srijeda, 26. veljače 2014.

Rogelio A. González - Conquistador de la Luna (1960)

Meksički film iz 16. stoljeća o ljudima nasukanima na Mjesecu i njihovim podsvjesnim kontaktima s lokalnim urođenicima.

Comedian Clavillazo and the daughter of a rocket scientist get trapped on a rocket and shot to the moon to be met by a giant foaming eyeball, a giant squirting brain and a strange race of frog people that resemble the Sleestak from Land of the Lost tv show.

Christopher Tignor - Thunder Lay Down in the Heart (2014) + Wires Under Tension + Slow Six + Lymbyc Systym

Klasika+elektronika. Komorni prostorni poremećaji za liječenje mozga na tumoru.

Christopher Tignor's development as a composer, musician, and conceptualist takes another step forward on Thunder Lay Down in the Heart, the second full-length issued under his own name and the follow-up to 2009's Core Memory Unwound. And while it is a solo release as opposed to an outing by one of the outfits with which he's associated, Slow Six and Wires Under Tension, it's hardly one that excludes the involvement of others. Tignor's music often plays like formal classical composition charged with indie-rock energy; in that regard, it's worth noting that in addition to his classical training and academic background, Tignor at one time mixed live sound for acts at the New York clubs Brownies and the now-defunct CBGB's. He's also applied his computer science studies toward developing software for processing sounds, software that's in turn been incorporated into his music-making. Put that all together and you've got a rich mine from which to draw, the result of which clearly shows itself during the recording's forty-four minutes.
The opener, “A Boy,” not only takes its inspiration from a 1956 poem by John Ashbery but also features the Pulitzer Prize winner reading the poem against a keening string backdrop provided by Tignor's violin and Michael Unterman's cello. Though brief, it's a stirring and crepuscular setting that one might mistake for a Kronos Quartet piece were it presented as part of a blindfold test. A natural through-line is created from “A Boy” to the three-part, twenty-minute setting that follows, with a line from the poem being selected as the title of the composition as well as the album title. A bravura work for string orchestra, electronics, and drums, “Thunder Lay Down in the Heart” is realized by the Boston-based string orchestra A Far Cry, Wires Under Tension drummer Theo Metz, and Tignor, who's credited with memory machines. It's here, specifically in the first part, where we witness his bold marriage of classical playing and electronics, with the flutter of the former accompanied by a babbling brook generated by the latter. In part one, Persian-tinged string melodies establish a dream-like character, after which ostinato patterns appear to introduce a minimalism flavour before drumming adds a heavier kick; minimalism's spirit bleeds over into the second part, this time inflected with a post-rock feel courtesy of the drum patterns, while the third opts for a nachtmusik feel, with string shudders again invoking minimalism, this time of the Reich-styled kind (with ties to LaMonte Young and Philip Glass part of his personal history, Tignor comes by his minimalism connection honestly, by the way).
At this stage of the recording, the aforementioned through-line reappears again albeit in different form, with a solo Tignor electronically reinterpreting the title piece into “The Listening Machines” and “To Draw a Perfect Circle.” Working from the tapes of the collective's rendering of “Thunder Lay Down in the Heart,” Tignor generates two remixes, the first of which pulsates at full steam for eleven dramatic minutes and the second a rather less bruising yet still hypnotic reverie by comparison. Perpetuating that plaintive tone, the album's closing piece sees Tignor and Rachel Grimes (of Rachel's renown) collaborating on “First, Impressions,” a remix of “Thunder Lay Down in the Heart I” that focuses its attention primarily on the original's exotic melodies. 
In the past, the New York-based violinist has shown himself to be a generous soul in contributing violin playing and string arranging (both live and in the studio) to This Will Destroy You, John Congleton's Nighty Nite, and Lymbyc Systym, and obviously carries on the tradition by involving multiple others in the creative process on this latest excellent collection. Returning to where we started, Ashbery's poem includes a father saying to his son, “My child, I love any vast electrical disturbance.” Certainly characterizing Thunder Lay Down in the Heart as a “vast electrical disturbance” of its own particular kind wouldn't be too far off the mark. -

"…Tignor creates a muttered hum of activity that burbles at the fringes of an internally focused halo of sustained, glowing chords, and the effect is powerful." NPR

"Listening is like slipping into a warm aural bath..." WIRE

"Tignor's gently evocative postminimalist reveries prove one of the year's most pleasant surprises." TIME OUT NEW YORK

 "Each (song) has its own breath and life, and moves with a spirit that feels like a wise and aged soul...the music becomes more lovely with every replay." – BRAINWASHED

It is the quality of uniqueness that appears most elusive in music today. Much of what is ‘new’ seems either palpably derivative of a specific artist or to exhibit the more discrete influence of genre or era. Uniqueness only seems to approach – even in this case cautiously keeping its distance – with the amalgamation of previously disparate styles. Much like Jung’s Collective Unconscious theory, new musical output is arguably more the consequence of what is inherited – on a societal as well as personal level – than anything else. This inheritance is simply adjusted to become something else.
The concept of adjustment is woven throughout the multi-layered Thunder Lay Down in the Heart, whose provenance lies in the 1950s with the penning of a poem, “A Boy”, by the then little-known US poet, John Ashbery. It is the second release from Christopher Tignor, a violinist and member of two bands as well as a live sound mixer, engineer and inventor of music software to ‘performatively transform live sound’. As a careerist in creating then manipulating sound, Tignor’s latest work is imbued with a nuance of self-portrayal – as shall become evident.
Borrowing the poem’s title, the succinct opening track is dominated by Ashbery himself reading “A Boy” aloud – its surreal, metaphor-laden imagery lent heightened drama and pathos by rhythmic swells from Tignor’s violin, dying on the closing line, ‘An unendurable age’. Superficial research informs that the piece concerns America’s past treatment of homosexuality in young men and attempts to link it to schizophrenia, deeming such people to be maladjusted. So the concept’s stem is perceived.
The LP takes its title from a line in the poem, and shares it with the album’s centrepiece: a 20-minute arrangement in three parts performed by the Boston string ensemble, A Far Cry. Divorced from a traditional symphony, however, “Thunder Lay Down in the Heart” welcomes electronics, beats and a drum kit over the strings to shift the whole more towards contemporary soundtracking from the likes of Hans Zimmer. That such disparate elements are introduced and withdrawn in seamless ways that build atmosphere and dynamic is testament to Tignor’s experienced handling of these instruments in diverse environments. There is a patience to the first movement of part one, as dissonant and competing strings are eventually cajoled into unified melody over half-way through by the steady blip of electronics. The drum kit that enters over six minutes in is far from a textural, timpani-esque addition – it propels the piece to its euphoric and dynamic crescendo with a strident, almost pedestrian 3/4 rhythm decorated with tight cello stabs and punctuating a swaying violin ostinato. This section recurs and develops in part two, and epitomises the work’s effortless coalescence of multiple genres (in this instance, modern composition and post-rock).
The album’s ‘side B’ extends the theme of adjustment, presenting a trio of pieces from three to 11 minutes long whose sounds are entirely derived from the centrepiece. Not so much remixed as reimagined. The first two offer artefacts from Tignor’s past work with ambient- and electronica-tinged bands such as This Will Destroy You and Lymbyc Systym. In fact, “The Listening Machines” transports us farther back with a Pink Floyd-esque pulsing synth texture anchoring a high, diaphanous presence almost brass-like, yet presumably of bowed origin. Industrial-sounding beats that build with the synths distort the listener’s perception of this soundscape, creating wonderful anachronism within the amalgamation. Sounds beckoned from their habitat and repurposed for a different place, a new time. “First, Impressions”, the final piece, bookends the collaborative spirit of the record, presenting a reinterpretation co-produced with Rachel’s composer, Rachel Grimes.
‘Driven from Dallas and Oregon, always whither,
Why not now?
This salient line from the poem questions the need to always be on the move, forever looking ahead, when we should embrace the present. Thunder Lay Down… delves into the past and shines the present onto it. In doing so, an historic breadcrumb trail is created. And so we learn that “The Boy” is said to have been inspired by Ashbery’s watching of an early ‘50s film, The Red Badge of Courage, which itself was an adaptation of a book written in the 1890s. What further progenitors could there be to draw this remarkable work further back into the mist?

