Issue Project Room and WFMU present a month of collaborative concerts featuring: DJ Tony Coulter.
Tony Coulter has been on the radio in the New York City area continuously since 1985 — at one point, on three stations at once. His only excuse for hogging the airwaves is that he likes everything from Pierre Henry to America. He has also occasionally written about music for magazines such as Ear, i/e (later e/i), and the Rail. He has way too many records.
STERLING BASEMENT: Sterling Basement concerts are: 1) John Roach, John Hudak, Shawn Onsgard, Matthew Rohrer — Saturday September 13th, 2008: 8:00 p.m. :: $10
John Roach is a Brooklyn-based artist working in many media, including sculpture, video, installation, internet collaboration, and sound art. He is usually not happy unless he is jamming things together that don’t seem to fit. Collaboration is a key component of his work, as can be seen in the Free103.9 Wavefarm project Trailhead, realized with the artist James Rouvelle and poet Matthew Rohrer, as well as in his ongoing networked performance project Simultaneous Translation. His work has been exhibited at many venues at home and abroad, including Parkers Box in Brooklyn, Flux Factory in Queens, the Saint Stephen Museum and 2B Galeria in Hungary, and the ZAIM gallery in Yokohama, Japan.
Shawn Onsgard is a composer and performer currently developing an improvisatory solo piano repertoire that explores imbalanced harmonic structures inspired by Alexander Scriabin and Vijay Iyer. When not at the piano, he composes for all sound-producing things, from ice cream trucks, to hundred-meter piano wires, to snoring grandparents. His work, which explores politics, metaphor, narrative, and perception of space through sound, has been performed and exhibited internationally. Onsgard has collaborated with composers Anthony Braxton and Alvin Lucier, filmmakers Pierre Huyghe and Jane & Louise Wilson, choreographer Mollie O’Brien and media artists Woody Vasulka and Aaron Davidson & Melissa Dubbin.
Matthew Rohrer is the author of Rise Up (Wave Books, 2007) and A Green Light (Verse Press, 2004), which was shortlisted for the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize. He is also the author of Satellite (Verse Press, 2001), and co-author, with Joshua Beckman, of Nice Hat. Thanks. (Verse Press, 2002), and the audio CD Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He has appeared on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “The Next Big Thing.” His first book, A Hummock in the Malookas was selected for the National Poetry Series by Mary Oliver in 1994.
John Hudak has been interested in sound and music from the age of four, when he began to play a variety of instruments. At the University of Delaware (BA, English 1981) and Naropa Institute for the Arts (1979), he studied video, photography, creative writing, and dance. He then began to create taped soundtracks for his solo performance-art/dance pieces that later developed into sound-only pieces. In recent years, he has concentrated solely on sound, particularly natural sounds. Hudak’s current work focuses on the rhythms and melodies that exist in our daily aural environments. These sounds usually remain hidden, as we tend to overlook their musical qualities, or their musical qualities are obscured through mixture with other sounds. In simplified terms, what he is doing could be considered “re-framing what is already there so that it can be admired.”
In this performance, Sterling Basement presents an homage to the Gowanus Canal. The ensemble includes the multidisciplinary artist John Roach on his homemade Band-O-Fly instrument, sound artist John Hudak with homemade thumb pianos, pianist and composer Shawn Onsgard with his mockingbird Melodica, and the poet Matthew Rohrer delivering texts related to the once thriving shipping hub.
2. If Bwana and Michael Peters, sounds and texts
Since the 1980s, Al Margolis has earned an international reputation for his experimental music recorded under the name If, Bwana. Realized with a range of collaborators, If, Bwana music is a fusion of ambient, industrial, and musique concrete, featuring strange soundscapes that are both soothing and unnerving, often at the same time. Margolis has also been very active as the owner of two prolific labels, the cassette label Sound of Pig and, since the 1990s, Pogus Productions, a CD label with a focus on experimental contemporary classical music.
Michael Peters is the author of Vaast Bin (Calamari Press, Fall 2007). Various manifestations of his written-sound-images have appeared in journals and books like Sleepingfish, Word for/Word, LUNGFULL!, Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, SPELL, Spinning Jenny, and Richard Kostelanetz’s Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes. His visual poetic structures can be found in various special collection libraries like the Sackner Archive; they have also appeared in numerous galleries and anthologies, such as the recent Ohio State Visual Poetry in the Avant Writing Collection and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts’ Vispoeologee. Most notably with Poem Rocket and the Be Blank Consort, aural manifestations of his sounds have appeared on recording labels such as Atavistic, PCP Entertainment, Magic Eye, and Luna Bisonte Prods. This appearance at Issue Project Room will be his third collaboration with Al Margolis.