We need your help – please
Published by Yellowfields
180mm x 250mm, 62 pages, black and white digital printing with fold around colour stock cover which is screen printed, staple bound, edition of 100, 2020
This first volume of yellowfields print Overburden features artist texts;
From flesh to bone by Eleanor Duffin ,
Quantum Ghost by Libita Sibungu,
Why I look into this glass by Abigail Reynolds,
We Stand at the Threshold by Olivia Jones
Curatorial essay Overburden by Elisa Kay.
Connected through the notions of natural environments and the earth as an inspiration, a history and material, this critical group delves into ideas around ways of looking, geography, migration, geology and extractivism.
Yellowfields is an independent project investigating critical ideas through the writing of emerging female artists. Across three thematic publications, featured artist texts sit alongside a curatorial or art historical essay which highlights overarching ideas. The project aims to generate critical impact through challenging environmental and socio-political issues.
YELLOWFIELDS VOLUME ONE: OVERBURDEN
“An obstinate clot of invention” is a phase coined by Rob Young to describe the London Musicians’ Collective (LMC), who were thus characterised as an impediment to the smooth flowing musical mainstream. Kick-started in 1976 by a group of young musicians, the LMC soon expanded to included artists from Europe and eventually from the world-wide pool of creative performers.
But the story of the LMC is more than that of merely a group of experimental musicians and associated artists. Its narrative flows along various currents of society, culture and politics. Over 32 years, the LMC and its many members were at the centre of a roller coaster ride, and its history is also one of a gritty avant-gardism across four decades of performative activity. From the UK’s hot summers of 1975/1976, to the world financial crisis of 2008, this is an enthralling account of a historically important project.
Trevor Barre is the author of two well received books about UK Free Improvisation - Beyond Jazz: The Golden Age of Free Music in London 1966-1972, and Convergences, Divergences & Affinities: The Second Wave of Free Improvisation in England 1973-1979.
The London Musicians' Collective: An Obstinate Clot of Invention
The life and work of Maryanne Amacher are as vast as they are little known. In this volume, Amy Cimini and Bill Dietz offer a heterodox and idiosyncratic selection of largely unpublished documents spanning the breadth of the papers included in the Amacher Collection. The chronologically grouped documents, ranging from private writings and letters to program notes, manifestos, and proposals for unrealized projects, are framed by interviews in which Amacher discusses corresponding periods of her life. This structure leads readers carefully into the composer’s musical thought as it develops and transforms over time, while working strenuously against the definitiveness associated with “collected” writings. This study of a still-unfolding body of work approaches its materials as provisional, promissory and open-ended. Here, Cimini and Dietz have compiled a volume full of staggeringly rich primary documents, while probing the issue of what it means to assemble these materials while the question “who was Maryanne Amacher?” remains so open. This collection invites the reader to answer.
Because Amacher worked across nearly every imaginable media format, this book will be be of interest to theorists and practitioners of urban design, contemporary art history, media and communications, music and sound studies, film, radio, art criticism, and performance studies—in short, a configuration of disciplines that we might call an Intermedial Humanities. At the same time, this collection challenges any area of music, sound, or media studies that might be remade through the recovery of understudied figures. This volume is about doing things a different way. It is organized to foreground Amacher’s voices and soundworlds so that—whatever future musical and social constellations might join the ongoing excavation of this practice—readers can experience her work in, and through, her own words.
At the time of this writing, the Maryanne Amacher Collection is currently being processed at the New York Public Library, stewarded by Blank Forms and the Maryanne Amacher Foundation.
Maryanne Amacher (1938 – 2009) was a composer of large-scale, fixed-duration sound installations, and a highly original thinker in the areas of perception, sound spatialization, creative intelligence, and aural architecture. She is regarded as a pioneer of what has come to be called “sound art,” although her thought and creative practice consistently challenged key assumptions about the capacities and limitations of that genre. Often considered in light of post-Cagean art practices, her work anticipated some of the most important developments in network culture, media arts, acoustic ecology, and sound studies.
Bill Dietz is a composer, writer and co-chair of Music/ Sound in the Bard MFA program.
Amy Cimini is a musicologist, violist and Assistant Professor of Music at UC San Diego. Her first book, Wild Sound: Maryanne Amacher and the Tenses of Audible Life, is forthcoming in Spring 2021 with Oxford University Press.