The wheel of musical inheritance trundles on, bearing its load of inspiration to new generations. An overlooked poem given fresh prominence to a new audience; a work inspired that captures the musical zeitgeist of different decades, and that graces it with the hallmarks of this time. The work is acutely – proudly – aware of its position within a grander artistic narrative. At its close, the pen that Tignor used to scribe is passed onto another, and his chapter in this absorbing story is complete. - Chris Redfearn

Core Memory Unwound (2009)

Christopher Tignor – Core Memory Unwound

spaceLast Thought at Night play(excerpt)
Last Nights on Eagle Street
Meeting in a Colored Shadow play(excerpt)
Core Memory Unwound play(excerpt)
Meeting in a Colored Shadow2
Left in Fragments play(excerpt)
Cathedral (pt. 1)
Cathedral (pt. 2) play(excerpt)

For years ” Slow Six ” band-leader, composer, and software designer Christopher Tignor has performed with his signature software instruments alongside fellow band members, sampling and transforming their live performances in accordance with his meticulous, emotionally-charged scores.
On Core Memory Unwound, his debut under his given name, he brings his software to the forefront alongside some of his most intimate compositions for violin and piano.
A record dealing with memory, both metaphorically and literally, these intimate tone poems for violin and piano are each presented in two forms, once in their original acoustic state, and then as a ” memory portrait ” through Tingor’s live performances on his signature software instruments, creating new works from samples of these performances taken on the fly. -

