With his recent 65th birthday, father of ambient/generative generative music has made the ascension into pension. In honor of all he’s created, here’s a sampling of long form interviews and documentaries about the man.
First, here’s an hour long lecture from Moscow in 2011:
This fantastic short explores the unique world of a sound artist who cannot hear. Todd Selby’s film takes us into Christine Sun Kim’s exploration of sound through her own physical translation.
From Nowness.com: Deaf from birth, Kim turned to using sound as a medium during an artist residency in Berlin in 2008, and has since developed a practice of lo-fi experimentation that aims to re-appropriate sound by translating it into movement and vision. “It’s a lot more interesting to explore a medium that I don’t have direct access to and yet has the most direct connection to society at large,” says the artist. “Social norms surrounding sound are so deeply ingrained that, in a sense, our identities cannot be complete without it.” Selby filmed an exclusive performance from Kim in a Brooklyn studio as the artist played with field recordings of the street sounds of her Chinatown neighborhood, feedback and helium balloons, and made “seismic calligraphy” drawings from ink- and powder-drenched quills, nails and cogs dancing across paper to the vibrations of subwoofers beneath.
Dum Dum Girls have the destinction of making me tolerate a Smiths song. I had no idea that “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” was the work of Morrissey and with Dee Dee singing, I can actually stomach it. Anyway, their video for last year’s slow motion stomp “Coming Down” pairs the mournful song with a stark black & white clip featuring an scissor wielding audience.
Take a look at the video’s direct influence: Yoko Ono’s 1965 performance entitled Cut Piece:
Please ignore the music on the youtube video, I’m fairly certain it’s not authentic. As part of Ono’s involvement in the 60’s performance art group Fluxus, she held this audience involvement piece in both Tokyo and then London. Those in attendance were given scissors and instructed to cut away her clothing until naked. The staging and concept are directly translated into the video for “Coming Down”.
Echoes of this performance can be seen in Marina Abramović’s 1974 performance piece Rhythm 0, which gave the audience a much wider range of tools and a more intimidating leeway to do whatever they pleased.
Regardless of influence, it’s always great to see the threads of video & performance art bubbling up in contemporary music videos.
The lovely video from Tennis is a Lynch-ian, color soaked performance piece. I never know if I’m a full-on fan of Tennis, but this video is charming as hell, in a perfectly weird way.
Bonus link: a live version of “My Better Self” shot at The Earth House Collective for the possibly defunct Laundro Matinee. The live version comes off less polished and the lack of reverb makes it sound a little less like Beach House.
I was ready to jump on the hype train about Chance The Rapper for his recently released mixtape Acid Rap, but this clip of him working on a track with Nosaj Thing is even better. I’ve always wanted to hear Nosaj produc for an MC and Chance seems like a solid pairing. You’ll be able to download the full track May 7th from yourstru.ly