Lary 7: Owl Movie / Ensemble of Seven

ISSUE is pleased to premiere Owl Movie, a newly-commissioned 16mm cinema work by multimedia composer Lary 7 exploring the possibilities of arcane film equipment. The artist’s first-ever fixed media film, this unrepeatable sound and light spectacle runs for two nights only.

In the tradition of long-duration “still” films, such as Andy Warhol’s Empire, Lary 7’s Owl Movie consists of a thirty-minute unmoving still-life, featuring a stuffed owl, run simultaneously through two Analyst slow-speed 16mm projectors and captured again with a single 16mm camera into a fixed image. Exploiting the mechanical imperfections of the projectors (which run at 5 frames-per-second) and the inherent impossibility of overlaying identical film images in perfect sync, the performance activates an unchanging still-life into a complex, breathing image characterized by perpetually-shifting rhythms and pulsations of light and color. By calibrating the performance in a studio setting and utilizing the media of film itself to capture the filmic performance, Lary 7 embeds the final product with an additional layer of complexity that transcends straightforward documentation. The film will be accompanied by an optical soundtrack containing the sounds of the projectors in performance, amplified via contact microphones – an exaggerated and distorted representation of the sounds that would naturally accompany the original performance.

Opening the evening, the “Ensemble of Seven” reunites for a one-night-only performance in the resonant archways of ISSUE’s main space. Featuring Lary 7 (double bass), Mia Theodoratus (harp), Masami Tomihisa (keyboard/percussion), Michael Evans (percussion), and Patrick Holmes (clarinet).

Born in Buffalo, New York, Lary 7 is a multimedia artist who coaxes profane, inscrutable sounds and images from various mysterious devices. Eschewing the digital, his work mainly features vintage and forgotten electronic instruments and technologies. In the past he has taken the unique approach of modifying household appliances in order to give them a musical voice. Lary is a co-founder of Plastickville Records and has been a major figure in the New York experimental underground music scene since 1970. He has worked on exceptional musical projects with diverse artists including Jimi Tenor, Jarboe, Foetus, Tony Conrad, Alexander Hacke, Larry Mullins, Dorit Chrysler, Bernhard Gal, Jacob Kirkegaard, Gen Ken Montgomery, and Gordon Monahan.

Harpist Mia Theodoratus teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, the Irish Arts Center and the Mozartina Conservatory. Masami Tomihisa is a composer, improviser and pianist from Japan who is part of the electroacoustic trio, The Utter Nots. Michael Evans is an improvising drummer, percussionist, thereminist and composer who has worked with a wide range of artists in many disciplines including Martha Colburn, Shelley Hirsch, Ken Jacobs, and Aki Onda. Patrick Holmes regularly performs as part of Patrick Brennan’s Transparency Kestra, a modularly-organized ensemble of wind and string performers.