The X-Patsys is a musical project started in 1998 by three close friends: actress Barbara Sukowa and artists Robert Longo and Jon Kessler. Kessler had a dream in which he saw Sukowa dressed as a country- western singer belting out legendary Patsy Cline songs. He told his vision to Sukowa and Longo, and together they used it as inspiration to form a band. The X-Patsys initially performed Patsy Cline songs, transforming them into a new sound that was dark, moody, and dramatic. Tonight as part of Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain, ISSUE collaborates with the Kitchen to present the X-Patsy's founding members are joined by the extraordinary musicians Anthony Coleman, Knox Chandler, Jonathan Kane, and Ernie Brooks. The double-header evening opens with a performance of composer/guitar legend Rhys Chatham’s landmark Guitar Trio, joined by members of the X-Patsys and other musical luminaries.
Written in 1977, Guitar Trio is Rhys Chatham's signature composition, and with good reason. With a single, repeated chord, Chatham permanently altered the DNA of rock by splicing the gritty, overtone-drenched minimalism of John Cale and Tony Conrad with the elemental fury of the Ramones. The amalgamation was inspired. It energized the downtown New York scene throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, and made Chatham a founding father of the notorious No Wave movement. The influence of Guitar Trio spread even farther as former ensemble members carried its shimmering swagger into the rock mainstream. Performing the work Chatham is joined by David Grubbs, Karen Haglof and X-Patsys players Jon Kessler, Knox Chandler, Robert Longo, Ernie Brooks and Jonathan Kane.
Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain– a two-month festival celebrating ISSUE Project Room's 10th anniversary– revisits seminal past projects and initiates new relationships with over 60 artists working across disciplines of sound, dance, performance, and literature. Presented as a series of 24 evenings of provocative double billings, Ten Years Alive blurs the boundaries between divergent disciplines and practices and celebrating the vibrancy of the Brooklyn experimental arts community.
Rhys Chatham is a composer, guitarist and trumpet player from Manhattan, currently living in Paris, who fused avant-garde minimalism with the electric crunch of punk rock. Chatham's instrumentation ranges from the seminal composition composed in 1977 entitled Guitar Trio for 3 electric guitars, electric bass and drums, to the epoch evening-length work for 100 electric guitars, An Angel Moves Too Fast to See, composed in 1989... all the way to Chatham's recent composition for 200 electric guitars, Crimson Grail, which was commissioned by the City of Paris for La Nuit Blanche Festival in 2005. A completely new version of the piece was commissioned by the Lincoln Center Outdoor Summer Festival in 2009.
David Grubbs is an associate professor in the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, CUNY, where he also teaches in the MFA programs in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) and Creative Writing. He is the author of Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, The Sixties, and Sound Recording (Duke University Press, 2014). Grubbs has released twelve solo albums and is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with writers such as Susan Howe and Rick Moody, and with visual artists such as Anthony McCall, Angela Bulloch, and Stephen Prina. He was a member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait.
Karen Haglof began playing guitar at age 13 as a way to meet boys at the local music store in Burnsville, MN. She played in an almost-all-girl cover band in her teens and early 20s and then with the Wad and the Crackers in Minneapolis. On relocating to New York City she continued playing in the Crackers, and subsequently was the lead guitarist in Rhys Chatham's Die Donnergötter band in New York throughout the 1980s. She has also played with The Problem, Never Never, Robert Longo, Interference, and the Band of Susans. Switching careers, Haglof pursued medicine and is now a physician practicing hematology and oncology affiliated with NYU Langone Medical Center. In a return to her musical roots, Haglof is currently working on a solo project (in collaboration with Steve Almaas) influenced by cowboy/country/blues/noise.
Barbara Sukowa [vocals] is an internationally acclaimed German actresses who has worked with directors Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Lars von Trier, and Margaretha von Trotta, among others. She has received numerous awards including Best Actress in the Film Festivals of Cannes, Venice, Montreal and the 3 German Film Awards in Gold. Her impersonation of Hildegard von Bingen in Vision earned her the Bavarian Film Award in 2009. Also renowned as a concert artist, she has worked with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonics, Cleveland Symphony.
Robert Longo [electric guitar] is an internationally renowned artist who is famous for his large-scale works in various mediums: drawing, sculpture, film, theatre, and music. Longo participated actively in the New York Downtown No Wave Music scene of the early 1980s, playing with Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham. He has exhibited at museums throughout Europe, Asia and the United States since the late 1970s. He has been included in the documenta, the Venice Biennale, and the Whitney Biennial. His work is part of major museum collections including MoMA, the Whitney, LACMA, the Pompidou, and others. Longo is a member of ISSUE Project Room’s Board of Directors.
Jon Kessler [electric guitar] has exhibited widely in galleries and museums in the United States, Europe and Asia since 1983. A retrospective of his work ”Jon Kessler’s Asia” was mounted at the Kestner-Gesselshaft in Hannover, Germany in 1994 and travelled throughout Europe. His exhibition, “The Palace at 4 AM”, began at MoMA PS1 in 2005 and travelled to the Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen and ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. Public collections include MoMA, The Whitney, and MOCA. He is a Professor in the Visual Arts Division of Columbia University’s School of the Arts where he has taught since 1994. He plays guitar in several art rock bands.
Knox Chandler [electric guitar], who first made his mark in the late 1980s as a member of the Psychedelic Furs, has been a fixture of NYC for over two decades. After graduating from Bard College, with a BA in music composition and performance, he moved to NYC in the early 1980s, working with an eclectic assortment of New York talent. "One day I was recording with Todd Rundgren, the next day gigging with John Zorn, as well as performing regularly with a cross dressing band 'The Downtown Sissies in Revolt Ensemble'.
Composer Anthony Coleman [keyboards] performs, records, and inspires throughout the world. Whether as a bandleader, a sideman, or solo pianist, his work forms an important contribution and has helped to shape and influence the course of New York's Downtown Music scene over the last two decades. He is noted among the key luminaries of Free Improvisation, and his interest in Eastern European musical traditions helped to create what is now known as Radical Jewish Culture.
Jonathan Kane [drums] is a Downtown NYC legend: a co-founder of the no-wave behemoth Swans, the rhythmic thunder behind the massed-guitar armies of Rhys Chatham (with Ernie Brooks) and the rock excursions of La Monte Young - and one of the hardest-hitting drummers on the planet. On his critically acclaimed releases 'February', 'I Looked At The Sun', and 'Jet Ear Party', Kane summons Swans' concussive wallop, Chatham's dense guitar strata, and the perpetual propulsion of 1970s krautrockers NEU, then steers it all head-on into... the blues.
Ernie Brooks [bass guitar] attended Harvard University, where he played with the Modern Lovers, and later relocated to LIC where he collaborated with David Johansen, Peter Gordon, Elliott Murphy, Allen Ginsberg, and Chris Spedding, among others. He was half of rhythm section for Rhys Chatham, worked in Paris with French Godfather of Grunge, JF Pauvros, and collaborated extensively with the late Arthur Russell. He currently plays with trombonist Peter Zummo in various formations, and has been long time bassist for Gary Lucas' Gods and Monsters and Edge of Heaven.
Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain is made possible, in part, by “Lead Presenter” support from Robert Bielecki and HBO; “Festival Sponsor” support from Robert Longo, Margo Somma & John Hamilton, and Sixpoint Brewery; with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and with the support of ISSUE Project Room’s Members.