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REBECCA ALLEN
landscape / enter / life
ARCADE | BRUSSELS
15.01 – 19.02.22

Rebecca Allen 'landscape / enter / life' #Brussels until 19.02 inc: seminal video works 'STEPS' (1982) https://bit.ly/3Iv8wAB + 'Laberint' (1992) https://bit.ly/3fYD95b

 

  • Rebecca Allen

We stray from Moog recordings for this edition of the blog to document some of the early pioneers of live Moog Modular performance.

While digging through many of the clippings, news blurbs, and press releases associated with Bob Moog and his synthesizer, I sometimes find stories about the use of the early Moog Modular in concert. I’ve been gathering these cases for a long time and offer them here for the Moog record. Most of these instances fall into the time period 1965-1970. They capture the use of the Moog Modular at its creative summit, prior to the widespread availability of the Minimoog.

The idea that the Moog Modular synthesizer could be used in a live performance is somewhat contrary to what people believe today. Yes, it was a complicated instrument and it sometimes behaved unpredictably, especially in its tuning. But the Moog Modular was also viewed as a remarkable combination of many audio devices with enormous potential. The available variations in patching and playing were essentially infinite.

Without further delay, I give you a partial record of early Moog Modular live performances, organized chronologically. By no means do I consider this record to be complete—additional listings and suggestions are welcomed.

1965

August 28, 1965 – A live concert was produced at the R.A. Moog Company’s small factory, the culmination of a workshop of composers and musicians. This small event was attended by participants, family, friends, and Moog employees. The program reproduced here is from this extensive Bob Moog Foundation blog documenting this event:

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE

 

  • Moog

Katharina Sieverding’s "Life/Death" (1969) with the the soundtrack Kraftwerk improvised for it in early 1972; as it was shown at the Oberhausen short film festival in April ‘72, & later dokumenta 5. WATCH HERE

"Life/Death", 1969 is Sieverding’s pioneering film and photographic work. The project consists of 42 one by one meter C-prints in steel frames accompanied by video. The video mediates on the polar extremes often found in our daily existence. The artist uses her face as the departure for this investigation. At one point in the film, Sieverding stares at her own reflection in a tablespoon of honey as it spills onto her bare legs. In order to agitate the viewer’s perceptions of themselves, she articulates precisely how it is she sees herself: as an extreme, sexual and powerful agent scrutinizing the politics of being an individual during a period of great institutional unrest. In another scene, Sieverding offers potent images of her face and hands as they appear and disappear in an undulating crimson cloth, an effect created by using her weathered red coat. Sieverding has stated that her face provides a screen on which to project infinite perspectives, thoughts and emotions. The work contains a line of text that reads; "Expressing uncertainty correctly and genuinely". She has noted that Uncertainty is phenomenon that interests her in art practice. Expressing certainty, incorrectly and ungenuinely. This uncertainty express lack of definiteness enables the viewer to make decisions and develop opinions through their own authority. The "Life/ Death project establish the stage for Sieverding ‘s subsequent works and has widely influenced international contemporary art practices. 

  • Katharina Sieverding’s "Life/Death"

For a long time, I’d see him with books under his arm walking quickly to or from the Tompkins Square Library on Tenth Street, where, I would later discover, we both lived a block apart. He always seemed to be wearing a different and marvelous hat and, unusual for our neighborhood, a sport jacket, perfectly fitting and a modest color. He was cool to an inch of his life. It may have been several months before we exchanged smiles.

For many years, I had spent time in a café on the corner of Tenth and First Avenue. It was a home for many of us in the neighborhood, especially in the back room, where it was warm and cozy and you could spend the morning writing to the whine of the espresso machine. He’d be at a table reading, not staying very long, and over time we’d smile and nod.

One spring day, twelve or more years ago, we sat at opposite tables on the café terrace—on the sidewalk, that is, but I like the snobby European twinge of “terrace.” He wasn’t reading. I felt that I could no longer stand wondering who he was, and I finally approached him.

He was Henry Threadgill, a musician, he said. And I was me, a writer. We had never heard of each other. After a while of little stuff, I asked who his favorite writer was. “James Joyce, for Ulysses,” he said without hesitation. “And you, for music?” he asked.

“Bach,” I said, “for everything.”

We did not need more glue than that. Soon it was as if we had known each other forever and were picking up our conversation from the day before.

It has always stayed like that.

A few weeks later, Henry invited me to his concert at the Jazz Gallery. Henry primarily plays saxophone and flute, but his talents extend to many other instruments, including his famous hubcaphone, which he built from pipes and salvaged hubcaps. That night, Henry shaved notes—as Cézanne did forms—into planes and made silences into music. I did not have to wait for the performance to be over to realize that he was one of the most original and brilliant musicians and composers of our time.

—Frederic Tuten

READ THE INTERVIEW HERE

One of the most heralded private-pressing gems of homegrown psychedelia gets the typically thorough remastering and repackaging from Guerssen imprint Out-Sider music.

Where and when did you grow up? Was music a big part of your family life?

Rick Ballas: I am from Canton. Ohio. Born here and spent the majority of my life here. Canton was pretty much a factory town. Went to school here and I was a baseball player. Music did not run in my family at all.

When did you begin playing music? Who were your major influences?

When I first fell in love with music was when I heard The Beatles. My radio was seldom turned off. As a teenager I got the first chance to go see live music. It was plentiful here and a hotbed of talent. If there was a band playing, I was there… The James Gang, Glass Harp, Grand Funk Railroad, Alice Cooper… Those were local and I loved them. I was 16 when I first touched an instrument. I bought a bass guitar and started playing along with records. I never had a lesson but picked it up pretty well. I got an electric guitar next and started to learn chords. I was always around live music and most players knew me. I was the kid who was always asking them to show me how to play that. I took a few lessons but I am pretty much self taught. I started to go to big shows that were mostly in Cleveland. There are a few bands that I did not see. Here are some of the favorites; Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Humble Pie. Later on Yes, Genesis and Jethro Tull were amazing.

What bands were you a member of prior to the formation of Stone Harbour?

I had played with some different people, but no real bands. I began to look for people that were interested in forming a band. I found an ad on the bulletin board at the local record store that a drummer was also looking for. I called and we got together for a jam. This is how I met Dave McCarty.

Can you elaborate the formation of Stone Harbour?

Dave McCarty was a wild man drummer but I was playing this little thing when he started singing some words. Dave had a pleasant voice and could write lyrics. We continued to get together and I found that Dave had a pretty good knack for writing lyrics for what I was doing. I had an old reel to reel tape recorder and we started to record things. The 4 track reel to reel recorders had just come out and you could overdub and add tracks. I got one and started to work with it. Even though it was pretty limited it was pretty awesome at the time.

READ THE WHOLE INTERVIEW HERE