Sagan on Bandcamp
The word 'community' came up a great deal when interviewing my old friend Vicki Bennett about the practice of collage music. The real thing I've always been trying to get at with music never really had much to do with 'sampling'; I was just trying to get at the heart of 'music'. What seemed like a left turn about ten years ago into feedback & machine listening wasn't a left turn at all. And when I began hosting Over The Edge in 2015, alternating pure live-mix collage episodes with somewhat more traditional programs in which friends would come on and perform live and discuss practice seemed like a perfectly continuous extension into community-as-collage.
With that in mind, thank you to all the musicians who have appeared on the show over the last six years: Sarah Davachi, Joshua Kit Clayton & Chris Dixon (Earth Jerks / Tujurikkuka), Charles Cohen & Thomas Dimuzio, Cheryl E. Leonard, sfSound (Matt Ingalls / Tom Djll / Kyle Bruckmann) performing Cage's 'Cartridge Music', Tender Buttons (Gino Robair / Tom Djll / Tania Chen), M. C. Schmidt, Madalyn Merkey, Carl Stone, Black Spirituals (Zachary James Watkins / Marshall Trammell), Animals & Giraffes (Claudia La Rocco / Phillip Greenlief), Mitchell Brown, Heejin Jang, Ezra Buchla, Sea Moss (Noa Ver / Zach D'Agostino), Rrose, Tania Chen performing Feldman's 'Triadic Memories', Negativland, Blonda (David Kant / Madison Heying), Cheflee (Imari Mubarak), John Bischoff & James Fei, Chuck Johnson, Tim Perkis & Xopher Davidson, Kanoko Nishi-Smith, Laetitia Sonami, Alan Courtis & Thomas Dimuzio, Las Sucias (Alexandra Buschman & Danishta Rivero), MSHR (Birch Cooper & Brenna Murphy), George E. Lewis, Ellen Fullman & Theresa Wong, EMA (Erika Anderson), Dax Pierson, Emergent Structures (Max Elibacher & Birch Cooper), Dadabots (CJ Carr & Zach Bukowski), People Like Us (Vicki Bennett).
Sagan - Anti-Ark. Blevin Blectum, J Lesser, Wobbly - Album Number Two. Recorded 2004-2005. Edited 2008-2016. Coming this April on Seeland Records.
Anti-Ark Intelligence: 2021 Round Table Interview with Blevin Blectum, Jay Lesser & Jon Leidecker.
Anti-Ark Press Release
Pre-orders available here.
One more interview about the process behind Popular Monitress here -- thanks to Lydia Sviatoslavsky.
Wobbly - Popular Monitress. Available February 5th with thanks to Hausu fam.
Link to Dave Segal's review in the Wire here.
Link to interview by Jordan Mainzer here.
'Limitless Potential', the hour long radio play composed in collaboration with Jennifer Walshe, has been rebroadcast on Feburary 6th by the New Music Show on BBC Radio 3.
Negativland, interviewed by old friend Carl Stone - video and transcript.
Tania Chen has released the trio version of 'Triadic Monitress' with our friend Thomas Dimuzio here. Recorded live at The Lab in San Francisco on a rainy night, we're 20% of the way to finishing our 20 CD box consisting entirely of ten performances of Feldman's biggest butterfly (in captivity).
Negativland - The World Will Decide.
SF Chronicle Interview linked here. Santa Cruz Sentinel Interview linked here. And Bay City News Interview linked here.
'Limitless Potential' by Jennifer Walshe and Jon Leidecker, horspiel comissioned by Deutschlandfunk Kultur, premiered by Duetschlandradio & available for streaming at the link contained behind the sentence you have just finished reading.
Thurston Moore - By The Fire. I play electronics on three of the longer tracks on the second disc and I miss everybody in that tour van.
There was also a preposterously potheaded die-cut 7" single for Thurston's song 'Hashish' with two Wobbly mixes.
