Saturday 05 September 2009
KINGS PLACE FESTIVAL
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG
RED ORANGE presents
four unique solos under the theme
“New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments”
You may have heard of gravikords, whirlies and pyrophones. Or about orbitones, spoon harps and bellowphones. Or even the long string instrument, the mouth bow, the stamenphone, the theremin… the list goes on and on. There are many pioneering inventors and performers of such instruments – enough to warrant a whole festival to themselves. Tonigh’s four concerts are a small but interesting sample of this endlessly fascinating and stimulating world.
The creating, bending and re-inventing of instruments is not a new idea – it has existed for many centuries. These days, it is frequently associated with, and influenced by, experimental music, sound art, sound design, installation art, found sounds, modified electronic toys, customs relay circuits and circuit bending.
The artists featured here belong to the unofficial school of outrageously inventive designers and builders of new, unusual and rediscovered musical instruments – a school that, suitably, encompasses a diverse range of musical approaches. Experimental sound sculptor Max Eastley plays his own Arc, a monochord made of wood and wire that is scraped, bent and flexed into an orbit of amplified effects. Victor Gama performs with his own acoustic Pangeia Instruments, bearing wonderful names like Southern Cross, Vibrant Rings, Tonal Matrix and Spiralphone. Then there are Rafael Toral’s panoply of custom-built electronic devices, modified amplifiers, portable square wave oscillators and glove-controlled computer sinewaves. Finally we come to the found percussion and acoustic phenomenae of Z’EV, one of the progenitors of the industrial movement.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, but hopefully it will stimulate your curiosity about this tremendously rich area of musical culture.
Saturday 05 September 09 19h30
MAX EASTLEY (UK)
Sound sculptor and painter, music instrument maker, kinetic sound sculptures
£4.50 in advance. Book now here
“[Max Eastley] represents a tradition of sound sculpture virtually unknown in this country, and his work touches on various important and under-researched areas of sound installations, motion, music and creative sound collages” Art Monthly
Max Eastley is an artist whose work combines kinetic sound sculpture and music to produce a unique art form. Since the late 1960s, Max has been fascinated by the relationship of chance to music and art, and in environmental forces such as wind and water. He began to investigate this relationship in his work, using kinetic sound machines and the natural forces of wind, streams and the sea. As a consequence, his career opened out into new areas of creative and philosophical exploration.
Max is a hugely important and innovative figure in the field of sound art, often working in collaboration with other artists from a range of disciplines. He has exhibited his sound installations internationally, and worked closely with a wide range of artists, musicians and filmmakers, including Brian Eno, Peter Greenaway, Evan Parker, Thomas KoÅNner, Eddie PreÅLvost and the Spaceheads. Exhibitions of his installations in 2000 included Sonic Boom at the Hayward Gallery in London and Sound as Media in Tokyo. In 2002 he composed the music for Plants and Ghosts by Siobhan Davies Dance. He collaborated with musician and writer David Toop to produce the critically acclaimed albums New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments (1975), Buried Dreams (1994) and Doll Creature (2004).
Max is a long-standing supporter of the Cape Farewell project, which brings together leading artists, writers, scientists and educators for a series of expeditions to raise awareness of climate change. For his contribution to the 2006 exhibition The Ship: The Art of Climate Change, Max produced a sound-sculpture installation that incorporated found sound recorded during Cape Farewell expeditions.
Saturday 05 September 09 20h45
VICTOR GAMA (Angola/Portugal)
Composer, performer and designer of innovative musical instruments
£4.50 in advance. Book now here
Victor Gama was born in Angola and currently lives in Portugal. He is a composer, performer, electronics engineer and designer of innovative musical instruments. Several of his music works have been recorded, including the album Pangeia Instrumentos on Aphex Twin’s Rephlex Records.
Victor has performed and exhibited his instruments and sound installations throughout the world. He is part of the Berimbau-Ungu project with the legendary Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, as well as one third of The Folk Songs Trio together with William Parker and Guillermo E. Brown. He has recorded and performed live with celebrated sound artist Max Eastley and is presently collaborating with the Kronos Quartet and designing innovative interactive musical instruments for the National Museums of Scotland.
