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December 15, 2014 Monday

Wade Matthews & Jill Burton, David Kirby
8:00PM - - -
Price:  7

Wade Matthews & Jill Burton (duo)

Wade Matthews

In 1989, after completing his doctorate at Columbia University in New York, French-born American musician Wade Matthews moved to Madrid and became active on the international improv scene. Drawing on his work at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (His doctoral dissertation was on improvisation guided by electronic sounds) he approached the bass clarinet and alto flute as “acoustic synthesizers,” rethinking their sonic possibilities, phrasing, and relation to breath in a musical language based on real-time creation. When faster processors made laptop synthesis viable, Matthews gradually abandoned the woodwinds and returned to his first love, tweaking a virtual synthesizer to allow very rapid control of sound parameters for solo playing and dialog with others. In 2007, he founded INTERMEDIA 28 with photographer Adam Lubroth and guitarist Julio Camarena. There, he began to combine field recordings with electronic synthesis in a 2-computer setup that has since become his main instrument.

Matthews has presented his work on five continents, including performances at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Center for the Arts in Mexico City, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Reina Sofía Museum of Contemporary Art in Madrid, The Stone, in New York; Fylkingen, in Stockholm, and concerts and festivals in London, Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, Montevideo, Barcelona, Beirut, Cape Verde, Lisbon, Dublin, Oslo, etc. Besides his concerts, Matthews is interested in sharing ideas about music and his activity as a lecturer and visiting professor has taken him to the Paris Conservatory, the University of California, San Diego; the California Art Institute, Columbia University, the Universidad de las Americas in Puebla, Mexico; the American University of Beirut, Limerick University in Ireland, and many, many others.

Jill Burton

Born in 1952, extended vocalist/holistic/sound/movement/performance artist JILL BURTON was a professional ballerina, modern dancer, dance teacher and accompanist, and free improvisor in Gainesville FL during the 1970s. In 1978, she traveled to San Francisco where she met for the first time her life-long collaborators Davey Williams and LaDonna Smith, and connected for the first time to a larger, world-wide community of free improvisors. She lived in Manhattan's East Village from 1981-1991 where she was very active as part of the downtown experimental music/dance/performance art scene; including co-founding, w/Rain Worthington, the band HIZOHI which also included Jane Scarpantoni, Yuval Gabay, and Kumiko Kimoto; and three years in David First's microtonal orchestra The Flatland Oscillators. She has been privileged to work with and learn from artists of the Peking Opera, the Noh Theater, and Alaska Native Tlingit storytellers. She spent more than 15 years studying and practicing bodywork, hands-on healing, energy-work, and sound-healing modalities, and is perhaps unique in applying these practices and philosophies as an extended vocalist and movement artist working in the field of the art of free improvisation. She currently tours the US several times a year doing solo and collaborative performances and giving workshops and presentations.

David Kirby

In some ways, an oddly retro recording, 68 minutes of, essentially, tape collage of the mash-up kind that recalls not so much the mix 'n' match aesthetics of downtown NYC in the 80s but more (at least for me) an aural equivalent of a certain kind of telecast that used to run on Manhattan Cable where some inspired fellow would meld swatches of film stock in rapid-fire fashion, linking things more or less thematically--explosions, dinosaurs, punches, kisses, whatever--in a manner that, at its best, beca,me almost rapturous.

It begins wonderfully enough, bird and insect sounds augmented by a whirling, vaguely metallic noise, liked oiled steel plates sliding atop one another. After several minutes, that gives way to...well, a whole smorgasbord of things. Credits list four tape recorders (sounds like turntables as well) and I'm wondering, given what I saw Kirby capable of accomplishing last fall at AMPLIFY:stones, whether this might be a live performance; I wouldn't be totally surprised, though the depth achieved, one way or another, is very impressive. Describing it is difficult, not the least because of it shifting substance, snatches of near-recognizable music of various genres (hip hop represented with some prominence but "Beautiful Dreamer" also stops in) butting shoulders and knees against a kind of swirling electronics that summons, to my mind, Pierre Henry, even Terry Riley at his most abstract.

Personally, I don't have long patience with this mode of attack, at least these days. It's interesting that it almost achieves a kind of white noise aspect by evening out the playing field so that one sound more or less equates to another, but that "almost" doesn't negate the nagging identifying tendency one has as you try to mentally find patterns, look for logical or dream-logical associations, etc. Kirby may well have employed some system or structural design or he may have free associated, but while any given three minute segment retains a goodly amount of intrigue, as a whole, it's an overwhelming, sheer mass of data that ends up leaving bruises but few other lingering impressions or thoughts, though the maelstrom that occupies the final ten or so minutes is cohesive and quite beautiful. An oddly mixed bag, then.

- Brian Olewnick, Just Outside

 December 2014
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