Christopher Tignor is a bona fide triple threat: he's an accomplished violinist, formally trained composer, and custom software designer (Mnemonica, MØØP, StreamSequencer). In addition, the New York-based Tignor not only releases innovative solo albums—2009's Core Memory Unwound and 2014's Thunder Lay Down in My Heart (both on Western Vinyl)—but has issued multiple full-lengths by his Slow Six ensemble (2004's Private Times in Public Places, 2007's Nor'easter, and 2010's Tomorrow Becomes You) and Wires Under Tension, his duo outfit with drummer Theo Metz (2011's Light Science, 2012's Replicant). The visionary manner by which Tignor integrates software into his musical practice is indicative of the imagination he brings to his work: in Slow Six, he samples and transforms the musicians' playing in real time, while Core Memory Unwound finds him presenting each piece twice, first in an acoustic arrangement for violin and piano and the second a ‘memory portrait' whereby custom software is used to generate a new version using live performance samples. Even more audacious is Tignor's latest release, Thunder Lay Down in My Heart, which includes a poem-based setting (featuring John Ashbery), a three-part work featuring the Boston-based string orchestra A Far Cry, electronic re-imaginings by Tignor, and an album-closing collaboration with Rachel Grimes (of Rachel's fame). Recently we had the pleasure of speaking with Tignor about the new album, his past association with LaMonte Young, influences, current listening, and future plans.
01. The press release for Thunder Lay Down in My Heart mentions that you worked in the ‘90s for LaMonte Young as an assistant. What was the experience like and did the association have a lasting impact upon you both personally and in your artistic approach? And is there still a relationship between the two of you?
I worked for LaMonte and his wife Marian for a couple of years right out of college. How best to describe the experience? It was certainly eye-opening and for a young artist meeting one of the founders of minimalism, certainly life-changing. LaMonte and Marian are incredible, giving people in so many ways, and I'll always be grateful for how they let me into their lives even for that brief window. While preparing their meals, fetching their laundry, and soldering broken fans back together (used to cool amplifiers), I overheard some great music and spent a lot of great evenings surrounded by the drones and colored shadows of their “Dreamhouse” installation on the floor above their loft in Tribeca.
They live an uncompromising lifestyle, the most well-known example perhaps being their extended twenty-eight-hour days (six in a week), phasing in and out with the rest of us.
The story I like best of all about LaMonte and Marian is how they were offered a deal with CBS in 1969 to record themselves singing drones over the sound of the Atlantic ocean—the waves crashing ashore. CBS funded this whole expensive session and then LaMonte and Marian decided they didn't like how the ocean came out and needed to redo it. CBS said they wouldn't do that, but LaMonte and Marian held their ground and CBS pulled the plug. I'm sure they knew that record could have exposed them early on to a much wider audience, but they were uncompromising in their aesthetics. You have to respect that—one of more punk rock moments in modern music, in my opinion. I haven't spoken to either of them in many years. I truly hope they are well.
02. The new recording also has much to do with associations of varying kinds. How did it come about that John Ashbery ended up recording a reading of his poem “A Boy” in his Chelsea apartment? Is he someone you've known a long time or is he someone you contacted with this recording specifically in mind?
I studied with John at Bard College when I was an undergrad there long ago. In fact, he was my advisor; at the time I was a creative writing major, though I was also involved in much electronic music, among other things. The poem came back to me years later while writing “Thunder Lay Down in the Heart,” and that line rang out as a title. I thought it would be a fantastic full circle to collaborate with John on a setting for this poem, written in the ‘50s that I then absorbed into my own work so many years later. Luckily, he was quite into how it came out. I admit, part of me was worried it could go the other way. I had a great chat with him the day we recorded it, which probably helped guide my sensibilities in a few subtle ways.
03. On the three-part title piece, you're credited with ‘memory machines.' Could you clarify what that means with respect to your contribution(s) to the piece?
I build software instruments that transform the sound of live performers in an attempt to create a new voice tangibly linked to the performers. I approach these processes by trying to get at what the 'essence' of a particular passage or texture might be that really interests me and use the electronics to dig that out of it and elaborate upon it, transforming it into something new. At the beginning of the title work, the string orchestra performs with a bowing technique I call 'elliptic bowing' that uses a circular gesture to create an airy sound that explores the overtones of the string. I wanted to dig deep into these overtones and see if I couldn't use them rhythmically, because the original playing is so arrhythmic—I thought the contrast would be an exciting why to rethink this technique in combination with the source. The result to me sounds like a sort of tanbura, maybe with some electronic tabla in there…
Because these electronic 'voices' are always derived from re-imagining events in the past, immediate or otherwise, I think of them as engaging tangibly with memory, sometimes over great distances. A digital computer's most defining aspect is its ability to store, to remember. I'll stop there...
04. The press info also describes “The Listening Machines” and “To Draw a Perfect Circle” as ‘electronic reminaginings and remixes' of the three-part title piece. Could you elaborate on exactly what you did to the original material to create the two related pieces?
There were many processes involved in each of these works. I tend to hone in on small gestures that pop out to me and build new pieces around them. “The Listening Machines” begins with a series of violin harmonics stacked in fourths that I slowed down by half. I used their resonances to create out-of-sync loops with very rough edges, so when the seam comes around you really hear the attack, like a bell. So basically I'm picking and choosing elements that I'm drawn to and that I think will make a new, compelling story.
The same is true for “To Draw a Perfect Circle,” but here I really wanted to explore how loops made from the soloist sections and then sped up could be used to build enveloping textures that sort of play with time a bit. I'm also playing with the sounds of “metal” versus the warm sounds of the bowed string in much of this work. To this end I dug deep into the percussion takes, likewise stealing phrases here and there that might speak to what I'd already stolen from the orchestra. It's an ongoing process of poaching and letting the sounds tell you what they need to feel whole in the new world you've built for them.
05. Please forgive one final reference to the info accompanying the album. Given that it cites figures such as John Adams, Aaron Copland, John Luther Adams, and William Basinski as reference points, I'm curious as to what part those artists in particular had to play in the album material.
There are so many artists that influence a work of this scale; I'd sort of take lists like that with a bit of a grain of salt. That being said…I've always admired John Adams' take on minimalism and his down-to-earth approach toward popular musical influences. There's a lot of both of that in this record, I think.
The first time this piece was performed it had a conductor and he made the connection in the first big melodic arc of the piece to Aaron Copland. I couldn't deny it. Those chromatic-friendly, rhythmically propelled themes do have that vibe.
John Luther Adams' beautiful sense of space, darkness, and mood has always rung true with me. I'd like to think the last section of the piece, amidst all its huge, stacked waves shares a kinship. Listening to Luther Adams' work has more than once made me think: hey, why not move to a really cold, isolated part of Alaska (or somewhere) and just light the place up with beautiful, loud textures all night?
William Basinski's dissolving tape loops share a sense of sadness (decay) as process and the pastoral that I think the middle section of the work benefits from. While the music doesn't dissolve (it is a work for live string orchestra), the electronics do often 'smear' the original roles in service of evolving transformation, an aspect I think he'd embrace.
06. Are there any composers and works, contemporary or otherwise, that you're particularly drawn to at the moment (what's on your iPod in other words)? And while you're working on a recording project, do you prevent yourself from listening to certain works or composers so as to avoid being overly influenced by them, or do you not worry about being so?
I am pretty protective of my musical psyche while writing. That said, if I refused to listen to other people's music while writing I'd never hear anyone else's music. But a lot of the time, I'll be listening to something because I think it specifically connects with a musical problem I'm trying to solve myself—research basically.
To that end I've been listening to a lot of Palestrina and early church music as well as religious music from other cultures. A bunch of Javanese Gamelan and Hindustani classical music and some online videos of the Muslim (Adhan) call to prayer.
I also heard Andrew Mckenna Lee's The Knells recently, which I quite enjoyed. Very strong compositions that sound so much like Andrew's distinctive voice. The performances and production are equally great.
07. Given your apparent interest in playing in multiple different contexts and with different people, I'm wondering if there are any artists with whom you'd most like to collaborate on some future project.
I'm mostly interested in pushing myself into music into new territories. I always enjoy working with choreographers and dancers if the fit is right, though there's always a bunch of logistical challenges that always seem to be news to them, so patience is required. Merce Cunningham and his studio's work is one I've always admired.
I can see finding a good fit with more poetry collaborations too. Again it's about much more than whether we like one another's work and more along the lines as to whether we think our work might resonate well together. (Do you have Mark Strand's number?)
08. Though in recent years you've appeared on recordings by Wires Under Tension and Lymbyc Systym, it's been about four years since the last Slow Six album Tomorrow Becomes You. Is the group still active and if so when might the next recording see the light of day?
Slow Six did a great show a few years back at the Ecstatic Music Festival when A Far Cry first played “Thunder Lay Down in the Heart.” I also created arrangements for AFC to play with Slow Six as well as This Will Destroy You who also performed that night. It's going to be hard to top that I think. These days I've been focusing on work under my own name, and doing more and more composing for other ensembles. But my crystal ball is busted—you can't be positive what's around the corner.
09. What's your take on the current classical-electronic field, which seems richer and more populated today than it's ever been? Do you feel some sense of vindication, given that Slow Six was creating a classical-electronic fusion years ago that was anomalous then but has become more commonplace today?
It's true that a Slow Six show was a very novel combination of elements in NYC's club scene, and thus probably almost anywhere, at the beginning of the millennium. It's also true that those superficial aspects—classical instrumentation side by side with rock instruments and laptops (I had to bring a desktop to shows for years; laptops weren't powerful enough)—is now pretty ubiquitous. But I think there's a bunch of deeper issues that Slow Six brought to the table that I see such bands struggling with. Rachel Grimes and I had some interesting chats about this: combining the act of composition with a culture of popular musicianship that expects to invent—and thereby 'own'—their own parts is a bit of a trick, to put it mildly. This extends into all sorts of both musical and extra-musical issues.
Slow Six was always a live band first and foremost. Part of our thing was that it could all be done in front of you; it was a living culture of people making music together, not some work-for-hire studio fabrication. Music now more than ever is a studio culture, and it's a different thing to just get your friend who plays cello to guest on your record (I've done this myself). Can you get that same guy to rehearse with you for like nine months before playing the work live? To me that's exciting. It's a slippery slope that is not for the faint of heart, and makes such bands much more likely to be studio projects first with a writer or two surrounded by hired guns for the live show. How that changes the musical results is its own, case-by-case question for each of us, I guess.
10. What other projects—recordings, touring dates, guest appearances—are currently on your horizon?
Alexander Turnquist has his first record coming out on Western Vinyl this spring I played violin on. It really sounds great with a wide range of instrumentation that really adds colour.
Right now I'm taking on a challenge I've never attempted in all my days behind the wheel: building a truly 'solo' set. So I've been holing up, building some new hybrid electro-acoustic instruments, getting a bit of carpal tunnel from playing too much violin, and writing and burning a lot of music. It's a bit of a war. I'm constantly evaluating while playing whether this is the person I want to be on stage, whether this is what I think I want to say with my own hands at this point in my life. It's sounding like church music for agnostics, I must say. I'm variously resisting and giving in to instincts—constant personal revisioning. -


Wires Under Tension

Wires.Under.Tension is a duo based in The South Bronx. Combining homegrown audio sampling instruments with ferocious beats and adventurous orchestration, WUT's angular gymnastics reflect the raw imagery of their home turf. Multi-instrumentalist Christopher Tignor switches dexterously between violin and the rest of the arsenal while Theo Metz extracts brutal truths from the kit. Together WUT is rethinking what instrumental music can be about when musicianship and restless experimentation rule the scene.


