6PM to Thursday, May 12, 1994, dawn

- "The Impacted Nectarine Vexations of QUITE VILLAGE - Bauhütte Klangzeit - Tableaux of Ersatz Exoticism. Mouldy Reincarnations of the Delerious Pleasures of Orchid Rot" read the poster for the 1st of these "ersatz exotica" events which took place in Toronto. This project was masterminded by Gordon W. (see #s 48, 49, 81 & 82), Laura Kikauka, & Gordon Monahan (see #183). The language used was largely purloined from the late, lamented Jack Smith. In the spirit of Erik Satie's "musique d'ameublement" ("furniture music") piano piece "Vexations" (meant to be played 840 times back to back) as filtered through the "Exotica" "background music" that was popular in the US around the time of the declaration of Hawaii as the 50th state (largely as fuel for island "paradise" fantasies that most US citizens were too poor to realize), Bauhütte Klangzeit played 3 "classics" of "Ersatz Exotica" in marathon concerts. These 3 songs are: "Quiet Village" (by Les Baxter - with lyrics later added by Don Ho), "Taboo" (music credited to Margarita Lecuona with english lyric by S.K.Russell), & "Caravan" (by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, & Juan Tizol). The name "Bauhütte Klangzeit 2000" ("Build-A-Hut Sound-Time 2000"?) was lifted verbatim from a festival/conference that Gordon Monahan had participated in. By the time of this manifestation (the 3rd or 4th) the name had permutated to "Klauhütte Bangzeit 2000" ("Steal-A-Hut Anxiety-Time 2000"?). This appearance involved an international crew of people from Toronto, Berlin, England, Baltimore (me), &, perhaps, other countries as well. The extravaganza was slated to be part of the annual Brighton Festival & one of their brochures described it thusly:

"International performance group KBZ 2000 present a dusk to dawn collision of kitsch and the Avante Garde. Look out for plastic palm trees, Mai-Tai cocktails, dancers, films, 3D projections, and a dawn ritual on the beach."

Unfortunately, the venue, the "Zap Club" didn't seem to have the slightest interest in what we were doing. For a group in excess of 15 people we had no budget & there was no advertising at the club. Our accomodations were on air mattresses on the floor of one of the organizer's homes accessible to town mainly by a train that some of us couldn't even afford to take. Given that many of us were broke (such as me), our presence there was characterized by our begging for a few pounds a day to buy "chips" with. The group was too large to get free drinks (which the bar might've been too stingy to provide anyway). On the night of the show, there was only one sound man for the whole night - which meant that he set the levels & then went about his other business. The sound was abysmally garbled. The audience was small & dissatisfaction was rampant. Since I've written about this event elsewhere & since the München event (#192) was a far better example of the KBZ potential, I'll refrain from further description.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

192. Das Offizielle, 21 Mai 1994 Era Vulgari Hypothetisches Tagediebetage Mittel-Band/Landesjugendorchester

- Milchhof, Berlin, Germany

- May 21, 1994

- This manifestation of the "Official" project involved the very generous sacrifice of unpaid time by 2 friends, a very temporary girlfriend, & 2 friends of my 2 friends who hadn't previously known me. The combination of the language barrier (although all involved spoke English) & the unfamiliarness of playing this type of material made this quite a challenge. The only significant new addition of material was provided by the "sabotaging-sex-partner-who-refused-to-learn-the-material-& (hence) -mainly-pretended-to-play-it". My thanks to her for this innovation. The personnel were: myself (DX27S Synthesizer, Mirage 8 bit Sampler/Sequencer, & Tone Generators), Brad Hwang (Alto Sax), Yvonne Harder ([pretend] Stand-Up Acoustic Bass [the Bass was "real" - Yvonne's playing of it was largely simulated] & Voice), Florian Cramer (Alto Sax, Small Keyboard, Flute), Björn Balcke (Guitar), Dr. Meyrink (Trumpet). The evening started with a few of my videos projected. During the projection of "Les Promenades Hysteriques", the band came on stage & started playing the "Atavistic Electronics". The drone pitches were provided by Gordon Monahan's generously loaned sound generator built for his "Speaker Swinging". We played until my 220 to 110 transformer started to cut off my power supply. During this breakdown, Yvonne (an excellent multi-linguist {as is Florian}) provided a German explanation of our audience participatory section. The session ended on another "Atavistic Electronics" sequeing into my "Bob Cobbing (fish-eye transfer)" being projected.

- The movie from this is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/VQELYKRVHF0

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

193. Klauhütte Bangzeit 200's "Exotische Ausgrabung - The Impacted Nectarine Vexations of Mouldy Vinyl Reincarnations (A Tableau of Ersatz Exoticism"

- Marstall, München, Germany

- May 27, 1994, 6PM to May 28, 1994, 8AM

- KBZ 2000 became KBZ 200 for this. All of the intended elements of Ersatz Exoticism were present. Robin Lybecher (from Denmark by way of Berlin) & Bastiaan Maris (from the Netherlands by way of Berlin) made a large metal tiki head with flaming eyes & a "volcano" for the large wok to sit on that Gordon W. would cook his fabulous Thai noodles on as part of the event. Both of these were outside at the entrance. The music there was provided by Plastikville Studios' 8-track cartridge release of the 3 Ersatz Exotica standards. This 8-track was ceremonially hot-glued into the player by Laura Kikauka on stage during the evening as a traditional favorite. Laura effervesced in frequent costume changes. Further outside sound was provided by a primitive "fire organ" made for the event & primarily played by Bastiaan. Inside, there was a bar in the foyer & one in the square theatre space where the majority of the action was. They served Mai-Tais & other drinks. DJ Sir Spinner Fine Vinyl (from Toronto) had painted an island scene backdrop behind his DJ stand & another large tiki head placed at the back of the main stage. This stage was copiously lavished with props from the theatre's props department. Fortunately for us, the head of this department hadn't been there the day we raided it or we would never have been able to accomplish such OVERKILL without his resistance. Egnekn (from NYC) made lamination rituals available in order to make documents from the event more OFFICIAL. He has since published a 7 inch record with one side from this event. This record presents the sound of Larry Seven fixing Egnekn's laminator while John Henry Nyenhuis plays piano in the background. Fabio & Larry Seven (from NYC) presented 2 stereo slide shows on a special screen especially for this purpose & showed other film projections. The stereo slides were provided both by Fabio & Larry & by Herr Stiletto Studios (from Berlin). MEDIAMORPH (Hans Otto Richter from Berlin) set up a "blue box" so that people could be keyed into Exotica videos that he provided. The resultant mix was projected. Edi Tschiesche (from Berlin) undertook the Herculean task of trying to vaudeo it all. There was even an "EXCAVATED JEWELS OF ERSATZ EXOTICISM OFFICIAL CONTROL FREAK SCHEDULE" that was meant to help prevent some of the messes that happened in Brighton. The following is an [almost] complete quote:

"20:00 FLAMING TIKI GOD CEREMONY outside Marstall. Repeated performances of Tabu, Caravan, and Quiet Village in Vexations format begins in Marstall and environs, to continue until at least 8 am the next morning. An anthology of Opaque Music Record Jackets slide show begins in the Les Baxter Corner. Mediamorph blue box projections with DJ Sir Spinner Fine Vinyl.

21:00 Opaque lounge organ versions with Gordon Monahan. Screening of holiday movies and travelogue films begins.

21:30 Excavations continue.. Official lamination rituals by egenekn.. Food preparations begin by VEB Om Taka Taka at Volcano Wok.

22:15 tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: Official orchestrations.

22:30 John Henry Nyenhuis "13 finger" pyrotechnic piano solos.

23:00 Stereoscopy of pointless imagery..

23:15 Eric Mango & the Nectarines: shameless desecrations before the temple of Exotic Trilogy.

24:00 The Nectarine Impactions of Forbidden Spice Islands at Volcano Wok featuring Coconut Bra injections of Taboo Sauce. Gordon W. and Laura Kikauka perform final food preparation rituals.

0:45 Anton Webern encounters Webley Edwards beneath the tattoo-tented scapular.

1:00 Pädagogische Ausgrabungen der Exotischen Theoretischen Zusammenpressung: Lecture illustrated with opaque projections and mouldy vinyl references.

1:20 Geezer whistling, Nose flute, and ocarina vacillations.

1:25 Eric Mango travels the deep blue space as the Nectarines continue their taboo caravan across the desert of artcrust.

2:00 Re-enter the 3rd dimension with Plastikville Stereonauts Larry 7 & Jim Sharpe.

2:15 The rudderless caravan collapses into the Village of Vextacy. With special guests Hacke, Wolf, & Zastrow.

..

3:45 Grand orchestral impactions by the entire retinue of KBZ acolytes.

4:33 4'33" (Very Quiet Village)

etc.."

The personnel for the stage presence were usually broken up into various smaller groups with specific performance approaches. These people were: Rob Johnston (Toronto): MC, Stage Director, Keyboards, & Vocals; Laura Kikauka (CacaNada/NYC/Berlin): Geezer Whistling; Bastiaan Maris: Keyboards, Ocarina, & Schalmei (?); Eric Dolphy Mingus (aka: Eric Mango) (New York by way of London): Main Vocals, Percussion; Gordon Monahan (CacaNada/NYC/Berlin): Main Organ, Synthesizer/Sampler, MC, Lecturer, Theorist; John Henry Nyenhuis (Toronto): Main Pianist, Other Keyboards; Bee Plotye (NYC): Main Percussionist; Larry 7: Hawaiian Guitar; tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (Baltimore by way of Berlin): Sound Thinker, Synthesizers/Sampler/Sequencer, Vocal, Percussion; Gordon W (Toronto): Tablas, Lecturer; Roland Wolf (Berlin): Hawaiian Guitar, Piano, Organ, Percussion; Maria Zastrow (Berlin): Bass.

Klauhütte Bangzeit 200's performance of "Boota" @ the Marstall Theater in München in 1994 w/ my lyrics & singing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19_pe-nT9u0

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

194. [duet with Neil Feather

- the Normill, Durham, CacaNada

- September 2, 1994

- A stop on Neil's motorcycle tour. My new, improved playing (DX27S Synthesizer, 2 K1m Synthesizers, Mirage 8 bit Sampler/Sequencer, 2 4-Channel Mixers, Multi-Verb Processor) + Neil's motorcyle portable rig (NuGuitar, Portable Vibulum, Effects) & Small Nondo. The audience seating was partially church pews which had been sawn in half so that the inclined at an angle (since there was no vertical support at one end). Two audience members (Norman White & Dan) provided spirited accompaniment by lifting & dropping the Pews.]

An edited version of the entire event including both Neil's solo set & our duet was shot by Laura O. White & then edited & titled by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE on December 24, 2016. It can be witnessed on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here:

https://youtu.be/HP5Gmmu97Jc

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

195. Broken Mood Elevator Uzak

- 50 Wabash Ave (formerly known as the "Monastery" - see #s 168 & 169), Toronto, CacaNada

- Saturday, December 3, 1994, 11:30PM to Sunday, December 4, 1994, 4:30AM

- Sitting in an unobtrusive place on the 2nd floor of this 2 story building, I played 3 Synthesizers, 1 Sampler/Sequencer, an Effects Unit, & a CD player. I also presented vaudeo simultaneously - with the sound-tracks occasionally added to the mix. The visuals were fed to one tv on each floor & the sound was fed to stereo PA speakers on each floor. The vaudeos/videos used were the same as those described in entry #160 + "F.R.E.D. S. L.I.S.B.E.R.G.E.R." (a 2 hour long macro shot tour through my Baltimore warehouse) & a compilation vaudeo of some of my more complex & recent movies. In the beginning, I played CDs by Martin Denny & Esquival - subtly mutating them with my effects unit & gradually eclipsing them more & more with my own material. The only vaudeo device that I was using was a crude switcher that enabled me to change back & forth between the outputs from 2 VCRs. This switching was often done in sync with the rhythms in order to make the content of the visuals seem more coordinated with the sound than it would have seemed otherwise. Given that the space is primarily known for its "speak-easy" (or "speak") dance & lounge music "after-hours" parties, people's expectations were predictably geared in those directions. As such, I had people drearily asking me for "dance music". Arguments broke out between people over what I was playing. Despite the fact that one girl was standing there & watching me play the keyboard, she asked me whether what I was playing was "Kraftwerk" & seemed unable to comprehend that I wasn't a DJ - even after I explained that I was playing my own original material "live" in front of her. Considering that this was my most complex solo UNCERT presented yet, the almost complete lack of audience comprehension/appreciation was, once again, discouraging. My thanks to those who were supportive.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

still from live projection for January 12, 1995 Orgone Cinema event

196. A Triple "S" Variety Show straight from the bowels of the Turquoise, Beige, & Flesh Room at the Funny Farm

- the Silver Eye, Pittsburgh, us@

- Thursday, January 12, 1995

- The 1st of 2 presentations sponsored by Orgone Cinema. My hosts made a fabulous letter-set poster & a bumper sticker & I made a multi-page hand-out that included my Movieography & Mike Film. This was a concrete mixing so-called whatever in which I manipulated a video mixer into which 2 VCRs were fed & played 3 Synthesizers, 1 Sampler/Sequencer, & an Effects Unit. The vaudeo tapes used were the same as for "Broken Mood Elevator Uzak" minus the compilation. The video mixer enabled me to combine the images in more sophisticated ways than those ordinarily available to me. The vaudeos were projected.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

198. [Improvisation @ WRCT

- WRCT, 88.3FM, Radio Carnegie Tech, Pittsburgh, us@

- Thursday, May 4th, 1995, 11:00PMish to Friday, May 5th, 1995, 3:00AMish

- 2 audio improvisations catalyzed/produced/recorded/mixed/edited by Ed Um-Bucholtz broadcast live & recorded to be [probably never] remixed & [probably never] submitted to the cassette publication entitled "Chocolate Monk" in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sharyn Lee Frederick: Bass, Vocals, Bass Clarinet, Tom; Michael Johnsen: Bass Clarinet, 3 String Guitar, amplified Water, Sine Wave Generator, Ho Shim Guitar; Giuglia Loli: Electric Violin, Alesis Drum Machine; Dave W(Ho)le Shim: Guitar, Effects, Sine Wave Generator, Johnsen 3 String Guitar; tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: "Usic - -1" test pressing (its public premier), Electric Violin, Bass. During the 2nd (last) set Edwin Houghton played Records/Turntable & Patrick Meagher briefly played Tom.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

199. [Free Form Irritainment with Fabio Esq.

- WFMU, 91.1FM, East Orange, us@

- Sunday, August 13th, 1995, 9:00 to 11:00PM

- A radio presentation beginning with fake station IDs interspersed with static & other radio station signals. Fabio suggested feasible call letters & I created simple slogans for them. These were:

WMMM - MMM Good!

WTTR - Come TITTER with Us!

WESO - 'Cause we so COOOOL..

WPLA - YOUR Platform.

WNIM - Nimble Radio for Nimble Minds.

WCVX - Civilian Vertical Exchange.

WFAS - Radio in the Fast Lane

WFOO - The Only Station Dedicated to Food

WFUL - For a Wonderful Listening Experience

WBLA - Blah, Blah, Blah

Fabio & I pre-recorded my intoning of these IDs while he mixed in other radio signals. This deliberately somewhat confusing beginning was followed by a playing of my "tENTATIVELY Microtonal" K7 + excerpts from the "Official Wafer Face Record" & my "Usic - -1 = a Plethora of No Longer Neglected Audio/Conceptual Obstacle Courses" LP (used to mark the quarter hours). I plugged my upcoming film/vaudeo presentation at Segue in NYC & Russ Forster of "8-Track Mind" magazine plugged his film so wrong they're right & discussed other 8-track related matters.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

200. a sO-cALLED wHATEVER

- Music Gallery, Toronto, CacaNada

- Friday, September 8th, 1995, 8:00PM

- This was divided into 4 parts:

1st, the "Total Mobile Home Suitcase" (named after the micro-cinema run by Rebecca Barten & David Sherman in San Francisco that the suitcase was semi-inspired by) was placed on the lap of each audience member & opened. With each opening a different short audio piece was heard & the suitcase was then closed. When the suitcase reached a friend that I hadn't seen for 8 years (Alan Lord), it greeted him with "Hey, Baby". Another audience member pulled out a pouch of tobacco & pointed to it when the suitcase played a coughing sound for him. The 2nd part consisted of Colin Hinz & myself playing the double groove sides of "Usic minus the square root of -1". Colin played on a turntable that he'd made that has a wider variety of speeds than normal. Colin dropped fishplates on the record while playing it - just as he had during 1 part of the same record (on which he's represented remaking the "Official Wafer Face Record"). The 3rd part began with a straight presentation of my film "Diszey Spots" & was followed by my film "Funny Farm Summit Meeting". This latter is a film of a nudist mask party at the Funny Farm - a 19 room farm house in Ontario covered from floor to ceiling with kitsch & novelty items (etc..) collected, created, & organized thematically by the humorous "mastermind" of Laura Kikauka. This was where I'd been residing for the previous year. The film's sound-track was accompanied by John Henry Nyenhuis's playing grand piano whilst naked wearing the same mask that he was shown wearing in the film (whilst also playing piano) & by myself playing synthesizers & sampler while also naked & wearing the same mask as in the film.

The 4th part was the fabulous world premier of my "A Year & a Day at the Funny Farm Bogus Piano Concerto - in 2 Rapid Bowel Movements". This involved John Henry playing keyboard while I played synthesizer modules, sampler, sequencer, midi-patcher, multi-verb, etc.. The relationship between our 2 parts was a sort of intricate mutual subversion in which John played with an almost super-human virtuosity & I mutated & immersed his pianistic linearity. The structure was such that John Henry began by playing furiously (in the "Left Wing Movement") & gradually slowed down. He began the 2nd, & last movement (the "Chicken Wing Movement"), playing minimally but triggering more notes than he touched. As this last movement progressed he gradually returned to furious playing but his pitch output was drastically reduced by my controlling. As such, the audience was presented with a variety of relationships between what his fingers were actually doing & what they actually heard as a result. Simultaneously with this was the projection of an extreme slow-motion film of mine (collaboratively made with the loveable Orgone Cinema folks) entitled "How Orgone Cinema Treats Its Visiting Filmmakers". This film, at 24fps, is only 5:40 long - but in this projection it was extended to 45:00 by having the projectionist play bits of it in both forward & reverse. The film features, amongst other things, fertilized duck eggs being thrown at the back of my head.

footage from the suitcase portion of this is here: https://youtu.be/ShRgYeTSK40?t=1h11m58s

footage from the Usic LPs portion of this is here: https://youtu.be/ShRgYeTSK40?t=1h17m39s

footage from the Funny Farm Summit Meeting portion of this is here: https://youtu.be/ShRgYeTSK40?t=1h21m33s

footage from the Bogus Piano Concerto portion of this is here: https://youtu.be/ShRgYeTSK40?t=1h35m17s

- complete on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/kjkDZsaWhkk

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

201. [with CCMC

- Music Gallery, Toronto, CacaNada

- Tuesday, September 12th, 1995, 9:00PM

- To quote from the advertising, "Beginning the twentieth season of collectively created, freely formed music, the core members, MICHAEL SNOW (piano, synth), JOHN OSWALD (sax), [&] PAUL DUTTON (soundsinging) [..] are true "sonic swashbucklers"". CCMC play regularly at the Music Gallery on Tuesdays for free & encourage the fertilization of such new-comers as myself. I played synthesizers, sampler, sequencer, etc.. at a barely audible volume - sampling them live without pre-warning &, thusly, confusing their perception a bit.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

202. A So-Called Whatever

- S.U.N.Y.-U.B., Buffalo, us@

- Monday, November 6th, 1995, 7:45PM

- An almost archetypal mad scientist didaction. 6 movies were presented, all projected: meaning both 16mm & VHS. During the 2nd, "Bob Cobbing", this extremely "conceptually vandalized" film of an early morning TV teacher from by-gone years had its sound-track further augmented by my playing various sequenced samples & by my reading from my essay entitled "& the Deadbeat Goes On & On & On..". One of the sample sequences was of the Institute's Chairdog of the Department of Mascottage Industries (Rupert) barking & yowling. Rupert was in the audience in the hope that he would bark & yowl along with the recording of himself. Due, perhaps, to the processing on his bark & the general complexity of the mix, he only barked as a sign that he had to shit. The reading from the essay involved having each paragraph pitch-shifted. The general audio mix made my "anti-propaganda" more or less unintelligible as "propaganda" for "anti-propaganda". During the 5th movie, "You Haven't Heard the Record, You Haven't Read the Book, Now! Don't See the Movie!" there was also mixed in "Concrete Mixing Usical Material for S.U.N.Y.-U.B." - a vaudeo made by mixing a retrospective of excerpts from most of my movies + the quasi-document from my "A Triple "S" Variety Show straight from the bowels of the Turquoise, Beige, & Flesh Room at the Funny Farm" (#195). This meta-mix was made by Richard Wicka while I wandered around providing some commentary with a radio-mike. The final, 6th, movie/section, "The Department of Maybe presents: Problem-Solving Demonstration", was a variation on the game "20 Questions" - made collaboratively with Julia Dzwonkoski. In this vaudeo Julia asks me an unlimited amount of questions in an attempt to discover which word I'm thinking of. I'm off-camera & limited to only yes or no answers - most of which are inappropriate due to the lack of qualifying. In this presentation the audience was encouraged to also ask questions & was told that if they could correctly guess the answer, the presentation would end when they did. The answer was guessed substantially in advance of the end of the vaudeo & I lay down on the stage to signify this ending to the projectionist to stop the screening.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

203. "High Evil"

- A building on Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, November 2nd, 1996, 9:30 to10:30PM

- I was invited by Ed Um-Bucholtz to participate in a Rave / Halloween Party / Whatever called "High Evil" that was organized by tcrps-Bass Culture. One of the advertisements for it was a fluorescent orange sticker with the following text:

HIGH EVIL!!

They killed S.P. Dinsmoor and Jeff McKissack, they killed James Hampton, they want to destroy the Garden of Eden, the Orange Show, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millenium General Assembly! Where There Is No Vision The People Perish! Join us to expand the earth's field intelligence, expose their hidden hand! All Hallow's Eve, Dia de los Muertos show the gate; join us the second day of November to explode the locks! Come save the world! 456-BASS

I loved the advertising but, alas, I didn't have any fun at the actual event. Providing improvised sound were Sharyn Lee Frederick: child's violin, measuring cups, voice; Michael Johnsen: saw, amplified oboe, baritone sax; Greg Pierce: records, intercom, guitar, alto sax, dictaphone; & Dave W(Ho)le Shim: 4 track cassettes. I contributed projected video mixing. This was an experiment in combining vaudeos of mine ("My Life Flashing Before You" & "Something That Dissolves The Shadow Of Something That Was Next To Something That Combusted Twice. Once") with live drawing using a "VideoPainter". This latter device is a toy with a touch-sensitive screen that sends out a video signal. It can be drawn or written on & has various ready-made images targetted at a young user - such as pictures of a robot, a car, a dragon, a fairy, etc.. I scribbled on it, drew faces with parts made out of the ready-made images, wrote the words "Deeper & Deeper" when a recording of a hypnotist's spiel played (mixed in with sexual penetration footage), mixed the video with VideoPainter ready-made landscape images, etc.. There were various technical problems (such as my inability to get the preview monitor to work properly & the video projection cutting off my view of some of the necessary VideoPainter controls) & this was probably the WORST "performance" I've ever presented.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

205. "Interspatiality"

- Wats: On? - The Jill Watson Festival of the Arts - The Great Hall in the Center for the Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, us@

- Wednesday, March 12th, 1997, 8:30 to 9:10PM

- Jill Watson was an architect & a teacher at CMU who died in a plane crash. She was noted for having coined the word "Interspatiality" about which she is credited as having said "The identity of a space is constructed from a reading of the other spaces represented within it." This festival was created in her honor. Michael Pestel, a flutist & installation maker (amongst other things) conceived of creating a musical performance for Wats: On? that combined the idea of Interspatiality & a reference to a house that Watson had redesigned sometimes known as the Kentucky "X" House (it's on a street named Kentucky in Pittsburgh). Michael procured the floor plans to this house - 1 of the most distinctive aspects of which was the dividing of the rectangular interior by an "X". In order to use the design as a score, I proposed that the players be arranged in an "X" pattern & that they each be assigned a vocabulary of sounds corresponding to sounds that might occur in the house near their corresponding position on the "X" - a different vocabulary for each of the 4 floors of the house. My preference was to have an outline of the house be taped on the floor of the Great Hall with the "X" taped in its correct floor-plan position with the players situated on it somewhat like appliances. The idea was to then have a group of people wander thru this "X" house "simulation" & turn the players on & off by proximity - as if they were lights or TVs or whatever.. Instead of this latter, Michael chose to be the conductor by starting & stopping the players with a cue from various flutes. The Bass Flute cued the basement sounds, the Alto Flute cued the 1st floor sounds, the Concert Flute cued the 2nd floor sounds, & the Piccolo cued the attic sounds. The Great Hall is a huge "T" shaped space with the "top" of the "T" being very long with a balcony overlooking each end. Speakers were placed in each balcony & at the bottom of the "T". All of the players were miked & their sounds were sent to these speakers under the control of Ed-Um Bucholtz (with assistance from Dave Shim). The players were: Michael Johnsen: contrabass clarinet, saw(s), soprano sax, miscellaneous; Hyla Willis: violin, miscellaneous; Rachel Matthews: fog horn, violin, bowed cymbal, household appliances; Anne Wolf: sewing machine, cereal; tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: DX27S synthesizer, Mirage sampler; Kevin Shea: percussion, tapes; Brandy Auld: percussion (such as ripping cardboard boxes); Mark Tierney: tenor & alto saxes; Greg Pierce: bugle, banjo, washing machine tub, miscellaneous. These "X" players were flanked by "the percussion section": 2 people on each of the long sides of the "X" playing small amplified chalk-boards by writing on them. These were students from Michael Pestel's "Sound Art" class: Jennifer Pratt, Audra Deemer, Laura Steinmaus, & Antoinette Ford. On 1 side were 2 guys scratching away at drafting tables. 1 of them was named John Ferry & the other's name is unknown to me.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

207. ["Prima Vista" (by Mauricio Kagel)

- LatinAmeriMIX!can

The Welker Room at Chatham College, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, April 4th, 1997, 8:40 to 9PM

- This work for "slide pictures and undefined sound sources" from 1962/64 requires that 2 groups of players respond to slides (all or part of a set of 25) that give graphic notation basically hinting at approximate duration, pitch, & volume. Some of these slides also give instructions about when to turn tape recorders on & off. Each group controls the projection of the slides for the other group. Dave (Ho Chan) Shim, Ed-Um Bucholtz, Michael Johnsen, & I made 6 recordings of performances of this & picked the last 1 to use as our sound source for the presentation at Chatham. Dave made additional slides that were like blurred blue blotch versions of the score slides. In the Chatham presentation these were projected superimposed with the score slides. For the recording, I played trombone, voice, whistles, tuning fork, duck call, harmonica, & bells; Dave played sine-wave generator; Ed-Um played french horn; & Michael played baritone & tenor saws.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

208. [Lost in Translation

- LatinAmeriMIX!can

The Welker Room at Chatham College, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, April 5th, 1997, 9:45 to 10:40PM

- I selected 57 books about Latin America or by Latin Americans by 24 authors. The blurbs from these were then translated, using a computer, into Spanish & back into English & back into Spanish. Translation problems were deliberately exaggerated. The authors & countries represented were: Allende, Isabel (Chilé); Argueta, Manlio (El Salvador - exiled); Arlt, Robert (Argentina); de Assis, Machado (Brazil); Asturias, Miguel Angel (Guatemala); Azuela, Mariano (Mexico); Bastos, Augusto Roa (Paraguay - exiled); Borges, Jorge Luis (with Adolfo Bioy-Casares) (Argentina); Brandão, Ignácio de Loyola (Brazil); Burroughs, William S. (United States of America); Carpentier, Alejo (Cuba); Caufield, Catherine (United States of America); Cortázar, Julio (Argentina); Donoso, José (Chile); Fuentes, Carlos (Mexico); Ibargüengoitia, Jorge (Mexico); Infante, G. Cabrera (Cuba); Koster, R. M. (United States of America; Panama); Llosa, Mario Vargas (Peru); Márquez, Gabriel Garcia (Columbia; Mexico); Queiroz, Rachel de (Brazil); Sánchez, Luis Rafael (Puerto Rico); Souza, Márcio (Brazil); Traven, B. (Germany; Mexico). The resultant texts were edited in various ways & a recording of them was made. This recording was mixed with a highly edited combination of excerpts or entire pieces culled from the following:

"Pan in A Minor" from the Steel Bands of Trinidad and Tobago CD

by an uncredited Steel Band

"We Can Make It" (1988) from the Roots, Rock, Soca CD by Black Stalin (Trinidad)

"Mr. Walker (calypso)" from the West Indies - An Island Carnival CD

- performed by an unnamed Cocoa-lute Duet in Grenada (the Cocoa-lute being a mouth-bow)

"Seven Skeletons Found in the Yard" from the Calypso Breakaway 1927-1941 CD

- performed by Lord Executor (Trinidad?)

"Oígame Juanita" from the

In Praise of Oxalá and Other Gods - Black Music of South America LP

- performed by an unnamed group in Ecuador

(using a leaf (hoja) as a melody instrument)

"No. 5 Tiempo de Son" from "Two Ritmicas" (1930)

from the Concert Percussion for Orchestra LP

- composed by Amadeo Roldán (Cuba)

- performed by The Manhattan Percussion Ensemble, Paul Price conducting

"La Cucaracha" from the La Cucaracha "Songs of the Mexican Revolution" LP

- performed by Cuco Sanchez and Dueto America (Mexico)

"Tanguedia III" from the Tango: Zero Hour / Nuevo Tango: Hora Zero LP

- composed by Astor Piazzolla

& performed by Astor Piazzolla and the New Tango Quintet (Argentina)

"Mary Ann" from the Steel Drums LP

- performed by The Native Steel Drum Band (Trinidad?)

"Yawar" from the Legend of the Jivaro LP

- composed by Moises Vivanco & performed by Yma Sumac (Peru?)

"Nago Rhythms" from the Voodoo Ceremony in Haiti LP

"Cantata para América Mágica" (1960) from the LP probably of the same name

- composed by Alberto Ginastera (Argentina)

& performed by The Los Angeles Percussion Ensemble

Flaco Jiménez performing a song in the movie "Chulas Fronteras" (Tex-Mex)

"Sweet Trinidad" from the Discover America LP

- composer unknown to me (presumed to be Trinidadian)

- performed by Van Dyke Parks (USA)

"Soria Moria" (1968) from the New Music from South America for Chamber Music LP

- composed by Gerardo Gandini (Argentina)

"Divertimento III" (1967) from the New Music from South America for Chamber Music LP

- composed by Cesar Bolaños (Perú)

"Tropicale" (1968) from the New Music from South America for Chamber Music LP

- composed by Marlos Nobre (Brazil)

"Sonogramas" (1963) from the New Music from South America for Chamber Music LP

- composed by Oscar Bazän (Argentina)

"Diptico I" (1969) from the New Music from South America for Chamber Music LP

- composed by Manuel Enriquez (Mexico)

"Penetrations II" (1969) from the New Music from South America for Chamber Music LP

- composed by Alcides Lanza (Argentina)

(the preceding 6 selections performed by The New Sound Composers/Performers Group

- conducted by Alcides Lanza)

All of the La Region del Mesterio cassette

- composed & performed by Antonio Zepeda (Mexico):

"When It was Still Dark"

"Undulating Serpents of Water"

"Must I Leave the Beautiful Flowers"

"The Dust of Nothingness"

"Yesterday is not Today and Today will not be Tomorrow"

"Flowers of the Wind"

"Voices from Xibalbá"

"Obsidian Butterfly"

"The Sad Iguana and the Lord of Time"

The resultant tape had 13 parts. A part of the text for the 11th part is presented as an example of the fruits of the generative process below:

"In A by day of Life-@@escrito Low Countries to summarize part couple of the batch of this rare @ @ @@masterwork @ @ @@trivializes it. The book @ @ @@swirls, coils, joint would be bombed in the mind rewarded the ++Nobel of Premium insane visions of Perfect Order on their/its/your/his magisterial stylist-@@parejo in the translation to deride frequently noisy is the modernism-@@o the part than what jealously pursues in a way pure theories in the Cloud-Cuckoo-Earth and the rare deep revelations and the funny so it is the low crumbling of India tribes or the misery of the mislaid @ @ @@transmigrant who the blow in it carefully and @+be pike special @ @ @@mindscape, beyond the space and linear thought that contain thirty-two of party cases (the tapers, as them say) screwing an martyred Gloom president in a new way, powerful and new but not new-@ + fang was ++Canudos-hogar to all the damned of the land as manned itself and somehow easier to understand: the strange death purpose, the furious activity that swells up around the prosperity and then disappears as well as suddenly as wine jumps to the life in bullfight in an old lover with an immediate resumption and the passports absurdity, rises in a powerful sea-@ @ @@fantasia and end as an ++MOBY ++DICK of the @ @ @@stokehold.... Exchequer of the Mother Saw party that it has attracted many Indian from neighboring arrangements been about to begun, the death marched silently in the ++Wobblies or philosophical anarchism to enjoy these histories only."

This tape was played live in stereo while Ben Opie played clarinet & alto sax, Ravish Momin played percussion, & I played computer. Each part had different instructions for which we prepared in various ways. Ben learned various Latin American anthems which he played in part 10. Ravish & Ben both moved around the space during part 10, etc, etc.. The room had so much reverb that all the details became almost completely Lost in Translation as a result - the final joke was on me..]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

209. Sound Lecture - Part 2

- Michael Pestel's "Sound Art" class - Chatham College, Pittsburgh, us@

- Tuesday, April 8th, 1997, 7 to 10:20PM

- As with the previous week's lecture, this was ostensibly being presented in collaboration with Ed-Um Bucholtz. I write "ostensibly" because, with Ed, one's never sure whether he'll even bother to show up. Sure enough, after I'd spent 3 hours setting up a slide projector, a 16mm projector, a VCR, a TV, 2 turntable/tape-players, 3 synthesizers, a sampler/sequencer, an effects unit, a midi-patcher, 2 powered speakers, a podium, a light, a microphone, a guitar amp, etc, it was time for class to start & Ed hadn't arrived. I began with playing the sneezing loop & the tolling bell loop from my Usic minus the square root of -1 record simultaneously on the 2 turntables. By about 7:20 Ed came in & dumped a pile of books & tapes out on a table. He asked me to go ahead & do something while he organized his material. It had been our intention to perform John Cage's "Radio Music" but Ed informed me that "he wasn't prepared" so we nixed that. I presented a slide lecture introducing my vocabulary & talking about the concept of "Sound Thinking" - playing a relevant cassette tape during 1 part. At some point, I read the 1st 2 pages of my "Low Classical Usic" essay while the beginning of my "Bogus Piano Concerto" tape played. Ed still wasn't ready, so I passed around the 11 record set of Harry Bertoia "Sonambient" LPs that I'd just received that day & began playing 1 of them. Ed finally declared himself "ready" & told me that he'd talk for 20 minutes about his "Radio for the People" project, after which I was to give an electronics demo. Then he was to talk for another 20 minutes about his "Telecorps" project & I was to finish with a reading of my "& the Deadbeat Goes On & On & On.." essay with my voice being systematically pitch-shifted while a vaudeo & film version of my "Bob Cobbing" was to screen. Ed started his 20 minute Chatham Chat at 7:45. By 9:15 he was still talking. I informed him that it was 9:15 expecting him to say something like "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know I was talking for so long!" Instead, the response was something along the lines of "Oh, ok, I'll finish soon.." - in the meantime taking the equipment I'd set up & my services as his sound-man completely for granted. By 9:30 he showed no sign of stopping. I told him it was 9:30 & he said something about still having more to say. When he then asked me to do something with the sound for him I said something like "Do it yourself! I'm not your fucking sound-man you know.." This seemed to perplex him. What could I possibly be irritated about? As he came over to adjust the sound, I said "You're such an asshole!" Ever oblivious, he said "Why am I an asshole?" I pointed out that I didn't spend 3 hours setting up equipment so that he could stroll in late & take it over & use up all the available time so that I couldn't even present my part of the night. He finally shut up & I finished my presentation to the 2 students that were left (out of the original millions that were in the stadium).

[October 17, 2010 note: Ed has since gone on to be one of the best music event organizers in Pittsburgh, amongst other things - SO, don't get the wrong idea: if he's still like what I describe above I haven't seen any evidence of it for a long time]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

210. ["Prima Vista" (by Mauricio Kagel)

- Industrial Arts Co-Op Benefit - IAC Garage at the Brew House, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, May 3rd, 1997, 8:40 to 9PM

- See entry 206 for an introductory description of this. Unlike the previous presentation, this involved both manipulated playback of previous rehearsal tapes + some live playing of instruments (mostly those used in those rehearsals). Dave (Ho Chan) Shim made fresh tapes from the previously used ones of Ed-Um Bucholtz & Michael Johnsen by processing them electronically & then manipulated these live. Michael Johnsen alternated between playing Dave's & my rehearsal tapes. Ed-Um played french horn & I vocalized & played whistles, bulb horn(s), harmonica, slide whistle, bells, etc.. As with the preceding presentation, in the recordings used, I played trombone, voice, harmonica, whistles, tuning fork, duck call, & bells; Dave played sine-wave generator; Ed-Um played french horn; & Michael played baritone & tenor saws.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

211. Premier(s) of "The "Official" John Lennon's Erection As Blocking Our View Homage & Cheese Sandwich"

- Orpheum Theater, Baltimore, us@

- Friday & Saturday, May 9th & 10th, 1997, Midnight to 1:30AM

- These premiers involved the rear-screen projection of the above-mentioned film with Neil Feather sitting on & playing his relatively new instrument: the MeloCycle - with his NuGuitar & a Vibulum (etc..) to the audience screen left & myself to the audience screen right. The MeloCycle is a former exercycle (that still functions as such) that's become a string instrument. During the 'slowest' part of the film, I proclaimed my "Upping the Anti-School of Fucked-Up & Away" essay which partially explains the extremely fucked-up conditions under which the film was made. Both Neil & I are in the film so our presence in front of the screen was extending our screen presence more into the audience space.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

218. Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis

- XXXPanzio A Neoizmus?! Anti-Esemény / XXXPanzio In the Name of Neoism?! Anti-Event - Migazzi tér / Migazzi Square, Vác, Hungary

- Friday, July 4th, 1997, 4:15PM

- I made a recording of me playing a large variety of fairly portable instruments: whistles, bells, trumpet, trombone, thunder-sheet, wood-blocks, temple-blocks, chain, large balloon, small xylophone, crow call, etc.. Each of the instruments was played somewhat minimally. Another recording was made of instructions about how to mime playing these instruments in sync with the playback of the 1st tape. Using my Player-Belt (see #212), I played the tape of the instrument sounds on 1 tape-player & amplified it through the 2 speakers. On the other tape-player, I played the instructions & followed them while listening to them via headphones. The result was that I mimed the playing of instruments whose sounds were audible. Given that the sound-produced apparatus was strapped around my waist & given that my actions were attention-grabbing, it wasn't always obvious where the sound originated from. Unfortunately, the 2 tape-players were never quite in sync for any of the presentations of this so my miming was sometimes ahead of the sounds & sometimes behind. Simultaneous with this, Gordon W. was pasting a "Monty Cantsin" sign onto a nearby equestrian statue. Gordon & etta cetera & I later wandered around Vác pasting up the signs wherever we felt like identifying Monty Cantsin.

- a rehearsal for this can be witnessed on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/SoundThinkingIIIMime

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

220. Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis

- XXXPanzio A Neoizmus?! Anti-Esemény / XXXPanzio In the Name of Neoism?! Anti-Event - Madách Imre Müvelódési Központ / Culture Center, Vác, Hungary

- Friday, July 4th, 1997, 6:35PM

- See entry #217. This was presented in the exhibit space - the exhibit consisting mainly of just things that were from a Kantor Home - left as a legacy.

- a rehearsal for this can be witnessed on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/SoundThinkingIIIMime

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

222. [Neoist Machine Group's "Unseen"

- XXXPanzio A Neoizmus?! Anti-Esemény / XXXPanzio In the Name of Neoism?! Anti-Event - Görög Templom Kiállítóterem / Greek Church Showroom, Vác, Hungary

- Friday, July 4th, 1997, 8PM

- This former church had as its public space 1 large room that had recessed areas that had been covered over by new white walls. It also had a balcony cluttered with the remnants of a Baroque organ & other things that overlooked the main room. BruSeX, Brian Damage, & I decided that we would position ourselves in places where we couldn't be seen & that we'd be playing when the audience entered at 8:00. I found a large metal bowl, a manual lawn-mower, & a short metal pole with a rubber end on it. These 1st 2 objects were for percussion & the last was for a striker. Brian & BruSeX hid in the balcony various found percussion objects & I hid behind 1 of the walls in the main room in a cobwebbed recess. Since the new walls didn't go all the way to the floor (which is what enabled me to enter the recess) I spent much of my time standing on the bottom frame of the wall so that my feet couldn't be seen. Since the frame was very small, I had to hold on with 1 hand while I struck things with the other. I wedged the metal bowl between the old wall & the new 1 & banged on the bowl & the new wall. I was also wearing the Player Belt (see entries # 212, 215, 216, 217, 219) so I faded in & out various tapes of mine. BruSeX & Brian played scrap percussion & we all vocalized in what I like to think of as "lonely animal style". etta cetera & Gordon W. danced the tango in the main room in an attempt to get the audience to realize that they didn't 'have to' sit quietly around the edges of the room. People laughed when it was over & I pushed the lawnmower out from under wall.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

227. Triple-S Variety 'Show'

- XXXPanzio A Neoizmus?! Anti-Esemény / XXXPanzio In the Name of Neoism?! Anti-Event - Madách Imre Müvelódési Központ / Culture Center, Vác, Hungary

- Saturday, July 5th, 1997, 11:30PM

- I've put a fair amount of effort into my Synthesizer/Sampler/Sequencer Usic (the 3 "s"s of "Triple-S") during the last few years but, because of the unpopularity of what I play & the difficulty of transporting all my equipment, I haven't played publically very often. See entries # 188-190 for the previous "Triple-S" examples. On the stage in the sizeable theater in the culture center I had my film "Bob Cobbing" projected while I played 2 Kawai K1 modules & a Mirage Sampler/Sequencer - controlled by a borrowed keyboard that seemed to send out incomplete MIDI signals. Despite the technical problems, I was unbelievably interesting & was overwhelmed by the praise that was(n't) heaped on me when I finished.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

228. with Phÿcus

- XXXPanzio A Neoizmus?! Anti-Esemény / XXXPanzio In the Name of Neoism?! Anti-Event - Madách Imre Müvelódési Központ / Culture Center, Vác, Hungary

- Sunday, July 6th, 1997, 2:30AM

- "The Apocalypse Starts Here" is the name of a Musicus Phÿcus Newsletter, "Brainmower" is the name of 1 of their CDs, the lyrics of their song "Destroy the Earth" are:

Rip up the trees Dump these toxins

Burn everything Destroy the earth

Poison the oceans Strangle the air

Recycle death Destroy the earth

Crumble the mountains Accelerate decay

Wrack life Destroy the earth

Burgeon disease Submerge the cities

Raze awareness Destroy the earth

A modest proposal Destroy the earth

We can begin again Better than ever

Better than ever Better than ever

It's always too late It's always too late

Destroy the earth Destroy the earth

Nicer guys would be harder to find. As such, when they invited me to be Phÿcus member #50 & to play percussion & stage presence with them in Hungary, I couldn't resist (no matter how HARD I tried). The stage at the Culture Center had a large curtain about mid-depth back. While Brian Damage & BruSeX (MacLean) whipped out hits like "Grandmaster Phÿcus" I ran around behind them pulling & billowing the curtains vigorously. Using a coat rack, I pummeled a hub-cap (or some such) into well-'nigh flatness. BruSeX played effected feedback guitar & sang, Brian played Moog synthesizer & sang, backing tapes played, Monty Cantsin joined us for a moving rendition. With great flair, I broke a bottle. Rattling the rusty chain. Holding the expensive mike entirely too close to the chaos of smashing scrap metal, the screen gets knocked off. Move over.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

229. Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis

- XXXPanzio A Neoizmus?! Anti-Esemény / XXXPanzio In the Name of Neoism?! Anti-Event

- Pokol sziget / Hell's Island (a derelict former communist youth camp), Vác, Hungary

- Sunday, July 6th, 1997, afternoon

- See entry #217. I don't think the actual name of the island was "Hell's Island" but there was a restaurant on it called something like "Hell's Restaurant" - hence the name. This was basically a picnic with soup being served from a big cauldron & with bread. Many of us were reminded of Jonestown as we sat around the barracks-type buildings eating. A Society for Creative Anachronisms (or some such) invaded us in 'barbarian clothes' & hung Monty Cantsin from a tree at one point. The joking similarity to Jonestown led to #238.

- a rehearsal for this can be witnessed on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/SoundThinkingIIIMime

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

230. [Végezz A Normálissággal, Mielött Az Végez Veled! / Kill Normality Before It Kills You! Záró Mise / Closing Mass(acre) - Group Uncert - XXXPanzio A Neoizmus?! Anti-Esemény / XXXPanzio In the Name of Neoism?! Anti-Event

- Madách Imre Müvelódési Központ / Culture Center, Vác, Hungary

- Sunday, July 6th, 1997, night

- This "Closing Mass(acre)" was meant to be our sortof 'supergroup' presentation in which many participants of the XXXPanzio would combine to present a final uncert. It didn't quite work that way since Brian Damage slept through it & BruSeX & Angela Idealism preferred to spend this time in a dorm room together. As such, the group consisted of Dóra Attilla playing wind instrument(s) (soprano sax?), Amen! playing multi-looping device & keyboard, Augie (whose name I've probably misspelled here) singing, myself playing Mirage sampler/sequencer module, & Tadeusz Varon Less & Ioana Georgescu (Ghera) playing scrap metal percussion. These latter 2 were joined by 2 or 3 audience members - including a fellow named Aster (as he said, "The star, not the flower."). Due to difficulties with the differences between US electricity & Hungarian electricity (ie: the 220 to 110 transformation) my Mirage ceased to work about halfway through, after Tadeusz accidentally disconnected the power, & I retired for the evening.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

232. Player-Belt Girdle Monster

- Neoista?! Puccs - Black Black Galéria & environs, (Buda)Pest, Hungary

- Monday, July 7th, 1997, 6PM

- Black Black Galéria is the gallery of Opál Színház (Opal Theater). It's in a complex of basements which was entered by stooping through a sidewalk-level window & walking down a sloping board laying on a sand pile. Large piles of sand were faintly visible off to the left when entering. At the bottom of the piles were 2 rooms. Off to the right off of the 1st room was the closed off entrance to living quarters. Off to the left of the 2nd room, 1 could walk through another awkward entrance down into another room where Amen! had an exhibit. At the end of this room was a cage that blocked entrance to a room beyond. This cage is reputed to've been lived in for 1 month by 1 of the main people of Opál Színház. I stayed mainly in the dim light on the sand piles off to the left when 1 entered - playing tapes with my Player Belt (see entries 212 & 217, etc..). Eventually, etta cetera, Brian Damage, Ghera & I ventured forth into the gypsy neighborhood - with the Player Belt playing my tapes all the while. Back in front of Black Black, the neighborhood people had gathered out of curiousity. My tape started playing loud steady explosive sounds & I began to walk stiffly with my feet hitting the pavement in sync with the sounds holding my arms out like the stereotypical zombie/monster. etta probably took something from me (like my flaming steam iron necklace) & I started pursuing her through the thick of the crowd. Children started laughing & pretending to be terrified & running frantically to get out of my way.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

233. Uncert with Dóra Attila

- Neoista?! Puccs Tilos Rádio Party - Orczy Kert / Orczy Park Hall, (Buda)Pest, Hungary

- Tuesday, July 8th, 1997, night

- Dóra Attila's a Hungarian improvising wind player. On the main stage of a huge auditorium that had 3 large scaffolds as alternative stages we played a set. I had a video-projection of some of my "Concrete Mixing Vaudeo #2" (a fast encapsulation of many of my movies) showing both on the partially lowered corrugated metal garage-type door at the front of the stage & onto the back wall behind the stage. Under these conditions, the images were barely decipherable & the video became more of a light show. Attila played soprano sax, Turkish clarinet, & trombone with a reed mouthpiece. I took my zipper pants off & wore them as a shirt. During a sortof 'film noir jazzy' part made from CCMC samples, I sang in a sortof 'childish' 'Betty Boop" type voice something like this: "Hewwo, everybody. I'm Monty Cantsin & I'm going to sing a wery, wery, wery special song. It's for you, & you, & you , & YOU! & it goes something like this: doopie-doo, doodie-woo-be-doopie-doobie-doo-doo. Thank you." Due to electrical problems, my equipment started going haywire. As such, my sampler/sequencer, midi-patcher, & effects unit were all disabled. I was only using 2 K1 module synthesizers erratically controlled by a borrowed keyboard & tapes. It was swell.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

234. Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis -> "Blood & Gold", etc..

- Neoista?! Puccs - Ady-Szobor / Ady Statue, (Buda)Pest, Hungary

- Wednesday, July 9th, 1997, 6PM

- See entry #217. It had been planned for Neoists to assemble at the Ady Statue so that Amen! & others could sing the Monty Cantsin song "Blood & Gold" that's based on an Ady poem. etta cetera, Jada D'Aversa, & I had arrived earlier than anyone else, so I presented this "Mimesis" thing again. We attracted a small crowd who seemed to enjoy it (or, at least, enjoy being perplexed by it). As the other Neoists arrived, Amen! gave a speech in Hungarian (probably to promote the Neoista?! Puccs Tilos Rádio Party) & we broke out the flaming steam irons. BruSeX, Brian Damage, Amen!, Gordon W., & I sang the Neoist Anthem "Catastronics". Amen! was boosted onto the Ady Statue's base where he sung "Blood & Gold" & more flaming steam irons abounded. Gordon W. pricked his finger & put blood on a forint (Hungarian money) that has Ady's picture on it (the 500 forint note?). This was borrowed from me. I was reimbursed after Amen! bought the note from Gordon for 1,000 forint.

- a rehearsal for this can be witnessed on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/SoundThinkingIIIMime

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

236. with Phÿcus

- Neoista?! Puccs Tilos Rádio Party - Orczy Kert / Orczy Park Hall, (Buda)Pest, Hungary

- Wednesday, July 9th, 1997, Midnight

- See entry #227. Once again on the main stage. I'd asked for 20 pairs of drum sticks, a floor tom, & a snare drum. The time came & the 2 drums were there but there were no drumsticks. I attempted to communicate this to the Hungarian speaking soundman & he eventually understood & gave me 1 drumstick. I was later told that the Tilos Rádio people bought 20 pairs for me, put them on the stage, & had them stolen. This forced me to develop my virtuoso 1 stick drumming technique & to last-minute resort to whatever else was on stage as sticks & percussion material. For sticks, at 1 point, I used long reeds (as in like bamboo but much flimsier). These produced the 'spectacle' of me playing the drums from 6 feet away. At another point I took a long wooden bench (perhaps 8 feet or more long) & held it on its side to bang the stage with. Since this was quite heavy, that didn't last long. I dumped out a box of hinge pins & such-like & pranced around on them - kicking them about with my steel-toed boots. Phÿcus had provided me with a few of the pieces of scrap-metal that had survived our Vác gig. 1 of these had a hole in the middle which enabled me to repeatedly lift it up with a broom handle & repeatedly drop it dramatically on the floor.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

238. Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis

- Tolerancia '97 fesztivál és tábor - Neoista?! Zajpiknik és Monty Cantsin? Kiképzôtábor / Tolerance (?) Festival & Camp - Neoist?! Noise Picnic and Monty Cantsin? Training Camp - Neoist Airport, Vekeri Tó / Lake Vekeri, Debrecen, Hungary

- Saturday, July 12th, 1997, afternoon

- See entry #217. This was presented to a rather bored looking small group who walked away before I was finished.

