There were far too many exciting performers at the recent Saratoga First Night in Saratoga Springs to mention… but people who wandered into the Arts Center on Broadway got a rare treat. Here is a 13-minute medley of “Me & the Devil” / “Too Little” / “Shoe Song,” served up by Holly & Evan, with a special boost from Ted Hennessy:
Matt Weston, Ray Hare, Patrick Weklar and Holland Hopson
The performance by Location Ensemble at the Saratoga Arts Center last Saturday began and ended with gifts to the crowd. Before the show started, free sets of ear plugs were offered up to attendees to blunt the impact of the experimental sound troupe’s eight guitarists and one drummer.
And the show ended when ensemble members passed plastic cups filled with fizzling champagne around the audience – a bit of participatory theater that concluded their fascinating final piece, “Electric Guitar II” by Swiss experimental composer Valerian Maly.
“This last piece happens mostly on the floor. It’s quite a bit less loud than what you just heard, for the most part,” announced guitarist and ensemble member Holland Hopson before he knelt on the floor and placed a champagne flute on his guitar strings – a process repeated by each guitarist, one-by-one.
(January 27, 2007 performance of “Guitar Trio” as performed by Rhys Chatham, Thurston Moore, Lee Renaldo, David Daniell, Kim Gordon, Colin Langenus, Alan Licht, Robert Longo, Byron Westbrook, Adam Wills – electric guitars; Ernst Brooks III – electric bass; Jonathan Kane – drums)
Written in 1977, “Guitar Trio” is Rhys Chatham’s signature composition. With a single, repeated chord, “Guitar Trio” (or “G3,” as it was later renamed to accommodate increased instrumentation of six to ten electric guitars) is a collision of the textural intricacies of the avant-garde and the visceral punch of electric guitar-slinging punk rock.
At 8pm on Saturday, the Dee Sarno Theater at the Saratoga Arts Center will host a staged reading of Brooklyn-based playwright Young Jean Lee’s new screenplay, “The Artist Colony,” featuring a cast made up of artists in residence at Saratoga’s own renowned artist colony Yaddo.
The Saratoga Arts Center is presenting “After Rush Hour: An Evening of Video Works by Charles Dennis” at 7:30pm on Saturday.
Charles Dennis – a co-founder of P.S. 122 in NYC, one of the country’s most important centers of dance and performance art – will be on hand to host a mini-retrospective of his award-winning video works from the mid-80s to the present.
The screening will also include new work created by the students at Saratoga Springs’ Caroline Street School in collaboration with Dennis.
A Q&A session with Dennis will follow the screenings. Admission is $5.
Saratoga Arts launched its 2010 music series “Music@Saratoga Arts” on Tuesday night, with headliners Blissed Out capping off a trio of experimental music performances.
Blissed Out – the Brooklyn-based electronic music duo of Alex Winter and Sasha Winn – sat on the floor and played a variety of synthesizers, drum machines and sound-effects boxes, as they wove together a continuous sound tapestry made up of different compositions ranging from dance-club grooves to new-age drones.
Starting off the evening Fossils From the Sun (aka, Ray Hare) blended electronically manipulated vocals with electric guitar and a wide variety of sound effects to deliver several interesting and diverse compositions.
Following the intermission, Eric Hardiman’s solo project Rambutan combined electronic keyboards, synthesizers, electric guitar effects and distorted vocals to create unique soundscapes that transported the Arts Center Gallery into an alternate musical dimension.
And while the snow flew outside, video artist 1983 supplied plenty of indoor visual stimulus, as an array of video images rhythmically flashed onto the screen behind the performers, who were nestled in and around Margo Mensing’s exhibit “It’s Not Unusual,” filled with found objects, unique sculptures and installations.
The Saratoga Arts Center has been presenting experimental and underground music of various genres since 2007, when they received a New York State Music Fund grant for their ArtSounds series, and more recently as Music@SaratogaArts.
Initially coming together last summer as the sonic element of a video installation, Blissed Out has evolved into its own joyous, glitchy thing. In December, the duo released their debut recording, “Secrets,” on the Tropical Fantasy label – on vinyl in a limited edition pressing of 350. Maybe they’ll still have some for sale by the time they land in Saratoga…
“Blissed Out’s connections to the visual arts are especially appropriate for our venue,” explains Saratoga Arts’ director Joel Reed. “They’ll be performing in the gallery amidst the installation ‘It’s Not Unusual’ by artist Margo Mensing. Despite the title of Margo’s exhibition, we do expect the evening to be more than a bit unusual.”
Rambutan is one of the many noms-de-musique of Eric Hardiman, co-founder of the Albany Sonic Arts Collective, while Fossils From the Sun is Ray Hare, who happens to be Hardiman’s musical partner in Century Plants.
The musicians will be joined by video artist 1983, who will be mixing and projecting video clips on the spot, in response to the sounds.
Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Our advertising allows us to keep publishing Nippertown,
and keeps you informed about upcoming shows and events. Thank you!