Light Science

For nearly thirteen years Christopher Tignor lived in the 3-story commercial space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where he conceived and practiced with his band Slow Six. In 2008, thanks to a tipped off fire marshal, a move was inevitable, and the walls had to come down. Drastic measures would be necessary in order to keep making music on his own terms - living completely immersed in his studio and practice space. Step one was relocating to the Mott Haven neighborhood of The Bronx. Far removed from an overwhelming hipster scene he had never connected with, he found himself surrounded by the working-class grit and intensity typically associated with The South Bronx. The new musical landscape Wires Under Tension creates uncannily echoes this transition.
Charged with the desolation of a Mad Max dystopia, the songs on Wires Under Tension's debut Light Science form a narrative in motion from lightness to darkness. The band's name reflects the duo's ongoing struggle to balance this tension as they wrestle with an unpredictable and unforgiving machine of their own making. The wordless voices of horns and violin feel like lightning riding a stormy sea of drums and drones. That lightning illuminates the duo's muscular rhythms, formidable dynamic, and unique musicianship. As they beckon us into their storm, they seem to effortlessly sidestep the cliches found in much of today's instrumental music, delivering exciting and mysterious gems from their unique netherworld.


In the 1940s, frustrated with the limitations of the human players at his disposal, Conlon Nancarrow started writing music for the player piano, an instrument that could "perform" his difficult and complex rhythmic pieces with precision and consistency. Similar to Nancarrow's early experiments with sequencing, Christopher Tignor's compositions on the new Wires Under Tension album Replicant use machines to create "impossible" scenes that confound and intrigue our mind's ear. With a battery of custom built software instruments, samples, and 7 live lopers, Tignor and master percussionist Theo Metz saturate our senses with new colors reflecting the urgent vitality of their South Bronx neighborhood. At times the two seem to lock talons like eagles in a death spiral, as Metz's brutal percussive athleticism keeps pace with Tignor's machines in an aural game of chicken.
Inspired by Philip K Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and its filmic adaption, Blade Runner Replicant takes on the questions of mechanized identity, the feeling of flawed copies, and the inescapable bummer of being too self-aware. Throughout the album, Tignor and Metz lean into the impossible musical moments, challenging the identity of what this music is and where it comes from. As the mechanized forces hybridize with the duo's live performance, new musical identities with their own evolving culture emerge within a landscape that does not, and simply cannot, differentiate between where the programming ends and expressive intent begins. The uncountable grooves on the title track "Replicant", the optimistically insistent violin arpeggios on tracks like "Crystal Beaches", and the ghostly collages of AM radio voices heard throughout the album…all sounds that must have been programed, but continue to echo their acoustic roots, anchoring the entire sonic landscape to something sentient, that feels like it's anything but programmed.
The inspiration and experiences that led Tignor to write Replicant are directly tied to his employment history and educational background. His undergraduate degree in Literature, Masters in Computer Science, and PhD in Music Composition are all reflected in Replicant's thematic and technical underpinnings. Prior to his current job as a software engineer for Google, he held a number of interesting jobs including working as LaMonte Young's personal assistant, an EMT, a sound engineer at CBGB, a bike messenger, and has had the opportunity to handle live sound for artists including Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, and Patti Smith. Listening to Replicant, it's interesting to contemplate how each of these experiences have made their mark on the man and the Replicant.

"Like Tortoise fueled by Hot 97, the cycling minimalist rhythms of violinist Christopher Tignor and drummer Theo Metz are more a suckerpunch than a slow boil, aiming straight for the chiming, resonant and anthemic..."– Village Voice [read more here]

"Light Science ends up being purely genius....fresh and unique, a brilliant light amidst all of the other dull groups who are generating “the same old thing.” Intriguing instruments and effects are used and combined to produce music that cannot be categorized."– Consequence of Sound [read more here]

"Absurdly talented duo Theo Metz and Christopher Tignor's hypnotic instrumental sprawl winds and curves in on itself, sounding like a romantic promenade jaunt for replicants."– The Guardian UK

"...Light Science casts dizzy spells on par with Andrew Bird's collaborations with Dosh."– Austin Powell, The Austin Chronicle [read more here]

" innovative new approach to sound."– RCRD LBL [read more here]

" of the most exciting new albums to emerge from the city in the last year."– NY Daily News [read more here]

" for a new era."– All Music Guide [read more here]

"a dense, fluid collection that retains consistency thanks to Metz’s steady rhythms. Electro-mechanical piano, clavinet, and synthesizers mesh with loops and samples to round out an impressive first release" – Alarm Press [read more here]

"Wires Under Tension is truly a study in dichotomy; the compositions on Light Science waver between acoustic and electronic, funky and brooding, organic and processed, primitive and visionary….this is music far too circuitous to fit neatly into any post-rock definition."– DOA [read more here]

"...grooving...violin-and-saxophone death trip." – Vice

"With their mostly instrumental, lusciously arranged tracks and recurring references to eastern melodies, this band sounds like a more electronic, sober and cinematic version of Ozric Tentacles - which in my limited knowledge of the genre is the most awesome prog rock band ever existed after pioneers King Krimson."
– The Deli NYC [read more here]

"An over-zealous administering of subgenre descriptions will only serve to befuddle those who spend time with Light Science, because its staggering magnitude of creativity can’t be limited by silly titles like experimental-rock or post-neo-classical..[a] mindblowing release."– Silent Ballet [read more here]

"...a total sound revolution within the indie stratosphere."– ZapTown [read more here]

slow six

Slow Six

Slow Six are a classical crossover group based in New York City and led by composer/violinist Christopher Tignor. They released their debut album, Private Times in Public Places, on Western Vinyl on April 29, 2004, then switched to the classical label New Albion for their second, Nor'easter, released on July 31, 2007. By the time of their third album, Tomorrow Becomes You, which found them back on Western Vinyl, they were a quintet consisting of Tignor, Rob Collins on Fender Rhodes electric piano, Stephen Griesgraber on guitar, Ben Lively on violin, and Theo Metz on drums. – All Music Guide

"If you can imagine a dream collaboration between Philip Glass, Miles Davis, Cluster, and Battles, you might
have some idea of what Slow Six is capable of...9/10" - Foxy Digitalis

"Each (song) has its own breath and life, and moves with a spirit that feels like a wise and aged soul...
the music becomes more lovely with every replay." - Brainwashed

"A masterful stroke of brooding tension and melodic release." - Other Music NYC

"This music should be used in hospitals to cure brain cancer." - Ornette Coleman


There is no musical group today that compares to the Brooklyn based Slow Six. Since the beginning, their compositional detail, instrumental prowess, and live computer-music instruments separated them from other electro-acoustic troupes. Their openly emotive, culturally accessible music spoke to an audience far wider than the high-art New Music scene. Yet both industries have called the band's sound their own: Time Out New York declared their debut LP one of the Top 10 classical recordings of 2004 and ASCAP featured them in their 2005 Thru The Walls Showcase. The same record was Stylus Magazine's album of the week in August 04 and has received countless praise from international pop music publications and radio spots. John Diliberto of PRI's Echoes Radio Program declared "Arvo Pärt meets King Crimson". Lush video landscapes and frequent collaborations with friends Anemone Dance Theater further pull Slow Six from any specific music scene. Yet their spell-binding sound the New York Times described as "flecked with white-heat urgency" remains completely immersive and unmistakable.
This latest release "Nor'easter" presents their most ambitious musical vision to date. Their amplified violins, viola, 'cello, electric guitars, fender rhodes, piano, and software instruments now combine for a new language of experimental instrumental storytelling, remaining physically immersive and emotionally charged. Each work presents its own evocative landscape, guiding listeners through inescapably personal and spellbinding electrified sonic adventures. The intimacy of strings and piano combine with rock and roll's electric guitars and fender rhodes within a storm of interactive computer textures to defy cultural pigeonholing. This is a new sound free of "cross-over" conceit—simply the sound of a new native musical space, a new generation of distinctly American music.
A product of the indie-rock's DIY aesthetic, Slow Six was assembled by word of mouth, outside of any music schoolmachine, writing and rehearsing in bandleader Christopher Tignor's self-built Greenpoint storefront loft. After putting on their own shows of this through-composed music and video at NYC's finest rock clubs and performance venues, the NYC Slow Six audience has grown formidable, cutting across culture boundaries, lifting up this new voice rising from their own ranks. -

