ISSUE Project Room : an open and versatile environment in which established and emerging artists conduct, exhibit and perform new and site-specific work
» VIEW BLOG ISSUE Project Room Blog
lawrence_kumpf on 07/10/2009 at 11:21AM
ISSUE Project Room presents an afternoon with Michael Gira (Swans/ Angels of Light) and Wooden Wand on July 25th at 6PM in the Can Factory Court Yard. Tickets 15$. After the show Rooftop Films will present Stars Like Fleas and Screen Stay the Same Never Change. Buy tickets together for 20$ at: https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/7426375
Michael Gira founded the seminal NYC band Swans in 1982. Quickly infamous for their punishing, brutal and repetitive onslaughts of sound, extreme volume levels, and the self-abusing, abject shouts and growls of Gira’s sloganeering vocals, Swans gradually transformed over 15 years, ultimately venturing into harsh mechanical proto-industrial rock, to sprawling shifts of texture and perspective (see the bucolic atmospheric folk idles and martial stomps of their much heralded Children of God double LP from 1987), to gentle acoustic-based songs, and finally on to their ultimate statement, Soundtracks For The Blind (1997) which somehow incorporated all of these elements at once, across well over 2 hours of music in one album. At this point, Gira called it quits after 15 years of relentless touring and productivity, and disbanded Swans. Since 1999 Gira has released his music under the name Angels Of Light. He writes the songs for Angels Of Light on acoustic guitar and orchestrates them using a shifting cadre of musicians, employing a wide variety of instrumentation such as strings, wind, brass, electric guitars, electronics and choral vocals. The songs are often eccentric and extreme, in keeping with Gira’s love of soundtrack music. Though nominally more traditional than Swans, Angels Of Light is often just as hard hitting through different means. The most recent album by Angels Of Light is We Are Him. Though Angels Of Light recordings are often elaborately orchestrated, Gira has recently chosen to tour exclusively solo, using acoustic guitar and voice. The performances are raw, to the point, and emotionally powerful. When not recording, writing music, or touring, Gira spends his time producing and releasing music through his label Young God Records. He’s been responsible of late for such notable talents as Devendra Banhart, Lisa Germano, Akron/Family, Fire On Fire, and most recently, Larkin Grimm. In early 2009 Young God released the YGR debut by the acclaimed composer/guitarist James Blackshaw.
lawrence_kumpf on 07/03/2009 at 11:53AM
NNCK has played an important role in the New York (and international) music scene for the last 15 years. Defining new territories of practice not only as a band but also offering a collective space for fostering relationships with a wide variety of musicians from Mike Cooper to John Fahey, NNCK has created a system of collaboration and improvisation that extends beyond the performance.
Fortunately we were able to save a couple snippets of audio after Keith Connolly’s hair dryer blew out the power from the last NNCK show at ISSUE. Enjoy.
And check out some more recordings from NNCK:
CLOMEIM (Locust Music)
And the Soundtrack to the new film documenting the early years of NNCK, ‘At 6am We Become The Police’ (Locust Music)
The new film screens at Anthology Film Archives on November 1st (More Info)
zlayton on 06/29/2009 at 04:17PM
Formed in 2006 by Brooklyn based composer and pianist David Moore, ambient chamber band Bing and Ruth utilizes a large number of traditional acoustic instruments to craft expansive soundscapes and quiet microtonal textures. With clarinets, voices, cellos, bass, percussion, and piano, the group calls upon a family of experienced musicians and improvisers who ably interpret Moore’s slow-developing, visceral compositions. Recent performances for the ensemble include a pair of shows for New York’s Wordless Music Series; sharing the stage with Icelandic super-band Mum and British minimalist composer Max Richter.
here's the entire performance of Bing and Ruth at ISSUE Project Room from June 13th, 2009.
lawrence_kumpf on 06/22/2009 at 05:42PM
Last week ISSUE hosted Rob Millis and Jeffery Taylor collectively known as Climax Golden Twins. Climax Golden Twins is a Seattle, WA based experimental collage outfit originally consisting of Rob Millis and Jeffery Taylor, then picking up Scott Colburn in 1996 (not included on this posting). The group’s earliest material was recorded in 1993 but wasn’t released until their 1996 album Imperial Household Orchestra. In 1994 they started Fire Breathing Turtle to distribute their work along with audio exotica, especially their ongoing “Victrola Favorites,” complations of rare 78s from around the world. With numerous tapes, CDRs, mini-CDs, singles, side and solo projects, audiophile records and other aural collectables, being a CGT fan is no simple, or inexpensive, task.
In addition to an amazing performance Rob also screen some Sublime Frequencies films: Indian at 78, My Friend Rain and Phi Ta Khon: Ghosts of Isan. Both projects, CGT and Rob’s films, offer a new approach to the field of ethnomusicology one which squarely roots the subject within the practice of observation. During Phi Ta Khon, a film documenting a three-day party in Isan, Thailand, you often see the hand of the cameraman reaching around from behind the camera for shots of rice whiskey as well as festival-goers engaging directly with the camera. Much like the CGT project, which gains its sound from a wide array of musical traditions and then uses college to reorder them, Rob’s films refuse an objective documentary approach.
zlayton on 06/19/2009 at 02:59PM
Former Metallic Falcons singer/ songwriter Matteah Baim came out to ISSUE last month to play a short set. We were really impressed with her work.