Maryanne Amacher – Selected Writings and Interviews
Limited number of copies found in the lockdown clean up!
Issue 2 of the Cesura//Acceso, journal of music, politics and poetics. Featuring work by Paul Abbott, Larne Abse Gogarty, Kim O'Neil, Danny Hayward, David Morris, Nathaniel Mackey, Federica Frabetti and Mark Fell, Irene Revell and Annea Lockwood, ESW, Abject Subject Ensemble, Sophie Hoyle, Hannah Black, Naroder Bourniki, Paul Rekret, Clair Potter, Sacha Kahir, Byron Peters and Tyler Coburn, Pil and Galia Kollectiv and Verity Spott.
Cesura//Acceso - issue 2 Book
Aspirations of Madness, Blank Forms’ fifth collection of archival, unpublished, or newly translated texts, takes its title from a series of interviews with Japanese free jazz pioneer Masayuki Takayangi that were published in Japanese in 1975–76 and are published here in English for the first time. The interviews provide a rare look at Takayanagi’s eccentric practice and personality, both long under-recognized by audiences outside (and often, inside) of Japan. In this respect, the interviews speak to the goals of Blank Forms’ publication enterprise, that is, to expand upon our work in performance programming, record production, and archival preservation, and to foster new dialogues on vanguard art and music from the past 50-plus years.
The postwar Japanese history that Takayanagi describes also surfaces in this publication’s opening piece, a poetictribute by the writer and artist Louise Landes Levi to one of Takayanagi’s contemporaries, the poet Kazuko Shiraishi. Aspirations of Madness includes a second Levi poem as well, “A Deep River,” written while at La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Dream House in 2003, while Charles Curtis was rehearsing Just Charles and Cello in the Romantic Chord, a composition by Young that Blank Forms plans to present in Spring 2020. Complementing this tradition of Japanese free improvisation and poetry is the republication of a 1977 interview with Joseph Jarman, the great composer, poet, and multi-instrumentalist. The interview took place a few months after the publication of Jarman’s book Black Case Volume I & II: Return from Exile, a collection of writings from 1960 to 1977 that Blank Forms had the honor of publishing in a new edition in Fall 2019.
We also feature Charles Stein’s introduction to Being = Space x Action, a crucial supplement to another recent Blank Forms publication, Poësy Matters and Other Matters by Catherine Christer Hennix. In its specificity and rarity of focus, Stein’s text offers valuable information on a vibrant artistic network of the recent past, as well as an extended look at the evolution of Hennix’s complex practice. Further along, Aspirations of Madness features an excerpt from The Tree of Music, a cross-cultural treatise by the Russian musicologist Genrich “Henry” Orlov, the English translation of which has never been published before. The Tree of Music is a sweeping philosophical study of global music and cultures with universalist and spiritualist ambitions, excerpts of which are here selected and introduced by the composer and pianist Leo Svirsky. Aspirations of Madness closes with one of Maryanne Amacher’s final pieces of writing, “The Agreement,” from 2009. The text takes the form of a letter between Amacher and the Open Ended Group, with whom she had planned to collaborate on her final, unfinished project, Lagrange: A Four Part Mini Series.
Aspirations of Madness considers the work of Masayuki Takayanagi, the poet Louise Landes Levi, musician and writer Joseph Jarman, polymath Catherine Christer Hennix and her one-time student the poet Charles Stein, Russian musicologist Henry Orlov, and Maryanne Amacher —brilliant and overlooked artists whose work Blank Forms will continue to champion in a variety of contexts. Aspirations of Madness features additional contributions by Alan Cummings, Bill Dietz, Peter Kastakis, Art Lange, Leo Svirsky, Satoru Obara, and Tomoyuki Chida, and is edited by Lawrence Kumpf with Joe Bucciero.
Blank Forms Journal 5: Aspirations of Madness
In the tradition of Patrick Leigh Fermor and Geoff Dyer, a Grammy-winning producer discovers a powerful and ancient folk music tradition.