Tomorrow Becomes You

At the turn of the millennium in downtown New York, in an era of Moby and the Strokes, Slow Six was pulling up in front of clubs, loading in music stands, video projectors, a battery of string players, and a desktop computer (!) programmed with custom software. Reading down their twenty-minute electro-acoustic scores to stunned audiences, Slow Six helped redefine what was possible when those who grew up with both classical and rock music re-imagined their surrounding musical landscape in their own image.
Today, so-called "cross-over" music is near ubiquitous, from The Wordless Music Series to bands like The Books and composers like Nico Muhly. Yet it is now, following their 2007 sophomore release for the prestigious classical label New Albion, that Slow Six returns to their experimental rock roots with Tomorrow Becomes You, an emotionally unrestrained full-length infused with taught rhythms, unraveling melodies, and detailed ambiences that owe as much to Tortoise and The Dirty Three as Steve Reich and Brian Eno.
In keeping with the Slow Six mantra, this is still music that changes - and changes us - slowly over time - the virtuosic, minimalist hocketing in "The Night You Left New York" slowly giving way to its eruptive guitar-soaked finale. But a new, welcomed optimism runs through "Tomorrow Becomes You" - never has the band's light shown so brightly as in the record's finale, "These Rivers Between Us".
Tignor's signature software creations (free from the band's site), which he uses to transform live sound, also make key appearances, creating unique electronic landscapes from talk radio on "Because Together We Resonate" and the players' own performances on "Sympathetic Response System (part 2)".

Private Times in Public Places
Amplified strings, guitars, and a fender Rhodes piano, are joined by homegrown software “instruments” used to process the band’s live performance. The detail and structure of these compositions reveals the group’s background in the world of modern classical music, leaning on NYC’s post-minimalist heritage while their electrified, live energy projects the palpable drive of a long-running band with deep indie roots. For a preview of their work check out Nor'ester released by New Albion (John Cage, Arvo Part, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, etc) earlier this year.
Since 2000, Slow Six’s live performances have stunned crowds at festivals including Minnesota’s SPARK Festival of Electronic Music and Art and Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. They continue to sell-out club dates at the finest NYC venues including Joe's Pub and The Knitting Factory. They have sold-out runs at The Joyce SoHo Theater in collaboration with modern dancers and packed The Apple Store with their unique video-art immersed concerts. Slow Six can be found regularly on the airwaves of WNYC's New Sounds, WFMU, PRI’s Echoes Program, England’s The Chiller Cabinet, and have appeared on NPR's Weekend America. This fall, they begin a national tour in support of Private Times In Public Places.  -

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ponedjeljak, 24. veljače 2014.

Andre Perkowski - Nova Express (2009)


Trosatna eksperimentalna, epska ekranizacija romana Williama S. Burroughsa.

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Andre Perkowski’s Nova Express describes itself as “a 3-hour experimental epic adaptation of the novel by William S. Burroughs… with Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin, Phil Proctor, Peter Bergman, Jürgen Ploog, and Anne Waldeman”. The technique is relatively simple, if laborious: a large quantity of copyright-free film & TV footage, animation and visual material is matched to readings of Burroughs’s novel by the author and others. As far as this goes it’s an interesting answer to the question of filming Burroughs’ early works. Ideally this kind of juxtaposition of word and image should create something which isn’t present when word and image are separated, rather than simply operate on the level of what animator Chuck Jones once called “illustrated radio”. The clips on YouTube veer between these two poles. Notable by its absence is this kind of thing:
The naked cadets entered a warehouse of metal – lined cubicles – stood a few inches apart laughing and talking on many levels – Blue light played over their bodies – Projectors flashed the color writing of Hassan i Sabbah on bodies and metal walls – Opened into amusement gardens – Sex Equilibrists perform on tightropes and balancing chairs – Trapeze acts ejaculate in the air – The Sodomite Tumblers doing cartwheels and whirling dances stuck together like dogs – Boys masturbate from scenic railways – Flower floats in the lagoons and canals – Sex cubicles where the acts performed to music project on the tent ceiling a sky of rhythmic copulation – Vast flicker cylinders and projectors sweep the gardens writing explosive bio-advance to neon – Areas of sandwich booths blue movie parlors and transient hotels under ferris wheels and scenic railways – soft water sounds and frogs from the canals  – K9 stood opposite a boy from Norway felt the prickling blue light on his genitals filling with blood touched the other tip and a warm shock went down his spine and he came in spasms of light – Silver writing burst in his brain and went out with a smell of burning metal in empty intersections where boys on roller skates turn slow circles and weeds grow through cracked pavement –
Nova Express isn’t as homoerotic as the other books from this period but the whole of the Smorbrot chapter runs like that, and there are other moments elsewhere. (I should note that there’s no Smorbrot section in the available clips but I expect there will be in the complete film.) This side of Burroughs’ work is still the least represented where adaptations are concerned. Ignore it and you’re ignoring a major component of his fiction. Andre Perkowski talked to Graham Rae at Reality Studio in 2010.


Filmmaker Andre Perkowski is working on a huge 3 hour plus adaptation of the novel ‘Nova Express‘ by William S. Burroughs. It’s a wild, ragged, disjointed, warped, damaged, serious and funny mashup of found footage, original film and Burroughs’ reading voice along with others. It’s got those incoherently combined sci-fi and thriller elements that Burroughs so easily manipulated as if in a delirium. The film is itself a kind of cutup, mirroring the technique Burroughs used that involved gathering unrelated bits and pieces of other books and newspaper articles to formulate sentences that somehow ramble on without necessarily leading anywhere specific. The novel is about exposing the secrets of those who attempt to control all thought and life with virus-like ideas, machines and drugs.
Perkowski is a filmic oddball who delights in making things that are messy. He draws and collages to create new images, purposely ruining his images to create the unexpected. I think his mental immersion into Burroughs is leading him through his wonderful film with great assurance. Apparently, Perkowski is constantly adding to the film and changing it. He has at least six different ‘drafts’ of the film. As he goes, he posts chunks of the film on his YouTube channel which I happen to think is a fantastic idea. There are similarities between the way he works and the way I work on films like my ‘Yellow Plastic Raygun.’ I have often told people that I suspect the video scrubber button in non-linear video editors that allows a filmmaker to fly through a full length feature film in seconds is perhaps the single most important cinematic tool of the last thirty years. It is this little tool that allows for the searching and matching of cinematic elements that could never have been found in a human lifetime before the non-linear editor. So it leads to entirely new form of cinema. That’s what you are watching here with Perkowski’s film. It is a powerful work of new cinema and may well be the best adaptation of a Burroughs work that I have ever seen. -     

