Artists-In-Residence 2016

L. Gray Presents: A Blackstar Valentine

Sun 14 Feb, 2016, 8pm

Free ($10 suggested donation)
55 Walker Street, NYC 10013

Keith Connolly, aka L.GRAY opens his ISSUE Project Room residency with A BLACKSTAR VALENTINE. A love letter in sound and vision to the Duke and the Baron, the event features PAPASHEROS, Pigeons, and a very special appearance by legendary Japanese singer-songwriter Morio Agata.

A collaborative group comprising L.GRAY with Excepter's JF Ryan, and Lala Ryan, PAPASHEROS is assembled for the occasion of A BLACKSTAR VALENTINE. Their mission statement "I sell the blood of the tree-cutters" is based on a mis-hearing of Bowie's revised "Candidate", from his epochal Diamond Dogs LP.

Organized by Lawrence Kumpf.



Inspired by Bob Dylan, in 1965 at the age of sixteen, Morio Agata took up singing. In 1972 he made his national debut with the song "Red Color Elegy," and created a sensation across Japan. About 45 years later, he is a lone man in the universe, who keeps dreaming about love, the true heart, outer space and the future. He contemplates the Apollo moon missions, Boiger's escape from the heliosphere, even the future of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Agata, a million dollar Ziggy Star-man, will sing his way through the 21st century, streaking like a comet.

Formed in Astoria in 2004 as a two-piece free jazz unit, Pigeons have progressively egressed from snocking pseudo-Aylerisms to the almost-danceable psychedelic something-or-other of their current formation with Rob Smith and Pat Gubler.

John Fell Ryan acts as head glyph for techno improv troupe Excepter. Lifelong member of The No-Neck Blues Band (NNCK).

Lala Ryan sings and plays keyboard and flute for the techno improv troupe Excepter. She also performs solo as Krissi Kathrin.

Keith Connolly is a New York-based artist born in Brooklyn. Under the alias L. GRAY, Connolly has performed solo and with a range of collaborators including Tom Thayer, Chie Mukai and others. In 1992, he dropped out of SUNY Buffalo, abandoning studies in English literature to form No-Neck Blues Band with Jason Meagher and Pat Murano. For over 20 years NNCK explored simultaneity through improvised performance and encrypted documentation, performed extensively throughout the US, Canada and Europe, and published more than 50 LPs, CDs and singles. He has appeared in theatrical productions by the Wooster Group, and is a member of the New York City Players. As an organizer, he runs the label HALATERN, etc., and co-created the Numina Lente performance festival with Jay Sanders in 2011. He is a contributing music editor for BOMB magazine.

ISSUE Project Room's annual Artist-in-Residence program provides New York-based emerging artists with a year of support, offering artists access to facilities, equipment, documentation, pr/marketing, curatorial and technical expertise to develop and present significant new works, reach the next stage in their artistic development, and gain exposure to a broad public audience.

ISSUE Project Room's Artist-in-Residence program is made possible, in part, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, mediaThe foundation inc., public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and with the support of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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