In a dark record shop in Istanbul, Christopher King uncovered some of the strangest—and most hypnotic—sounds he had ever heard. The 78s seemed to tap into a primal well of emotion inaccessible to contemporary music. The songs, King learned, were from Epirus, an area straddling southern Albania and northwestern Greece and boasting a folk tradition extending back to the pre-Homeric era. Lament from Epirus is an unforgettable journey into a musical obsession which follows a genre back to the roots of song itself. As King hunts for traces of two long-lost virtuosos, he tells the story of the Roma people who pioneered Epirotic folk music and whose descendants continue the tradition today. His journey becomes an investigation into song and dance’s role as a means of spiritual healing—and what this may reveal about music’s original purpose.
Christopher C. King – Lament from Epirus
The sounds of late ’70s and ’80s east coast avant-garde jazz, soul, and punk rock are well documented, but in Nothing but the Music Thulani Davis gives us something beyond, delivering a collection of synesthetic, transportive documentary poems that breathe anecdotal and impressionistic life into a sonic-social history about which most can only speculate. Davis’ verse takes free flight with its muses, scatting and leaping off the page and the shoulders of the musicians, nightclubs, and choreographers she chronicles in these poems. Her odes both to recorded music and its sacred spaces of spirited encounter are at once a paean to ephemeral flashes of embodied experience and a work of preservation. Davis remembers to remember the raw feelings, smoke, dawn drunks, and impulsive energy of her moment, without forgetting its inscription into a broader political urgency. Written between 1974 and 1992, these poems are the most anthologized pieces of Davis’ work, having appeared in numerous collections of writing on black music, here finally assembled for the first time. Nothing but the Music is further proof of Davis’ place as a crucial figure, alongside poets Jayne Cortez, Sonia Sanchez, and Ntozake Shange, in the cultural landscape surrounding the Black Arts Movement.
Featured musicians and dancers include Cecil Taylor, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Bad Brains, Henry Threadgill, Thelonious Monk, The Revolutionary Ensemble, The Commodores, MFSB, Dianne McIntyre, Ishmael Houston-Jones, and many more in performances at historic venues such as The Five Spot, The Village Vanguard, The Apollo, Storyville, and Club Harlem.
With a foreword by Jessica Hagedorn and an introduction by Tobi Haslett.
Thulani Davis (b. 1949) is an interdisciplinary artist and scholar whose work includes works of poetry, theater, journalism, history, and film. Her engagement with African American life, culture, and history is distinguished by poetic economy, passionate musicality, and an investigative concern for justice. While a student at Barnard College, the Virginia native was “schooled” for her first spoken word performance by Gylan Kain and Felipe Luciano of the Original Last Poets, jumpstarting a life of performance that would have her put words to music by Cecil Taylor, Joseph Jarman, Juju, Arthur Blythe, Miya Masaoka, David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Tania León, and others. Living in San Francisco in the ‘70s, she joined the Third World Artists Collective, collaborated with Ntozake Shange, and worked for the San Francisco Sun-Reporter, reporting on stories such as the Soledad Brothers trial and the Angela Davis case before returning to New York and continuing to incite radical political thought as a reporter and critic for the Village Voice for over a decade. This experience as a journalist blazes through her historical fiction and her other writing, breathing anecdotal life into the experiences of actors of American history who have remained unnamed as a result of bondage and other unjust erasures. Davis has collaborated with her cousin, composer Anthony Davis, writing the libretti for the operas X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X and Amistad, and wrote the scripts for the films Paid in Full and Maker of Saints, as well as several award-winning PBS documentaries. In 1993, her writing for Aretha Franklin’s Queen of Soul – The Atlantic Recordings made her the first woman to win a Grammy for liner notes, and her bibliography additionally includes My Confederate Kinfolk, novels 1959 and Maker of Saints, and several works of poetry. She is an ordained Buddhist priest in the Jodo Shinshu sect, founded the Brooklyn Buddhist Association with her husband Joseph Jarman, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies and a Nellie Y. McKay Fellow at the University of Wisconsin. Davis continues to explore the relationship between music and language as well as the ways we define being American and deal with race with her forthcoming book The Emancipation Circuit: Black Activism Forging a Culture of Freedom (Duke University Press) and poetry collection Nothing but the Music: Documentaries from Nightclubs, Lofts, Dance Halls & A Tailor’s Shop in Dakar (Blank Forms Editions).
