Tony Martin’s sturdy roots in light media go back to his compositions of the 1960’s. Arrays of projection equipment were his instruments, the combined imagery filling stages across the country. These shows always joined the spontaneous with the planned, using photographic film with free focal plane abstraction and invented optics.
ISSUE is pleased to present three works by Tony Martin concentrating on his signature real-time interactive conditions, including the World Premiere of Proximity, in three acts. Martin is joined by bass clarinetist Lea Bertucci, trombonist Tom Artin, and Steve Cohn playing winds and percussion. The set-ups employ varied light equipment, live video, and theramin-like and infra-red sensors activated by the performers. The sound and visual environment, and narrative imagery, all take place very much “before our eyes", relying on viewer’s high attention.
Light Marks Converse (2004-2013)
Proximity, in three acts (2013, World Premiere)
Tony Martin is one of the founders of new media arts, and has composed innumerable light and sound compositions, beginning in the 1960’s. He is known for his unique and ground-breaking incorporation of optical and personally developed projection techniques, with sensor and “feed-back” electronic configurations. All of his installations have featured viewer participation. “Gameroom”, “ You Me We “, and “Well” first shown at Howard Wise Gallery, focus on the unique character of individuals, and the group dynamics of relating to each other. A primary mark of his work in any medium is the forming of variable places, including altered everyday objects such as doors and mirrors, for people to relate to each other at deeply human levels.
Collaborations with Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnick, Ramon Sender, David Tudor, and others have been performed internationally. He helped create the Experiments in Art and Technology pavilion for Expo ‘70. With a NEA grant he developed Vector Image Generator, used in many of his pieces; and often uses a personal, stand– alone computer program Drawing With Light. These shows, and his work as an educator, have influenced a generation of intermedia artists.
Martin's performance and installation roster includes San Francisco Tape Music Center, Fillmore West, Electric Circus, PS1, the Clocktower Gallery, Bozar in Brussels, The Boiler and Roulette in Brooklyn; many universities– Mills College, Columbia, NYU, Colgate, RPI-Empac, and museums – Whitney, Chicago ICA, Milwaukee Art Center, LACMA, The Everson Museum, and Butler Institute of American Art.
Trombonist Tom Artin has played throughout the U.S. and Europe with a number of world renowned jazz groups including the Smithsonian Jazz Repertory Ensemble (1981-84), the Louis Armstrong Alumni All-Stars, the World of Jelly Roll Morton, the World's Greatest Jazz Band, and Wild Bill Davison. He played lead trombone in Mel Tormé's big band, recorded live at Michael's Pub in New York, and has played with Bob Wilber's Benny Goodman revival big band. Festival credits include Kool Jazz in New York and Baltimore, the Illinois Jazz Festival, the North Carolina Jazz Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Party, the Guinness Jazz Festival in Ireland, the Floating Jazz Festival aboard the S.S. Norway, The Lugano Jazz Festival and the Ascona Jazz Festival, both in Switzerland. Beginning in 2006, he has appeared regularly as guest artist with John Harbison– who got Artin started playing jazz in junior high– at the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival. He has played on movie and television soundtracks, and appears on numerous recordings.
Lea Bertucci is an interdisciplinary artist, composer and improvisor who works with installation, sound, video and photography. As an instrumentalist, she focuses on the Bass Clarinet in an electro-acoustic context. The timbre of the Bass Clarinet is amplified and abstracted with the aid of electronics. Feedback is an essential part of the extended technique, as the body of the instrument becomes a resonant chamber and the pitch of the feedback is controlled with key work. 1/4 inch tape collage contribute structural and textural elements. Lea has been an artist-in-residence at The Wave Farm, Smack Mellon, LMCC, The Queens Museum of Art and Roulette. She was also awarded a Young Composers' commission from Roulette in 2012. She has performed solo and collaborative works at venues such as Issue Project Room, The Kitchen, Anthology Film Archives, Artists' Television Access in San Francisco, St. Marks Ontological-Hysteric Theater, The Wave Farm, Galapagos Artspace, Roulette, The Queens Museum of Art and the High Zero Festival.
Pianist & Shakuhachi innovator Steven Louis Cohn has developed a distinct and unchained virtuosity. He has conducted master classes at the Paris National Conservatory and has had his compositions commissioned for performance with the Wantanbe Dance Company in Japan. Cohn has been awarded performance grants from the NJ Council of the Arts, performed at ‘Ottawa Jazz Festival (’88 & 2000), Fiesta International USSR. Cohesively, Steve has worked with a number of well-renown musicians: Reggie Workman, Jason Hwang, William Parker Tom Varner, Fred Hopkins, Karl Berger, Oliver Lake, Barry Altschul; Bob Stewart. His invitation to be a part of the Movement meets Musician’s in Amsterdam infused dance and live painting with his music.
Image: "Rondeau", T. Martin with Margot Farrington, photo by Joe Perez.
Tony Martin: Proximity is made possible, in part, with support from the David Bermant Foundation, and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts' Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.