the seminal composition 4′ 33″.
just found out i have been awarded a production fellowship at the banff new media institute by the bnmi and quebecor fund.
dates tba but i am hoping to go at the end of august/early sept. its to go work there for 21 days, and i will be based in the creative electronic environment….hmmm….i guess i’m in one now, but the one at banff i think will be a bit more flash.
outcome: a surround sound video installation and possibly a performance concept for laptop and projections. the project summary is: Harmonium is a surround sound video work that is made up of connected improvisations using video and audio source material shot in Banff and India and manipulated recordings of the harmonium, a reed instrument imported to India in the mid 19th century from England and now an integral part of devotional music in South Asia. Using these materials, harmonium meditates on the nature of sound, light, and faith, and how these elements find expression in the life of a 2nd generation Canadian.
i am super honoured to be chosen for this fellowship. the banff centre is an amazing place—i was there for a day or two on a maza meze tour and it was really quite something. beautiful and full of energy. i look forward to going there to learn more about video and make this work.
wish me luck.
it was a really tremendous evening, with the amazing montreal crowd living up to all expectations of being some of the best audiences anywhere. montreal’s pheek opened the evening with an abstract set, very different from the techno he is known for. i am robot and proud gave a tremendous performance, with his particular brand of warm/cool whimsical music. the whimsical tip continued with nathan michel, who played a lot of his set in 15/16 time.
robert lippok and i then hit the stage. an added bonus was the live visuals provided by toshio iwai, the inventor of the tenori on, who asked (if you please) if it was ok to generate visuals connected to my percussion instruments when robert and i did a soundcheck earlier in the day. those of you familiar with our first concert would have been quite surprised at the energy and intensity of this set, ending with a huge “krautrock” (in robert’s words) free for all. we were surprised ourselves—the soundcheck was completely different than the actual performance. the visuals were another incredible and inspiring factor in the performance. robert and i are actively looking for more opportunities for this duo project. keep your eyes peeled.
toshio iwai gave a presentation on the development of the tenori, starting his talk with an homage to canadian experiemental filmmaker norman mclaren, who did a lot of work with sound and visuals in the 70’s. he was happy to mention him in canada, and gave props to our great national film board. he took us through his own work and explorations with sound and light, starting off with his favourite little music box and treating us to some really jawdropping clips of his earlier installations, as well as photos and clips of the tenori on in development and on the production line. yu nishibori, the engineer working with toshio, also joined him onstage, taking us through the design process and demonstrating the rather sophisticated interface—similar to much great music, the interaction of discrete simple elements results in the possibility of very complex music.
props to the mutek crew for organizing such an amazing event. they made everything so smooth that it was easy to just show up and play. hooray for mutek! last but certainly not least, thanks to yamaha, yu nishibori and toshio iwai for agreeing with robert to bring me in the first place.
photo by jutta brendemuehl
following photos by yu nishibori