Poet, novelist, playwright, and performer Jessica Hagedorn was born and raised in the Philippines and came to the United States in her early teens. She is the editor of numerous anthologies and author of several books including Dogeaters, winner of the American Book Award and a finalist for the National Book Award. In the seventies and early eighties, she collaborated with Thulani Davis on multimedia performance pieces presented at downtown venues such as The Public Theater and The Kitchen.
Critic and essayist Tobi Haslett has written about art, film, and literature for n+1, the New Yorker, Artforum, the Village Voice, and elsewhere.
Thulani Davis – Nothing but the Music
"Presented by Sacred Realism Press, D=D is the culmination of 15 years of work and the latest and most ambitious installment of Bryan Eubanks and Joe Foster's Don (now Dan) Brown and Dan Reynolds' project. The book itself contains 391 pages of letters, notes, aphorisms, scores, images, and commentary from Brown and Reynolds, with contributions from related figures including Jenny Haniver, Tim Bradley, and of course Gwendolyn Lovequist and Jack Lunetti, offering furtive glimpses into the thoughts, work, and lives of these still under-recognized figures of contemporary American music. While it might be tempting to see D=D as epistolary speculative biography it also may call to mind the heteronyms of writers like Fernando Pessoa and especially Antoine Volodine. But make no mistake --D does equal D and everything is as it seems.
The accompanying audio CD compiles Eubanks and Foster's interpretations of Brown and Reynolds' Holy and Old musics, respectively, bookended by two cassette recordings from the composers themselves, which should be of special appeal to listeners with an interest in never before exposed corners of American West Coast musical experimentation and iconoclasm."
mixed by Joe Foster & Bryan Eubanks, Berlin 2018mastered by Dick Stormm, the Bronx 201910 tracks, total running time: 52:28391 page hard cover book with glass mastered CD, edition of 500
release date: April 17th, 2019
Don Brown & Dan Reynolds – D=D
Restock expected to ship 3rd August
Guest edited by Shawn Jaeger, the Lee Hyla issue features remembrances and appreciations of the deeply missed composer by Stephen Drury, Rhonda Rider, David Rakowski, Bryan Hayslett, Chris Fisher-Lochheed, Eliza Brown, Scott Wheeler, and Ben Hjertmann.
As well as articles by or with Jerome Harris on Jaki Byard, Charissa Noble on Johanna Beyer, Rick Moody on Stephen Malkmus, Sam Amidon on Son House, Colin Stetson on Henryk Górecki, Claire Chase, Kate Soper, and Eric Wubbels.
Also photos from Katherine Desjardins and exquisite corpse from Shawn Jaeger.
Sound American is A quarterly journal founded in 2012 by Nate Wooley, providing in-depth interviews and essays, Sound American starts from a simple desire to open the doors of experimental music to a wider audience. Sound American believes that music is for everyone and should be shared on the most basic human level. Sound American aims to accomplish this by creating a direct intellectual, social, and emotional bridge that links audiences and artists.
Advisory board: David Grubbs, Rebekah Heller, Taylor Ho Bynum, Zeena Parkins, Matana Roberts, and Ken Vandermark.
Sound American #22 – The Lee Hyla Issue
Why did Andy Warhol decide to enter the music business by producing the Velvet Underground, and what did the band expect to gain in return? What made Yoko Ono use the skills she developed in the artistic avant-garde in pop music, and what in turn drew John Lennon to visual art? Why, in 1980s West Germany, did Joseph Beuys record a pop single and artists such as Walter Dahn, Albert and Markus Oehlen, and Michaela Melián form bands? What role does utopia play in the pop music and art of Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, and Fatima Al Qadiri? And, vice versa, did dystopias of transgressive imagery and noise lead the artist group COUM Transmissions to make music as Throbbing Gristle?
In Double Lives in Art and Pop Music, Jörg Heiser argues that context shifting between art and pop music is an attempt to find solutions for contradictions faced in one field of cultural production. Ever since Duchamp’s readymade und Hugo Ball’s sound poetry, the definition of art has widened and dissolved to a point where nearly anything geared toward an art audience can be considered an artwork. Today it has become convention to praise art as a way of questioning conventions, not least in regard to conventional borders between disciplines, media, and genres. However, heroic claims of dissolving borders have become a way of kicking at doors that are already wide open—in a political and economic environment defined by neoliberal deregulation and flexibilization geared toward new markets, and permeating every social and cultural sphere.
