Sunday, May 18, 2008


Variations VII

So Experiments in Arts and Technology along with ARTPIX have begun releasing a series of documentaries on 9 Evenings, a series of artistic collaborations between dancers, musicians, visual artists and engineers from Bell Labs. One of them is some video and audio from a performance of John Cage's Variations VII. The basic premise is that lots of sounds are piped into a sound system, but with the limitation that all the sounds must be produced at the instance of performance.

I could go on and on, much like the documentary, and describe the multitude of sources of sounds. However, I don't see much point in that for reasons I'll mention later. The short story is that there are five broad classifications of sources:
1. David Tudor and his electronic control panel with assorted noise generators.
2. Various household with contact microphones (fans, blenders, etc.)
3. Telephone lines to locations including a press room, a water treatment plant, the New York SPCA, a restaurant, and other places around New York.
4. Alvin Lucier's brain
5. A big horn that produces air raid-like siren noises via some electronic device.

I'm uncertain about what's involved in the David Tudor source; it seems he had is own little area where he had a myriad of gadgets attached to generate sound.

The net result of all these sound sources is...well, lots of noises. But they all get collaged into a big barely-differentiated mass of swerving tones and loud ambient grinding noises. The documentary made a big deal of specifying the locations of the various telephone connections, but you can't make out any of them, so who cares?

What's more interesting are the electronics and the sirens, and the amplified items (I assume that's the source of much of the noise). Some of them sound like buzzing, some like intensely miserable grinding, almost like a piledriver being rammed against a steel wall or something. The best way to describe it is that it's similar to some of Einsterzende Neubauten's performances using industrial machines in the early 1980's, except that none of this sound is produced by anything so large, but just through the (shockingly massive) amplification of small sounds.

I'm not sure how much is the contact microphones and how much is under the control of David Tudor's booth. The siren is the most recognizable part of the performance, as it starts everything and you hear it throughout. The 69th Regiment Armory, the location of the performance, is intensely resonant so that everything seems louder and denser than it might have in another location.

The videos of the performance and the stories told by various participants in the documentary are interesting. However, I don't see much point in listening to the hour-and-a-half sound recording of the performance because it is largely undifferentiated.

If you do listen, I recommend using it as a background to something else. I, for example, cleaned my bathroom! As I write this, the performance just ended (very abruptly, during some applause).

Everything seems oddly silent now...

You can definitely use a Bird Cage Veil for a glamorous feminine look for any special and formal occasion, especially during weddings. The Bird cage movi is very interesting on watching live near the bird cage.These items add an effortless sense of glamour and romance to almost any wedding outfit of your choice
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?