Archive for May, 2007

Favorite Performances II

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

I – Chris Delaurenti got a great review from NYtimes.

The Concerts Found Onstage While Everyone Else Takes a Break

Every composer, every sound artist, every musician, poses a fundamental question to everyone else, Mr. DeLaurenti said in an interview. It’s a request to listen. I have faith that in any sound or collection of sounds, music lies therein. It does sound crazy, he continued. Craziness is the root of many great musical ideas and the source for new ways of listening and considering the world around us. The recordings at first may have all the allure of watching moss grow. But when the tracks on Mr. DeLaurenti’s CD are heard together, with his theories and the history of the musical avant-garde in the background, they make a crazy kind of sense as performances.

Vested by ChrisVest of Christopher Delaurenti

The DeLaurenti concert going vest had microphones sewn into it.

Re: Iannis Xenankis (Chris is an expert)

Iannis Xenakis has probed the frontiers of acoustic and electronic music for decades. He was the first to explore the musical possibilities of granular synthesis. Listen to the gloaming granular textures of La Legende d’Eer (Real Audio) from the cd La Legende D’Eer MO 782058. (via)

II- Miranda July’s piece has no intermissions, rather her performances are series of hidden intermissions in between her poses. (One pose per second)

This Moment Miranda (previous post on Miranda July-mini retrospective)

Iannis Xenakis

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Iannis Xenakis Iannis Xenakis
(Γιάννης Ξενάκης) (May 29, 1922 – February 4, 2001)

Iannis Xenakis is a unique figure in contemporary music, not only for the iconoclastic nature of his music but also for the scientific attitude he brought to his work. His training as a civil engineer, his experience as an architect, as well as his immersion in ancient Greek philosophy, have all shaped his approach to developing a new theoretical foundation of music and a style built from a unique set of compositional techniques

Iannis lost his eyesight in one eye as a freedom fighter in the Greek resistence after the WWII. He fled to Paris.

Pavilion by Iannis Xenakis
Phillips Pavilion designed by Xenakis

Strategies for Performance Planning – Xenakis
– Worked as an architect for 12 years with Le Corbusier’s atelier
– Most associated with the application of stochastic mathematics to music
(Father of data sonification? Algorithmic music?)
– Graphic score and graphic musical organisation

More music from youtube
Christoffer Thorsell performs Xenakis

Yuji Takahashi plays Herma
Takahashi injured his fingers trying to learn Xenakis challenging sound.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly- Julian Schnabel

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

The film Julian Schnabel ‘had to’ make.

The picture in question, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, premiered at Cannes on Tuesday to sustained applause. (Kenneth Turan LAtimes)


youtube clip in which you can catch Julian Schnabel speaking French.

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” I’ve already hyped the hell out of Julian Schnabel’s French-language film about a severely paralyzed magazine editor (played by the great Mathieu Amalric). It remains my personal pick for the Palme d’Or. But let me just insist that this is a picture that needs to be seen to be believed, and that it’s not an earnest, vitamin-enriched film about overcoming disability and the triumph of the human spirit. OK, it is about those things. But it’s also fun, funny, exciting to watch and driven by a luminous, worldly spirituality. (Andrew O’Hehir from Salon)

They wanted Johnny Depp to do it, and he said he would if Julian Schnabel directed it, the man said of his actor friend. But then the pirate thing came up; he couldn’t shave, it was more pressure that he didn’t need.

Schnabel, a confident, charismatic man who learned French to do this film, went instead with top French actor Mathieu Amalric.

(Coincidentally yesterday I saw Mathieu Amalric in “Kings and Queen” directed by Arnaud Desplechin. )

Julian Schnabel does not want us to forget that he is a painter. View his painting Democracy , Jane Birkin and three more here.

This film’s plot, style and structure reminds me of Orhan Pamuk‘s mesmerizing novels. And he’s in the jury. Hmm… (comment from here.)

Update: Julian Schnabel received best director award at Cannes 2007.

More Mark Morris

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Mark Morris (pictured) has choreographed a dance called Looky to five of my Disklavier studies, and it’s being presented at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston(via)

Like many of Morris’s older dances, such as “Mythologies” (1986) and “Ten Suggestions” (1981), “Looky” is at once an homage to classical and early modern dance forms and a comment on them. Looky is a playful premiere from Mark Morris.

Many of us are not fortunate enough to keep up with Morris’ new works. I was happy to find a clip from Mozart Dances and clips from Dido and Aeneas.

Mozart Dances

Dido Aeneas – Henry Purcell

The argument is even weaker in the case of Dido and Aeneas, which is one of Morris’s most starkly beautiful and touching pieces. In its recent BAM incarnation, Dido’s classically rigorous structure was more visible than ever, because Morris—who used to dance both the role of Dido and the role of the Sorceress—had for the first time given away his two parts, one to a woman and one to a man. There were losses entailed in this changing-of-the-guard, but there were also gains. Without Morris to draw your eye every time he was onstage, you could actually see the precise details and careful symmetry of the other dancers’ steps. And though I missed the presence of Morris himself—and missed, as well, the implications of the traditional double-casting, whereby the victim of the tragic love affair was also the manipulative destroyer of that affair—I understood that this version had a clarity and purity that offered us something new. (Wendy Lesser, the idea of Camp)

Here is an older, original version with Mark Morris dancing.