It has thus become increasingly important to discuss the relationship between different fields of cultural production. This book does just that, looking closely at the careers of artists and pop musicians who work in both fields professionally. Historically, these figures provoked cognitive dissonance, but the seeming acceptance and effortlessness today of current border crossings can be deceptive, since they might be serving vested economic or ideological interests. Exploring the intertwined histories of pop and art from the 1960s to the present, Heiser shows that those leading double lives in art and pop music may often be best able to detect these vested interests while pointing toward radical alternatives.
JÖRG HEISER – Double Lives in Art and Pop Music
Restock expected to ship 1st August
The second issue of Spectres is devoted to the concept of resonances, with contributions by Maryanne Amacher, Chris Corsano, Ellen Fullman, Christina Kubisch, Okkyung Lee, Pali Meursault, Jean-Luc Nancy, David Rosenboom, Tomoko Sauvage, The Caretaker, David Toop, and Christian Zanési.
To resonate: re-sonare. To sound again—with the immediate implication of a doubling. Sound and its double: sent back to us, reflected by surfaces, diffracted by edges and corners. Sound amplified, swathed in an acoustics that transforms it. Sound enhanced by its passing through a certain site, a certain milieu. Sound propagated, reaching out into the distance. But to resonate is also to vibrate with sound, in unison, in synchronous oscillation. To marry with its shape, amplifying a common destiny. To join forces with it. And then again, to resonate is to remember, to evoke the past and to bring it back. Or to plunge into the spectrum of sound, to shape it around a certain frequency, to bring out sonic or electric peaks from the becoming of signals.
Resonance embraces a multitude of different meanings. Or rather, remaining always identical, it is actualised in a wide range of different phenomena and circumstances. Such is the multitude of resonances evoked in the pages below: a multitude of occurrences, events, sensations, and feelings that intertwine and welcome one other. Everyone may have their own history, everyone may resonate in their own way, and yet we must all, in order to experience resonance at a given moment, be ready to welcome it. The welcoming of what is other, whether an abstract outside or on the contrary an incarnate otherness ready to resonate in turn, is a condition of resonance. This idea of the welcome is found throughout the texts that follow, opening up the human dimension of resonance, a dimension essential to all creativity and to any exchange, any community of mind. Which means that resonance here is also understood as being, already, an act of paying attention, i.e. a listening, an exchange.
Addressing one or other of the forms that this idea of resonating can take on (extending—evoking—reverberating—revealing—transmitting), each of the contributions brought together in this volume reveals to us a personal aspect, a fragment of the enthralling territory of sonic and musical experimentation, a territory upon which resonance may unfold. The book has been designed as a prism and as a manual. May it in turn find a unique and profound resonance in each and every reader.
Spectres is an annual publication dedicated to sound and music experimentation, co-published by Shelter Press and Ina GRM – Groupe de Recherches Musicales.
Spectres #02 – Resonances
In Vol. 2 of Blank Forms' Journal, Maryanne Amacher remains a focal point, with three pieces related to our work with the pioneering sound artist’s archive. The late polymath avant-garde artist Tony Conrad is represented twice, through a selection of handwritten notes and a new transcription of a 1989 phone interview with Alan Licht.
Music from the World Tomorrow includes contributions by Marcus Boon, Catherine Christer Hennix, Patty Waters, Larry J Nai, Limpe Fuchs and Zoro Babel, Akio Suzuki, Amy Cimini, Scott Fisher, Olaf Stapledon, Andrew Lampert, Klaus Lang, Tashi Wada, Dafne Vicente-Sandoval, John Corbett, Annea Lockwood, Crys Cole, Matana Roberts, and Kan Mikami (translated by David Hopkins). Edited by Lawrence Kumpf and Joe Bucciero.
Blank Forms Journal 2: Music From The World Tomorrow Book
Facsimile edition of the trailblazing periodical Art-Rite
"Edited by Walter Robinson, Edit DeAk, and Joshua Cohn, Art-Rite was published in New York City between 1973 and 1978. The periodical has long been celebrated for its underground/overground position and its cutting, humorous, on-the-streets coverage and critique of the art world. Art-Rite moved easily through the expansive community it mapped out, paying homage to an emergent generation of artists, including many who were—or would soon become—the defining voices of the era. Through hundreds of interviews, reviews, statements, and projects for the page—as well as artist-focused and thematic issues on video, painting, performance, and artists’ books—Art-Rite’s sharp editorial vision and commitment to spotlighting the work of artists stands as a meaningful and lasting contribution to the art history of New York City and beyond.