zlayton on 06/12/2009 at 04:05PM
Here's a couple of pieces of fine folky drone from last December's Visitations, Cursillistas and White Light show at ISSUE Project Room. You can catch Cursillistas and White Light on their up coming tour (dates listed below). Matt from Cursillistas has been releasing some great stuff on his l'animaux tryst lable including a new White Light/ Cursillistas split. More information at http://www.lanimauxtryst.com/
zlayton on 06/05/2009 at 08:44AM
Here's a recording from an absolutely incredible recent show by Okkyung Lee and Carlos Giffoni at issue project room. MINDBLOWING!
and.....don't miss it:
This sunday, ISSUE Project room will be hosting its first annual:
ISSUE Project Room "SOUNDWALK-A-THON"
"Sometimes, the city sounds like one giant jackhammer to us, but ISSUE Project Room is doing something extraordinary to get everyone to hear the streets in a new way. The Soundwalk-a-Thon brings artists and art lovers together to experience the city through artist-guided interactive "sonic excursions." There are 20 walks to choose from, each requiring a different form of group participation, ranging from meditative deep listening to noise-making walks, using instruments such as tin cans, gongs, boom boxes, iPods, and cell phones to interact with the environment. Then take your ears to the after-party at ISSUE Project Room, sponsored by Sixpoint Craft Ales, to hear what a good time sounds like." - ARACELI CRUZ, VILLAGE VOICE
zlayton on 05/25/2009 at 04:24PM
Alex Waterman, cellist, has been a major supporter of ISSUE Project Room, playing some unbelievable music at our benefit at Santos Party House back in November, this past month at ISSUE Founder, Suzanne Fiol's birthday, and just in general being an amazing guy. Here's an mp3 of Alex playing back in February. Enjoy
zlayton on 05/15/2009 at 05:58PM
“Shift linguals – Cut word lines – Vibrate tourists – Free doorways – Pinball led streets – Word falling – Photo falling – Break through in Grey Room – Towers, open fire”
The Ticket that Exploded
William S. Burroughs
Last Wednesday ISSUE Project Room hosted an event in relation, in celebration, of the release of the 35th issue of the journal Grey Room. Grey Room 35 features articles by Dorothea E. von Mücke, Anna Vallye and McLaine Clutter, and a dossier dedicated to the examination of Orchard, a commercial gallery and art space located on the Lower East Side. Perhaps what was unique about Orchard as a space was that it offered itself up as an institution (made up of both objects and individuals as David Joeslit notes in his article), as the basis for its own practice. Asking the questions of what it means to be an art space or commercial gallery within the context of New York during the art world’s economic boom. Though the space functioned as a commercial art gallery its curatorial programming was a result of the diverse perspectives of the members that made up its collective, which strived, as John Simon writes, to achieve a type of ‘idea driven social space’.
The Orchard Dossier in Grey Room 35 offers reflections on the space by contributors John Miller, Melanie Gilligan, David Joselit, and an interview between Andrea Geyer and Ulrike Müller. In celebration of the release of the journal, ISSUE invited Grey Room editor and author of Beyond the Dream Syndicate: Tony Conrad and the Arts after Cage Branden W. Joseph to curate a night at ISSUE. Melanie Gilligan and Ben Seymour came in from England and performed as Petit Mal, a Kraftwerkian pop concept group whose lyrics are an examination of contemporary economic and popular life. Melanie is a visual artist and writer and Ben is a writer; they started making music together as part of the Antifamily collective in London. John Miller brought together his new group XXX Macarena comprised of Tony Conrad and Jutta Koether. Ulrike Müller and Emma Hedditch opened the night with a collaborative performance/reading from the Lesbian Herstory Archives T-Shirt collection (http://www.lesbianherstoryarchives.org/). Each performer read from a stack of note cards that described images on T-Shirts from the LHA. The text on the cards ranged from ‘Softball’, ‘Five woman in various yoga poses’ to ‘Abstract form with clitoris in center’, each reader taking turns reading her card. Sometimes cutting into one another, the sound piled up on top of one another creating new sequences of words and phrases.
The motivating force behind the event, the Orchard dossier and perhaps behind Orchard itself is the desire to ask the question of what it means to move beyond representation of repression. What does it mean to produce something that is alive and matters, that has stake within the world that is open to the new? Perhaps Orchard offered us a brief example of a commercial art space which was capable of exposing its means of production, offering them up for critique and creating something truly unique. Something that, while imperfect, could nevertheless serve as a model for thought for both artist and curator about what it means to make work, to show work and to see work.
More information about Orchard and Grey Room below:
zlayton on 05/11/2009 at 07:14PM
Here is an excerpt from a rare live performance by Acid Birds at ISSUE Project Room. Acid Birds is a trio composed of Andrew Barker (Gold Sparkle Band, Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra), Charles Waters (Gold Sparkle Band) and Jaime Fennelly (Peeesseye). Barker formed the trio in order to perform the composition of the same name, featured here. Along with saxophonist /clarinetist Charles Waters and multi-instrumentalist Jaime Fennelly, the trio premiered in 2004 for the artist collective Free103point9 and their creative music event titled Assembled: Free Jazz + Electronics. This recording is from the second live performance of Acid Birds.
Combining elements of free jazz, collective improvisation and low harmonium drones, Acid Birds creates a mystical sound that falls somewhere between Braxton and Cardew. Each piece is based on a graphic score composed by Barker; the sound produced is distinctly spatial. Fennelly’s constant drone provides the ground, which is sometimes reinforced by Waters’ playing and sometimes punctured by his sharp notes. Barker’s drumming contributes to the expansive and tactile feeling of the project: each hit is hard and indicative of the material of the percussive instrument. Barker plays with a five-foot wide aluminum picnic tabletop in his drum kit. Acid Birds explores the notion of the visual score translated through the haptic exploration of sound as form. Lets hope to see more of them soon.