- a rehearsal for this can be witnessed on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/SoundThinkingIIIMime

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

239. Seemingly Meaningful 'Heavy' Images Duly Enlarged to Silly Neoast?! Clichés

- Tolerancia '97 fesztivál és tábor - Neoista?! Zajpiknik és Monty Cantsin? Kiképzôtábor / Tolerance (?) Festival & Camp - Neoist?! Noise Picnic and Monty Cantsin? Training Camp - Cantsintown (Neoist Scrapyard -> Neoist Airport -> Neoist Graveyard), Vekeri Tó / Lake Vekeri, Debrecen, Hungary

- Saturday, July 12th, 1997, early evening

- Istvan Kantor (Amen!)'s father had just died recently & Amen! was in the midst of dealing with the inheritance. He piled some of his father's books in the Scrapyard (see the explanation in entry #236) & surrounded them with a circle of scrapmetal: sheet-metal, large cans, etc.. Various neoists were around this conglomeration: Jubal Brown, Jada D'Aversa, Tadeusz Varon Less (?), Brian Damage, Amen!, Gordon W., Bruce MacLean, myself, members of Opál Színház (?), Kantor Akos (?), etc (?).. The Monty Cantsin / Endre Ady "Blood & Gold" song was sung, flaming bread hats were worn, flaming steam-irons were held aloft, the books were burned, the scrap-metal was furiously banged about, etc.. We moved to the Neoist Airport (only a hundred feet or so away & Jubal gave a speech (in English) to preface Jubal & Jada's smashing of a tv set. The tube exploded & the set was thoroughly crunched. It was then explained in Hungarian that we were all going to commit suicide & that members of the audience were welcome to join us. I crushed some small pretzels to produce a powder implied to be some sort of poison & dropped it into a Pepsi can which had a little beer in it. With solemn face, I drank it as if committing suicide & fell rigid back into Gordon's arms while drooling out some soy sauce I'd been holding in my cheeks. I'd dug a grave earlier that day which had a frame in it to support a door for closing off the top. Gordon & Amen! (& others?) carried me to the final resting place & placed me in it. The door was closed to seal it & dirt was shovelled on top. I started playing tapes with my Player Belt from inside the grave while the other Neoists (& a few audience members) pretended to commit suicide & died around the burial site. Amen! collapsed on top of the grave & Angela Idealism informed the audience (in English) that this was sponsored by Pepsi & told them that if they wanted to become famous they should fuck Monty Cantsin's corpse. An excited Hungarian destined for greatness proceeded to hump the dead Monty. Then Angela straddled his face & gyrated her bearded clam to the call of nature. I pushed on the door & eventually forced my way out of the grave & held the grave-digger's shovel in triumph over my head. The end.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

240. with Phÿcus

- Tolerancia '97 fesztivál és tábor - Neoista?! Zajpiknik és Monty Cantsin? Kiképzôtábor / Tolerance (?) Festival & Camp - Neoist?! Noise Picnic and Monty Cantsin? Training Camp

- Main stage, Vekeri Tó / Lake Vekeri, Debrecen, Hungary

- Saturday, July 12th, 1997, 11:40PM

- See entries # 227 & 235. Apparently, Amen!, with the help of Voith András, had talked the organizers of this (predominantly) rock fest into slotting an hour-long Neoist presentation into a prime-time night slot. As typically happens with such things, the Neoist slot started later than scheduled. Opál Színház performed 1st, then Amen!'s conglomerate of free-form lewdness. By the time Phÿcus was to go on the sound-men & other festival people were upset because they felt it was time for the last band of the night (apparently a well known Hungarian band called "VHK"). As Phÿcus was getting on stage, 1 of the festival guys came up to me & said "You've already played too long!" This didn't bode good - we hadn't played yet & we'd already played too long. A drummer from VHK loaned me a set of brand new drumsticks & Phÿcus went ahead & played anyway. Jubal Brown joined in as another scrap-metal player. He & I each had large metal cans & a few other odds & ends like a metal urinal & some sheet metal. Jubal & I stood side by side & banged out our beats (& dissemblances of beats). A highlight for me was when I lay on my back balancing 1 of the large cans on my knees (moving it around all the while) while Jubal beat on it. As always, it was fun to be an almost rock star while the audience looked on perplexed & the stage guys tried to get us off. At the end, I tried to give the VHK guy's drum sticks back to him with my thanks. He told me I could keep them. I couldn't tell if he was giving them to me because he was impressed with what I managed to eke out from the junk or if he was disgusted because I'd played the inside of a urinal with them.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

242. Party-Teen auf der Couch Nr. 2 & Sir Henry präsentieren ein Unzert (unzertifiziertes Konzert)

- Nightly Irritainment im Schmaltzwald, Prater, Berlin, Germany

- Saturday, July 26th, 1997, 11:15PM to Sunday, July 26th, 1997, 3AM

- After seeing a film entitled "Scream" & noting that 1 of the otherwise unnamed characters was identified in the credits as something like "party teen on couch", I was inspired by this typical movie credit practice of identifying unnamed extras with descriptions. Hence, I took on the new name of "Party Teen on Couch #2" - which Florian Cramer was kind enough to translate into German for me. John Henry Nyenhuis, with whom I've collaborated as part of Klauhütte Bangzeit 200(0) (see entries #190 & 192) & independently from that group (see entry #199), was living in Berlin as the organist (now named "Sir Henry") for the Schmaltzwald & he & I decided to present an uncert together. The "Schmaltzwald", for those of you who don't understand German, is a pun based on "Schwarzwald" (Black Forest). "Schmaltzwald" meaning something like "Grease Forest" - with "Schmaltz" having the double meaning of overly sentimental (or some such) - especially as related to popular music/culture (just as "Grease" in the US might refer to 1950's popular culture). Florian translated "Uncert" to "Unzert" to make a pun combining "unzertifiziertes" (uncertified) with "konzert" - approximating the original English portmanteau word combining "uncertainty" (or "Uncertainty Principle") with "concert". I presented vaudeos & films & played electric piano, sampler/sequencer, 2 synthesizers, 4 mixers, midi-patcher, effects, tapes, & radio. Sir Henry played organ. We played 4 approximately half-hour sets & I presented 16mm films in between them: "How Orgone Cinema Treats Its Visiting Filmmakers", "Funny Farm Summit Meeting" (particularly appropriate since the Schmaltzwald is largely the creation of Laura Kikauka - who also created the Funny Farm), & "Subtitles (16mm version)". John Henry was very upset about a fax that he'd received from 1 of the Schmaltzwald's personnel in which he was basically accused of being a traitor. The organ that he was playing belonged to the sender of the fax. During the 4th & final set, in a display of great emotion as response to this fax (& the events that had led up to it), John played the organ with VOLCANIC INTENSITY - eventually overturning the organ & kicking its backside. The audience loved it - reminding me of how popular smashing instruments is in rock'n'roll. This led to my renaming him "Sir Henry the Organ Slayer".

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

243. Volunteers Collective @ Ringing Rocks State Park

- Anonymous Family Reunion, Ringing Rocks State Park near Pottstown, us@

- Saturday, August 30th, 1997, 1 to 3PM

- The Anonymous Family Reunion was advertised to thousands of people via snail-mail, the internet, & at least 1 magazine for a year in advance with the basic concept explained by this text:

"ANONYMOUS FAMILY REUNION

I think of everyone who's ever chosen to be "anonymous" as being part of the same "family". Whether people have been "anonymous" because of sex role oppression, possibility of criminal prosecution, rejection of egoism, mysteriousness, obscurity, sense of humor, or WHATEVER, we have our "anonymity" in common - & I think it's time we met.

Therefore, I propose a "Family Reunion" for the summer of 1997 to be at a location & time collectively decided on. Special accomodations can be made for those desiring secrecy. Please contact "anonymous" at:

[redacted]

A project from the fine old family of "anonymous" stimulating billions throughout the ages.

Haven't you always wanted to meet me?"

This opening action consisted of playing the rocks (see #141 for a description of a previous event at another Ringing Rocks park) with hammers, rocks, sticks, etc; as well as vibraphone, child's violin, thunder sheet, ratchet, whistles, bells, & tapes brought especially for this purpose & played via the Player Belt (see #s 212, 215, 216, 217, 219, 221, 228, 230, 231, & 233). Participants included Anonymous (Baltimore), Anonymous (Baltimore), Anonymous (Pittsburgh), Anonymous (New Jersey), & Anonymous (Bally).

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

244. Volunteers Collective @ Sonambient Theater

- Anonymous Family Reunion, Sonambient® Theater, Bally, us@

- Saturday, August 30th, 1997, evening

- Harry Bertoia created sound sculptures in the 1960s which are now housed in the Sonambient® Theater near Bally, Pannsylvania. This is a barn near the house where Val Bertoia, Harry's son, lives. Thanks to Val's open-mindedness, we received permission to play these sculptures & to camp on the land as part of the Anonymous Family Reunion. The sculptures consist basically of 2 types: metal rods & gongs. The rods are mostly clustered together in evenly spaced groups sprouting from bases like grass. There are 2 couples of rods hanging from the ceiling which can spin & strike each other. The clusters are played in various ways which generally involve the rods setting off a chain reaction so that all within the cluster are sounded. Within these clusters, the rods are closely pitched. The rod groups vary in size from a few inches tall to perhaps 20 feet tall (in the case of an outside sculpture). Sometimes the rods have heavy cylindrical tops of greater widths than the rods themselves. The gongs are usually hollow with the exception of 2 that have shaped slots cut in them. The largest gong (again outside) is 12 feet in diameter & weighs approximately 1 ton. In addition to these sculptures, there was an electric bass guitar, various small instruments, & 3 synthesizers & a sampler/sequencer. The participants for this session were Anonymous (Pittsburgh), Anonymous (Pittsburgh), Anonymous (Baltimore), Anonymous (Baltimore), Anonymous (Baltimore), Anonymous (WFMU - the East Orange New Jersey free form radio station), Anonymous (WFMU), Anonymous (Bally), & Anonymous (Philadelphia).

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

245. Mother Made in America (Momma Mia) (by Val Bertoia)

- Anonymous Family Reunion, Sonambient® Theater, Bally, us@

- Sunday, August 31st, 1997, afternoon

- In trade for the use of the Bertoia sound sculptures, the participants in the Anonymous Family Reunion agreed to help with the presentation by providing sounds suggested by Val. A portion of the script is as follows:

""Godmen" speaking of Nature to "Godwomen".

As I approached this planet from the Universe, I asked Nature to reveal Herself naked to me. And She did, and She's beautiful.

(no sounds; then gently increasing female-sound)

[..]

As a man, I asked Nature to show me Her full moon. And She did, it was bright and shining and illuminating my dark ways.

[..]

When I asked Nature to provide me with money, She had none to give. Then I got angry, and started yelling.

(factory sounds)

I asked just for a little money, and She had none. I became furious and began cutting off her tree-hair to make more room for myself. I asked again for Nature to provide me with money; I even prayed! Nature could not do this for me. She sent down lightning, and I heard thunder.

(distant thunder sounds --- hollow gong)"

You get the idea. Anonymous (Pittsburgh) played synthesizers & sampler; Anonymous (Pittsburgh) played electric bass guitar, child's violin, & voice; Anonymous (Chatham) vocalized; Anonymous (Chatham) played small round clay ocarina; & Anonymii (Baltimore, WFMU, WFMU, Allentown, & Philadelphia) played Bertoia sound sculptures while Anonymous (Bally) read the text.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

246. Volunteers Collective @ Sonambient Theater

- Anonymous Family Reunion, Sonambient® Theater, Bally, us@

- Sunday, August 31st, 1997, afternoon

- This last session of interacting with the Bertoia sound sculpture environment had concert flute & accordion added to the instrumentation listed above. The participants were Anonymous (Pittsburgh), Anonymous (Pittsburgh), Anonymous (Baltimore), Anonymous (Baltimore), Anonymous (WFMU - the East Orange New Jersey free form radio station), Anonymous (WFMU), Anonymous (Bally), Anonymous (Philadelphia), Anonymous (Chatham College), Anonymous (Chatham College), Anonymous (Allentown), & Anonymous (New Jersey).

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

 

248. Volunteers Collective @ the Chatham College Swimming Pool

- Chatham College Swimming Pool in the (former) Mellon Mansion, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, October 26th, 1997, 6 to 9PM

- The Volunteers Collective is a project started in '89 (see entries 125 & 127). Beginning in March of '97, I initiated (with the assistance of Michael Pestel) an attempted monthly series of these predominantly improv sessions. These were originally intended to be at Chatham College on the last Sunday of every month. Since most of the Volunteers Collective sets have been mainly conceived of as recording sessions with no audience, they aren't usually listed here. Entries 125, 127, & 181 are 3 of the approximately 37 VCs that I've participated in so far that are included here because they were presented to a public. The tendency of the monthly Pittsburgh VCs (there's also a monthly VC series in Baltimore) has been more & more toward using site specificity as an inspiration catalyst. As such, the April VC was at an outside earthwork on the Chatham campus by Anne Wolf (see 204) entitled "Earth Cradles", the May VC (organized by Michael Johnsen (see entries 197, 202, 204, 205, 206, & 209), Sharyn Frederick, & GRN) was near an imploding building in downtown Pittsburgh, & the June VC was of Sharyn Frederick & Mike Johnsen finishing Sharyn's floor, etc.. As the VCs have tended toward this more experiential basis, I've become more inclined to include them here even if they've had no audience. Hence entries 242, 243, & 245. This particular VC was originally intended to consist 1st of a trip to an area very close to where planes are landing at a major airport & 2nd to be followed by a session in the pool. It was raining heavily this day, & various other problems prevented the airport trip, so we just went to the pool instead. This was a somewhat poorly organized VC & there wasn't as much concentration on exploiting the uniqueness of the audio situation as I would've liked but, nonetheless, it had some funny twists in it. The main personnel were tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: miscellaneous small instruments (such as agogo, bells, whistles, etc..), 2 Indian drums, voice, &, of course, the WATER, etc..; Michael Pestel (see 204): concert flute, a specially made instrument that combines a violin with a slide-whistle which we'll call here the "Vile Air", 2 Indian drums, voice, the WATER, etc..; & Mark Tierney (see 204): tenor (? or alto?) sax, trombone, Bugle, miscellaneous small instruments, the WATER, etc..; with the intitial participation of Ailecia Ruscin (before she had to leave for class): plastic recorder, plastic toy 'clarinet', miscellaneous small instruments, the WATER, etc..; & etta cetera (before she got too water-logged) (see entries 213, 214, 215, 216, 218, 222, 223, 224, 225, 231, 234, & 240): miscellaneous small instruments, the WATER, etc.. This group was augmented by the very energetic near-end arrival of Sharyn Lee Frederick (see entries 197, 202, & 205) who perked things up by skateboarding around, flinging herself in the pool with a full body waterproof suit on, & floating a candle in a metal mixing bowl, etc.. She played a bugle, miscellaneous small instruments, & the WATER, etc.. Even later, Japanese vocalist Mika arrived & sang & played WATER; Colorado musicologist Brenda arrived & played miscellaneous small instruments; & Chatham student Hikari came & played slide whistle &, perhaps, more (?). The lavish underground swimming pool where this occurred (next to a 2 lane bowling alley where some of the action also was) is credited as the 1st in-ground swimming pool in Pittsburgh. It's located in what was formerly the wealthy Mellon family's mansion - which is now part of the Chatham campus. A possible highlight of this VC was when a Pittsburgh's Haunted Sites tour (or some such) came thru (because of the proximity of Halloween) while we were playing - much to the surprise of both the VC participants & to the touring crowd. This gave Mark, Michael Pestel, & myself an unexpected audience of between 20 & 30 - who I assume were thoroughly confused by seeing 3 'grown men' playing instruments in a pool & splashing about madly.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

249. (M)Usic - 1885 to the Present

- Seminar Room, Woodland Art Center, Chatham College, Pittsburgh, us@

- Thursday, November 20th, 1997, 7 to 10:20PM

- This was yet another variation on the mad scientist didaction previously described in entries 205, 208, & 211. I was located in the front of the room behind a podium on a table with various sound equipment on it. Record & Tape-Player/Radio #1 was connected by long wires to 2 speakers in the rear of the room. Record & Tape-Player/Radio #2 played thru 2 speakers in the middle of the room. A tape-player played thru 2 speakers near the front. My mic & a partially broken Hammond monophonic synthesizer were fed thru an effects unit & played stereo thru a bass amp & a guitar amp roughly flanking me. The synthesizer was on the floor by my feet as was a remote switch for changing the effects settings in a prearranged pattern of pitch-shifts within a 2 octave range. The room was generally dark - with the exception of a small lamp on my podium & a flashlight. As people arrived, loops of sneezing from 2 copies of my LP Usic - -1 played on the 2 turntables. These & the other loops on the records were speed-manipulated by vacillating between 33&1/3 & 45rpm. They were spatially manipulated with the balance controls. The Suitcase (see the previously named entries + 199) was put on people's laps & opened to play short synthesizer & sampler/sequencer bits.

I explained that "This presentation is not a complete history of recent "music" or "sound art".." while playing the keyboard with my feet. The droning synthesizer & my voice were panned by the effects unit. Then, the "'Lecture' Proper" began. As before, the pre-recorded lecture played - going over some 'western' (m)usic innovations & playing 1 minute examples. Sound effects gradually entered making the text more & more difficult to understand. I lip-synced the text, spoke over it in & out of sync & played various small instruments: such as whistles, trombone, thunder sheet, crow call, bulb horns, radios (adding to the spatial complexity), etc.. During the speaking section leading up to an excerpt from Johanna M. Beyer's "Music of the Spheres", I played the Hammond with my feet again. After the John Cage "Credo in Us" example, I presented my "Murraygate Busking" vaudeo followed by the "Frothing Catatonic Siamese Twins Volunteers Collective XXVII d composing Mozart Release Party" vaudeo. During this latter, I also played 3 copies of Monty Cantsin's "d composing Mozart" audio tape thru the 3 different tape players so that sound was coming from 7 different speaker sources. This was accompanied by etta cetera (see the plethora of entries relevant to her listed in the preceding entry) & I staggering into the room as frothing catatonic siamese twins (as usual). One woman surprised us both by dipping her finger into the froth on the front of etta's scrubs & tasting it! An intermission gave the attendees some relief & the 2nd half of the "'Lecture' Proper" resumed. During the Sun Ra part of this, I tilted a rain-stick near the ears of everyone in the audience - as Sun Ra had done in concerts of his that I'd attended. The end of this part of the presentation involved a demonstration of Karlheinz Essl's "Lexikon-Sonate online" on the computer. Another intermission happened & I screened my black & white 16mm film entitled "Bob Cobbing" (the conceptually vandalized lecturer one) at silent speed - simultaneous with the vaudeo of John Henry Nyenhuis & myself presenting the "Bogus Piano Concerto" at the Music Gallery in Toronto (see entry 194) - & simultaneously with my reading my "Low Classical Usic" essay while pitch-shifting my voice for every sentence & inflating a beach balloon tucked under my clothes by my belly - both of these latter using foot pedals. At the end of this part (45 minutes long), I gave written copies of the essay to the witnesses. An excerpt from the raw footage of the "Volunteers Collective at the Anonymous Family Reunion" vaudeo was presented & I passed out copies of the cassette tape from the same event as endurance rewards for those remaining. A brief question & answer period followed.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

250. Practicing Promotextuality

- Galerie Lascaux, Pittsburgh, us@

- Monday, December 8th, 1997, 7:35 to 9:15PM

- I didn't really 'name' this until after it happened. It could just as easily be called a Mad Scientist Didaction (or an Uncert, etc..) but I'm happy to use a new pun. This was my 1st use of an audio switcher that I'd built 5 years before but never fixed to my satisfaction. It's designed to take 16 mono inputs (or 8 stereo inputs, etc..) & to produce 16 outputs to speakers. It's housed in a suitcase. Each input has an on/off switch & each output has an on/off switch & a volume control. There are also 16 panning pots so that the outputs can be divided into 8 rights & 8 lefts, etc.. I aimed a slide projector at a white wall & positioned 8 speakers around the area where the attendees would sit to watch the slides. As inputs, I had 2 tape-player/radios & an audio line from a camcorder. etta cetera (see entries 213, 214, 215, 216, 218, 222, 223, 224, 225, 231, 234, 240, 247, & 248) operated the latter, while I operated the rest. I projected the same slides used in my 2 Simultaneous Lectures: "(M)Usic 1885 to the Present" & "140 Slides to a Better Me" (entry 211). I explained the slides & played the radio & 3 tapes. The tapes used were my: "Concrete Mixing Usical Material using my Tapes & Records #4" (originally assembled around '90(?) for use in my "Terrence Dougherty" instrument & involving a large variety of bird & animal sounds + S/F/X + my own material from a fairly long time span), "Don't Mess with Me / Multi-Voice/Purpose" (June '96 synthesizer/sampler/sequencer experiments - both concentrating somewhat on playing primarily with 'live programming'), & "Speech Defect Synthesis Kit" (an anthology of various sampler (primarily) speech synthesis experiments of mine from '94 to '97). While I explained, I would turn the speakers on & off so that the sounds played would move around the space in various ways: in a circle, from front to back, erratically, etc.. etta moved thru the assembled people pointing the camera at them & gregariously speaking only in speech crutches (& the occasional oblique joke). The idea of the line from the camera was that the sound she was to generate & pick up was supposed to be rerouted thru the speakers. This didn't seem to work. The last tape that I played was a speech crutches sequence that etta & I collaborated on - with samples of etta speaking. Since the crutches etta was using included some common to my speech, we functioned as echoes of each other in which the somewhat 'non-semantic' aspects of the language used became emphasized as a deliberate distraction from the more 'informative linearity'. The playing of the speech crutches tape was intended to shift the apparent 'obnoxiousness' of etta's behaviour to a 'climactic' obvious formalness. Whether anyone followed any of this is a different story.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

252. [Volunteers Collective @ Jessica Rustler's Cylinder Gongs @ Chatham College

- Chatham College outside near Woodland Hall, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, February 15, 1998, near sunset

- As with many actions I'm involved with, this wasn't intended for an audience nor was it intended not for an audience. Michael Pestel & I simply played an approximately 40 minute set using this sculpture of 9 hanging gongs made from metal cylinders with their ends cut off while people on campus wandered by & lingered for a few minutes here & there. Michael also played a music stand by bowing it, played a cymbal, & played the gong support. I played the music stand by scraping it with various parts of a pocket knife, & played the cymbal & gong support too. I wore a latex 'hat' that looks like a human head severed below the nose with a pool of blood issuing out from it (the 'brim'). I played an extended cymbal section with the 'severed head' on the cymbal.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

253. Volunteers Collective @ the National Aviary

- Marsh Room, National Aviary, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, February 22, 1998, morning

- Sharyn Lee Frederick, etta cetera, Moya Luckett, Michael Pestel, Jon Skuldt, & I arrived @ the Aviary's Marsh Room an hour or so before it officially opened to interact with the birds there. These latter included one or more of each of the following: Wattled Currasow, Coral Billed Ground Cuckoo (named "Monster"), Greater Flamingo, Red Rumped Cacique, Red Crested Cardinal, Inca Tern, Giant Cowbird, Spackled Mousebird, Blue Eared Glossy Starling, Orange Bishop Weaver, Crested Oropendela, Kiskadee, Buff Throated Sultator, Black Head Woodpecker, Ruddy Duck, Cuban Whistling Duck, Hooded Mergansee, Wood Duck, Bahama Pintail, Rubybill, Argentine Red Shoveler, Hamerkop, Southern Lapwing, Scarlet Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Yellow Crowned Night Heron, Green Backed Heron, Boat Billed Heron, Snowy Egret, Bluegrey Tanager, Painted Bunting, Scaley Naped Pigeon, Red Bellied Macaw. Michael Pestel had been coming to the Aviary regularly to play & record & has selections from these sessions on his Ornithology Shadows CD. Michael played flute, Vile Air (a hybrid violin & slide whistle), & tape player; Sharyn played wood, rubber, ocarina, trombone, voice, greeting card, pie pan, whistles, & corrugated tube; etta played crow call, voice, micro-cassette player, floor (by squeaking her shoes on it), chime tree, siren whistle, & whistling. Jon played a tape player that produces an unintentional by-product drone, corrugated tube, slide whistle, & pie pan; Moya played very quite clarinet & harmonica; & I played voice, trombone, bells, violin, chime tree, Jon's droning tape player, whistles, bird calls, rattle, whistling, & corrugated tube. etta & Sharyn mimiced bird mannerisms & we all attempted to interact with the birds in various, usually sound based, ways. The public wandered thru & occasionally a child would play the chime tree or some bells.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

254. Volunteers Collective "A Year of Sundays" Release Party @ the Chatham College Swimming Pool

- Chatham College Swimming Pool in the (former) Mellon Mansion, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, March 29th, 1998, 8 to 9:30PM

- The Volunteers Collective is a project started in '89 (see entries 125, 127, 181, 242, 243, 245, 247, 250, & 251) that's gone thru various phases since then - the phase most recently preceding this event being 2 monthly series. A series on the1st Tuesday of every month @ the Red Room @ Normal's Store/Performance-Space started in January of 1997 & a series on the last Sunday of every month (in theory) @ various sites in Pennsylvania started in March of 1997. This was the release party for the Widémouth cassette (#18) entitled "A Year of Sundays" from this latter. It was intended to be a climax to the series since I've somewhat decided to not work within the Volunteers Collective context anymore. This decision was made largely to disassociate myself from the Baltimore VC which doesn't seem to have a conceptual orientation along the lines of what I'm currently most interested in. My preference is for what I'm provisionally calling "CircumSubstantial Playing" - meaning playing in which the whole circumstances under which the playing occurs is created/found & concentrated on as the primary stimulus for substance to be improvised out of. Such an approach factors in social & physical elements as being of high importance & isn't necessarily concerned with "music". "Music"-production seeming to be the main point of the Baltimore VC series. I advertised this event with the following e-mail notice:

Sunday, March 29th, 1998, at 8PM, in the Chatham College Swimming Pool located in the lower depths of what was the Mellon Mansion, people who think they might have fun doing such a thing (or something or another) will gather in the pool with street clothes on (no bathing suits PLEASE) to make sound while a smoke machine fogs up the area. I'm asking people to bring metal salad mixing bowls to float with candles in them - to also be used as percussion instruments. It's also suggested that waterproof sound makers be brought. As if that's not enough, the pool lights will be off so at various times & in various combinations the lighting will consist of the candles, a strobe light, & a (hopeful) video projection of (a so-far unedited) edit/compilation of the (presumably) complete Volunteers Collective footage - which is quite alot. This vaudeo will be projected onto the smoke, at least, & (dubiously) onto a screen planted above or in the pool as well - resulting in a perplexity of reflections. I'll probably bring masks to be worn by those not afraid to have their perceptions further confused. This is not advised for people inclined towards DROWNING under oddball sports conditions!

I did manage to complete the vaudeo edit - with sound from 23 sessions & visuals from 19. The selections used were highly fragmented & usually short & structured with substantial black space around the actual shot & separating sections so that they would project onto different parts of the screen, so that they would intrude suddenly, & so that they wouldn't play long enough to completely muddy the reverberant acoustic environment. The screen was made from white nylon Spandex & was approximately 10 feet high by 15 feet wide & was stretched perpendicular to the dividing line between the shallow & deep ends of the pool. Anything projected on it could be seen from both sides clearly. Wanting to have this be a potentially participatory experience for whoever might attend, this wasn't restricted to 'veteran' players to the exclusion of 'amateurs/students'. As such, a mix of the crude & the subtle was to be expected. Given that I started @ precisely 8PM & that most people wandered in after that, entering the room must've been disorienting. The strobe back-lit the screen & the video projection front-lit it. In the foggy dark, it was hard to see where you were walking & there were power cords & other objects around to be careful of. People danced in the strobe & the projection, played in the pool & wandered around the perimeter. There were big plastic water jugs as percussion & flotation devices + kickboards floating in the pool. I'd provided various small instruments, masks, & siamese twin outfits (which weren't used) & etta cetera & I provided 10 squeaky toys usually sold for dogs to play with. These were variously shaped, such as as a human foot, a chicken leg, etc.. Rachel Matthews & Sharyn Lee Frederick brought metal salad mixing bowls to float - one of which had a lit candle in it. Michael Pestel had arranged for the school to provide the fog machine, the Spandex, the strobe, the vaudeo projector, the pool, the VCR, & the sound system. We, unfortunately, had to pay a 'lifeguard' to be there who did next to nothing (including even be there all the time) & who was the only person present to be paid. The darkness & the chaos contributed to what I suspect was a conglomerate of quasi-autistic experiences for the attendees. I spent most of my time doing the lifeguard's job & making sure no-one drowned, tripped over wires, or otherwise hurt themselves, - as well as managing the technical end, etc.. Meanwhile, Carol danced, wearing a tutu, creating shadows - often in what I thought of as a 'dream-like' isolation from others @ the relatively uncluttered perimeter of the deep end. etta cetera slid across the floor on the leg-ends of a black velvet pants suit her mother had given her. I wore my "Hir Suit" (mechanic's coveralls with wigs attached) with a plastic "gorilla" chest bared & a large red sombrero. People wandered in & out - some mainly in there in the dark & possibly never even seeing who else was around them squeaking & screaming & throwing the water jugs at the walls. At least 23 people participated ranging in age from, perhaps, 13 to 46. These included those mentioned above + Ailecia Ruscin + Lowell + Margaret (?) & her son + Greg Pierce + Mark Tierney + Edgar Bucholtz + Terry + Ava Collins + many others whose names I don't know. My main criticisms might be that the live sound didn't always interest me & that the lighting wasn't disorienting enough. Nonetheless, given the dangers of the pool environment, I'm happy that we could push it as far as we did without anyone getting hurt.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

257. S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Approved Sprocket Scientists

- Cinecycle, Toronto, CacaNada

- Tuesday, August 18, 1998, 8:30 to 11PM

- I started off wearing my "Cloud Suit" (sky camouflage with the front covered with square buttons with pictures of clouds on them) + the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. stuffed Killer Whale toy described in 253 + a rubber 'horror' novelty item of a man's head cut off around the mouth with a pool of blood spilling out from its rim which I wore as a hat. During the opening projection of my 16mm film "Bob Cobbing", I read a tailored variation of the S.P.S.M.E.F. text reproduced above (again in 253) - while etta cetera (see most of the entries from 212 on) handed out the text with a picture of me being eaten & shat out again by the Whale under a bridge at Coney Island. After this speech, I removed the Whale. This was followed by the movies "What's Your Fucking Problem You Bloody Gash", "National Cancer Institute Documentary", & "Peterson's Restaurant". After this latter movie, I quizzed the (v)audience about what they got from it (which turned out to be very little). This was followed by "Department of Failures", "The Postman Always Rings the Homunculous of Woody Allen & Hollis Frampton Twice", "Mirthplace of the Republicans", & the 1st 3 "Background Movies for Home Music". Next the "Volunteers Collective" vaudeo made for 252 (& now incorporating footage from 252) was projected simultaneously partially superimposed with a slide show. While this was happening & I talked about the slides, the great violinist David Prentice played -moving a little around the room. The final slide was of one of etta cetera's Story Dresses (dresses & other clothes on which she writes stories) & she came to the front wearing the same outfit & spun her story parasol. The evening ended with "Death Bed Aerobics" (see 254). Interspersed throughout this I played bursts of canned laughter that etta, Jubal Brown (the person who arranged the screening), & I taped.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

258. Urban Myth of the Force That Prevents Building on the Railway Lands

- Railway Lands Central & West, Toronto, CacaNada

- Saturday, August 22, 1998, 9:30PM to 1:30AM

- There's a fairly large area of 'prime real estate' near the Toronto Harbor between Spadina (to the East) & Bathurst (to the West) & Front St (to the North) & the Gardiner Expressway (to the South) that's currently (as of August '98) a fenced-in grassland occupied by 10 or so 'hobos', a slew of insects, some foxes, & some deer, etc.. This area is right next to the Sky Dome (Toronto's sports & concert arena) & the CN Tower (a very tall tourist attraction) & is slated for 'development' by Hong Kong based Terry Hui. Hui is quoted in a business magazine as saying "Our Motivation is just to create some wealth for everyone." This, by building condos (or what have you) to replace the grasslands. Oh Really? Somehow I don't imagine that the people already living in this area are going to get any wealthier by being forced off the land. I always wonder about this type of 'visionary' economic thinking. There is NO WAY that I can think of to "create some wealth for everyone". There is simply a limited amount of wealth to be distributed & in ANY capitalist economic scheme this wealth is taken from the poor & snapped up by the rich. On the other hand, an equalization of the wealth by having the rich GIVE BACK what they've stolen from the poor IS POSSIBLE. This, however, would not be creating "some wealth for everyone". A notice posted at the edge of the grasslands read as follows:

 

CITY OF TORONTO NOTICE

AN APPLICATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE CITY BY GRAND ADEX DEVELOPMENTS FOR AN OFFICIAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND REZONING TO PERMIT A MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT COMPRISING RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL, AND OPEN SPACE USES AT A DENSITY OF 629,655 m2 IN TOTAL GROSS FLOOR AREA AND INCLUDES PROPERTIES IN THE AREAS KNOWN AS THE RAILWAY LANDS CENTRAL AND RAILWAY LANDS WEST.

IF MORE INFORMATION IS REQUIRED CALL: THE CITY OF TORONTO URBAN DEVELOPMENT SERVICE AT 392-7333

I rewrote this sign to read:

CITY OF TORONTO NOTICE

AN APPLICATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE CITY BY A CAUCUS OF THE NO-NO CLASS FOR AN OFFICIAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND UNZONING TO ADVOCATE AN EXPANSION OF THESE GRASSLANDS TO INCREASE THEIR CURRENT DENSITY OF GROSS FLOOR AREA FROM ITS 629,655 m2 SO THAT IT MAY OVERGROW THE CN TOWER, THE SKY DOME AND THE RAILWAY LANDS WASTE IN ORDER TO CREATE A RULING CLASS FREE ZONE.

IF LESS INFORMATION IS REQUIRED CALL: THE CITY OF TORONTO URBAN ENVELOPMENT SERVICE AT 760-3466

 

& pasted (with the assistance of etta cetera & Jubal Brown) the revised sign over the original one. The new phone # was the info line for the "Po-Po: Into the Wasteland" series that this action was part of.

The "Wasteland" events are illegal actions organized by Jubal Brown & AMEN! in which mostly 'abandoned' urban spaces are used for an evening. The previous 4 had been in buildings. Thanks to the EXTREMELY GENEROUS GIFT of Cinecycle operator Martin Heath of a filmstrip camera & a multitude of lenses, etta & I then proceeded to make a filmstrip having the appearance of a history of the area entitled "A History of the Toronto Railway Lands Central & West - Part 3". For this we photographed pictures & such-like in the special collections section of the Toronto Reference Library & the Metro Urban Affairs Library (thanks to the very helpful librarians) + the grasslands & our new sign, etc.. After a shot of the Hui quote mentioned above we had a shot of an ad that read "Now Anyone Can Get A Cellphone" with grafitti under it reading "Even the Homeless?". On the night of the event, I was sitting by the new sign ushering people to under the Spadina bridge where things were to start when police pulled up - ostensibly because of a complaint of people on the railroad tracks. They said they didn't want to break up our party but that they wanted to make sure no-one crossed the tracks. They went under the bridge, where perhaps 80 to 100 people were assembled, & snooped around - eventually finding some explosives of Steven Rife (the fire performer for the evening). After forcing him into a demonstration of what he was going to do, the police (astonishingly enough) left without further interference. This may've been because they were under instructions to not have confrontations with the anarchists in town for the Active Resistance gathering (a similar event to which from 10 years previous had been somewhat violent) which this event was somewhat related to. After they left, I presented the filmstrip - introducing it as a found historical strip for which I didn't have the soundtrack. Throughout the strip, the graphics used in my Pictogrameting action (see 203) were interspersed without explanation next to & on top of the historical illustrations. When asked what they meant, I said I didn't know. As the strip progressed, I gradually made it more obvious that this was no ordinary history by reading the bogus NOTICE aloud & by pointing out the Hui quote & the grafitti. When the filmstrip ended, people thought that my presentation was over & they were led thru the grasslands to the main area where events were to happen. In the meantime, I rushed to put on my player belt (see 212 etc) & to grab the Pictogramet Sign & to put on some taped together plants to use as camouflage. Then I scurried around the perimeter of the people - sometimes showing the sign & sometimes getting close enough for people to hear the tapes. While this was happening, etta cetera mixed with the crowd spreading the rumor that there was an Urban Myth that a force existed in the field that prevented building there. The basic idea was to establish the pictograms as an historical presence thru the filmstrip & to then have the pictograms come alive in the actual space as a peripheral phenomena that never came close enough to be clearly perceived & to tie it all together with the Urban Myth.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

261. Attention-ExSpanDex #1

- Normal's Books & Records, Baltimore, us@

- Saturday, September 26, 1998

- This was the 1st presentation of a cross-country tour which I retrospectively dubbed the "Attention-ExSpanDex Tour" mainly because most of the vaudiences couldn't endure the lengths of the programs. Entries 259-266 are from this tour. All but 264 meet the attention-span-expanding criteria. Most of the presentations involved multiple projections of super-8mm, 16mm, slides, filmstrips, VHS (projected &/or on TVs) + talking & other 'live actions':

How Orgone Cinema Treats Its Visiting Filmmakers

- 5:40 - 16mm & VHS - January '95

Presented simultaneously with a dramatic reading of the generic S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech (see the prototypical speech in 253) whilst wearing the Killer Whale Outfit over the Cloud Suit + the severed head hat (see the description in 255).

Department of Failures - 2:30 - VHS - November 11, '95

Diszey Spots - 11:20 - 16mm & VHS - October-December '93

The Postman Always Rings the Homunculous of Woody Allen & Hollis Frampton Twice

- 8:24 - 35mm filmstrip & audio cassette - July '96

Grounded! - 6:00 - 16mm & VHS - May '95

Peterson's Restaurant - 14:56 - 16mm & VHS - 1st 1/2 of '95

Air Drops - 19:30 - VHS & 35mm filmstrip - September '97 - September '98

This being the rough draft of the quasi-documentation of entries of 246 & 258, a couple leftover paper airplanes from the 2nd Air Drop were flown into the audience at certain points.

Funny Farm Summit Meeting - 14:00 - 16mm & VHS - August '94 - July '95

The Department of Maybe Presents: Problem Solving Demonstration

- 55:00 - VHS - November 4, '95

This was the audience-participatory section which I found to be surprisingly well received. See entry 201 for a previous description.

Death Bed Aerobics - 4:45 - 2 35mm filmstrips & audio tape - July '98

See the description in 254. A difference being that instead of wearing the funeral home softball team t-shirt, I was wearing a plastic chest with glow-in-the-dark bones on it. This 'skeleton' & my right thigh's glow-in-the-dark dust-mite tattoo were charged up with a black-light to be shown to the vaudience as the finalé. "Death Bed Aerobics" was presented everywhere during this tour except at a screening (not listed here) at the San Francisco Art Institute sponsored by the San Francisco Cinematheque.

Thanks to John Berndt for arranging this.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

262. Attention-ExSpanDex #2

- Robert Beck Memorial Cinema / Collective Unconscious, NYC , us@

- Tuesday, September 29, 1998

- Starting off wearing the extremely tattered "Leper-Skin Suit" this was much like any other ExSpan with its interspersing of explanatory patter & various format movies. Reproduced below after the program list are some of vaudience member Bruce Stater's comments. As usual, I began with the dramatic reading of the generic S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech (see the prototypical speech in 253) whilst wearing the Killer Whale Outfit + the severed head hat (see the description in 255).

3 Mile Island - 14:30 - VHS - April '79

- made by the B.O.M.B. collective (Baltimore Oblivion Marching Band)

Paper Dolls in Dava's Class - 2:27 - VHS - '81

Les Promenades Hysteriques - 10:00 - super-8/VHS - '84

- made by Ton Tocock Schisme

Philosopher's Union Member's Mouthpiece: Emma Elizabeth Downing

- 5:50 - PXL/VHS - early '88

National Cancer Institute Documentary - 3:20 - 16mm - '93 - silent

Diszey Spots - 11:20 - 16mm/VHS - Oct-Dec '93

How Orgone Cinema Treats Its Visiting Filmmakers

- 5:40 - 16mm/VHS - Jan-May '95 - in collaboration with Orgone Cinema

Peterson's Restaurant - 14:56 - 16mm/VHS - '95

- in collaboration with Orgone Cinema

Department of Failures - 2:35 - VHS - Nov '95

The Postman Always Rings the Homunculous of Woody Allen & Hollis Frampton Twice

- 8:24 - filmstrip/audio cassette - July '96

Mirthplace of the Republicans - 17:03 - VHS - '95-'96

Background Movies for Home Music: Light Motion - 1:41 - VHS - Dec '97

- in collaboration with Dave Lahn & etta cetera

Volunteers Collective/Slide Show

- approximately 30:00 - VHS/Slides - '82(or earlier)-'98

This was a similar & more 'successful' presentation than what's described in 255 since the video projector didn't malfunction. Of course, David Prentice was also missing. After the "Sound Thinking" slide, I presented Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis - as described in 217 (still simultaneous with the vaudeo) & then returned to my slides description.

Death Bed Aerobics

- 4:45 - 2 filmstrips (side-by-side)/audio cassette - July '98

- in collaboration with etta cetera

The Department of Maybe Presents: Problem Solving Demonstration

- audience determined duration - VHS - '95

- in collaboration with Julia Dzwonkoski of the Get-Out-Stitute

Once again, see 201.

"Either unfortunately or fortunately, depending upon one's disposition toward sound asynchrony, most of tENT's films have separate sound recorded on tape. Last season at MoMA's "Big As Life," "You Haven't Heard the Record..." screened accompanied by tape sound alone; however, at Robert Beck tENT projected a number of the VHS transfers with sound alongside the silent originals. The effect was a double projection of a filmic image either slightly ahead of or slightly trailing a video image with synched sound. tENT commented that one impulse for the double projection was to allow the audience to gage the extent of the film image-sound asynchrony and perhaps to make mental corrections relying of [on] the video. This idea of this function, whether or not one experiences the dual projection in the manner it proposes, clearly relates to tENT's meditation on aspects of James Peterson's cognitive theory of experimental film presented in the work "Peterson's Restaurant"-- which I will discuss more extensively in a separate post. tENT's brief comment on the double projection points to a set of ideas concerning the filmviewer's responsibility in "solving problems," testing pure perception against the background of various types of schemata, actively filling in the missing elements of the implied representation and participating with the work's construction of sense and meaning. But we also agreed that the double projection also adds yet another layer of "semiotic noise", a prominent feature of much of the work and creates an experience of cognitive dissonance on a different level of participation with the work.

"Les Promenades Hysteriques," "Diszey Spots," and "Peterson's Restaurant" were all shown with simultaneous video and film projection and only in the case of the latter (for reasons which will become obvious following a viewing of the film) did tENT attempt to adjust for a closer synch between them. Most of the work was shown singularly on VHS with the exception of "National Cancer Institute Documentary" a 16mm work made by adding sprocket holes to a strip of microfilm designed to pass through a viewer horizontally rather than vertically as in 16mm reel projection."

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

263. Attention-ExSpanDex #3

- Chicago Underground Film Festival / Viaduct, Chicago, USA us@

- Thursday, October 1, 1998

See the other Attention-ExSpanDex entries. This was probably the low point of the tour in terms of audience response. The crew was very dedicated & helpful but I didn't get the impression people got much out of the presentation. Chalk up another bad time in Chicago (128 was a nightmare of hostility, stupidity, & mismanagement). As before, I began with the dramatic reading of the generic S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech (see the prototypical speech in 253) whilst wearing the Killer Whale Outfit + the severed head hat (see the description in 255).

Subtitles - 12:30 - 16mm & VHS - '80-'92

Balling Tim Ore is Best - 16:00 - super-8mm & audio cassette - '85

- a collaboration between Tim Ore & Dick Hertz

Philosopher's Union Member's Mouthpiece: Emma Elizabeth Downing

- 5:50 - (PXL)VHS - early '88

You Haven't Heard the Record, You Haven't Read the Book, NOW! Don't See the Movie!

- 27:00 - super-8mm & VHS - early '88

- made with the assistance of Laura A. Trussell

Barfroom - 4:15 - 16mm - '89-'90

- made with the assistance of Dee-Dee Ranged, Terry, & Randy George McWilliams

National Cancer Institute Documentary - 3:20 - 16mm - '93

Diszey Spots - 11:20 - 16mm & VHS - Oct-Dec '93

Funny Farm Summit Meeting - 14:00 - 16mm & VHS - '94-'95

- made in an environment created by Laura Kikauka

Peterson's Restaurant - 14:56 - 16mm & VHS - '95

- with Orgone Cinema & Sharyn Lee Frederick

The Postman Always Rings the Homunculous of Woody Allen & Hollis Frampton Twice

- 8:24 - filmstrip & audio cassette - July '96

Background Movies for Home Music: Light Motion

- 1:41 - VHS - Dec '97

- with the assistance of Dave Lahn & etta cetera

Volunteers Collective/Slide Show - app. 30:00 - VHS & Slides - '80-'98

- in collaboration with a slew of people

As usual, after the "Sound Thinking" slide, I presented Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis - as described in 217 (still simultaneous with the vaudeo) & then returned to my slides description.

Death Bed Aerobics

- 4:45 - 2 filmstrips (side-by-side)/audio cassette - July '98

- in collaboration with etta cetera

See the descriptions in entries 254 & 259.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

264. Attention-ExSpanDex #4

- MCAD, Minneapolis, us@

- Saturday, October 3, 1998

- As with all of these tour presentations, I began with the dramatic reading of the generic S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech (see the prototypical speech in 253) whilst wearing the Killer Whale Outfit + the severed head hat (see the description in 255). This was the longest presentation of the tour - something like 4&1/2 hours. Astonishingly enough, there were still 4 people left at the end & 2 of them came up to talk with us enthusiastically. Many thanks to Patti Rhodes for her exceptional help!

3 Mile Island - 14:30 - VHS - April '79

- B.O.M.B. (Baltimore Oblivion Marching Band)

Subtitles - 12:30 - 16mm & VHS - '80-'92

Balling Tim Ore is Best - 16:00 - super-8mm & audio cassette - '85

- a collaboration between Tim Ore & Dick Hertz

Philosopher's Union Member's Mouthpiece: Emma Elizabeth Downing

- 5:50 - (PXL)VHS - early '88

You Haven't Heard the Record, You Haven't Read the Book, NOW! Don't See the Movie!

- 27:00 - super-8mm & VHS - early '88

- made with the assistance of Laura A. Trussell

Barfroom - 4:15 - 16mm - '89-'90

- made with the assistance of Dee-Dee Ranged, Terry, & Randy George McWilliams

Volunteers Collective/Slide Show - app. 30:00 - VHS & Slides - '80-'98

- in collaboration with a slew of people

As usual, after the "Sound Thinking" slide, I presented Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis - as described in 217 (still simultaneous with the vaudeo) & then returned to my slides description.

National Cancer Institute Documentary - 3:20 - 16mm - '93

Diszey Spots - 11:20 - 16mm & VHS - Oct-Dec '93

Funny Farm Summit Meeting - 14:00 - 16mm & VHS - '94-'95

- made in an environment created by Laura Kikauka

Peterson's Restaurant - 14:56 - 16mm & VHS - '95

- with Orgone Cinema & Sharyn Lee Frederick

The Postman Always Rings the Homunculous of Woody Allen & Hollis Frampton Twice

- 8:24 - filmstrip & audio cassette - July '96

Background Movies for Home Music: Light Motion

- 1:41 - VHS - Dec '97

- with the assistance of Dave Lahn & etta cetera

Air Drops - 19:30 - VHS & 35mm filmstrip - September '97 - September '98

- a collaboration with Delta Bravo

See 246, 258, & 259.

Death Bed Aerobics

- 4:45 - 2 filmstrips (side-by-side)/audio cassette - July '98

- in collaboration with etta cetera

See the descriptions in entries 254 & 259.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

265. Attention-ExSpanDex #5

- Parallel House, Iowa City, us@

- Monday, October 5, 1998

Due to misunderstandings & problematic organizing, this was a very reduced presentation. It was also the one with the most publicity. The presenter, Stephen Perkins, was quoted in the Iowa Press Citizen as saying "The show will appeal to anybody interested in putting themselves in a situation where preconcepts of things could be questioned, where people are invited to question their daily habits, routine ways of thinking or being." The audience was directed into a small cement-floored basement that was cleared out just for this. An audio tape of mine was playing as they entered. As usual, I began with the dramatic reading of the generic S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech (see the prototypical speech in 253) whilst wearing the Killer Whale Outfit + the severed head hat (see the description in 255). Because of the size & shape of the space it was difficult to get a good view. The substantial discomfort of the environment (there were no seats provided) must've added considerably to the ordeal.

The Postman Always Rings the Homunculous of Woody Allen & Hollis Frampton Twice

- 8:24 - filmstrip & audio cassette - July '96

Slide Show

Air Drops - 19:30 - VHS & 35mm filmstrip - September '97 - September '98

- a collaboration with Delta Bravo

See entries 246, 258, 259.

Misconnecteds Slide Show

See entry 257.

Death Bed Aerobics

- 4:45 - 2 filmstrips (side-by-side)/audio cassette - July '98

- in collaboration with etta cetera

See 254 & 259.

The Department of Maybe Presents: Problem Solving Demonstration

- audience determined duration - VHS - '95

- in collaboration with Julia Dzwonkoski of the Get-Out-Stitute

See 201.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

267. Attention-ExSpanDex #6

- Other Cinema / Artists Television Access, San Francisco, us@

- Saturday, October 17, 1998

- Back to the full-scale presentations. Thanks to Craig Baldwin & all the other SF fanatics. As with the preceding, I began with the dramatic reading of the generic S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech (see the prototypical speech in 253) whilst wearing the Killer Whale Outfit + the severed head hat (see the description in 255).

Philosopher's Union Member's Mouthpiece: Emma Elizabeth Downing

- '88 - 5:50 - VHS video

You Haven't Heard the Record, You Haven't Read the Book, NOW! Don't See the Movie!

- '88 - 27:00

- super 8 with sound from VHS video

Barfroom - '89-'90 - 4:50

- a collaboration between tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & Dee-Dee Ranged, etc..

- 16mm optical sound

Funny Farm Summit Meeting - '94-'95 - 14:00

- 16mm film with sound from VHS video

Peterson's Restaurant - spring of '95 - 14:56

- a collaboration between tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & Orgone Cinema

- 16mm film with sound from VHS video

Background Movies for Home Music: Light Motion [should be Hurry]

- December '97 - 1:41

- a collaboration between Party Teen on Couch #2, Dave Lahn, & Miss Notworthy

- VHS video

Uncert &/or So-Called Whatever - '78 to '98 - app. 30:00

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & the Volunteers Collective

slides + projected VHS video + audio cassette + speaking + mime

Previously referred to as the Volunteers Collective/Slide Show, this was described in ad vance publicity as: A concrete mix of a brief history of some aspects of my pursuit of a politics of blatancy + quasi-documentation from 9 years of a large-scale international collective project that I've tried to manipulate into the arena of CircumSubstantial Playing + a quasi-example of Sound Thinking as a peculiar area of quasi-paradoxical cognition - ie: Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis - as described in 217.

Death Bed Aerobics - July '98 - app. 4:45

Party Teen on Couch #2 etta cetera

manipulated projection of 2 35mm filmstrips + audio cassette

See 254 & 259.

The Department of Maybe Presents: Problem-Solving Demonstration

fall of '95 - audience determined length

a collaboration (of sorts) with the Get-Out-Stitute

VHS video & audience participation

See 201.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

268. Attention-ExSpanDex #7

- Basement Films / Field & Frame, Albuquerque, us@

- Thursday, October 22, 1998

- My descriptions of these presentations has been fairly minimal & lazy. I guess you had to be there. Fortunately, some people were & they even wanted to go out & drink with us afterwards. My kinda people. Thanks much to Keif Findlay & to the other Basement Films & Field & Frame people. Typically, it started with the dramatic reading of the generic S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech (see the prototypical speech in 253) whilst wearing the Killer Whale Outfit + the severed head hat (see the description in 255).

Subtitles - 12:30 - 16mm & VHS - '80-'92

Balling Tim Ore is Best - 16:00 - super-8mm & audio cassette - '85

- a collaboration between Tim Ore & Dick Hertz

Philosopher's Union Member's Mouthpiece: Emma Elizabeth Downing

- 5:50 - (PXL)VHS - early '88

You Haven't Heard the Record, You Haven't Read the Book, NOW! Don't See the Movie!

- 27:00 - super-8mm & VHS - early '88

- made with the assistance of Laura A. Trussell

Barfroom - 4:15 - 16mm - '89-'90

- made with the assistance of Dee-Dee Ranged, Terry, & Randy George McWilliams

National Cancer Institute Documentary - 3:20 - 16mm - '93

Diszey Spots - 11:20 - 16mm & VHS - Oct-Dec '93

Funny Farm Summit Meeting - 14:00 - 16mm & VHS - '94-'95

- made in an environment created by Laura Kikauka

Peterson's Restaurant - 14:56 - 16mm & VHS - '95

- with Orgone Cinema & Sharyn Lee Frederick

The Postman Always Rings the Homunculous of Woody Allen & Hollis Frampton Twice

- 8:24 - filmstrip & audio cassette - July '96

Background Movies for Home Music: Light Motion

- 1:41 - VHS - Dec '97

- with the assistance of Dave Lahn & etta cetera

Volunteers Collective/Slide Show + Bob Cobbing

- app. 30:00 - VHS, Slides, & 16mm - '80-'98

- in collaboration with a slew of people

This was even more elaborate than what's described in 260 on - thanks to the additional projection of "Bob Cobbing". I particularly liked this multi-projection combination.

Death Bed Aerobics

- 4:45 - 2 filmstrips (side-by-side)/audio cassette - July '98

- in collaboration with etta cetera

See 254 & 259.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

270. Internationally Reknowned Sprocket Scientist

- Silver Eye Gallery, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, May 8, 1999, 8:30-11PM

- I advertised this by putting up ads around town with paper cilia on one edge designed to attract attention. The ads were placed in such a way so that from some directions only the cilia were visible. The heading of the ads read "ATTENTION! ALL CONCERNED CITIZENS!" as if it were some sort of political notice. They also included the following program & descriptions:

00. Pictogrameting against the Sharks

(a protest in favor of holus-bolus)

I began the night by pacing back & forth in front of the gallery with my Pictogrameting sign (see 203 for a precursor). Anyone who asked me about what it meant received the program/ad (without the cilia). People entering the space heard 2 of my Usic - -1 loops playing.

01. S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech

(a crucial issue addressed 1st & foremost) [see the prototypical speech in 253]

02. Explanation of "Play Out Regress" with dop e Slides

(look at how precocious I used to be) [see 257]

03. "Background Movies for Home Music: [Perpetual (E)Motion] Home"

04. "Background Movies for Home Music: Light Motion" [should be Hurry]

05. "Background Movies for Home Music:

[Toasting Emotions in Freudian] Western"

(how to make generic home movies)

06. "How Orgone Cinema Treats Its Visiting Filmmakers"

(Pittsburgh's very own cultural rethink-tank in action)

In the optical print made from Orgone's master of this, the top of the image is cropped - making the frame size have an unusually skinny height. This enabled a dual projection of the 16mm overtop the vaudeo on the same screen. The 16mm was projected via an analysis projector wch was manipulated by Michael Johnsen to run at various speeds in relation to the already extremely slow speed of the original as witnessed in the vaudeo.

07. "Sound Thinking: Phase III: Mimesis"

(stamping a part of the mind rarely addressed & mailing it) [see 217]

08. "Satanic Liposuction, Neoism!, & YOU!!"

(you've been hearing about it subliminally since birth now find out what it's all about!)

This was screened in a 5 projection version. The 5 images were side-by-side spread over 3 screens. On either side of the "vaudience" there were 2 turntables/radios/tape-players connected to 2 speakers. Rita Rodentia & I were each manipulating LPs (Rita had a RRR 500 Lock Grooves record & I had my Usic - -1 record) & tapes (Rita had Amen's "Weapons for Children" & I had a Gen Ken tape that had been provided as soundtrack material especially for "Satanic..") & the radios. On the main 2-speaker mono P.A. "Satanic.." soundtrack material provided by John Berndt was playing & each of the projectors had occasional spurts of sound. As such, there were 11 speaker sound sources!

09. "Frothing Catatonic Siamese Twins Volunteers Collective XXVII

d composing Mozart Release Party"

(the only safe place to be at this date & time will be the Silver Eye Gallery

be there or take your life into your own hands)

The vaudience was warned that all of Pittsburgh was plagued by "Frothing Catatonic Siamese Twins". During the projection, 3 pairs of these staggered in from the rear & proceeded to knock over the chairs & drool. See 205, 211, & 248. These pairs were made up of Ron Douglas & Rachel; Ailecia Ruscin (see 247 & 251) & Tim Dog; & Jon Skuldt (see 251, 257, & 267) & a friend. 2 tapes of Monty Cantsin's

"d composing Mozart" were playing on the side speakers.