'Moreover', a San Francisco / London live stream direct to Linz, Austria, for Ars Electronica 2020 is available here.
There have also been three new videos from Negativland: This Is Not Normal and Don't Don't Get Freaked Out, both directed by Ryan Worsley, and Discernment which is less a video than a screen capture of her Chrome Browser Extension which exists solely to encourage you to stop using Chrome.
Wobbly - Monitress.
Negativland - True False. The oldest piece on this record is built around live radio tapes of the band from 1981; the second oldest piece ("Limbo") is built around one of my earliest collaborations with Don & David on Over The Edge in 1989. If it sounds like a Negativland record, it's probably because it's a Negativland record (if you're worried about authenticity or anything)
New Negativland video directed by Ryan Worsley: "Destroying Anything". Do no harm.
Disc One of the new three CD Box by Thurston Moore = "Alice Moki Jane", performed by Thurston Moore Group, which for this studio occasion was: Thurston, Deb Googe, James Sedwards, Jem Daulton, and myself on electronics & feedback. Released simultaneously with this box are a set of three 7" singles, in which I remixed live versions of "Alice Moki Jane" and "8 Spring Street" by adding additional electronics & processing to the original performances.
Stray Monitress track from recent Over The Edge episode appears in good company on new compilation from Curious Music.
The ads on the page that you can't see, as if we're telling you a single thing you don't already know
Negativland European Tour October/November 2019
Thurston Moore Group US Tour November/December 2019
Zeena Parkins & Wobbly - Triplicates
Radio Panik interview
Perfect Sound Forever interview - These are thoughts in progress on how the ethics of appropriation have evolved over the last 20 years. Revolultionary aesthetics are nearly always assimilated by the mainstream, where they become familiar and invisibly exercised by power -- often leaving hapless 'underground' artists wondering which side they were on in the first place. One of the interesting aspects of this interview is that I took the questions to be friendly but challenging queries into how the discourse on cultural appropriation has impacted my own (and by recent extension, Negativland's) attitudes on the artist's right to sample any other musician's work -- but the interview went to some strange places as I realized I was being challenged not to update the Fair Use argument, but to defend free speech outright against an overreaching Left. Outside of the US, it is not as immediately apparent that the loudest voices currently calling for untrammelled free speech are being voiced by a radical Right whose real supremacist beliefs are nestling, unspeakable but in plain sight. The resulting conversation is like watching someone try to punch their way out of a paper bag. I post the interview with hesitance, knowing that it's a total mess, but hopefully one I can learn from as I work my way towards a forthcoming solo album which inescapably involves the discipline and artifacts of ethnomusicology. Uh-oh.
Gino Robair, David Toop, Thurston Moore & Jon Leidecker (with Tania Chen on Skype) performing Cage's 'Electronic Music For Piano', September 28th, 2018, Pomona College
New CD Release of John Cage's 'Electronic Music For Piano'; three duos, paring Tania Chen with Thurston Moore, David Toop and myself, cut in and overlaid into a collaged quartet by producer Gino Robair. CD Release concert will be at Cafe Oto, London, March 18th, 2018.
Vinyl reissue of 'Wide Open Spaces' by People Like Us / Matmos / Wobbly on Discrepant, originally released by Tigerbeat6 on CD in 2003. The CD contained nearly the entire hour long original live concert from October 5th, 2002; for this vinyl reissue, Vicki and Martin have seamlessly edited some of the tangentially improvised sections down to create more of a studio album, better suited for repeat listening. The original version remains as easy to obtain as ever.
Second album by Dieter Moebius, Tim Story and myself, 'Familiar', is out on CD and vinyl on Bureau B Records, October 6th.
Interviewed by Vicki Bennett on WFMU FM on the subject of Don Joyce & Over The Edge.
Interviewed by Marc Kate for his podcast Why We Listen on valued influences.
