After 9 Evenings: John Cage’s "Variations VII” Realized by Ed Bear

From September 25 to October 1, 2016 ISSUE Project Room presents After 9 Evenings: A 50th Anniversary Celebration, a dynamic series of performances, talks, screenings, and workshops to mark the 50th anniversary of 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering (1966).

Ed Bear presents a newly-commissioned interpretation of John Cage’s infamous "Variations VII.” First performed at “9 Evenings” (1966), the stochastic piece included only readily available “sounds from the ether”: technologically-produced or electrically-amplified sound from a variety of sources, transmitted or picked up live in the performance space. These included photoelectric cells, Geiger counters, household appliances, sirens, brainwaves, and telephone lines dialled in to locations including the Bronx Zoo aviary, the 14th Street Con Edison electric power station, the ASPCA lost dog kennel, the New York Times press room, Merce Cunningham’s studio, and Terry Riley’s turtle tank. A landmark work of the mid-1960s, "Variations VII” also presciently speaks to our globalized, networked world and to the accessibility of audio-visual information via the internet and consumer electronics. For the performance at ISSUE, Bear and a team of collaborators will activate an interwoven heterogeneity of live sound sources including photocells, short wave radios, handmade synthesizers, brainwaves, heartbeats, contact microphones affixed to everyday objects, video calls, live streams and cell phones connected to international locations.

Special thanks to: Julie Martin, Grrrnd Zero, Undervolt & Co., cycling '74, Deep Thoughts Records, The Flux Factory, The Silent Barn, The Lot Radio, Clocktower Radio, The Knockdown Center, Greg Fox at Pioneerworks, Lee Azzarello, Noisebridge, MSHR, Ruth Kahn and Outpost Artist Resources, David Weinstein and Ridgewood Radio, The Wavefarm, NAISA, Signal Culture, Eastern Bloc in Montreal, Nick van der Kolk and Love and Radio, Justin Grotelueschen and Shani Aviram at Megapolis Audio Festival, Dustin Wong, Gao Jiafeng, DJ ShluchT, Daedalus, Twig Harper at Tarantula Hill, CODAME, Carol Parkinson and Harvestworks, Bastl Instruments, Mark Dwinell and John Also Bennett at the Schoolhouse

Ed Bear is an American performing artist and electrical engineer who works with robotics, sound, video, transmission and collective improvisation. He has toured extensively in North America and Europe as a performer and teacher, working with organizations such as The Mattress Factory, The Montreal Pop Festival, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute. He is currently working with littleBits, Inc. to revolutionize modular electronics.

Bob Bellerue is a noise composer, experimental musician, and creative technician based in Brooklyn NY. Over the last 25+ years he has been involved in a wide range of creative activities – experimental electronic music, junk metal percussion ensembles, Balinese gamelan, sound scores for dance/theater/video/performance art, and installation sound and video art. His recent sound work is focused on resonant feedback systems, amplified instruments objects and spaces, electronics, and Supercollider programming.

Lea Bertucci is a sound artist, composer and performer whose work describes relationships between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. Her work often incorporates multi-channel speaker arrays, electroacoustic feedback, extended instrumental/vocal technique, and tape collage. Her debut solo LP, Resonance Shapes, was released in 2013 on the Obsolete Units label and has been praised by A Closer Listen as "A grand exploration of the possibilities inherent in sound”. She is a 2016 MacDowell Fellow in composition and a 2015 ISSUE Project Room Artist-in-Residence. Her discography includes a number of solo and collaborative releases on various underground independent labels in the US and Europe, most recently, Axis/Atlas, on Clandestine Compositions.

G. Lucas Crane is a sound artist, performer, and musician whose work focuses on information anxiety, media confusion, and recycled technology. Collaborations include sound design for the Performance Thanatology Research Society’s production of ‘History of Heat’ and 'The 50 Greatest Ladies and Gentlemen" at the Ontological Hysteric Theater in New York ; a batshit crazy full US tour with Woods; a European tour with drone collective Vanishing Voice; a production of ‘Oh What War’ at Here Theater in NYC with the Juggernaught Theater company; a ghost story album with Baltimore experimental vocalist Ric Royer; Machine design with New York electronic Instrument company CasperElectronics; Studio and performance work with musical entities Woods, Castanets, Grizzly Bear, and Wooden Wand; and solo performances as Nonhorse in the US and Europe.

Thessia Machado’s work investigates the physicality of sound and its effect on our perception of space. In sculptures and interactive installations that have a real-time, live component, the expressive potential is still active and changeable. As an extension of this practice she performs electronic and electro-acoustic experimental music with hand-made and modified instruments. Thessia’s installations and video pieces have been exhibited in New York, London, Philadelphia, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Berlin and Athens. She has been awarded residencies at Harvestworks, Homesession, Barcelona, the NARS Foundation, I-Park, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Vermont Studio Center and is a recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Experimental Television Center, The Bronx Museum. Machado was recently awarded the Berlin Prize and will be at the American Academy in Berlin for Spring of 2017.

Josh Millrod is a electro-acoustic performer/composer and board-certified music therapist living in Brooklyn, NY. Over the past decade, Josh has released music as a solo artist and member of Grasshopper and Hex Breaker Quartet. He has presented his ongoing sound and imagery project "Dreaming Together" at MoMA PS1 and will be presenting on "Hip Hop in Music Psychotherapy" at the AMTA's national music therapy conference.

Chris McIntyre is Brooklyn-based performer, composer, and curator/producer. He interprets and improvises on trombone and synthesizers. Projects including TILT Brass (Director), Ne(x)tworks, UllU, and Either/Or Ensemble. Co-organizer of the After 9 Evenings festival.

Matt Regula has been designing and performing with custom electronics and film projections as one half of Telecult Powers for the last decade.

P. Spadine has created a large collection of toy, re-appropriated, and “real” instruments, and a revolving performance ensemble based in Bushwick, NY. Since 2007 the ensemble has been popping up in D.I.Y. style and art house venues thoughout NYC and the eastern seaboard, employing everything from children’s handbells, prepared tape recorders, stacks of discarded televisions, homemade circuitry, colored lightbulbs, mirrors, to more widely accepted noisemakers to create new music in forms more familiar than the instrumentation would lead the listener to believe.