10. "In Perplexing Pursuit of the Prodigy Paleontologist" (version 2)

(a mobius comic strip)

The posters also promised "Foiled Again!" (serious concerns about Mind Control disguised as 'lunatic fringe' wear) & "The Department of Maybe Presents: Problem Solving Demonstration" (your chance to wax philosophical) but neither of these were presented due to technical problems & forgetfulness. etta cetera / Rita Rodentia did make foil hats for people as a prologue to "Foiled Again!" - with me warning them that they MUST have foil hats if they wanted to be protected against the thought police (or some such).

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

273. Pittsburgh Pirates' Walkie-Talkie, etc..

- Burning Man, Black Rock City, Black Rock Desert, Nevada, us@

- Friday, September 3 - Sunday, September 5, 1999

- Rita Rodentia (a.k.a. etta cetera - see most of the recent entries - starting at 212 with etta cetera mention) & I participated in Burning Man with variations on a number of basic elements. We were there partially as representatives of a fledgling Pittsburgh-based pirate radio station group called the Pittsburgh Pirates - facetiously named after the city's baseball team. We set up a radio transmitter to broadcast over 97.9FM. For short periods we broadcast a tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE "Triple-S Variety Show" CD; the Volunteers Collective's "A Year of Sundays" computer edit CD; Monty Cantsin?'s "Noise Bible" CD; &, most importantly, a CD made especially for this purpose called the "Burning Man Walkie-Talkie". This latter was divided up into 12 tracks:

01. "Whoop-Up @ the Funny Farm"

02. "Generic Tour & One-Sided Conversation"

03. "B/S/B/F/C/X"

04. "Generic Tour #1"

05. "Lafterlife"

06. "S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech"

07. "Navigating the Obstacle Course of Usic minus the Square Root of Negative 1

with tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE"

08. "Two-Sided Conversation"

09. "Opustulent"

10. "One-Sided Conversation"

11. "Volunteers Collective at the Anonymous Family Reunion"

& 12. "Generic Tour #2"

The odd-numbered tracks were usic meant to provide 'breathing room' between the spoken word even-numbered tracks which had been created with the "Burning Man Walkie-Talkie" in mind. etta & I walked around in various states of partial dress wearing various things such as the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. whale outfit (see entry 253) & a new S.P.C.S.M.E.F. outfit made from a stuffed shark toy. Sometimes I carried the Pictogramet (see entry 203).

Sometimes I wore my extremely tattered Leper-Skin Suit. Sometimes I wore a beach novelty hat with "Damn Seagulls" written on it & fake bird-shit (ironic, considering the birdless sky & waterless environment of the desert we were in) & sometimes a "thinking cap" with a picture of a brain on it & the word "think" multiply reproduced under its brim. Sometimes I wore my entire button collection - adorning myself with over 100 images & such texts as: "ground zero club", "is science fair?", "Pee-Dog by the Shit Generation", "SMILE", "No Added Color", "Terrorist", "Fatuous Team of Cultural Players", "Association of Autonomous Astronauts", "12 Apples ÷ 4 People = 3 Apples-People", "Vermin Supreme is Your Mayor", "Danger! Infectious Habititis", etc, etc.. Often, we were mostly naked.

We wore our player-belts (see entry 212, etc..) & tuned their radios to our station. While it played we went to various places to broadcast our material - favoring the Port-A-Pot lines since people were usually bored there. We'd sidle up to the waiting people & parade back & forth broadcasting. The texts were divided into several types: Generic Tour, One-Sided Conversation, S.P.C.S.M.E.F. Speech (see entry 253), & Two-Sided Conversation. The basic idea of the Generic Tour was that it be more or less applicable to any environment. Below's a sample:

"So, back to the tour. You'll notice that this area has color. Sometimes it's more subtle than others. One of the many remarkable things about this particular area is the way in which everything is moving even though to superficial appearances most of it may seem to be still. This phenomenon has been studied for many thousands of years - if not longer. Not surprisingly, no satisfactory conclusions have been reached yet but the stimulation derived from the research is seemingly unending. That's one of the many, many reasons why this area has been chosen for our tour. Please keep that in mind as we progress further."

The One-Sided Conversation was meant to be banter that could be projected to passers-by as if to start a conversation:

"Do you have a sister named Rose who is a drifter that rides through towns on tumbleweeds smoking grass and playing the butt-flute?

Hey! Did you hear how they captured that woman from the S.L.A. something like 23 years after her involvement when she was leading a very normal life and a member of her community...I guess putting her in prison would be the best way to reform her.........ain't that some shit yo."

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

275. Collaboration with Monty Cantsin/Istvan Kantor/Amen!

- Neoist Festival, the Dairy, Windsor, Ontario, CacaNada

- Saturday, November 27, 1999

- This began with Bernie Helling playing software 'random' generation of various samples. I entered with synthesizer/sampler/sequencer/CD playing - using for the 1st time publically my digital horn + CDs made especially for performative purposes. Then Bernie's computer sounds were faded out. Monty Cantsin (see entries 48, 49, 52, 56, 57, 61, 121, 168, 216, 218, 224, 227, 228, 230, 233, 236, 238, & 271, etc..) joined me & began hitting a small metal file cabinet with a contact mike attached to it fed into an f/x device for looping the results. He proceeded to trash & quasi-fuck the file cabinets, a wooden chair, & a couch & to draw his blood & throw it around while I continued to mix my sounds with his extremely loud loops.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

277. Arts Focus Radio Show

- Post-Neoist Festival, CJAM Radio Station, Windsor, Ontario, CacaNada

- Monday, November 29, 1999

- This was actually recorded on the previous Friday But since it didn't air 'til this day I place it here. I played 2 improvisations using the synthesizer, sampler, sequencer, CDs, & digital horn mentioned in 273. Interspersed with those were excerpts from my "Low Classical Usic" & "RATical RATio - pRAT 1" CDs + Owen O'Toole's "What Balcony" CD. I also made a plug supporting the Maki family who are political refugees from the US in CacaNada who are facing expulsion.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

278. Making Odd-Ball Sports History by Uncertizing by Playing a Game of Black Rectangle over the Eye

- Ottobar, Baltimore, us@

- Sunday, February 6, 2000, 10:30-1:00PM

- I organized this evening. I had a self-inking rubber-stamp made with an image of a boy's face with a black rectangle over his eye taken from my filmstrip entitled "The Postman Always Rings the Homunculous of Woody Allen & Hollis Frampton, Twice" with "Black Rectangle over the eye" written underneath it. I rubber-stamped this around downtown Baltimore & near & in the Ottobar to subtly establish the image & the "game" name in advance.

The program began with Scott Larson playing his one-man band "Abomination". I had made an 8'X8' white Spandex screen for rear projecting onto & this was erected at the front of the stage at a slight angle. John Evans then projected a 16mm film of his by bouncing the projection off a mirror so the image could be larger than the shallow stage depth would've otherwise allowed. John Dierker improvised a tenor sax soundtrack to the film, which was otherwise silent.

"Black Rectangle over the eye" was introduced thru a screening of "The Postman.." filmstrip & a pamphlet relevant to the strip was handed out to the vaudience by etta cetera (a.k.a. etta cetera & Rita Rodentia - see most of the recent entries - starting at 212 with etta cetera mention).

Midway up the screen on either side were 2 2' slits for John Dierker & myself to stick our torsos out of from behind. Wearing rubber costume versions of towering Thai hats, I explained something like "that there's nothing like wearing ersatz Thai hats to make me feel like playing a game of Black Rectangle.." & we began. I played a digital horn controlling a wave-table synthesizer & played a loop on a CD that I'd specially contructed for such purposes. etta rear-projected the "Where We're" filmstrip (mentioned in 274) in the upper middle of the screen (without its soundtrack). John Evans projected my 16mm film "How Orgone Cinema Treats its Visiting Filmmakers" overtop my head - following the same projection technique used in the Music Gallery premier of John Henry Nyenhuis' & my "Bogus Piano Concerto" (see entry 199). John Dierker played tenor sax. This "game" was in 17 parts & John D had specific pitch sets & styles to play in during parts 2-9 after which he could play mostly free-form. At the entry to the 3rd part, Dave Scheper began shining a flashlight around & thru his "Codzilla" sculpture to shadow-project on the entire screen. This is a "junk-metal" sculpture of something resembling a codfish skeleton standing about 5' tall on its tail. The shadow was very dramatic & dynamic. Highlights of this were when etta cetera confronted Codzilla with a hand-shadow of a dog profile & when she 'fed' Codzilla a beer. At various points, John D & I would take black rectangles of tape & place them above our eyes - sometimes acting as if we were somehow 'triumphant' - such as by raising a fist & shouting "YEAH!". At the end, I announced that John D had won the game.

This was followed by a projection of etta's "The Truth About the Dimensionally Challenged" & then by my "Shuffle Mode" (in filmstrip versions). The evening ended with a trio improv played by Scott, John D, & myself.

An apparently abridged version of the Black Rectangle portion of this program is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel as a part of the "millinarianism - volume one" collection here: https://youtu.be/QBTFTpscd4M?t=5821

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

279. With Joost Rekveld

- Media City 6, Capitol Theatre, Windsor, Ontario, CacaNada

- Saturday, February 12, 2000, 9:15-9:30PM

- I was invited to play "music" along with Joost's presentation. This is described in the Media catalog by Joost as "An installation in which images are produced through interference. The interplay between the time lag of our eye and the fast rotation of a pulsating light source results in fluctuating ornaments. The principle of my installation was inspired by the experiments that Chevalier D'Arcy and Joseph Plateau did in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, respectively. They tried to measure the temporal response of the human eye by confronting it with spinning colored discs or revolving, glowing coals. These experiments were at the basis of the later inventions of cinema and television." Joost controlled a spinning metal arm with lights on it by playing a synthesizer. Because of a power problem he was more limited than usual & the presentation was shortened to 15 minutes. I played digital horn, 2 CD-players, sampler/sequencer, wave-table synthesizer, & f/x.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

284. 2nd Secret Meeting of the 1st Non-Existent International Neoist Apartment Festival in the Year 000

- 3D Community Radio Station, Adelaide, Australia

- Wednesday, March 22, 2000

- There had been e-mail discussions for about 15 months between people in several countries about having an Adelaide-based Neoist Apartment Festival. etta cetera (see most of the entries from 212 on - mentioning etta cetera & Rita Rodentia) & I flew to Australia originally motivated by the intention of participating in this hypothetical festival - even though we 'knew' from correspondence that it had no substantial basis. The following description, & all other entries relevant to this festival, are excerpted from:

 

A Report on the 1st Non-Existent International Neoist Apartment Festival

in Adelaide, South Australia

from Monday, March 20th, 000 'til Saturday, March 25th, 000

(With additional action on Tuesday & Wednesday, April 4 & 5, 000)

written by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

[etta cetera & I arrived in Adelaide on Sunday, March 19th & were met at the airport by festival conspirators Karen Eliot & Jen. I never saw Jen again in connection with any neoist activities. A vegetarian barbecue had been proposed for later that day as a festival planning session but that seemed unlikely to happen so the main event of the day was a visit to the former Adelaide Gaol where the Tap 000 Theatre was scheduled to perform (amongst others) & where I was scheduled to UNCERTIZE & to screen a video version of "Bob Cobbing".

Few, or no, VAUDIENCE members arrived, my sampler wouldn't work, the Tap 000 performance was cancelled, The Band That Couldn't Plough Straight played, & etta & I were severely jet-lagged, but I managed to stay awake long enough to screen "Bob Cobbing" anyway to a not-completely rapt small group.

Throughout this 1st day, it had become obvious that there was little or no interest in the long-awaited 1st Australian Neoist Festival that etta & I had been planning to attend for over a year & that we'd travelled over halfway around the world for (having taken the long way via Malaysia). All of Karen's attempts to organize planning sessions had been fairly ill-attended & fruitless. All of Karen's phonecalls to clubs & such-like places to try to set up UNCERTS, SO-CALLED WHATEVERS, & such-like had been unreturned. Given these circumstances, I proposed that we dub the festival the 1st NON-EXISTENT INTERNATIONAL NEOIST APARTMENT FESTIVAL IN THE YEAR 000 worth travelling over halfway 'round the world for. After all, who wants to travel that far just for your ordinary, everyday Neoist Apartment Festival when you can go to the 1st NON-EXISTENT one instead?

It was decided that the Non-Existent Festival would consist of SECRET MEETINGS partially publicized thru messages passed via SECRET HANDSHAKES.]

The plan for Wednesday's Secret Meeting had been for Karen to take people into a storm drain where etta & I were to be waiting in a candle-lit & incense infused space with a portable sound system & with etta as the naked & painted HUMAN SYNTHESIZER to be demonstrated by me & available for playing by all the attendees. However, when the day arrived, it was pouring. Karen, etta, & I rode our bikes (etta's & mine generously loaned to us by 101 BIKES - a service that fixes bikes & sells them CHEAP for a token price like $52 Australian) to the rendevous & got completely soaked. etta's laborious Human Synthesizer paint-job got totally smeared. When we reached the stormdrain, it had maybe 6 inches of water. Within 10 minutes it had about 3 feet of water. 5 Minutes later, it had rapids that were overflowing its vertical containing walls. If we had gone in earlier, we might've drowned. As a last-minute alternative to the stormdrain, we decided to have the secret meeting on the radio if the people at 3D would allow it. Karen & I went there & talked with various people - eventually asking for permission from the Station Manager. It was quite a challenge for my charm to explain that we were in the midst of having the 1st NON-EXISTENT INTERNATIONAL NEOIST APARTMENT FESTIVAL & that our plans to have our Secret Meeting in the stormdrain had been foiled by the rain & that we wanted to have our Secret Meeting over the air (&, therefore, audible to the general public) as an alternative because we thought it was FUNNY &, uh, is that ok? It's to the enormous credit of the 3D personnel & their true COMMUNITY SPIRIT that they were amenable to the idea & @ 6:00PM (when else?) we began the 2nd Secret Meeting broadcast as a part of the show hosted by Hannah called something like "Drive-Time" & aimed at people driving home from work. Hannah was completely bemused & thoroughly friendly & cooperative as I played sound effects from my PLAYER-BELT, played the HUMAN SYNTHESIZER, discussed the 1st NON-EXISTENT INTERNATIONAL NEOIST APARTMENT FESTIVAL & our plans & details for the 3rd Secret Meeting to be convened the next day (Thursday, March 23rd) @ double 6:00 (more commonly known as "noon") in front of the Church of Scientology on Waymouth Street, exchanged Secret Handshake Messages, & interviewed the attendees that Karen led to the studio window (since station rules didn't allow them to enter the building). Karen played didjeridoo, Rick (as the representative of Pope Fred) spoke in ways determined by text on prepared cards (such as categories like "dogmatic statement"), Bird-E appeared & got slotted into the role of ANTI-NEOIST, Roman said a few words, & a woman happened by who may've refused to speak. After the radio show ended, we moved to a nearby pub (minus Hannah) where further conspirings & speeches occurred.

- an audio recording of this is available as track 2 on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/Radio2000

- a movie of the entire festival can be found on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/1stNonExistentInternationalNeoistApartmentFestivalInTheYear000

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

289. Hard Listening

- Musician's Club, Melbourne, Australia

- Sunday, April 9, 2000

- The "Hard Listening" series is a series of "new music concerts" (or some such) organized by Aemon Sprod every Sunday night at the Musician's Club. I had asked for a video projector but Aemon was unable to provide one so I had to change my plan at the last minute. 1st I screened 2 16mm films of mine: "Diszey Spots" & "How Orgone Cinema Treats Its Visiting Filmmakers". This was followed by my walking thru the audience whistling (without any announcement that this was part of the presentation) for a few minutes. I reached my electronics & started playing a whistling sequence & then started playing other sounds & my film "Subtitles (16mm version)" was screened. I was playing a DH-100 Digital Horn, a Mirage Sampler/Sequencer, a Kawai K1m wave-table synthesizer, a Multi-Verb f/x unit, a MIDI-Patcher, 2 CD Players, & 3 Mixers. The CDs being played were made especially for uncertizing purposes & consisted of miscellaneous s/f/x & such-like meant to be played in shuffle mode + all of my sequences in various versions, etc.. After "Subtitles" ended, I was joined by Warren Burt on laptop while my 16mm film "Funny Farm Summit Meeting" screened. Warren started this section by playing a sample saying: "Jack, that organ over there looks like it requires a jet pilot's license to operate it. Who's the musician in the family?". I chose to begin with this sample that Warren had recorded because it seemed to've come from a kitsch culture source similar to ones that the Funny Farm contained in the thousands & because Warren & I were playing with a large amount of technical resources at our control. Warren & I had rehearsed once for this gig but this was our 1st public presentation together. Our portion of the night ended with our wandering into the audience whistling while one of my whistling sequences played again.

All of the footage shot in Australia during this tour with Warren Burt in it is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/TiCYlcBm5nM , this entire Uncert starts here: https://youtu.be/TiCYlcBm5nM?t=51m5s , the rehearsal for it starts here: https://youtu.be/TiCYlcBm5nM

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

291. Lecture/Demo

- The Centre for Studies in Experimental Music and Performance, Melbourne, Australia

- Saturday, April 15, 2000, 6:00-9:30PM

- This presentation more or less marked the inauguration of this Centre run by Warren Burt (see entries 287 & 288). It happened in his apartment in front of a surprisingly attentive audience. Warren's place has a small porch off of the dining room. When people arrived, I was under a blanket (or some such) out of sight & wearing my player belt (see entry #212 for a description of this) which was playing 2 sound effects tapes - the volume of each of which I was manipulating so that there was an element of live mixing. Given that my vision was blocked by the blanket, I'm fairly, but not entirely, sure that no-one came out onto the porch to investigate the source(s) of the sounds that I'm sure they could hear. After about 20 minutes of this, when I was sure that the majority of the anticipated attendees were present, I proceded to crawl (still under the blanket & still with the sound effects playing) in thru the doorway & in the direction of the living room - where I was planning to introduce the lecture. Since the space was crowded, people had to move out of my way to accomodate my motion. Again, I couldn't see them, so it was a matter of clumsily navigating in the dark. When I reached my destination, I removed the blanket, turned off the tape players, & Warren introduced me. What followed was an almost archetypal 'Mad Scientist Didaction' insofar as audio-visual aids were used to drive home various perverse didactic points. The majority of the prepared audio-visual materials came from 80 slides (the slide-show prepared for entry 272), cassette & vaudeo tapes, Lps, & Cds. The following list (a version of which I worked from during the lecture) gives a crude idea of the sequence:

s/f/x under blanket

slide: Mad Scientist {talk about context}

slide: d composer

{play "dadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadada" off of the "Usic - -1" LP & then an excerpt from "Reintegrated Experiments in Disintegrating Language" from my CD version of it}

slide(s): Sound Thinker -> 2 B OAR KNOT 2 B {-> Mimesis (see 217)}

slide: T.Ore Signature {phone stations -> "Accumulation" CD}

slide(s): A.G.A.I.! {relevant selection off of the "Usic - -1" LP}

slide: London APT Brain {1st booed usic (see 65) off of the "Usic - -1" LP}

slide: busking unit {relevant selection off of the "Usic - -1" LP -> Cassette Mythos book -> "..Zippers.." off of "Cassette Mythos" CD}

slide: Small Nondo / Apex Roto-Zither

-> vaudeo: John Berndt instrument demo from "H.O.M.E. Encyclopedia"

-> "Official" LP

-> remake of "Official" LP by Colin Hinz on "Usic - -1" LP

-> "Navigating Usic - -1.." {off of the "Low Classical Usic" CD}

-> "Melody" {read relevant section from MUSICWORKS magazine then play relevant section from MUSICWORKS CD}

-> "Triple-S Variety Show - Volume 1" cassette excerpt

-> Volunteer's Collective XXII selection

-> "Bogus Piano Concerto" {mention the concept of navigating; read about "Low Classical Usic" from "Street Rat #1"}

-> Speech Synthesis Vocabulary #6 (augmented)

slide: Pictogrammeting {play "Lost in Translation - Part 8" - with Ben Opie}

slide: Anonymous Family Reunion (see 242)

{Volunteers Collective "Gongs" CD - CircumSubstantial Playing}

-> vaudeo: Anonymous Family Reunion beginning

-> "Background Movie #1"

slide: N.A.A.M.C.P.: eyebrow tattoo {"Year of Sundays" cassette}

slide: A Year of Sundays Release Party

"Shuffle Mode" 'performed' as reading

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

[292. Uncert

- Synesthesia Record Store, Melbourne, Australia

- Saturday, April 22, 2000

- Warren Burt (see entries 287, 288, & 289) had arranged for me to play at this record store. As with 287, I had asked for a video projector - but Mark Harwood, the store's owner, was unable to provide one. He seemed to also be unable to provide even a sign announcing that I would be playing. Since I was playing for free, I was hoping for a little more effort on his part. I had asked him when I should come to start setting up & I arrived promptly at the time. Unfortunately, Mark seemed to have a little difficulty with my setting up that early. In the VERY SMALL SPACE, one of the few customers in the space insisted on being in my way throughout the entire time as he insisted upon playing excerpts from every record in the store. Whether he ended up buying any of them I'm not sure. He sure liked those "cool covers" though - even if he didn't have any ideas beyond imbecility about music. My sampler/sequencer wasn't working & one of my CD players had ceased to work & the one I'd borrowed from Warren would only play 2 of my CDs. In other words, this whole thing would've been completely depressing EXCEPT that Warren loaned me his Pitch-to-MIDI converter. The result was my getting a chance to experiment in ways that I'd never been able to before. The gig was rescued. I started off by playing a CD version of my "Mood Elevator Uzak.." sequence fed into the converter to control my Kawai K1m wave-table synthesizer. Concrete Mixing galore. When it was over I was still quite happy to get the fuck out of Dodge. All of the CDs for sale there were too expensive for me & Mark sure wasn't offering to give me anything for free. I'll never play there again - that's FER sure!]

- an abridged edit of this is on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/240031833

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

294. Lecture

- Australian National University, Centre for Arts & Technology, Canberra, Australia

- Thursday, May 11, 2000, 5:00-8:00PM

- This was mostly a repeat of my presentation at The Centre for Studies in Experimental Music and Performance in Melbourne (it had also been arranged by Warren Burt - see 289) only this time in a big room with more facilities & an audience with less endurance (or time) who gradually trickled away until there were only 4 left. The evening began with the projection of my "Where We're" trailer while I crawled under the blanket. The projection of my 16mm film "Bob Cobbing" was added during the longest section without slide changes: between the Small Nondo slide & the Pictogrammeting slide. At least 3 sections were dropped out in the interest of shortening the night: John Berndt's instrument demo from "H.O.M.E. Encyclopedia" vaudeo, Volunteer's Collective XXII selection "Lost in Translation", & "A Year of Sundays" (which had been intended to be substituted for the Volunteers Collective "Gongs" CD). The following list (a version of which I worked from during the lecture) gives a crude idea of the sequence:

s/f/x under blanket {simultaneous with "Where We're Trailer #2"}

slide: Mad Scientist {talk about context}

slide: d composer

{play "dadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadada" off of the "Usic - -1" LP & then an excerpt from "Reintegrated Experiments in Disintegrating Language" from my CD version of it - which continues to play simultaneous with my talking}

slide(s): Sound Thinker -> 2 B OAR KNOT 2 B {-> Mimesis (see 217)}

slide: T.Ore Signature {phone stations -> "Accumulation" CD - which continues to play simultaneous with my talking}

slide(s): A.G.A.I.! {relevant selection off of the "Usic - -1" LP - which continues to play simultaneous with my talking}

slide: London APT Brain {1st booed usic (see 65) off of the "Usic - -1" LP - which continues to play simultaneous with my talking}

slide: busking unit {relevant selection off of the "Usic - -1" LP -> Cassette Mythos book -> "..Zippers.." off of "Cassette Mythos" CD - which continues to play simultaneous with my talking}

slide: Small Nondo / Apex Roto-Zither

"Bob Cobbing" film shows simultaneously up 'til the "Triple-S" section

-> "Official" LP

-> remake of "Official" LP by Colin Hinz on "Usic - -1" LP

-> "Navigating Usic - -1.." {off of the "Low Classical Usic" CD}

[I may've forgotten this part]

-> "Melody" {read relevant section from MUSICWORKS magazine then play relevant section from MUSICWORKS CD}

-> "Triple-S Variety Show - Volume 1" cassette excerpt

-> "Bogus Piano Concerto" {mention the concept of navigating; read about "Low Classical Usic" from "Street Rat #1"}

-> Speech Synthesis Vocabulary #6 (augmented)

slide: Pictogrammeting

slide: Anonymous Family Reunion (see 242)

-> vaudeo: Anonymous Family Reunion beginning

-> "Background Movie #1"

slide: N.A.A.M.C.P.: eyebrow tattoo {"Year of Sundays" cassette}

slide: A Year of Sundays Release Party

"Shuffle Mode" vaudeo transfer of filmstrip version

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

296. Tantrum

- Planet Cafe upstairs, Melbourne, Australia

- Thursday, May 18, 2000, 8:30-11:30PM

- This was a collaboration organized by Steven Ball. It was advertised as a "non-stop experimental film video sound cabaret". The participants were myself, etta cetera (see most of the entries from 212 on - mentioning etta cetera & Rita Rodentia), Steven, Warren Burt (see entries 287-290, & 292), Dirk de Bruyn, Virginia Fraser, Paul Rodgers, & Lee Smith. Most of these people have been making films &/or videos for a long time. Many have extensive experience with direct-on-film films & with multi-projector installations & "performances". This collection of skills added up to one the most satisfyingly complex sound-&-visuals projection events I've ever been part of.

The evening was complicated somewhat further for me by my being exposed to Chlorine Gas Poisoning. This lead to a visit to the hospital prior to the evening's presentation. It was a highly unpleasant experience that made me have a new sympathy for those in trench warfare during 'World War I'. Just imagine: the gas rolls over into the trench, the skin boils off, the throat blisters & the person suffocates. Fortunately for me, I came nowhere close to that but it DID effect my mood for the night.

The main stage is off to the audience's left & has its front cutting diagonally across the rectangular corner of the room - making it a triangle. A smaller stage/storage area is to the left of that & over the front stairwell. Paul Rodgers set up a very large white screen that could be both rear & front projected onto. This stretched across the entire front of the stage & mirrored its diagonal on the other half of the room. I set up a white spandex screen across the front of the smaller stage over the steps - this could also be used for both rear & front projecting. There were 2 video projectors rear projecting - one for each of the 2 halves of Paul's "V"ed screen. These were set so that they projected mirror images of each other - in other words, one was set to compensate for the rear projection by reversing the left-right orientation & the other wasn't. There were one or 2, probably super-8, projectors aimed from the end of the little stage across the stairwell to the wall at the top of the steps. There were at least 3 super-8 projectors behind Paul's screen & at least 3 16mm projectors at audience right set up to project from the front.

Attendees climbed steps to reach the space. At the top, they saw films projected - possibly super-8 loops by Lee. They received a hand-out with a chart that gave the order of the evening:

 

Haarlem

Lee Smith

 

Elwood Evening Improvisations

Warren Burt

 

Janet's Antarctica

Dirk de Bruyn / Warren Burt

 

Bob Cobbing

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

From Scratch

Virginia Fraser

 

Vegetable States/Leaves / Hairfarmer

Virginia Fraser / etta cetera

 

An Abstract Phase

Steven Ball

 

Transmit

Paul Rodgers

 

The Truth About the Dimensionally Challenged

etta cetera

 

TANTRUM

Since this was intended to be "non-stop", each section flowed into the next - usually with some sort of overlapping projection. Warren played his laptop during both his video, "Elwood..", & during his collaboration with Dirk, "Janet's Antarctica", that followed. Dirk started his multi-projection towards the end of "Elwood..". Virginia's "Vegetable.." showed on the left screen & etta's "Hairfarmer" was screened simultaneously on the right. Paul's "Transmit" continued into etta's "The Truth.." & most of us did something during the final "TANTRUM", etc..

An early version (single-layer) of my 16mm film "Bob Cobbing" had been transferred to vaudeo by projecting it onto a spandex screen which was heavily manipulated to mutate the projection - making it look like it was breathing, eg. This was shot with a video camera with a wide-angle lens from a dramatic angle from below to create a "fish-eye" effect. The resultant transfer looks somewhat like a tv set that's gone biomorphic. This transfer was projected via both video projectors & the sound from it was sent to the PA. The final 16mm version of "Bob Cobbing" (double-layer) was initially projected overtop the audience-left video-projection.

I began playing electronics in addition to the pre-recorded soundtrack from the small stage - behind the spandex screen. I played a CD Player, a Kawai K1m wave-table synthesizer, the DH-100 Digital Horn, etc.. I was wearing the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. killer whale outfit & my severed head hat. etta made my shadow dance on the spandex with a flashlight. I came out from behind the screens & read the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. text (see 253) while etta went to the left video projector & played with blocking its light. In the meantime, at the 16mm projector on the right, Virginia did the same to its projection. The result was that both the superimposed projections had different parts dominate depending upon the positions of etta's & Virginia's hands.

After I finished reading the speech, I went behind the screen & etta got into the killer whale suit & her mask of Ganesa (the elephant-headed Hindu god that etta stars as in our movie "Don't Walk Backwards" that we were then making) & plastic flowers garland & began to dance to an "Official" sequence of the "Worm Charming Usic" CAMU (see various "Official" entries). I made her shadow appear with the flashlight. She crawled under the screen & I followed her out front with the flashlight. Ganesa went into the audience & caressed people with her copious trunk & then returned under the screen.

I started panning the 16mm projection across the full span of the screens - eventually leaving it in the middle of the "V" so that it was distorted by a widthwise stretching. I then returned to the small stage where I returned to playing electronics while etta spontaneously shadow-signed in AMSLAM after the video-projections stopped. Since the vaudeo was shorter than the 16mm (thanks to equipment speed inaccuracies, etc..), the vaudeo stopped considerably before the 16mm so an excerpt from my "Color Bars" was projected followed by the beginning of a pre-finished-soundtrack version of my "Diszey Spots" until the 16mm ended & all were cut off.

In the final "TANTRUM", Virginia discretely projected a super-8 film of hers onto a small area of the lower left screen while my/Monty Cantsin's "Transparent SMILE - Monty Cantsin Performing with White Colours" was projected onto the uppper right of the left screen along with projections from Dirk & Paul. Paul projected a super-8 on the right screen & someone screened video too. Paul used a wonderful projection machine of his creation in the middle. Paul played an analog synthesizer, Warren played laptop, & I played my electronics. I threw a tantrum in the middle of the front screaming "I WANT TO THROW A TANTRUM!, I WANT TO THROW A TANTRUM!" while jumping up & down with my hands in fists - eventually falling to the floor & kicking & finally disappearing under the screen. The evening ended with a dedication to Steven who was leaving Australia soon thereafter for his country of origin (England), possibly for good, after having been active in the experimental film & video scene in Melbourne for many years.

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/TiCYlcBm5nM?t=3h16m50s

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

[297. Let Your Freak Flag Fly

- 3CR Radio Station, Melbourne, Australia

- Saturday, May 20, 2000, 6:30-7:30PM

- Michael, our friend who's the sidekick for "Anarchist World in Review" (see 291 & 293), has his own radio program & he invited me to play live on it. Using 2 tape players, 2 CD players, a Kawai K1m wave-table synthesizer, a DH-100 Digital Horn, a Mirage Sampler/Sequencer, a Multi-Verb f/x unit, a MIDI-Patcher, & 3 4-channel mixers; I presented even more Low Classical Usic Concrete Mixing. At the beginning, I explained that Low Classical Usic is designed to remove the ruling class from Classical Music &, at various points, I plugged resistance to the upcoming World Economic Forum scheduled to happen on September 11th, 2000 in Melbourne.]

- audio from this is track 4 on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/Radio2000

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

298. Conjuring (a.k.a. "Mad Scientist Duet & Sonic Tag Team Wrestling Match")

- Planet Cafe, Make It Up Club, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia

- Tuesday, May 30, 2000

- I began by giving a pompous & highly exaggerated speech about the importance of Warren Burt (see 287, 289, & 294) & myself (amplified thru a mike on a mike stand) - giving a history of all the people that we'd supposedly studied with - probably including: Wagner, Harry Partch, Conlon Nancarrow, John Cage, & many others.. The purpose of the speech was to irritain the audience into wishing I'd shut up. This was finally interupted by Warren calling me from a mobile phone to a mobile phone I was carrying. The use of mobile phones was partially inspired by my annoyance at their omnipresence in Australia. I excused myself & answered the phone & then pretended that it was for someone in the audience.

I had a radio-mike attached to the front of my clothes. This mike sent a signal to a pitch-to-MIDI-converter which, in turn, sent a MIDI signal into Warren's laptop computer so that they could activate 4 banks/patches of samples that Warren had patched together. Which bank was activated when was controlled by Warren. All of the banks were organized into 4 pitch ranges meant to be activated by my vocals: a low drone range for the lowest pitch I was capable of (meant to be sounded as a sustained note), my normal speaking voice range, my falsetto range, & my whistling range. The agreed-upon 1st bank had been structured by Warren & myself so that the drone would trigger scat singing either by Eddie Jefferson or an unknown woman; my normal speaking pitches would activate 19 possible words organized so that their pitches ascended in correspondence to the words' alphabetical order. A 2 second delay preceded each of these words so that they could appear as if in conversational response to my own speaking. This 1st patch was drawn from various people's voices & the vocabulary was (perhaps roughly):

 

Conservative

Dawesses ["Dresses" lisped]

Face

Flat out

Function

How will you eat?

Insanity runs in my family.

Kick

On the floor

Organ

Precious

Puritanism

Radio

Rock

Same

Sample

Totally illogical

What's up?

You see

 

My falsetto voice triggered the broadest range of samples & my whistling activated all sine waves (of varying forms: ie: multiple sine waves simultaneously, glissandi, etc..). All of the work done creating these samples was by Warren. Each of these ranges was conceptually mutually exclusive. As such, there were only words in the normal speaking voice range & nowhere else & only sine waves in the whistling range & nowhere else, etc..

Independent of me, Warren had created the other 3 patches without my knowing what the samples in the drone, falsetto, & whistling ranges were as of the time of this presentation. Shortly prior to beginning, he presented me with a list of the vocabularies. Whether these new words had alphabetic pitch correspondences (as with the 1st patch) is unkown to me. These last 3 lists are presented here as they were presented to me & are, therefore, not in alphabetic order:

 

Patch 2: Cinema People

 

Alive

Alligators

Awful Silly

Boys

Capers

Cigarette Lighter

Clothes [male voice]

Clothes [female voice]

Dracula

Good

Guess

Handbag

Have to kill

I feel bad

They eat

Victory

Washstands

Well

Wonder Dog

 

Patch 3: Humphrey Bogart

 

Bad

Drinking your lunch

Cross Examine

Looking

Kid

Rocco

Less

Dying

The-uh

Made

Dreams

'tuff ["Stuff" without the "S"]

Decide

Maybe

Get

Buried

Here

Manners

Myself

 

Patch 4: Vineta's words

 

Abstract

Assertive

Caricature

Complex

Elbows

Eyes

Falsetto

Fast

Gibberish

Gentle

Hysterical

Limp

Nonsequitur

Relaxed

Rhythmic

Shy

Simple

Squirmy

Vehemence

 

The delay time preceding each of these words varied from patch to patch.

When my mobile phone rang & I answered it, I passed it to a member of the audience saying that I thought it was for them. When I made sounds into the radio mike & triggered samples from Warren's laptop patches these were played out from the laptop's speakers into Warren's mobile phone mouthpiece &, from there, to the earpiece of the receiving phone. At this beginning stage, the samples were only faintly audible to the audience coming from the deliberately muffled laptop speaker & from the mobile phone earpiece. After passing the phone to the 1st audience member chosen, I took it back & asked if had been for them - acting confused about what was going on. I then talked into the phone again as if talking to someone & pretended that I'd gotten further info about who 'the call' might be for & then continued to pass the phone thru the audience.

After a few minutes of this, I returned to the mike stand & blithered a bit more. This was subtly interupted by Warren then phoning our friend in the audience Steve Charman's mobile phone. They proceeded to have a fairly ordinary conversation. Steve knew that something was going to happen with his mobile because he'd been asked to bring it but he hadn't been prepped otherwise. His conversation was as if he was trying not to be too loud for fear of interupting the 'performance' he was attending.

Finally, the laptop was plugged into the PA & the triggered samples were loudly audible. I started this part off with saying, in falsetto, something like "I've been having all sorts of technical problems here so I think I need to do some free association." This was meant to prep the audience for my saying words from the vocabularies & then having words from the same vocabularies, but said by different people, be sounded shortly thereafter. The majority of the words I spoke from this point on were drawn from the patch vocabularies. I both stayed near the standing mike so that my vocal sounds could be occasionally amplified along with the samples & wandered thru the room so that they would be most audible to be people in my vicinity. It was probably clear to the audience that my vocals were activating the sounds but exactly how it was being done would've been difficult to determine. Two studio recordings of this last section were later recorded.

At one point I wandered down the front steps of the Planet Cafe & into the restaurant area below just as 2 people looking for the 'performance' entered the front door. I was cupping my hands around the radio mike & making a variety of sounds & saying vocabulary words as I walked thru the restaurant & then up the back stairs to the performance space again. I was later told by the 2 people who entered at this point something like "we knew we'd found what we wanted when we saw you doing that & then went upstairs & realized that your vocals were somehow connected to the samples." The person who told me this was quite enthusiastic. To people in the restaurant unaware that a 'performance' was happening, I might've seemed like a mysterious 'deranged' person muttering to myself.

At other points, I wandered thru the audience putting the radio mike in front of audience members' mouths to try to get them to attempt to trigger samples themselves. At least one person was loath to do so, presumably shy about her abilities as a performer, so I took back the mike & said "Just say NO to microphones!"

Given the technical vagaries of this process, the pitch-to-MIDI conversion (etc) was hardly 'perfect'. The converter (with, perhaps the 'assistance' of the radio mike's somewhat inaccurate transmission, etc) didn't necessarily 'interpret' my attempted pitches as what I intended them to be & there was a tendency for systemic feedback & other difficult to control extraneous pitch-to-MIDI info resulted in a somewhat less clear sequence & mix of samples than what Warren & I were aiming for. Nonetheless, the whole process was a stimulating CONJURAL process in the sense that my 'chanting' into 'thin air' brought forth 'spirits'.

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/TiCYlcBm5nM?t=3h20m32s

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

300. Late for Breakfast

- 3D Radio Station, Adelaide, Australia

- Thursday, June 8, 2000

- etta (see most of the entries from 212 on - mentioning etta cetera & Rita Rodentia) & I'd been invited to promote our upcoming 2 Adelaide presentations & to otherwise shoot the shit back on Adelaide's beloved community radio station (see entries 281 & 282). The 2 hosts were Andrew Bunny & Suzy Ramone. Andrew had actually, GASP!, done research on us & had read an early version of the "Report on the 1st Nonexistent International Neoist Apartment Festival" scattered between entries 281 to 286 here. I don't remember much about this at the moment but I do remember etta & I discussing our movies in the flow of Andrew talking about Woody Allen. We played a bit of the CD of studio versions of "Conjuring" (see May 30, 2000) & I explained a bit of that technically.

- audio from this is track 6 on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/Radio2000

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

301. A Night of Low Classical Usic

- Rhino Room, Adelaide, Australia

- Thursday, June 8, 2000

- Karen Eliot organized this as somewhat of a continuation of the Neoist activities in Adelaide from 2 months before (entries 281 to 286). Apparently, our previous time spent there had aroused more interest in Neoism than our original anticipated arrival had so there were a few new participants this time. A different Karen Eliot kicked off the evening with a prepared guitar drone improvisation. This was followed by yet another Monty Cantsin playing guitar while a friend of his sat at an on-stage computer playing solititaire - apparently to fake out the audience into thinking that he was playing some of the music on it. It was eventually used for such purposes. Monty performed a "classic rocker" using neoist buzz words. An attempt was made to get the audience to renounce Neoism - to no avail since most of them had no idea what he was talking about. He capped off his set by shooting at the audience with a cap pistol & then pretending to cap himself.

etta (see most of the entries from 212 on - mentioning etta cetera & Rita Rodentia) screened "Hairfarmer" & I screened "Diszey Spots", "Department of Failures", "Background Movie #2", & "Air Drops". This was followed by my playing electronics. I ended my set by playing the soundtrack to the slide show version of "Shuffle Mode" - without the visuals. This begins with:

"Into your hopeless un- life. You can find the elements narrowing to nothing - realizing experience is shuffling thru the dreary not- so- free limits of no escape from dumb fate. The very order of nothing's meaning, what you think, is like your death. Usual things, that you thought you knew, reprogram around discombobulate being when you try to make sense."

& ends with:

"You 'know' your life is not hopeless. To experience the free- dom, reprogram the order of things. Try shuffling around the elements of your being. Escape from death- like dreary limits - realizing nothing's fate. Make what you thought is narrowing you to nothing into new, very un- usual meaning. Find sense when you discombobulate so that you can think thru."

The reading was mixed with various other driving sounds to try to get the audience's attention. As far as I could tell, no-one was listening. When I ended there was no audible reaction from them. Conversation continued as before. No-one applauded, no-one booed. Nothing. Finally etta loudly acknowledged my ending & the audience joined in. Somethingland finished off the night with a guitar noise improv with ranting behind a screen onto which video was projected. I got paid less than the soundman, none of the other 'performers' were paid at all. Fortunately, the next night's screening organized by Dick Dale was more enthusiastically received. Bye bye Adelaide!

- a movie of the entire festival can be found on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/1stNonExistentInternationalNeoistApartmentFestivalInTheYear000

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

310. 15 Hrs of Video @ 30 Times Its Original Speed

- Jefferson Presents, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, March 24, 2001

- The title of this is also the title of the super-8 film presented. This film was made in 1987 especially for 106 ("Easter Island Bunny Booed Usic") by single-frame shooting 15 hours of finished video of mine off a large tv & animating the tv screen in various ways - such as by placing transparencies on it. This was the 1st time it was presented as 2 projections side-by-side. I improvised a concrete mix of sound materials adapted from the time period when the film was made (& related material from a couple of years later) that were specially prepared on 2 CDs. One of the CDs had a track that was played continuously throughout. The other CD had 60 tracks that were shuffled & looped & played thru a Breakaway Vocalizer 1000 Pitch-to-MIDI convertor. This device has built-in sounds that could be triggered by the CD input + preset rhythms. Both were used to varying degrees. The MIDI output was used to control my K1m wave-table synthesizer. Since the CD sound was mostly very fast, it superceded the Vocalizer's response ability & caused it to frequently malfunction - forcing me to adapt to not always predictable sudden changes.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE


311. (M)Usic - 1885 to the Present

- Seminar Room, Woodland Art Center, Chatham College, Pittsburgh, us@

- Tuesday, April 10th, 2001, 6 to 8:30PM

- This was a somewhat stripped-down variation on the mad scientist didaction previously described in entries 205, 208, 211 & 248. I had changed the recording of the lecture to correct a minor mistake in it & burned a CD to use of it rather than the tape I'd previously used. I was mainly in the front of the room behind a table with a Breakaway Vocalizer 1000 Pitch-to-MIDI convertor, a CD player, a 4-channel mixer, & a K1m wave-table synthesizer on it. Initially, a microphone on a boom stand was in front of where I was standing. A radio transmitter was set up, unknown to the students, in a nearby office. The CD player played thru 2 speakers near the front. The room was generally dark - with the exception of a small lamp used to occasionally illuminate my printed copy of the lecture & a video projection. As before, the pre-recorded lecture played - going over some 'western' (m)usic innovations & playing approximately 1 minute examples. Sound effects gradually entered making the text more & more difficult to understand. I lip-synced the text, speaking over it in & out of sync. As before, I initially tried to create the illusion that the speaking heard was all coming from me talking into the mic until I shattered the illusion by walking away from the mic (while my pre-recorded voice kept speaking) in order to distribute a list of women composers. During the lecture I silently video-projected a video-transfer of a single-layer version of my 16mm film entitled "Hypnopedagogy" being projected onto a white spandex screen that was manipulated from behind to subtly distort the image.

After the lecture proper ended, I projected about 15 to 20 minutes' worth of my "Volunteers Collective" movie while I played excerpts from the pre-recorded lecture that the students had just heard - using the lecture to drive the Pitch-to-MIDI convertor & the K1m. This way, some elements of the lecture were brought a bit more out of 'history' & more into the present tense.

After this section ended , I'd intended to instruct the students to go to a nearby pond where I was going to have 2 friends dressed as a Frothing Catatonic Siamese Twins Oracle interact with them. Unfortunately, it was raining heavily so we changed the plan & had the FCSTO (Spat & Babs) wait for them in the Men's Room instead. In addition to the usual FCST gear (described in many previous entries), they had a radio tuned to the station that I was broadcasting on that was partially disguised by a mask with a long shroud descending from it that etta cetera (see just about every one of the last almost100 entries) had made for a pro-Iraq demonstration. When I finished the "Volunteers Collective" section, a student asked something like "Is there a method to this madness?" & I told her that all questions would be answered if they'd go to the Men's Room.

When they got there, the FCSTO's radio was playing one of my Pittsburgh Pirates Steelers of the Airwaves "It's Always 6 O'Clock" radio shows on the theme of "Us Animals" - a highly edited selection of recordings related to human/non-human interaction. From the office/transmitter location, I broadcast a request that 1 of the students come to the office. Unfortunately, this wasn't understood too well at the receiving end but one of the students was induced to come anyway & I explained that I was broadcasting & asked the student to broadcast a request for another student to come. This was also somewhat unintelligible at the receiving end & all the students ended up coming to the office at once & a Q&A session finished it off.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

313. CircumSubstantial Playing & Blindfolded Tourism

- Mattress Factory -> thru the streets -> Wittamy Do(ugh)Boys secret place -> thru the streets, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, August 10th, 2001, 7 to 9:00PM

- In the basement of the Mattress Factory I set up chairs so that winding walkways went between them. At the front, there were 3 projection screens with the 2 side screens angled at about 30 degrees in relation to the central one + 3 video projectors & VCRs. In front of those was a table covered with electronic instruments including a pitch-to-MIDI converter, a radio mic receiver, a sampler, a keyboard, a mixer to channel the VCRs' sounds, an end mixer/sampler, an effects unit, a MIDI-patcher, & a CD player.

As the vaudience arrived, the room was very dark except for a flashlight that I carried. I was wearing my Anarkanian silver & multi-tentacled 'spacesuit' (see entry 305) & I ushered people thru the confusing pathways. I also had a hidden radio mic & transmitter into which I made sounds that were sent into the pitch-to-MIDI converter & then used to trigger samples. The 196 seconds of samples were all taken from the computer edit of my published Volunteers Collective "Yr of Sundays" tape (see entries 242, 243, 245, 247, 250, & 251 for related descriptions).

After about 10 minutes, I started the video projections - the 3 half-hour sections of my "Volunteers Collective" movie presented simultaneously. The samples & vaudeo footage were related - often from the same sessions. The mix was set so that the sound from the imagery on the left screen was heard only in the left channel, the sound from the imagery on the right was only in the right & the middle imagery's sound was in both channels. The left speaker was front left & the right speaker was back right - to exaggerate the stereo separation. After the vaudeo started, I continued to meander thru the seating aisles with the flashlight & making triggering sounds for another 5 minutes & then eventually went to the electronics table for more complex sound generating & mixing possibilities.

For the remaining 25 minutes of the projections, I mixed the soundtracks, played the samples, looped short tracks on the "Yr of Sundays" CD that was being played, added effects, & recorded & played back looped samples on the final mixer/sampler. The mixing was done in such a way so that only selected parts of the soundtracks were audible. As such, a vaudience member trying to associate sounds with images would have to be constantly searching for the connections. At a few key points, the samples I played were related to the visuals. Hence, when the 2 scenes of the implosion of a downtown Pittsburgh building (500 Wood Street) were shown (footage provided by Sharyn Frederick - see entries 197, 202, 205, 247, 251, & 252; sound provided by Michael Johnsen - see entries 196, 197, 202, 204, 205, 206, 209, 247, & 268) I'd play a sample of the implosion & exaggerate it even further with effects processing to increase the drama.

Throughout, my face & bodyshape (to a minor extent) were disguised by the 'spacesuit' - & I hadn't spoken. When the projections ended, I turned to the vaudience & explained that that (highly dense & disorienting section) had been the "orientation". In a sense, it was, because most of the footage was relevant to CircumSubstantial Playing & presented Volunteers Collective participants playing site-specifically. As such, the vaudience had been prepped for having a CircumSubstantial encounter of their own - which led to my then expressing my hope that they would continue on to the next part which would consist of their being blindfolded & taken on a fieldtrip to an undisclosed location. Just my speaking after the intense unusualness of all those very varied sounds must have been a somewhat shocking contrast. The fieldtrip plan had been widely publicized in many of the local 'news'papers, thru the internet, & thru mailings but I didn't expect many people to be willing to undergo such an experience. Was I in for a surprise! EVERYONE THERE, except maybe for one couple with children, WANTED TO DO THIS!! Over 60 people! Go figure.

They all filed out & up to the parking lot where various vans & cars waited to transport them. There were 9 drivers: Steve, Julia, Jessica, Bill, Stephanie, Michael, Brieanne, Jennifer, & Sara. I got out of my 'spacesuit' so that I was just wearing fairly ordinary grubby summer clothes. I went with the 1st van with Steve from the Mattress Factory driving, my friend John with a camcorder, & Franka Bruns (a reporter/photographer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) as well as perhaps 9 vaudience members - all blindfolded. Most of the MF drivers had been on a rehearsal run earlier that day to prepare them for what they were expected to do now.

I'd spent more than 50 hours making a 19 minute recording (which I ended up calling "CarCophony") meant to be played during this drive. This was made from over 125 car-related sound effects organized so that their playing would be subtle at 1st & then exaggeratedly obvious overkill. A rough outline of the structure is as follows:

Sparse Sneaky Beginning: 00:00:000-02:43.050

Subtly Silly 1st Continuous Miscellaneous Scenario into Gas Station: 02:43.051-05:44.583

Big Crash Scene: 05:44.584-07:22.804

Aftermath of Crash w/ Bad Batteries: 07:22.805-09:13.888

Motorcycles: 09:13.889-11:35.019

Miscellaneous Traffic Sounds Obviously Effected & Edited: 11:35.020-13:11.939

Approaching Peace at Last..: 13:11.940-15:00.004

..blown by the Races: 15:00.005-17:00.005

Final Car Wash: 17:00.006-19:00.000

In the html version of this text a more in-depth analysis of this can be read by clicking on the CarCophony Plan link. These sound effects were taken (without permission - please forgive me! I love sound effects!) from: Excelsior Sound FX 200 Sound Effects (green box) Volumes 1 & 2, Excelsior Sound FX 200 Sound Effects (orange box) Volume 1, Audio Fidelity (AFSD 5890) Demonstration & Sound Effects Record, BBC Sound Effects: DISASTERS, Sound Effects Volume 4, Lars Eastholm's Sound Effects Volume 3: AUTOMOBILES, Robert Hall Sound Effects 48/49 & 75, "the exciting racing sounds of Grand Prix challenge of champions", & BBC Sound Effects Library 5: Transport. I also recorded & integrated a test run of the trip with the assistance of my friend Joy.

The drivers were instructed to emphasize parts of the "CarCophony" by driving in response to it. So, eg, during the "Aftermath of Crash w/ Bad Batteries", I signalled to Steve that he should stop the van & jerk the car forward as the battery sounds sputtered. I'd timed the drive at 14:28 so the recording took this into consideration by having certain sounds, such as the passing of a diesel lorry, happen when the vehicle would probably be stopped at a light or stop-sign. The timing was also intended to result in the car "Races" section (a very dense & speed-change altered part) occurring around the time that people would be arriving at the undisclosed location so that as they would exit the vehicles they'd be surrounded by loud Grand Prix car sounds.

When the blindfoldees arrived, they were helped out of the vehicles by the 16+ guides/ushers: Mike, Greg, Cory, Woody, Chris, Cerrina, Ron, Joy, Miriam, John, Neo, Tate, Sharyn, Mel, GLF Dave, & Ben, etc. Many of these ushers had clear-plastic masks covering their faces & other masks on the backs of their heads. Ron was bare-chested except for a very stripper-esque fringy bra. The audience had their hands placed on the shoulders of the guides in front of them & the guides then walked & gave them forewarnings of upcoming obstacles to be careful of: curbs & steps & the like. Ironically, many of those ushering have participated in such celebratory political activities as "Reclaim the Streets" - now classified by the Police State's very own FBI in its typical despicable Draconian fashion as "terrorist". Yeah, right. As such, many of the blindfolded were being cared for by so-called "terrorists" & not a hair was harmed. The FBI are the terrorists.

The audience was led into a building & down some steps into a mysterious large space. This area had been lovingly constructed by the Wittamy Do(ugh)Boys (Mike, Greg, Dave, & friends) out of mostly found materials over more than a year. In the interest of keeping this experience continuingly mysterious for any audience members who might find this description somewhere, I'll leave this telling somewhat vague. Three or 4 hairy dogs wandered around rubbing past & adding to the sensations. The blindfolded were led around a deep pit in which 6 masked nudists were making sounds intended to be of difficult-to-ascertain origin. I had anticipated that if people were to peek from under the eye-coverings they'd be further surprised & confused by this sight. Only a very few people peeked! Maybe only one person peeked into the pit! Apparently, they preferred to totally cooperate with what they thought they were expected to do! Once again, I was shocked! The pit crew consisted of etta (who was the coordinator of this end of the activities - see most of the entries from 212 to 305), Swifty, Fruity Dave, Nicole, Spat (see # 310), & Wynne.

Franka, the Post-Gazette reporter, took photos from the pit vantage point & one of them was printed in the paper on the following Monday. Imagine the surprise of the blindfoldees when they finally got to see this aspect of what they could only hear at the time! In the photo, Miriam (a slender maid with a "Sunday-best" hat on) is leading a young blindfolded man on an apparent ledge while 2 troll-like figures are seen in the pit below - one holding a frying pan. The scene looks like a precarious hero's journey from a fairy tale.