Interviewed for the Indexical Podcast on the subject of my new solo work Monitress, mobile music making & machine learning, concerns of which overlap quite a bit with Indexical's amazing parent project, The Happy Valley Band.
Contributed several banks of samples and rhythmic loops to the built-in sound library included with the forthcoming Stereo Triggered Sampler, a Eurorack modular engineered by Portland's 4MS. A live stream of me playing a beta unit is available here -- not exactly a live performance, not exactly a demo. The stream was recorded at S1 Synth Library in Portland, where I've just spent a week in residence catching up on the Eurorack renaissance and recording things for solo & group projects. The last few months have also seen a two week tour of Japan with improviser Tania Chen, a residency at Central School Project in Bisbee, Arizona, another trip to SnowGhost with Matmos, and... maybe a few plausibly completed albums.
Added Episode 3 to the Women In Electronic Music 1940-1980ish series, something I'd simply retitle 'Pioneers' if that wasn't going to result in an awful lot of dead links on other pages.
Negativland 2016 European Tour - 13 dates, playing in advance of the band's October release of 'Over The Edge Volume 9 - The Chopping Channel'. The Chopping Channel began as a 'band' that would perform on Negativland's Over The Edge radio program, and consisted of Don Joyce, Peter Conheim, myself, and usually a visiting guest fourth member (which, over the years, included: Yasuhiro Otani, David Wills, Vicki Bennett, Katie Vida, Thomas Dimuzio, and Porest). Material created for 'The Chopping Channel' would often end up incorporated into Negativland studio pieces, and the dividing line between the two groups pretty much evaporated when I formally joined Negativland a few years ago. (That technically makes this CD my first appearance as a member of the group, although that's been a fairly arbitrary line to draw for a while now). About 66% of the audio for the disc was taken from the December 20th, 2007 episode 'World Radio World' featuring Mark Gergis (aka Porest), an mp3 edit of which appeared on this website a while back. The CD version is extensively reedited from that mp3 release, adding a lot of new material and a drastically revised ending, all taken from the February 19th, 2009 sequel 'World Radio World II'. If previous OTE CDs were a bit more archival in nature, trying to capture the spontaneous feeling of the improvised broadcasts, this new CD is without a doubt the most audibly re-edited in the series. While Don's work is extensively featured on the next two studio albums the band is currently finsihing up, this was the last Negativland CD he was around to sign off for the final mix. He doesn't know what we're talking about, he's just selling music -- don't you want to buy a bite before it turns to garbage? I disagreed with him on one thing -- I wouldn't call this something that has an ending.
It's been silent on the news page because it's been busy. This sentence is a link to an article by Kembrew McLeod from last October about the course that Over The Edge has taken since Don Joyce passed away. Unmentioned in that article but worth noting is that while not a member of Negativland, KROB has inherited a share of the mantle as well, helming third thursdays; I pilot the second and fourth thursdays. The show is already going in new directions, careening between a traditional approach to the show with live mixing and receptacle phone calls, and a variety of improvising musicians playing instrumental music. I've just uploaded two albums worth of the latter approach to the mp3's page. One is the album 'Valid Times', featuring some of the first solo sounds in 10 years by pioneering computer musician Joshua Kit Clayton as well as his collaboration with Chris Dixon. Another is 'Mirrored Cell For Chameleon', the latest collaboration with my old friend Thomas Dimuzio -- if the number of times I've found myself listening to it is any indication, I like this one so much, it feels as if I had nothing to do it.
If you're curious about some of the recent 3 hour Over The Edge mixes, I can recommend: 20160610 Endocrine Disruptors, 20160325 Content Research (with Negativland), 20160415 Post-Verbal (with The Weatherman), or 20160513 How Lovely. That's 12 hours worth of sound, making these less 'releases' than some kind of life choice.
