Unsound Festival NY 2014

Oren Ambarchi: Knots / EVOL play Hanne Darboven

Unsound Festival New York opens at ISSUE Project Room with stateside premieres by electronic artists Oren Ambarchi and EVOL. Australian multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarchi presents a live version of “Knots”, the centerpiece of his 2012 release “Audience of One” (Touch). Ambarchi is joined by fellow Australians drummer Joe Talia, Crys Cole on contact mics and spring, and soloist James Rushford leading a quintet from Krakow’s Sinfonietta Cracovia as well as other string players. Opening for them is half of the Barcelona-based post-rave sound-art duo EVOL, premiering a new interpretation of esteemed conceptual artist and composer Hanne Darboven's legendary piece "Opus 17a" (1984).


* EVOL play Hanne Darboven’s "Opus 17a" (1984) – USA premiere

* Oren Ambarchi: “Knots” (2012) – USA premiere
With Sinfonietta Cracovia players, Oren Ambarchi, guitar; Joe Talia, drums, Crys Cole, contact mics & spring; James Rushford, viola & conductor; Erkki Veltheim, violin; Judith Hamann, cello.

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.

As EVOL, Roc Jiménez de Cisneros and Stephen Sharp produce what they call "computer music for hooligans". Their work is an aesthetic exploration of algorithmic composition and a deconstruction of rave culture. Their music has been published on record labels like Entr'acte, Editions Mego, Presto!?, fals.ch or their very own ALKU. Their work has been exhibited at numerous festivals, clubs, galleries and museums throughout the world. EVOL recordings, installations and performances have a unique approach to sound matter, full of upward spirals, trance inducing patterns and challenging temporal structures. Their latest published works include the LP "Proper Headshrinker", released by Editions Mego, "Something Inflatable", released on ALKU, a classic acid mix for iDEAL, and cassettes for Last Foundation and Sludge Tapes. They are currently working on stuff for BUS, Diagonal, Khalija and Presto!?.

German artist Hanne Darboven (1941-2009) is celebrated for her minimal and conceptual works, which have been exhibited internationally and are held in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim, MoMA, Dia Art Foundation and Centre Pompidou among many others. Her practice centered on concepts of time, largely structured through mathematical series derived from the Gregorian calendar: formulations of the four to six digits used to notate date, month, and year. Naturally aligned to musical concepts of theme and variation, Darboven, who briefly pursued a career as a clasical pianist, in 1980 began translating these numerical systems into musical sequences. Tonight’s performance features “Opus 17a”, one of four opuses included in Wunschkonzert (1984). Comprised of 36 poems, rhythmic movement is delineated in increasing and decreasing rows of numbers, with the sum values represented in digits and linear notations. EVOL has developed a new interpretation of this work for electronics, created in collaboration with artist and composer Guy Birkin.

Tickets for this program are free to ISSUE All-Access Members.

Photo: Oren Ambarchi by Bradley Buehring

Image: Oren Ambarchi by Bradley Buehring.

EVOL are co-presented with Mark Lewis at Yale Union.

Unsound Festival New York is presented by: Fundacja Tone and the Polish Cultural Institute New York, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Production Partner: ISSUE Project Room.

In co-operation with: TMU (Trust for Mutual Understanding), City of Krakow, Krakow Festival Office, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York, Goethe-Institute New York, Electronic Music Foundation, the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, BAMcinématek, The Bunker, Mutual Dreaming, Experimental Intermedia and SubPac.

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