Programmed by Sarah Cahill
March 5, 2010
Pastoral is a layered 90-minute DJ set, a curated historical overview of those classic works of electronic music that sought to mimic and extend the voices and sounds of the pastoral landscape. Wobbly finds these works to be closer to the heart of the medium’s inherent potential than the commonly held associations of these sounds with science fiction or industrial culture.
DARDA is an evening-length, multi-channel composition performed by the composer on a laptop computer running the programming software Max/MSP. The piece was first performed in Tokyo in September 2009 and features the shomyo vocal chant of Makiko Sakurai. (Shomyo is an ancient form of chant associated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism, dating from the Heian period, 781-1192 CE).
The work was composed in the relatively short period of two weeks following the death of Stone’s mother on September 6, 2009. The world premiere of the piece was held September 25 in central Tokyo in the tea house of Kiyosumi Garden, developed in 1878 by Yataro Iwasaki, a founder of the Mitsubishi group. The garden is set out in the sukiya style–in other words, a pond inhabited by birds and with three small islands. For the premiere performance, an audience of 100 shared the experience as they listened on individual headsets. No speakers were used. Indeed, the circumstances of tonight’s performance are a marked contrast to the premiere. The museum’s sweeping contemporary architecture, hard surfaces, and the technique of sound projections using multiple speakers to fill the massive space could hardly be more different, and Stone has adapted the piece and the performance accordingly. Although the larger formal elements of DARDA are worked out in advance, the pacing and flow, as well as the smaller in-time details, are flexible and part of the variability of the performance.
About Carl Stone
Carl Stone is one of the pioneers of live computer music and has been hailed by the Village Voice as “the king of sampling” and “one of the best composers living in (the U.S.) today.” He has used computers in live performance since 1986. Stone was born in Los Angeles and now divides his time between San Francisco and Japan. He studied composition at the California Institute of the Arts with Morton Subotnick and James Tenney and has composed electro-acoustic music almost exclusively since 1972. His works have been performed in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and the Near East. In addition to his schedule of performance, composition, and touring, he is on the faculty of the Media Department at Chukyo University, Japan.
Carl Stone is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Foundation for Performance Arts. He has served as president of the American Music Center and director of Meet the Composer, California. He also served as music director of KPFK-FM in Los Angeles from 1978-1981. Recordings of his music have been released on New Albion, CBS Sony, Toshiba-EMI, EAM Discs, Wizard Records, Trigram, t:me Recording, New Tone, and various other labels.
His music has been used by numerous theater directors and choreographers including Hiroshi Koike, Akira Kasai, Bill T. Jones, Setsuko Yamada, Ping Chong, June Watanabe, Kuniko Kisanuki, Rudy Perez, Hae Kyung Lee, and Blondell Cummings. Musical collaborations include those with Yuji Takahashi, Kazue Sawai, Aki Takahashi, Sarah Cahill, Haco, Dorit Cypis, Michiko Akao, Stelarc, z'ev, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, Tosha Meisho, Otomo Yoshihide, Kathleen Rogers, Min Xiao-Fen, and Mineko Grimmer.
Upcoming L@TE Programs:
The hard-to-categorize Caroliner Rainbow Deep Grey Mind Blushing Out a Pattern headlines an evening of musical acts from the rich and diverse Bay Area music scene, including Xome, Vslfungi, Loachfillet, Cypress Bill and Ted Zepplin’s Excellent Adventure in the Key of Real-D (members of Amphibious Gestures, Arachnid Arcade, fognozzle, and Chrome Genie), and Styrofoam Sanchez. Over the last few decades, this thriving musical culture has pioneered new sounds, from bluegrass to punk to experimental noise, with an arsenal of groundbreaking bands as well as intrepid performance spaces that nurture a D.I.Y. ethic.
The second installment of Skank Bloc Bologna Number Four features more of the unexpected! Tosh Berman presents Aleph, his father Wallace Berman’s hand-painted filmic meditation on life, death, mysticism, politics, and pop culture. Local artist Jennifer Locke’s career as a professional dominatrix and champion submission wrestler informs her physically challenging “actions,” which she performs hidden from the audience and reiterated in a live video feed. A recorded sonic tour by U.K.-based dub poet Lynton Kwesi Johnston explores his experiences as an African Caribbean living in Britain. Journalist, documentarian, and sound artist Tania Ketenjian, the host and producer of arts program “Sight Unseen,” will produce field notes drawn from interviews with audience members to be used as the basis for a future radio show.
Expanded Cinema: Los Angeles–based media artist Jordan Biren brings us All That Passes Before You, Already in Ruin, a spectral film that suggests “the illusory promise of narrative” but finds it manifest not in his projected ghostly landscapes but in his recitation of “bodily words.” Local curator and artist Konrad Steiner has repurposed the Japanese tradition of benshi performance—oral narration for silent cinema—as “a cabaret of poetry, satire, and homage.” Poets and other provocateurs render mute sequences from extant cinema while firing a fusillade of verbal mash-ups and hacked critiques. For this performance, Steiner has enlisted Jaime Cortez, Jennifer Nellis, Erika Staiti, Anuj Vaidya, and the tag team of Robin Rajen Sukhadia and Neelanjana Banerjee.
Composer and vocalist Ken Ueno, who recently joined the UC Berkeley music faculty, brings his trio ONDA to the gallery for a set of improvised music featuring extended vocal techniques (Ueno), violin (Hillary Zipper), and percussion (Tim Feeney). ONDA brings together the trio’s research into extending the timbral possibilities of their respective instruments to create a kind of ritual music of an imaginary tribe of the future. After ONDA’s set, Ueno will improvise for the first time with composer/cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, who will then perform a solo set, including pieces from her CD Strange Toys as well as a soon-to-be-released recording. The works all use amplified cello along with looping, beats, and electronics. Jeanrenaud will be joined on some selections by PC Muñoz, who performs on electronic beats and drums.
The BAM/PFA galleries are open until 9 p.m. on most Fridays, with drinks and DJs in the lobby starting at 6 p.m., and an array of performances and other programs in Gallery B at 7:30 p.m. Guest programmers include Sarah Cahill, Franklin Melendez, Anne Colvin, and BAM/PFA film curators Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid. For information on upcoming events and to buy advance tickets, visit bampfa.berkeley.edu/late.
Check out the March 2010 L@TE collectible poster, designed by local artist Mary Milam Shadley, available in the Museum Store and at the Zine Mart, located in the lobby.
L@TE is made possible in part by Bank of America, the Tin Man Fund, and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees. Special thanks to our media sponsors, East Bay Express and San Francisco Bay Guardian. Tonight's performance is also made possible in part by the Jacqueline Hoefer Fund, and Stephen B. Hahn and Mary Jane Beddow. Generous in-kind support provided by Meyer Sound and BBI Engineering.
Carl Stone would like to thank Paul Dresher, Jay Cloidt, Philippe Chatelain, and John Monitto at Meyer Sound.