Category Archives: Art

Rodelius

 

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It’s been a busy period for me, and this was one of those nights where I did not want to be out on a mid weeknight, but for Hans Joachim Rodelius to drag himself at the age of 82 all the way from Germany to perform for us here in SF made me recalibrate my mood and tough it out in order to enjoy the experience of witnessing this very rare performance by the only living founding member of Cluster/Kluster/Qluster and Harmonia and vanguard of the German avant garde underground music scene.

I had the chance to see Moebius a few years back (2012) and missed it for whatever reason and have been kicking myself because he has since passed away. I didn’t want to miss another opportunity to experience a living master of the craft.

His set at The Chapel SF opened with a bit of electronic work and he was joined by Tim Story also on electronics. This went on for awhile with Hans at one point transitioning to piano for some light melodic pieces, sketches almost, beautiful melodies, light and moody, playful yet melancholy at times. This first video captures some of that.

At one point he did a special dedication to Holger Czukay of Can, who recently passed away and Tim Story also dedicated this one to Dieter Moebius.

Tim departed the stage after the dedication to leave Hans to indulge in some more electronic work which was some of my favorite stuff of the evening. Abstract dynamic and dreamlike sounds culled from various sources created a lovely sound collage.

Nobody seemed to be sure what he was hearing but after his set he asked who in the crowd was playing with him as he seemed to hear some sort of Flutes or horn coming from somewhere in the building….maybe a ghost? Maybe a ghost in the machine?

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He ended the set with a bit of a lull-a-bye on piano, stood up and took some pics of the crowd with his smart phone and then offered anyone who wanted to hug him to hang around afterwards. I went and picked up a record from his merch table and had a few moments with him, the record was already signed from the initial run but I had him sign it again. I asked if he ever figured out who was responsible for the sounds he heard to which he replied in that soft German accent ‘Was it you?’ hahaha! He told me to ‘spread love’ and he smelled like wine and we hugged and it was a wonderful experience.

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Anarchestra “Sonic Oligarchy”

Some inspiring words about the liberation of sound and artistic autonomy, cutting out the gatekeepers and getting back to the DIY philosophy and moving away from being contained and controlled by the tools available to everyone…make your own tools and create alternative choices.

Anarchestra is a DIY instrument maker out of Tucson see more instruments in action via youtube: Anarchestra Instruments

There is a WordPress blog as well: Anarchestra on WordPress

And Anarchestra on Bandcamp


 

Full Tones @ BAMPFA: Gabie Strong and Robert Lowe

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I found myself at The Berkeley Museum once again, where I had recently experienced another experimental electronic woman artist Suzanne Ciani. My wife and I attended this most recent performance with anticipation and a sense of pride, as my wife has been friends with Gabie since high school, and here she is performing at BAMPFA! If that isn’t enough to get excited about, also on the bill was Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe.

Full Tones was part of a series of concerts held on the Full Moon curated by Land and Sea who operate out of Oakland Ca.

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Gabie has been deeply involved in the experimental music underground for many years. She has been operating the radio show Crystalline Morphologies on KCHUNG 1630 AM radio out of Chinatown in LA. There are show archives that go back to 2011.

She has performed in and curated many events over the years, often developing site specific experiments.

She has also recently added an independent record label (also called Crystalline Morphologies) to her list of accomplishments and her 2 solo releases on vinyl and cassette are excellent slabs of experimental drone/noise and field recording.

Her set was a wonderful wash of guitar drone with a bit of contact mic experimentation deeper into the set that really brought an interesting performance element into the experience.


We had been planning on going to this event for a few weeks before I looked it up online and saw that Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe was also performing! I’d been following him for some time and have enormous respect for him being one of the few people of color operating at that level in electronic music. With cutting edge modular technology and an intellectual as well as soulful approach to the medium, he brings a much needed flavor to that scene. He incorporates his voice in wonderful ways as well as other acoustic elements fed into the modular for an otherworldly effect almost church-like. While I’m at it, I really recommend the stuff he did with experimental electronic legend Ariel Kalma. It was an honor to meet Robert and I do hope our paths cross again!

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Jim Marshall (SF Summer of Love 50th Anniversary Photo Exhibit Lunchtime Tour (feat: V.Vale)

This was one of the many things going on celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘The Summer of Love’ here in SF. If you saw my recent post on Susanne Ciani at the Berkeley Museum you might remember I shared a photo with some friends including V.Vale. from Re/Search Pubs. This post features him speaking in front of a photo taken by Jim Marshall during the summer of 1967. He is featured in the foreground of the photo and just the look on his face captures the awe and wonder of what it might have been like to arrive at that infamous corner of Haight and Ashbury at that time. While most of those people have moved on in life or have since passed, Val manages to still have that curiosity in life and culture/counterculture and remains in a perpetual state of  awe and inquisitive-ness.

JM - Corner of Haight and Ashbury, 1967 'V.Vale'
Photo by Jim Marshall

The first few minutes of this video is from part of the guided tour of the photos that line the hall in the basement of SF City Hall including a couple of bits of insight to what was happening in some of the pics, such as the story behind the Moby Grape album cover that was censored and how Otis Redding really stole the show at Monterey Pop. There were plenty of photos of The Dead and Jefferson Airplane as well as some great pics of various Hippies and Diggers and counter-culture icons like Ginsberg and Ken Kesey.

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‘The Unique Mens Shop’

Val’s talk was mostly a deconstruction of the photo he was in which provided some really cool behind the scenes info about the original line up of Blue Cheer. Not a lot of people know that Val was a founding member let alone that Blue Cheer was originally a 6 piece (that was news to me too). They just happened to be on the way to Golden Gate Park for a proper band shoot when this was captured.

 

Enjoy this first hand account of the Summer of Love SF by someone who was there:


TINY BUBBLES

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Left: Roy De Forest ‘detail of homage to Zane Gray 1978/Right: V,Vale ‘Genesis P-Orridge in Heels at Monte Cazzaza’s House’ 1981

SFAC also has a show up called Tiny Bubbles a group show that Val also has a bunch of photos in which is up until August 19th.