Works by G. Douglas Barrett, John Cage, Bill Dietz and Adam Overton.
Revolving loosely around the meeting of post-conceptual and discursive practices with those developed by the experimental music tradition, A Few Silence, A Place or Two, Some Applause is an evening-length program of performance works which considers the concert situation as technologically mediated site for embodied, social and institutionalized listening. The program contains works by G. Douglas Barrett, John Cage, Bill Dietz and Adam Overton, performed by G. Douglas Barrett, Kara Feely, Francesco Gagliardi, David Kant, Jonathan Marmor, Aaron Meicht, Travis Just and Quentin Tolimieri.
STATEMENT, PROGRAM, BIOS
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A PLACE OR TWO
The practice of the claque represents a wrench thrown into what might be falsely thought as the happy-go-lucky cogs of the communal concert machine, wrecking any conception of a stable politics of the public event. The claque is to suggest the ever-presence of the claque, the thought that since publicness can be tampered with there was never any pure public to begin with. The social-constructedness of the concert situation—publicness as only self-deceptively democratic—defines the very nature of the concert. Bill Dietz’s piece Some Applause for Doug (2010) operates as a perverse digital simulacrum of the claque. The work uses an applause sample taken from a prior performance I was involved in,3 which is then re-cycled over live applause taken from the current concert program, which begins a feedback process layering live and pre-recorded applauses, finally culminating after the last piece of the program. The process Dietz’s piece outlines is one that re-focuses that material ordinarily thought of as outside of the aesthetic frame, the “intervals” between performances, “where we’re not supposed to listen, where there’s ‘nothing to hear’”,4 that space where, finally, concert is revealed.
2 Trevor, Claude. “The ‘Claque’ in Italy.” The Musical Times 60.922 (1919): 678-80.
3 Dietz’s only comment about the piece: “Following a program of works performed by Francesco Gagliardi, Travis Just, Kara Feely, Alessandra Novaga, Elana Russo Arman, and G. Douglas Barrett, which began at 8PM at the Phoebe Zeitgeist Teatro in Milan on June 29th of this year, the audience of approximately 20 applauded the artists for 1 minute and 12 seconds.”
G. DOUGLAS BARRETT (b. 1981) is an artist/composer working often with performance and various forms of mediation (text, scores, notation, transcription, recording technology, video). His work has been presented in festivals, galleries, concert halls, academic conferences and street performance events throughout North America and Europe. Recent collaborators and performers of his work include Francesco Gagliardi, Adam Overton, Mark So, Bill Dietz, Object Collection, The S.E.M. Ensemble, Pauline Kim and Philip Thomas. He has appeared at festivals such as the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK), Ostrava Days (Czech Republic) and Visiones Sonoras (Mexico City), and venues such as the Ontological-Hysteric Theater (New York), the Wulf (Los Angeles), Theater Perdu (Amsterdam), the Sonic Arts Research Centre (Belfast, UK) and Neutral Ground (Canada). Barrett’s writings have appeared in literary journal Mosaic (U of Manitoba), and new music magazine HIS Voice (Prague), among other publications.
JOHN CAGE (1912 – 1992) was an American composer, performer, visual artist, writer, poet and mycologist. His contributions to the post-war arts have been regarded internationally as some of the most important and influential of his generation, especially in the areas of contemporary music, visual art and the experimental music tradition which he helped define and cultivate throughout the latter half of the 20th Century.
BILL DIETZ was born in 1983 near the US/Mexican border in Bisbee, Arizona. Much of his recent work addresses the performance of listening and the genealogy of the concert. He studied composition at the New England Conservatory and Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota. Since 2003 he has lived and worked in Berlin, initially as Peter Ablinger’s student and assistant. Since then, he has worked extensively with Christian von Borries, and Chris Newman and with Maryanne Amacher until 2009. His music has been presented by the Happy Days Sound Festival (Oslo), the Maulwerker (Berlin), Birkbeck College (London), the Klangwerkstatt Festival, ARTSaha! (Omaha), the Zepernicker Randspiele, the West German Radio (WDR), “Tbilisi 6. Never on a Sunday” (Tbilisi), Brückenmusik (Cologne), and many others. His writings have appeared in publications such as MusikTexte, Positionen, and Shuffle Boil. He is the recipient of numerous grants (Capital City Cultural Fund, Berlin; German Music Council; Initiative for New Music, Berlin), and has appeared extensively as a performer (Documenta XII, “Musikprotokoll” of the Steirischer Herbst, Berlin Volksbühne). Since 2007 he has been the artistic director of Ensemble Zwischentöne.
ADAM OVERTON is a composer and performer of experimental music and action, and an artist, teacher, and massage therapist based in Los Angeles. He is the curator of the currently in progress subtle bodies series, “a series of investigations featuring subtle, barely-noticed experiments in sound, movement, action, and energy within public spaces, led by artists, performers, choreographers and sound artists”. In 2008 Overton founded uploaddownloadperform.net, an online repository designed for the exchange of experimental performance scores.
G. Douglas Barrett, 2010