NewTown, L.A. FIlmforum & Cinefamily Present:
Blast Phemy! #3
A Mid-week Music/Media Mashup!
Rick Bahto, multi-projector 8mm & Luciano Chessa, composer/performer Eve Beglarian, composer & Anne Bray,
video & harpist, Susie Allen Jim Ovelmen, animation and banjo
- Where: Cinefamily • 611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles
- Date: Wednesday, April 14 • 8:00PM
- Admission: $13.00 • $9.00 NewTown, CInefamily & Filmforum Members
- Reservations: Box Office: (323) 655-2510 - Advance Ticket Purchase Recommended - BUY TICKETS HERE!
- Photographs: Available on Request
- Information & Photographs: Richard Amromin, Artistic Director, NewTown email@example.com (626) 398-9278
Show #3 in the Blast Phemy series features outstanding musical soloists performing new and cutting edge works seamlessly melded with a spectrum of media styles and techniques, including video montage, 3D animation and multi-projector 8mm film.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Luciano Chessa and Rick Bahto
As a composer, pianist, and musical saw / Vietnamese dan bau soloists, Luciano Chessa has been active in Europe, the U.S., and Australia. Among his compositions, it is worth mentioning a piano and percussion duet after Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Petrolio, written for Sarah Cahill and Chris Froh and presented in 2004 at the American Academy in Rome, Il pedone dell’aria for orchestra and double children choir, premiered in 2006 at the Auditorium of Turin's Lingotto and subsequently released on DVD, and two works in collaboration with artist Terry Berlier: Louganis for piano and TV/VCR combo and Inkless Imagination IV for viola, mini-bass musical saw, turntables, percussion, FM radios, blimp and video projection.
Recent premieres include a large orchestral work commissioned by the Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, Italy and titled Ragazzi incoscienti scarabocchiano sulla porta di un negozio fallito an.1902, and Movements, a multimedia work for 16mm film, dan bau and amplified film projectors produced in collaboration with filmmaker Rick Bahto. Chessa is currently working on the completion and staging of an oratorio titled Urlo impietrato, a scene of which has already been premiered in 2008 by Nicole Paiement and the Ensemble Parallele.
Through his label, Strawberry Hill Records, he has recently released three new recordings: Tom’s Heart for two-pianos-one player and video by Terry Berlier (DVD), Tryptique pour Gérard for quartet (CD), and Money is Money and Time is Time for Vietnamese dan bau (CD), which includes two pieces written in collaboration with LA-based singer Christine Morse.
His research on Italian Futurism, which he has presented and published internationally, has shown for the first time the occult relationship between Luigi Russolo’s intonarumori and Leonardo da Vinci’s mechanical noisemakers. He is currently working on Luigi Russolo Futurista. Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult the first monograph dedicated to Russolo and his Art of Noises, forthcoming by the University of California Press.
Chessa’s Futurist expertise has resulted in an invitation by RoseLee Goldberg, General Director of the New York-based Biennale of the Arts PERFORMA to direct the first complete reconstruction project of Russolo’s intonarumori, and to curate concerts of music specifically commissioned for this ensemble. The new intonarumori ensemble has been unveiled in October 2009 at San Francisco’s YBCA’s Novellus Theater and then presented in NYC’s Town Hall in November for PERFORMA 09, in concerts co-produced by PERFORMA and SFMOMA and featuring an impressive array of world premieres written by such composers and ensembles as Mike Patton, Ellen Fullman, Joan La Barbara, Text of Light, Blixa Bargeld, Pablo Ortiz, Ulrich Krieger, Elliott Sharp, Pauline Oliveros, among others. This production, hailed by the New York Times among the best events in the arts of 2009, also included Chessa’s L’acoustique ivresse, for bassvoice and intonarumori ensemble.
Trained at UC Davis and at both Bologna’s University and Conservatory, Chessa taught and lectured at various prestigious institutions including St. John’s College of Oxford, Columbia University, Sydney’s and Melbourne’s Conservatories and Universities, the Conservatory of Music in Bologna, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and EMPAC in the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has been interviewed by the CBS (KPIX/KBHK) television channel as an expert on Italian 1990s hip-hop and by the British BBC as Luigi Russolo’s foremost scholar. He currently teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and collaborates with SF’s Italian Cultural Institute. His music is published by RAI TRADE, the Italian National Broadcast Channels’ music publishing company.
Rick Bahto is an artist working with Super and standard 8mm film currently living in Los Angeles. His works have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Cinematheque, Chicago Filmmakers, Wolfart Projectspaces (Rotterdam), Director's Lounge (Berlin), Maria Pandora (Madrid) and at festivals including The 8 Fest (Toronto), Small Windows 8mm Film Festival (San Francisco), the Seoul Festival of Super 8 Experimental Film and the Experimental Film Today Conference (Preston, UK). He recently curated a program of films entitled Luminous Triptych, which he presented in San Francisco (at Artists' Television Access), Los Angeles (at Echo Park Film Center) and Phoenix (at Deus Ex Machina Gallery, with No Festival Required). This year he will be teaching several Super 8 filmmaking, hand-processing and in-camera editing workshops at the Echo Park Film Center.
