NewTown, L.A. FIlmforum & Cinefamily Present:
Blast Phemy! #2
A Mid-week Music/Media Mashup!
Text of Light with the films of Stan Brakhage
Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth founder) & Alan Licht, guitar/composition;
composer/saxophonist Ulrich Krieger
Stan Brakhage Films:
Trilogy (1994, 18min)
Mammals of Victoria (1994, 30min)
Water for Maya (2000, 5min)
Huckleberry Lain’s Parallel, featuring live music by Languis
Languis is Marcos Chloca and Alejandro Cohen
- Date: march 10, 2010, 8:00 PM & 10:15 PM
- Where: Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles
- Admission: $17.00 • $13.00 NewTown, CInefamily & Filmforum Members
- Reservations: Box Office: (323) 655-2510 - Advance Ticket Purchase Recommended - BUY TICKETS HERE!
- Photographs: Available on Request
- Information & Photographs: Richard Amromin, Artistic Director, NewTown firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 398-9278
Blast Phemy 1 is supported by generous grants from The National Endowment for the Arts and The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
About Text of Light and Stan Brakhage
Acclaimed avant-garde ensemble Text of Light, featuring Sonic Youth founder Lee Ranaldo & Alan Licht, guitarists/composers, and composer/saxophonist Ulrich Krieger, presents live musical scores to the films of Stan Brakhage and other members of the American Cinema avant garde of the 1950s-60s (Brakhage’s film “Text of Light” was the premiere performance and namesake of the group). The original premise was to improvise (not ‘illustrate’) to films from the American Avant-Garde (50s-60s etc), an under-known period of American filmic poetics.
To date the group has performed with the following films: Brakhageʼs The Text of Light, Dog Star Man, Anticipation of the Night, Songs; Harry Smithʼs Mahagonny outtakes, Oz-The Approach to the Emerald City, and Late Superimpositions. The group has headlined the Victoriaville Music Festival, Canada (2002); Three Rivers Film Festival, Pittsburgh; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and have done several tours of Europe as well as performing in New York City and other USA club and cinema venues.
Stan Brakhage (January 14, 1933 – March 9, 2003) is one of the most important figures in 20th century experimental film. Over five decades, Brakhage created a large and diverse body of work, exploring a variety of formats, approaches and techniques that included handheld camerawork, painting directly onto celluloid, fast cutting, in-camera editing, scratching on film and the use of multiple exposures. Interested in mythology and inspired by music, poetry and visual phenomena, Brakhage sought to reveal the universal in the particular, exploring themes of birth, mortality, sexuality and innocence. In 1974, Brakhage completed his major abstract film The Text of Light.
Over the past two decades, guitarist Alan Licht has worked with a veritable whoʼs who of the experimental world, from free jazz legends (Rashied Ali, Peter Brotzmann) and electronica wizards (Fennesz, Jim OʼRourke) to turntable masters (DJ Olive, Christian Marclay) and veteran Downtown New York composers (Phill Niblock, Rhys Chatham). Licht is also renown in the indie rock scene as a bandleader (Run On, Love Child) and supporting player to cult legends like Tom Verlaine, Arthur Lee, Arto Lindsay, and Jandek. He has released five albums of compositions for tape and solo guitar, and his sound and video installations have been exhibited in the U.S. and Europe. With Sonic Youthʼs Lee Ranaldo, he founded Text of Light, an ongoing ensemble which performs freely improvised concerts alongside screenings of classic avant garde cinema. Licht was curator at the famed New York experimental music venue Tonic from 2000 until its closing in 2007, and has written extensively about the arts for the WIRE, Artforum, Modern Painters, Art Review, Film Coment, Sight & Sound, Premiere, Purple, Village Voice, Time Out New York, and other publications. His first book, An Emotional Memoir of Martha Quinn, was published by Drag City Press in 2003; Sound Art:Beyond Music, Between Media, the first extensive survey of the genre in English, was published by Rizzoli in fall 2007.