'Familiar' is the name of the second album by Dieter Moebius, Tim Story & myself. We recorded a lot of music during our six days at SnowGhost Studios in late 2012. When we were done, Tim and I picked the tracks we were each interested in doing final mixes for, and got to work. We were originally thinking we had just one long record, but it was quickly apparent that we had two extremely distinct records; one floating & dreamlike, one aggressively rhythmic and inscrutable. Both albums are fairly reconstructed & recomposed, even though Moe's aesthetic throughout his career has always been one of immediacy; first take best take. Somehow this made it clear which aspects of the sessions were available for plastic editing, and which aspects had to remain permanently spontaneous. That being said: while listening to the first record, I can usually remember the actual moment in which it was being played, even if it had been layered. Side one of the new album is like that as well, but on side two, there are timelines that simply never happened; things are a bit more abstracted overall, especially on the final track 'Vexed', which was the one piece both Tim and I were equally keen on mixing, and our compromise was for each of us to do our own version -- they are the unidentical twins holding these two records together. Moe's email feedback on the mixes was brief but certain & decisive; 'beautiful', 'too much bass', 'more hypnosis', and the last text - 'stop f--king around with it -- cheers mixwahnsinnigesuperfreaks'. I saw Moe one more time after 2012, at his final concert in Munich in March 2015. He had some feedback on two specific tracks, I rolled in the changes and sent them on but didn't hear back before he passed last July. Dieter was one of those rare beings who was as inspiring a human being as he was an artist, and it's been meaningful to spend a bit of personal time with this one before it entered the public arena.
'Snowghost Pieces' out June 6
Video: Fred Frith // "Gravity" // Live at Roulette, NYC, September 2013
The Freddy McGuire Show, Live at the Exploratorium, SF: Performance & Interview
Recent Negativland Concert Review; several lo-fi youtubes are online for the intrepid
Briefly interviewed here regarding my 3D spatial mix of a composition by sound artist and longtime friend Jacqueline Gordon.
Last year, Willie Winant was invited to perform John Cage's "27' 10.554" for a percussionist" in concert, one of several pieces that made up a larger work that Cage informally referred to as 'The Ten Thousand Things'. The score for "27' 10.554" includes a part which can be realized for radio samples & electronic sounds, which at the time would have almost certainly utilized the library Cage had constructed for 'Williams Mix', triggered, filtered and mixed by David Tudor. As I had recently responded to Tom Erbe's open invitation to submit sound samples for a new realization of Williams Mix, and as my recent input into Negativland owes no small debt to Tudor's work with electronic feedback, Willie asked me to provide a recording of me playing the score using my 'Williams Mix' library and one of Negativland's Boopers. This recording was used both for that concert, and ultimately on the studio CD that combines all of the pieces into the first recorded realization of 'The Ten Thousand Things', including a newly discovered tape from 1962 of Cage reading "45' for a Speaker". The I-Ching edition of this release comes with a USB drive containing software which allows you to mix & recombine the elements from the pieces in different ways with each playback. I feel very lucky to have ended up being involved in what turned out to be one of my favorite Cage presentations. While it was nominated for a 2013 Grammy Aware in the "Best Chamber Music / Small Ensemble Performance", it would have been strange if it had won: all of the sounds from this ensemble were recorded separately, assembled in the studio, and play back in a different order every time. I take it back, it wouldn't have been strange, it just would have been great.
Available from MicroFest Records
New Music Box Review
The distinguished William Winant
31 December 2013
The first of two Moebius / Story / Leidecker albums has been mastered and is due for release before next Summer on the German label Bureau B. It is called 'Snowghost Pieces' after the studio it was recorded in. The first time I visited there in 2008, to help mix a Matmos album, Brett Allen invited me to come back and record a project of my own there. The studio is in Montana and surrounded by a ridiculously beautiful pastoral landscape, which had led me to cue a lot of Forst-era Cluster from my iPhone during our occasional breaks for food, and so I joked that we should bring them there to record a new album. Although that project didn't get to happen, I will have to settle for the fact that this one did. Huge and heartfelt thanks to the friends of mine who helped to make this happen, especially Tim and Moebi.
