Graham Stephenson/Richard Kamerman Devin DiSanto/Nick Hoffman Tim Albro/Aaron Zarzutzki Ian M Fraser/Anthony Saunders
Friday, June 18, 2 PM
Michael Bullock/Seth Cluett/Sarah Hennies
Friday, June 18, 8 PM
Ian M Fraser/Anthony Saunders Reed Evan Rosenberg/Ethan Tripp Matt Krefting/Gabi Losoncy Jonathan Borges/William Hutson
The AEU, in conjunction with Fridman Gallery and Shared Shapes, is very happy to announce this immersive showcase festival, packing quite a bit of music into a 28 hour period.
Mark Flaum, IHM so this past weekend was the first official festival of the american electroacoustic underground, an organization too nebulous to qualify as loosely organize and kind of sort of sprouted from this board once upon a time. more specifically this festival recognized past and future pairings from the erstwhile records sublabel AEU. eight duos over two nights, plus an extended trio matinee on the second day.
the starting set was two of the original members of the AEU, richard kamerman and graham stephenson. graham performed on trumpet, and he started out melodic but soon moved on to breathy, bubbly sounds and low droney sounds. richard used metronomes and ran his fingers along a series of long wind chimes hung from a stand. richard also spoke, two extended readings that he had prepared for the night. the first was about the creation of the AEU, starting with a long IHM post by bhob rainey about the ways improvisation developing in america was unique and separate from the other scenes around the same time. the second reading was more timely still - relating his personal reaction to the Pulse shooting, and then reading the names of the victims. graham managed to match the gravity of the moment with subtle textures and whispers, and the room was wrapt.
the second set was the three exercises duo of devin disanto and nick hoffman. they set up across the table from each other, both with a variety of noisemakers. nick used a mostly his laptop but had some foil and other crinkly things as well. devin had a great deal of strange variety, though the featured parts were a punch clock, a button bell, and a switch that generated noise. nick seemed to be paying attention to devin's actions carefully, building a soundspace around him including white noises, intricate textures, and random-feeling digital noise bursts. devin's focus was quite different, though - he approached his performance like an office worker performing diligently. first stacking and binding punch cards and tallying each quantum with a noise and a bell. then diligently punching them all with more noise and bells. his focus never wavered, even when the box of punchcards fell from the desk during a transition. a surprisingly tight and responsive performance given the a-musical focus of half the presentation.
more in the morning. oh and richard's text in full can be read here at least for the time being.
the second half of day 1 is the haziest in my memory, mostly because 4 hour bus rides aren't supposed to take 7 hours and i'd actually never seen any of the performers live before. forgive me if my details are particularly poor.
the third set of the night was the duo of tim albro and aaron zarzutski. tim shares a recent erstAEU cd with tyler keen, and aaron's duo with graham stephenson was part of the initial batch of 3, but i have a feeling this was their first time playing together. tim had a guitar on a floor stand in the middle of his table, facing about 3/4 away from the audience and directly towards a small amp. he also had some sheets of metal, other objects, and a mixer on his table. aaron had sort of two separate sets of gear, a wooden block with a speaker cup and bowls and other little things, and then a folding table with some mysterious sort of home-made synthesizer, a little box of buttons. their set was full of textures, with the feedback of the stationary guitar modulated by the metal sheets, aaron's objects cracking and buzzing and his synth making strange burbles and bubbles. I particularly liked how decisively aaron set aside the wood block equipment to focus on the synthesizer. good set, and one i wish i could hear again because there were a lot of sounds i couldn't place at all.
and the final set of the night, anthony saunders and ian fraser. they're recent additions to the erstAEU roster, though anthony has been active for years (often as explosive improvised device, but under his own name and some other projects too) and ian has released a couple tapes recently and had a duo outing on the great homophoni digital label run by aeu co-founder david kirby. their equipment for the show was polarly opposed, with ian working mostly from his laptop with a couple of pedals and a mixer alongside, while anthony's table was almost entirely filled with a substantial synthesizer with a complicated spaghetti of patch cables, along with a few pedals of his own and other gear. this was the noisiest set of the first night, but it had a certain compactness, where both musicians seemed to recognize when their layers of loud textures and crush were just right and then back off abruptly, saunders even tossing down the little box that seemed to be seeding the rest of his sound. then, without quite resorting to silences between, the two would build again with different sounds and in different directions. and no point did they quite let loose into free noise, but the energy was enough to carry off a cathartic closure to the first night of music. (June 23, 2016)