The people were then led back out to be driven back to the MF. As they were leaving, I played various mostly whale, animal, & bird sounds over the pirate radio & added audience-specific voice-overs that could be heard via the radios in their vehicles. As the whale sounds played, I told the blindfoldees leaving that they'd just been temporarily altered so that they could be underwater & that if they'd peeped they would've seen rare undersea creatures. For people leaving in a car, I claimed that we'd just broken into the zoo. For others, I said that they'd just been blindfolded by anarchists & taken to an undisclosed location & returned UNHARMED & mentioned that if we'd been the government they might not've been so well-treated. As an elaborate edit I'd made of bird sounds played (from the "Us Animals" CD I'd made mentioned in 310), I explained that all the driving around had just been to confuse people & that they'd really just gone to the National Aviary nearby to the MF. All of these stories were meant to further expand their imaginings of what had happened.

The drivers had been told that the audience could be encouraged to remove their blindfolds when they got far enough away from the secret place. I expected the blindfoldees to be uncomfortable & wanted them to be able to be free as quickly as they could be without ruining the experience. At least 2 people opted in favor of keeping them on all the way back to the Mattress Factory so that they could more fully experience the mystery! Bravo!

Many, MANY thanks to the MF for being so open to supporting such a 'lunatic fringe' project, to the sizeable crew for being so generous with their time & energy (& so TRUSTWORTHY), &, especially, to the BLINDFOLDED AUDIENCE for taking the risk!! Thanks also to Jarrett & Owen & etta for additional camerawork & to all those not mentioned elsewhere specifically by name such as George, Barbara, Jean, & Maggie, etc..

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

315. Release Party for Street Ratbag #5

- Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, December 21st, 2001, 7 to 10:00PM

- The 5th issue of the Street Ratbag Liberation Front's magazine features a picture on the cover from the Mark Dixon initiated project "Think Tank VIII: Automobile Re-Visionaries" in which Mark & 4 others (etta cetera, Steve, Erik, James) lived in a roofless room for 2 weeks with an '85 Saab car & turned it into musical instruments. The inside color centerfold is pictures from "CircumSubstantial Playing & Blindfolded Tourism" (see entry 312). There are RATicles about both of these & audio excerpts from both on the CD that comes with the issue.

As such, the evening's program somewhat revolved around politics & quasi-documentation from the above. It began with the premier of "Guitarists Anonymous"- a self-help group designed to help guitarists withdraw from their debilitating addiction. This consisted of my asking the guitarist attendees to raise their hands &, when they didn't do so, explaining that they shouldn't be embarrassed because we were there to confront the problem - not to hide it. After more spiel along those lines the testifyin' began with a duet by Daryl Fleming on guitar & myself on samples of me playing guitar & ended with a duet with me on the same samples & Greg Pierce playing guitar (in a white shirt with subtle drawings on it). This was the 1st time I'd played publically with these guys - even though I'd played with Greg many times in the last 7 years.

This was followed by the 2nd version of the vaudeo from "Auto.. Re-Vision". After an entirely too long intermission during which I loaded a massive array of Mechanically Repetitive & ReRecorded Records samples, the Hip Criticals portion of the evening began. They're a "generic HipHop" group consisting of radical cheerleader extraordinaire HipHopCrates (aka etta cetera - see every entry under the sun from the last 4 &1/2 years) & Little Orphan Anarchy (aka Neo Havok). This was my 1st attempt at sortof playing HipHop (& I do mean sortof) & I probably wasn't very successful at it! My samples were culled from my archives of pieces of mine that I thought were conceptually relevant to some formal aspects of HipHop as I perceive it thru my no-doubt skewed & ignorant perspective. Nonetheless, my friend Spat (who does like HipHop & listens to it) liked it alot so I guess I didn't fail too miserably. The set list of etta & Neo's material consisted of:

"Terrorist Attack" -> Intros -> "Rape Rap" -> "Andie" (a personal favorite about a genetics experiment crossing something like a monkey with a jellyfish - in which family reunions weren't taken into consideration!) -> "WWW - U.S. Economy" -> "Rachel's Revolt" (against rhyming about clits & such-like) -> "Trash Rap" -> "Apparatus" -> "Graffiti"

The evening concluded with a screening of 16 minutes of the feature quasi-documentary from "..Blindfolded Tourism" showing attendees who'd been blindfolded (there were at least 3 present) what they hadn't seen. I thought that this bit of tantalizing would've attracted a large crowd but perhaps they didn't know about it because most people there were friends who hadn't been to the August 10th "..Blindfolded.." experience.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

316. Movies on the Mount / Short Attention Span / Guitarists Anonymous #2

- Duquesne Heights Community Center, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, January 18, 2002, 7 to 12 midnight

- The venue was a former supermarket & my corner of it was entered via ramp.

I alternated between a solo Guitarists Anonymous presentation (see 314) & a screening of 21 movies of mine made between 1977 & January 1st, 2001 that're all under 5:00 long (w/ one slight exception). A partition at the top of the ramp had a poster that announced:

& in this corner,

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

presents:

 

Guitarists Anonymous

- testifying for the recovery of those weak-willed musicians

who've fallen hopelessly into the bad habit of using such a banal instrument

 

+ 20 Movies Under 5:00 in Length

(for those of you who have a hard time paying attention to anything other than commercials)

{+ 1 slightly longer}

3:20 - "Computer Interview" - (w/ Steve Estes) - 1977

3:46 - "3 Mile Island" {version 5} - (w/ B.O.M.B.) - 1979

2:27 - "Paper Dolls in Dava's Class" - 1981

2:00 - "A Double Negative As Not A Positive" - (w/ Hannah Aviva) - 1982

2:30 - "Neoist Guide Dog" - (w/ Litvinov) - 1984

1:40 - "Nudist Party" - 1989

4:50 - "Ward of Mouth" - 1989

4:15 - "Barfroom" - (w/ DeeDee Ranged) - 1989

1:30 - "Official Neoast Chair Didaction" - (w/ Richard Brandow) - 1992

2:34 - "National Cancer Institute Documentary" - 1993

2:29 - "Department of Failures" - 1995

4:41 - "The Department of Dishes & the Cooking Show Present:" - 1995

4:40 - "Frothing Catatonic Siamese Twins Volunteers Collective XXVII

d composing Mozart Release Party" - 1996

1:50 - "Background Movies for Home Music: [Perpetual (E)Motion] Home" - 1997

1:41 - "Background Movies for Home Music: Light Motion" [should be Hurry] - 1997

1:50 - "Background Movies for Home Music: [Toasting Emotions in Freudian] Western" - (the above 3 w/ etta cetera) - 1998

0:57 - "N.A.A.M.C.P. P.S.A." - 1998

2:58 - "typewriter poem - tomas schmit - march 63" - (w/ etta cetera) - 1998

3:03 - "Shuffle Mode" - 1999

5:02 - "Space Ballet" (condensed) - 1999

2:25 - "Y, 2, Nay-Ked!" - January 1, 2000

 

The Guitarists Anonymous presentation involved a short filmstrip of "Withdrawal Aids" - pictures of instruments other than guitars. These were culled largely from issues of the excellent magazine "Experimental Musical Instruments" (alas, no longer published). In the 4 or 5 times I presented this, I gradually got more proficient in syncing the filmstrip changes to the way I played the guitar samples. Of course, I worked the audience by asking if any guitarists were present & contextualizing the presentation as helpful for them.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

317. Guitarists Anonymous #3

- Brew House, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, February 1, 2002, 8:30 - 9:00PM

- See entries 314 & 315 for the preceding 2 Guitarists Anonymous presentations. By this point I'd made a 60+ slide presentation which, like the filmstrip used in #2, was titled "Guitarists Anonymous Withdrawal Aids" & consisted of pictures of instruments other than guitar. With a remote for the slides, I advanced them somewhat in sync with dramatic changes in the guitar sample playing. My set was followed by the Ben Opie Trio & then Beam. I'm happy to report that members of Beam seemed to enjoy my thing & that the vocalist (who went by the names "Ikea" (maybe) & Marian Barry ((sp?) after the mayor of Washington DC who was busted for crack use) even went so far as to say something complimentary about what I'd done at the beginning of Beam's set. THANK YOU! I like yinz too! I hope we play together again!

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

318. Guitarists Anonymous #4

- Backward on Forward, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, March 16, 2002, 7:53 - 8:28PM

- See entries 314, 315, & 316 for the preceding 3 Guitarists Anonymous presentations. By now, the 60+ slide presentation which had been used in 316 had 80 slides, & the filmstrip used in 315 had been improved somewhat. I'd also made a vaudeo that combined these 2 w/ footage shot by Kent Bye (as part of making a documentary about me) of 314 + a Rehabilitation Center scene w/ ethnomusicologist & well-rounded musician Eric Myers (see 160, 162, 166, & 176), Alex Van Ness (who assisted w/ 276), & Linda Gielec + an improvisation w/ great multi-instrumentalist Michael Pestel (see 204, 205, 208, 211, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, & 278) in his instrument-filled apartment. The filmstrip was projected by Mark Gunderson, using various playful projection techniques, to the left; the vaudeo was in the middle; & Gordon Nelson projected the slides approximately every 24 seconds on the right.

I began, as usual, by asking guitarists in the audience to identify themselves & pointed out that I'd have to "torture" the recidivists that I saw present. The projections were then started. The vaudeo & the guitar samples were fed into the sampling mixer. Usually the vaudeo soundtrack was kept down. It was brought up during selected Rehab scenes, selected instrument playing with Michael Pestel, & brief snippets of the duets with Daryl Fleming & Greg Pierce. I played the samples as the main soundtrack to this triple projection & sample looped selections with the mixer including something that included the statement "I didn't fuck that ex-Moonie for nothing" - an actual reference to my life included in the Rehab scene. At 2 points I took the Grossinator (a toy used as a 'torture' instrument in the Rehab scene that pronounces 'gross' statements like "I'm going to make a horrible gross fart!") & played a statement from it into the ears of 2 people who'd identified themselves as guitarists. At the end, the Grossinator was allowed to make the last statement to the hypothetical guitarists who hadn't quit the habit yet.

Following me on the bill were Impercept (a Pittsburgh-based laptop performer) & Scientifically Speaking with Irene Moon (a Lexington-based entymologist lounge & noise performer) who was accompanied by the electronics band SICK HOUR.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

319. Release Gig for "Circuits of Steel" CD

- Public Health Auditorium, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, us@

- Monday, April 22, 2002

- "Circuits of Steel" is a Pittsburgh electronic music double-CD compilation published by Manny Theiner's SSS label & Manny arranged 7 release gigs at 7 venues over 7 days. This was the 3rd of these. The evening opened with Vertonen followed by V.V. (both from Chicago) followed by ARC Libre Trio (from LA) followed by myself followed by the evening's incarnation of the Pittsburgh Free Music Society (who change their name every gig & whose name for this one was something like "Statutory Independent Watchdog Body" - abbreviated henceforth as "Body") which included Michael Johnsen. Michael & I are both represented on the CD. What can I say? The (M)Usic was truly excellent from all participants - & there was a paying audience of about 7 in a room that could hold about 150. Whatever.

I began by projecting the 30 minute version of the "Volunteers Collective" vaudeo that has the 3 half-hours of the 90 minute version superimposed - with the sound intitially kept down. I was wearing my Anarkanian outfit (see entries 305 & 312) & carrying my Suitcase (see entries 199, 205, 208, & 211) with the hidden tape-player in it & a radio-mic transmitting from it. I'd go to a vaudience member & open the suitcase & a tape would play which would trigger shorter versions of the Volunteers Collective samples used in 312 to come out of the PA at the front of the room. After a few minutes of that, I returned to the front, where my controller keyboard + sampler + pitch-to-MIDI convertor + wave-table synthesizer + sampler mixer equipment was & removed the mic from the suitcase & hid it under my Anarkanian hood. Then I danced in sync with when my vocals would trigger the electronics.

After this phase, I started playing the electronics from the keyboard. Shortly before 21 minutes, I turned up the (slightly out-of-sync - but that's a different story) soundtrack to the vaudeo in anticipation of the 1st of 2 explosion scenes. When this scene happened, I played the related loud sample & Body got on stage & started playing. The desired effect was that when the explosion ceased, a minute or so later, Body's playing would finally be audible & would sound very rich & renewing in contrast - & I think it worked wonderfully. The personnel were: Greg Pierce, Michael Johnsen, Steve Boyle, Matt Weiner, Hyla Willis, & Ed Bucholtz. I turned the soundtrack down again & started playing with more emphasis on using the wave-table synthesizer sounds. For the 2nd explosion I turned the sound up again. After I ended, Body was introduced & they continued to play.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

323. [on Fabio's radio program

- WFMU, 91.1FM, Jersey City, us@

- Thursday, October 17th, 2002, 12:00 noon to 3:00PM

- Your basic uncert & chat session. My 1st return to FMU since I last appeared with Fabio over 7 years previously (see entry #198). Fabio had tickets to give away for the upcoming "Transfert" festival & had to think of a trick question for them to answer to win the tickets. I proposed that he ask the audience "Who painted the Rothko Chapel?". Which he did. I played 4 short sets using my oxygen 8 MIDI controller keyboard, ASR-X Pro sampler, & DX 500 sampler mixer. The 1st set used the "Volunteers Collective Year of Sundays" samples previously used in #s 312 & 318; the 2nd used the "Guitarists Anonymous Withdrawal Aids" samples used in 314-317 (thusly making this the 5th Guitarists Anonymous public session); the 3rd used the "Mechanically Repetitive / ReRecorded Records" samples used in the Hip Criticals portion of #314; & the last used the "61 (of 123) Sequences Sampled" samples not previously used.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

324. [Phenomena Audio Arts & Multiples

- SubTonic, New York City, us@

- Thursday/Friday, October 17th/18th, 2002, 1:50AM to 2:15AM

- I made a somewhat spontaneous trip to NYC & arranged this semblance of a gig at the last minute. Thanks to Fabio Roberti for introducing me to Keiko Uenishi who connected me to Toshio Kajiwara who presents this "Phenomena" series in the wine barrel basement of Tonic with collaborator DJ Olive. Since I was added on at the end I wasn't listed on the ad at the door & I had to wait for the end of the planned performers before it was my turn. By then it was about 1:50 in the morning & there were about 6 people left. Using the same equipment as in the previous entry & the same samples as in the last set of the same I succeeded in making 1 loop before the the sampler ceased to respond to any control signals & I had to reboot it for another 7 minutes or so. Thanks to DJ Olive for DJing during this ridiculous lull. Finally I played about a 15 minute set which I think was quite good despite problems with my sustain pedal.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

325. In Memory of Jerry Hunt (w/ a nod to Charles Tomlinson Griffes' "The White Peacock") #1

- Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, November 9, 2002, 3:02-3:34PM

- The Warhol films that I project in the theater of the Warhol museum are rarely watched for long by anyone. Most people seem to find them very boring. The film I was showing this day was the silent "Blow Job" - a shot of a guy's face while he's supposedly getting his cock sucked by a changing crew of gay artists. His expression doesn't change much, he mainly tilts his head back every once in a while as a presumed indication of excitement. After his presumed orgasm, he lights a cigarette near the end of the film. On this & the following day, an upright piano had been left in the theater near the screen - a leftover from some recent music events. When I started the film, there was no audience so I decided to play a piano "accompaniment" to it for my own amusement. I played in a somewhat 'flowery' 19th century romantic style, using flourishes, various scales, & drama, etc.. An audience member entered & I explained what I was doing & asked him if he minded. He didn't reply & only stayed for a few minutes - as is typical. After 12 minutes or so of this I got bored & stopped playing & returned to the projection booth. A couple of minutes later, 5 people entered & I decided to play for them with no explanation. As I passed by them en route to the piano, I heard the usual expression of boredom. One of the girls was saying something like "whatever!" & they seemed as if they might get up & leave. The theater was dark except for the screen & the exit signs & I sat at the piano & tried to play in as captivatingly romantic a style as I could (being not a great pianist by any means!) - & doing a passable job (I thought). I played for about 17 minutes & ended with a dramatic chordal crescendo just as the character in the movie lit his cigarette. I then left. The audience stayed throughout my playing & others may have come & gone. After I stopped playing, the audience almost immediately got up & left even though the film hadn't ended yet. This was a guerrilla uncert in that I'm sure that it wouldn't've been approved of by museum hierarchy & I, of course, had no intention of asking for 'permission'. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that my playing was what kept the 5 people there interested.

I decided to retroactively entitle this as I have in honor of the story that composer/performer Jerry Hunt would sometimes play pieces from his experimental classical repertoire, such as music by Stockhausen, when playing piano at a strip club. The story goes that he had to be protected by a chicken-wire cage to prevent projectiles from the audience from hitting him. The nod to Griffes' piece also ties into the combination of the gay sex (of "Blow Job") & what I call "Low Classical Usic" insofar as Griffes was an early 20th century gay composer who was live-in lovers with a cop & whose "The White Peacock" title was, I'm told, some sort of gay cruising reference.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

326. In Memory of Jerry Hunt (w/ a nod to Charles Tomlinson Griffes' "The White Peacock") #2

- Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, November 10, 2002, 12:30-12:34PM

- See the preceeding entry. There were 2 audience members at the beginning of this. I asked them whether they'd rather witness the film silent or if they'd like me to play the piano. They chose the piano playing. I tried to vary my playing from the day before's by creating patterns more directly related to the film & in other ways. I played a theme of sorts every time the guy getting the "Blow Job" tilted his head back, I played grumbling low notes when his head was in shadow, & trilling high pairs of major seconds when the white separated the 100 foot rolls, etc.. In keeping with typical drama-building technique, I played glissandi as the climax was nearing. As with entry 324, I stopped playing after the post-orgasmic cigarette was lit. The initial 2 people stayed for about 25 minutes. Other people came & went.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

329. Classification-Resistant What-Have-Yous: Program Y: Breakthroughs in Sprocket Science (+ Guitarists Anonymous Withdrawal Aids #5)

- San Francisco Cinematheque @ San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, us@

- Sunday, February 9, 2003, 7:30 - 11:00PM

- This consisted of a screening of 8 somewhat short movies of mine made post my last visit to SF in the fall of 1998 followed by the 5th Guitarists Anonymous Withdrawal Aids (see entries 314, 315, 316, & 317 for #s 1-4). This latter was practically identical to the 4th one with the exception of Steve Polta operating the filmstrip projector & Marika (sp?) projecting the slides. The movies screened were: "In Perplexing Pursuit of the Prodigy Paleontologist (version 2)", "Foiled Again!", "Shuffle Mode", "Space Ballet (condensed)", "Where We're Trailer #2", "Lab Rats Explain Their Veggie-Oil Powered Van", Kent Bye's "Who is tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE?" demo reel, & "Cuntralia".

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

330. Harps & Angles Quartet #1

- Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, us@

- Thursday, March 20, 2003, 7:00 - 7:30PM

- "Harps & Angles" is an installation credited to "Who is like God?s" & made for the Pittsburgh Biennial. Michael Pestel (see 204, 205, 208, 211, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 278, & 317) told me that he was planning to make an installation using piano harps from upright pianos turned into tabletops. He proposed that I be part of a series of performances using these harps. Thinking about this, I proposed that surveillance cameras be mounted over the harp table tops & that the images from these be superimposed over each other & projected into a pool of water which would reflect the projection. I further proposed that each of the harps be miked & that their sound be amplified thru speakers in the pool so that the water would ripple as response to the sound which would then cause the projection reflection to be altered by the ripples. Thusly, the sound generated by the harps would effect their own projected image & make an integrated result. I eventually proposed that this be called "Harps & Angles" as a reference to the piano harps & the camera angles as well as a joking reference to the common image of "angels & harps".

Michael Pestel proposed that instead of calling myself "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE", as I ordinarily would, that we make a name that refers to both of our given 1st names being "Michael". Since the meaning of Michael is sometimes said to be "Who is like God?", I proposed furthering the joking religious reference of the title by calling ourselves "Who is like God?s" as a sort of plural Michael that gave me a reason for using the unusual linguistic arrangement of punctuation within a word. Of course, I also preferred this because Michael is the only name I know of that's sometimes said to be a question.

In the resultant installation, the tables are arranged in a straight line slightly over 2 feet apart with the superimposition projection visible on the wall in front of where players would typically stand as well as projected into the water table placed in the corner of the room to the right of this. The water table was made to be approximately the same size as the piano harp tables. Pittsburgh electronic music composer & sound installation maker Jeremy Boyle gave us substantial advice on how to waterproof & place the speakers. Because of brightness in surrounding rooms, the reflection from the water table surface is too washed out. Given that this water table was an experiment, we discovered that it didn't work very well except when feedback was created. Bass feedback generated patterns on the surface of the water that Michael & I refer to as something like "Islamic tiles". I find these intricate geometrical patterns on the water completely fascinating. Michael placed weighted springs on these compass-point-placed speakers, which are mounted on the bottom of the table with their waterproofed surfaces exposed to the water, & a shell in the middle. The springs help conduct the sound to the surface & the placement of the shell can change the shape of the patterns. We discovered that many factors effect the substantialness of the patterns - such as how many people are standing on the floor around the table. Too many people apparently tend to dampen the conduction of the feedback thru the floorboards & to lessen or completely obliterate the patterns.

For this opening to the Biennial participants & their friends, our premier quartet consisted of Who is like God?s augmented by Steve Boyle & James Knopf. Given that this was an opening, there was much talking & milling about by the attendees & I found that the players reacted to this by being louder & 'noisier' than we might have been otherwise in an attempt to have more presence than the socializing crowd. We began by removing black coverings from the piano harp tables so that they & their projections were revealed. We then moved our hands into the middle, higher, & lower regions in an awkward & largely unsuccessful attempt at superimposed synchrocity. This quickly turned into loud & constant playing all at once that involved way too little paying attention to each other for my preferences. Michael climbed on top of his piano table & I simulated giving him a back massage by manipulating the strings on the same area of my piano table so that in the superimposition the 2 were combined. Towards the end, the feedback was brought into play. At the end, wind-up toys of a horseback rider & of penguins were set loose on the strings & the quartet walked away.

Before we ended, however, a formally dressed drunk woman from the audience, apparently perceiving this a "free-for-all" in which anyone could participate by beating somewhat senselessly on the harps, came up to the table that James had been playing on (& which he'd left so he could play on the same table as someone else) & took the largest available gong mallet & proceeded to hit the piano harp seemingly as hard as she could. This opened the floodgates to more audience participation & the audience swarmed over the piano harps as a seque to the original quartet leaving. Given that this installation is intended to be interactive & that our playing it was intended to inaugurate it so that the audience would then follow us, that would've been fine - except that the audience didn't seem to understand that we were doing something other than just attacking the surfaces to relieve of aggressions or some such. I was substantially disappointed both by the quartet's lack of paying attention to each other & to the audience's apparent insensitivity. Nonetheless, the audience seemed to love it & I was repeatedly told that it was "great". An audience member later broke a string & we learned to immediately remove the piano tuning handles after playing before the attendees could torque the strings too hard.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

331. Harps & Angles Quartet #2

- Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, March 21, 2003, 6:40 - 7:05PM

- This was the 2nd of 5 planned performances in this installation. For a detailed introduction read the preceeding entry (#329). For this, the quartet consisted of the usual "Who is like God?s" duo (myself & Michael Pestel (see 204, 205, 208, 211, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 278, 317, & 329)) + Elise Springer & Hyla Willis. Given the problems of the 1st quartet from the night before, we rehearsed this a bit so that there'd be more sensitivity between players. We began by simultaneously pulling off the covering black clothes from the piano harp table tops. Then Elise placed her hands in the middle, the upper register area, & the lower register area - followed by the other 3 players doing the same (one at a time) except that we ended by scraping the lowest string. Then we all 4 tried to do the same procedure simultaneously so that our hands would overlap in the projected image. In the improvisation that followed we cued solo w/ backing vamp sections by tossing a screw onto the piano table of the selected soloist. Players dropped out to facilitate duos & trios by standing back from their tables. 6 approaches to sounding the harps were chosen in advance as ones that we would try to collectively use in occasional unison: striking with mallets, plucking, strumming, sounding while tuning, activating by dropping objects onto the harp(s), & scraping. If someone were to use these techniques & someone else were to notice then the noticing person was to consider following suit to try to instigate everyone's doing so. I started the feedback & Michael, once again, climbed on his harp while the rest of us mimed massaging, tickling, & scratching him. We ended with the wind-up penguin toys walking on the strings while we walked away.

This time the audience refrained from attacking the piano harps until after we were done. HOWEVER, they were even MORE FEROCIOUS in doing so than they had been the previous night! With as many as maybe 10 people playing the harps at once they proceeded to hit the harps as hard as they could while they screamed. One guy used a rolling pin that had been used in the uncert as a large slide to vehemently hit the wood of the piano harp until Michael asked him to stop. The total lack of dynamic variety & subtlety in the audience's attack on the harps was truly astonishing. It was like watching a pack of monsters unleashed. They seemed to enjoy themselves immensely.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

333. "Volunteers Collective Revisited", 19 Movies under 5:00, "Guitarists Anonymous Withdrawal Aids #6"

- Copy Cat Building (1511 Guilford Ave ...503B), Baltimore, us@

- Saturday, May 10, 2003, 10PM - Midnight

- After being jerked around by Twig Harper of "Tarantula Hill" & subjected to attempted robbery by subculture exploiter Todd Lesser of "Monozine" & "Mission Space" (also the booking agent for the "Ottobar") in an attempt to arrange a similar show to this in Baltimore in January, I was lucky enough to stumble across the friendly & generous folks here - with special thanks to Nielie (whose name I'm unfortunately probably misspelling) & James & Todd (?) & "another-girl-whose-name-I-unfortunately-forget". Since much of what I present in Pittsburgh is too ambitious to tour with & since I rarely get paid anything even remotely close to what would even BEGIN to cover my expenses (not to mention my time), I've been largely unable to present satisfactorily complex shows outside of my current home town. However, since Baltimore is my town of origin, I decided to give it the old anti-college try. Unfortunately, in Baltimore, I'm unable to get the kind of enthusiastic, expert, & well-equipped assistance that I can get in Pittsburgh from the likes of the "Mattress Factory" (see entries 312 & 314) & "Jefferson presents.." (see entry 326) so I was still limited to using what equipment & costumes & the like that I could bring to town thru my friend John Peck's generous car driving assistance. Hey! This intro is longer than many of the earlier entries, innit?

ANYWAY, this evening began w/ something roughly equivalent to my "Release Gig for "Circuits of Steel" CD" (see entry 318) - ie: wearing the Anarkanian multi-tentacled outfit which I'd changed by adding joke-shop severed hands to the ends of the tentacles (see entries 305, 312, 318, & 326) & carrying my Suitcase (see entries 199, 205, 208, & 211) with the tape-player hidden in it covered over by a Blind Bowling League shirt, a dirty sock, & a novelty t-shirt w/ a rubber light switch on it, I walked into the audience while my "Volunteers Collective (superimposition version)" vaudeo was projected. Opening the suitcase for the audience members one at a time caused, as usual, a loop-tape to play wch then triggered Volunteers Collective samples via radio-mic - transmitting from the suitcase to the pitch-to-MIDI converter that enabled the triggering. Lowering the vaudeo sound after its initial Volunteers Collective intro text reading, I continued to open & close the suitcase - making the triggering connection more obvious because the samples were no longer 'buried' in the mix with the vaudeo sound. Then, as with 318, I surreptitiously switched the radio-mic to under my Anarkanian hood & twitched somewhat (some might call it dancing) whenever I triggered the samples vocally. Finally I switched to controlling the signals via my 5 octave keyboard.

This section was followed by the 1st 19 of the "20 Movies under 5:00" that'd been assembled together for my "Movies on the Mount / Short Attention Span" presentation in early 2002 (see entry 315).

I ended with the same Guitarists Anonymous (see entries 314, 315, 316, 317, & 328 for GA #s 1-5) presentation that I'd given in San Francisco in February - minus the "Grossinator" (which I'd forgotten). Having removed my Anarkanian suit, my "Low Classical" CD-covered glitz was revealed beneath. Nielie projected the slides & "another-girl-whose-name-I-unfortunately-forget" projected the filmstrip (in a suitably animated manner) while I projected the vaudeo & mixed its audio in & out whilst simultaneously playing the Guitarists Anonymous samples.

There were 20+ people in attendance. As usual, I left feeling unloved & depressed. 40 years of performing before small audiences who barely talk to me for small amounts of money (or none at all) while mediocre assholes make huge amounts from the adulation of morons has taken its toll on me. Cheerio!

Thanks to Dave Scheper & Alex Van Ness for being so damn helpful!

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

334. Harps & Angles Quartet #3

- Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, June 13, 2003, 9:20 - 9:55PM

- This was the final public performance on this installation (there were several recording sessions & student performances that had 'random' audiences prior to this that aren't listed in this history & 1 final recording session a week later). For a detailed introduction read the earlier relevant entries (329 & 330). For this, the quartet consisted of the usual "Who is like God?s" duo (myself & Michael Pestel (see 204, 205, 208, 211, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 278, 317, 329, & 330)) + frequent collaborators Michael Johnsen (see entries 196, 197, 202, 204, 205, 206, 209, 268, {247 & 312}, & 318) & Greg Pierce (see entries 196, 202, 204, 252, 314, {317}, & 318). In order to give Michael J & Greg a chance to familiarize themselves w/ the installation a bit, this quartet had played on it as a 'rehearsal' a few days before. It seemed to be a consensus after this public playing that our rehearsal was 'better'. Alas, due to my technical fuck-up, that wasn't recorded. Still, I thought this night was great (Yeah? Who asked me?).

This was the closing event of the Pittsburgh Biennial & was called "A Night of Sound Art". There was a sound performance by Jeremy Boyle + Rick Gribenas + Paul Warne + Eric Meisberger; an on-going presentation of Carin Mincemoyer's "Snap Dress" w/ Jill Stifle; a performance by Phat Man Dee; & a performance by Josh Brand in the Prekop Family's installation room (painted in black & white zebra stripes); & then our thing-a-ma-whoosie-wob. Man Dee was the MC & she led the vaudience to us. Unfortunately, she didn't know what she was introducing so she called it "Harps & Angels" by "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE" (or some such) instead of "Harps & Angles" by "Who is like God?s". Oh well. She was still a wonderful MC.

As she led the teeming flock (just kidding) into our installation they saw the 4 piano harps covered with blankets under wch 1 player per harp were laying. Phat MD came & 'woke me up' & I came out from underneath the cover & went & 'woke up' the other players. I had recorded 61 samples from an audience-less recording of Quartet #2 & had rigged the piano harp I was using so that it could trigger those samples. To initially do this I was activating the strings (not very successfully) using an E-Bow (these things are too expensive). Michael Pestel was wearing a camcorder on a helmet on his head. Everybody played marvelously & the audience paid more attention to us than they had on the previous 2 occasions. Each table-top was quite a compendium of percussion. Since the installation had been in place for almost 2 months by now, the water table had gotten 'pond scum' & swarms of small insects had lived & died on it. The generation of patterns on the water's surface wasn't working as well as it had originally too. I got so engrossed in playing that I forgot to do live video mixer manipulation as I'd intended to. We ended when I climbed back onto my harp & covered myself & the other players eventually followed suit. This playing wasn't followed by as violent an audience assault on the instruments as had previously happened.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

336. RiverCubeology #5

- Chatham College Lawn, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, October 10, 2003, 12(noon) - 1PM

- Bob Johnson created a "Rivercubes Project" which involves collecting trash polluting Pittsburgh rivers & riverbanks & turning them into sculptures by having them compacted into cubes by the Keystone Iron and Metal company. 12 had been made as of this date. 3 or more of them were on the Chatham campus lawn & 5 noontime performances around these Chatham cubes happened every weekday of this week - culminating in this friday performance. These were organized by Bob + Michael Pestel (see entries 204, 205, 208, 211, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 278, 317, 329, 330, & 333) + Eden McNutt (who's agreed to be called a "sound poet" for the moment). Michael placed his "Vile Air" (violin with slide whistle attached) in the cube & had his concert flute, Eden was vocalizing, I was experimenting with feedback, & Tracy Mortimore was playing an amplified stand-up bass thru effects. All this was centered around Bob's RiverCube labelled: "Combined Sewage Outfall: A32". A group of students for a Creative Writing class sat on nearby steps writing - apparently in response to us.

My feedback experiment consisted of my taking an 8-ohm mini-speaker (1&1/8" in diameter) & soldering it to wire with a 1/4" phone plug on the end so that it could be plugged into the headphones jack of my 2 speed mono cassette recorder. This tape deck had a guitar strap attached to it so I could carry the recorder with hands free. I also took a 12VDC (Volt Direct Current) mini buzzer & a 12VDC piezo siren & wired those in a Y-down to a mini-mono plug so that it could provide input to the tape recorder's microphone jack. The soldering that this involved was done very last minute on the Chatham lawn. Initially my unrealistic hope had been that I might be able to attach the piezo buzzer/siren combination to a part of the RiverCube & the speaker to a nearby part & have feedback be transmitted thru the cube itself. However, as soon as I saw the cube I was sure that it would be an unsatisfactory medium for this so I satisfied myself with puttering around generating feedback more directly thru the air in the cube's vicinity, recording for a few minutes. I then took the recorder to a mic connected to our sound system & rewound the tape & played it back thru the built-in speaker a bit. Later I generated feedback at the mic while Michael played flute in front of it. This was also recorded & rewound & I walked around the students playing this back. Since some of the original feedback generation would've been inaudible to them, this was my way of making it so that they would have a delayed hearing of what they'd seen me create (without knowing what I was doing). A 2nd set involved Tracy & Eden & myself interacting more physically with the cube while Michael videoed this while pulsingly playing what may've been a bird-call in his mouth. A good time was had by all & some of the pollution of the river was transformed into that goofy stuff that grown people get up to.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

337. (M)Usic - 1885 to the Present

- Rick Gribenas' Sound Art Class, Miller Gallery, CMU, Pittsburgh, us@

- Wednesday, November 12, 2003, 6 - 8PM

- See entries 205, 211, 248, & 310 for descriptions of previous incarnations of this lecture. I probably began (I'm writing this over 2 months later so I don't remember everything) by putting the SUITCASE (in addition to the above entries see also 199, 326, & 332) on the laps of the class & using its looped sounds to radio-control/Pitch-to-MIDI samples. The lecture was then played on a CD while I stood at a podium & pretended to speak into a microphone while really just mouthing the words. This continued until the part of the lecture where I walked away from the mic to hand out a list of women composers. For the rest of the lecture I either spoke or sang along with the recording or played various sound effects using such things as siren whistle, slapstick, corrugated tube, trombone, cow bells, dinner bells, & the feedback set-up used in 335, etc.. Shortly after the lecture began, a video was projected that was an edit of the 3 times I'd presented the lecture @ Chatham. This was timed so that during the CD version mention & excerpt playing of my "Drying Clothes Made Entirely Out Of Zippers" recording the relevant visuals would appear simultaneously. I moved thru the class making sounds - doing things like playing an Audobon bird-call slightly behind their ears. I also climbed a ladder for access to the ceiling-mounted video projector so that I could make shadows in the projection. The lecture ended with the class being invited to interact with an on-line version of Karlheinz Essl's "Lexikon-Sonate".

After this, I presented a vaudeo made especially for the occasion entitled "NASCAR vs Rudolph Diesel via Turntablism". This was meant to be a criticism of the over-association of Sound Art with HipHop DJs - with special attention paid to the sickening capitalism often found in that milieu. This was followed by a playing of Volunteers Collective samples (the 196 seconds of samples were all taken from the computer edit of my published Volunteers Collective "Yr of Sundays" tape (see entries 242, 243, 245, 247, 250, & 251 for related descriptions)) while a 15 minute excerpt from the Volunteers Collective (superimposition version) was projected (in addition to the above-mentioned see entries 312 & 318). A Q&A ended it all.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

338. RiverCubeology #5 (Reprise)

- Chatham College Lawn, Pittsburgh, us@

- Thursday, February 12, 2004, 3 - 4PM

- See entry 335 for an intro to my participation in Bob Johnson's "Rivercubes Project". This was an outgrowth of the "Tireless" Project which was meant to scoop up tires from Pittsburgh rivers. Of the perhaps 4 Rivercubes (compacted river detritus sculptures) that had been on the Chatham campus grounds, all but 1 had been removed to be placed back near the point of the origin of where Bob had found their materials. Michael Pestel (see entries 204, 205, 208, 211, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 278, 317, 329, 330, 333, & 335), 5 members of his "Soundscapes: Nature, Music and Silence" class, & Bob & I gathered around the last of the Rivercubes on the campus to give it a sending-off party of sorts since it was to be removed later that day. 4 bells & an agogo were inserted into it to be struck. Fragments of a small piece of dry ice were inserted into it & a sprayer of water was shot at the pieces to make them smoke. Brightly colored Jello mix was combined w/ the snow that was around & dumped from buckets onto the sculpture. Marshmellows were added. The sculpture was struck with sticks & metal. Thin metal printing plates were used as thunder sheets. A drill with a metal polishing end on it was used to abrade whatever it came into contact with - including the plates & the marshmellows. Additional percussion was the ladder that supported an overhead camera shooting the cube & the buckets that'd held the jello slush. One of the students, Morgan, vocalised into a plastic tube inserted into the sculpture. I made frequent use of a chain. Michael experimented with a camera technique that he's been developing that involves using a small mouth sound-maker to provide sound effects that accompany camera movement. I audio recorded it using binaural microphones & a mini-disc recorder - highlighting the resultant perspective by moving around the event.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

339. Harps & Angles (new duet version)

- Brew House, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, March 26, 2004

- See entries 329, 330 & 333. This was the 1st time I ever applied for funding & received it. A whopping $400 from which was subtracted $150 for expenses. I had edited an approximately 30 minute 'performance' version of the vaudeo documentary that my collaborator & I had made of the original installation & the related 'performances' & other uses of it. Only 2 of the piano tables were installed for this & instead of having surveillance cameras mounted over them we used 2 mini-dv camcorders. The tables were facing each other in front of an audience seated on bleachers. The mixed together image from their 2 cameras was projected behind them to the left on a screen. We began by having the prepared tape projected onto the right side of the screen with its soundtrack audible. This played for several minutes & then my collaborator, Who is Like God? (Pestel), & I entered from the audience rear & assumed our positions at the piano harps. WiLG?(P) was wearing somewhat ordinary clothes but had spiked his hair with blue gel which was also covering most of his visible skin. I was wearing the brightly colored turkey feather covered outfit that I'd made for the Harps & Angles Quartet 3 described in 333. The vaudeo sound was potted down for the remainder. We played the harps by rubbing glass bricks along the strings producing an eerie & dense high-pitched resonance & then gradually switched to other methods of sounding the strings & other objects that we were using. As usual, WiLG?(P) & I occasionally coordinated our movements so that special visuals would result in the superimposition projection. After 20 minutes or so of this, I switched to playing samples of the Harps & Angles Quartet 2. As such, I left the overhead shot. This left WiLG?(P) to dominate the performative element which he did wonderfully with such touchs as playing small whistle-like instruments with his nose while climbing about on his piano-harp table top. Near the end the Videonics video mixer that we were using to combine the overhead images was set to its demo mode so that it could quickly cyle thru its selection of wipes to make the left projection more spectacular. Then WiLG?(P) & I wound up 2 fake birds in cages that then 'sang' & we climbed onto the tables in a precomposed manner. When the vaudeo ended I turned off the mixer so that both images stopped around the same time & the whole shebang ended.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

340. Bad Influence

- Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), Barcelona, Spain

- Friday, April 2, 2004

- I was invited to be part of dina's "Influencers" festival along with several other individuals & groups whose work I have been interested in & respected at some point or another. The theme theoretically uniting us was "Culture Jamming & Hactivism". So far so good. At the same time, there was to be a similar festival in Berlin that I was also scheduled to be part of via teleconference. Maybe someday I'll write the full story of what a disaster this was but for now you're stuck with this.

[Ok, it's almost 5 yrs later & I've decided to finally try to update this extremely neglected record of my 'performative' activites - partially b/c the yr 2008 was so exceptional. Alas, I must start w/ "influencers" if I'm to start where the neglect began.]

To make a long story 'short': I was excited about this festival. The person who I was interacting w/ in connection w/ the festival was therefore inundated w/ emails about what I wanted to do. I developed 3 pieces especially in Spanish for this. Translators were to be part of "influencers" - (v)audience members cd wear headphones that provided English-to-Spanish live translation & Spanish-to-English live translation. So far so good. I explained that my text wd be too fast for a translator & therefore provided some text to be given to the translator in advance so that s/he'd be prepared & wd have something to read from. By the time I got to Barcelona, the text had never made it to the translator. Sure enuf, when it came time, the translator sd something to the effect of: "I can't translate this, it's too complicated & fast - I shd've had a text to read from." Right.

A soundcheck was needed for myself & my coperformer of the nite. When, by a miracle of persistance, we actually got some miniscule cooperation from the tech staff at the museum, I got them to provide me w/ a cord & then? they disappeared. I acted as the soundman for my coperformer's soundcheck. Oh well. I mean, we only flew several thousand miles to get there - I can see why the sound crew cdn't be bothered.

Most of the presentations were just laptop lectures - sound byte presentations. Even though their content was politically radical, the form was like a business presentation. One fellow's work, wch I really do very much like, was recently published in a skater's magazine (in full color) surrounded by ads. Once upon a time that wd've been immediately recognized as cooptation. Oh well.

I had an hr & a half to perform. Instead of short samples, I screened full pieces. One of them was the complete 16 minute "Balling Tim Ore Is Best" - the fake peep show movie that I comade w/ Dick Hertz under the name of Tim Ore. It has raw lo-res sex in it. The somewhat large audience started leaving in droves. I'm sure my coperformer, scheduled to start after me, was nervous about whether anyone wd be left.

An hr & 10 minutes into my presentation, when I'd finally reached a part that I'd made especially for the festival (something w/ exacting Spanish subtitles), "Eva" (named partially after Eva Peron), one of the fest's co-organizers, asked me to stop - saying I'd gone over my limit. In fact, I still had 20 minutes to go. They didn't want to lose their audience. I was disgusted. I sped up part of it.

In the end, this whole festival was just another European art world thing: "hactivism" is just a trend to jump on the bandwagon of - as long as there's money & glamour to be had. To say that I was the most hated presenter in the fest wd be an understatement. Afterwards, I was interviewed by a Spanish tv arts program person. I told her that I do what I do instead of killing people.

There was alotof press for the "influencers". It was 'hip'. I was generally (or entirely?) left out of this press. As the woman that I was most attracted to in Barcelona (I hope you know who you are) explained: they didn't know what to do w/ me. Everyone else fit into a simple brain-dead category - such as "media activist" or "prankster". I was somebody who cdn't be reduced to whatever the latest simpleton-speak was. Is making a fake peep-show movie & then smuggling it into a real peep-show "media activism"? Or is it just PERVERTED? As I've been saying to more or less deaf ears for the last 40 yrs, if being called an artist means being reduced to palatable imbecility I'll opt for being a perverted criminal, no-thank-you-very-much.

Did I make any friends at this festival? Nope. Afterwards, I rc'vd bulk emails from Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping (who was also a participant) asking for money. Uh, yeah, dude, instead of shopping at the mall, I'll shop for Reverend Billy products. My experiences w/ the other folks weren't necessarily much better.

To make matters worse, even independent of how little cooperation I got from the festival go-between & all the other crap associated w/ this experience not gone into here, it was one the worst things I'VE ever presented. & I STILL haven't described it. Video of it can be accessed @:

<http://theinfluencers.org/en/tentatively/video/1>

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

343. The Birds of Rio Negro

- Woodland Art Gallery, Chatham College, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, April 23, 2005

- This was primarily conceived of by Michael Pestel (see entries 204, 205, 208, 211, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 278, 317, 329, 330, 333, 335, 337, & 338) as part of the closing of his joint exhibition with painter Paul Krainak called "Brasilia - Constructing Oscar Niemeyer and Heitor Villa-Lobos". Not only was it the closing of the exhibit, it was also Michael's more-or-less (probably less?) farewell to his many years as Chair of the Art Department at Chatham & his many years of living in Pittsburgh. Underlying the piece was a fictional narrative about a meeting between Brasilian composer Villa-Lobos & Brasilian architect Niemeyer in which they stimulated each other to respectively compose "a symphonic work for the inauguration of Brasilia" & to design "a house [for Villa-Lobos] that would reflect the acoustic structure of the forest and enable [V-L] to enchant his friends with concerts under the sun and under the stars."

The exhibit room was a rectangle with a smaller rectangle protruding from 1 end. Primarily on the length-walls of the larger rectangle were hard-edge geometric rectangular paintings by Krainak. At the smaller rectangular end a video projected onto the underside of the lid of a prepared baby grand piano. This was a tape that Michael had directed & edited of himself playing the same piano on a barge as it floated down the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh. Placed about a third of the way out from a wall otherwise near the middle of the room was a stairway leading to a skylight well in the ceiling. The piece began w/ all the players except for myself & Michael facing the paintings on the walls & elevated slightly above the floor on rectangles of cinderblocks. The array went around the room clockwise as follows: Michael at the piano, my sampler spot empty, David Rothenberg w/ clarinets, Steve Pelligrino w/ accordian, Eden McNutt w/ vocal chords, Bruce Miller w/ banjo, Daryl Fleming w/ guitar & percussion & effects, Ben Opie w/ reeds, & Caterina De Re w/ vox magnifica. On the steps was Susanne Amundarain, narrator.

Michael began by playing the prepared piano, conceptually echoing the projection of himself doing the same thing. I was outside wearing my turkey feather covered pants & lab coat + a rubber chicken beak mask. I was vocalizing into a radio mic that was feeding into a pitch-to-MIDI converter that was triggering samples of Brasilian birds inside. These were heard in the gallery along w/ Michael's playing. I entered the room, pausing slightly for dramatic effect, & then took my place at the sampler - where I switched from the mic to the keyboard controller & paused in my playing.

Michael got up from the piano & walked to an array of flutes & began to play them. This cued Susanne to start reading the narrative text in paragraphs w/ pauses between them. Her reading the 1st paragraph triggered me to start playing again. I then added to the 37 bird samples a playing of Villa-Lobos samples excerpted from the following pieces: Peguena Suite; Prelúdio (No. 2), Op. 20; String Quartet No. 1 Capriccio, Op. 49; Elégie, Op. 87; Trio; Choros No. 2; Modinha; Quinteto Em Forma De Choros Bachianas brasilieras No. 2: "O trenzinho do caipira (The Countryman's Little Train)"; Valsa Da Dor; Baciana Brasileira No. 4; Ciclo Brasileira Distribuição De Flores (Distribution of Flowers); Bachianas brasilerias No.5; String Quartet No. 6; Bachianas Brasilerias No. 6; Assobio A Jato (The Jet Whistle); Alma Brasileira (Chorus No. 5); Assobio A Jato (The Jet Whistle); String Quartet No. 17; & Canção Do Amor (Song of Love). W/ each successive paragraph, going clockwise, a new player wd turn around from the wall & begin improvising until all of us were improvising together as the last paragraph ended & thereafter w/o narration. Here's the 2nd-to-the-last paragraph:

"Some ten months later, Villa-Lobos fell asleep on his studio sofa during afternoon siesta. He dreamed that he was playing the Brasilia Concerto on his grand piano mysteriously moving along the rivers of the Amazon. Did his playing propel the piano or did the very elements and forces of nature through which he floated push him forward? The music seemed inextricably connected to the land. It was the land. He understood that his playing was simply a point of intensification, a magnifying lens held up to the sun. Suddenly, as if this thought had taken physical form, the piano burst into flames and began to swell to the size and shape of Brazil. He was no longer seated at the helm of his musical craft, but soared upward to a bird's eye view high enough to watch his entire country engulfed in flames. He was helpless to redirect the dream and must have been gesturing in desperation, because Lucilia gently shook him awake and poured him some cognac. Later that evening, while Lucilia was rehearsing, he started up a fire in the fireplace and placed the working scores for the Brasilia Concerto and The Birds of Rio Negro into the flames one sheet at a time. Two weeks later, on February 17, 1959, Villa-Lobos died at home from cancer."

After a little while of the ending post-text group improv, Michael blew spit-balls thru his flute(s) at hanging percussion. Each time he did this, a player, again going in clockwise order, was to drop out. Therefore, I was the 1st to stop playing & Caterina was the last.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

344. [Opening

- Modern Formations Gallery, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, November 4, 2005

- My friends Elina Malkin & Kevin Hicks had an opening & asked me to play w/ them as part of it. I primarily played my set of oboe samples that I'd made in May of this year w/ the intention of activating them by playing oboe - a plan only poorly realized for recordings so far. For the sake of completism (or something), I hereby produce FULL SAMPLE DISCLOSURE:

Oboe Samples

- all samples are STEREO except where otherwise noted; the FX Bus is set for all at: Insert; the Pitch Bend for the Soft Machine & 'Early' Music sections is C = 1 UP, 1 DOWN, C# = 2 UP, 2 DOWN..; the Soft Machine & 'Early' Music samples have Normal Pitch-Bend, all others are Held.

The samples from C2 to A3 are taken from 3 Soft Machine records: Six (side 1 of the "Live" LP), Seven (both sides), Bundles (side 2). The whole tone scale starting w/ C2 has the left channel forwards & the right channel backwards; the whole tone scale beginning w/ C#2 has the left channel backwards & the right channel forwards. Given that all of them are looped forward & backward, wch side is heard backward or forward depends on the point the sample is at in its loop.

C2 All White - Mike Ratledge - 1972 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

C#2 All White - Mike Ratledge - 1972 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

D2 All White - Mike Ratledge - 1972 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

D#2 All White - Mike Ratledge - 1972 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

E2 All White - Mike Ratledge - 1972 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

F2 37 1/2 - Mike Ratledge - 1972 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

F#2 37 1/2 - Mike Ratledge - 1972 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

G2 37 1/2 - Mike Ratledge - 1972 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

G#2 37 1/2 - Mike Ratledge - 1972 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

A2 Tarabos - Mike Ratledge - 1973 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

A#2 Tarabos - Mike Ratledge - 1973 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

B2 Tarabos - Mike Ratledge - 1973 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

C3 Tarabos - Mike Ratledge - 1973 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

C#3 Penny Hitch - Karl Jenkins - 1973 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

D3 Penny Hitch - Karl Jenkins - 1973 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

D#3 Penny Hitch - Karl Jenkins - 1973 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

E3 Penny Hitch - Karl Jenkins - 1973 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

F3 Peff - Mike Ratledge - 1975 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

F#3 Peff - Mike Ratledge - 1975 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

G3 Peff - Mike Ratledge - 1975 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

G#3 Peff - Mike Ratledge - 1975 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

A3 Peff - Mike Ratledge - 1975 - Karl Jenkins: Oboe - looped forward & backward

 

The samples from A#3 to F6 (the range of the oboe) are taken from 20th century classical, jazz, & experimental recordings. The Pitch Bend settings for this section are: Pitch Bend UP: 7 UP, Pitch Bend DOWN: 6 UP [sic]. The purpose of this being to enable me to vacillate between a "perfect 5th" & a tritone. The Sustain Pedal setting is also turned OFF for samples from the pieces up 'til mine where it's turned on again.

 

A#3 Concerto for Oboe & Orchestra - Lukas Foss - excerpt from the 1st (of 3) movement(s) - 1948 - Bert Gassman: Oboe - looped forward & backward

B3 Concerto for Oboe & Orchestra - Lukas Foss - excerpt from the 2nd (of 3) movement(s) - 1948 - Bert Gassman: Oboe - looped forward & backward

C4 Concerto for Oboe & Orchestra - Lukas Foss - excerpt from the 3rd (of 3) movement(s) - 1948 - Bert Gassman: Oboe - looped forward & backward

C#4 8 Etudes & A Fantasy for Woodwind Quartet - Elliott Carter - 1950 - the New York Woodwind Quintet (minus 1) - Ronald Roseman: Oboe - looped forward & backward

D4 Kreuzspiel - Karlheinz Stockhausen - 1951 - looped forward & backward

D#4 Woodwind Quintet - Gunther Schuller - excerpt from the 1st (of 3) movement(s): Lento - 1958 - the New York Woodwind Quintet - Ronald Roseman: Oboe - looped forward & backward - mono

E4 Woodwind Quintet - Gunther Schuller - excerpt from the 2nd (of 3) movement(s): Moderato - 1958 - the New York Woodwind Quintet - Ronald Roseman: Oboe - looped forward & backward

F4 Woodwind Quintet - Gunther Schuller - excerpt from the 3rd (of 3) movement(s): Agitato - 1958 - the New York Woodwind Quintet - Ronald Roseman: Oboe - looped forward & backward

F#4 "Concerto" for Oboe & Chamber Orchestra - Bruno Maderna - 1962 - Lothar Faber: Oboe - looped forward & backward

G4 Exotic Forest - Sun Ra - May 1966 - Marshall Allen: Oboe - looped forward & backward

G#4 Chroma - Paul Zonn - 1967 - Wilma Zonn: Oboe - looped forward & backward

A4 Spiral - Karlheinz Stockhausen - 1968 - Joseph Celli: Oboe - looped forward & backward

A#4 Sequenza VII - Luciano Berio - 1969 - Lázló Hadady: Oboe - looped forward & backward

B4 Double Concerto for Flute, Oboe & Orchestra - György Ligeti - 1971-72 - Lothar Koch: Oboe - looped forward & backward

C5 Extended Oboe - Elliott Schwartz- 1973-74 - Joseph Celli: Oboe - looped forward & backward

C#5 Songs of Remembrance - Richard Wernick - 1973-74 - Philip West: [Shawm, English Horn] Oboe - looped forward & backward

D5 Instruments I - Morton Feldman - 1974 - looped forward & backward

D#5 Chemins IV (su Sequenza VII) - Luciano Berio - 1975 - Lázló Hadady: Oboe - looped forward & backward

E5 Oboe & Orchestra - Morton Feldman - 1976 - Han de Vries: Oboe - looped forward & backward

F5 Sky: S for J - Joseph Celli - 1976 - Joseph Celli: Oboe - looped forward & backward

F#5 Instruments III - Morton Feldman - 1977 - looped forward & backward

G5 A Summoning of Focus - Malcolm Goldstein - 1977 - Joseph Celli: Oboe - looped forward & backward

G#5 Hawk - Stuart Smith - 1991 - James Ostryniec: Oboe - looped forward & backward

A5 Xantippe's Rebuke - Mary Jane Leach- 1993 - Libby van Clove: Oboe - looped forward & backward

 

The following tENT samples are all looped forward.

 

A#5 'Oboe' 'Duet' - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - 1995 - right mono

B5 'Oboe' 'Duet' - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - 1995 - left mono

C6 'Oboe' 'Duet' - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - 1995 - right mono

C#6 'Oboe' 'Duet' - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - 1995 - left mono

D6 'Oboe' 'Duet' - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - 1995 - right mono

D#6 'Oboe' 'Duet' - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - 1995 - left mono

E6 'Oboe' 'Duet' - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - 1995 - right mono

F6 'Oboe' 'Duet' - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - 1995 - left mono

 

The samples from F#6 to C7 are taken from pre-20th century classical music.