Lee Ranaldo is a composer, visual artist, writer, and founding member of the New York City group Sonic Youth, who continue to record new music and tour the world on a regular basis. Their most recent record, The Eternal, was released in June 2009 on Matador Records. His visual and sound works have been shown at galleries and museums around the world. Among Lee's solo records are Dirty Windows - a collection of spoken texts with music, Amarillo Ramp (for Robert Smithson) - pieces for the guitar, and the recent collection Maelstrom from Drift. His most recent solo recording is Weʼll Know Where When We Get There, in collaboration with partner Leah Singer [2009, CNEAI]. His books include Bookstore, Road Movies, Jrnls80s and Lengths and Breaths. The recent publication, Hello From The American Desert , a book of poems based on internet spam, was published by Silver Wonder Press in 2008. His visual work is currently on view in the show Sonic Youth, etc : Sensational Fix, which will next open at the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid on January 28, 2010.
Ulrich Krieger studied composition, electronic music and saxophone in New York and Berlin, Germany. He calls his way of sax playing : 'acoustic electronics' and often uses his instrument more as an 'analogue sampler' from which he can play his 'quasi-electronic' sounds, which then get processed - rather than as a traditional finger-virtuoso instrument. By amplifying his instrument in different ways, he gets down to the 'grains of the sounds', changing their identity and structure from within. He collaborated with artists like: Lou Reed, La Monte Young, Phill Niblock, David First, Lee Ranaldo, Elliott Sharp, Thomas Köner, Witold Szalonek, Mario Bertoncini, Miriam Marbe, hespos, Merzbow, Dietmar Diesner, Wolfgang Fuchs, and many others. His works were performed by: Soldier String Quartet, zeitkratzer, oh-ton ensemble, Ensemble United Berlin, California Ear Unit, Seth Josel, and many more. He toured as a soloist, composer, and with various bands, ensembles and orchestras (including 'Ensemble Modern' and the 'Berliner Philharmoniker') through Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, including radio and TV broadcasts. He has been awarded various international grants, residency, and prizes and has released several CDs on American and European labels.
Huckleberry Lain, Languis and Parallel
Pretty sounds and pretty pictures. Through a chance meeting filmmaker Huckleberry Lain crossed paths with electronic music artists Languis. Both have a strong passion for experimentation with abstraction - one for sound and the other for image. After witnessing each other's craft they decided to collaborate on this piece. Sound came first and then image. Both artists have deep roots in the independent art world, but also enjoy the high tech playground. Therefore, this piece is properly presented in HD stereoscopic 3-D with 5.1 sound. Description is beyond words, but is reminiscent of Harry Smith's abstractions and the Whitney Brother's experiments married with electronic shoe-gaze sounds spawned from My Bloody Valentine and Aphex Twins.
The music for “Parallel” consists of some original work made for this project, mixed with songs and passages the band composed in the past for other projects, performances and releases. The music features the more experimental, and abstract side of Languis, with clear references to musique concrete, ambient music, and sound collage. There is in a way a story being told through the music. The story may not be one that can be explained, it is more like a sequence of feelings and experiences. The collaboration with Huckleberry Lain came from the two meeting at a Languis live performance. After exchanging ideas, the two realized there was too much common ground to pass the opportunity in working together. The end result is a work that features sound and image existing in parallel realities; connected, yet independent from each other, but always inevitably following the other side and depending on each other for direction and meaning. From abstraction to rigorously organized rhythms and shapes, the story of “Parallel” is one of transition and change, a journey describing transformation of states of mind and place.
Languis conceives mental images via melodies and moods. They construct sonics that interact, much like color and shape evolve and dissolve in paintings. Their melodic warmness is a signature that they developed through songwriting and experimentation in the studio. The depth and richness of their sound creates its own universe of emotions that are hard to pinpoint, but shows clear influences from rock, pop, noise, and electronic music. Vocals interact in it, mostly like any other instrument, often mixed in the back and precisely unclear. Their work is a lucid example of their relationship, where they each play guitars, synthesizers, and vocals, but never quite agree on the results.
