Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain

Oren Ambarchi / Okkyung Lee & Michelle Boulé

Australian composer and multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarchi works with simple constructs and parameters, exploring an idea over an extended duration and patiently teasing every nuance and implication from each texture. His prolific output is hailed for its intricate harmonic patterns, carefully tended arrangements, and surrender to the physicality of sound. Tonight as part of Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain, Ambarchi plays solo, sharing the bill with a collaborative duo of two highly individualistic improvisers: dancer Michelle Boulé and cellist Okkyung Lee. Together, they push to the edge of sonic and choreographic boundaries into an atmospheric and sculptural consciousness, gradually penetrating and mapping out a spontaneously defined performance space. The elements that constitute the space of this collaboration— music, dance and light—become objects set into motion by the vehicle of improvisation where perception of form shifts, and a new dimension of performance opens.

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.

Oren Ambarchi is a composer and multi-instrumentalist with longstanding interests in transcending conventional instrumental approaches. His work focuses mainly on the exploration of the guitar, "re-routing the instrument into a zone of alien abstraction where it’s no longer easily identifiable as itself. Instead, it’s a laboratory for extended sonic investigation" (Wire). Ambarchi's works are hesitant and tense extended songforms located in the cracks between several schools: modern electronics and processing; laminal improvisation and minimalism; hushed, pensive songwriting; the deceptive simplicity and temporal suspensions of composers such as Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier; and the physicality of rock music, slowed down and stripped back to its bare bones, abstracted and replaced with pure signal. From the late 90's his experiments in guitar abstraction and extended technique have led to a more personal and unique sound-world incorporating a broader palette of instruments and sensibilities. Ambarchi has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists such as Fennesz, Otomo Yoshihide, Pimmon, Keiji Haino, John Zorn, Rizili, Voice Crack, Jim O'Rourke, Keith Rowe, Phill Niblock, Dave Grohl, Gunter Muller, Evan Parker, z'ev, Toshimaru Nakamura, Peter Rehberg, Merzbow and many more. Since 2004 Ambarchi has worked with American avant metal outfit Sunn 0))) contributing to many of their releases and side-projects including their Black One album from 2005 and the recent Monoliths & Dimensions release.

Cellist Okkyung Lee is one of the most dynamic forces in improvised music today, a fearless and compelling musician whose playing incorporates a love of noise, extraordinary technique and elements from the outer fringes of contemporary composition. Originally from South Korea but now based in New York and Berlin, Lee has collaborated with many of the leading figures in creative music today, including Christian Marclay, Thurston Moore, Wadada Leo Smith, Ikue Mori, Evan Parker, C. Spencer Yeh, Carlos Giffoni and Maja Rajtke. This year she released 'Ghil' an LP of coruscating solo improvisations recorded direct to dictaphone by Lasse Marhaug that has been widely hailed as the 'noise record of the year' and she is also curating the 2013 edition of the Music Unlimited festival in Wels. Lee was an ISSUE Artist-In-Residence in 2011.

Michelle Boulé is a performer, choreographer, teacher and BodyTalk practitioner based in New York. Her work has been shown in New York at Dance and Process at The Kitchen, Center for Performance Research, Movement Research Festival at Judson Church, Food for Thought at Danspace Project, Catch Series, and ISSUE Project Room. She has been a choreographic assistant and performance coach for Deborah Hay solo adaptations, including an adaptation presented by El Auditorio in Tenerife, Spain. In 2010, she was an artist-in-residence at DanceHouse in Dublin, Ireland and a participant at the SKITE residency in Caen, France. She received a 2012 space grant from Brooklyn Arts Exchange and is a 2012-14 NY Movement Research Artist-in-Residence. Boulé’s WONDER premiered in May 2013 as part of ISSUE Project Room’s Emerging Artists Commission program.

Photo: Oren Ambarchi

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.

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