Saturday 11 August 2018, 7.30pm
David Grubbs celebrates the publication of his new book, Now that the audience is assembled, with a reading and a solo performance.
Following his investigation into experimental music and sound recording in Records Ruin the Landscape, Grubbs turns his attention to the live performance of improvised music with an altogether different form of writing. Now that the audience is assembled is a book-length prose poem that describes a fictional musical performance during which an unnamed musician improvises the construction of a series of invented instruments before an audience that is alternately contemplative, participatory, disputatious, and asleep. Over the course of this phantasmagorical all-night concert, repeated interruptions take the form of in-depth discussions and musical demonstrations. Both a work of literature and a study of music, Now that the audience is assembled explores the categories of improvised music, solo performance, text scores, instrument building, aesthetic deskilling and reskilling, and the odd fate of the composer in experimental music.
David Grubbs is Distinguished Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of Good night the pleasure was ours, The Voice in the Headphones, Now that the audience is assembled, and Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording (all published by Duke University Press) as well as the collaborative artists’ books Simultaneous Soloists (with Anthony McCall, Pioneer Works Press) and Projectile (with Reto Geiser and John Sparagana, Drag City).
Grubbs has released fifteen solo albums and appeared on more than 200 releases. In 2000, his The Spectrum Between (Drag City) was named “Album of the Year” in the London Sunday Times. He is known for his ongoing cross-disciplinary collaborations with poet Susan Howe and visual artists Anthony McCall and Angela Bulloch, and his work has been presented at, among other venues, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, MoMA, the Tate Modern, and the Centre Pompidou. Grubbs was a member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait, and has performed with Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, Luc Ferrari, Will Oldham, Loren Connors, the Red Krayola, Royal Trux, and many others.
Ute Kanngiesser is a London based cellist and composer from Germany. Over the years, she has carefully deconstructed her classical roots and almost exclusively performs unscripted, improvised music. Much of her work has evolved in relationship with other art forms such as film, poetry, dance, and site specific performance.
Cafe Oto has been her musical home since its beginnings and where she has collaborated with a wide spectrum of local and visiting artists. She has also performed at Whitstable Biennale, The Serpentine Gallery, Tate Modern, the V&A and international festivals.
Northern Irish (and London-based) guitarist and ‘magnetic and vibrating sources’ player Ross Lambert, has in his own words, the following fundamental and simultaneous approaches to live performance: to play as though it was both the first time and also the last; and to able to differentiate between what is good and worth conserving and what is not. Ross has been involved in, initiated and been a connector between a very wide variety of improvisatory music since his first exposure and (immediate) commitment to it, in Sheffield via Derek Bailey during the mid-1980s. Although under-recorded (he claims ‘by choice’), Ross has worked with a huge number of musicians from around the world, including Tetuzi Akiyama, Ami Yoshida, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Paul Hession, Rhodri Davies, John Butcher and Evan Parker, as well as his close friends Eddie Prevost, Seymour Wright, and Sebastian Lexer.