FILM/LIVE: “The Films of Laurie Anderson” @ EMPAC at RPI, 5/2/13

May 29th, 2013, 2:00 pm by Greg
Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Sara Ayers

Back in 1998, Laurie Anderson was headed into the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall – just down the hill a bit in Troy from EMPAC at RPI – to perform “The Speed of Darkness.”

“I guess you could say that it’s kind of my tirade about technology,” Anderson said in an interview at the time. “I was just feeling so frustrated with all of this equipment that I decided to write about it. It really is a situation where equipment and the technology tends to escalate. Not just for me, a `multimedia artist,’ but I think for everybody, and everybody feels this pressure.”

Chances are Anderson was feeling that same pressure earlier this month during the second half of her double-header, “The Films of Laurie Anderson” at EMPAC. The earlier 5pm screenings went off without a hitch, as she screened a wide variety of short films, including “What Do You Mean We?” (produced as a segment for the PBS-TV series “Alive From Off-Center”), “Drum Dance” (an excerpt from her 1986 concert film “Home of the Brave”), “O Superman” and “Beautiful Red Dress” (a pair of music videos), a captivating interpretation of “Carmen,” an excerpt from her 1994 CD-ROM “Puppet Motel,” a handful of decidedly left-of-center “Personal Service Announcements” (addressing the national debt and the national anthem, among other intriguing topics) and a strange promotional video for her 2010 album, Homeland.

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Laurie Anderson and Pauline Oliveros Film & Performance May 2 at RPI’s EMPAC in Troy [Berkshire on Stage]

April 30th, 2013, 2:00 pm by Sara

Laurie Anderson and Pauline Oliveros @ EMPAC

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York announces an evening of screenings by EMPAC distinguished artist-in-residence Laurie Anderson featuring a special guest performance with both Anderson and Rensselaer Arts professor and composer Pauline Oliveros. The screenings will take place in the Concert Hall at 5 and 8PM on Thursday, May 2, 2013.

The back-to-back presentations will provide audiences with a unique opportunity to be fully immersed in Laurie Anderson’s films and videos. She will lead us through two separate screening programs, including many of her works. The 8PM presentation will be capped off with a screening of a silent film to which Anderson and Pauline Oliveros play together.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

For Her 80th, Pauline Oliveros Recreates Iconic Cistern Sounds at EMPAC May 10 [Berkshire on Stage]

May 7th, 2012, 1:00 pm by Sara
Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros

She is amazing. As composer and musician Pauline Oliveros turns 80 she celebrates the event by literally giving her many admirers a gift of music. Read on for the details. It is both a major project and a fascinating life story which ends with music and sound that would make John Cage proud.

In 1988, musicians Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster and Panaiotis, with audio engineer Albert Swanson, descended underground into a 14-ft. deep cistern in the Pacific Northwest and created “Deep Listening,” an iconic recording released by New Albion (1989) that developed an underground following.

The Fort Worden Cistern, since renamed the Dan Harpole Cistern, is a cavernous cylinder built in 1907 on a former Army base in Port Townsend, WA. The cistern is 186 feet in diameter, made of reinforced concrete, with more pillars per square yard than a skyscraper. It was built to hold two million gallons of water and to withstand bombing. As an acoustic space, it was remarkable for its smooth frequency response, lack of distinct echoes and most notably, a long reverberation of 45 seconds at low frequencies.

“Our dream after that first experience recording in the cistern was to take the cistern into the concert hall,” says Oliveros, celebrated forerunner of electronic music and founder of the Deep Listening Institute. “Now 24 years later, Deep Listening Band is very excited to have that dream come true.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Be Here Now: The DownTown Ensemble at the Brick Elephant

June 19th, 2009, 1:30 pm by Greg

The Brick Elephant – a renovated small-town church that’s become a bastion of avant garde music – hosts the DownTown Ensemble performing “According to Brian” at 3pm Sunday, June 21.

The ensemble features accordionist Brian Dewan, vocalist-keyboardist Yvette Perez, vocalist William Hellermann and trombonist Peter Zummo. They will be performing music composed by the ensemble’s members as well as Kingston’s Pauline Oliveros and Valley Falls’ Mary Jane Leach.

The DownTown Ensemble was founded in 1983 by its co-directors, Daniel Goode and William Hellermann, as a response to a perceived need for repertoire customarily under-represented in today’s new music world.

The Village Voice has declared, “This intrepid group of conceptualists cuts no aesthetic corners.” Although originally formed in NYC, the group is now based in Columbiaville, Columbia County, where Hellermann lives.

The Brick Elephant, 12 Emily Street, Valley Falls, NY
(518) 753-0244 • admission by donation

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