In the early 1990s Victor initiated the Pangeia Instrumentos project, in which he uses form as a variable in the composition process. He has since developed the Golian Modes Theory in which the score has a three dimensional component. The golian modes are four musical modes derived from the ancient Kongo graphic writing system known as Bidimbu.
In 2002 he initiated and produced the Odantalan project in Luanda, Angola, an artistic residency and conference with musicians, art historians and religious leaders from Angola, Portugal, Colombia, Cuba and Brazil. The project analyses the processes of resistance that Africans once used against cultural imposition and devises new strategies and methods of cultural generation. He also initiated the Tsikaya project, the first digital archive of traditional music in Angola.
Saturday 05 September 09 22h00
RAFAEL TORAL (Portugal)
Post-Free Jazz Electronic Music
£4.50 in advance. Book now here
Born in Lisbon, Rafael Toral has been performing live since 1984. Having attempted to study music, he realised that his path was one of exploration and discovery, to which ‘conventional music teaching was irrelevant’. He learned acoustics, electronics and music writing, having started to write music on paper after his former fascination with graphic scores. In 1994 the album Wave Field determined a shift in composing methods, taking sound itself as the basic matter for all music, thus rendering his work ‘unwriteable’. Considered by the Chicago Reader to be ‘one of the most gifted and innovative guitarists of the decade’, Rafael has been working on, among other things, the possibilities of ambient music and improvisation with higher levels of risk.
Developing solo work since 1987 – weaving a unique blend of references such as ambient, rock, chance and improvisation – Rafael recorded several solo albums, two with MIMEO and two with No Noise Reduction. He has performed worldwide and has worked with artists such as Sei Miguel, Phill Niblock, Rhys Chatham, John Zorn, Thurston Moore, Dean Roberts, Christian Fennesz, Lee Ranaldo and Jim O’Rourke.
In 1996 Rafael collaborated with Rhys Chatham as curator and coordinator for the 100 Guitarists project in Lisbon. In 1998 he collaborated with David Toop and an international creative team for an exhibition at Lisbon’s Expo ‘98, composing a piece for remote-controlled boat horns. In 1999 he was a guest on Sonic Youth’s allbum NYC Ghosts & Flowers. In 2000 he created, with Paulo Feliciano, the mixed-media installation Toyzone for the Sonic Boom exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. In 2003 Rafael produced the first Anthology of Portuguese Electronic Music. Having produced video pieces since 1994, Rafael’s visual output has increased over the years, with installations usually featuring interactive and unpredictable elements, and often using processing of generative feedback systems.
Saturday 05 September 09 23h15
American Text Sound Artist
£4.50 in advance. Book now here
“Z’EV is a one-man percussion orchestra. Using a battery of industrial discards, Z’EV makes perhaps the only thoroughly literal heavy metal music on earth.” Music Sound Output
Z’EV – born Stefan Joel Weisser in Los Angeles, 1951 – is an American text-sound artist and mystic who is perhaps best known for his work as a catacoustic (reflected sound) percussionist. Regarded as a pioneer of industrial music, Z’EV began recording in the late 1960s on a handful of ‘psych-out’ projects. By the late 1970s he had begun to explore the ‘spatial poetics’ of the polyrhythmic clamour he had established with his hand-built percussive instruments.
His work with both text and sound has been influenced by the Middle Eastern mystical system best known as Kabbalah, as well as – but not limited to – African, Afro-Caribbean and Indonesian rhythms, musics and cultures. He has studied the Ewe music of Ghana, Balinese gamelan and Indian tala.
Journalist Louis Morra has written that: ‘Z’EV is a consummate example of contemporary performance art, as well as modern composition and theatre… [he] realises many of modernist art’s ultimate goals: primitivism, improvisation, multi-media/conjunction of art forms, the artist as direct creator.’ Responding to the 1984 release of Z’EV’s Six Examples video, director Joe Rees commented: “Z’EV is one of the most unique and important artists of this century”. In 2008, Colombian critic Edgar Mauricio Ramirez Diaz described him as: “Without a doubt one of the most influential persons in the whole post-industrial history of contemporary music”.
Due to the hall limited capacity, booking well in advance is much recommended.
Book now to avoid disappointment.