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jacksonmoore on 06/23/2016 at 09:45PM

Semaphores

“No—let us cross the river and rest in the shade of those trees.”

It was there that we acquired the toughness that has been with us all the days of our life, and that has allowed some of us to remain so lightheartedly at war with the whole world. And for myself in particular, I suspect that the circumstances of that time were the apprenticeship that enabled me to make my way so instinctively through the subsequent chain of events, which included so much violence and so many breaks, where so many people were mistreated — passing through all those years as if with a knife in my hand.

Perhaps we might not have been quite so ruthless if we had found an established project that seemed to merit our support. But there was no such project. The cause we supported we had to instigate ourselves. There was no authority that we could recognize.

For someone who thinks and acts like this, it is pointless to listen a moment too long to those who would find a consolation, or even something worth tolerating, in our current predicament; nor to those who stray from the path they seemed intent to follow; sometimes not even to those who simply don’t catch on quickly. Other people, years later, have begun advocating revolution in everyday life with timid voices or prostituted pens — from a distance and with the calm assurance of astronomical observation. But someone who has actually taken part in an endeavor of this kind, and who has escaped the dazzling catastrophes that accompany it or follow in its wake, is not in such an easy position. The heats and chills of such a time never leave you. You have to discover how to live the days ahead in a manner worthy of such a fine beginning. You want to prolong that first experience of illegality.

This is how, little by little, a new era of conflagrations was set ablaze, of which none of us alive at this moment will see the end. Obedience is dead. It is marvelous that disturbances originating in such a meager and transient setting have ended up shaking the world order (such acts would of course never perturb a harmonious society that had mastered its own forces; but it has become clear that our society was quite the opposite).

As for myself, I have never regretted anything I have done; and being as I am, I must confess that I remain completely incapable of imagining how I could have done anything differently.

Guy Debord - In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

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jacksonmoore on 03/14/2015 at 05:16AM

A Musical Language

Moss is a musical pidgin language.  Pidgin languages are contact languages - rudimentary languages that are cobbled together whenever two populations that don't share a language meet for the first time.  They are extremely simple.  They are practical to learn.  So they're a little different from natural languages - you can't really make a language, but if you have no choice, you can make a pidgin.  Moss has 120 words, each of which is a basic 2-to-4 note melodic shape.


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jacksonmoore on 06/17/2014 at 09:42AM

New Curator: New Languages

New Languages started out as an annual jazz festival in 2005.  At the time there were no George Wein style jazz festivals dedicated to the generation of jazz musicians who had come of age in the wake of neoclassicism.  We created one as a way of asking, basically, "what's next?" — how is our generation living up to the legacy of an art form characterized by an unbroken string of discoveries and innovations?  As our peers began to enjoy some critical recognition and similar festivals began to proliferate, we began to interrogate our own role as producers and curators in responding to the questions opened up by a century of creative improvisation.

The jazz solo revealed something new: the sound of the person: subjectivity in musical form.  New Languages takes these musical subjects out for a walk, so to speak.  Until now, they have been confined to a very narrow commercial sandbox: 45-60 minute stage performances and 45-60 minute records.  We explore new time frames, conventions, and sites in which the potential of improvised music to mirror the wonders and vicissitudes of real life might evolve.

In 2012 we put on Music Factory, a continuous 83-hour improvisation, at Eyebeam Art+Technology Center in New York.  This simple alteration of the time-scale of performance had profound effects on our experience as improvisers as well as the musical result.  Anyone who has tried a free improvisation with friends knows that the end is usually unexpected but immediately obvious.  It isn't planned, yet it seems inescapable.  During Music Factory we learned that this moment is really just the end of the beginning — the first of many such events that form the historical anatomy of a performance.

In the past year we've started two new initiatives.  Remote Hearing is a series of improvisations that dispense with the need for geographic proximity, or any sort of telecommunications in its absence.  The performers record themselves from wherever they happen to be at an agreed upon moment in time, and only hear one another after the fact, when the recordings are synchronized and superimposed.  The result is something like a satellite photograph — it captures the composite activity of a group of people around the world at a given point in time, even if they aren't aware of one another's movements.  The palpable and utterly satisfying sense of interaction on these recordings raises serious questions about the efficacy of a 'good ear' and its inevitable side effects, anticipation and reaction.

Later this year we'll be launching a new series, Holidays from the Future, which plays with the shape and relationship of the stage and the audience.  We'll be redrawing the border between the two and inviting anyone to cross it at any time, depending on whether they want to communicate in music, or listen, drink, and talk.  In addition to featured improvisers, each show will include installations (booths, projections, sonic fountains), interventions (surprise gambits and secret conspiracies), and invitations (early bird workshops and bulletins for structured participation) devised by guest artists.

It has become clear that in the design of new environments for creative musicians, there is a lot of low-hanging fruit.

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jacksonmoore on 09/18/2012 at 10:00AM

New Curator: Eyebeam Art & Technology Center

Eyebeam Art and Technology Center is a home to artists who are inventing techniques and practices that weren't even possible a few years ago, and as a result it embraces an operational model quite different from galleries and museums. In short, it compresses every phase of creative production, from research and development to public presentation, under a single roof. In a way, the public events are just the tip of the iceberg. The heart and soul of the institution are its Residents and Fellows, who on any given day are somewhere in the bowels of our 10,000 square foot facility in West Chelsea, building, debating, tinkering, studying, experimenting, teaching, writing, presenting, critiquing, or rehearsing. The community here has a strongly egalitarian feel and an inspiring DIY ethos.

If you have 15 minutes, I'd encourage you to take a stroll through our project archive – fifteen years of experimentation across every conceivable medium are on offer and you're sure to find something that piques your interest.

I've kicked off our audio archive with collections from three of our Eyebeam Fellows.

The first is a series of duo improvisations by Mikael Jorgenson (of Wilco fame) and Travis Thatcher. They stem from David Jimison and Esther Cheung's project, The Shrine of Native Rites for Electric Winter. The shrine constituted a new kind of architecture for performance that provided a distinctly intimate experience for the audience. Just five people at a time were seated at the outer points of a recursive pentagrammatical structure, and immersed in an environment that was simultaneously cozy (mint tea) and rousing (NASA footage).

The second collection is a series of analog tape pieces created by Benton-C Bainbridge. Benton is a legendary VJ. He has presented video in immersive environments, screenings, installations and live performances across 5 continents, collaborating with scores of artists around the world. Over the years he has occasionally created sound worlds to accompany live video performances.  Four examples are included in our archive, including Neutral Analysis, from a performance of the same name by The Poool in the late 90s.

Last but not least, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the work of Fran Ilich. Fran is a careful and penetrating thinker whose ruminations can have quite a mystifying effect on the listener. This collection, titled Critical Audiology, is a series of audio collages made in collaboration with with the audio art collective re:combo as a part of a new wave audio telenovella, in homage to Godard. They touch on themes of globalization, urban mobility, and resistance in ways both concrete and figurative.

Coming soon: a library of aquatic field recordings.

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