 

F#6 Sonata in G Minor - J.S. Bach - excerpt from the 1st (of 3) movement(s): Andante - sometime between 1717-1723 - James Ostryniec: Oboe - looped forward & backward

G6 Sonata in G Minor - J.S. Bach - excerpt from the 2nd (of 3) movement(s): Siciliano (Largo e Dolce) - sometime between 1717-1723 - James Ostryniec: Oboe - looped forward & backward

G#6 Sonata in G Minor - J.S. Bach - excerpt from the 3rd (of 3) movement(s): Presto-Allegro - sometime between 1717-1723- James Ostryniec: Oboe - looped forward & backward

A6 Fantasia in F Minor - J.L. Krebs - 1742 - James Ostryniec: Oboe - looped forward & backward

A#6 Fantasia in F Major - J.L. Krebs - 1742 - James Ostryniec: Oboe - looped forward & backward

B6 Partita III in D Minor - J.W. Hertzel - 1st excerpt - 1762 - James Ostryniec: Oboe - looped forward & backward

C7 Partita III in D Minor - J.W. Hertzel - 2nd excerpt - 1762 - James Ostryniec: Oboe - looped forward & backward

Kevin played guitar, concertina, finger cymbals, harmonica, & broke lightbulbs - wch added a nice dramatic touch. Elina played 2 small keyboards & tapes - mostly of stories. This was, in a sense, a "concrete mixing' gig much in the spirit of my old booed usic gigs of the '80s - but w/o any performative &/or projection element.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

345. booed usic & group armageddon

- Garfield Artworks, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, November 19, 2005, 8:30PM - 12midnight

- I had made a vaudeo w/ both English & Spanish explanatory titles running thru it called "booed usic" detailing my activities under that name from 1984 to 1988. This was made especially to be used as a part of my presentation at the DINA "Influencers" festival in Barcelona, Spain, at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) on Friday, April 2, 2004 (see entry 339). That presentation having been such a source of frustration for me I was eagerly anticipating an attempt to present it more correctly. Here was my opportunity. For years, I've been plotting w/ my friend Fabio Roberti (see entries 192, 198, 203, & 322) to bring our mutual friend, percussionist Michael Evans, to Pittsburgh to perform & for Fabio to possibly come along & do something too. Sometime around the summer or fall of 2004, my old friend Daniel Higgs had been in Pittsburgh performing w/ his band Lungfish & he'd asked me whether I'd like to do something together.

So this seemed like a good time to pull all these threads together. Since Michael was going to come, it ALSO seemed like a good time for me to rebuild my long-neglected Erector Set percussion & to bring out ALL of my percussion equipment - including a glass marimba I'd gotten thanks to Michael Pestel & Neil Feather's Small Nondo. The former had been made by a Japanese student of Michael's named Yukiko (sorry, I probably never met her & don't know her last name & I doubt that Michael remembers it either) who moved back to Japan w/o taking it w/ her. The latter is one of 3 Nondos that Neil's made & is the only one of its size. I'd NEVER used all this equipment in one gig before. For a projection surface, I stretched the spandex screen that I'd made for the Volunteers Collective "A Year of Sundays" Release Party @ the Chatham College Swimming Pool (entry 252) & a standard portable tripod screen was put near the front of the stage, audience left. The stage was otherwise covered w/ all the percussion equipment. In front of the stage to audience left was all of Michael's percussion arranged so Michael could play it facing the audience. In front of the stage to audience right were my electronics: DX27S keyboard, ASR-X Pro sampler, a pitch-to-MIDI converter, a radio mic, & a sampler/mixer arranged so I'd play it facing the stage. Behind me were 3 16mm projectors to be manned by Fabio & a video projector.

The evening began w/ the "booed usic" vaudeo projected to the tripod screen. This consists of footage from booed usic at t he telectropheremoanin'quinquennial (entry 65), my "6 Fingers Crossed Country T.Ore/Tour" (entries 79, 80, & 85 in particular), pirate tv premier of "6 Fingers Crossed Country T.Ore/Tour" vaudeo (entry 105), Easter Island Bunny Booed Usic (entry 106), Generic As-Beenism (entry 107), Tent's Muir (entry 115), "More English" (entry 116), & Murraygate Busking (entry 119). Unfortunately, about 5:00 into this the DVD switched to the track w/ the irrelevant "Neoist Guide Dog" movie on it & then moved back to the "booed usic" track's beginning. Not off to a good start. As I'd planned out on a timings sheet, after roughly the 1st 5:17 I started playing my Mechanically Repetitive / Re-Recorded Records samples. I played the samples off & on according to plan - allowing parts of the "booed usic" soundtrack to be at the fore at key points where some text was to be heard. After the explanation of the "booed usic busking unit" (explained at length in previous entries, such as entry 104, & elsewhere) at what should've been 26:04, I started playing my newest set of samples made from the Gnome ribbon & knob controlled synthesizer. This latter was made from a kit by Terrence Dougherty - who had then given it to me back in early 1992. After Jean-Luc Bonspiel's intro to Generic As-Beenism's premier at the Ultimatum II Festival in 1987, I started playing the Erector Set & then moved on to the glass marimba.

Given that the purpose of this document is to describe my own part of the evening, I'll give short shrift to the others by saying that: Michael Evans played a wonderful 26:47 percussion set while Fabio used the 3 16mm projectors to show various found films (presented mostly silent) - including a documentary about dadaism. Michael stopped playing just as Fabio's 3 projectors tripped the power-strip he was plugged into. It was a nice accidental simultaneity.

Fabio then screened his new shortened edit of his Avant Garde Showcase. For the purposes of describing my whole take on the evening, this was particularly significant because of its spoofing of 1950s Avant Garde culture.

Daniel Higgs read some poetry next & then played a fantastic guitar solo that struck me as heavily Indian influenced. I was astonished at how much he had his chops down. He then introduced our impending collective improv as a "Group Armageddon" & I've chosen to stick w/ that name.

SO, for the end, Michael & Daniel played percussion & I played samples & percussion. I also activated the samples by playing a kazoo that was radio-miked that triggered the pitch-to-MIDI converter. Fabio showed more found films. This section lasted for about 34:00. Greg Pierce shot mini-DV footage of it & etta cetera recorded the sound w/ mini-disc. I made a quasi-documentary of the event called history in the making..

This latter brings me to my over-all impression of the night. A local music reporter for the Pittsburgh City Paper had promoted the event because he likes Daniel's performing. Ending his promotion he mentioned that we'd be presenting the group improv at the end & wrote that it might be a "disaster" or "history in the making" but that he'd opt for the latter. I appreciate that he gave us this promotional plug but I was thinking of things differently.

For me, the gig was important because it was bringing together friends that I'd been wanting to do things w/ but, especially in the case of Daniel, who I'd known for 25 years, I hadn't really worked w/ before. As such, it was exciting. HOWEVER, I didn't feel that we were necessarily breaking any new ground. After all, my "booed usic" presentation involved my updating & referring projects of mine from 20 years earlier. I even wore the zipper pants (made in 1984) & the zipper jacket (made in 1988) the wearing of wch had framed much of that era for me. I don't wear them very often anymore - even though I did pretty frequently up until fairly recently. Also, the evening's emphasis on percussion & found films was hardly an innovation. Daniel's guitar solo, great though I think it was, was still not spectacularly new. All in all, for me, the event was alotof fun (& alotof work) & the attendees seemed to enjoy it substantially, BUT, it was in many ways a self-conscious outgrowth of avant garde culture of the 50s & 60s rather than anything qualifying as "history in the making". Hence my earlier comment to the effect that Fabio's spoof was particularly appropriate. Nonetheless, I had a great time!

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

346. Last Man on Earth

- Modern Formations Gallery, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, April 2, 2006

- My friend Matt Gleeson from Melbourne in Australia notified me that he & his band The Stabs were going to be touring the US so I set up this gig for them. Kevin Hicks & 2 of his friends opened, I was 2nd, Dimitra (a noise performer touring w/ The Stabs) was 3rd, & then The Stabs.

My set was called "Last Man on Earth" & featured projection of an edited vaudeo from an "Official" session of approximately the same name from November of 1992. This original session was a sortof 'one-man-band' thing of mine where I played multiple instruments. A short excerpt from its sound had been used as an example of "Terrence Dougherty" playing on a tape published by the magazine "Experimental Musical Instruments". The "TD" was a rack of electronics that I'd assembled that included simple devices from kits made by my friend Terrence Dougherty, radios, tape players & tapes that I'd made especially for 'random' sampling. 61 samples were then taken from that excerpt & used as the raw materials for my playing along w/ the vaudeo - w/ the soundtrack mixed in & out. Sounds I'd made on my DX27-S synthesizer were also used.

The vaudeo was basically divided into 9 sections:

1. "Terrence Dougherty" 1

2. Lap Guitar + "Terrence Dougherty" 2

3. Broken Organ + Broken Monophonic Synthesizer

4. Vibraphone + "Terrence Dougherty"

5. Trumpet + "Erector Set" + "Terrence Dougherty"

6. "Small Nondo" + "Terrence Dougherty"

7. "Experimental Musical Instruments" "Terrence Dougherty"

8. credits

9. Scratch Ending

During the 1st section, an electronic drone plays. I played a similar drone on the DX27-S during that. Excerpts from the soundtrack were also sampled & looped live - especially durring the vibraphone section. During section 7, I played the samples in ways that took advantage of their relationship w/ the soundtrack. For the ending I sped up the pace considerably & only played the beginning fragments of the samples.

The 1st section has a text overlay in the vaudeo of a short chronology of relevant birth & death info from the life of Mary Shelley - w/ an emphasis on the misery & loss that lead up to the writing of her novel of plague annihilation The Last Man.

In the original session I was wearing a full-body black leather motorcycle suit that was in fairly new condition. For this presentation, I wore the same suit BUT it's considerably degraded now that it's 13&1/2 years older. In a sense, this piece was the Last Man on Earth playing w/ himself.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

348. Volunteers Collective Revisited

- the Mark, Olympia, us@

- Tuesday, November 7, 2006

- This, & entries 343 & 352 cd be called the "Is this as good as it gets?" entries. At any rate, Monty Cantsin, a young neoist living in Olympia at the time, invited me to participate in the 23rd Annual Olympia Film Festival. I was flown out there, put in a nice hotel suite, given free food vouchers, hung out w/ some nice folks, frequented the used bk stores, did pirate radio - & that was all marvelous. I think I presented something like 8 events - including the one described in the next entry. One of these was a screening of my feature "Story of a Fructiferous Society" preceded by the equally difficult "Lebensraum Lifespace Spectacle of Noise" by Istvan Kantor. This was the 1st, & quite probably the LAST, time that a neoist double-feature was presented. Maybe 5 people attended. Is this as good as it gets?

This "Volunteers Collective Revisited" was yet-another variation on the 1st part of entry 316, & portions of entries 322, 330, 336, & 340. In a sense, this was the 1st time it'd ever been presented in exactly this way. The venue was a vegetarian restaurant. The audience was the sound-man & Monty & his girlfriend. The person who was at the door left, the person who owned the restaurant slept thru it. Did they fly me out there for this? Is this as good as it gets? I was in competition w/ the Olympis premier of the latest Brothers Quay movie. Ok, that was in a big theater. I love the Brothers Quay. But their movie will show again & again - it'll be available on DVD. My thing was a triple projection w/ live soundtrack - they'll never see it on DVD, it'll never happen in Olympia (& possibly anywhere else) ever again.

The Film Fest folks provided me w/ a piano-action MIDI keyboard w/ sustain pedal + the 3 screens + the 3 VHS decks + the 3 projectors + the stereo sound system. They were great! & I 'performed' the whole schlemiel.. & it was great too! Too bad only 3 people were there for it.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

349. MetaSamples

- 2nd nON-eXIST tINT nEOIST cOMPARTMENT fISTFUL, Lily's bedroom, Olympia, us@

- Saturday, November 11, 2006

- Trying to make the most of being in Olympia, I agreed to play a new set of samples as part of a house party. Monty Cantsin, the person who invited me, wanted to have a "neoist apartment festival" in Olympia while I was there. It didn't really seem like that to me.. but, what the fuck?!, why not? Explaining the samples here is more complicated than what I want to get into but suffice it to say that I was trying out something new & complicated. It was in a girl's bedrm that was maybe 10 ft by 12 ft. People mostly sat on the floor. I played a nice enuf short set to perhaps 20 people - most of whom seemed a bit high on what I presumed to be designer drugs. No doubt, that enhanced the experience. At any rate, they were respectful & seemed to enjoy it. I, on the other hand, was getting sick & got a ride back to the hotel after this w/o staying for any of the party.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

350. Improvised Sound / Improvised Film

- Jefferson Presents, Garfield Artworks, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, January 27, 2007

- In honor of LaDonna Smith, the veteran improvising violinist/violaist/vocalist, being in Pittsburgh, Manny Theiner & the fellows from Jefferson Presents organized this show. Films projected were from the JP archives (chosen by Adam Abrams & Gordon Nelson) & the Orgone Cinema archives (chosen by Greg Pierce). The evening began w/ a silent film w/ LaDonna improvising a soundtrack for it. A film by Adam was screened w/ an improvised soundtrack from Steve Boyle. Work of Gordon's was shown. His first film was untitled and contained a random selection of subjects he'd filmed in 16mm over the past 10 or so years - basically "improvised" images with no connecting themes. The 2nd film he projected was a found film entitled "BEHAVIOR OF THE FEEBLE MINDED". Michael Johnson & Margaret Cox performed an electronic duet. I screened my 1983 film entitled "Sound Along with t he Bounding Ball(s) - a film intended to be interpreted as graphic notation for producing its soundtrack. LaDonna, Greg, Steve, & I played along. Greg showed films. LaDonna played a solo set. The evening ended w/ a prolonged screening of various films w/ LaDonna & I, at 1st, improvising. Eventually Greg & Steve joined in. Something like that. For me, this was a special evening because I was playing w/ LaDonna for the 1st time & also because I was playing lap guitar for the 1st time publically since 1992 & using my (new to me) Digitech pedal board. The lap guitar was tuned to a conventional A Major open chord wch inspired me to play in a much more orthodox blues/rock manner (albeit w/ extended musique concrete technique) than 'usual'.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

352. [Circuits of Steel II Live Showcase

- Space Gallery, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, June 8, 2007

- Originally scheduled to be an outdoor gig at Market Square as part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival (Pittsburgh's large annual event), this got rained out & moved indoors. All but one of the participants have been on the Pittsburgh electronic music compilations published by Manny Theiner called "Circuits of Steel". These included "syne_lapse_variate", myself, Margaret Cox, Michael Johnsen, Rick Gribenas, Mathias Kristersson (from Sweden & not, therefore, on the comps), Hotness, Discuss, Rein[forced], & Grand Buffet. My fairly short set consisted of playing my MetaSamples in a somewhat rehearsed way. I'd recorded 8 practice sets in preparation for this. I also experimented w/ a few minor technical developments such as using 2 sustain pedals - one for the ASR-X Pro & one for the Oxygen-8 controller.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

353. Last Man on Earth (Triple Projection Version)

- Garfield Artworks, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, July 7, 2007

- I presented the single screen version of this on April 2, 2006 (see entry 349) under somewhat rushed circumstances so that I cd fill out the bill for a visiting Australian friend's band. This version of it was much improved. This was the 1st time I ever split a single image across 3 projections & experimented w/ it in various ways. I had previously done multiple projections w/ calculated inter-related imagery but never to this level of sync precision. There was so much equipment on stage that my physical presence as the person making the live electronic soundtrack was almost completely hidden. As before, I wore my extremely deteriorated full body black leather motorcycle suit - the same suit that I wore in the movie when it was still in good shape.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

355. "Backwards Masking in Rocks" premier & "Mechanically Repetitive / ReRecorded Records RECORD" release

- Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, us@

- Wednesday, April 30, 2008

- AARGH!! Another elaborate event that I'll try to reduce to a few paragraphs in the interest of writing something about it at all! "Backwards Masking in Rocks" is my Rock Book Opera. It's a movie that was premiered at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room with both a pre-recorded & a live sound track - as well as live 'acting' related to the movie. It was also the premier of my vinyl LP entitled "Mechanically Repetitive / ReRecorded Records RECORD" - released by Dear Skull Records <http://www.myspace.com/dearskullrecords>.

Pittsburgh music journalist Manny Theiner was kind enuf to write a 2pp article advertising this event for one of the local daily newspapers. You can (probably) read the entire article @ Music Preview: Local artist unveils an inconvenient sound <http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08115/875882-42.stm> or read my edit of it that's only about the movie @ Local artist unveils an inconvenient sound <http://www.hi-beam.net/mkr/tac/tENTINCONVENIENT.html>.

The movie begins, the great reed player & electronics performer Ben Opie is to audience left. I'm vocalizing, mixing, playing 2 copies of the new record, & playing samplers to audience right. We both have foot-pedal controlled lights on us that we can turn on for dramatic effect when so moved. The movie is about the conspiracy of rocks to sexually turn on humans so that humans will masturbate on them. Once the resultant bodily fluids soak the rocks they can grow into giants larger than humans & use us as sex-toys. Or something like that. Periodically, footage of a talking head geologist talking about his personal experiences along these lines appears. Simultaneously, the very same geologist appears on the stage & contemplates what appears to be a rock by using his head-lamp to light it & a magnifying lens. At some point, a 'bible scene' happens: a pregnant woman crossing the desert is stabbed by someone that GOD later orders KILLED. On stage, the very same woman is impaled by me & carried away. Throughout, I sing the copious subtitles & intertitles as the libretto in my best ROCK style (well.. sortof). It's all the fault of BACKWARDS MASKING IN ROCKS - if you didn't already know that.

About an hr into the movie, scenes of people playing ringing rocks are shown - mixed live w/ overhead shots of the records playing (also mixed live into the sound). Ben goes wild. He's been mainly playing theremin (& thingamagoop & clarinet) but now he's probably switched to alto sax & he's damned good. The geologist starts to stroke a vulva that appears onscreen in a rock & it starts to SQUIRT BLOOD OUT FROM THE SCREEN (thanks to S/F/X Joe). The damned thing is menstruating! Thank the holy ceiling light that there's a fabulous documentary made about this.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

357. [Circuits of Steel II promotion

- Carnegie Public Library, Main Oakland Branch, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, May 11, 2008

- Thanks to Pittsburgh-based music promoter & publisher Manny Theiner, I got to play at the main branch of the public library on the same bill w/ Margaret Cox. Rick Gribenas, & Steve Boyle. This was one on many of the concerts that Manny made happen to promote his 2nd CD comp of Pittsburgh electronic music - "Circuits of Steel II". This was totally fun partially b/c the audience was largely from outside the Pittsburgh experimental music ghetto. Most of the attendees appeared to be people who came to the series b/c it was at the library & free. I had planned to do something using pitch-to-MIDI conversion for live vocal manipulation of samples. Alas, my pitch-to-MIDI converter broke when I was rehearsing & I had to change plans. Instead, I talked live, sampled myself talking live, & then worked w/ playing those samples back live while still talking. It was great to have that feeling of trying to do so much in the moment w/o preplanning. I had so much fun & enjoyed everyone else's set so much that I proposed founding a group w/ the 4 of us called "Sonic Aughts Union". This developed into HiTEC (see entry 365). Alas, Rick Gribenas, a very active Pittsburgh-based sound artist, died very young from lymph-node cancer a mere 10 mnths later.]

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

358. Jefferson Presents... Pittsburgh Experimental Films

- MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), New York City, us@

- Saturday, May 17, 2008

- On December 16, 2007, Pittsburgh's film presenting group Jefferson Presents had organized a screening of work by locals around the theme of analysis projecting. Analyst projectors are capable of projecteting at various speed slower than the usual 24 & 16 or 18 frames per second. For this original show I'd double-screened side-by-side 2 prints of my "National Cancer Institute Documentary" (on YouTube @: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iANO4bKId7E>). When JP was offered to do a show at MoMA one of the guys who runs it (Gordon Nelson) decided to repeat this show. I, however, decided to screen a differnt film instead, "How Orgone Cinema Treats Its Visiting Filmmakers" (on YouTube @: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7lP5W0i-nY>) - partially to pay homage to Orgone Cinema as a precursor to Jefferson Presents but also b/c it's the film of mine that deals most w/ speed alteration b/c it was shot w/ a high-speed camera. For my portion of the program I was able to provide a live stereo percussion soundtrack under good conditions. Something like 25 of us from Pittsburgh went to NYC for this. Much to our surprise, the 135 seat theater was SOLD OUT & many friends of mine were turned away.

For a complete listing of what was screened go to: LIST OF PAST JEFFERSON PRESENTS... SCREENINGS <http://www.geocities.com/jeffersonpresents/past.html?1033793708380>

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

359. Braxton Plays Pittsburgh Plays Braxton

- Marsh Room, National Aviary, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, June 1, 2008

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: sampler, wave-table synthesizer, FM-synthesis synthesizer, mixer/sampler, radio mic, small instruments, voice; Anthony Braxton: alto sax, contrabass clarinet; Ben Opie: alto sax, contrabass clarinet; Michael Pestel: 3 bird-machines, small instruments, slide whistles, flute; Tracy Mortimore: string bass; Eden McNutt: voice; Dave Kadden: oboe, english horn, percussion; Dave Ruder: clarinet; Roger Dannenberg: pocket trumpet; the birds of the Marsh Room

Anthony Braxton was brought to Pittsburgh by my friends & collaborators Michael Pestel & Ben Opie for a series of concerts entitled "Braxton Plays Pittsburgh Plays Braxton". The 1st of these was a concert w/ Braxton's own group at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, the 2nd was of Braxton's creative orchestra music played 1st by CAPA Anthesis (a wonderful group of students partially taught & conducted by Ben) & then by a group of older Pittsburgh professional musicians - at the CAPA arts high school, &, finally, 2 improvisational concerts at the National Aviary. I was invited by Michael to participate in the latter of these 2. Given that I'd been listening to Braxton's music for 32 yrs & have always considered him to be one of the world's greatest wind players, I was thrilled.

For this, I made a set of 61 samples of common birds of North America (in one channel) + my imitation of them (in the other channel). 60 birds were represented in these samples. My imitations of the birds involved using crow call, whistling, voice, kazoo, slide-whistle, & flanger effect. I very painstakingly imitated each bird phrase by phrase, recorded these to computer & matched the speed of them to the recordings of the birds. Some of the imitations are quite good, others less so. While playing live, I set up the stereo outputs from the samples so that I cd pan between the channels in the mixer to have only the original bird sound playing &/or my imitation. Furthermore, the samples cd be effected - including using a formant morph or chatterbox to simulate their coming out of a human mouth.

The idea behind my sampling was that I was bringing the sounds of indigenous birds from the area outside the Aviary that the birds held captive inside the Aviary wd only be able to hear very faintly (if at all). All in all, I was extremely satisfied w/ what I played & it was fantastic to be able to play w/ Braxton & all the other great folks. I wore my feather costume that was originally made for "Harps & Angles" (see particularly entries 338 & 342 when I wore it) Michael Pestel & I did a sortof bird dance w/ each other that was a highlight for me. Unfortunately, I suspect that in whatever the final recording documenting this might be (to be issued on CD?) that I'll be barely audible, if at all.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

361. "HiTEC 033Z Systems Management" for "Worlds Within Worlds" class

- Mattress Factory classroom, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, October 25, 2008

- I was invited by Alberto Almarza to give a workshop on what I was doing with my Histrionic Thought Experiment Cooperative project (eventually a 22 person orchestra) that I'd started in July, 2008 & which still hadn't performed publicly yet.

I talked about HiTEC in comparison to typical orchestras & their "golden era" mythology. I brought in a selection of percussion instruments & demonstrated them. I then had the 5 teenage students practice the "Red Room" System:

01. "Red Room"(tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE):

Each player chooses 2 units of sound as their only vocabulary. These units can be distinguished in any way. No unit can be played in approximately the same relational circumstance twice - ie: If player 1 plays unit 1 immediately following another player's unit 2 then player 1 must avoid having that sequence occur again. The player stops whenever they feel like it or when all such relational possibilities are exhausted.

That was followed by trying out "Persisting Resisting":

02. "Persisting Resisting"(tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE):

Play in accordance w/ a system w/o telling the other player(s) what the system is. If you make a mistake, either stop playing & stay stopped until everyone else is done OR play according to a 2nd system for a 'satisfactory' length of time. What constitutes 'satisfactory' is determined by yr own criteria. Then return to the 1st system UNLESS you make a mistake during the 2nd system in wch case a 3rd system is to be followed for a 'satisfactory' length of time - after wch the 2nd system is reverted to UNLESS.. etc, etc.. From each system one either moves one system forward or one backward. If a player thinks another player has stopped they can end but they cannot restart (even if they're wrong about the other player stopping).

Then there was "Birds":

05. "Birds (for Michael Pestel)"[meta-system] (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE):

Choose 1 or more short phrases that you'll play throughout the entire session. These phrases, once chosen can only change in a very subtle theme-&-variation way. EG: yr phrase might be: "too-wee" wch you can then repeat in fairly quick succession as "too-wee, too-wee, too-wee" or as "too-wee, too-wee, too". There shd always be a longer pause between the playing of the phrases then the length of the playing of the phrases itself. SO, if playing the phrases takes 2 seconds, there shd be a pause longer than 2 seconds between them - preferably AT LEAST 4 seconds. The phrases can be much more complicated IFF (if & only if) THE PLAYER can remember them & not make mistakes (if mistakes are made, it's not a 'disaster', the player shd just then try their best to minimize the mistakes in the future by simplifying their phrase vocabulary & sequence). Here's an example of a more complex possibility: "wheep, wheep-wheep-wheep, wheedle-eep, qwawp!" wch cd then be varied as "wheep, wheep-wheep-wheep-wheep, qwawp!" &/or "wheep, wheep-wheep-wheep, wheedle-eep wheedle-eep, qwawp!" etc..

THIS SYSTEM, ONCE ACTIVATED, IS IN EFFECT THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE SESSION. IT'S PART OF A META-SYSTEM & A PLAYER'S BIRD-SONG SHD BE PERIODICALLY INSERTED INTO WHATEVER OTHER SYSTEM IS BEING PLAYED INDEPENDENT OF THE RULES OF THAT OTHER SYSTEM. SO, let's say that everyone's just played "Birds" & then moved onto "Red Room". Independent of "Red Room"'s 2 unit restriction, the players' Bird-Song can be inserted from time-to-time (or not) at the player's discretion.

Players can also be "Mockingbirds" or "Lyrebirds" by creating their songs from imitations of their environments. This, however, is an extremely difficult process that shd only be attempted by advanced players sure of their abilities. EG: (advanced) Mockingbird Player 1 might hear Player 2 (who's performing "Birds") go "too-wee, too-wee, too" but might hear Player 4 (who's performing "Persisting Resisting" by playing in a system like "only notes in a C Major Chord w/ an occasional non-pitched disruption". THEN, Player 1 can "Mock" them by playing "too-wee, too-wee, too" followed immediately by "only notes in a C Major Chord w/ an occasional non-pitched disruption". HOWEVER, this then becomes their "bird-song" & must be stuck to in exactly the same sequence throughout the session. More "mockings" can be added to the sequence but the order of the sequence must be adhered to & only minor variations can take place w/in the overall sequence.

- although the version they tried was a simplified one.

That was followed by "Avian Flu":

15. "Avian Flu" [meta-meta-system] (Johan Nystrom):

The Avian Flu is a meta-meta-system that undermines the Birds. The Flu is activated if the WoF lands on it and if Birds is in effect. The wheel must then be spun again to activate another system. During this next system, all players play their bird calls in a sickly diminished way.

Players should continue to play their sickly bird calls for the current system and the following one. If a player feels they successfully play their sickly Bird the two systems, they have recovered and should return to the healthy call in the next system.

If the player is feeling suicidal toward their call, they can choose to move on to the late stage of infection, and should begin playing only their sickly bird call (instead of whatever system they're in), but much louder and faster.

Other players can "vaccinate" late stage sick birds by flapping one arm & pointing at the late stage sickly Bird. Be sure to do this in a way that's not confused w/ accusing someone of being a saboteur. Sick birds then flap both wings, are cured, & resume their healthy calls. Birds who aren't cured die & can no longer play their call for the rest of the session.

Then they tried a sequence of "Birds" followed by "Red Room" followed by "Avian Flu" followed by "Persisting Resisting". I concluded by screening Tony Balko's 16mm film (in DVD-R format) of the beginning of HiTEC 021's 'full group' rehearsal from September 14, 2008 so that the students could get an idea of how the more accomplished musicians & performers in HiTEC realized these ideas.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

363. HiTEC "Systems Management"

- New Hazlett Theater, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, January 9, 2009

- Whew! One of the main reasons why I've all-but-stopped writing these descriptions is b/c these events have gotten so complicated that I just don't feel like putting the time & energy into explaining them anymore! BUT, if I don't, who will?

I founded HiTEC (initially called "Sonic Aughts Union") in mid-2008. Our 1st rehearsal was on July 14, 2008. By the time of this gig, we'd had 49 or 50 rehearsals. 16mm footage of the beginning of one of these rehearsals as shot by Tony Balko can be witnessed at: HiTEC021-16mm <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0thj_1lWlA>. It started out intended as a 4-person group to consist of: myself (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE), Rick Gribenas, Steve Boyle, & Margaret Cox. Steve & Margaret never participated; Rick dropped out immediately due to health problems. Instead, the 1st rehearsal consisted of myself, Rick, & Johan Nystrom - someone I contacted b/c I'd gotten a copy of a CD-R of his & knew him to be a Pittsburgher.

When the Sonic Aughts Union didn't come into being, I decided to try to form an even more ambitious group: an orchestra. Hence HiTEC was born. HiTEC stands for Histrionic Thought Experiment Cooperative. I proceeded to try to recruit something like 53 members - many of whom I didn't know. By the time of this gig there were 22 actual participants - 2 of whom cdn't actually play the gig b/c of schedule conflicts.

HiTEC 'performs' a piece, primarily of my creation, entitled "Systems Management". Other people who've contributed to this are Ben Opie, Johan Nystrom, Kerrith Livengood, Kenny Haney, & Stuart Anderson. The members of the group are called "Systems Managers" & I prefer to say that we "Manage the Systems" (instead of saying, eg, that we "play music"). The language used is deliberately dry & non-'poetic'.

Instead of necessarily 'performing' specified physical actions in unison w/ each other in accordance w/ a specified time-frame, the Systems Managers are given numbered thought experiments to conduct simultaneously - w/ the realization of these being highly open to interpretation. A Wheel-of-Fortune is spun to land on a number from 01-32. That choice is then the indicator to the Thought Experiment to be conducted.

HOWEVER, it's not that simple. In some instances, the Systems Managers can vote for 1 of 2 choices other than the one that the WoF lands on OR various ways of BYPASSING or being a DICTATOR contrary to the main body of Systems, etc..

For this presentation at the New Hazlett, the following 20 Managers were present:

Clockwise w/ the Wheel of Fortune @ 12 O'Clock:

048tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: piano, SysMan, electronics, percussion, spinner

012Tony Balko: camcorder

013Ben Opie - reeds, electronics

016Kenny Haney: clarinets

013Spat Cannon: upright acoustic bass

013Dani Simmonds: banjo-uke

013Roger Dannenberg: trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet

010Missi St Pierre: toy piano w/ effects

013Julian Krishnamurti: electric bass

020Johan Nystrom: extended percussion

010Kerrith Livengood: alto flute

011Ben Harris: violin

016Jonathan Brodsky: monome with mabalhabla software

007Mike Tamburo: hammered dulcimer

014Unfinished Symphonies: electronic keyboard

012Joy: electric guitar w/ nylon strings

013William Wedler: Experiment 1

011Erok: trombone

010Stuart Anderson: laptop

012James Gyre: drums

How many times they had participated in this Systems Management process is indicated by the number preceding their name. Unfortunately, David Bernabo (acoustic guitar, electronics, melodica, percussion, etc) had just had surgery & cdn't attend. Also missing was Hyla Willis (erhu & percussion) who was attending an activist conference in Chicago.

The Systems Managers were arranged in a horse-shoe shape & divided into 4 Affinity Groups. #1 was to the audience's left, followed by #2, followed by James of AG3, followed by the Wheel-of-Fortune in the middle, followed on the audience's right by the rest of Affinity Group 3: tENT + Tony's projection + Ben Opie + Kenny, followed by #4. There was a large screen above the back of the stage area that showed the Systems Management instructions made available by the WoF spin & the voting possibilities (when there were any). To enable this projection, Roger Dannenberg developed "SysMan" software. A screen behind James showed a c/u of the Wheel's number.

(V)Audience members rc'vd a program wch listed the Systems Managers, etc, & provided the following explanation written by me [slightly corrected here]:

"HiTEC (Histrionic Thought Experiment Cooperative) is an independent experimental orchestra founded in July of 2008EV by MAD SCIENTIST / BOOED USICIAN / JACK-OFF-OF-ALL-TRADES / HEADITOR & EARCHIVIST / PROPONENT OF CLASSIFICATION-RESISTANT WHAT-HAVE-YOUS / SPLEENIUS: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as an attempt to create a Low Classical alternative to those who worship at the temple of the fictitious & propagandistic "Golden Age" that's often used to justify the "Divine Rights" of cash-flow.

Somewhat like distant cousins to the lineage of Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Aus den Sieben Tagen" intuitive music compositions, FLUXUS prose scores, & the work in general of composer Franz Kamin, HiTEC currently navigates a CONCEPTUAL OBSTACLE COURSE called "Systems Management". Parts of this have been generated by cONVENIENCE, Opie, Nystrom, Livengood, & Haney - all, of course, fleshed out by the considerable talents & quick-wittedness of all the Systems Managers during our COPIOUS REHEARSALS.

Unlike most (M)USICAL projects, the playing of this group revolves around THINKING about particular things while playing in a very open-ended way RATHER THAN necessarily playing specified physical actions.

For example:

30. "Brain-In-A-Vat" (Descartes / tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE): Decide that you're a brain-in-a-vat instead of a brain-in-a-skull & that yr perceptions of what's happening in the current Systems Management session are programmed perceptions rather than 'real' ones. Adapt yr Management to what you then think is the most likely 'reality'.

A Wheel of Fortune is spun, a number is landed on, the number indicates which Thought Experiment is to be conducted by the Systems Managers. The (v)audience sees the experiment instructions projected & is confronted with trying to decipher the puzzle of how the Systems Manager's behavior(s) realize(s) the challenges of the experiment(s).

Why? Imagine that we live in a world where well 'nigh constant pressure is on to close one's mind. While such a closure can make life 'simpler' by disguising limited possibilities as infinite 'freedom of choice' (just don't look behind that Door of Perception!), the 'comfort' that's achieved has psychic virile vines lurking beneath its surface ever-ready to crack the facade wide-open w/ Cognitive Dissonance. As a COGNITIVE DISSIDENT, I embrace the rupture of over-simplification as an ally.

For me, HiTEC & "Systems Management" accomplishes what so many things I love do: it challenges the mind to make quick decisions, to be alert, to REMEMBER - & to KEEP THOSE NEURAL PATHWAYS OPEN. In the meantime, it can be an enormous amt of fun. AND it's deeply rooted in a history of (M)USICAL innovation that I have a heartfelt respect for: everything from Change Ringing to Toy Symphonies to Aleatoric Structured Improvising to Stochastics to the Scratch Orchestra to the Portsmouth Sinfonia to Ensemble Musica Negativa. Finally, it's hoped that if little more than the GREAT CONFUSION results at least there's the hope of thwarting the enemy: Stereotype Projecting.

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Who Unit?, Pittsburgh, us@ - December, 2008EV"

At the suggestion of New Hazlett Executive Director Sara Radelet, the program also contained a sheet w/ pictures of the Systems Managers + a partial list of their instrumentation on one side w/ 22 "Personality Type" paragraphs on the verso. Sara had proposed that this pre-exisiting material be organized as a game like something that might be on a placemat. Hence the "Match the Systems Managers to their Personality Types" game began.

These Personality Types were created, at my suggestion, by having the Managers pick 4 sentences from any of the abbreviated 16 Meyers-Briggs Personality Types that I'd provided them w/ & by having them add 2 sentences of their own. The results also factor into the Management of a System called "Personality Types (v2)".

Need I say? This brief description barely touchs upon WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. For the beginning of my documentary made from the 8 different camera shots we had of the gig go to: HiTEC 051 pt 1 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMpa9VMyWmU>. For a high-definition (but soft-focus) excerpt from about 1/3rd of the way thru go to: HiTEC 051 premier @ the New Hazlett Theater <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo2apKl_CCY>.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

365. Ben Harris & Kerrith Livengood's graphic scores

- Johan Nystrom's "why are music series", Monk's, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, March 21, 2009

- Johan Nystrom organized a 4 Saturdays in March series at Monk's called "why are music series - adventures in post-structural pointlessness and olfactory oblivion brought to you by the letters YR". I participated in this, the 3rd, & in the next, the 4th & last. In some ways, this series was an outgrowth of, & side-project in support of, HiTEC (see entry 361). The evening began w/ Kerrith Livengood's "Small Easter Egg Game". The performers (Johan, myself, Missi St Pierre, & Ben Harris) entered from the outside & began searching for small graphic scores that Kerrith had hidden. A text score independent of the graphics specified 3 different ways of playing. We followed #1:

"1. Hide all cards around the room. All players search for them, instrument in hand. When you find a card, stop and play it where you are. Then bring it to the table or stand at the front, placing them in a row in the order they are found. Return to search for other cards. Do not be concerned if there are long silences, or if two or more people find cards and play them at the same time. When all 19 cards are found, all players come together to play the piece from beginning to end, in the order the cards were found."

Further instructions specified:

"All cards represent between 5 - 10 seconds of time. Pitch, rhtyhm, and timbre are all suggested by the shapes, but no paramters are set in stone and colors, shapes, etc. are open to interpretation."

There were something like 18 or 19 cards. The drawings on them were in color. If they were interpreted as if all the separate & parallel lines, eg, were to be followed as suggestive of harmonies then they wd've mostly been beyond the ranges of the recommended "smallest instruments possible". However, given to the openness of interpretation, this wasn't a problem. All of the cards were found & the score was followed accurately enuf. The "Easter Egg" aspect of this was particularly fun & I liked the cleverness of transforming Easter Egg designs into scores.

This was followed by 5 graphic scores of Ben's. Kerrith joined in the above-listed performers (she sat out her own piece - perhaps for the pleasure of witnessing its performance w/o having to otherwise participate). These scores were 8&1/2X11", landscape orientation, black & white. The scores didn't have to be performed in any particular order so we perfoemd them in the order that they'd been emailed to us in. They were, however, created in a specific order. The 1st drawing Ben did was a dense conglomerate of roughly horizontal squiggly lines that overlapped:

The other 4 drawings were generated by finding other drawings w/in this one's dense field of lines. Each drawing had a significantly different look. As is the convention in graphic notation, the vertical denoted pitch & the horizontal duration. In the score that we performed 1st, there were 5 different horizontally parallel progressions that we interpreted as 5 parts. "Blotches indicate clusters or inharmonic sounds." "medium length" The dense 2nd score was even more open to interpretation. "longer" The 3rd score was basically a horizontally narrower segment of the dense origin score. "Players should oscillate around a specific narrow pitch range." The 4th (again, as performed) was sideways funnel shaped w/ the wide part to the left. "Players should converge on a specific pitch." "shorter" & the last had 5 graphically different clusters.

For both of these I played small instruments such as siren whistle, rattles, & zydeco tie; & vocalized. The vocalizing was the most fun & the most challenging for me since I tried for the 1st time publically to use throat singing technique - wch I felt I pulled off considerably more successfully than I expected to (albeit a little more poorly than I had while rehearsing!). Additionally, I used gestures to represent parts of the notation that I was unable to realize fully w/ sound alone. Kerrith played flute, Missi played toy piano, Ben played violin, & Johan played friction percussion.

From there, a small group of us paraded making mostly quiet sounds to the nearby Casa del Missi & Rich where Missi performed 2 sets of short compositions of hers involving prepared piano & delays.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

366. "Triple-S Variety Show" reenactment

- Johan Nystrom's "why are music series", Monk's, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, March 28, 2009

- On January 12, 1995, I had given my 1st performance in Pittsburgh - at the invitation of Orgone Cinema (see entry 195). This had been a "Triple-S Variety Show" concrete mixing event in wch I played 3 synthesizers, one sampler, & one sequencer live at the same time that I mixed together VHS tapes of my movies (mostly ones made for this purpose) while they were being projected. Sometimes the soundtracks of these were also mixed into the overall sound. This gig was a bit overambitious in the sense that I didn't have enuf time to devote myself to either the visuals or the sound individually as much as I'd've like. As such, the live mixing of the visuals, in particular, weren't as strong as I wanted them to be. All of this was originally mixed to VHS tape. In early 2009, I edited this 2 hr VHS document down to a 26 minute DVD-R & decided to 'reenact' the original presentation using samples taken from the materials developed for these "Triple-S Variety Shows" (of wch there were others). I presented it in this context partially so that people who hadn't lived in Pittsburgh in 1995 or who hadn't known me then cd experience that original performance (albeit compacted). I played sampler, sampling mixer, & wave-table synthesizer - structuring my playing largely around traying to make certain types of changes in rough sync w/ edit changes in the vaudeo & allowing specific parts of the prerecorded soundtrack to peep thru from time-to-time.

Following me on the bill was a duet set w/ David Bernabo playing accordian & Mike Tamburo playing a harp-like instrument of his invention called "Crowned Eternal" (or "Crown Eternal"?); then Michael Johnsen played a solo set on his home-made electronics; the evening ended w/ "A Collaboration": 3 guitarists: Mike Tamburo, Josh Beyer, & Tusk Lord).

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/31Idq235Jco

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

367. HiTE Club Premier w/ "Guitarists Anonymous Withdrawal Aids #7"

- HiTE Club, New Hazlett Theater lobby, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, April 26, 2009

- After the moderate 'success' of the 1st gig of my chamber orchestra, HiTEC, at the New Hazlett Theater on January 9, 2009 (see entry 361), I was invited to host a monthly (M)Usic series in the lobby there. I decided to name this series "HiTE Club - for Histrionic Thought Experimenters & their fellow travelers. This name plays off of HiTEC, Night Club (Nite Club), Hite Report, etc, & has an even more ambiguous branding banner that I hodgepodged rebus-style together very hastily using images found on the net:

The evening began with joy toujours playing "You are beautiful-core" on ukelele & violin (both looped from time to time) & vocals. Self-described as "Music you can play while your four year old is sleeping". I then passed the sombrero "(This is a donation event (no nation but the donation [or is it doughnation?]) & we'll be passing the sombrero around to make sure the hat's big enuf to accommodate the 1st-born & gold bricks.)" Then "Tony Blowad" (David Bernabo: guitar & percussion, Matt Griffin: percussion, Brandon Masterman: baritone & soprano saxes, flute) played a set consisting of responses to fanciful sentences created by them pulled from a jar.

I finished off the nite with the 7th "Guitarists Anonymous Withdrawal Aids" (see entries 314-317, 322, 327, 328, 332) although it cd also be called the 9th one because 2 of the entries referenced parenthetically here were radio shows that I don't include as full-blown "GAWA"s. For this presentation I had joy be the projectionist of the slides (forward only, 1 every 24 seconds please) & David be the projectionist of the filmstrip (much more freeform). This was their therapy. Ok, joy surpirsed me by NOT playing guitar for his thing but he DOES usually play guitar so he still 'needed' the therapy anyway. I was so stressed from the lack of (v)audience (9, c'mon people!, 9!) that I forgot to put on the Guitarists Anonymous 'costume' until after the therapy session started. That was ok even though it was accidental. This was triple projection: filmstrip: left, vaudeo: middle, slides: right. I asked how many people in the audience were guitarists, many raised their hands. I pointed out that if I'd asked how people in the audience were child molestors probably no-one would've raised their hands. This could be used as evidence that guitarists are an even more serious problem because there are so many of them.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE


368. HiTEC @ The End of Television

- The Nerve Gallery, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, June 12, 2009

- At midnight on this date, tv in the us@ changed from analog to digital. Ian Page proposed an event at which he would broadcast on an about-to-be unused & then-unused analog channel vaudeos sent to him from a widely solicited group. See Ian's blog about this @:

http://theendoftelevision.blogspot.com/

In order to inaugurate this auspicious occasion, Ian & I brainstormed an event to be broadcast both over the air & to a wall of something like 23 tvs that Ian erected around his gear at the Nerve Gallery.

I even went to the trouble of designing & screenprinting a poster for this:

Ben Opie's great jazz group, Sound/Unsound Trio, opened, followed by Fred Lonberg-Holm's also great group from Chicago, Valentine Trio.

Finishing off the bill was the 2nd public appearance of HiTEC (our 59th session). This featured the largest number of HiTEC players to ever be assembled at the same time: 21. The numbers preceding the names listed below indicate how many sessions each Systems Manager had participated in as of this gig. Some new members had been recruited since the New Hazlett premier.

Clockwise from Wheel-of-Fortune:

014Tony Balko: SM camcorder

056tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: electronics, voice

016Ben Opie: saxes, Thingamagoop

019Kenny Haney: Bb clarinet

014James Gyre: darbouka, drum set, flute

016Spat Cannon: acoustic bass

016Dani Simmonds: ukelele, small banjo, harmonica, darbouka, electronics

016Roger Dannenberg: trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet

008Josh Beyer: cello

016Julian Krishnamurti: electric bass

021Johan Nystrom: extended percussion

018Hyla Willis: amplified erhu

014Ben Harris: violin

019Jonathan Brodsky: monome with mabalhabla software

009Mike Tamburo: hammered dulcimer, Crowned Eternal, melodica

012David Bernabo: electric guitar

016William Wedler: Experiment 1

014joy toujours: trombone

019Unfinished Symphonies: electronic keyboard

007Red Bob Jungkunz: drums

007Mike Kasunic: synthesizer, flute, percussion

While the New Hazlett premier was probably our technically finest presentation (thanks to the good conditions & fine staff at the theater), this might've been our most 'high-spirited'. By this time, Johan had moved to Philadelphia & had to come all the way back to Pittsburgh to take part. Everyone seemed enthusiastic about the nature of the event. Added to this, this was the night when the local ice-hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, was playing the final game to win the Stanley Cup. I exploited this by referring to it on the online edit of the gig:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsncOO-sql0

HiTEC began with its usual "Stamping & Clapping" & segued into "Escape Tunnel". From there it Managed "Patterns" simultaneously with an unknown System. "Bypass" led to "Subtlety Olympics" to "Birds". "Yourself" + "MUTE OBSERVER" (a new System developed by Ben Opie & pursued in a particularly inspired way here). "Private Phasing" + "IFF". "Getting It Out of Your" System. "Bypass"->"Debriefing". "Equilibrium" + "Yourself" + "Patterns". "Debriefing". "Persisting Resisting" + "Subtlety Olympics". "Octave Butler". "Bypass"->"Avian Flu". "Avicenna's Floating Systems Manager" + "Octave Butler". "Tele-Communications" + "Cheaper Imitation" + "MUTE OBSERVER". "DICTATOR". "Affinity Groups". "Saboteur (undone)". "Read Players" + "Patterns". "Equilibrium" + "Avicenna's.." + "Red Room" + "MUTE OBSERVER". "Comfort Zone 1" + "Population Control". "Saboteur". "Saboteur" + "Equilibrium" + "Infinite Monkey Theorem". "Saboteur" + "Avicenna's.." + "Getting It Out of Your". Pens Won! ?. "Infinite Monkey Theorem" + "Subtlety Olympics" + "Population Control". "Affinity Groups". Bathroom break. - ie: we ended it by all crowding, one-by-one, into the very small bathroom - much to the confusion of many (including straggling HiTEC Systems Managers).

Cameras were wielded, often somewhat participatorily, by myself, Mark Knobil, Tony Balko, Amanda Bowers, Morgan Cahn, Ian Page, & Alberto Almarza (this latter using a cell-phone). Thanks are due to those associated with The Nerve Gallery: Ed-Um Bucholtz, Lauri Mancuso, & Marcus Kim.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

369. HiTEC 61 @ The Visionary Arts Festival

- Schenley Plaza, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, August 7, 2009

- Alberto Almarza spent a year or so organizing this festival. There were perhaps 50 or more participants who each had a tent in which to display their wares or wherewithals.

HiTEC (Histrionic Thought Experiment Cooperative) had 2 tents (1 just for storage) & a nightly presentation in the BIG TENT.

The display tent had a door propped outside that I'd painted with chalkboard paint & 6 monitors on the inside on which were screening simultaneously all of the +/- 60 or so documentaries that I'd made about the project so far. The door/chalkboard listed which documentaries were screening. The Wheel-of-Fortune was there too + a booklet explaining the project in detail & a huge book of press clippings of mine. I sat there most of the day greeting people & explaining. When I wasn't there, the ever-ready & cooperative & sociable HiTEC keyboard player, Unfinished Symphonies, would sit outside busking - playing his indefatigueable selection of songs. A few other HiTEC Systems Managers made cameo appearances - like the very affable drummer, Red Bob Jungkunz. The wonderful Pittsburgh-based artist's books press, Encyclopedia Destructica, had just put out a combination CD/book/DVD with 15 feet of folding-out paper dolls of the HiTEC Systems Managers as part of it & they had their own spacious display tent nearby. The HiTEC tent also displayed the paper dolls.

Roger Dannenberg spiced up each night with a presentation by "McBlare" - a robotic, computer-controlled set of bagpipes that he'd codeveloped that played music composed by him, Kenny Haney, & one other composer.

The personnel for this night's Systems Management are listed below. As usual, the numbers preceding the names indicate how many HiTEC sessions this particular Manager had participated in. Johan Nystrom, once again demonstrating what an incredible trooper he is, drove all the way from Philadelphia for this one night.

 

Audience left to right:

022Johan Nystrom: extended percussion, camera

010Mike Tamburo: hammered dulcimer, clarinet, amplified string & contact mic

016Ben Harris: violin

020Jonathan Brodsky: monome with mabalhabla software

017William Wedler: Experiment 1

021Unfinished Symphonies: electronic keyboard

016joy toujours: trombone

008Mike Kasunic: electronics

058tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: electronics, percussion

019Hyla Willis: amplified erhu, Jamaican seed pod

015Tony Balko: SM camcorder

018Ben Opie: alto sax, tube w/ reed, small percussion

021Kenny Haney: clarinets

016James Gyre: drum set

017Spat Cannon: acoustic bass

017Dani Simmonds: ukulele, electronics

010Josh Beyer: Baribanjolo

017Roger Dannenberg: McBlare, trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, SysMan

 

The 1st day of HiTEC @ the Visionary Arts Festival (& days leading up to it):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlInVCCK4Ro

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

370. HiTEC 62 @ The Visionary Arts Festival

- Schenley Plaza, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, August 8, 2009

- Alberto Almarza spent a year or so organizing this festival. There were perhaps 50 or more participants who each had a tent in which to display their wares or wherewithals. HiTEC (Histrionic Thought Experiment Cooperative) had 2 tents (1 just for storage) & a nightly presentation in the BIG TENT. The display tent had a door propped outside that I'd painted with chalkboard paint & multiple monitors (6?) on the inside on which were screening simultaneously all of the +/- 60 or so documentaries that I'd made about the project so far. The door/chalkboard listed which documentaries were screening. The Wheel-of-Fortune was there too + a booklet explaining the project in detail & a huge book of press clippings of mine.

I sat there most of the day greeting people & explaining. When I wasn't there, the ever-ready & cooperative & sociable HiTEC keyboard player, Unfinished Symphonies, would sit outside busking - playing his indefatigueable selection of songs. A few other HiTEC Systems Managers amde cameo appearances - like the very affable drummer, Red Bob Jungkunz. The wonderful Pittsburgh-based artist's books press, Encyclopedia Destructica, had just put out a combination CD/book/DVD with 15 feet of folding-out paper dolls of the HiTEC Systems Managers as part of it & they had their own spacious display tent nearby. The HiTEC tent also displayed the paper dolls.

Roger Dannenberg spiced up each night with a presentation by "McBlare" - a robotic, computer-controlled set of bagpipes that he'd codeveloped that played music composed by him, Kenny Haney, & one other composer.

The personnel for this night's Systems Management are listed below. As usual, the numbers preceding the names indicate how many HiTEC sessions this particular Manager had participated in.

 

Audience left to right:

011[masked] Kerrith Livengood: electric guitar, etc..

017Ben Harris: violin

021Jonathan Brodsky: monome with mabalhabla software

018William Wedler: Experiment 1

022Unfinished Symphonies: electronic keyboard, tambourine

017joy toujours: violin

009Red Bob Jungkunz: drums

009Mike Kasunic: electric guitar

059tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: electronics, percussion

020Hyla Willis: amplified erhu, Jamaican seed pod

016Tony Balko: SM camcorder

019Ben Opie: alto sax, tube w/ reed, small percussion

022Kenny Haney: clarinets

018Spat Cannon: acoustic bass [had to leave slightly before the end]

018Dani Simmonds: tenor guitar, electronics

011Josh Beyer: acoustic guitar

018Roger Dannenberg: McBlare, trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, SysMan

This night might've been the most fun sonically DESPITE the fact that there appeared to've been a conspiracy of guitarists. The often unpredictable HiTEC Systems Manager Kerrith Livengood (is she or isn't she a member?) showed up somewhat last-minute wearing a mask & setting up with a guitar rather than her usual flute(s). I wasn't even sure who she was at 1st! Mike Kasunic played guiatr instead of synthesizer, Dani Simmonds played tenor guitar instead of banjo-uke, & Josh Beyer played acoustic guitar instead of cello or Baribanjolo. It was an explicit rule of HiTEC that the playing of GUITAR, the world's most overused & banal instrument, was to be severely discouraged. OBVIOUSLY, the Systems Managers were in revolt!