Below is a picture by Andrew St. Clair of the Brooklyn night from October's East Coast tour of all improvised electronic music performed by Mark Hosler, Thomas Dimuzio, M.C. Schmidt and myself, which is best explained by the html code for this link by Martin: http://vague-terrain.com/2013/exploring-the-nebulous-cloud-like-three-dimensional-sound-space-at-the-center-of-four-speakers-does-this-space-evoke-comedy-cavernous-terror-reassuring-pastoral-birdsong-inhuman-wire-mother-blee/
There will also be at least two more performances with Fred Frith's Gravity Ensemble, at Victoriaville Festival in Quebec, and at Moers Festival in Germany.
This sentence is a link to 'Gesture Piece', a short film by Vicki Bennett that was meticulously scored by various criminals including myself. And this sentence is a link to a clip from a live show of three of us performing, trainwreck-style, to 'Notations', a related film of hers built for live performance with improvisers.
Negativland has made the crowd-pleasing step of incorporating new versions of some of the older material into their live sets -- all recorded well before I became a member, but a lot of fun to reinvestigate. There are new pieces being played as well, some taken from the unfinished duo album I recorded with the Weatherman in Seattle in 2006, now expanded with more tapes by the group.
In a little over a month, The Freddy McGuire Show will present a show at the Exploratorium: http://www.exploratorium.edu/resonance/calendar/the-freddy-mcguire-show.
After describing a year of collaborations, I'll quietly end the post by admitting that sometimes I do still play solo.
Negativland live in Porto, Portugal.
Tour complete. This is a link to a youtube from a good night.
Negativland and Dieter Moebius, backstage after the quartet encore at Echoplex in Los Angeles:
Coming soon: a trio album with Dieter Moebius and Tim Story, recorded at SnowGhost Studio in Whitefish, Montana. Many thanks to Brett Allen.
With Anne McGuire at SFMOMA. The honest moments will go unrecorded.
Playing with Fred Frith on August 25th in the first complete live performance of his album Gravity.
And next month: Wobbly / Negativwobblyland / Negativland opening for Dieter Moebius on his first solo tour of the United States.
Working on Negativwobblyland studio album, either a very similar or very different beast than the live shows.
link to tim perkis' short version of Berkeley Art Museum show
link to michael zelner's full version of same show
postscript: Joe Gerhardt of Semiconductor used some recent collaborations / solo work of mine as the soundtrack for an informal home video of his recent trip to Alaska and it is linked here
Broadway & 14th, Oakland, 25 October 2011, 9:47pm
Middle Harbor Road, Oakland, 2 Nov 2011, 5:55pm
Three Negativwobblyland shows:
8 November - Amsterdam, Smart Project Space
9 November - London, Cafe Oto
10 November - Paris, Pompidou Centre
Michael Zelner's youtube edit of Negativwobblyland's first concert.
Link to SoundCloud page of two excerpts from recent rehearsals.
Gummi International's new video for Freddy McGuire's "Down To The Sea".
A page dedicated to the Variations podcast & lecture series can now be found here.
I've also been busy this last year composing soundtracks for films. Here are some links:
'Nous' by Maia Cybelle Carpenter
'Afterimage: A Flicker of Life' by Kerry Laitala
'Glitter Gulch' by Kerry Laitala (music by The Freddy McGuire Show)
Ryan Junell has posted the 40 minute Sagan video originally featured on the DVD disc of our debut album 'Unseen Forces' to Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/26107454. The soundtrack to the DVD was a drastically different animal than the audio CD; that soundtrack is now available here.
A list for Dusted Magazine.
ISEA Conference in Istanbul this September, presenting a paper in conjunctions with the Variations project for MACBA. NegativWobblyLand at the Pompidou Center in Paris this November, hopefully in addition to other European shows both solo and with that group (myself, Mark Hosler & Peter Conheim).