Interview with Filmmaker Andre Perkowski

Now Boarding The Nova Express

by Graham Rae

What do you get if you have an explosion in a randomly generated cinematic image factory that rains down vivid burning Technicolor debris far and wide across a chaotic illuminated background, mixing disparate voices and scenes in an obscenely kinetic cut-up narrative mosaic? Possibly the new, to-be-released-eventually, 10-years-in-the-making-and-making-and-making film of Nova Express by dedicated-cum-obsessed Burroughsian Andre Perkowski.
Nova Express uses found film, original footage, handmade collages, and audio recordings of Burroughs to chaotically construct a fascinating and bombastic and exciting full-length feature of WSB’s 1964 cut-up carnival burlesque and its terminal sewers, interminable conflicts, inter-and-intra-planetary crimes, Nova criminals, Nova police, Biologic Courts, Venusian sex practices, and drugs.
The Frankensteinian-creature feature’s avant-garde eyefuck methodology perfectly mirrors the source novel’s fractured collagenikov beauty and madness and strangeness, sewing together countless jumpcut sublime liminal and subliminal scatter-shots to proudly present a tapestry of unprecedented image-assault purity. Perkowski, the visual symphony conductor behind this demented intergalactic no-slowdown hoedown-showdown, explains why the Mainstream Flickershow Courts shouldn’t prosecute and persecute him for his crimes against their not-under-the-skinema.
Lights camera action…
Andre Perkowski, Self-Portrait
Who exactly are you, how old are you and what films have you made before?
Hullo, internet. I’m Andre Perkowski — 33 years old, and looking like this after an all night editing session. I write peculiar books that remain unread as private therapy while attempting to spew music & sketch comedy for the enjoyment of others. Since 1995 I’ve somehow managed to churn out hundreds of short films and 8 or so features, with several stashed in closets for a rainy day’s nostalgic editing. The horrible proof can be glimpsed at and would be very helpful to those having trouble sleeping… at 22 I decided to make a trilogy of features based on the unfilmed screenplays and pulp novels of Edward D. Wood, Jr. I managed to pull off two, Devil Girls and The Vampire’s Tomb, before realizing this would be a silly way of starting a career. Since then I’ve shot the HK pastiche A Belly Full of Anger, a feature-length adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, and my endless garage band / monster movie manifesto flick, I Was a Teenage Beatnik And / Or Monster for the Literal Underground. Talk about obscure! Though Neil Innes (English writer/comic song performer — Graham) has advised me to get out of the basement and get to the ground floor at least, I remain underground enough to resemble a sickly, blind deep-sea fish with translucent flesh.
When and how did you come to Nova Express / WSB’s work in general, and what was it about it that appealed to you?
14 years old, browsing in a library — my eyes dart about, half-bored/half-nervous until I spied The Ticket That Exploded on a spine — what the? What does the title even mean? I snatched it up and flipped pages around at random, as word stew sapped my spinal fluid and turned me into jelly. Entranced, I kept flipping pages, gagging over descriptions of rectal mucous and thrilled by all this talk of tape recorders.
What made you decide you wanted to make a film of NE, and why do it as an experimental film using other people’s images? Budget? An aesthetic to fit in with WSB’s experimental one?
Grimy fade out to Chicago, 1999-2000 — locked up in a Hyde Park apartment I read and re-read the novel, distilling it down to some 40 page screenplay of sorts — I started cobbling together readings of sections from it set to random footage shot of screens, found in the trash, or dropped in randomly from public domain archives… just for reference and to help write and adapt it. The frustration of trying to even begin to package and shape this kind of writing into a conventional pulp narrative with B list actors and unknowns filled me with nervous terror until I realized what I already had was the filmmaking itself anyway. Those cut-up novels used other people’s science fiction, medical journals, moldy classics — whatever was at hand. So this technique taken literally with film and folded spindled and mutilated seems a suitable slant to take on the source, derived from similar mucking about. But it’s not just other people’s images, I’ve spewed out a few thousand collages, paintings, animations, on all manner of stocks — lots of live action inserts anyway, congealing across monitors and musty lofts… all that is fed in and forms a concoction of frenzied and frothing at the mouth, you can’t tell what’s old and what’s new — it all seems to fit anyway. He wasn’t lying about turning off soundtracks on TV shows and replacing them with your own.
Andre Perkowski, Nova Express
When did you start making NE and when did/do you expect to finish?
I wrote the initial totally discarded screenplay in 1999-2000 and began cobbling together a strange 16mm / video half-hour version that was more of a guide to how I wanted the finished film to flow — I didn’t intend to use any of it, though most of that double and triple-projected footage winds up in The Last Words of Hassan Sabbah section of the film.
How long do you expect the film to run?
Three hours? Four hours? The current cut hovers around 3 hours. It has gotten so bloated, there’s no point trimming it down to some 90-minute thing that will never play theaters anyway. The more I circulate existing cuts, the more I keep turning up amazing material and unreleased recordings. I feel obligated to stitch them into this sick tapestry — I figure the tiny audience for this doesn’t matter if it goes on for days, they’ll watch it as long as the chemicals last. It does seem to organize itself into one hour episodes. Or you can just see it as a collection of dozens of short films and stand alone routines — it probably works better that way. Cut in at any intersection point, as the man said.
How many different versions of it do you have?
There are five major drafts of it floating around various discs, all radically different. Excerpts of some of the earlier versions might be interesting to throw onto an eventual DVD: different readers, different images, different music. Endlessly permutating images shuffled, fiddled, fucked, and filtered.
How do you choose the images to go into the film? Have you seen all the films used in it before?
Some sort of voodoo digital trance-dowsing process developed over many years of insomnia. After sacrificing the metaphorical chickens of taste and linear thinking, I flick randomly through the timeline watching a frame here and a frame there of a short or feature film, anything that catches my eye or gets me conceptually aroused I snip out and stick in a folder that keeps getting bigger and bigger. Finally I dump dozens of these clips into a timeline and cut through them once more for specific shots. Or I lay them randomly on already assembled soundtracks and sometimes they fit perfectly, even to the point of almost perfect lip sync. It’s eerie how often this happens and very appropriate to the material, so I work with these random events and massage them into the mass of pulsing material. I’ll then screen these super rough assemblies and jot down notes for images I think might help, or specific lines or words I think need illustrating. Back to archives and libraries to pull material that seems like it will help. This happens over and over again. Over many years. I’ll throw out entire sections when bored and start from scratch. This may be why it takes forever. Apparently I want to get it down to some sort of sickly sweet image meal that flows from screen to brain with nauseating ease. Am I there yet?
I’ve seen most of the trash SF and pulp movies I’ve used, which helps — but the industrials, educational films, etc I just flick around through.
Andre Perkowski, Nova Express, Biologic Courts Judge
Are the films used in the public domain? Have you gotten permission to use any of them? Will you need to get permission? Would it be affordable?
Yeah, I’ve tried to keep it down to public domain footage except the Burroughs material — it will be difficult enough sorting that out so I didn’t want to be haggling with some company for the rights to use half a second of footage of a man in a hat grimacing.