A decade’s worth of collaboration has yielded 6 LPs and 5 singles that capture the dual nature of the surroundings of life. Each release has demonstrated the complexity and simplicity which immerses daily motions and emotions.
Languis has performed live with Mouse on Mars, Arab Strap, Hood, Broadcast, Dntel, Kid 606, Blectum From Blechdom, Nobody, Pulse Programming, Sutekh, OST, Safety Scissors, Marumari, Scanner, and many others. Languis performs frequently in the Los Angeles area and soon look to tour. Languis currently consists of Alejandro Cohen as founding member on guitar, keyboards and vocals as well as John Girgus on guitar, keyboards, some bass and vocals.
Huckleberry has been making films for over 8 years with more than 10 films completed within that time. He usually sticks to experimental and animation, but he has made documentaries, live-action comedies, stop-motion tragedies and many other styles and genres. He has performed in the films of underground film legends Mike and George Kuchar, rising filmmaker Marie Losier and established video artist Katja Loher as well as other individuals.
Huckleberry has shown his films in many festivals including USC’s First Look Film Festival, the New York Underground Film Festival, the South Bronx Film Festival, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, the Antimatter Underground Film Festival, the Lower Westside Film Festival and many others. He has had films included in screenings around the United States including the LA Film Forum at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema in New York City and the Artist Television Access in San Francisco among other places.
NewTown strives to make people aware that contemporary art forms are innovative, accessible, enjoyable and important parts of society's fabric. NewTown often defines itself as “a laboratory for innovative presentational formats.” The goals of these formats are to bring new audiences to today’s cutting-edge art, while providing artists with new and challenges contexts in which to make new art. NewTown has brought new art works and new art forms to an estimated 171,000 people, many of whom had never encountered "experimental" art, with many of the events free and in public spaces; been a leading advocate for small, grassroots arts organizations; and maintained minimal administrative costs, so over 85% of all memberships, grants and ticket sales go directly to artists and event production.
About Los Angeles Filmforum
Filmforum was incorporated in 1975 to promote a greater understanding of film as an art form and the filmmaker as an artist by providing a forum for independently produced, experimental films, which have little opportunity of reaching the general public through normal channels of commercial distribution. Presenting approximately 45 screenings annually, Filmforum is currently the only venue in Southern California dedicated exclusively to the ongoing, non-commercial exhibition of independent, experimental, and progressive cinema. Filmforum facilitates cross-cultural dialogue by collaborating with other arts organizations to bring alternative media into traditionally underserved communities and to bring work from those communities to its regular venue. This geographically-diverse, multi-site programming also encourages shared audiences among arts organizations. Filmforum encourages the production of diverse independent media art. Through its eclectic series of in-person screenings and workshops, Filmforum provides the inspiration, models, and information necessary for the production and distribution of new work by local and emerging artists. Filmforum champions the dual imperatives of aesthetic and cultural diversity as necessary components for 1) enriching the art form and 2) assuring inclusive, democratic participation in social discourse. Filmforum provides valuable exposure for local artists. Its First Sight Scene series features new work by artists in the formative stages of their careers, in a format highlighting new ideas and aesthetics emerging in our evolving city. Retrospectives of work by major figures in the history of alternative media are complimented by thematically-based programs combing works of all generations.
The Cinefamily is an organization of movie lovers devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films. The Cinefamily’s goal is to foster a spirit of community and a sense of discovery, while reinvigorating the movie-going experience. Like campfires, sporting events and church services, we believe that movies work best as social experiences. They are more meaningful, funnier and scarier when shared with others. Our home is the Silent Movie Theatre, one of Hollywood’s most beloved and beautiful cultural landmarks. There, The Cinefamily will provide a destination spot for Los Angelenos and others to rediscover the pleasures of cinema. Built in 1942 by John and Dorothy Hampton, The Silent Movie Theatre ran for decades as the only fully functioning silent movie theatre in the country. It has been fully restored to its original, vintage 1940s art deco design, along with a brand new screen and sound system, to help a new generation enjoy the pleasures of cinema in a beautiful theater.
Interviews and images available upon request.