Experimental Music Yearbook’s 2015 issue is celebrated with presentations of work by Madison Brookshire, Francesco Gagliardi, and Paula Matthusen. Los Angeles-based artist and filmmaker Madison Brookshire presents a text score for electric guitar inspired by blues and Lawrence Weiner, performed by Che Chen (75 Dollar Bill). In Brookshire’s Five Lines, a six-piece ensemble follows a video projection in which a spot of sunlight moves over five, hand-drawn lines, transforming the screen into a subtly shifting musical score. Performance artist Francesco Gagliardi presents a series of acoustic performances for manipulated objects, handmade and found. His gymnastic tabletop performances are exercises in memory and perception, rendering rhythms equally sonic and visual. Composer Paula Matthusen draws from field recordings in sites of historical infrastructure. In this case, recordings of improvisations with recorder player Terri Hron beneath an ancient Roman aqueduct form the undercurrent of a live performance.
Madison Brookshire is an artist and filmmaker whose work crosses experimental film, music, painting, and performance. He has screened his work at the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Bradford International Film Festival, Migrating Forms, Exploratorium, Los Angeles Filmforum, REDCAT, and the Hammer Museum. He has also had solo exhibitions at Parker Jones, Culver City, CA and Presents Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; has been in group shows at the Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; Gallery 400, Chicago, IL; and Heliopolis, Brooklyn, NY; and has had performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the wulf., and Betalevel, Los Angeles, CA; TBA Festival, Portland, OR; and The Lab and Artists’ Television Access, San Francisco, CA.
Francesco Gagliardi is a performance artist, writer and occasional filmmaker based in Toronto. His performance work has been presented internationally in venues including the Ontological-Hysteric Theater (NYC, 2009 and 2010), The Stone (NYC, 2009), The Wulf (Los Angeles, 2009), International Computer Music Conference (ICMC08, Belfast, 2008), Pieter (Los Angeles, 2011), Esorabako (Tokyo, 2011), Fondazione Mudima (Milano, 2014), and the Images Festival (Toronto, 2013). His video “Short Sentences: 1993-2005” (2005) was awarded the Overkill Award at Toronto’s Images Festival in 2006. As a performer of other people’s work, he has premiered works by a number of contemporary composers including Jennifer Walshe, Mark So, Adam Overton, Travis Just, and G. Douglas Barrett. In 2014 he collaborated with Tony Conrand and Jennifer Walshe, creating and performing in the live visual component of their street opera The Signing (Toronto Nuit Blanche). He has written about the photographic documentation of performance art in the 1960s and 70s, and the installation work of Joan Jonas. He studied theater at the National Theater School of Turin and has a Masters in philosophy from the University of Oxford, a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Turin, and an MFA in media arts from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. Her work often considers discrepancies in musical space—real, imagined, and remembered. Her music has been performed by Dither Electric Guitar Quartet, Mantra Percussion, the Bang On A Can All-Stars, orchest de ereprijs, the Estonian National Ballet, The Glass Farm Ensemble, James Moore, Will Smith, Terri Hron, Nina de Heney, Kathryn Woodard, Todd Reynolds, Kathleen Supové, Margaret Lancaster and Jody Redhage. Awards include the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fulbright Grant, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers’ Awards, the MacCracken and Langley Ryan Fellowship, and recently the 2014 Elliott Carter Rome Prize. Matthusen is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Wesleyan University.
The Experimental Music Yearbook is a repository for composers, performers, and the public to glean the methods and styles of various artists working in the experimental music tradition. As the modes of experimentation in the sonic arts change from year to year, the Experimental Music Yearbook’s annual issues will build into a comprehensive, and varied, database of experimentation in music/sound. Since the inaugural edition in 2009, the Experimental Music Yearbook has featured contributions from such artists as Tom Johnson, Bill Dietz, Tashi Wada, Cat Lamb, Vinny Golia, Jessie Marino, Julia Holter, and many, many more. Along with the three permanent editors (Casey Anderson, Scott Cazan, and John P. Hastings), each year features a guest editor who provides curatorial direction. The 2015 edition features guest editor Travis Just (Object Collection). Former guest editors have included Michael Pisaro, Sara Roberts, Laura Steenberge and Olivia Block. Live performances of contributions have occurred in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Cologne, Germany.