How many films / books / shows / whatever did you use material from in the film?
I lost track around 400 or so.
Any favorite passages in the book?
Hard to beat Last Words or the really lush sounding Subliminal Kid sections.
Anything you think works particularly well in the film?
The completely random lip sync in the Do-Rights section is hysterical, with the doughy suckup patient buttering up a croaker who responds with perfect timing. It cracked me up when I found it and continues to crack me up. Put me down for additional medication.
What made you decide to use words / dialogue other than Burroughs’ in the film?
I tried to keep it down to just WSB’s writing — though there are some snippets of Brion Gysin, a few of Burroughs’ radio cut-ups, and a handful of random lines from the educational films I was using concerning junk or virus. As usual the words themselves decided when they were going to be used — one useful coincidence happened when I was adding pictures to the cut-up radio sequence Burroughs did involving a news broadcast about LBJ having some sort of meeting with editorial cartoonists and denouncing “Red China.” Quite by accident the first footage pulled of LBJ happened to be a newsreel of that exact obscure meeting with editorial cartoonists — so I added a few lines of the material and used the silent footage of LBJ for that sequence.
Andre Perkowski, Nova Express, TV Screens
What techniques do you use when experimenting / screwing around with the film for effect?
In addition to my spastic and random flicking / dowsing process, I do a lot of refilming material off grimy monitors and projections late at night with 16mm or Super-8 cameras, to get it grainier — zoom in on certain sections, use distorting angles, colored gels… I like to tape material in SVHS and then play it back on a VHS deck so the image is all garbled and distorts strangely. I then film that off the screen in 16mm or Super-8. When the film gets back I like unspooling it all on the floor to get it dirtier, or stick it in front of the A/C to pick up dust and cat hair. It’s fun to randomly highlight faces and eyes with paint or markers. I’m just glad I don’t edit film manually any more because my poor splicing ability would’ve resulted in the destruction of most of the film.
Collage scrapbooks and paintings comprise a big portion of the work as well — I’ve churned out hundreds of them for the film over the years, layering elements in, drawing, cutting, folding. I’ve become annoyingly enamored of copying and reprinting my collages and then spritzing water all over to melt and destroy the inkjet colors of the image — turns things green or purple, wipes out detail, and the random factor makes for amusing experimentation. I then take these fucked-over pics and continue drawing/collaging over them. When does it stop? It hasn’t. There’s always one more line to illustrate, one more idea that comes up. I replaced my world’s Gideon Bible with The Third Mind and the results are odiously apparent. Through a decade of hermetic cut-ups and crap-outs, I’ve become a pretentious child of Nova, a fucked-up Subliminal Kid. Hopefully my own idiosyncrasies haven’t gotten in the way too much — by concentrating on WSB’s voice and own words, it keeps El Hombre Invisible slightly in focus… through some of his most difficult material.
Major differences between your approach and WSB’s, aside from the obvious words/film one(s)?
I’m not a ghastly genius with a wide spectrum of shattering experiences to draw from for his work: I’m merely half-crazy with a handful of mildly hysterical experiences. I tried to keep a lot of my comedy style out of it, which would be extremely grating and cheesy — a perusal of the work on will tell you that if I didn’t, I would’ve really made something terrible. In this respect it was great that I kept it to his dialogue, makes things much less embarrassing.
Andre Perkowski, Nova Express, Nova Dream
Anything you wished you could have used but can’t?
The dozen hours of footage I need to raise money to get out of film labs: all that animation, retro junk spaceship models, insectoid critters, and noir-ed out live action footage that will make Nova Express sexier and sleeker still, slobbering acidic drool all over the stagnant stock footage symphonies some scenes are… there’s also rare Burroughs material untransferred in various archives that need to be in here. Some Ian Somerville readings. More WSB readings from Nova Express that I know exist and will end up in here sooner or later… one of the great things about these work in progress screenings are the friendly folks who turn up having all manner of Burroughsian oddities in a closet somewhere — Carl Weissner turned up the master tape of a 1968 recording featuring WSB reading a good dozen sequences that had temporary speech synthesized voiceovers in my film — it’s prime 60s unreleased Burroughs and I’m going to make sure it gets out on as an audio release as well. So many terrific things have turned up that some specialty label with decent taste can have a nice two disc set with liner notes for discrete perverts.
Pleased at the reception the film has had so far in its fragmentary screenings?
My favorite was asking a projectionist if he could make it louder and having him scream at me to get out and then he snarled a little and to show me what’s what, played Spanish flamenco music over the title sequence of the flick. I wonder what the audience filing in made of that… “interesting choice, uhhh a lyric counterpoint to the uhhh… oh, this is going to be terrible, isn’t it.”
Other than that it’s gone better than you would think, with reactions ranging from chemically glazed to effusive and flattering with few if any epileptic outbursts. More excerpts screened in crummy dives in obscure corners of the Earth in 2010, more later. Strange personalities added doing readings, look for your favorite and collect all twenty-three variations, kids!
The main benefit of the screenings have been meeting so many amazing characters who helped or encouraged in endlessly generous ways — Oliver Harris propped up my sporadically dispirited spirits with fresh leads and fine factualism, Jan Herman provided egg creams and an incredible early ’70s black-and-white video recording of Burroughs and Balch experimenting with projecting the “Bill and Tony” film onto themselves along with early TV cutups, Jürgen Ploog recorded many amazing readings as Benway and various pitch-shifted alien monstrosities… Barry Miles and James Grauerholz were really helpful and patient with my gibberish, Regina Weinreich set up a great screening… Proctor and Bergman of the Firesign Theatre enriched the shit out of this flick in so many ways, Anne Waldeman immediately agreed to let me use some delicious readings of a section of “The Soft Machine” — and so much morale was boosted by the shambling shapes lurking around RealityStudio…
Thanks again all… to anyone I haven’t met, any thoughts/ideas or recordings you might have vague knowledge about, do get in touch.
Andre Perkowski, Nova Express, The Subliminal Kid
Did you shoot any of the film yourself, and if so what medium(s) did you use?
About 30% of it, I’d say. I used every medium I could get my dirty fingers on — video, 8mm, Super-8, 16mm, ancient Soviet filmstock, early ’80s black and white gun camera film used for recording kills, surplus shit of every stinking variety. I’ve shot tons of stopmotion animation, built crab guards, death dwarves, oven guards, Minraudian madness and more. Sadly hours and hours of this material sit in various labs awaiting payment and transfer to video. So the versions circulating around and screening have a lot more video or found footage placeholders — a decent variation anyway, and guarantees no two screenings or DVDs are alike as it stutters and snowballs along, all knowing, all organic, all “ugh.” All the time.
How/where did you find the WSB lookalike?
Yes, there seem to be quite a few strange ghostly stock footage creatures stooped over desks or ancient mixing boards and tape recorders with uncanny Burroughsian features. Most of them appeared by chance, only to have me shriek excitedly after a click of the play button. Lots of thin-lipped men in fedoras lurk in the swamps of stock footage. It was the golden age of the spectral creep.
Andre Perkowski, Nova Express, Secret Burroughs Cameo Lies
What is the music on the soundtrack that sounds like industrial? You use any bands of friends or whatever? One again, any copyright problems anticipated?