All issues of Art-Rite are collected and published here.
Featured artists include Vito Acconci, Kathy Acker, Bas Jan Ader, Laurie Anderson, John Baldessari, Gregory Battcock, Lynda Benglis, Mel Bochner, Marcel Broodthaers, Trisha Brown, Chris Burden, Scott Burton, Ulises Carrión, Judy Chicago, Lucinda Childs, Christo, Diego Cortez, Hanne Darboven, Agnes Denes, Ralston Farina, Richard Foreman, Peggy Gale, Gilbert & George, John Giorno, Philip Glass, Leon Golub, Peter Grass, Julia Heyward, Nancy Holt, Ray Johnson, Joan Jonas, Richard Kern, Lee Krasner, Shigeko Kubota, Les Levine, Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, Babette Mangolte, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Gordon Matta-Clark, Rosemary Mayer, Annette Messager, Elizabeth Murray, Alice Neel, Brian O’Doherty,Genesis P-Orridge, Nam June Paik, Charlemagne Palestine, Judy Pfaff, Lil Picard, Yvonne Rainer, Dorothea Rockburne, Ed Ruscha, Robert Ryman, David Salle, Carolee Schneemann, Richard Serra, Jack Smith, Patti Smith, Robert Smithson, Holly Solomon, Naomi Spector, Nancy Spero, Pat Steir, Frank Stella, Alan Suicide (Vega), David Tremlett, Richard Tuttle, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Lawrence Weiner, Hannah Wilke, Robert Wilson, Yuri, and Irene von Zahn."
678 pgs, 27 × 21.5 cm, Softcover, 2019.
This is the first English monograph of legendary French musique-concrete pioneer Luc Ferrari (1929-2005). Founding member of Groupe de Recherches (GRM) with Pierre Schaeffer-the group and studio were dedicated to the electronic medium that changed composition forever. This sumptuous volume includes facsimiles of Ferrari's original compositions, notebooks, and the first English translations of his writings, including poetry and fictional works and correspondence, as well as a special full-colour section that includes the composer's own collage artwork.
Ecstatic Peace Library. 406 pages
Luc Ferrari: Complete Works
Edited by Lawrence Kumpf with Joe Bucciero and Mark Harwood. Contributors include Henning Christiansen, Thomas Groetz, Diedrich Diederichsen, Dick Higgins, Lars Morell, Per Kirkeby, Bjørn Nørgaard, Helmer Nørgaard, Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen, Anton Lukoszevieze, Hans-Jørgen Nielsen, Michael Glasmeier, Ute Wasser- mann, Stíne Janvin Motland, Mark Harwood, Lucy Railton, Graham Lambkin, Áine O’Dwyer, Lia Mazzari, Ursula Reuter Christiansen, Francesco Conz, and Emily Harvey.
The third issue of Blank Forms’ journal is released in conjunction with Freedom is Around the Corner, a retrospective exhibition and performance series devoted to the work of pioneering Danish composer and artist Henning Christiansen (1932–2008).
Perhaps best known for his collaborations and artistic affinities with notable artists such as Joseph Beuys and Fluxus members like Nam June Paik and Dick Higgins, Christiansen, who worked primarily on the remote Danish island of Møn, moved beyond his Fluxus roots to create a vast, often ineffable body of work that spanned music, performance, film, and visual art over the course of a fifty-year career. Yet Christiansen’s work has remained under the radar, even in the ten years following his death: only a few of his recordings were available until recently, and his prolific compositional and visual outputs have rarely been performed or exhibited in the United States. Freedom is Around the Corner—the exhibition, the performance series, and the journal—seek to present Christiansen’s life and work in a holistic manner that befits his dynamic practice.
Like previous issues of the Blank Forms journal, Freedom is Around the Corner collects a combination of newly discovered, never-before published, and newly translated materials; in this case, many of the materials were found in the Henning Christian- sen Archive during the exhibition’s curatorial process. The issue begins with the first of four newly translated interviews with Christiansen himself, conducted circa 2006 by the German writer Thomas Groetz. Two others, conducted by Francesco Conz and Michael Glasmeier in the 1990s, come later in the issue; together these three interviews, which had only existed as audio recordings before, offer a well-rounded picture of the late-career Christiansen through his own, good-humored lens.
