Friday, February 20, 2009

John Duncan _ write-ups

Ulrich Krieger at Lampo - 2/7/09


FEB 21 9pm

John Duncan returns to Chicago for his first visit in over five years, presenting a new 4-channel work, "The Hidden." Digital audio debris, generated noise, field recordings and shortwave radio static. Cinema for the blind, where the sighted are the challenged.

John Duncan (b. 1953, Wichita, Kan.) is widely recognized for his performance events, music and installations, often exploring audience response to sensory deprivation and stimuli. His work has been presented at MOCA in Los Angeles, PS1 in New York, MAK in Vienna, MACBA in Barcelona and MOT in Tokyo.

His formative artistic years were spent in and around Los Angeles. As a teenager Duncan left Wichita and his strict Calvinist upbringing for CalArts, where he studied for 18 months before moving to Hollywood and then Pasadena. Throughout the 1970s he presented his first controversial performance events, recorded early audio experiments with shortwave radio, hung out with friends Paul McCarthy (with whom he co-produced Close Radio) and Tom Recchion (John says, "Tom introduced me to an entire spectrum of sound, patiently playing one record after another…") and was an unofficial L.A.F.M.S. associate. He spent most of the 1980s in Tokyo collaborating with Japanese noise artists, and the 1990s in Amsterdam, before moving to Italy. He now lives and works in Bologna.

Of special note, his 1996 project "The Crackling," composed with Max Springer from field recordings made at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in California is considered a landmark in experimental sound. "Nav," his audio project with Francisco López, received a 1999 Prix Ars Electronica award for digital music. More recent work includes collaborations with zeitkratzer, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Asmus Tietchens, Valerio Tricoli, and Pan Sonic members Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen.

John Duncan first appeared at Lampo in April 2000, when he performed the U.S. premiere of "Palace of Mind." In October 2003 he presented "Infrasound-Tidal," made with sounds derived from seismic data and tidal readings collected on the Australian coast.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


FEB 7 9pm

Something loud, then quiet, then loud again from Ulrich Krieger, German saxophonist, in his hotly anticipated Chicago debut.

At Lampo he presents "R.A.W."—a new solo program for amplified tenor sax and live electronics. Sub-bass drones, sharp noise attacks, saxophone-controlled pitched feedback, noise and extended playing techniques, ranging from thick wall-of-sound to sparse reductionism. He calls his style of playing "acoustic electronics," using sounds that appear to be electronic, but that are really produced on acoustic instruments and then sometimes electronically treated.

Ulrich Krieger (b. 1962, Freiburg, Germany) is a composer, performer, improviser and experimental rock musician. His main instruments are saxophones, clarinets, didgeridoo and electronics. He is perhaps best known for transcribing Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" for the chamber orchestra zeitkratzer in 2002. As a member of that ensemble he also has performed noise music by Merzbow, Zbigniew Karkowski and John Duncan, scored for and faithfully reproduced by classical instruments. Additional projects include the John Cage-focused quartet A Cage of Saxophones; and Text of Light, a group including Lee Ranaldo, Alan Licht and Christian Marclay that improvises soundtracks to avant-garde films. Other collaborations include Phill Niblock, Kasper T. Toeplitz and LaMonte Young. Since 2007 he has lived in Los Angeles, where he is a member of the CalArts music faculty.