The 2nd day of HiTEC @ the Visionary Arts Festival:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR3PRrwnCCs

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

371. HiTEC 63 @ The Visionary Arts Festival

- Schenley Plaza, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, August 9, 2009

- Alberto Almarza spent a year or so organizing this festival. There were perhaps 50 or more participants who each had a tent in which to display their wares or wherewithals. HiTEC (Histrionic Thought Experiment Cooperative) had 2 tents (1 just for storage) & a nightly presentation in the BIG TENT. The display tent had a door propped outside that I'd painted with chalkboard paint & multiple monitors (6?) on the inside on which were screening simultaneously all of the +/- 60 or so documentaries that I'd made about the project so far. The door/chalkboard listed which documentaries were screening. The Wheel-of-Fortune was there too + a booklet explaining the project in detail & a huge book of press clippings of mine. I sat there most of the day greeting people & explaining. When I wasn't there, the ever-ready & cooperative & sociable HiTEC keyboard player, Unfinished Symphonies, would sit outside busking - playing his indefatigueable selection of songs. A few other HiTEC Systems Managers amde cameo appearances - like the very affable drummer, Red Bob Jungkunz. The wonderful Pittsburgh-based artist's books press, Encyclopedia Destructica, had just put out a combination CD/book/DVD with 15 feet of folding-out paper dolls of the HiTEC Systems Managers as part of it & they had their own spacious display tent nearby. The HiTEC tent also displayed the paper dolls.

Roger Dannenberg spiced up each night with a presentation by "McBlare" - a robotic, computer-controlled set of bagpipes that he'd codeveloped that played music composed by him, Kenny Haney, & one other composer.

The personnel for this night's Systems Management are listed below. As usual, the numbers preceding the names indicate how many HiTEC sessions this particular Manager had participated in.

 

Audience left to right:

018Ben Harris: violin

011Mike Tamburo: hammered dulcimer, clarinet, amplified string & contact mic

022Jonathan Brodsky: monome with mabalhabla software

023Unfinished Symphonies: electronic keyboard

018joy toujours: violin, amplified toy stuffed animal

010Red Bob Jungkunz: drums

010Mike Kasunic: electric guitar

060tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: electronics, percussion

021Hyla Willis: amplified erhu, Jamaican seed pod

017Tony Balko: SM camcorder

020Ben Opie: alto sax, tube w/ reed, small percussion

023Kenny Haney: clarinets

017James Gyre: drum set

019Spat Cannon: acoustic bass

019Roger Dannenberg: McBlare, trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, SysMan

 

This was the smallest HiTEC group to ever play publically - a sign of the beginning of the end.

The 3rd & last day of HiTEC @ the Visionary Arts Festival:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT06HpEcNj0

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

373. Systems & Processes 2: workshop

- CMU CFA, Pittsburgh, us@

- Monday, November 2, 2009

- I began by having the students realize the HiTEC (Histrionic Thought Experiment Cooperative) System named "Red Room":

01. "Red Room"(tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE):

Each player chooses 2 units of sound as their only vocabulary. These units can be distinguished in any way. No unit can be played in approximately the same relational circumstance twice - ie: If player 1 plays unit 1 immediately following another player's unit 2 then player 1 must avoid having that sequence occur again. The player stops whenever they feel like it or when all such relational possibilities are exhausted.

Jon Rubin raised & lowered his drink bottle, a student put her elbows on the table, etc, as "units". This was followed by "Population Control":

09. "Population Control" (Johan Nystrom):

Only 1/5th of the Systems Managers shd play at one time (except that this number shd be no less than 2). Players shd try to accomplish this purely by paying attn to each other rather than thru hand-signals, glances, & other obvious means. EG: someone who's playing shd decide to drop out & someone who's not playing shd fill in the gap. If more than 1 player replaces 1 drop-out then an(other) player(s) shd also drop out to restabilize the relevant number. If too many players become active then some shd decide to stop on their own to correct this. This ends whenever other factors, such as a spin of the WoF, occur to interrupt it.

The students were in a circle around tables placed in a square. I projected the Systems Management instructions as slides, read the instructions & tried to clarify them. "Tele-Communications" came next:

10. "Tele-Communications"(tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE):

Pick another player & attempt to communicate something that you want them to do to them w/o using words. You can either try 3 different ways of doing this or 3 different ways to clarify what you want. Continue playing if they eventually do what you want them to & stop playing for the rest of the system if they don't. As usual, various obvious complications will arise: EG: a Systems Manager might mime what they want the other player to do in such an obvious way that they make their chances of being able to continue substantial - or a Manager might want another player to do something that's highly likely to happen such as 'play something'. Contrarily, the "tele-communicator" might attempt to communicate in extremely subtle ways highly unlikely to be picked up by the targeted player.

One student made a dunking motion to which I responded with a dribbling one.

16. "IFF" (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & Ben Opie):

"IFF" = "if & only if". Before any player plays they mentally create a condition external to themselves & their system wch has to be met for them to play. EG: Player 1 may decide in advance that they'll only play in a certain way for 10 seconds IFF Player 2 plays quietly by themselves for at least 5 seconds. Player 1 might also decide that they'll play in a different certain way IFF all players other than Player 2 play simultaneously. This creates the immediate problem of who plays 1st & under what conditions. Therefore, it's advisable that at least 1 player decides on an "IFF" that doesn't necessarily revolve around other people's playing - such as: "I'll play IFF an earthquake doesn't happen" or "I'll play IFF I'm taking the risk that it's highly likely everyone around me will play shortly after I start."

The students were eventually encouraged to develop their own systems. The class was divided into smaller groups called "Affinity Groups" (after political activist lingo used, in turn, by HiTEC). These groups were to brainstorm & to report back to the whole class. As I dimly recall, the students proposed some & we tried them. The results included "Robotic", "Object Exchange", "Expansive Gesture", & "Blinking":

"Robotic"

Systems Managers start from the perimeter of the space. Managers conceive of a robotic routine to perform & then follow it mindlessly. This usually involves moving away from the perimeter but doesn't necessarily have to.

"Object Exchange"

Systems Managers carry an object wch they handle in a way conventionally appropriate to that object. Managers then exchange objects w/ one another. Managers then use the new object in the same way that they used the original object. Each new object gets handled in the way that wd've been appropriate for the preceding object. EG: If a Manager starts w/ a squeeze toy & then trades that for woodblocks then the the Manager continues squeezing the woodblocks. THEN, if the Manager exchanges the woodblocks for a whistle, the Manager hits the whistle - as wd've been appropriate for the woodblocks, etc.. Sometimes the handling technique used will be coincidentally appropriate to the new object. EG: If in the above example a cymbal wd've been rc'vd instead of a whistle then hitting the cymbal wd've been coincidentally appropriate b/c woodblocks & cymbals are played using similar techniques. It's recommended that objects used for this be objects that can take some 'abuse' - IE: DO NOT USE YR EXPENSIVE INSTRUMENTS FOR THIS. If, by accident, an expensive &/or delicate object is used, PLEASE BE SENSITIVE & CONSIDERATE & HANDLE THE OBJECT CAREFULLY.

"Expansive Gesture"

Systems Managers begin by making an evocative gesture, such as yawning. Then, witnessing someone else's gesture, expand upon that. EG: A Systems Manager begins by scratching & sees another Manager yawn. The scratcher then lays down as if to sleep - as an extension of the yawning. If multiple Systems Managers are inspired by the same initiating gesture then whole strings of related gestures can happen. EG: While the scratcher is laying down, another Manager might respond to the yawn by slapping themselves in the face to 'try to make themselves wake up' while another might mime drinking a cup of coffee or another might play a lullaby, etc..

"Blinking"

Think of 3 things that you'll do when triggered to do so by another Systems Manager looking at you & blinking. A Manager can blink once, twice or 3 times. Once shd always trigger the same response in the receiving Manager, twice always another same response, & thrice always yet-another same response. EG: Manager A looks at Manager B & blinks once, Manager B then howls; Manager C then blinks twice at Manager A, Manager A then mutters to her or him self as if preoccupied; Manager B then blinks thrice at Manager A, Manager A then wiggles their fingers; Manager D then blinks once at Manager B, B then howls again, etc..

I, later, wrote the above encapsulations in order to facillitate future Management of the Systems. Students were also asked to think of new Systems for the next class.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

374. Systems & Processes 3: workshop & guerrilla action

- CMU CFA, Pittsburgh, us@

- Wednesday, November 4, 2009

- I explained various percussion instruments to the class & demonstrated them - such as the thunder sheet, slap-stick, a-go-go, vibra-slap, triangle, Zydeco tie, tuning fork, rattles, tambourine, Chinese gong, ratchet, dog's squeeze toy in shape of human foot, dinner bells, bulb horns, cow bell, cymbals, bracelet bells, corrugated tubes, slide whistle, alarm whistle, siren whistle, kazoo, crow call, train whistle, boom whackers, small glockenspiel, colander, duck call, & flex-a-tone.

Assisting me were joy toujours playing violin, percussion, cordless drill, & cameras + Josh Beyer playing cello, percussion, & camcorder + Hyla Willis playing erhu, percussion, & cameras. A highlight of this event was probably when Hyla demonstrated the erhu & allowed some students to play it.

I explained the desirability of the use of multiple cameras & encouraged footage sharing so that we cd all work w/ a collective pool of footage. As it turned out, I did get footage from multiple cameras but no-one else seemed interested in working w/ these multiple sources.

Attendance to the class was poor & only a few of the students seem to've thought of new Systems since the last class. One of the students proposed a System based on the rules of "Fight Club". I explained that the idea for the Systems was meant to be based around how one THINKS about what one's doing rather than specific physical instructions. One of these few students proposed an "Imitation" System, another proposed a "Not Really" System, another "Pretend to be Someone". Another student who hadn't attended the last class admitted that she had "no idea what we're doing". [Uh.. I reckon that's why attending class might be a good idea, eh?!]

I attempted to clarify the difference between a Thought Experiment & specific physical instructions to the class by explaining Avicenna's "Floating Man" & explaining HiTEC's adaption of that as "Avicenna's Floating Systems Manager". Hyla, Josh, & joy then went on to try to explain their own takes on the matter.

From there we tried "Not Really" (not really called that) in which the Systems Managers were to perform a vocal sound as response to someone's miming cue. "Imitation" followed, "Pretending to be Someone" was rejected by the student who proposed it, then "Survival of the Fittest" was proposed: A person plays a rhythm & becomes the fittest when either they're the only person left playing their rhythm or when only their rhythm, played by others too, is being played. This was criticized on the basis of various criteria such as: the simplest medium-tempo pulse will probably win. Josh played pizzacato cello during this one.

We then tried "Robotic" which was the student System that I thought most successfully was a Thought Experiment.

"Robotic"

Systems Managers start from the perimeter of the space. Managers conceive of a robotic routine to perform & then follow it mindlessly. This usually involves moving away from the perimeter but doesn't necessarily have to.

I found this to be particularly successful exercise! One student sat cross-legged on the floor & banged an inverted stool seat on the floor, another walked around holding onto objects such as seats, table & tripod legs, etc.. One walked & stopped & rattled a tambourine periodically, another rearranged object placement thru rotation, the professor made weather announcements. I made a multiple camera quasi-document which I then posted online:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkZjJ1ePIos

Partially since the author of "Object Exchange" wasn't there, the professor proposed that we modify it. I found this amusing & 'poetic justice'.

"Object Exchange"

Systems Managers carry an object wch they handle in a way conventionally appropriate to that object. Managers then exchange objects w/ one another. Managers then use the new object in the same way that they used the original object. Each new object gets handled in the way that wd've been appropriate for the preceding object. EG: If a Manager starts w/ a squeeze toy & then trades that for woodblocks then the the Manager continues squeezing the woodblocks. THEN, if the Manager exchanges the woodblocks for a whistle, the Manager hits the whistle - as wd've been appropriate for the woodblocks, etc.. Sometimes the handling technique used will be coincidentally appropriate to the new object. EG: If in the above example a cymbal wd've been rc'vd instead of a whistle then hitting the cymbal wd've been coincidentally appropriate b/c woodblocks & cymbals are played using similar techniques. It's recommended that objects used for this be objects that can take some 'abuse' - IE: DO NOT USE YR EXPENSIVE INSTRUMENTS FOR THIS. If, by accident, an expensive &/or delicate object is used, PLEASE BE SENSITIVE & CONSIDERATE & HANDLE THE OBJECT CAREFULLY.

In the documentary that I made just about this class, there's an explanatory title that says: "tENT exchanges the camcorder w/ Josh for Josh's rattle. Josh then manipulates the camera by shaking it as if it were a rattle." This amply illustrates the type of process that resulted from this System.

Using a preplanning order of Systems ("Robotic", "Blinking", "Expansive Gesture", "Object Exchange"), we went to the CMU Student Center for a guerrilla application of the Systems Management that the class had developed so far. This center is an open area with multiple couches where students typically sit & converse & use their laptops or whatever. As Hyla pointed out, this was an opportunity for the students in the class to take transgressive baby steps.

joy started by rubbing plants with his hand. Hyla walked carryting her erhu case & other baggage & touched her forehead to objects by bending to meet them. The same student who'd banged the stool on the floor in class now sat on the floor with her shoes on her hands & alternated hitting the floor with them. Another slunk around the columns & walls with his back to them. The students were discouraged from maming sounds until the end so their eccentric behaviors wouldn't be immediately obvious. However, sounds, mostly using my percussion instruments, were dominating by "Expansive Gesture". During this latter, I tried to set off s chain of yawns by yawning at fellow Systems Managers.

What either the participants or the unsuspecting student (v)audience made of this is largely a mystery to me. Somewhat to the "Systems & Processes" class participants' surprise, a group of girls not in the class started practicing what appeared to be a cheerleading routine. This was a marvelous coincidence. Given that I think that guerrilla actions are far more important experiential learnings than classroom confinements, I was happier with this. One student reported that someone came up to her during "Expansive Gesture" (probably) & made a 'Hey' sign to her so she took that as a cue to, in turn, do that to others. 2 students also shared their footage with me.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

375. Systems & Processes 4: workshop & guerrilla action

- CMU CFA, Pittsburgh, us@

- Monday, November 9, 2009

- This was the last of my "Systems & Processes" classes & the one where I felt things came together best. Assisting me once again was my good friend & fellow HiTEC member Hyla Willis (percussion, camcorder). Additionally, my other good friend & fellow HiTEC member Unfinished Symphonies (recorders, camcorder). Most or all 15 of the students attended this class - as opposed to only 6 of the 15 at the last class. The class more or less started off with one of the students proposing a System that I thought was one of the strongest ones:

"Numbers"

Systems Managers each pick a number from 1 to 9 & stick w/ that # for the duration of the realization of the piece. Managers call out their number at will. Each Manager then adds or subtracts in their head the 2 most recent numbers called out. If the resultant number is their prechosen number then they can move that number of steps in a straight line. Managers can choose to have addition be different from subtraction in terms of wch direction the resultant straight line can go. EG: Manager Z calls out "7",

Manager Y then calls out "4", all Managers then calculate that 7 + 4 = 11 & that 7 - 4 = 3. Since 11 is above the upper limit # of 9 it can't be any Manager's number &, therefore, noone can move as a result of addition. However, since 3 is w/in the "1 to 9" limit, it can be a Manager number. Let's say that four Managers have chosen "3" & that 1 of them has chosen to move right if their number is a result of subtraction. That Manager then moves right 3 steps. Let's further say that the remaining three Managers w/ the number "3" have decided to move either backwards or left if their number is reached thru subtraction. Then let's say that two of these three then take 3 steps backwards & the other takes 3 steps left. As w/ most Systems, if a Manager's predetermined personal System (ie: the number chosen & the particular response to the conditions of its production - ie: addition or subtraction) chooses to be unworkable (eg: immediately leads them to facing an obstacle that they can't get around) then that's what the Systems Manager is stuck w/! IE: There's no changing one's personal criteria 'mid-stream'.

While this wasn't, strictly speaking, a Thought Experiment, it did require a substantial amount of thinking prefiguring action. Of course, I also liked it because it involved basic math. We realized this one, discussed & clarified it, & tried it again.

We reviewed "Robotic", "Blinking", & "Object Exchange" & then realized the latter.

In keeping with my emphasis on multiple collaborative camera use there were at least 3 cameras quasi-documenting this. "Robotic", "Blinking", & "Expansive Gesture" followed (see the descriptions of the previous "Systems & Processess" classes).

We then moved to the CMU Student Center for another guerrilla realization of these Systems as we had in the last class. This time starting with "Numbers" in a more open area where there weren't couches.

In my quasi-documentary of this, I inserted the following crawl title during this section:

"For me, Managing this type of System stimulates interesting statistical &/or probability musings. Note that no-one has picked 1 or 9. Does this imply that their personal systems involve addition equalling forward motion & subtraction equalling backward motion? If so, then 1 cd only be reached by subtraction &, therefore, only yield backward motion - & 9 cd only be reached by addition &, therefore, only yield forward motion. Hence both numbers are less flexible than the rest. HOWEVER, since no-one picked them, 2 & 8 end up in the same situation. If everyone played it maximally safe & chose 5 then no-one wd be able to move b/c 5 cdn't be reached by either subtraction OR addition since all Systems Managers wd only be saying 5!"

"Blinking", "Object Exchange", "Robotic", & "Expansive Gesture" followed. We then decided to go thru the same process again at the tennis courts. On an adjacent court a tennis game was in progress. This was probably the point at which the students opened up the most - glad to be outside. There was more laughter & relaxed silliness within the otherwise somewhat rigorous framework. A trumpeter could be heard practicing in the distance.

We returned to the classroom for a summing-up discussion. One of the students who hadn't attended all of the classes asked: "What did we just do?" to which I laughed & replied something along the lines of "Basically it refers back to structured improvisation [..] as a Complex Adaptive System - &, for me, the purpose of things like this is to increase my ability to make real-time decisions & to increase my memory & to increase my spontaneity & increase my alertness, etc, etc - increase any kind of quality that has to do with my environment around me."

Unfinished Symphonies pointed out the value of breaking from one's routines as stimulation to step outside one's own limited habits as a creative activity. I asked the class if they'd at least had some fun to which there was a little bit of disappointingly half-hearted nodding. One of the students who had actually fallen asleep in class at one point (not necessarily from boredom - anemia & other problems occurred to me as explanations) revealed that she'd had what was for me the ideal reaction: namely inspiration & alertness as a result of the procedures. Another student, who I'd found to be particularly resistent at times, revealed that to him it was like experiencing child's games with adult experience.

I'd promised the students that I'd make a documentary about these 4 classes & get it to them ASAP. As such, I spent the next 3 (unpaid) weeks making a packaged DVD & a packaged CD & I hand-delivered these to the professor at the end of November a few hours before he was to reconvene with the class. I later learned that he didn't give these to some of the students until a few months later after the semester was over. I still don't know whether all the students got theirs. I found this to be an unfortunate ending to my very hard work.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

376. HiTEC -72 - Final Gig

- CMU CFA Kresge Hall, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, March 13, 2010

- Even as of the time of the Visionary Arts Festival gigs it was clear to me that interest in this project was waning amongst the Systems Managers. I tried to revivify this interest, mostly to no avail, with the "Systems & Processes" classes. I also tried to recruit new members who'd have a limited role but even that met with somewhat lacklustre response since people have complicated schedules, etc.. Of the 4 students from the "Systems & Processes" classes who expressed interest in participating, only Spencer Diaz actually did so. Of the others who expressed interest, only Gina Ketter did so. THANKS TO BOTH OF THEM! This particular gig was arranged by Ben Opie to be during the Spring Break at CMU because it was one of the only times when the space could be made available. While that was understandable, it didn't help attendance any.

16 Systems Managers participated (17 if the fabulous guest cameraperson Morgan Cahn gets included) & there were only 14 people in the (v)audience. This in a concert hall that might hold 200 people? The only member of HiTEC to attend in audience capacity was Ben Harris (unless we include Ilona Auth who generously donated her time to the unglamorous job of door person). At least he enjoyed it! The numbers, as usual, that proceed the Systems Manager's name & instrumentation indicate how many total HiTEC sessions they participated in.

Clockwise from tENT:

069tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: grand piano, percussion, remote-control electronics, SysMan, Wheel-of-Fortune

019Julian Krishnamurti: electric bass

023Spat Cannon: acoustic bass

024Ben Opie: alto sax, Thingamagoop, Max patches on laptop, rattle

025Hyla Willis: amplified erhu

027Kenny Haney: bass clarinet, Bb clarinet

019Tony Balko: camcorder

025Jonathan Brodsky: laptop

013David Bernabo: melodica, percussion

013Kerrith Livengood: alto flute, percussion

014Bob Jungkunz: percussion

021William Wedler: percussion

022joy toujours: violin

027Unfinished Symphonies: electronic keyboard

003Gina Ketter: viola

007Spencer Diaz: camcorder

Setting the tone for my part of the night was that while I was setting up the light on top of the Wheel-of-Fortune prop that helps determine which System will be managed, I fell off the chair I was tip-toed on, hit the edge of the stage with my ribs & the stage floor with my elbow & then bounced off to the floor.

This, apparently, resulted in my cracking something like 3 of my ribs - which took 10 WEEKS TO HEAL. I was not happy. Nonetheless, the "show must go on" & I proceeded to 'perform' in more pain than I ever had previously.

The Systems that had been developed by the "Systems & Processes" class' students (see the relevant 2009 entries) were incorporated into the overall body of Systems & the overall feel of the event was the sloppiest yet - albeit with usual phenomenally great playing from Ben Opie - especially as the "Sheepdog":

Here's the "Sheepdog" portion of the raw Hi-Def footage shot by Morgan Cahn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oYIc09Zxk4

All in all, I think we all had a great time replete with massive quantities of SABOTEURs.

Since we had no preplanned ending & since I wanted to avoid having an ending too much like any we'd had before, I wandered off during an unexpected System, it might've been "IFF", following my secret cues until I made it to an upstairs lighting control booth (that didn't work) - from which I didn't return. Since it was deliberately unclear whether it was over or not, Ben Opie & Jonathan Brodsky made quasi(un)succesful attempts to take over my role as SysMan software operator & the event careened even further into chaos until all the Systems Managers eventually gradually trickled out.

An excerpt from the edited version of HiTEC's FINAL GIG that includes "Infinite Monkey Theorem", 'SOMNAMBULIST", "Saboteur","Bypass", "Birds", & "Affinity Groups" (+ 1 typo - can you find it?) is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2jILMegKug

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

377. Sonluminous premier

- Project 53, Pittsburgh, us@

- Wednesday, August 11, 2010

- I acquired a sound sculpture that I adapted by building a frame around it & by inserting fiber optics lighting into it. The frame is designed to allow a camcorder to point down at the sculpture & lights. For this premier performance, I had the sounding surface miced so that I could feed its output to a Pitch-to-MIDI converter that in turned played samples - which I could then further sample & loop from. When the presentation began, I had a black cloth draped over the sculpture & frame so that it could only be seen from the overhead camera's perspective that was being projected onto an adjacent screen. I wore large rubber 'monster' hand gloves & manipulated the sculpture, the lights, & the samples in various ways.

After a few minutes of this, I pulled off the cloth so that the (v)audience could see the sculpture both from the front & from the overhead perspective. I continued with the variations for a total of less than 10 minutes & then turned off the optical fibers & the sound.

This premier was part of a cabaret type night organized by Kenny Haney that featured some excellent musicianship playing Kurt Weill songs, some puppetry, a group of Kenny's that featured Jaw Harp, etc.. The space, a welcome attempt to organize an instrument loaning resource for kids, reeked of cat piss to a level that came close to breaking a world's record. It didn't help that it was suffocatingly hot inside.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

380. Generic Tour / Narrative / Rubber-Stamp Collecting / Last Man on Earth [a highly abridged version of this for YouTube can be witnessed here]

- PAC (Performing Arts Center), Naropa University, Boulder, us@

- Friday, October 8, 2010 - 8PM-10PM

- I was invited to Naropa's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics by my girlfriend of the time, Amy Catanzano, who's an administrator & teacher there. This was timed to coincide w/ the release of a chapbook by me entitled "vii" as part of "The Kavyayantra Press Reading Series" series of 10 chapbooks by visiting writers. My visit there was funded anonymously by 2 old friends of mine connected to the university. Amy widely sent out the following [somewhat adapted here] press release that she & I cowrote:

"Dear Writing (Etc.) Community:

"I, Amy Catanzano, have an invitation for you. But, first, a few questions:

"Are you willing to participate in a casual, quick, & unconventional "Generic Tour" of Naropa University on Friday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. in front of the Performing Arts Center at 2130 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80302?

"Are you sometimes a little bored at readings?

"Are you interested in international cultural/art movements such as Fluxus and Mail Art, the Church of the SubGenius and Neoism?

"Are you exploring interdisciplinary approaches to writing or the relationship between creativity, identity, non-referentiality, and Adamitic language?

"Are you making or researching conceptual poetics?

"If you can answer "yes" to any of these questions, then I cordially invite you to visit Naropa on Friday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. for a reading and performance with our special guest, tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (read on for more information). Park for free in the Naropa parking lot on Marine St. off of Arapahoe Ave. Once we've taken the Generic Tour--this is optional, so if you miss it, meet in the Performing Arts Center no later than 8:10 p.m.--we'll convene inside. After the event, you're invited to a continued gathering (TBA). The event is free and open to the public. Be there or be squared.

"***

"Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, in conjunction with the generous support of Professor Anselm Hollo and Jane Dalrymple Hollo, is sponsoring an evening at the Performing Arts Center on Friday, Oct. 8th at 8 p.m., with "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE," whose name is the answer to the question: "What's your name?" cONVENIENCE, who calls himself a Mad Scientist / d composer / Sound Thinker / Thought Collector / As Been / Low Classicist / Psychopathfinder / Jack-Off-Of-All-Trades / criminally sane / Homonymphonemiac / Practicing PromoTextual / Sprocket Scientist / headitor & earchivist / Explicator / Imp Activist / Cognitive Dissident, is infamous for his associations with the Church of the SubGenius and the Neoist Movement. cONVENIENCE's twelve books include HiTEC (Encyclopedia Destructica, 2009) and footnotes (Six Gallery Press, 2006), and his many experimental movies include "Story of a Fructiferous Society" (2005).

"The evening will begin with a short Generic Tour of a small portion of the Naropa environs--convening in front of the Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. This tour will lead into the Performing Arts Center itself where a Generic Tour of the World-at-Large will begin and abruptly terminate.

"A "Narrative" will happen next based on multiple realizations of the "Infinite Monkey Theorem" in which a group of Thought Experimenters are presented attempting to NOT make a narrative by transforming into monkeys while tENTATIVELY displays his Piano Illiterature using a GRAND.

"A slide lecture entitled "This Death Threat will be a Collector's Item" will titillate the (v)audience's endless thirst for knowledge and inspiration next by thoroughly elucidating cONVENIENCE's use of the rubber stamp as a medium for spreading ideas in what might often be ordinarily print-unfriendly places. Mementos of the evening will be available to people having objects that they wish to be stamped.

"The presentation will end with a projection of cONVENIENCE's visually and textually complex "Last Man on Earth" accompanied by a live electronic soundtrack. This explores literary history in the person of Mary Shelley, movie-making, experimental music-making in the form of cONVENIENCE's 'one-man-band,' and personal experiences in loneliness and alienation as tENTATIVELY's reflections of Shelley. A Q&A will follow."

I was wearing a full-body black leather motorcycle suit of extreme decreptitude & a latex severed head prop as a hat. The Generic Tour began as I exited thru the locked (to the public waiting outside) doors of PAC into the hallway/foyer, holding a camcorder, & extemporized:

"OK, Greetings, Everyone. I'm tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, I'm your Generic Tour Guide. Uh.. Standing in front of us is something that's different from something that's behind us but has certain things in common with it. So that's the beginning of the Tour, here. On our left is something that's more or less similar to what's on our right but not necessarily identical & not necessarily not identical. They're opposite each other. Underneath us is something that's underneath us & overtop of us is something that's overtop of us but that also is relative - so it's not necessarily that much different. &.. somewhere about sixty million miles that way is something that may or may not be similar to something that's about sixty million miles that way or.. whatever.. It's really hard to actually pin it down but there are definitely similarities & those similarities may or may not be important.

"So if you follow me this way, you'll see that something is alive near me & some other thing is alive near me & some other thing is alive that's near the 1st 2 things that were alive - but those things that are alive may or may not really be alive - it all depends on how you measure such things & what you determine to be life. Personally, I think they're all probably more or less alive, as you are probably more or less alive, but I'll leave that up to you because I don't want to overly determine these things for you because, even though I'm your Tour Guide, that doesn't necessarily mean that I know everything about everything even though I do know an enormous amount about alotof things which are sometimes similar & sometimes not similar.

"Now if you, if you touch this, for example, you'll find that it has a texture - but, even if you're not touching this, you may find that there are other textures that you're feeling that you weren't thinking about feeling before you touched this - & that really has nothing whatsoever to do with this tour except that it is related to your perceptual apparatus which you may or may not actually have - because, of course, as we all know, or don't know, that could be Maya, it could be an illusion - but, then again, it probably really isn't an illusion - but, then again, who am I to say? I'm just your Tour Guide here.

[arrival at the front of the Lincoln Building]

"Now I've never been in this object before & may not be able to enter into this object - but [I open the glass double doors] we'll give it a shot anyway. [someone in the tour group says something - apparently about the ability to exit] Now, according to the assistant to the Tour Guide here, we can not only come into this object but we can actually exit this object. I think that's something that alotof things have in common with each other - except for the things that we consider to be impenetrable - like various mysteries - so we'll go this way & we'll see whether the assistant to the Tour Guide actually knows what she's talking about.

"Alright, over here we have an image - & over here we have an image - but that's really not such a big deal because images are everywhere. & here we have a thing that's going down - & there we have a thing that's open - & here we have another thing that's open - & then we have some variety of openness in the form of the people who are there [we unexpectedly (to me) are heading down a hallway toward the PAC entrance again] who are expecting us to provoke certain opennesses but we're not going to do that yet - because.. that might be a little bit too predictable. SO.. openness, non-openness - you decide which is most important.

[I lead them out the original hallway that we began in but direct them in the opposite direction from where we went before - toward the parking lot]

"After all, we are here at Naropa & I really wouldn't want to bias you in this direction towards openness or non-openness because that might destroy your openness! [we arrive at a small sign that reads "THANK YOU FOR NOT SMOKING"] Now here there's a sign that says "Procrastinate Until Yesterday" & over there is another sign that says "Procrastinate Until the Day Before Yesterday".

"Alright, moving along, if you look about.. seventy million light years away, you'll see something.. that isn't there anymore. & then if you look about as deeply into the quantum structure of what's beneath your feet you'll also see something that isn't there anymore either.

"Now, if you look at yourselves, you might get confused because you might have to decide what yourself consists of & that's true no matter where you are - unless you're.. post-amnesiac. &, then, the other thing about this Generic Tour is that you have to decide whether the objects around you are also post-amnesiac or not.

[we turn around to go back to PAC]

"Now going back in this direction [I walk through the group] you'll see that there are a bunch of fleshy things all over the place, that you're actually in the midst of a bunch of fleshy things, & that these fleshy things are often dangerous, very very dangerous - but they're also incredibly safe - it depends on whether they're animate or inanimate.

"Uh.. &, once again, I can't stress enough, that no matter where you are, you can always conduct a Generic Tour - you just have to get your language right. So, coming this way, [Kimi Cunningham opens the door to PAC for me]

"I am coming into the room, &.. [the vaudeo transfer projection of the "Where We're" filmstrip begins on cue thanks to Allison] the lights in the room are probably going to go down - but, then again, whether one perceives them as going down or not depends on a whole set of factors - but the lights in the room should go down & the soundtrack for the dvd should be up [it wasn't because I'd forgotten to set my mixer correctly] - but we're not hearing it - & that's probably my fault - but it might not be. [I go on stage to check the equipment] It is not my fault, there is sound coming out.. - but we're not hearing it from there.. which is too bad because.. [I get the sound up on my mixer & I stop talking & the soundtrack is heard:]

"'Where We're'. [etta cetera's voice:] Anyway [something..] [my voice in the soundtrack:] Somewhere to the left is a structure. That structure sure is built, isn't it?"

The "Where We're" sundtrack continues the Generic Tour. I allow this to play for about 9 & a half minutes before shutting it off to cue Amy Catanzano's & Anselm Hollo's intros:

"Welcome everyone, and thank you, tENT, for our Generic Tour! I'm Amy Catanzano, Lecturer and Administrative Director of the Writing and Poetics Department in the Jack Kerouac School of Dismebodied Poetics here at Naropa, and next to me is Anselm Hollo, Professor of Poetics in the Kerouac School. It is our pleasure to be introducing tonight's performer, tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, whose name is the answer to the question: "What's your name?"

"tENTATIVELY, who calls himself a Mad Scientist / d composer / Sound Thinker / Thought Collector / As Been / Low Classicist / Psychopathfinder / Jack-Off-Of-All-Trades / criminally sane / Homonymphonemiac / Practicing PromoTextual / Sprocket Scientist / headitor & earchivist / Explicator / Imp Activist / and Cognitive Dissident, is infamous for his associations with the Neoism Movement, which he co-founded, Mail Art, and the Church of the SubGenius as well as his conceptual performances and anarchist actions. He is the author of twelve books, including footnotes (out from Six Gallery Press and available in the Naropa Bookstore), has published and edited numerous magazines, has made over 350 experimental movies, and regularly develops sound-based projects such as his pataphysical orchestra called HiTEC, which stands for Histrionic Thought Experiment Collective [actually it's "Cooperative"]. tENTATIVELY also has a large archive of other people's work; most recently he curated a 90-minute film program from his archive for the Three Rivers Film Festival in Pittsburgh, where he lives.

"Early on in his career in Baltimore, where he knew Anselm Hollo, tENTATIVELY was associated with the language poets, though later he says he didn't want to be "limited by any one theory of writing." That logic was an extension of his experimentation with creativity in multiple mediums, a strategy fueled by undermining what he calls "reality maintenance traps." As part of his experimentation with the public and private performance of identity, tENTATIVELY has written and performed under many names including tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, what he calls his "master-set name," a reference to set theory, and open-context names such as Monty Cantsin and Luther Blissett, which can be used by anyone and which have been at the center of international collaborative writing and performance projects for the last 30 years.

"tENTATIVELY's experiments, which I see as languages, remind me of something Michael Palmer said about translation, that the translation translates not just the text but the translator. Like Jerome Rothenberg's notion of "total translation," which suggests the translator translate untranslatable concepts by creating novel translations, tENTATIVELY's languages translate freely, uncensored, performing a special kind of freedom that frees by being free. The expression of freedom in his experiments ricochets with meticulous and conceptual formal structures and methodologies, colliding chaos and order. And the strong reactions and responses to his experiments, which challenge conventions of all kinds--societal,aesthetic--are part of the experiment. As I've written in a recent review of footnotes, some take the bluepill, some take the redpill....

"I'd now like to hand it over to Anselm Hollo, who is going to say a little bit about knowing tENT during their Baltimore days."

Anselm Hollo: "Well, that was pretty exhaustive, not exhausting, exhaustive. Um, a litany of names, dating back to my 2 sojourns in Baltimore. One was the early, the 1st one was in the early '70s, & the 2nd one was in the early '80s. & somewhere between those times, I had these friends in that, um, in that, um, fair town also know as Charm City [I say: "Also known as 'Harm City'."] - some people thought it was a gross irony, y'know? Uh, I still love that town. &, uh, there were people there - I have a whole litany of names. I'm happy to say that most of them are still with us, I think. There was cris cheek from England, there was Kirby Malone from somewhere down south - I forget exactly where. There was Marshall Reese, there was Nora Ligorano; & visitors included Allen Fisher - a well-known, recognized British poet; &, uh, I don't know if Bob Cobbing ever made it to Baltimore [I cry out: "Yes!"] - he was sortof the godfather of the English side of all of this. & I gather that, now, cris cheek is an associate professor at Miami University in Ohio; Kirby Malone is the artistic director of a group called Cyburbia, I like that, Cyburbia, come to Cyburbia Company - &, as we just heard, tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE is now an active neoist in Pittsburgh. So, it is a great pleasure to meet him again after something like 25 years - that's a quarter of a century, isn't it? & I should also mention Joe Cardarelli - who was a Maryland-born poet - & taught at the Maryland Art Institute for about as long as I've been teaching here. &, uh, y'know, it was a kind of, uh, focal person bringing, bringing many many poets to the Maryland Institute of Art - with which all these people were potentially associated as well [I got ripped off working there as a model - otherwise I found the place entirely too unimaginative & repressive]. So, please welcome tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE."

[Why do I include Anselm's intro? Partially because I LIKE Anselm alot & partially because I want the people mentioned in his list to be able to find these references if they ego-search so that they can know that they're remembered & referred to - this can help pass those lonely days.]

From Anselm's intro I went straight into "Narrative" - wch I'd never presented before. Audience middle: the projected vaudeo of the same name, audience left: me with ear plugs covered over by construction ear muffs playing a white baby grand piano. The "Narrative" movie is an edit of all the HiTEC footage with Managing of the "Infinite Monkey Theorem" System in which text appears. This text is the "narrative" even though the choosing of it through chronological & other systematic criteria creates something other than conventional narrative continuity. The purpose of "Infinite Monkey Theorem" is to encourage the Systems Managers to 'play' randomly & to not stop doing so until someone recognizes a tune in the 'randomness'. My live playing of the baby grand was meant to follow the same instruction & the hearing mutes were intended to inhibit my responding to the soundtrack too directly. I did throw in, in the spirit of a SABOTEUR, occasional quote fragments from a boogie-woogie, "Cool Mule", & a slight misquote from Erik Satie's "Premier Gymnopedie".

The next part consisted of the projection of a 35mm slide show entitled: "A Collector's Item: 25 Years of Rubber-Stamp Collecting" which I sometimes identify more sensationally as "This Death Threat will be a Collector's Item". I advance through the slides of rubber-stamps that I've had made & related images & explain the images & read from a detailed prepared text. These stamps cover a very broad range of topics from ways of contextualizing language, notions of approval, ways of subverting money, experimental language use, politics, graffiti, math, etc.. This took over a half hour - at the end of which I explained that most of the self-inking rubber stamps were located at the front of the stage & that attendees could stamp them on things at the end of the event so that they could have a memento.

After this, I premiered the new 3-in-one version of "Last Man on Earth" (see the entry for April 2, 2006 & the entry for July 7, 2007). "Last Man on Earth" uses footage from a 1992 improv session of mine on multiple instruments combined with a partial history of deaths surrounding Mary Shelley's & her writing of her novel "The Last Man". This version of the movie has 3 projections compressed into one that heavily exploits the possibilities of 3 side-by-side related projections. In the movie I'm wearing the same motorcycle suit that I was wearing this night but from 1992 before it had experienced the extreme distressing that I'd subjected it to. I played samples from the soundtrack of the vaudeo using an ASR-X-Pro sampler simultaneous with playing the soundtrack & sampling it live using my sampler/mixer. There's a preplanned outline for the playing that involves slight pitch manipulation of a D#5 sine-wave at the beginning, sampling & more drastic pitch/tempo manipulation of the vibraphone section, shadowing of the Experimental Musical Instruments Terrence Dougherty section nearer the end, & a much more 'breakbeat' section at the very end. Throughout, there's a plentitude of explanatory text(s) 'competing' for the perceiver's attention. This section was probably the most intense of all & it's possible that 1/4 of the vaudience left during this time.

The whole program was designed to present multiple facets of language use complicated by its relationship to environment, purpose, (M)Usic, imagery, history, & emotion. At the end, the house lights were brought up & people were encouraged to use the rubber-stamps.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

382. "NARRATIVE" [a highly abridged version of this overall event for YouTube can be witnessed broken into 2 parts here & here]

- Franz Kamin Memorial Concert, Friends Meeting Hall, St Paul, us@

- Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 7:30PM-9:45PM

- This description will be considerably more detailed than most because I feel like the events surrounding this concert are important for understanding the whole FEEL of things. My old composer friends James Sarmad Brody & Franz Kamin died in a car crash in St Paul on April 11, 2010. They were both 69 years old & had known each other since their student days at Indiana University in the mid-1960s. I decided to make a documentary about each &/or both of them & starting the putting out of feelers to make relevant contacts led me to connections with Paul Cantrell, the co-organizer of this Memorial Concert for Franz.

I decided that I MUST participate in this concert or, at least, ATTEND it in order to get footage of it & to interview all the St Paul folks who knew Franz best in his last 23 years or so - since St Paul was where he spent these last years. Barely able to swing the finances of getting there, I eventually decided I'd have to drive - something I dreaded doing because I hate driving long-distance: it always puts me to sleep & I have to struggle somewhat dramatically to endure such drives: taking caffeine pills, drinking energy drinks, leaving the window open, listening to energetic music, taking frequent stops to stretch & jump around.

SO, after only 4 & 1/2 hours sleep, at 5:40AM on Friday, October 29th, I left Pittsburgh. It was dark for the 1st hour & 50 minutes & raining for the 1st 2 & 1/2 hours. 9 & 1/2 hours later my kind & welcoming friend in Chicago gave me a place to stay & I got at least 6 hours of sleep before moving on again at 8AM-ish. 7 & 1/4 hours later I arrived early at the Friends Meeting Hall, exhausted. While for most people who LIKE to drive (definitely NOT me), such a 2 day trip probably wouldn't've been very stressful at all, this trip took just about all my energy. As such, it was practically all I could do to stay awake & rehearse at the piano & set up my equipment & ready my 'costume' & to interface with the Quakers (to the tiny extent that seemed necessary) &, later, with the other people connected to the event. In preparation, I had written 6pp of explanatory text hereby presented below (slightly corrected) that I gave to the (v)audience of approximately 30 people:

 

Why I'm presenting my "Narrative"

at a Memorial Concert for Franz Kamin

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

(written for the Friends Meeting Hall event, St Paul, MN, October 30, 2010)

Franz Kamin's work was/is so strikingly original & 'eccentric' that there's no way that anything I write here will do it justice. Nonetheless, I hope to touch on a few salient points. Franz's performances often had narratives & narrators: some seem dream-like: "I Suddenly Come to Visit... [Black New YorK]", or fable-like: "Unknowing Games at the Hut". & these narratives are rarely, or never, 'straightforward' & sometimes involve math.. & animals.. & sex.. - an intermingling of the rarely intermingled:

_"A young man will find someone to tell: that he lives a life of 'broken turtles'. He is in a semiHausdorff-bifurcation space, where all things 'broken & fearful' become Turtles. Turtles everywhere: eventually even swimming in the body."

_1. HIS LANGUAGE: Franz created a mythology so rich that it wd be fascinating (& quite difficult) to even TRY to cohere it all together into ONE GIANT MYTH/SYSTEM. These are the sites, personas, & concepts of a role-playing game in an alternate universe, Franz's universe. Some examples accompanied by Franz's definitions:

_"DEPOT: this is a location with a partially structured collection of objects wherein resides the energy of some 'activity' e.g. the bathroom is a depot wherein the active energy of 'crapping' resides, that is, the 'crapping' resides whether there is anyone there to crap or not ... these depots are the residences of the active energies of the undead."

_"WOOD MAZE: I do not understand this depot very well, except that it involves undead from the far distant past.

_"SANDY GIRL DEPOT: the undeads involved here are sex ghosts from the future ... this depot also gives rise to 'formative energy'.

_"BAR DEPOT: this undead is my death where everyone is nice & everything is poison and where answers and ideas come from."

 

My "NARRATIVE" is a small side-project spin-off from the ambitious HiTEC (Histrionic Thought Experiment Cooperative) Systems Management. Bringing the entire, now defunct, 21 person HiTEC orchestra & all relevant props, instruments, & costumes to this memorial wd've been more ideal but practicality dictates the small-scale. In "NARRATIVE" there IS a narrative but it's edited according to 'non-narrative' criteria to deliberately leave 'essential continuities' out & allow seemingly pointless repetitions in. There's even some 'science' (or 'pseudo-science') - in this case a testing of the "Infinite Monkey Theorem" - w/ a little mutated Meyers-Briggs Personality Types thrown in in the entirely-too-quick credits. There're also roles (in this case created by my collaborator, the world-class reed player Ben Opie) for the Systems Managers: SABOTEUR, DICTATOR, SOMNAMBULIST.

 

_2. HIS MUSIC: As w/ the language, his music is extremely complex & original. Being classically trained certainly helps one be able to play it. But given the, for some people, 'embarrassingly' personal & visceral nature of some of his content, it might be even more important that the players be open-minded & generally intelligent - rather than necessarily specifically disciplined. & also given the difficult conditions under wch most of this work has been performed, having notation that's potentially understandable to a broad variety of people helps.

_Hence the 'nonsense' (or personal) language of "Angerds engMudsroodn" is written out in a simple graphic notation in wch vertical positioning indicates pitch (that doesn't have to be too specific) & the left-to-right progression indicates duration. Any person sensitive to visual flow (& capable of reading unusual text) can manage a reasonable realization.

_Hence Franz's extensive use of prose explanations such as the 24p text beginning to the score of "Behavioral Drift II". Alas, while these instructions are often laboriously detailed they're also, probably more often, incomplete. It's quite likely that every performance of Franz's work done during his lifetime was done under his supervision. & w/o his in-person explication, or substantial documentation otherwise, it wd be almost impossible to recreate some of these pieces. What exactly is a "Thread Man"? A "Stain Lady"? & what on earth did they do?!

_Even in the case of those probably rare instances where enuf detailed notation survives to enable a patient & thorough person to realize a Kamin piece w/o Franz's explicatory presence, the challenges are ENORMOUS. Take "Behavioral Drift II" again. There's a 42pp score & there's an excellent recording & the score includes the "Established ('frozen') Score for CD & LP Recordings" - meaning that one can follow the recording (somewhat) by looking at the score. But it wdn't be easy & I'm not sure how many people will even attempt it. One of the people most qualified to do so was Sarmad Brody, another noteworthy composer. Sadly, Sarmad died along w/ Franz in the same car crash.

_Of course such challenges are common to classical music in general & even more so to advanced classical music of the last 100+ yrs in particular. Will Mauricio Kagel's "Tremens" ever be realized again now that Kagel's dead? One can only hope so - but I have a copy of that score too & the demands made on the realizers are borderline epic.

_What does it sound like? The eternal question, right?! Like all aleatoric music in wch the players are granted at least some autonomy along structured guidelines, there's a feeling of liberated cooperativeness, a floating where there's obviously some coherence but the root of the coherence isn't always immediately obvious. But Franz was not a one-trick pony. The pieces are, indeed, different from each other.

_Keeping in mind my comments above re preferably open-minded qualities in performers, I quote from the "Scribble Music Sampler" notes for "BGESS #4 (Base Generated Emergency Structuring System)":

_'SCRIBBLING is eventually forbidden to children due to the fact that adults in general lack the sophistication to perceive the expressive and structural possibilities inherent in any 'untrained' art form (this 'lack' is called 'social maturity'.) This is how people (children are people) lose processes: Others lose them for them. This unfortunate situation leaves the execution of most forms of art in the hands of a 'trained elite', hence certain deeper aspects of an art will remain unexplored - and many adults (late blooming children) will be left out altogether. BGESS #4 was planned for performance by a very 'democratic' group: non-elite, non-specialist, both musicians and non-musicians - of course, the non-musicians had to be trained for the piece while the musicians had to be de-trained".

_& listening to BGESS #4 one might get what one expects: some chaotic-sounding improvising. But listening to "Chorification of Jackson Mac Low's Phoneme Dances for/from John Cage" sounds completely different. There's a very staccato simultaneity that the chorus pursues while the instruments alternate mostly between similar punctuation & sustains - all w/ 2 narrations in Spanish & English at the same time.

 

The (M)Usic of 'NARRATIVE" is primarily generated from one Thought Experiment. The HiTEC Systems Managers "Perform isolated notes in an attempt to be 'random' in relation to yr fellow Systems Managers. Stop playing when you're fairly sure you hear a combination that you've heard before - such as a fragment of Mozart or whatever. If you DO decide such a thing, call out the name (or some other reference) to the piece heard." That seems simple enuf until one tries to actually do it. Then one finds that no matter what one does one isn't being 'random' but is actually simulating a notion of randomness - definitely not the same thing. There are, however, other Systems at play & sabotages at work.

 

_3. HIS PROPS & COSTUMES: Franz used wood - the preferred material of people w/ common household tools. Franz used available materials - mops for wigs, thrift store odds & ends as costumes, sheets for angels, Scribble props, perhaps. Kamin used "controllers" - objects like light boxes to conduct the players.

 

For HiTEC I made a painted wooden Wheel-of-Fortune. It lands on a number from 1 to 32 wch tells the Systems Managers what System to Manage. For costumes, towels w/ head-holes cut out & silk-screens that give a HiTEC logo on the front & have "Systems Manager" written over a W-o-F image on the back.

 

Memories of my Friendship w/ Franz Kamin

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- October, 2010

I 1st encountered the work of Franz Kamin on Nov. 15, 1974 at the 11th Annual Avant-Garde Festival at Shea Stadium in New York City. I was 21 yrs old. On the floor outside the entrance to a temporary room apparently built for the occasion was a pile of 8&1/2X11" papers headed: "A RITUAL EMBEDDING OF THE SPIDERS RISK into non-HAUSDORF M-SPACE". This was Franz's. Inside, the room was blank except for a tv on wch one cd see one's self keyed into the image of another environment. I, incorrectly, concluded that the room & the paper went together & that both were from Kamin. I later learned that the keying room had been made by someone else whose name wasn't readily apparent. I was very impressed by the text, wch I found highly evocative & largely incomprehensible, & its juxtapositioning w/ the keying, wch I might've never witnessed before.

A few yrs later, Kirby Malone, of the Merzaum Collective In Baltimore, was thinking of bringing Jackson Mac Low to town to perform &, as I recall, Jackson suggested that Franz be on the bill. At some point, Franz was Jackson's piano teacher. Kirby asked me if I was familiar w/ Kamin's work & I enthusiastically described my Avant-Garde Fest encounter w/ it. This was probably around 1977 or 1978. Merzaum brought Mac Low & Kamin to Baltimore to perform at the Red Door Hall - a place inside a church on St. Paul Street where many performances happened in those days.

Franz's performance was "Spider's Risk" ("Spydrs Risk"?). It's described online by Bart Buch:

"The visual aspect of this piece is done on a 12 foot long platform which is divided into 7 'stations' or 'depots', each of which can be picked out one at a time by miniature spotlights. Each depot is a different station of or from life (not all that clear) and consists of a tableau with movable &or puppet-like objects controlled from behind and below. A locomotive engine (the Oomphathalik line) runs from the 0-Depot (a large spider which moves on a web) to various of the other Depots ­ dependant in part on the position of the spider on the web (or rolls of a 'dice cage' or both ???.) Accompanied by narrator & sonic performers."

"Some of the Depots are: the 0-Depot (Spider Web) ­ the Depot of Gratuitous Sex ­ the Bone Yard Station ­ the Martini & Olive ­ the Wall, Door & Window ­ the Station of Music ­ the Animals ­ Art ­ the Station of Choice ­ the Spiders Risk ..

"The Depot of Gratuitous Sex consists of an Erica-doll tied to a post who opens her coat ('flashes') while pneumatically controlled French ticklers rise up and dance."

This was probably when Franz & I 1st met in person. I LOVED this performance! It was stunningly original. Buch's description/speculation hypothesizes that it was for "For [[Narr[ator], 3 puppeteers, lighting man, 5­7 musicians???]]" but all I can remember is Franz & Kathy Bourbonais - maybe Jackson helped too. This was classic Kamin: the beautiful low-budget props, the totally unique & detailed personal language, the highly advanced music, the perversity of it that more or less ensured his banishment to the lunatic fringes of the academic classical world. The inflating & deflating condoms were marvelous.

By 1981, I took over running Widemouth Tapes, the tape label started by Chris Mason, a member of the Merzaum Collective, & published Franz's "Scribble Music Sampler" in 1982. By then, as of 1980, Station Hill Press had already published Franz's one & only record: "Behavioral Drift II/Rugugmool". The cover alone on this is impressively crafted & the recording of "Behavioral Drift II" probably remained Franz's favorite & most emphasized piece for the rest of his life. The cover of the 1st 100 of the "Scribble Music Sampler" may've been even more meticulously hand-done - w/ a fine mesh + broken watch parts + burns + wire + other collage elements. To think that there're a hundred of these (were there?) is mind-boggling. As far as I know, for over a decade these were the only 2 audio recordings of Kamin's work 'commercially' available. That's an incredible sign of publishing neglect considering how prolific Franz was.

September 12, 1982: I attended The Jackson Mac Low Retrospective Concert in Celebration of his 60th Birthday at the Washington Square Methodist Church in NYC. Franz performed his "Chorification of the Phoneme Dances on the Name John Cage by" (partly derived from "Phoneme Dance for/from John Cage", 1974, by Mac Low). April 24, 1983(? This yr is a pretty likely deduction): "Scribble Death I" at Dance Downtown, 338 N. Charles St, upstairs. All I remember about this is that Leroy Keltner played trombone. Sometime in the early 1980s, Franz plays a piano recital, on what was probably an out-of-tune upright, at Rick Sugden's apartment in Baltimore: Kamin's "Dark Water", Satie's "Uspud", Kamin's "Old 88 Beat". I have a very low-fi recording of this.

Starting around 1982, I begin sending Kamin packages. This continues all the way 'til 2009. I send him about 12 postings in 27 yrs. Franz sends me at least 9. Along the way, I collected & read his printed matter: "Distance Function", "Rugugmool", "Ann Margret Loves You", "Egz Book of Frogs", "Scribble Death", "detached from Theory of Angels", & "Tales from the Theory of Angels & the Norkinshot Reader".

By 1983, I probably heard that Franz was a severe alcoholic. The figure that sticks in my head is that he wd drink a quart of vodka by noon. I drank too much & so did Kirby so I declared the 3 of us "AGAI": "Avant-Garde Alcoholics Identified". Of course the "Identified" part was a spoof off of Alcoholics Anonymous. I'm not even sure if I ever told Franz about this. I did do one 'performance' sortof in the name of AGAI & an excerpt from this is on my Usic minus the Square Root of minus One LP. Don't get me wrong, there were way more than the 3 of us drinking too much in our social circles so identifying the 3 of us as 'alcoholics' was mainly for the purpose of enjoying the absurdity of an "Avant-Garde" drinking group.

Early 1992? What happened in those intervening yrs? I reckon Kamin stopped drinking & moved to St Paul to dry out as a major project. James Brody (aka Sarmad Brody) moved to Baltimore & he & I met & talked at my bookstore, Normal's. I learned that he was friends w/, & a supporter of, Kamin's. Sarmad joined Neil Feather's & my structured improvising group wch changed its name every time we played - for simplicity's sake: The 'Official' Project. James almost immediately started organizing gigs for Franz.