Dido’s Lament

Mark Morris previous post includes photos of musical masters.

Beyond Culture – Edward T Hall

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Happy Birthday
Edward T Hall Edward T Hall

From 1933 to 1937, famed anthropologist Edward T. Hall lived and worked on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in Arizona. West of the Thirties is the story of Edward as a young man discovering his way in what might have been another century and another world, a frontier where four cultures – Navajo, Hopi, Hispanic and Anglo – clashed.

We play out our own paradigms until we learn another. But this was not something that I learned in class. When I was on the reservation, figuring out how to work with the Hopis and the Navajos, this is where I found out they were entirely different. And that imposing my paradigm on others would not work
Gifts of Wisdom: An Interview with Dr. Edward T. Hall | The Edge

Beyond Culture Beyond Culture Edward T Hall

More words of wisdom from Edward T Hall.

Now, you can’t tell me, we have the only God in the whole world. You can’t tell me that nobody else has God.

The future for us is the foreseeable future. The South Asian, however, feels that it is perfectly realistic to think of a ‘long time’ in terms of thousands of years.

The information is in the people, not in your head.

The reason man does not experience his true cultural self is that until he experiences another self as valid he has little basis for validating his own self.

Two points that are very important points to remember and ask: Is it real and does it work?

We should never denigrate any other culture but rather help people to understand the relationship between their own culture and the dominant culture. When you understand another culture or language, it does not mean that you have to lose your own culture.

We tend to do a lot of top down, micro-managing. In other words, we use the reptilian model.

You are the instrument of research.

Tough Guys – Nostalgia

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Gore Vidal Documentary Part 2

Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut are featured in this Gore Vidal documentary on youtube.

More on Mailer and his perfectionism – the sound of punching himself to eternity.

I’m watching Norman Mailer hit himself and I’m not stopping him. He hit himself at least twenty times—in the face and the chest—until we finally got it right. I saved that sound effect, and I’ve used it in about twenty movies since. I always tell other directors, ‘You hear that? That’s Norman Mailer punching himself. He’s in your movie.’ ”( Tough Guys, New Yorker)

The Cats of Mirikitani

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI premieres Tuesday, May 8 on Independent Lens, a weekly series airing on PBS. Hosted by Terrence Howard, the acclaimed series showcases powerful and innovative independent films.

The Cats of Mirikitani, a film of immense charm and considerable bite, presents us with two Jimmies: the irascible old man he’s become, and in still images, the beautiful idealist he was at age 25. Hattendorf never forces connections between then and now – it’s all there in the material and in history, the way our government routinely uses the guise of “security” to justify any manner of cruel, aberrant behavior. Via Greencine daily

Jimmy Mirikitani
“The Battle of Midway” above and a photo of Mirikitani as a young man.

Stuck casually to the walls, drawings, collages and paintings represent the life of artist Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani, a life that might have been silenced by countless disasters but instead has become a shiny beacon of what is possible in a life well lived, however difficult. Read more here.

Charles Yuen did the graphic design and served as an advisor for The Cats of Mirikitani.
Thanks Hal for the pointer.

How is life after the success of the film for Mr. Mirikitani?
Here is a response via email from Charles Yuen.

He’s quite well taken care of. Linda found a new apartment for him with the city. His rent is subsidized. He’s teaching art to seniors there too. Also doing some traveling with the film. Linda is still quite involved with his life, organizing birthday parties etc. One irony, that is still playing out, is that there has been some interest in his art since the film. Unfortunately the worry is that it would endanger his social services standing, forcing him out of his current situation (which is a very good one for him). So we’re still trying to figure out how to handle his art in terms of sales.

Folio and Beeline

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Mystery or cover up – the vanishing bees?
Are Genetically Modified Crops Killing Bees? AIDs for bees?

According to Hans-Hinrich Kaatz, a professor at the University of Halle in eastern Germany and the director of the study, the bacterial toxin in the genetically modified corn may have “altered the surface of the bee’s intestines, sufficiently weakening the bees to allow the parasites to gain entry…

Bee Colony Collapse

Begone (David Byrne)

Folio by Terry Winters

The artist Terry Winters considers science to be “a neutral, and neutralizing, structure: a kind of blank metaphor which can be loaded with all the poetry occurring on the pictorial film of the painting.” Winters’ paintings, which now span the course of four decades, continually explore and map natural biological processes through abstract forms, lines and color.()

The Folio Suite, 1986 (10 prints)

Set <><><><>Furrows III<><><><>His old show in Soho

Set Diagrams
Terry Winters