Anne Bray, Eve Beglarian with Susie Allen
Composer and Performer Eve Beglarian, according to the Los Angeles Times, “is a humane, idealistic rebel and a musical sensualist.” She recently completed a journey down the Mississippi River by kayak and bicycle, which is documented on her RiverBlog.
Beglarian's music has been commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the American Composers Orchestra, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the California EAR Unit, and the Paul Dresher Ensemble. She has also worked extensively in theater, with directors Lee Breuer (Mabou Mines) and Chen Shi Zheng; in dance, with Ann Carlson, Victoria Marks, Susan Marshall, and David Neumann, and with visual and video artists Cory Arcangel, Anne Bray, Barbara Hammer, and Shirin Neshat.
Recordings of Eve's music are available on Koch, New World, Cantaloupe, Accurate Distortion, Atavistic, Innova, Kill Rock Stars, and Naxos.
Anne Bray has been working at the intersection of public art and media art since the mid '70s as an artist, teacher and administrator. Video projection is her usual medium. As an artist and curator she exhibits temporary installations combining personal and social positions via video, audio, flat and 3-d screens at museums, galleries, gas stations, malls, movie theaters, on TV, in department stores, on billboards. She has produced public art projects funded by Public Art Fund, NY Avant Garde Festival, LACE, among others, and mixed media installations at Santa Monica Museum of Art, Banff Centre and Art & Eco Triennial in Maribor Slovenia. In 2010 she is showing her videos at Stanford Lively Arts, Newtown at Cinefamily, Pasadena Art Alliance and next year at the Getty Villa and Montalvo Arts Center, each in collaboration with postmininalist composer Eve Beglarian. This year she is also showing artists' videos at LACMA Late Night, Occidental College, GLOW art festival in Santa Monica and permanently installing video art at LAX airport on 80+ screens. As a lecturer, she teaches graduate seminars in the new genre arts at Claremont Graduate University plus public art and multimedia at University of Southern California.
Susan Allen is widely known for her premiere performances of new music for harp throughout the U.S., Canada, South America, Australia and Europe.
She has appeared on the NBC Today Show, National Public Radio with the Vermeer String Quartet, New York Philharmonic's Horizons Series, Carnegie, Weill, Alice Tully, Merkin and Symphony Space halls in New York, the Kitchen, the Smithsonian Institute, Gaudeamus Contemporary Music Week in the Netherlands, the Ferienkurse fur Neue Musik in Darmstadt, Germany and the Festival de Caracas, Venezuela.
With jazz great Yusef Lateef she performed at the Los Angeles Festival, the Verona Jazz Festival in Italy, the World Music Institute's Concert Series in New York, the Jazz Bakery, and the Jazz and Blues All-Star Festival in Stockholm, Sweden. Susan performs on the concert harp, the electric harp and the Kayagum (Korean zither).
Susan has performed and toured with SONOR, Composers in Red Sneakers, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Musica Viva, Speculum Musicae, and many orchestras. She has been active in studio recording in the Los Angeles area for Universal, Paramount, and Warner Brothers. She received grants from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, the Massachusetts Arts Council and the Gaudeamus Foundation. She has lectured internationally on both the harp and music pedagogy and has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Her records are on the Flying Fish, Black Saint/Soul Note, 1750 Arch, Meta, Vox, Galaxia, Nonesuch, and Opal/Warner Brothers labels.
Play Nice, the musical composition, was written for harpist Elizabeth Panzer in 1997 by Eve Beglarian but it has also be played by one (or two) people on toy piano, midi keyboard, and cimbalom. It appears on 2 CDs: Twisted Tutu's and Dancing in Place. Anne Bray discovered the piece and Eve Beglarian in the early 2000s in New York City. Starting this year with this piece, Anne and Eve are beginning to connect Eve's music with Anne's ambient videos. This work just screened at Stanford's Lively Arts.
When Elizabeth Panzer asked Eve for a harp piece, Eve decided to work with a sweet redemptive pattern she had written as an underscore for an audiobook production of “Gerald’s Game,” one of Stephen King’s more horrific novels. The resulting piece is totally diatonic, doesn’t even require two octaves, uses standard minimalist variation techniques, and in virtually every way plays nice, but it’s actually a mean little thing.
The video's structure of forward and reversal parallels the music's even though the video is running at 10 percent of normal speed with additional undulation effects. The original scene involved two shepherds on cell phones in western Ireland coordinating traffic and the transfer of a herd of sheep from one field to another.
Digitization is allowing for new mergers of time and space in between categories and hierarchies such as nature and culture, which Bray and Beglarian wish to collapse with the new available tools.