June 8, 1992: Franz played "an ambitious piano concert" (to quote from the press release) in the main sanctuary of the First Unitarian-Universalist Church in Baltimore. He played works by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Ravel, Bartok, Mompou, Grieg, Satie, & Liszt. I didn't attend - having almost no interest in the works presented - now I wish I had. June 11, 1992 (same church as the preceding): "FAS & SLO Readings & Performances": "Edge of the Dance", "Aleatoric Systemic Reactory Bulletin #1 (the Enclosed Garden)" (I played percussion on this), "Before the Bridge (from Theory of Angels)", "Notes on Losing a Lover (1 & 2)", "Middle-Bridge Witness (Sections 1, 2 & 8)", "Behavioral Drift 8/9 - the SLO GAME" (I was the "Thread Man" for this). I still have at least parts of the scores for both the pieces I participated in. As always, the work was astoundingly original.

February 13, 1993: Franz sends me a "suspendable Decoy Angel Attractor Car (with Residue Trap)" in the mail. An accompanying text reads, in part: "III. On Valentine's Eve, when the Early Angel rushes through, its route is diverted through the Decoy Attractor Car (which resembles one of its own Home vehicles.) As it passes, a Residue of Angelessence is deposited in the copper of the Trap. To release this into your own being and bring you Good Fortune in openness & love, cut the Copper Trap loose and put it under the foot of your bed at night where it will radiate out into the depth of your Heart." Who else but Franz?!

Around that time, Sarmad gave me a 1/2" reel-to-reel VHS tape of a piece of Franz's called "The Alchemy of Familiar Things" that had been performed at some Station Hill related place on November 20, 1977. I got it both b/c I was a Kamin supporter & b/c I actually still had a working 1/2" reel video deck. I duly transferred it to VHS cassette & have since then digitized it.

Mid-November, 1993: Franz performed some poems at the 14 Karat Cabaret in Baltimore. I was one of the narraters on 2 of them: "Red 19" & "Angerds engMudsroodn". November 21, 1993: Church of St. Michael & All Angels. My description of the night from my Mere Outline.. book may be worth repeating in its entirety here:

She Turns Alone was another "performance poem" (perhaps). The "Choir" consisted of myself, John Berndt, John Eaton, Leroy Keltner, & Sarmad Brody. We lined the walls spread out on 2 sides of the audience. Franz read while we extrapolated off his text with scored vocal sounds. Jeanine Farrall stood on the stage & performed scored motions as the "Gesturalist". The term "Behavioral Drift" is derived from a side-effect warning on a mood control pill packaging. Unknowing Games at the Hut was a sortof perverse subversion of Freudian Psychology & cyclical epics performed in the style of a mental institution talent show or high school play with "20th Century" "performance poetry" as the text-style basis. Every performer played most of the roles at one or more times during the approximately 22 minutes of its duration. There were the old woman/women, the sexy girl(s), the wood chopper(s), the tree(s), the card players, & the angel(s). Sarmad Brody provided a repeating narration throughout. The gist of it was that an old woman lived alone in a hut & fucked a tree, giving birth to a child who grew up to be a wood-chopper & chopped the tree down without knowing it was his father, then leaving for the city to meet a sexy girl who he takes back to the hut only to get himself killed by a vengeful tree, the sexy girl then becomes an old woman at the hut only to repeat the cycle all over again. In the meantime, the 3 card-players each personify 3 archetypes of attitude: the winner, the loser, & the person whose problems are always "somebody else's fault". Each performer changes costume to change roles. The sexy girl costume consisted of a grotesquely stuffed bra, a black wig, & a decorative waist chain; the old woman's was a wig & a shawl, the angels wore sheets & yellow wigs. The wigs were made from mops. The tree was represented by a person standing in "crucified" position in front of some branches on a ladder. The card players wore hats & held big cards. The wood chopper wore a hunting vest & a sortof mining light. Each character had a way of acting. The old woman walked with a shaky stoop & talked with a wavery voice. These ways of acting were cartoon archetypes. Each performer drifted into other characters than the ones whose costumes they wore at times. As such, this was a "true" "Behavioral Drift". There were variations in the cycle such as having more than one sexy girl & old woman etc.. at the same time. Everyone ends as an angel. The sets & costumes were created by Leroy Keltner, Sarmad Brody & members of the New York crew who had performed this piece's last presentation (Pixie Alexander, Steve Clay, Mitch Highfill, & Peggy Young). The performers were myself, Martha Colburn, Dawn Culbertson, Sara Epple, Jeanine Farrall, John Berndt, John Eaton, & Leroy Keltner. "Back-stage" assistance (performance expiditing) was provided by Peggy Young. Franz directed it.

Valentine's Day, 1994: Franz sent me another special Valentine object, another object to be hung. Franz must've had a thing about Valentine's Day & angels & the like. Shortly after this, I moved to Berlin, then to Canada, then to Buffalo, then to Pittsburgh. Probably b/c I stayed in touch w/ Sarmad, Franz & I managed to stay in touch too. In the late 1990s, Sarmad decided to issue the tape of Franz's that I publish, "Scribble Music Sampler", as a CD. A few publications dribbled out here & there but there was too much repetition & not enuf representation of Kamin's overall body of work.

Every once in awhile, Franz wd phone me or otherwise contact me to tell me that he was promoting my work to someone or another who was going to possibly buy the whole Widemouth Catalog (or whatever). These things never happened. Nonetheless, Franz meant well & he even told me he was a "fan" of mine once. He particularly liked a piece by Michael Pestel & myself called "Interspatiality". Such enthusiasm on Franz's part was important to me & much appreciated. It's nice to have someone whose work you respect respect yrs in turn. Eventually Kamin's support of me did yield his including me in an issue he edited of "POSTED" - an online visual poetry magazine (or some such). A version of my "Mediumistic Projection of Heinrich Welz's Lines of Force" was e-published as FILE 1 of 5 of: POSTED (December 2003).

I talked w/ Franz over the phone shortly before he died. He talked of having to move from where he was b/c of bedbugs, of having his stuff inaccessible in storage, of being in bad health. He was beset by problems. This is only a short memoir. It doesn't say nearly enuf. I hope to say more eventually.

 

Request for input for a proposed documentary re Franz Kamin

So much to do, so little time to do it in, so little resources w/ wch to do it.

I, the person going by the name "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE" want to make a modest no-budget documentary about Franz Kamin (&, possibly, Sarmad Brody as well).

For this, I'd like to interview people who knew Franz. I'll only be in St Paul for a very short time so I hope to interview people before & after the Memorial Concert &, if possible, on the Sunday following the concert.

I'd also like to get scans &/or photos of objects that any of you might have that're connected w/ Franz - posters, things he may've given you, letters, scores, ANYTHING that you think will help cast a light on him as a creative person or just as a person PERIOD.

I'm especially seeking any footage in any medium (video, film, whatever) of Franz doing ANYTHING - playing piano, talking, teaching people to perform one of his pieces, reading, ANYTHING.

I request that people who have any stories to tell me, or materials such as the above to send me, contact me at my email address:

idioideo (at) verizon (dot) net

You're welcome to just call me "tENT". That's easy.

Keep in mind that this is no-budget. I'm not independently wealthy, I work for a living & live hand-to-mouth. Nonetheless, I'm willing to help defray expenses of mailing videos & such-like if need be.

Also, all people who provide me w/ relevant material that I use in the documentary will receive a DVD-R (or VHS copy if preferred) of the finished product if & when there is one! That's about the best I can do.

 

The program consisted of the following:

"Swimming Dragon" - Tai Chi from Nor Hall. Franz practiced & taught Tai Chi. Nor Hall was a supporter of Franz's since 1987 & is currently working with Marie Nesthus on preserving his archives.

"Opening of the Angelic Sludge (from Theory of Angels) for Jan Jorde" - a text of Kamin's read by Ben Kreilkamp - another collaborator of Franz's.

"Tetragram #9" - a piano piece by Dane Rudhyar played by Richard Cameron-Wolfe. Richard had also known Franz since Indiana University days & had been a main participant in the "Fiasco" events that Brody & Kamin had organized for 5 years at that time. I intrerpret Cameron-Wolfe's presentation of the Rudhyar piece as being in the spirit of these Fiascos. Cameron-Wolfe came all the way from New Mexico for this.

"Buffalo Bill's" - a piece for voice & piano composed by Kamin using a text by e. e. cummings that he'd composed for Todd Harper, the vocalist here. Paul Cantrell played piano.

A last-minute addition to the program was a 5-line poem written & read by Michael Mann. Michael said that he thought that Franz would've appreciated the 5-line constraint. Michael was another old friend of Kamin's who came to this from Milwaukee.

"Owl Technique (O): Butterfly Chart" - a flute piece by Kamin performed here by Marcia Odden who provided the relevant text & score for the (v)audience.

"Narrative" - by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - details of the choice of which are presented earlier. A video was projected onto the wall next to the grand piano which showed all rehearsals & public performances of HiTEC's System: "Infinite Monkey Theorem". The shots were chosen because of their having text. This text, not originally intended to form a larger narrative, are what forms the somewhat disjunctive narrative here. For this presentation, I put on my striped HiTEC towel with the HiTEC logo on the front & the Systems Management image on the back. I then put in ear-plugs, covered over by industrial ear muffs. THEN I put on a blindfold & a Cat-In-The-Hat type hat with musical notation on it. THEN I played piano in an attempt to be random (but sabotaging that) during the bulk of the video - which was also heard at approximately the same volume. This was the 1st time I'd ever played the piano blind-folded & I found it somewhat difficult. When the credits of the video started, I removed my 'costume' & neatly put it away.

"Ouch, my heart" - a short electroacoustic piece made by Matthew Smith, the other coorganizer of this, in memory of the death of Franz's cat.

"11 Hard Thoughts of the Unmanageable Bear" - a piece of Franz's played as a recording with Franz reading - with Ben KreilKamp simultaneously performing Tai Chi.Strictly, speaking, the piece presented was NOT "11 Hard Thoughts of the Unmanageable Bear", wch is an "Erotic nonsense performance poem" (Franz's description) for 4 voices that's recorded on the "Scribble Music Sampler". The actual recordings used by Ben were of "That Borgies Bear" from 1978, & "The Fish and the Dragonfly" from 1979.

All in all, this was a great program presented by an interesting group of folks. My only regret being that larger scale works of Franz's weren't presented. EVENTUALLY I HOPE THIS WILL HAPPEN.

Both before & after the concert I shot interview footage. SO, there I was, still exhausted & a tad unsure about where I'd sleep. Paul graciously solved that problem & I then spent some time interviewing him. Alas, despite the comfort of my accommodations, I was so stressed out that I only slept fitfully for about 5 hours to then awaken to attend a brunch kindly organized by Nor Hall for people to meet & memorialize further & for me to shoot more footage - which I did.

Unsure whether I'd be overstaying my welcome by staying an extra night, I decided to leave that day. In a hurry to get driving early enough to not have to drive much at night, I left at 2PM & drove 6 & 3/4 hours back to Chicago to spend another hospitable night with my friend there to then leave a bit more leisurely late the next morning. Since the St Paul folks had generously constributed money to cover expenses of my trip, presumably from the concert's door collection but perhaps otherwise augmented, I decided to make my life easier & stay at an inn a little over halfway between Chicago & Pittsburgh so I only drove 4 & 1/2 hours on Monday & then the final 4 hours on Tuesday. The whole exhaustion of this hated long-distance driving was a significant frame for the memorial concert of a man who died in a car crash. I'm happy to've not joined him in my own car crash.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

387. Stray Birds

- Marsh Room, National Aviary, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 11:00AM-11:30AM

- Michael Pestel organized a mnth long series of workshops & performances entitled "KIDBOP!" & "BEBOP!" in cooperation w/ the National Aviary, the Mattress Factory, & the Children's Museum. The basic idea was to bring Butoh dancer Taketeru Kudo from Tokyo, vocalist Caterina De Re from Australia by way of Seattle, movement artist Adelka Polak from Connecticut, dancer McLean Denny from Connecticut en route to Japan, musician Ben Opie from Pittsburgh, & (m)usician tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (myself) from Pittsburgh all together in one place to produce bird-related events.

KIDBOP was a series of workshops for kids under 15 that started in the last 3rd of June at the Mattress Factory & the Aviary & that culminated in a performance at the Rose Garden at the Aviary on the morning of Saturday, July 2, 2011. BEBOP was a series of workshops for people 15 & older at the Aviary that culminated in 2 performances at the Mattress Factory: one on Saturday, July 9, 2011, 2PM; & one on Friday, July 15, 2011, 8:15PM.

This particular performance was the 1st of 5 performances of the project & just involved Michael, Ben, Kudo, & myself (as well as the birds of course!). Michael (flutes, recorders, bird-calls, etc) & Ben (reeds) played a slow duet while Kudo entered clad in a loin-cloth & w/ streaks of make-up on his skin. Kudo's movements were delicate & complex - he's apparently beeen described as bird-like - hence his presence in this project.

I was sitting w/ a table in front of me w/ electronics on it (DX-27S keyboard, ASR-X Pro sampler, K1m wave-table synthesizer, mixer/sampler, etc) & a table to my right w/ percussion on it (5 differently sized frog rasps, an octoblock, ratchet, corrugated tube, crow-call, siren whistle, etc) wearing my dyed turkey-feather outfit that I'd originally made for the "Harps & Angles" performances that Michael & I did together in 2003 & 2004 - & wch I've used in other contexts since. I started playing around 10 minutes into Kudo's arrival. I had intended to use the samples that I'd used for Michael Pestel's The Birds of Rio Negro ( Saturday, April 23, 2005) for the 1st half of a projected hour-long performance & the samples I'd used for the Braxton Plays Pittsburgh Plays Braxton (Marsh Room, National Aviary, Pittsburgh, us@ - Sunday, June 1, 2008) for the 2nd half but the performance only lasted a half hour so I never made it to the 2nd set.These samples consist of 2 octaves of excerpts from the music of Hector Villa-Lobos & 3 octaves of Brasilian bird sounds.

At Michael's request, Kudo was the visual center of attention, so my playing & probably everyone else's was calculated somewhat to reinforce his actions. He entered slowly, jumped up onto a railing, lay on the floor & acted as if struggling to arise, climbed a dead tree, walked along a ledge, & tip-toed across my percussion table with great precision.

A short vaudeo of this by Rene Rosensteel can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQIioUO1Bb4

- July/August, 2011 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

388. BEBOP (Big Experimental Bird Orchestra of Pittsburgh)

- Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, July 9, 2011 - 2:00PM-3:00PM

- Michael Pestel & Taketeru Kudo had given a sunrise performance in the Mattress factory garden & beyond to start the day off. Then there was this afternoon event. The MF garden has the modified ruins of the basement of a house. It's surrounded by 3 walls with the MF main building on the 4th side. Thru the middle of it is a trough with running water that leads to a sculpted opening in a wall that one can peer thru. On both sides of the trough are recessed areas of varying depths. On the side furthest away from the main building, there's a wooden chair inside a circle of plants that almost completely obscure the chair. A few feet away from that is a descending stairwell at the bottom of which is a slightly wet area with some debris. Above this, it's mostly open except for one fragment of ceiling that can be walked across. If one were to descend the steps & to continue on, one would have to make a U-turn to the left & thru a doorway into a sunken ampitheater.

I was wearing sky camouflage with the front covered with square metal pins with cloud pictures on them. I set up an extensive percussion array at the bottom of the steps that included my skin-head bass drum with a dragon drawn on one of the heads, my Total Mobile Home Suitcase with a loop of Triple-S Variety Show electronics of mine, a vibra-slap, a ratchet, a Flex-a-Tone, train whistle, siren whistle, chain, an orange squeeze toy in the shape of a carrot with a face, a squueze toy in the shape of a human foot, a plastic toy in the shape of a highly stylized bee that makes a buzzing sound when struck, & many other things.

Given that I was below ground level I didn't see much of what happened in this 1st section. Movement artist Adelka Polak was seated in the plant-surrounded chair with her legs sticking out from the foliage. The (v)audience was seated in a tented area on an even concrete floor with their backs at a diagonal to the main MF building. To their left was Michael Pestel playing flute & recorder & various other small winds such as bird calls. Across from Michael was Ben Opie playing reeds. Furthest away from them, in the right corner, was Jim Storch with a more portable percussion set-up than included a Bodhran with an ad for Murphy's Irish Stout on it. Caterina De Re was vocalizing.

I think the event basically started with gangly tall dancer Mclean Denny started in the furthest corner of the amphitheater from the audience & slowly made his way around the perimeter & elsewhere. I was invisible to the audience but I occasionally threw an object out of my pit in their direction. The 1st thing I threw hit the arch over my head & bounced back at me. Ben Opie told me that the 1st thing I succeeded in throwing out of the pit, the anthropomorhpized carrot squeeze toy landed with astonishing accidental accuracy in the narrow water trough.

Mclean wended his way to the stairs & descended them heading into the ampitheater pit. Michael announced the 'end' of the performance, to applause, & then lead the (v)audience into the Mattress factory room adjacent to this garden where Butoh dancer Taketeru Kudo began his performance. He was dressed in a more urban manner than he had been previously. Ben Opie took position in the back audience right corner. Michael was closer to the audience to the right. Jim Storch was in the back left corner & Caterina was opposite Michael. Kudo was the center of attention. The audience were seated facing this in conventional positioning.

I began my participation in this 2nd half by ascending out of the pit, the sky rising from the underworld, rolling my bass drum across the garden area toward the new performance area & leaving it outside the open glass doors that opened from this area to the garden. Kudo began dancing while the 4 musicians in rectangular array played. I gradually brought most of my percussion from the pit to the new area - mostly staying out of the center peformance area - choosing instead to circle around the (v)audience on its backside & flanks. I'd do things like play the chime tree behind the (v)audience & play a tuning fork & spin it near an audience member's ears. I skidded small cymbals across the performance floor into the center of attention & walked a marching machine sound effect into the area too. This latter device consists of wooden dowels suspended by string within a frame so that when it's walked across a surface, such as this floor, it sounds like marching men. Michael stuck his foot thru it & played it that way - breaking the string but producing a nice effect.

I took my Total Mobile Home Suitcase & opened the lid to activate the playing of the hidden tape loop & the sound of cascading electronics emerged. It was exactly the type of sound I was hoping for. Kudo's Butoh dancing was strongly evocative of human struggle.

 

389. Stray Birds Sunset Full Moon

- Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, July 15, 2011 - 8:15PM-9:30PM

- Alas, I'm writing this description almost exactly a year after this event so I don't remember it as well as I'd like. This was the last of the month-long KIDBOP & BEBOP series that Michael Pestel had organized at the National Aviary & the Mattress Factory & that largely centered around Butoh dancer Taketeru Kudo he'd brought from Japan.

The main building of the Mattress Factory is a large formerly industrial space the main entrance to which is arrived at by passing a garden area where the ruins of a former building have been imaginatively repurposed by an artist unknown to me. The 1st gallery reached has a wall of sliding window doors on one side that look out onto the garden. The night began with dancer Mclean Denny coming out from behind a curtain in this entrance gallery. Projected onto the walls & perhaps the ceiling of the space were multiple videos made by Caterina De Re for this purpose. The videos, as I recall, were mostly nature details such as running water & plants - probably with shots of Kudo as well. Mclean exaggerated his height even further by attaching a branch to his back that extended a few feet higher. His motions were slow & considered. Michael played flutes & small instruments, Ben Opie reeds (& electronics?), Jim Storch probably percussion, & Caterina sang. They eventually led the (v)audience outside as the sun was disappearing over the horizon.

Kudo was to take over as the main dancer here - with the hope being that the full moon would be prominent. Alas, various things probably prevented this latter - such as buildings & clouds. The garden space has the cellar & steps remains from a building. Separating these remains from a more flat area is a narrow channel with water running through it. Walls on 3 sides enclose the space. Ground level is perhaps 8 feet higher above one of these walls. At this higher level, Matt was processing the running water sounds through computer effects which were then heard (although not by me) coming from speakers - possibly placed near the former building's basement steps. A tent roof was placed over the concrete floor seating area & the action took place in the garden.

The (m)usicians were placed much as we had for the July 9, 2011 event with the exception of myself. I was to the right of the audience facing the garden. I was wearing my suit covered with brightly colored turkey feathers (taken from feather dusters). I was playing a keyboard controller to activate bird samples that I'd made. I also had percussion (such as a thunder sheet), a Small Nondo (an instrument made by Neil Feather that consists of a sheet of bowed metal held in this bowed position by piano wire strung to create 2 strings across the Nondo's concavity - generally played by rolling a metal rod across the strings & hitting the strings & the bar with a drum stick) to my left, & the SonLuminous to the left of that. To my, & the audience's, right, & in the corner of the garden least visible to the audience, Jim Storch was playing. Ben was past him, more visible. Michael was closest to the audience to their left.

Kudo appeared from somewhere, probably the top of a containing wall, as he took over from Mclean as the main dancer. He & Caterina prowled the garden. By prearrangement, Kudo came to the SonLuminous (a sound sculpture consisting of metal rods with optical fibers interwoven with them) & butted his head into its rods to activate a clanging. As he did this, I switched on the optical fiber lighting, which had previosuly been off, for dramatic effect. Kudo eventually held a torch above his head with the flames fearfully close to branches & the tent roof. However, true to Kudo's highly accurate form, nothing caught fire.

- July, 2012 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

390. Premier of "Reductionism (#6)" + "Interpretive Duncing" + "Artifacts"

(preceded by "Volunteers Collective Revisited" + a piece by Roger Dannenberg)

- Garfield Artworks, Pittsburgh, us@

- Monday, July 25, 2011 - 8:15PM-10:00PM

- This Uncert was both the result of over a decade of work & a clear indication that even more work was probably called for. From 1997 to 1998 I had organized a series of site specific improvisational sessions that I'd called "A Year of Sundays". These sessions had been made particularly exciting by contributions from Michael Johnsen & Sharyn Lee Frederick as well as by the Anonymous Family Reunion. Michael Pestel had also been a primary mover & shaker involved. I'd made a 74 minute tape summary of the year - the 2nd side of which was an intricate computer edit. In 2000, my collaborator etta cetera & I were in Australia staying with my composer/performer friend Warren Burt. Warren helped me play this computer edit through a pitch-to-MIDI converter he had into a notation program. The result was the 1st of what I called a "Reductionism" - a monophonic rendering of a highly non-monophonic sonic event.

I eventually got my own pitch-to-MIDI converters. Over the years, inspired by this process, & using the score & the compuer edit to drive various types of synthesized sounds & samples, including ones from the original generative recordings, I produced a considerably less reductionist "Interpretive Duncing" piece. The piece evolved into something where a rather difficult monophonic score was to be used to play along with the "Interpretive Duncing" recording.

Having been fortunate enough to've worked with some accomplished musicians in my thought experiment orchestra, HiTEC, who might be interested in attempting to play this, I pulled together some of them: Ben Opie (alto sax), Roger Dannenberg (trumpet), Ben Harris (violin), Kerrith Livengood (alto flute), & Kenny Haney (bass clarinet) & we tried rehearsing the piece from the written score. Since the score is 73 pages long with about 30 seconds spent on each page there're alotof page-turns to distract from just trying to follow the notes.

After it became obvious that reading from paper was too difficult, I spent a month very laboriously creating a projected score for them to try to follow. A side-product of some of this process was the production of some 'noise' artifacts that I then incorporated into the piece. The musicians rehearsed 2 more times with the new projected version of the score & were then (just barely) ready to try it out publicly.

 

Given that this was mid-summer & that the venue was without air-conditioning, the atmosphere was almost overwhelmingly stuffy & claustrophobic. I started with my "Volunteers Collective Revisited" performance which includes some footage from the site specific (or CircumSubstantial, as I prefer) sessions that the "Reductionisms" grew (or shrank) out of. The musicians had been invited to play as part of this along with me (I was playing electronics) but everyone but Ben Harris forgot. This was followed by a performance of Roger's that should have involved projections but didn't because of technical mishaps.

By the time we got to the main event, people were already fried by the heat & humidity. I had forgotten to bring the remote for the DVD player, there were problems with the 2 video projectors, etc.. Because I'd forgotten the remote, I couldn't advance the DVD of the score to the appropriate section & completely forgot about doing so ANYWAY. After 5 or 10 minutes of playing the wrong version I realized what was awry & stopped the performance. THEN, we had to repatch things & go through a plethora of inconveniences - maddening both for the performers & for the players. Finally, we got it working well enough. The musicians persevered with almost superhuman strength. Roger had even rewritten the score to transpose it for trumpet & he & Kenny read off of that with a screen metronome to help them keep apace. At one point, one of the musicians stepped on one of the devices on the overcrowded stage & cut the prerecorded "Interpretive Duncing" + "Artifacts" sound off. It took awhile to figure out what was wrong & correct that mid-performance.

All in all, this was quite difficult to pull off & 'needs' to be redone under better climate control & projection conditions. A movie combining footage from the rehearsals & of the public presentation can be found here.

- July, 2012 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

392. "Called" + "Selected Shorts 2000-2011"

- The Pink House Studio, Milwaukee, us@

- Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 7:00PM-9:00PM

- Thanks to Ross Nugent's dedicated organization, I had 3 screenings booked in a mini-tour of Chicago & Milwaukee. This was the last of these programs. Since there was an upright piano there in more-or-less working condition, I decided to start the program w/ a playing of a short piano piece of mine called "Called". This was composed in 2008 but has never been performed publicly before (except at mm 05, February 1, 2012 before a small audience of friends at my house). The piano had 2 non-working keys & was somewhat out-of-tune w/ rather clunky action but it was good enuf for my purposes.

Because I played the piano what was otherwise a straight-forward screening deserves inclusion here. This was the program:

 

246. "Defenders of Goolengook"

- shot in Goolengook rainforest in Australia w/ additional footage filched from SKA TV's "Fortress Goolengook AD 2000"

- 1/2" VHS cassette -> DVD

- 17:19

- shot in '00 / edited december 26 & 27, '04

 

243. "I.A.C. Deer Head Sculpture @ former Rankin Steel Mill"

- interview w/ Tim Kaulen of the Industrial Arts Collective

- 1/2" VHS cassette -> DVD

- 8:31

- shot in october '00 / edited in december '04

 

242. "Ledger of St Dermain"

- shot in a limestone mine in Brady's Bend, Pennsylvania

- slides, slidestrip, super-8, sampling, scripting, editing, etc: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- mini-DV camcorder: Who is like God? (Pestel)

- sound: Who is like God?s

- lighting: Jarrett Buba

- film to video transfers: Jesse McLean

- Earl Ballard played by: Johnny Evans

- APPARITION of ST Dermain played by: John Allen Gibel

- Thanks to Daniel Bruce for mine access

- mini-DV + slides + slidestrip + super-8 -> DVD

- 6:53

- shot in the spring & summer of '04 / edit made in december '04

 

250. b. "Haircut Paradox"

- starring: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE w/ Julie Gonzalez: Civilian Barber

- 13:52

- october/december, '05; march/april, '06

 

259. "Capitalism is an Ism"

- footage filched from a diversity of sources

- editing. etc: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- mini-DV/DVD

- 6:40

- june, '06

 

264. "The Ballad of CodyodeeodoooO"

- shot while on a boat trip w/ the Boat Kids on the Ohio River in Pennsylvania & West Virginia

- mini-dv -> DVD

- 12:58

- shot june, 2006 - finished april 2, 2007

 

270. "Subtitles (closure version)"

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- Organized from left-to-right, top-to-bottom, oldest-to-newest (almost) this presents a 3X3 grid of the 9 main versions of Subtitles that've been made in the last 28 yrs: (regular-8mm) [1981-82 - 019], (super-8mm) [1980-82 - 010], (16mm) [1980-82 - 025], (16mm analyzed) [1980-82/1984 - 037], (rough draft for 3/4") [1980-82/1984/1986 - 041], (overkill) [1980-82/1984/1986/1990 - 137], (June/July '92) [1980-82/1984/1986/1990/1992 - 148], ('final') [1980-82/1984/1986/1990/1992/2002 - 226], & "What happens in the brain while witnessing "Subtitles (16mm version)" - as explained by a brain researcher who's screened the movie for 2 volunteers while their brains were fMRI-scanned" [2005/08 - 267]. All of these have been edited so that they have changes corresponding to those of (16mm) - following the edits made for the (8 simultaneous versions version) [1980-82/1984/1986/1990/1992/2002 - 227]. ADDITIONALLY, this brings some _footage to the forefront - both visuals & sound - to make some elements more comprehensible. The ('16mm <- brains') is sometimes added as an overlay, etc.. This "(closure version)" may very well _be the last. It's certainly the most complicated to date! It's also a pinnacle of a certain type of formalism in my work that I'm a bit sick of by now - hence "closure" - time to move on.

- regular-8mm, super-8mm, 16mm, VHS, image data files & mini-dv -> computer -> DVD & mini-DV

- 11:58

- brain scanning done early 2005, brain research interview shot april 8, 2005

- edit finished february 27, 2008

 

335. "TV 'News' Commits Suicide"

- starring April Gilmore as Nancy Newscaster/Newswoman & Civic Association meeting attendee; Rich Pell as Officer Such'n'Such; tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as the Infiltrator; Kelly Stiles as Officer So'n'So & the Man-on-the-street; Deanna Hitchcock as the anarchist cook & Civic Association meeting attendee; Julie Gonzalez as questioning Civic Association meeting attendee; joy toujours as Civic Association meeting attendee; & Leah as Civic Association meeting attendee

- concept by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & Rich Pell

- camera by Kelly Stiles; Rich Pell; & tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- catering by Deanna Hitchcock

- script by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- framing graphics & music from Rich Pell

- editing & titles & archival footage & scanning etc from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- shot Monday & Tuesday, September14th & 15th, 2009; edit finished Thursday, September 17th, 2009

- 6:09

 

340. c. "Robotic" (for YouTube)

- this is just the above-named section from "Systems & Processes 3 (HiTEC 067 Y)"

- 6:57

 

367. "COLONY"

- shot & edited (etc) by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE @ 4 Mile Trailhead in Boulder, CO; Garden of the Gods, CO; Cave of the winds, CO; & Amy Catanzano's apartment

- stills shot by Paula Gillen at Amy's apartment's Fitness Center & @ 4 Mile Trailhead

- sculptures by Paula Gillen

- kinetic toys & ads from the collection of Amy Catanzano

- mini dv & digital stills -> internet file & DVD & mini-dv

- shot in December of 2010, January, May-June, 2011 - edit finished August, 2011

- 9:11

 

This was, if I understand correctly, somehow connected to the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival. The screening was followed by a Q&A where people asked intelligent questions. Thanks also go to Tony Balko & Michael for their connection to organizing screenings here.

- March, 2012 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

394. "Skeletal Remains"

- as part of "SIX x ATE" at the 2013 Carnegie International's satellite space, Pittsburgh, us@

- Monday, June 18, 2012 - early evening

- 2 side-by-side buildings in a Pittsburgh neighborhood known as Lawrenceville were rented or purchased somehow in connection with the upcoming Carnegie International & substantially refurbished as a place to have events. Casey Droege, someone that I'd met thru Lenka Clayton, was the organizer of a series there called "SIX x ATE" - short performances by 6 people on the same bill with a gourmet meal. Casey had come to 2 of the PHEW! (Polish Hill Elucubrating Writers) meetings that I host at my house. At one of them, I performed "Skeletal Remains" for her & the only other attendee. She'd liked it alot so she invited me to perform it for her series. Given that "Skeletal Remains" is a very short piece without any performative elements other than its mere playing, it's not really something that I would've ordinarily chosen to present solo. Instead, it's intended to be something presented as part of a larger reading type event where I skip from using different types of A/V to another. Nonetheless, I was happy to deviate from my usually more ambitious MO to oblige Casey's request & to get a nice meal out of it. Making matters even better, my friend Florian Cramer was visiting from Rotterdam so I could take him along.

The genesis of "Skeletal Remains" was that I listened to all the recordings in my personal collection of pieces that use excerpts from James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" as its text. This includes James Joyce & Siobhan McKenna reading from the "Anna Livia Plurabelle" section, Cyril Cusack reading the "Shem the Penman" section, Andre Hodeir's Jazz Cantata on "Anna Livia Plurabelle", John Cage's "The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs" as performed by Robert Wyatt & Richard Bernas (the latter not audible here) & as performed by Joan La Barbara & William Winant, Cage's "Nowth Upon Nacht" also performed by the latter duo, Cage's "Writing for the Second Time Through Finnegans Wake" as performed by Cage himself, Cage's "Roaratorio: An Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake" performed by Cage & Heaney & Ennis & Glackin & Malloy & Mercier, & "Laughtears" - a conversation re "Finnegans Wake", & Cage's use thereof, between Cage & Klaus Schöning. I then sampled from all these recordings trying to both choose sections that interested me & to choose a wide variety of material. These samples are then played in a way generally designed to create a new continuity. The title refers to "A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake" by Joseph Campbell and Henry Morton Robinson - but instead of offering a key to understanding this dense work, as does the Skeleton Key, "Skeletal Remains" takes fragments of its bones & sculpts a new critter from them.

For this SIX x ATE presentation, I was the 5th of the 6 performers. We'd each been given 5 minutes apiece & I stuck to that rigorously. All of the performers had been thanking Casey as part of their presentation so I decided to do the same but to incorporate this thanking into the performance itself. Once I decided to do this, I pulled Casey aside & announced this intention. Assuring her that I wouldn't say anything to embarass her or make her look bad, she nervously agreed.

For my introduction I said something like this: "I don't know Casey very well but when we first met she generously gave me a copy of her "Tracks of My Tears" record. I asked her whether she'd like to collaborate on something relevant to this record & because she's open-minded she agreed. I put her against a wall & put on Throbbing Gristle's "Very Friendly" & explained that I'd be demonstrating my knife throwing abilities & then the lights went out. This piece is made entirely of samples recorded from the conversation we had in the next 5 minutes." I then began playing "Skeletal Remains" with the C7 sample from John Cage's "Nowth Upon Nacht" as performed by Joan LaBarbara.

This intro & "Skeletal Remains" beginning was multi-layered in content. Casey's record is of her telling stories about all the songs that've made her cry. All of the stories are somewhat non-traumatic on a scale of safe-to-terrifying. Contrarily, the song "Very Friendly" is about Ian Brady & Myra Hindley, 2 sociopathic sadistic serial killers. Their story is very traumatic. As such, by referencing it, I was upping the trauma level of songs that might make one cry & also referencing a different type of skeletal remains than those that my performance was otherwise referring to - viz: the skeletal remains of their victims. Of all the samples I was using, the "Nowth Upon Nacht" one is the most dramatic. Hence my choice of it as the 1st one played.

The actual playing of "Skeletal Remains" revolves around creating new continuities among the mostly text based samples. As such, I tend to do things like link together theme related 'sentences' such as by grouping references to Joyce's character Anna Livia Plurabelle. Restricting myself to a mere 2 minute realization, I then explained that, yes, I'd lied in my intro & then explained the actual nature of "Skeletal Remains" in some quick detail.

A short movie of both the PHEW! realization & the SIX x ATE one can be found online (@ http://youtu.be/6EicbqmLvbk ).

 

Here's more specific info about the works quoted from:

 

"Skeletal Remains" (aka "Our Song" aka "New Irish Stew") sources

 

1929 excerpt from "Anna Livia Plurabelle" (read by James Joyce) - 8:40

_- use 2 excerpts: :03, :08 = :11

 

1942 "The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs" - 2:19 - John Cage

_- Robert Wyatt: voice, Richard Bernas: closed piano - obscure no. 5

_- use 1 excerpt: :03 = :14

 

1942 "The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs" - 2:38 - John Cage

_- Joan La Barbara: voice, William Winant: closed piano

_- New Albion NA 035 CD

_- use 1 excerpt: :10 = :24

 

1959 "Shem the Penman" (read by Cyril Cusack) - 28:16

_- use 6 excerpts: :04, :05, :08, :07, :14, :21 = 1:23

 

_& "Anna Livia Plurabelle" (read by Siobhan McKenna) - 30:56

_- use 7 excerpts: :08, :02, :03, :04, :08, :08, :06 = 2:02

_- directed by Howard Sackler - Caedmon TC 1086

 

1962 excerpt from "The Coach with the Six Insides" - :33 - Jean Erdman & Teiji Ito

_- ESP Sampler 1051 Stereo - use 1 excerpt: :13 = 2:15

 

1966 "Anna Livia Plurabelle" - 52:37 51:17 - Andre Hodeir - Philips PHS 900-255

_- use 12 11 excerpts:

_:07, :04, :07, :05, :04, :05, :02, :04, :06, :03, :07 = 3:16

 

1976-1979 "Writing for the Second Time Through Finnegan's Wake" - 59:29

_- John Cage - mode 28/29 - use 14 12 excerpts:

_:07, :06, :04, :09, :05, :04, :08, :02, :02, :07, :05, :03 = 4:30

 

1979 "Roaratoria: An Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake" - 60:30 - John Cage

_ - mode 28/29 - use 15 12 excerpts:

_:06, :03, :04, :04, :05, :05, :06, :06, :06, :09, :04, :07 = 5:35

 

1979 "Laughtears" - 30:55 - John Cage & Klaus Schöning - mode 28/29

_- use 7 excerpts: :04, :05, :01, :08, :08, :07, :09 = 6:17

 

1984 "Nowth Upon Nacht" - :58 - John Cage - Joan La Barbara: voice,

_William Winant: closed piano - New Albion NA 035 CD

_- use 1 excerpt: :03 = 6:20

 

The score for it is shown below. This score simply gives my brief description of what pressing down my controller's 61 keys will yield. The ways in which it's performed should ideally change every time.

 

- July, 2012 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

396. "Banned Names"

- as part of "Tommy Amoeba's Rock N' Roll Birthday Gala Extravaganza and SubGenius Devival" at Howler's Bar, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, June 22, 2013

- Tommy Amoeba & Phat Man Dee being 2 of my favorite entertainers around Pittsburgh, I was delighted when Man Dee invited me to participate in this Church of the SubGenius Devival. I was completely hooked when Man Dee told me that my old friend Reverend Ivan Stang would be a participant too! My history with the Church being torrid, to say the least, I hadn't participated in any SubG events since my ill-received subversion of the Boston Bobalon in 1987. SO, I hadn't seen Stang for 26 yrs!! At one time, he was one of my 5 main correspondents. Our correspondence has continued to this day but the thrill of it has long since been somewhat mitigated by things like the flatness of email (vs the excitement of packages received via snail mail).

ANYWAY, this was a very full evening, certainly one of the more interesting ones I've participated in in Pittsburgh, & it's outside the purview of these Mere Outline accounts to describe anyone's act in detail except my own but I WILL eventually put a movie of the event online & I must at least pay homage to my fellow weirdos by listting them:

The evening began with geek performer / songwriter Andrew the Impaled. Aside from sticking nails up his nose & having audience members put him in a straight-jacket that he escaped from, he played keyboard & sang some excellent original songs.

Eric Singer poured some goop down a board with nails sticking out of it. Contact between the goop & the nails triggered speech samples creating an hilarious SubGenius related blasphemous quasi-cacophony - mad scientism at its best!

Phat Man Dee & the Cultural District followed next with Man Dee's jazzy vocals supported by a jazz keyboardist & acoustic contrabassist. Man Dee always puts her full heart & soul into it.

I was next with a simple sampler piece called "Banned Names". An in-depth description follows below.

The Reverend Ivan Stang gave an extended sermon/rant from behind a pulpit he brought. It was a great pleasure to hear his silver tongue at work. A humorless French heckler tried to get him to shut up.

Tommy's full-on performative tight rock band finished the night off. Tommy has a schtick like no other & seeing him go through his various costume changes is enough to keep me entertained & the band played good ole rock'n'roll with finesse. A great finale for a great night!

Sheesh! Someone even bought a copy of the "MM 26" CD that friends of mine & I recently published!

Compared to the rest of the evening, my piece was the LEAST performative but it WAS, at least, something that I was premiering there that WAS appropriate for a Subgenius Devival.

Backstory: I'd received an email with a link ( http://gawker.com/5982582/the-fifty+three-dirty-band-names-you-can-never-say-on-the-radio#13603499229444&{%22type%22:%22iframeUpdated%22,%22height%22:1285} )to an article entitled "The Fifty-Three Dirty Band Names You Can Never Say on the Radio"about a Catholic University banning certain band names & name of performers from being spoken over their radio station. The station, oddly, is heavy metal one AND is called a "pirate radio station" (at least according to the article). The "Dirty Band Names" is misleading. The names are chosen as either being irreligious, sexual, otherwise 'scary' (Cannibal Corpse?) or offensive (Art Phag?), or, in a few cases, apparently, just the names of popular musicians that the administration somehow finds offensive or threatening (Justin Bieber?!). The list is also 59 names.

I picked the following 53 names from the list:

Aborted Fetus

Abuses of the Clergy

Adolf Satan

Alabama Thunderpussy

Alien Sex Fiend

Anal Cunt

Angel Corpse

Angel Sin

Art Phag

Baby Jesus Hitler

Ballsac

Barbed Wire Condom

Bongzilla

Cannibal Corpse

Cradle of Filth

Crucifucks

Cock Spear

Cuntsaw

Cybernetic God Crusher

Dark Angel

Decrepit Birth

Death Angel

Deicide

Deep Fried Abortion

Dying Fetus

Eyehategod

Fullblown AIDS

Goatwhore

God Dethroned

Heaven Shall Burn

Hell-O

Impaled Nazarene

The Jackofficers

Jesus Chrysler

Jesus Eater

Jucifer

Killah Priest

Morbid Angel

Mighty Sphincter

Nails of Christ

Nun Slaughter

Pre School Tea Party Massacre

Pucifer

Pussy Overload

Rhino Clit

Rotting Christ

Scrotum Staplers

Sexual Orange Master

Shit Scum

Smother Theresa

This is Hell

Upside Down Cross

Wall of Smegma

& then had my friend Deb from a Pittsburgh-based heavy metal band called "Lady Beast" enunciate each of the names & additionally make up 8 air guitar vocals & sampled all 61 to make the "Banned Names" sample set. These were then played in a substantially rehearsed loosely structured quasi-narrative sequence.

The movie that I made of the entire devival is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel (highly abridged, as usual) here:

http://youtu.be/FfDCnTR03dg

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

398. ""MM 26" CD release #1"

- as part of Anthony Levin-Decanini's "Crucible Sound #4" at Modernformations Gallery, Pittsburgh, us@

- Thursday, July 8, 2013

- In November of 2011, I started a series of get-togethers at my house & elsewhere called "mm"s (pronounced "mmmmm.."). "mm" stands for "m(usic(ian's))m(eetings). I started these because I missed the luxury that most people have in their late teens & early 20s & then lose as their lives become more bogged down with adult responsibilities: namely, the funof just hanging out with friends & talking passionately about & listening to music. As of this writing (July 18, 2014), there've been 45 mms.

In addition to discussing & listening to other people's music we often play music of our own. In early 2013 I thought it would be fun to put out a CD that represents some of the talents of some of the core participants. This resulted in 7 of us putting out a CD in an edition of 500 that can be bought online & elsewhere.

Anthony Levin-Decanini is an mm participant. He also founded & curates a sereies of free improvisation concerts at the Modern Formations Gallery in Pittsburgh. The rule for participation in these concerts is that the players have never played together before. For the 4th of these, Anthony decided to host the 1st of 2 MM 26 CD release events. Anthony also has a blog promoting these concerts & in anticipation of this one he went all-out by polling me on favorite records here:

http://cruciblesound.blogspot.com/2013/07/some-favorite-records-from-tentatively.html

& then he recorded an interview with me that was so long that he edited it heavily & still had to break it into 2 parts:

http://cruciblesound.blogspot.com/2013/08/interview-with-tentatively-convenience.html

http://cruciblesound.blogspot.com/2013/08/interview-with-tentatively-convenience_21.html

Of the 7 contributors to the MM 26 CD, 6 were available (one, Unfinished Symphonies, was on tour playing keyboard for a a rock band). In keeping with Anthony's preference that the participants should be playing together for the 1st time, we had 2 sets: one consisting of a trio that'd never played together before: Rey Freme: analog synthesizer, Matt Aelmore: French horn & electric bass, & Anthony Levin-Decanini: electronics; the 2nd consisting of the same trio joined intermittently by myself (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE): sampler, wave-table synthesizer, sampler-mixer, roll-up keyboards, amplified fingertips, Speaker Switch Suitcase (& CDs prepared for playing through it), percussion, etc, Kenny Haney: alto clarinet, & Ben Opie: alto sax & electronics. We all eventually played together at the end regardless of the fact that Kenny, Ben, & I had played many times before. Additionally recruited from the audience to play a roll-up keyboard was my friend Elisa Schwenniger.

I had decided to make setting-up be a primary focus & to not let the audience know that that was what I was doing. With that in mind, I brought a huge quantity of equipment. During the 1st trio set I kept going on stage & futzing with my equipment while the other guys played a fairly slow atmospheric set. At one point, I sat on the edge of the stage & ate some of a sub sandwich.

Next on the program was a screening of the 1st of the many mm movies that I've made, a quasi-documentary of the 5th mm:

http://youtu.be/ZF85ExKktCE

This was probably followed by an intermission & then the last set. I had a plan to try to get through an intimidatingly large number of procedures in this last set. It was also my intention to use samples usually reserved for specific pieces & not meaqnt for egenral improvisation purposes - this was for the sake of breaking my my own rules. SO, I started off playing Cds that I'd made from frog & toad recordings from a Folkways record. These were directed through the use of my Speaker Switcher Suitcase (see my movie about that here: http://youtu.be/sXdMjUdEMsk ) to 7 speakers scattered around the floor. Then Kenny came on stage for 10 minutes or so & played a very soft & subtle clarinet. I velcroed on the 2 roll-up keyboards to my pantsl egs & put on rubber gloves that I'd attached contact mics to the fingertips of & plugged those into my sound system. This was to amplify the sound of my fingers touching things. I asked Kenny to leave the stage & I began exaggerating doing things with my hands like scrtaching my underarms & torso. Eventually, I started pulling percussion out of a suitcase-full that I had on the floor in front of the stage. I focused particularly on a small Chinese gong. Ben came on stage next & sat at its edge playing a small electronic device called the Board Weevil.

I went into the audience & put a roll-up keyboard on Elisa's lap & asked her to play it. She wasn't expecting this. Eventually, I took her & the keyboard to a table in front of the stage where I plugged a cord into the headphones jack that then went into a pitch-to-MIDI converter that then controlled my wave-table synthesizer. I didn't explain this to Elisa. Since plugging into the headphones jack cut the sound coming out of the roll-up's built-in speakers, Elisa became confused because it seemed that she couldn't hear her playing because she didn't realize that the wave-table sounds were being triggered by her. She probably pulled the cord out & then I cam over & plugged it back in again. My intention was to bypass clichés of performance by keeping things in a state of uncertainty.

I'd already played my "Skeletal Remains" samples at some point so now I returned & played my "The Only Jealousy of Cascando McKenna" ones. By this point, we were all playing together & Ben played in a wind trio with himself on sax, Kenny on clarinet, & Matt on French horn - along with the rest of us on electronics. I eventually went back to a more active spatial manipulation of the frog recordings through the Speaker Switcher. To make things even more complicated & confusing for Elisa I sampled her playing of the the wave-table sounds & played that sampling back looped while she continued to play the roll-up. I then switched to the "Banned Names" samples - at which point Elisa sat down again. I started throwing my percussion around - especially the Boom Whackers that're pitched tubes sound by striking. I bounced these off the stage steps so that their pitches could be heard.

At some point I started using toilet-paper rolls to try to focus feedback from my mic-ed fingers & then to amplify my voice & I gave them out to the audience to encourage to participate similarly. My final set of samples was the "Rasps" set culled from the same Folkways record that the CDs played through the Speaker Switcher were.

An abridged movie that I made of this event is ony my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here:

http://youtu.be/zc5N4qdFVW0

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

399. ""MM 26" CD release #2: Amir ul-Kuffar presents "The Only Jealousy of Cascando McKenna""

- Melwood Screening Room, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, us@

- Tuesday, July 13, 2013

- Wanting this to be a substantially different event from the preceeding "MM 26 CD release 1" of only 5 days before, I structured it around mm-related movies separated by short performances by the few contributors to the CD who were available (Unfinished Symphonies was still on tour, Anthony had gotten sick, Rey was away & wasn't sure he could get back on time, Ben had another gig).

I had been given what I took to be a Russian Army Medical Corps Major General's uniform by a friend of mine that I hadn't done anything with other than a series of photos. (I've recently been informed by a Russian I met in a bar that the uniform is fake but that the hat is real) I introduced myself as Major General Amit ul-Kuffar ("Commander of the Unfaithful" in Arabic) & explained in an extremelt unconvincing Russian accent that the mms were spy meetings made up of double & triple agents speaking in code language. Then I screened the "mm 05" movie:

http://youtu.be/ZF85ExKktCE

Matt Aelmore was up next. He passed around some CDs of music he likes - simulating what happens at mms (m(usic(ian's)) at my house. Then he played a recording that he'd made by mixing such music together while he played electric bass 'ovcertop' of it.

I screened "Ben Opie" next:

http://youtu.be/JQ_-qIxS-fE

followed by "Babelization Party" (not online yet).

Kenny Haney followed with a set of old-timey songs played on banjo - thusly demonstrating his musical skills that're quite fifferent from his clarinet playing. He introduced the songs with relevant stories about their histories.

I screened "mm 22" next which was the the mm where we discussed, amongst other things, modern dance. That was followed by "J from A to Z" which was recorded at another mm:

http://youtu.be/AGTbyNEmQps

I finished off the evening with the premier playing of my "The Only Jealousy of Cascando McKenna" which is a piece consisting of samples from 3 realizations of Yeats's play "The Only Jealousy of Emer" + 3 realizations of Beckett's radio play "Cascando" + an excerpt from a spectacular performance by Irish actress Siobhan McKenna. Here's my keyboard mapping score for it:

 

A somewhat warped movie of this event called "The 29 Mmmms" is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here:

http://youtu.be/1YQI5IBEA0A

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

401. "A Catamaran Animist Vigor"

- Abandoned Store, Pittsburgh, us@

- Wednesday, May 7, 2014

- "A Catamaran Animist Vigor" is one of the 2 movies I made using Mark Dixon's Selectric Piano (see these relevant movies on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel: "Mark Dixon's Selectric Piano": http://youtu.be/3x6AJ6ssJsk ) which is a Selectric Typewriter with a one-to-one correspondence between the keys typed & an electronic keyboard that's connected to it.

I projected this movie & 5 improvisors played along with it. These improvisors were 1/3rd of Holocene Extinction: cymbal, Anthony Levin-Decanini: Crackle Box, Joey Molinaro: violin, trumpet, synthesizer, Josh Tenenbaum: percussion, Ben Bennett: percussion. Near the end, I joined them by improvising with an organ bench.

The footage from this event was then combined with the previous movie & other new material to make a Score Movie intended for more through-notated future realizations. 7 seconds of this Score Movie (which is 54:27 total) can be witnessed on Vimeo:

https://vimeo.com/96111445

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

403. "A Catamaran Animist Vigor"

 

- Babyland, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, January 24, 2015

- The genesis of "A Catamaran Animist Vigor" is probably rooted in the fall of 2009. My friend the ever-inventive Mark Dixon had told me about his Selectric Piano - a typewriter that would play an 88 key electric piano. I started thinking about what text(s) I'd want to type on it. The idea of anagrams of "Anagrammatic Variations" appealed to me. I used an online generator to generate so many of them that the text file result was difficult to open. I narrowed it down to just the anagrams with "Catamaran" & "Catamarans" in them. In 2010. I went to visit Mark & to use the Selectric Piano. His associate Bart Trotman was generous & open enough to type the anagrams for me while I manipulated MIDI-activated electronics. Several movies were made of the results - images of catamarans were added to the mix. In 2014, I screened this by now dense movie at Abandoned Store while a group of 5 improvisors played. I shot footage of this. I went to great lengths to notate what the corresponding pitches were for each of the anagrams. The original movie + the Abandoned Store footage + the notation were combined into a Score Movie - a movie that gives instructions for the live creation of its own soundtrack. I rallied the musicians for playing this. We rehearsed. Finally, on Saturday, January 24, 2015, we presented the Score Movie to an attentive & excellent (v)audience at Babyland while the following 5 performed the score: Matt Aelmore (French horn), Roger Dannenberg (Laptop 'piano' chords), Kenny Haney (Bb clarinet), Brian Riordan (Laptop samples), tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (Percussion samples). The (M)Usic? Imagine an aleatoric minimalist/maximalist live musique concrete based on word-play & oh-so-much-more. This YouTube version isn't the complete piece, it's just the 'meat of the matter'. "A Catamaran Animist Vigor" was then followed by a performance by Anita Sphinx, a performance redolent of that same day's Summit Against Racism.

- 1st rehearsal broken into 3 parts on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here:

pt 1: http://youtu.be/cC5d-SriB6Y

pt 2: http://youtu.be/O2ToDm0HfKc

pt 3: http://youtu.be/Bh9p5Io83OQ

- 2nd rehearsal on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: http://youtu.be/9JueavuM5m0

- performance at Babyland on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: http://youtu.be/cn3U055X-2U

- August 19, 2015 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

406. Composer's Presentation

- PNME (Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble)'s Composers Night, Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh, PA

- Thursday, July 2, 2015

- Entering this in this list is probably stretching things a bit too much but it does just barely qualify so rather than adding it later when I'll then have to renumber all subsequent entries to accomodate it I'll enter it now. PNME was reaching out to local composers, much to their credit IMO, & planned this event as a sortof meet-'n'greet at Wigle Whiskey, a local whiskey manufacturer's place of business where they have an outdoor patio sizeable enough to hold the 30+ people expected to attend. Ben Opie & I had been suggested as composers by our friend & collaborator Roger Dannenberg, a PMNE board member. I, in turn, suggested my friend Matt Aelmore & Brian Riordan. Hence the word spread.

All of the composers were restricted to a 1:00 sample of their work. These recordings were sent to Kevin Noe, PNME's director, to be organized in alphabetical order by composer's last name on his laptop. At the event, each composer was given 1:00 to introduce their piece. I realized a 1:00 version of my sampling piece "61 Sequences Sampled" especially for the occasion. Given that 1:00 was too short a time to adequately play the samples, I retitiled it "Sequences Sampled". For my introduction, I watched my cellphone timer in an attempt to cut myself off at precisely 1:00 while in the midst of saying the word "discombobulated" (or something like that). As I recall, I actually went a few seconds over 1:00 & didn't cut the word off.

I found this event extremely encouraging & positive. Kudos to PMNE for organizing it! Alas, David Stock, the founder of PNME, died not long after this event on November 2, 2015. RIP. I was fortunate to be able to have an affable conversation with him at this gathering. Below is a seleection of photos taken at the event. These were provided by PMNE. I don't know the names of everyone who was there but I've labeled the few that I do know. Perhaps at 2016's planned follow-up to this Composers Night there will be a hand-out with the names of the composers & a photo & contact info so that we can continue to build this community. Best to all!