The fourth interview, a more experimental text conducted by Helmer Nørgaard, was originally published in Danish in the magazine DMT, in a 1986/87 issue devoted to Christiansen. In this issue we’ve created a translated facsimile of that DMT issue, which also featured texts on Christiansen by his prominent Danish collaborators, the writer Lars Morell and the artists Per Kirkeby and Bjørn Nørgaard. We hear from other Christiansen collaborators through correspondence—including in transcribed letters from Emily Harvey and Dick Higgins, whose messages to and from Christiansen were recently discovered in the Archive—and through interviews, including newly conducted interviews with his wife and longtime collaborator, Ursula Reuter Christiansen; Bjorn Nørgaard, who spoke with Christiansen’s son Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen; and later musical collaborators Werner Durand and Ute Wassermann.
Except Nørgaard, these collaborators will all speak or perform as part of the Freedom is Around the Corner programming; a section of this issue features many of the other performers as well, younger artists who have grappled with Christiansen’s legacy. Represented through interviews (Lucy Railton), original artworks (Graham Lambkin, Áine O’Dwyer, Stíne Janvin), and essays (Mark Harwood, Anton Lukoszevieze of Apartment House), these artists demonstrate the lasting and diverse impact of Christian- sen’s work on today’s musical landscape. Lukoszevieze’s essay introduces a newly translated libretto for Dejligt vejr i dag, n’est-ce pas, Ibsen, a 1964 opera with music by Christiansen and libretto by Hans-Jørgen Nielsen which Apartment House, commissioned by Blank Forms, will perform twice during the run of the exhibition.
Taken together—and even more, in conjunction with the exhibition and performances—the texts in this journal provide an in-depth look, previously unavailable, especially in the United States, at a towering but overlooked figure in the postwar musical as well as artistic avant-garde. Support for Freedom is Around the Corner comes from the Nordic Culture Point, the Nordic Culture Fund, Snyk, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Royal Norwegian Consulate, Goethe-Institut, the Danish Consulate General, Music Norway, and Ultima Contempo- rary Music Festival.
Blank Forms Journal 3: Henning Christiansen – Freedom is Around the Corner
A biographical essay which explores the origins and influences of Charlemagne Palestine, as well as themes related to his life and artistic practice—spirituality, music, performance, avant-gardism—together with an acute analysis of his main works. The study is followed by an interview with the artist, which provides a clever balance between personal anecdotes and reflection.
Born Chaïm Moshe Palestine in Brooklyn, 1947, Charlemagne Palestine joined as a child the Stanley Sapir Jewish choir to lower the effects of his stuttering through singing. Raised in a family from Odessa, he was torn between a traditional spiritual education and his interest for all artistic experimental forms. His practice of singing, carillon bells, organ and piano allowed him to develop, as early as the 1970s, a physical and vibratory relation to space. His performative experiments function through an activation of locations, machines or organisms with which he enters into a dialogue. This state of putting into a trance his body and that of others (stuffed animals, machines, audience) participates in the creation of a performative community.
“Meshugga” is a Yiddish term used by Charlemagne Palestine to define his approach and his work's aesthetics. He refers to his recent exhibitions (at the Kunsthalle in Vienna, 2015, and at the Witte de With, 2016) whose titles, GesammttkkunnsttMeshuggahhLaandtttt, Judaise the Wagnerian idea of a total work of art. The repetition of letters, which renders the already complex articulation of the title even more difficult, is a strumming in itself, a beat of the tongue.
Charlemagne Palestine wrote intense, ritualistic music in the 1970s, intended by the composer to rub against audiences' expectations of what is beautiful and meaningful in music. A composer-performer, he always performed his own works as soloist. His earliest works were compositions for carillon and electronic drones, and he is best known for his intensely performed piano works. He also performs as a vocalist. Palestine's performance style is ritualistic; he generally surrounds himself (and his piano) with stuffed animals, smokes large numbers of kretek (Indonesian clove cigarettes) and drinks cognac.
