Don Buchla Memorial Fest 2017

This was a 2 day (all day and all of the night) celebration of Don Buchla’s creative achievements in music and his development of what became known as West Coast Synthesis. Buchla was a contemporary of Bob Moog who operated out of Berkeley in the early days of synthesizer development and as early as 1963 was developing modules for The Tape Music Center. There is a ton of info out there on him, so I won’t get into his  many contributions and long career as a designer/engineer etc.

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Ami Radunskaya
Layne
Layne

I was only available to attend the second evening of performances but the entire weekend hosted by Gray Area SF was full of activities and panels and performances by an array of sound artists. Some acts were set up onstage with a few various ‘rigs’ and contraptions set up on the floor which made it an exciting experience as you never quite knew where to position yourself in between acts, it was a great way to experience a show with that format. In fact right from the beginning, walking into the dark hall drenched in red light was a welcoming experience with sound artist Layne set up on the floor working a smaller sized Buchla with some lovely drones and washes, a bit more of an ambient background thing but still very present and engaging. Also set up on the floor in the center was Keith Fullerton Whitman’s modular set-up from which he put down an intense set, melodic with a good balance of tension and release.

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Keith Fullerton Whitman

 This first video is just a few of the artists who performed on Sunday including Layne,  bran(…)pos who performed from some kinda whirlybird contraption with video projection and synth wackiness, bringing a carney vibe…there’s also a few minutes of Keith Fullerton Whitman down on the floor with the people!


SUSANNE CIANI

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Susanne Ciani prepares to tame the beast

Easily the big highlight was seeing Susanne Ciani her set was also intense at times, you could really see her working to keep the machine under control and masterfully at that. I went with some friends to see her the following week at The Berkeley Museum and both times I felt something…which says a lot when it comes to synthesised sounds. Those may be the first times I have felt something more organic and less technical from a set of that nature, which is a major feat in my opinion. Below is the last 7 and a half minutes of her set.

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Susanne Ciani

ALESSANDRO CORTINI

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Alessandro and I spoke a bit about our mutual love for 4 track tape machines which is what he used for his moving set to close out the night. He performed, against a projection of home movies, his latest work Avanti. Very personal, very moving and a perfect come down from the event as it was refreshing to hear someone work a simple tape machine after all of the mind blowing tech heavy sounds that we just experienced.

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Alessandro Cortini’s humble rig

As I mentioned earlier we went to see Susanne again in Berkeley the following weekend so look to the next post for that video!

Also, fellow blogger Encyclotronic posted a variety of videos from the entire weekend, so if you can’t get enough, go check them out as well!


 All Video and Pics by Jeff K. 2017

Diamanda Galas SF Masonic 2017

Finally getting to catch up with some posts over here. I’ve been really busy making music as well as seeing some amazing shows. Coincidentally these shows have been largely by women artists which in these times is much more important, vital even.

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This was my second time seeing Diamanda Galas in roughly 10 years, the last time she was in SF was back in 2006 when she performed ‘Defixiones’ at Yerba Buena. This time around she only did 6 U.S. dates and naturally, SF was a sold out show that a lucky few got to experience.

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The set consisted of some material from her new releases as well as a few ‘Hits’ and her voice still has all of that wonderful edge and uniqueness of delivery and timbre that could only belong to one person.

Diamanda Edit


VIDEOS

“O Prosfygas/Anoixe Petra”

“O Death”

“Let My People Go”

All videos and pics by Jeff K. 2017

Aphex Twin covers Reich(2011)/Toshio Matsumoto-Atman (1975)

Here are a couple of videos I’ve recently enjoyed. Visually intense material not for those who get dizzy easily.

Aphex Twin did a ‘Pendulum set’ back in 2011 in Poland. This was a piece originally composed by Steve Reich in 1968. Progressing on this a bit, the mics used in this set were outfitted with mirrored disco balls and used to create a hypnotic matrix of kaleid-a-scopic laser like beams swaying with the rhythm of the swinging as it naturally slowed during the process.


This next video is by Toshio Matsumoto who I know very little about, though I have heard of Funeral Parade of Roses (1969) which apparently was influential on A Clockwork Orange. This video is abstract and very psychedelic and challenging (in a good way) to watch. The music was done by Toshi Ichiyanagi who was involved with The Fluxus movement and studied with John Cage as well. Enjoy the trip!

The Weirdos (Live at Bogarts 1991)

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Another excellent upload from LAPunk13

Even in 1991 there was a fun spirit to this set by LA OG’s The Weirdos who were one of the first punk bands to hit the LA scene in the mid to late 70’s.

It’s nice to see this as back on the East Coast where I grew up in 1991 most ‘punk’ shows were really aggressive and violent. The element of a fun time was pretty much absent. This show represents a different time in punk music when people got together to enjoy a kick ass band and have a good time being an outsider…and there’s ‘pogo dancing’!

On a side note I was lucky enough to play with Dix Denny a few times when he auditioned for the Flesh Eaters around 98-99. He came to a few rehearsals before realizing we were going to do some shows, he thought he was going into the studio with us…he didn’t want to do any shows! That would’ve been fun…alas.

Check out LAPunk13  for more great video from the early LA scene.

 

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