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

407. "Beau Jest" @ Sync'd 7

- Sync'd 7, 3 Rivers Film Festival, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, November 7, 2015

- ""Beau Jest" @ Sync'd 7: "Sync'd" is an annual screening event in Pittsburgh founded & organized by Michael Maradan. Mike solicits silent movies from local moviemakers & recruits 2 different groups to play soundtracks for the movies. Mike 1st asked me to be a participant in Sync'd 4 in 2011. I didn't want to just make a silent movie without giving any thought to the circumstances it was to be screened in. Since I'd already made some "Score Movies" (movies meant to be the score for the production of its soundtrack) I decided to make another one in that series as a way of strengthening that body of work & of not just taking the soundtrack for granted as 'whatever'. SO, I made ""Spectral Evidence" trailer". Since I knew that my friends in the band "Lungs, Face, Feet" would be performing the soundtrack for it I tailored it somewhat for them. Mike invited me back the next year for Sync'd 5 & I made something even more tailored for the performer: "Ben Opie". For Sync'd 7 I designed "Beau Jest" for performers that I didn't know, "Sun Cycles". Sun Cycles is a duo & I picked them as my preferred soundtrack producer because I thought their instrumentation would work well with what I had in mind. Since I didn't know the performers I made Beau Jest a much more open form piece, taking air guitar playing as an inspiration, so that I wouldn't be too demanding. As it turned out, one half of Sun Cycles was sick & didn't perform so the instrumentation was guitar-centric & much more minimal than what I had in mind. No matter, Sun Cycles did a pretty good job anyway &, as the old saying goes, one half of Sun Cycles is better than nothing." - November 28, 2015 onesownthoughts YouTube notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- While I didn't personally perform as part of this event, I did wear the above "Beau jest" outfit that I'd designed & partially made. Furthermore, since SunCycles was performing my Score Movie I consider this to be a performance (of sorts) of mine.

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/Z8WNrhWKdJ0

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

408. "Tex-Mix (Giddyup Americana)"

- Babyland, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, November 8, 2015

- "For decades now I've been entertained by finding what I call the "Giddyup" rhythm in a variety of musics from various cultures. Maybe they're all influenced by the sound of horses running. Whatever. When I was a kid I watched Westerns with John Wayne in them. It wasn't long before he seemed like an idiot. An Americana idiot. Recently, I've learned to appreciate some Westerns (like Clint Eastwood's "High Plains Drifter") & some Americana music - mostly thanks to Lukas Foss, Lejaren Hiller, & Elie Siegmeister. This movie is a document of my rehearsals for & performance of a sampling piece that repurposes singing cowboy songs from six 1930s Tex Ritter movies. It's my "Tex-Mix" (not my Tex-Mex). It might be the closest I ever come to making '21st century' Americana." - December 2, 2015 onesownthoughts YouTube notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- The 6 Tex Ritter movies sampled from were "Song of the Gringo" (1936), "Arizona Days" (1937), "Sing, Cowboy, Sing" (1937), "Mystery of the Hooded Horsemen" (1937), "Tex Rides with the Boy Scouts" (1937), & "Rollin' Plains" (1937).

full "Tex-Mix (Giddyup Americana" movie on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/yVZPa4gCdAU

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

409. "RonDodo"

- Lightlab 10, The Space Upstairs, Pittsburgh, us@

- Tuesday, November 10, 2015

- ""RonDodo" (September-December, 2015E.V.) I started (d) composing in 1974. I've done nothing but d teriorate since then (ka-boom!). "RonDodo"'s the latest evidence of that. I was probably daydreaming about the punning possibilities of the words "Rondo" (a simple musical form) & "Dodo" (a bird rendered extinct by humans several hundred years ago) & wondered about how to turn it into a score. Lo & Behold!, "RonDodo" was born! I drew an outline of a Dodo & made a connect-the-dots tracing of it that followed an extravagant RonDo form: A-B-A-C-A-D-A-E..A-Z-A & placed this over graph paper to provide a regularizing component. I then established rules about how the players should proceed from there. Unpromising as this may seem to some, a fairly interesting (d) composition was generated. Since I'm fortunate enough to have friends who actually find these pieces of mine challenging & fun to play, I was also fortunate enough to work with the following crew to bring "RonDodo" to life: Matt Aelmore: French horn; Jason Belcher: valve trombone; David Bernabo: keyboards; Roger Dannenberg: trumpet; Calder Dudgeon: conductor; Kenny Haney: clarinet; Julian Krishnamurti: violin; Ben Opie: alto saxophone; Brian Riordan: percussion; & myself (yes, I'm even friends with me): tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: (d) composer, sampler, moviemaker. This movie quasi-documents the piece's growth up 'til its premier performance as part of David Bernabo's "Lightlab 10" at the fabulous "The Space Upstairs" in Pittsburgh. Such details as rehearsals are primarily intended for the edification of geek scholars. Then again, if you're checking this whole business out in the 1st place you probably ARE a geek scholar in which case I greet you (albiet in this removed way) with thanks for your interest. The final version presented here is also available on CD as part of my "1975-2015" collection of selected works of mine for 40 years. Figuring out my email & writing to me is probably the best way to get a copy because I don't anticipate it's getting distributed otherwise." - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE onesownthoughts YouTube notes December 9, 2015

the percussion stand tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE designed & built for "RonDodo"

 

full "RonDodo" movie on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/CzsoiM8z1wk

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

413. "Limpolysemia"

- via Skype from Who Unit? in Pittsburgh, us@, to Minsk, Belarus; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Richmond, Virginia, us@; South Carolina, us@

- Sunday, August 8, 2016EV, noon in Pittsburgh, Richmond, & South Carolina; 7PM in Minsk & Rotterdam

- This was the premier of my sampling piece made for a video-teleconference of the same name. Sincee the main purpose of the conference was to establish communication between IMP ACTIVISTS in Belarus, who speak Russian, & IMP ACTIVISTS &/or Neoists in the us@ & the Netherlands who were speaking English, the samples were mostly in Russian - with the exceptions of quotes from a poem by Belarusyn Monty Cantsin. The performance of it that essentially opens the teleconference is at 12:53 in the feature-length movie that documents it on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/Iimpolysemia . Below are scans of the score & some scanned pages from the Russian coursebook that I took some of the Russian phrases from.

- September, 2016 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

419. Premier of excerpt from "Endangered Languages, Endangered Cultures, Endangered Ideas"

- Babyland Loading Dock, May Day Cabaret, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, April 28, 2017EV, evening

- Starting in February, 2016, I began having the mms (m(usic(ian's))m(eetings)) that I have at my house center around speicifc intrsumentation that I want to have part of my 'opera' in progress: "Endangered Languages, Endangered Cultures, Endangered Ideas". I had 15 of these mms & I shot footage of all of them & made QuickTime movie samples from each. My friend & collaborator, Roger Dannenberg, then developed software to my specifications that enabled sampling from these movies & enabled other speicifc things to happen.

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

The libretto for this, which I'm still in the process of creating, is based around research into enfangered languages & what's lost when the languages become extinct. Roger had only recently gotten the ELsoftware to the point where it could be used in performance & I decided to try to perform the 1st 6 paragraphs of the piece at this May Day Cabaret. Unfortunately, the venue was exposed to the weather & rain, as well as sotware failure, led to a very short & somewhat fumbling performance. The libretto, if I'd even managed to make it through the short excerpt selected for the vent, would've been:

""The extinction of languages is part of a larger picture of worldwide near total ecosystem collapse. Our research shows quite striking correlations between areas of biodiversity and areas of highest linguistic diversity, allowing us to talk about a common repository for what we will call "biolinguistic diversity": the rich spectrum of life encompassing all the earth's species of plants and animals along with human cultures and their languages. The greater biolinguistic diversity is found in areas inhabited by indigenous peoples, who represent around 4 percent of the world's population, but speak at least 60 percent of the world's languages."

Roger Dannenberg

""Like species, languages too can be thought of as occupying ecological niches. The majority of the world's languages are, however, narrow-niched, like Taiap in Papua, New Guinea. Relatively few languages-such as English, Arabic, or Chinese-are broad-niched. At the same time tropical ecosystems are typically rich in number of species, they are poor in the number of organisms-the opposite of northern latitudes. Thus, the population of any one species may be relatively small; it is variety which is great-another characteristic of a stable ecosystem. If we apply this biological analogy to languages, then we would expect to find great numbers of languages spoken by relatively small numbers of speakers in the tropics."

"Most of my personal interests have been in what I tend to think of as "narrow-niched" cultural equivalents: culture & ideas that're "rich in number of species" & "poor in the number of organisms".. or to put it in an admittedly distorted other way: 'rich in imagination' & 'poor in the number of people appreciating this richness'. The 15 mmmovies I made to cull from for my 'opera' exemplify this.

"It's important to understand just what's lost as a language disappears. Detailed local knowledge is lost. Imagine having to reinvent the wheel every thousand yrs or less? Imagine losing the names for a variety of animals, imagine reducing them all to just "animals" & then not noticing or caring that 60% of what's in that category becomes extinct. Now imagine that applied to yr friends & family, imagine that they all become just one 'thing' to you, just "friends & family" & nothing more differentiated. Now imagine 60% of them dying off & yr not noticing b/c you cd no longer tell any of them apart anyway.

""Younger Dyirbal speakers now also use the term iaban, which originally referred to a spotted eel, to refer to all kinds of eels. In traditional Dyribal eels had individual names. On a bush expedition one younger speaker was able to name various species of trees such as bottlebrush and ironbark in English, but could give only the general Dyribal word for "tree" (yuqu) for all of them. In earlier years, Bob Dixon had recorded names for over 600 plants from older speakers."

"In today's day & age the natural environment has become less compelling for many people than the media(ted) one. As such, far more people that I know are likely to know names for apps available for their iJoneses than they are to know the names of the trees in their backyard. Given that the apps are human-made, that the phones are human-made, that the internet is human-made, that prioritizes everything human-made over life that exists on its own. Such a process is dangerous to the environment not only b/c of the way resources become allocated but b/c humans lose the ability to feel connected to anything that's unmediated. They lose their kinship w/ the non-human."

- paragraphs 1, 2, & 5 are quotes from the great book by Daniel Nettle & Suzanne Romaine's entitled "Vanishing Voices - The Extinction of the World's Languages" & the 3rd, 4th, & 6th paragraphs are from my review of that ( https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/524556-biolinguistic-diversity?chapter=1 )

I made a movie of these 1st 6 paragraphs being performed in various ways. This movie includes footage from this May Day Cabaret premier: https://archive.org/details/ELIPabridged

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

421. ""MM 76 - Amusical Music Atheatrical Theater" CD release (mm 77)"

- Glitter Box Theater, Bloomcraft, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, October 13, 2017EV, evening

- In November, 2011, I started having a series of meetings, mostly at my house, called "mm"s - which stood for "m(usic(ian's))m(eetings). It was fun at 1st but by 2013 interest seemed to be flagging so I proposed that the main attendees produce a collective CD to showcase our talents. That way, if the mms faded out altogther there would be the audio recording as a memento. We had 2 CD release events, both poorly attended, & we all lost money on the project - with me losing far more than everyone else. It had been my hope that if we managed to make money by sales we would continue to release publications representing the work of other people in Pittsburgh. The interest in this seemed close to nonexistent.

By 2016, attendance was once again on the wane, with me being the only person there at some of the mms. By 2017, I decided to cut back on the actual meetings & try another CD & another release. The CD included some people who'd attended meetings & others whose work I was just interested in as possibly appropriate to the theme of "Amusical Music Atheatrical Theater". After a bit of wrangling, the release date & place were set & the available acts became:

Noah Rectenwald

Warren Burt (who sent a movie of him performing from Australia)

Ben Opie (who came from another gig that day)

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & Meg Graham

How Things Are Made (only Matt Aelmore & David Bernabo because the usual 3rd member, Brian Riordan, was just getting back from Europe) (they, too, came after an earlier performance elsewhere)

& Mike Boyd

The Glitter Box Theater provided 2 assistants, Carlee Freeman & Jen Cooney, 2 of my favorite colorful people in Pittsburgh. Alas, only ONE paying vaudience member was there, Anthony Levin-Decanini, who had had something on the 1st mm CD & who had been very supportive of THAT CD.

The actual program was fairly diverse insofar as Noah played pop songs of his; Warren performed a piece on 2 iPads & an iPhone using simulated piano sounds; Ben played a phenomenal sax solo (alto & soprano); Meg & I performed the 1st 6 paragraphs of my 'opera' in-progress, "Endangered Languages, Endangered Cultures, Endangered Ideas"; How Things Are Made improvised on trumpet (Matt) & analog synthesizer (David); & Mike performed one of his scores for building an instrument in real time.

A music writer for the local weekly paper had claimed that she was going to give the event a "Critic's Pick" in the paper that week but then didn't. When that didn't happen, the main publicity I was relying on doing any good was null & void. When I confronted the music writer about this she claimed that it had 'slipped through the cracks.' I didn't believe her & still don't. I think she might've listened to a few seconds or minutes of the CD, decided it was 'too weird' & decided to support a more 'normal' musical act. Not long after, she had a feature story with a front cover picture about a music act that was apparently more to her liking. What was it? A single woman in her 20s who played guitar (as we all know, guitar is the only instrument), sang with country-inflected vocals, & was releasing an EP of the only 4 or 5 songs she had. In other words, unbelievably amateur & unoriginal. That confirmed my suspicions of how banal & biased (women, young) her tastes were. But young women on the cover of newspapers probably sell better than older guys.

I made 3 movies of the event:

485. a. "MM 76 RELEASE"

- shot using 4 cameras on Friday, October 13, 2017, at the Glitter Box Theater by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE with one additional iPhone provided by Noah Rectenwald of his section

- performers in order of appearance: Noah Rectenwald; Warren Burt; Ben Opie; tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & Meg Graham; How Things Are Made (Matt Aelrmore & David Bernabo); Mike Boyd

- 1:28:38

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/XuoZopfS4CQ

b. "MM 76 RELEASE (medium rare)"

- 39:33

- on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/MM76RELEASEmediumRare

c. "MM 76 RELEASE (well done)"

- 12:24

- on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/241244343

 

424. "Exorcising Capos"

- "The Exorcism", Glitter Box Theater, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, February 3, 2018, 8:20PM

 

- My friend & collaborator Mr. Funky (aka Unfinished Symphonies) conceived of & invited me to be a participant an even called "The Exorcism". He explained this to the press thusly: "It's gonna be a series of short, punchy individual exorcisms. Each participant will pick a target and go for it with any strategy she/he chooses. Could be music, could be something else. At the end we'll have the audience write down what they want erased from the world, and we'll go out to the street and burn up their paper."

 

I decided to exorcise capos. I've always found capo use to be ridiculous. The idea was to use 5 or more altered quick-release capos in a binge of capo overkill to purge capo playing. If one's an alcoholic one could 'cure' oneself of it by drinking oneself to death (NOT RECOMMENDED OR EVEN SUGGESTED) because then one would be dead. I thought I'd apply the same logic to capo playing. As usual, the more I thought about it the more elaborate my idea became as to what to do.

 

The night of The Exorcism arrived & I was in a particularly stressed-out, distracted & unhappy mood. Even though I pulled it off in a way that appeared to entertain the (v)audience I was dissatisfied with all the things I forgot to do & with all the things that went wrong. The performance was still good anyway but for the purposes of this movie I've added some extra footage to make up for some of what was lost. Mr. Funky himself will put movies of each of the performances online so this only represents mine.

 

What I DID do was talk about learning guitar as a teenager & deonstrated some of what I was talking about. I'd altered 2 capos & I used those & an E-Bow & an EZ-Fret to indulge in an orgy of lazy playing. After I'd demonstrated this, as a way of avoiding a situation in which using a capo would even make any sense, I switched to a MIDI-guitar & ended on an acoustic piano. I played a D major chord, improvisied in a way that was irrelevant to scales, played a D minor chord, & ended on a D Major chord. The reason for this was two-fold: I wanted to introduce a musically conventional 'uplifitng triumphant' ending with a Picardy Third and to end on a D major chord because Unfinished Symphonies usually says that his songs are "in D", which, as far as I can tell, they never are - by which he apparently means that they begin & end on a D major chord.

 

The other performances were varied & generally excellent & were by: The Tortured Genius (Mr$. Funky), Emily Deferrero & a host of friends, Steve Pellegrino & Mary (on mandolin-banjo), Maurice Rickard, Eric, Matt Aelmore, & Unfinished Symphonies (Mr. Funky). It was a very special evening. Thanks, as always, to the wonderful Glitter Box Theater for being so open-minded & affordable.

 

- Unfinished Symphonies's raw footage of the Exorcism of Capos is here: https://youtu.be/J5SX8bkQW4c

- My edit, introducing supplementary materials, is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/nTRdh4YnA2I

 

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

425. "Pre-Show: Total Mobile Home Suitcase"

- Babyland pre- May Day Variety Show, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, May 5, 2018, 7:45PM

"Pre-Show: Total Mobile Home Suitcase": Every year in my neighborhood there's a May Day Parade held on a Saturday. The night before there's a Variety Show. In 2018 I'd put all my effort into preparing for my annual parade speech so I hadn't been planning to do something for the Variety Show but I decided that I should test a head-mounted camera set-up I was planning to use for the parade in advance of the parade - & since I'd just recently gotten my Total Mobile Home Suitcase (1995) working again I decided to provide some pre-show entertainment using it while it was still light outside. The Variety Show didn't really start until after dark so there weren't many people around but that was ok because I just wanted to create a special experience for the few that were there.

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/fS6D-SP2GoU

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

 

427. "Sleeping Together"

- with Pamelia Stickney playing theremin

- Glitter Box Theater, Pittsburgh, us@

- Thursday, May 10, 2018, 10:15PM

- Pamelia Stickney & I planned a gig together for May 10. In a message exchange a little over a month before, Pamelia wrote "i am gonna be totally wasted tired with jetlag beyond that... needing to hit the hay recouping... but our improv theme could be - sonic nightcap, lullaby on a worknight, maybe even as we improv i start to fall asleep at the wheel... ha! anyhooo... lemme know whatcha think... i think it could be fun - getting sleeeepy and drowsy... try to make everyone sleepy drowsy along with us... maybe get peeps to lie down - tell them, bring a pillow! and i end up doing knob twisting lying down... like, is it possible to get into that halfdreamalmost asleep state and bringing out an improv while in it? that could be fucking cool... hehehe! but then i should have tried to book out glitterbox so that i just stay asleep so i dont have to pack my shit afterwards... hahaha... wake up next morning... hearing audience snoring... that would be fun... hehehe... anyhooo... even in tired state i know i still can musickify, and oh man, if i am sitting on a comfy chair, you know how when you start falling asleep and yer trying to talk sometimes your words go wonky and nonsensical? maybe that happens too as i get sleepy while playing?" & I countered by saying that "It'll give a new meaning to "sleeping together"."

As is my typical practice, I gave a substantial amount of thought to what I might do with the theme & developed a few things in preparation - even getting a pair of Darth Vader pajama pants to wear. Pamelia started it by playing Brahms's "Lullaby" while I got ready for bed by changing into my PJs & switching on various nightlights. I opened my "Total Mobile Home Suitcase" which activated a tape loop of booing & removed a pillowcase. Closing the suitcase stopped the loop & I shook out the pillowcase before putting it on my pillow. I activated an "Envirascape Rainforest Fountain" which produced a waterfall lit by changing light & has the option of 6 different soundtracks including rainforest & loons. The speaker to this was amplified with a contact mic that went into a 4 channel mixer & from there to a sampler mixer & then out to the sound system.

I also played my 5 music box instrument which had a version of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake", a version of the same with major 7ths added to the lower notes, & 3 other music box melodies of my own composing. This was also miked & fed into the sound system. There was a miked metronome.

There was also a radio miked halusi with 2 drone pipes that could be sounded with both out & in breathing.

Finally there was a megaphone that I'd altered by putting arms & a football-with-a-face mask on it. This latter was playing prerecorded heavy breathing sounds.

Both Pamelia & I gradually lay down & continued to manipulate our sound sources as we pretended to fall asleep. Pamelia introduced it as "gentle but mental" & I thought that was a pretty good description. I usually avoid drone-like audio production in favor of clashing disjunctive references but it was fun exploring this direction & using so many props & lightings. Pamelia was her usual excellent musician self. A good time was probably had by all.

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/Q_zMsJFB9Is

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

428. "Endangered Languages, Endangered Cultures, Endangered Ideas"

- UNDERAPPRECIATED MOVIEMAKERS FESTIVAL, Glitter Box Theater, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, August 3, 2018

- I've been working on my opera-in-progress, "Endangered Languages, Endangered Cultures, Endangered Ideas", since the beginning of 2016. Progress has been slow for a variety of reasons: its great complexity, my lack of resources. By April 28, 2017, I was ready to perform a small excerpt from the beginning in a 2 person version for the May Day Cabaret - ably assisted by collaborator Roger Dannenberg. Due to a combination of rain & software problems, that premier was cut very short. The short movie of this version in-progress, including the footage from the premier, is here on the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/ELIPabridged .

I performed a similar short excerpt again as part of a release event for the "MM 76" CD (that has a solo version of the beginning of the opera on it) on October 13, 2017, at the Glitter Box Theater. Meg Graham generously provided the vocals for this occasion. The long version of this entire release event is here: https://youtu.be/XuoZopfS4CQ on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel.

I worked considerably more on it after that but was still only ready to perform it in an excerpted very stripped-down version - this time by myself. The 4 day FESTIVAL that this was a part of was something that I'd been working on for 7 months. Not only was I delighted with the quality & originality of the work presented but I was thrilled to have Dick Turner comes from Paris, Florian Cramer & Mariette Groot come from Rotterdam, & Skizz Cyzyk & Jen Talbert come from BalTimOre. It was truly a meeting of the minds. This version of the opera was the best yet insofar as I'd prerecorded my singing of the libretto & was therefore freed to play the projections with greater attention to detail. The relevant section of the UNDERAPPRECIATED movie is here: https://youtu.be/KwlfRxmRU3E?t=2h25m4s.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

429. "Karaoke Orgy"

- UNDERAPPRECIATED MOVIEMAKERS FESTIVAL Afterbirth Party, Babyland Garage, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, August 4, 2018

- Dick had the idea of releasing a recording of 4 old friends of his doing versions of his songs, one for each of them. The 4 being myself, Tom DiVenti, Carl Watson, & Daniel Higgs [Daniel has apparently dropped out & has been replaced by George Figgs]. Dick assigned me "Let's Have an Orgy". I substantially mutated the song but still left the original melody & overall structure. After finishing with the audio, which took a few labor-intensive weeks, I decided that it would be fun(ny) to make a karaoke movie version of it. I made 2 versions: one with my vocal & one without. The former is unlisted on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/jNGS8moOafE . Wanting this movie to actually function for karaoke at least once, I decided to have it be the opening act of the UNDERAPPRECIATED MOVIEMAKERS FESTIVAL Afterbirth Party. Those of us who took the karaoke challenge seemed to enjoy it. Of course, the idea was to take a song mutated beyond any hope of popularity & treat it as if it were somehow 'normal'. The relevant section of the UNDERAPPRECIATED movie is here: https://youtu.be/KwlfRxmRU3E?t=3h38m52s.

Unfinished Symphonies participating in the Karaoke Orgy.

dzum participating in the Karaoke Orgy.

Dave English participating in the Karaoke Orgy.

Florian Cramer participating in the Karaoke Orgy.

Greg Witt participating in the Karaoke Orgy.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

430. "Quartet for the End of Time"

- UNDERAPPRECIATED MOVIEMAKERS FESTIVAL Afterbith Party, Babyland Garage, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, August 4, 2018

- As mentioned in a previous entry, "the 4 day FESTIVAL that this was a part of was something that I'd been working on for 7 months. Not only was I delighted with the quality & originality of the work presented but I was thrilled to have Dick Turner comes from Paris, Florian Cramer & Mariette Groot come from Rotterdam, & Skizz Cyzyk & Jen Talbert come from BalTimOre. It was truly a meeting of the minds." Wanting to tap into the (m)usical part of this "meeting of the minds" I planned the "Afterbith Party" as an event in which the attending UNDERAPPRECIATED MOVIEMAKERS would get to present their audio work - joined by dzum (Mariette Groot).

I presented my collaboration with Dick Turner, "Karaoke Orgy", 1st. A set of Skizz Cyzyk's songs with projections was 2nd. Dick's songs, with prerecorded instrumental backings, live singing & trombone playing, was 3rd. dzum's electroacoustic set was 4th. The finale was the 4 of us improvising together under the name I chose "Quartet for the End of Time". Since this part of the FESTIVAL was the Afterbith Party meaning the party happening after the birth of the UNDERAPPRECIATED MOVIEMAKERS FESTIVAL & since this quartet was to makr the end of this time I chose to use the name that French composer Olivier Messiaen had given to the quartet that he'd composed & performed while in a German prisoner-of-war camp during so-called World War II. Some, of course, might find this flippant & disrespectful of Messiaen's dread circumstances but it wasn't meant to be - even though it was meant to be humorous. Skizz played electric ukelele, Dick played trombone, dzum played miscellaneous electro-acoustic objects, & I played my "61 Sequences Sampled" samples & other electronics.

The relevant section of the UNDERAPPRECIATED movie is here: https://youtu.be/KwlfRxmRU3E?t=5h11m42s.

 

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

431. "Boning Up"

- with Dick Turner playing trombone

- Biddle's Escape Spoken Word Open Mic, Pittsburgh, us@

- Wednesday, August 8, 2018

- As the opening reader of this open mic I read the following text with Dick playing trombone. I'd asked Dick to play background accompaniment at 1st & to then react indignantly to arrogant statements by Boulez, etc..

"I am the composer & this is the performer. I am tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & this is Dick Turner. So I'm going to read an excerpt from my review of Joan Peyser's "Boulez, Composer, Conductor, Enigma".

"Boulez is definitely attached to being the maestro, the head of a hierarchy. At least he worked hard for it:

""Obviously still inspired by Mallarmé's Le Livre, Boulez attempted, in his own words, "to break completely the closed form." But he refused to share the responsibility with the performer. In a 1964 interview in The Times of London, Boulez deprecated the performer's ability to participate in the creative process. "I have no confidence in the imagination of performers," he said. "The performer's head is full of formulas drawn from the music he plays. If he had the necessary invention, he would be a composer himself." - p 162

"SOOOOOO.. what about the performers who are also composers? Take, for example, trombonist/composer Vinko Globokar: refer to his record on Deutsche Grammophon's "avant garde" imprint in which he performs his own "Discours II pour cinq trombones" (1967/68) & a work by Berio & a work by Stockhausen. He wanted co-composer credit on a performance of Stockhausen's "Aufwärts" & Stockhausen was against this so Globokar chose to be listed on the record as "Anonym". I have mixed feelings about this. 25:11 On the one hand, I think that the composer deserves credit for initiating the process but I think the performers, depending upon the degree of their creative input - which is considerable in the case of "Aufwärts" - deserve to be given substantial credit too. Hence my preference for the term "realization" rather than just "performance" in the case of works where the performers are major contributors. More about Stockhausen:

""Once a devout Catholic, Stockhausen dropped his ties to structure and God at the same time. He left his wife and their four children and married a painter and produced more progeny. Then he built a splendid house in the suburbs of Cologne and expected both women and all the children to live with him." - p 166

"Ignoring the impractical megalomania of expecting everyone to live together as one big happy family, I have to wonder about the "he built a splendid house" part of the above. Maybe HE built it - but it seems more likely that he had some design ideas & paid someone else to build it for him. Rich people have a tendency to take credit for things that they pay other people to do for them. I hate that. I especially hate it when it's something creative. I call the results "Employer Art". The attitude of rich people often seems to be that people who can actually do physical things are beneath notice, certainly beneath getting credit. I could say more, MUCH MORE, but I'll move on."

After reading that prepared text I pulled out my megaphone with arms attached & a Ren toy that'd been given me by Florian Cramer & Mariette Groot a couple of days before that plays samples from the Ren & Stimpy cartoon. I pointed the megaphone at Dick & said:

"You're playing too loud!"

I then pointed the Ren toy at him & played one of its sounds & pointed it into the mic to play another one.

A movie of this is on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/BoningUp

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

432. "tENT-Weston"

- with Jeff Weston playing contrabass

- Crucible Sound, 3577 Studios, Pittsburgh, us@

- Thursday, December 6, 2018

- Jeff Weston & I had played together once before as the last day of a series of June, 2018, duets that're part of my 2018 project entitled "365". Here's information about & links to the footage of the entire duet:

 

550. "2018.06.30 duet with Jeff Weston - Pittsburgh, PA - in person"

- part of a series of duets played every day of June

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: moviemaking, electric guitar, guitar samples; Jeff Weston: acoustic stand-up bass

- edit finished June 30, 2018

- 28:24

- Custom HD 1920WX1440H

- uploaded to my onesownthoughts YouTube channel on August 13, 2018, here: https://youtu.be/UF-YSbGK0nE

& to the Internet Archive on the same day: https://archive.org/details/2018.06.30Jeff

 

An excerpt from this duet also exists as part of the "June, 2018" movie:

 

551. a. "June, 2018"

- edit finished June 30, 2018

- a document of me playing a duet every day of June, 2018

- 19:32

- Custom HD 1920WX1440H

b. "June, 2018 (titled)"

- edit finished June 30, 2018

- a document of me playing a duet every day of June, 2018

- 19:32

- Custom HD 1920WX1440H

- uploaded to my onesownthoughts YouTube channel on August 1, 2018, here: https://youtu.be/5eLDrLx9cjU

 

Anthony Levin-Decanini, the curator of Crucicble Sound, & other concerts checked out some of the footage of Jeff's & my duet & asked us if we'd play a new duet for one of his curations. We both agreed enthusiastically. Since the original duet had consisted of my using a guitar to trigger guitar samples that I made I thought of expanding on that & I even ordered some new gear online for this purpose. However, I'd been working on some other sound-making approaches that didn't involve guitar or any electronics & I decided to go in that direction instead. This decision was partially aided by my not getting everything I ordered in time for the gig.

SO, for the gig I constructed a tent of sorts out of black fabric I brought & a black tablecloth that I found at the venue. This covered 2 sides & the top completely, my back was to a wall, & there was an opening on a side not visible to the (v)audience. I wore all black clothes & put a long black graduation gown over them. I held the tent aloft with 2 tripods & an upturned trombone case. Hidden inside the tent were my Schoenhut baby grand toy piano, a Mexican ocarina, a Lilipudlian membranophone, an oboe mouthpiece, an alto sax mouthpiece, a clarinet mouthpiece, a trumpet mouthpiece, a trombone mouthpiece, & a Harmon tenor trombone wow-wow mute. Additionally, I had a trombone & a small collpasing plunger as another mute. My GoPro was mounted on one of the tripods & pointed down at my set-up from above. I had my iJones, a flashlight, a headlamp on my head, & a bundle of small cyalume light-sticks - numbering, perhaps, 20. I also had a halusi. Outside the tent was a small tripod close to the floor with a Vivitar 'sports camera' on it aimed at Jeff.

For about an hour or more before the show started, I stayed inside the tent so that the audience wouldn't know I was there. When I was informed that the show was about to start, I stretched an arm out from under the tent & started the camera that was aimed at Jeff, then started the GoPro that was aimed at me, finally starting the stop-watch on my iJones.

 

I wanted my sound souirces to be evocative & mysterious - hence my being hidden. At my request, Anthony turned the lights off so that Jeff & I were playing in the dark. This increased the oneiric feel. I started off playing the Mexican ocarina in a way that reminded me of the sounds of Mourning Doves with, perhaps, a touch of the Loon. I then paused & Jeff's playing became more prominent. I cracked the glass of one of the light-sticks, shook it, & rolled it under the tent edge in Jeff's direction so that there would be faint light under him. Through the session I did this: finally taking a whole handful & tossing them out & up & toward the (v)audience in arcs of small glowing cylinders. At other poinrs I pushed my head lamp under the tent & aimed it in Jeff's direction. When I pulled back the headlamp I rolled a small flashlight out. A little past midway thru I aimed my iJones camera out the side of the tent & shot a minute's worth of footage of Jeff with the iJones light illuminating it.

Inside, after rolling out the 1st light-stick, I played the membranophone. I switched to the various mouthpieces with the wow-wow mute so that I could modify their sound acoustically. At some point I switched to the halusi, which can be played while inhaling & exhaling. I probably started playing toy piano during this. Eventually the trombone came into play - this time using both mutes. The collapsing plunger mute enables particularly lovely grunting sounds.

At 2 points I interpolated short readings from "The Book of Neoism?! The Revelations to AMEN. (assembled by Istvan Kantor)":

"NEOISM?! may be compared to a net, a net of principles, life-tendencies, knots in the flow of life, vortices of force called matter. Pick up a knot of the net and the rest of the net comes with it.

"There is nothing at all new, strange, or unusual about NEOISM?! . You are already using it every day, every minute in fact. It is your natural power, the basic energy of the Universe, which you use constantly, whether or not you are aware of it." - p 16

"The confusion theory is The Theoretical Axis of NEOISM?! . The more confused you get by reading about NEOISM?! , the closer you get to the Principal Idea of NEOISM?! . The Confusing Structure of NEOISM?! is characterized by transphysical meditation, neuro-orthodox faith, obsession with absurd medical ideals, and belief in the divine predestination of the fish." - p 40

I also interjected the 1st 20 seconds or so of a WhatsApp voice message that I'd gotten from a friend of mine in Brazil earlier that day & then the entirety of another one. These were very faint but afterwards one audience member said he could definitely hear them. Jeff & I had agreed on a set length of between 20 & 30 minutes so at around 23 minutes I set the timer on my phone for 1 minute & then let the alarm ring when the time came. Jeff stopped played after perhaps 20 rings of the alarm & we both went quiet. After a medium pause Jeff said "Thank You", I echoed it, & the (v)audience applauded it. I then came out from inside the tent. Jeff's playing was phenomenal throughout.

There were 2 more acts after us: "V Mamigonian" (Patrick Breiner of Battle Trance) on solo tenor sax was the 1st of these. His was the most amazing tenor sax playing I've ever heard. He was followed by Ben Bennett (percussion) & Charmaine Lee (voice). They were also fabulously accomplished. If I had the resources I'd publish a CD of the night because I think it was possibly the best free improv concert I've ever heard.

A movie of Jeff's & my set is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/j4vwPXLPLNg

- December 7, 2018 recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

435. ""365" at the Regent Square Theater"

- Regent Square Theater, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, April 7, 2019, Noon to 2:17:00PM

- I shot footage of myself playing Usic every day of 2018. The 1st 3 months weren't necessarily differentiated from each other very much but each day's shot did tend to build from the previous days & I often upped my own ante by doing things like having a trick shot where I was playing with 4 other shots of myself to make a quintet, etc.. The finished movie, called "365", can be witnessed in my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/77xIr8hSsXU & on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/idioideo_verizon_365_201901. After March, I started making every month thematic & by June I was playing duets every day. By the time it was finished it was certainly one of my most ambitious projects & I wanted to screen it at least once in a large movie theater to properly present the custom High-Definition of the product. Pittsburgh Filmmakers's Regent Square Theater seemed like the best bet & it was. We agreed on a sliding scale of $3 to $20 with myself & the (m)usicians splitting the door with the theater. Such arrangements are common-sensical to me but most theaters would probably not be so community-friendly.

The next step was to plan how to present "365" with live sound in addition to its prerecorded sound in order to make it a more special event. I contacted all of the 17 local musicians who'd played duets with me during June (the other players had been via Skype & Facetime) to ask who was available &/or interested in participating. 8 replied positively, 1 of those had to cancel because his job wouldn't let him off & that left 7: Ben Opie: alto sax, Coal Hornet: EEb contra alto clarinet, Kenny Haney: Bb clarinet, Unfinished Symphonies: keyboard, Devin Sherman: electric guitar, Eric Lipsky: cello, Roger Dannenberg: trumpet. An excellent assortment of players!!

Devin Sherman playing during a piano solo of tENT's in "365" - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

I watched through the entire "365" & took notes about the contents of every shot, when it occurred, & how long it was. This became part of a score that specified that the (M)Usicans weren't to play during any scene where there was an actual duet, trio, or quartet,.Playing during "faux duets" (etc) where I was playing either with myself or someone else through editing trickery was ok. It was also suggested that when my "Official" CAMU (Cue Activated Modular Unit) from the days of my 'Official" Project from 1990 to 1994 (BalTimOre->Berlin) &/or when the theme from Frank Zappa's "King Kong" came up that people could play along. The players were then requested to follow this score while watching the movie & to make notes to themselves about when they'd want to play & what they'd play when they did.

Ben Opie (left) & Coal Hornet (right of Ben) playing along while a projection of tENT playing flute occurs - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

The idea was to equip each of the players wuth foot-activated extension cords to turn on directional lights pointed upward from the floor. When it came time for the player to play they were to click on the light & when they were done they were to click it off again. Given that the projection is relatively flat, the hope was that the players would provide a more '3D' presence when they played. There were 2 rehearsals at my house, largely to try out the lights (which turned out to be harder for some than I'd hoped).

Ben Opie & Coal Hornet play along with tENT's Bb clarinet playing - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

My events have been dramatically underattended in recent years no matter how hard I tried to advertise them through every available media but I gave it yet-another all-out try & this time it paid off! Mike Shanley wrote an article about it for Pittsburgh Current, a weekly, & he promoted it on WYEP, a popular radio station:

582. ""365" @ Regent Square Radio Spot 1"

- Mike Shanley of Pittsburgh Current promoting the premier of "365" on WYEP on April 2, 2019

- 2:20

- custom HD 1920W X 1440H

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/f4BXsnx2V8c

- on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/365RadioSpot1

Bill O'Driscoll, formerly the arts editor of Pittsburgh City Paper, another weekly, & a long-time supporter of my work (I can't thank Bill enough) invited me to come to a studio of his current employer, WESA, the local NPR station, to conduct a brief interview. I went & made a movie of the entire thing knowing that all Bill would be able to use was a tiny portion of it, WESA's edit made it to on-air & a somewhat more substantial written version with 3 stills from "365" made it online too. I made the following movie from my footage at the studio:

583. ""365" @ Regent Square Radio Spot 2"

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE promoting the premier of "365" on WESA with Bill O'Driscoll on April 2, 2019 augmented by relevant scenes & stills & other visuals

- 36:41

- custom HD 1920W X 1440H

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/DLl0plCseIU

- on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/365RadioSpot2

This was exceptionally good publicity! Additionally, I made a Facebook event, & sent out multiple bulk emails, as did some of the other participants - as well as made an 11X17" full color poster that was put around town at hotspots for people likely to be interested.

Coal Hornet & Eric Lipsky play while tENT plays lap guitar - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

Finally, April 7th came around & it was a sunny 72 degree Fahrenheit day outside - meaning that most people would probably choose to enjoy the weather instead of sitting in a dark movie theater witnessing a bunch of weirdos playing mostly-non-melody-oriented sounds. Despite such unauspicious conditions, about 25 people showed - actually a pretty good crowd for a Sunday at noon.

Ben Opie & Devin Sherman playing while tENT plays tuning forks - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

Coal Hornet, Devin Sherman, & Roger Dannenberg play while tENT plays electronics - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

Ben Opie & Unfinished Symphonies play while tENT plays electronics - note the shadows from US's light on the screen - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

Unfinished Symphonies playing while tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE plays a plastic 'rain stick' - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

Kenny Haney playing while tENT plays halusi - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

Coal Hornet & Roger Dannenberg playing while 4 of tENT play halusi & piano - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

Ben Opie, Devin Sherman, & Kenny Haney playing while tENT stir-fries veggie sausage & tomatoes - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

Devin Sherman & Roger Dannenberg playing while tENT plays toy piano - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

Roger Dannenberg playing while tENT plays toy piano - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

Ben Opie, Eric Lipsky, & Roger Dannenberg playing while tENT plays toy piano - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

the audience left half of the players: Ben, Coal, Kenny, US - still from "365 @ Regent Square"

My half of the door was $96, The bill for a Mexican lunch for 7 of us (Ben went home) was $95.56. I reckon one could say that I made 44¢ for 15 months worth of work. Better luck next time. Still, it was an excellent event & thanks to my copious documentation, it can go down in history on an extremely modest scale.

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/fsi5EVJaqUU

- on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/365RegentSquare

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

439. "Slightly Musical Conehead Temperature Gauge"

- text & samples etc from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- samples made from Donald J. Borror's "The Songs of Insects" record

- main reader: Karen Lillis

- Steve Boyle's program on WRCT 88.3FM Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, July 13, 2019

- Slightly Musical Conehead Temperature Gauge

- an insect-related narrative from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

finally gotten out of my head & into written form starting May 26, 2019 (& 'finished' June 20, 2019)

I began life as an rice-shaped egg deposited in a groove in a tree. If there're too many of us, the branch we're on dies. That's not a very promising beginning is it? Once I hatched from the egg, I started to feed on the tree fluids. When I was ready to live a little, I crawled from the groove & fell to the ground. Ever wonder about that "Rock-a-Bye Baby" song?

Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree tops,

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,

And down will come baby, cradle and all.

That dates back to 1765 & I'm not sure anyone's ever figured it out. Maybe it's about me & my kind falling from the tree after we've started to grow up a little. Whatever the case, I fell to the ground & started digging until I found some roots to feed on. I reckon that doesn't make me too popular with my unwitting hosts.

I live underground for 17 years. In the fucking dark. Only tunneling & feeding. You think your 9 to 5 job is bad? Try living 17 years in the dirt.

So, yeah, big deal, we finally emerge into the sunlight as nymphs. We climb the nearest tree & shed our exoskeletons. Our wings inflate with fluid & our adult skin will harden. Then we're adults. Some people call us Imagoes. Time to party, right? Wrong. Sure, the guys sing, the gals respond, we get to mate.. but how long does this last? A measley 5 to 6 weeks.

Then we die, if we're lucky enough to even live that long. If we're not lucky, we might get eaten by birds, amphibians or mammal predators. And you think YOU'VE got problems. Imagine graduating from high school & then having some giant fucking [I can change this to "fracking"] bird swoop down on you on graduation day & ripping your head off.

- A version of this that isn't completely from the radio presentation is on my onesownthroughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/5EKRbeN1f9k

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

440. "The Ticket that Exploded @ the Library"

- Carnegie Library, Oakland Branch, Music Department, Pittsburgh, us@

- Sunday, January 19, 2020, 2:00PM

- By this point in the compiling of these reports on my public actions I give what might seem to be a ridiculous amount of detail in contrast to my reports from decades ago when I had very little documentation from things and I only wrote capsule descriptions that barely tell the reader anything. That, of course, is partially because I'm not in the age of cameras that produce files instead of film that has to be developed & printed - I can do everything at home without having to go to a copy shop, etc, etc. It makes my documenting job vastly easier but some might ask: Why BOTHER?! Obviously I think that what I do is important. This particular report may exemplify this 'overkill'.

When I was 15, probably in the summer of 1969, I heard the band Soft Machine's song "Hope for Happiness" on Baltimore rock radio & loved it. As I recall, most Baltimore radio was abysmal so I found Soft Machine to be of exceptional quality. It wasn't until perhaps 5 years later that I realized that the band had gotten their name from a William S. Burroughs novel. I read the book & was astounded. It was shocking.. & subversively stimulating. I read almost every Burroughs novel in quick succession, gradually losing interest somewhat but finding what seemed like the most experimental quintet of novels (Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine, The Ticket that Exploded, Nova Express, & The Wild Boys) to be astonishing. I even got to witness Soft Machine live (Mike Ratledge, Roy Babbington, Karl Jenkins, John Marshall) in a dreary Baltimore bar when I was underage, using a fake ID. It was the beginning of the end for the band's quality (IMO) but they were still great. Now, 51 years later, I decided to finally name a (M)Usic project after the succesor book to The Soft Machine both as an homage to the band & the author AND because I like the name. Otherwise, the (M)Usic has little or nothing to do with any of the above. When I 1st thought of the project, perhaps as much as a decade before, I thought of having (M)Usical material somehow akin to what was the best of Soft Machine. An example would've been a piece of mine called "Birds of Villa Villa-Lobos (after Michael Pestel)" (published on record in a limited edition of 100 in Germany as part of the Fluxus series as Psych.KG 243 in July, 2015) but I quikcly discarded that idea. Originally, The Ticket that Exploded (or just The Ticket) was intended to be a quintet but it got reduced to the quartet of myself (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE), Roger Dannenberg, Ben Opie, & Jeff Weston. Mutations of the group can be expected.

In preparation for this gig at the library I approached the head librarian of the Music Deapatment & suggested that their humble display case be used to show work by members of the group that's in the library's collection + additional work to make the exhibit more throough. She entusiastically agreed. I have books, scores, & CDs available through the library; Ben & Roger both have CDs. All this + more scores by myself & Roger were put on display with myself doing the deaign work. This showcasing began on December 26, 2019 & ran until a few days after the gig.

In preparation for The Ticket that Exploded performances, I started working on an overall structure for out playing & I created 2 movies to slot into this structure the soundtracks of which were to be part of our playing. Both are online. Here're the relevant notes & links + stills::

"Bugle Call Medley" - 1080p HD 23.98p, Stereo - 5:00

https://youtu.be/tNlcpQdgqhc

https://archive.org/details/buglecallmedley

"Bugle Call Medley": This is the shortest of the 2 (d) compositions created for the Usical group somewhat named "The Ticket [that Exploded]" that consists of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE on various (tuning forks, music boxes, SFX samples, percussion); Roger Dannenberg on trumpet & laptop; Ben Opie on reeds & electronics; & Jeff Weston on contrabass. Our sets are divided into sequences of progressively longer sections. This is the 1st section, weighing in at 5 minutes, "The Ticket" is our 6th section weighing in at 10 minutes. Since Bugle Calls represent a very specific language with clear meanings to those trained to listen & respond to them as commands, I thought it would be interesting to disrupt their context & put calls out of time slot orders & to present them as (recognizable) fragments that created a less linear & less PAVLOVIAN narrative - something more playful & less militaristic. A "medley" of bugle calls makes no sense in their original context. It's ok if you don't salivate to it. - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE notes December 25, 2019

"The Ticket" - 960 X 720 / 60fps - 10:00

https://youtu.be/6USs5zYf6jg

https://archive.org/details/theticket10min

"The Ticket": This movie, whose sound can be used seperately, is the 'theme song' for the Usical Group. The 1st minute, which consists of this sentence: "The Ticket is what ham radio operators call the license they get from the FCC after they prove their competence at keying Morse Code.", is meant to be presented with only me playing simultaneously. The remianing 9 minutes are meant to be played along with by the remaining members of the group. I've already made another relevant movie that interested people might want to check out: "Morse Code" - 41:35 - 2316 X 1988 / 60 fps - edit finished December 3, 2019 - on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/MX7BVbVvQg8 - on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/morsecode_201912 ; - December 10, 2019 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

Given the general business of all involved,, we only had a chnace to have one rehearsal the day before the Uncert, on January 18, 2020, ay my house, Who Unit?. I made a movie of this rehearsal which is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/JXGa4kbGQaE .

Finally, to the gig at the library itself - which I also made a movie of. Interspersed in the movie s footage from the aforementioned display & its installation. Thanks very much to the library employees for being so open to such a 'strange' event. The piece, such as it is, is very simply structured:

The Ticket that Exploded OUTLINE

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - revised January 16, 2020

A TIMER IS REQUIRED.

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE playing a marching sound effect on an overturned copper baby bathtub at the beginning of "Bugle Call Medley"

0-5:00: Begin with the sound to "Bugle Call Medley" the 1st minute only tENT plays with the recording, the next 4 minutes everyone is welcome to join in. Players can either restrict themselves to the 5 notes of the bugle scale: C4, G4, C5, E5, G5 (actually one half step lower); or play whatever you feel like playing - the most important thing being to just play during the end 4 minutes & to then STOP for a brief pause between sections.

Jeff Weston & Ben Opie shown playing during part of a "Bugle Call Medley" "Funeral March" section.

5:05-11:05: tENT plays a solo for 1 minute. Everyone joins him for the ensuing 5 minutes & then STOP for a brief pause between sections.

tENT's score for his SFX samples premiered at this Uncert

11:10-18:10: Jeff Weston plays a solo for 1 minute. Everyone joins him for the ensuing 6 minutes & then STOP for a brief pause between sections.

18:15-26:15: Ben Opie plays a solo for 1 minute. Everyone joins him for the ensuing 7 minutes & then STOP for a brief pause between sections.

26:20-35:20: Roger Dannenberg plays a solo for 1 minute. Everyone joins him for the ensuing 8 minutes & then STOP for a brief pause between sections.

35:25-45:25: tENT plays along with the 1st minute of "The Ticket" soundtrack Everyone joins him for the ensuing 9 minutes & then STOP for a brief pause between sections.

 

45:30-56:30: An exactly 11 minute free-for-all.

The result is a somewhat oneiric morphing narrative. - February 5, 2020 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/Uw2sDzENK6o

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

441. "Heretic InExile in this ZOO(m)"

- various homes, Pittsburgh, us@

- Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 8:15PM

- In 1940, Hitler envisioned a New World Order governed by the German people. Germans were referred to as a single body of sorts, a superorganism threatened by the 'disease' of the ethnically & politically 'unclean' & 'degenerate'. Fortunately, he failed to establish his 1,000 year Reich - but not before millions of people were murdered.

Forty years later, in 1980, Reagan envisioned a New World Order, a one world government in which, apparently, the United States of America, being the 'good guys' similar to the white-hat-wearing cowboys of his movie roles, would be the police fighting off the 'evils of communism'. During this time he attended a ceremony honoring nazi SS officers at Bitburg, Germany. Fortunately, he failed to establish this New World Order - but not before multiple covert actions in Latin America had massacred people resisting having their natural resources plundered by American corporations.

Another 40 years later, in 2020, & the New World Odor stinks more than ever in the era of the G20 & the billionaires of the world whose pimple, Rump, exemplifies the dumbing-down of human consciousness. One World Government has been all but officially established in the name of 'our own good' & brainwashing has succeeded under the guise of health where previous excuses for GROUPTHINK had failed. Quarantyrrany has been established & economic dependence on Big Brother will help keep it that way.

People are under 'lockdown-lite', staying in our homes 'for our own good' & to 'Save Lives' during a time of a pandemic that entirely too many people believe in unquestioningly thanks to the fear-mongering of the mass media. In order to grab whatever snatches of sociability we can, many are using video-conferencing technology to meet 'virtually'. Hence on Tuesdays, starting April 21, 2020, & continuing indefinitely, Jeff Weston has organized a series of concerts using Zoom to bring together the players & audience in small groups. Instead of passively sitting in front of the boob tube soaking up the oversimplification of sound bytes & destroying our ability to freely think we proactively continue to produce our own culture. I think of the mathematicians gathered around the Anonymous statue in Budapest during the nazi occupation of Hungary. Perhaps that's too dramatic but I think a similar spirit is at work.

Short sets were played by Emily Cook, myself (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE), LeeJane Capps, David Gerard Matthews, & a trio called "threebee" consisting of Samir Gangwani, Andrew Hook, & Justin Kelly. For me, such a gathering of minds serves the purpose, feeble as it may be, of keeping individual intelligence alive in an era in which humanity is truly at risk of becoming a superorganism in which individuals might become completely abolished by brainwashing. It's possible, if not probable, that even my fellow players didn't & don't feel as harshly about all this as I do. I introduced myself as "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, Heretic InExile in this ZOO(m) & I just want to say that the New World Odor.. STINKS!".

My set consisted of playing Neil Feather's instrument, the Melocipede, set up to have 2 of its 4 pick-ups output to stereo speakers & 2 of its pick-ups mixed down to send a signal to a Pitch-to-MIDI converter that then sent a MIDI signal to a sampler playing my SFX samples. Additionally, I played a 2 octave set of Antique Cymbals with a touch of other percussion: chime tree, 2 frying pans, & 2 extremely cheap cymbals. .

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/DHn2KEiQQRY

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

443. "Heretic InExile in this 2020.05.12 ZOO(m)"

- various homes, Pittsburgh, us@

- Tuesday, May 12, 2020

"Heretic InExile in this 2020.05.12 ZOO(m)": In order to avoid becoming a complete QUARANTINIAC (a person who goes insane under quarantine) I've been trying to keep my creative life on track regardless of the way entirely too much of the world's human population is bending over & spreading it for their 'vaccination'. One mild-mannered way of doing this is to participate in the Improv Tuesdays organized by Jeff Weston over Zoom. I called these Zoom sessions "ZOO(m)s" because it's like a nice bourgeois panopticon, we're all in our comfy cells in ZOO-WORLD where the 'masters' can watch us on surveillance cameras. We get to see ourselves too but we don't get to see the 'masters'. ANYWAY, I'm not knocking the Tuesday Improvs because they've been fun & I appreciate Jeff's organizing of them.

For this episode of My Life In Progress, I reminisce about being a teenage musician & imagine what might have happened if I hadn't been arrested in a stolen car but had, instead, made it to a music festival & played my special brand of, unfortunately, covers of Leonard Cohen & Incredible String Band & such on the 12 string acoutic guitar I was hitch-hiking with. Gosh! I might've been 'discovered', much as Columbus, 'discovered' America.

- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/Mfd7YUIGXKM

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

 

 

 

to index

to Introduction & Glossary

to Personal Favorites: 1959-1989

to Personal Favorites: 1990-2009

to Personal Favorites: 2010-

 

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

idioideo at verizon dot net

 

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Anti-Neoism page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Audiography page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Bibliography page

to my "Blaster" Al Ackerman index

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Books page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE BYOC page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Censored or Rejected page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Collaborations page

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to Amir-ul Kafirs' Facebook page

to the "FLICKER" home-page for the alternative cinematic experience

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's GoodReads profile

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Haircuts page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Home Tapers page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE index page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Instagram Poetry page

to a listing of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's manifestations on the Internet Archive

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewee index

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewer index

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE'S Linked-In profile

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Mail Art page

for A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..

to the mm index

to see an underdeveloped site re the N.A.A.M.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Neoism page

to the DEFINITIVE Neoism/Anti-Neoism website

to the Philosopher's Union website

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE movie-making "Press: Criticism, Interviews, Reviews" home-page

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Score Movies

to SMILEs

to find out more about why the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) is so important

to the "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Sprocket Scientist" home-page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Top 100s page

to Psychic Weed's Twitter page

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Vimeo index

to Vine movies relevant to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE made by Ryan Broughman

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's presence in the Visual Music Village

for info on tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's tape/CD publishing label: WIdémoUTH

to a very small selection of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Writing

to the onesownthoughts YouTube channel