Copyright infringement is your best entertainment value, as those fine folks in Negativland say. All the soundtrack noise and sludgy drone-churn is produced by Kristin Palker and myself in antiseptic laboratory conditions, usually looking very somber and morose. Unlike me, she actually can tell the difference between those white keys and the perplexing yet intriguing black ones. She makes it pretty and then I mess it up. We’ve worked on soundtracks together for the past 4 years, the debris is all over the Youtube account. One of the tracks was performed by a cat arrogantly sliding around a keyboard, jabbing keys that managed to work fine with the picture. I tried to keep it sinister, slow, and overwhelmingly insidious — not attracting too much attention to itself and letting Burroughs’ voice be the main element. I didn’t want to set his words to beats and make songs out of them. Actually I’m a total liar because Daddy Longlegs is set to a 20s platter of “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo.” Other than that, it’s a subtle drone along the lines of a Satanic air conditioner that goes on the blink sometimes.
What would be the best and worst reactions you could hope for to your film?
Would instantaneous bleeding from the eyes be too much to ask? A baffled expression would be fine. You can keep your mouth open, drooling slightly as your red eyes strain to make connections between the words and image that slip out of focus sometimes, or aren’t really there. But what’s really there? Don’t ask me, I still haven’t figured it all out.
Can you honestly say you understand the whole book? If not, has slow and patient rereading made it more clear to you? Anything seem particularly incomprehensible? This have any effect on your overall vision for the film in general?
Can anyone? Did Burroughs himself, who famously declared it “a not altogether successful book” or somesuch? Are we ready to eat pages of cut-up stew? The routines embedded within that hard-to-digest material are glorious gold though and Burroughs at his late 1950s to 1960s best — the dry, insect voice of control, calm and cantankerous all at once… hiding, revealing, lying, accusing.
What would a DVD extras section have?
Another hour of outtakes, alternate versions. Tons of never-before-released readings and tape experiments. A simple kit for plotting media insurrection on a modest budget, encased in environmentally unfriendly plastic.
Think you’ll be able to get a release, or will you put it out yourself somehow?
Screenings, sporadic spottings, furtive DVDs, online excerpts, the realities of having some early version relentlessly pirated — pick your poison and welcome to no-budget indie release. Maybe the reptilian respectability of Burroughs will allow this film to insinuate itself into a few dozen more festivals… wouldn’t you?
Did you feel a responsibility to put the film into some sort of more linear form than the book to help keep viewer interest?
I felt a responsibility to a set of dead fingers talking on typewritten manuscript pages — there’s so much going on that it can’t possibly be taken in one sitting without vomiting all on its own. Spreading it out into episodes or short films lets me really incorporate entire sections of the book that you really can’t collapse into some kinda dumb thing that aims for Blade Runner but lands more along the lines of Cyborg 3: The Recycler. If you want a cheesy action movie version of this, give me 40 million dollars and some spindly brother of a celebrity and we’re off to the repulsive races. This is Nova Express doled out in eyedroppers of image, little distilled lectures of academic psychedelia, 1970s PBS as controlled by a giant pulsating insect brain. More so, anyway.
If you could get this film shown during a hypothetical perfect time slot during mainstream TV, what slot would you go for and why?
Midnight for the whole thing all night over 4.5 hours of TV time or episodically to catch while flipping through channels, lingering for a moment and fighting off cobwebs of “what the fuck” curling tendrils into your brain.
What do you think the average non-WSB-aware viewer would take from the film?
A retinal disease and stinging migraine headache that pulses up and down the spine, stomach gurgling as small eggs burst hatching hundreds of hideous scorpions that take their time climbing up their non-WSB-aware throats. Serves them right. The right people will figure it out or make a note to try one day. It’s not for everybody. If it was, we’d wind up with Total Recall. “Mr. Bradly Mr. Martin, you GOT WHAT YOU WANT! GIVE DIS PEOPLE AAAAIIIR!”
If you could assassinate somebody using an image, who would it be and what would the image be?”
Anybody who butchers Philip K. Dick stories on the screen or actively prevents me from filming Valis.
Andre Perkowski, Nova Express, Calling the Law
You said you regard the film as being like a training film for the Nova police. Please explain a bit further.
I just took the often didactic, scientific lecture, crackpot quasi-educational tone some of the novel’s routines had and extended it on film in a form that suits it — it’d be a little stiff having actors rattling out the endless, dense, jargon-riddled dialogue without making massive cuts and rehearsing endlessly. At this budget level the results might have been utterly excruciating — whereas doing like a musty old educational film, you can incorporate more of the wordy dialogue in omniscient voiceover, illustrated with endless split-second schizoid cuts in and out of what passes for “continuity” in this film.
On another level the film collects a lot of WSB’s cut-up theory and presents it in a quasi-entertaining fashion that might encourage gullible kids into playing around with scissors, machines, and spark an interest in poking holes in the fabric of chance.
Any fave films or filmmakers you modeled your film on, experimental or otherwise?
Pretty much anyone who has ever done anything interesting — Working in the lab late one night, I rip out chunks of their filmmaker flesh and stitch it all together to make myself some sort of horrible pop culture Frankenstein… sent to some semblance of shambling life on obscure monitors around the world.
Of course when working with revoiced stock footage, it’s not possible to escape from the shadow of the Firesign Theatre — so I’m practically orgasmic over Proctor and Bergman making incredible appearances — Bergman in two relentless radio readings from 1967 and Proctor in a slew of freshly recorded readings in a bewildering array of guises that perfectly fits anything WSB never got around to recording. Proctor is the definitive god of voiceovers and is so damn good at all of the professors, hard-boiled cops, lunatic doctors, and sufferers of the Venusian Gook Rot… really note-perfect stuff. His take on “The Subliminal Kid” is beautiful…
Any fave WSB films, and why?
You just can’t beat the work he did with Antony Balch and it kills me that they didn’t manage to 1) finish Guerrilla Conditions 2) shoot that berserk Gysin-penned Naked Lunch screenplay or 3) keep making films through the 70s. Balch’s Secrets of Sex and Horror Hospital would’ve been glorious treats if he used those low budgets on Burroughs scripts. As is they have sly references and influences, but you wonder what he would’ve managed to come up with fusing his friendship with Burroughs with his long apprenticeship exhibiting and promoting drive-in exploitation films. I’m trying to continue that strain of work in my own clumsy way, fusing experimental concerns with a love of pulp and drive-in melodrama.
Antony Balch, Secrets of Sex
Think the film will play differently dependent on the sexual orientation of the viewer? Think you have to be gay to truly ‘get’ Burroughs?
Hmmm let me think about this one a bit, I’ve over-anxietized myself about that. Being boringly vanilla and hetero in the fetish department, I worry I lack the spark of mutant to understand it — but I’m enough of an outcast where the language just sings to me, whether it’s an anthem, lullaby, or a funeral march or all three I’m not sure.
Think WSB would have approved of the film, in light of his own experimentations with film?
A tightlipped expression, a few coughs, a mutter of “very interesting” before he changed the subject to talk about Bavarian blowguns or flesh-burning Amazonian piss-weasels or somesuch exotica. I hope in the end I managed to not embarrass his memory or make his old friends cringe. - -