Until it Blazes (2001) is an amplified solo for keyboard or guitar with live processing, but it has been performed on flute, vibes, and other instruments as well. The work has six patterns which repeat and overlap on the three still and moving images. One still image is of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, which is divided between men and women. The second was taken by turning around at the same spot and is a portrait of a soldier heading home on his sabbath leave. The moving image is an Irishman trying to make some progress in a rowboat. Until It Blazes is April 15th in Eve's ongoing project, “A Book of Days”. The text is from the Gospel of Thomas: Jesus said, "I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes."
Jim Ovelmen is a visual artist living in Los Angeles. While often mixing drawing, painting, sculpture and animation, he creates multi-media work. Themes in his work often present humanitarian and idiosyncratic messages relevant to our societal insecurities and pathologies . His work has been exhibited at galleries and museums nationally and internationally, including Torrance Museum of Art, L.A.C.E., Cirrus Gallery, Hayworth Gallery, Kristi Engle Gallery, and Christine Koenig in Vienna. He is also Assistant Professor of Art at California State University Los Angeles.
“Queens of Sorrow” overall, is a meditation on the paradoxically opulent and dreary interiors of a Gilded Age mansion of Astor/Vanderbilt proportions. The animation shows a kind of interplay of the inscrutable self-isolation and mindless frolicking and eroticism of characters trapped inside the mansion. A foil to this merry indulgence is a solemn character whose creation was inspired by the late country-folk singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt. He takes a seated place in the mansion, strumming his guitar in the window-place while his partner takes skyward shots at a hidden target from his Winchester rifle. There are cinematic influences entering the piece including Luis Buñuel's "The Exterminating Angel", and also from “Be Here to Love Me” a popular documentary about Townes Van Zandt. Drawings are cast in a time and motion-based form, there is motive of hijacking identity and knowledge and storing into, and questioning, fiction. For me, it is the heartbreaking knowledge of loss and competition with material presence, exploiting the aesthetic-language excess and exuberance of the “Gilded Age” period to reflect upon our own time. Upon the nature of theatrically, the sublime, and spiritual idea of being completely freed from material and responsibility, I am using the form of time, narrative and animation to communicate these ideas.
NewTown strives to make people aware that contemporary art forms are innovative, accessible, enjoyable and important parts of society's fabric. NewTown often defines itself as “a laboratory for innovative presentational formats.” The goals of these formats are to bring new audiences to today’s cutting-edge art, while providing artists with new and challenges contexts in which to make new art. NewTown has brought new art works and new art forms to an estimated 171,000 people, many of whom had never encountered "experimental" art, with many of the events free and in public spaces; been a leading advocate for small, grassroots arts organizations; and maintained minimal administrative costs, so over 85% of all memberships, grants and ticket sales go directly to artists and event production.
About Los Angeles Filmforum
Filmforum was incorporated in 1975 to promote a greater understanding of film as an art form and the filmmaker as an artist by providing a forum for independently produced, experimental films, which have little opportunity of reaching the general public through normal channels of commercial distribution. Presenting approximately 45 screenings annually, Filmforum is currently the only venue in Southern California dedicated exclusively to the ongoing, non-commercial exhibition of independent, experimental, and progressive cinema. Filmforum facilitates cross-cultural dialogue by collaborating with other arts organizations to bring alternative media into traditionally underserved communities and to bring work from those communities to its regular venue. This geographically-diverse, multi-site programming also encourages shared audiences among arts organizations. Filmforum encourages the production of diverse independent media art. Through its eclectic series of in-person screenings and workshops, Filmforum provides the inspiration, models, and information necessary for the production and distribution of new work by local and emerging artists. Filmforum champions the dual imperatives of aesthetic and cultural diversity as necessary components for 1) enriching the art form and 2) assuring inclusive, democratic participation in social discourse. Filmforum provides valuable exposure for local artists. Its First Sight Scene series features new work by artists in the formative stages of their careers, in a format highlighting new ideas and aesthetics emerging in our evolving city. Retrospectives of work by major figures in the history of alternative media are complimented by thematically-based programs combing works of all generations.
The Cinefamily is an organization of movie lovers devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films. The Cinefamily’s goal is to foster a spirit of community and a sense of discovery, while reinvigorating the movie-going experience. Like campfires, sporting events and church services, we believe that movies work best as social experiences. They are more meaningful, funnier and scarier when shared with others. Our home is the Silent Movie Theatre, one of Hollywood’s most beloved and beautiful cultural landmarks. There, The Cinefamily will provide a destination spot for Los Angelenos and others to rediscover the pleasures of cinema. Built in 1942 by John and Dorothy Hampton, The Silent Movie Theatre ran for decades as the only fully functioning silent movie theatre in the country. It has been fully restored to its original, vintage 1940s art deco design, along with a brand new screen and sound system, to help a new generation enjoy the pleasures of cinema in a beautiful theater.