See also Charlemagne Palestine; Charlemagne Palestine & Z'ev; Charlemagne Palestine & Rhys Chatham.Marie Canet is an independent curator, art historian and professor of aesthetics at the École des beaux-arts de Lyon.
Palestine, first name Charlemagne – Meshugga Land
This reader brings together artistic and theoretical contributions on the instertitial nature of sound. This issue is addressed through a variety of prisms, such as format, language, politics, or new technologies.
The Middle Matter is a reader which brings together thoughts on the nature of sound; its substance, specific qualities, and potential—with a specific curiosity to its propensity to occupy the spaces in-between, the instertitial gaps between different spaces, times, cultures, and world views, between the interior body and the exterior space.
Through a number of artistic and theoretical contributions, observations are made around the notion of “audience” and the attendant questions of format, on the effects of old and new technologies, of communal working processes, and the complexity of language, the contributors reveal sound to be a material particularly apt at negotiating these zones of and between contact.
It is a large field of in-betweenness, sound travels, hops borders, passes through walls, its messages for a large part being transported involuntarily and even unconsciously. In this sense sound is extensively participative, entangled in the complicated gaps between bodies, minds and objects through and against which it resonates.
Published following the Oscillation festival, Brussels, from April 25 to May 5, 2019.
The Middle Matter – Sound as interstice
The Second Sound is an imaginary conversation based on the testimonies of musicians and sound artists on the role of gender and sex within their field.
Gathering anonymous testimonies from artists of different backgrounds into a single stream of (often contrary) opinions, the book addresses discrimination as a paradigm of otherness, the possibility of gendered music and sound art, and how sound artists and musicians navigate the field.
The Second Sound raises questions such as: How do life circumstances find their way into music and sound art? How does music reflect historical and social structures? What does discrimination do, and how can we navigate around it? Is the under-representation of women and LGBTQ people in the field a symptom or a cause? Is art itself gendered? And can it reflect the gender of its maker? Is a different way of listening needed to more accurately understand those voices from outside the historical canon?
Although this book raises more questions than it answers, it came to be a pledge for embracing artistic differences, for the richness of contextual listening, and for honesty in the expression of concerns and doubts. The responses seem to suggest that understanding differences by theme and not as predetermination is a way to provide freedom in a field of seemingly abstract art.
Based on the contributions of Adam Smith, Amandine Pras, Amelia Diamond, Amnon Wolman, Amy Reed, Andrea-Jane Cornell, Angela K. Roberts, Barnabas Yianni, Benjamin Mawson, Benjamin Silva-Pereira, Cedrik Fermont, Camila Durães, Carl Golembeski, Cath Meeson, Christina Clar, Claire Williams, Dave Phillips, Dell, Diamanda La Berge Dramm, Diego Garcia, Elizabeth Veldon, Frederik Croene, Furchick, Gívan Belá, Godfried-Willem Raes, Gretchen Jude, Guy De Bièvre, Hannah Reardon-Smith, Jason Kahn, Jorge Bachman, Julie Cambier, Hery Randriambololona, Hilary Jeffery, Ian Shanahan, I.v. Martinez, Jerry Gordon, Jez Riley French, Jim Denley, Joanna Bailie, Jodie Rowe, Joe Bates, Jorge Bachmann, Joseph Foster, Joseph Kudirka, José Villalobos, Julia Teles, Julie Cambier, Julito aka Magnata, Katarina Glowicka, Keenan DuBois, Korhan Erel, L.S.Rosenberg, Larissa Loyva, Liselotte Sels, Matthew Shlomowitz, Max Aggropop, Michael Tuttle, Mila Dietrich, Monica Benet, Nevin Eronde, Nurse, Okkyung Lee, Olivia Block, Omer Eilam, Pak Yan Lau, Pali Meursault, Patricia Janssen, Paula Daunt, Paulo Alves, Pei-Wen Liu, Pete Shepherd, Pia Palme, Pierre Favrez, poemproducer agf Antye Greie, Primož Sukic, Raiza Coelho, Rebecca Hunt, Roel Heremans, Romy Rüegger, Ruta Vitkauskaite, Sally Greenaway, Sarah Snider, Scott Mc Laughlin, Silvia Tarozzi, Steffi Weismann, Stijn Dickel, SusannaFerrar, Szilvia Lednitzky, Travis Johnson, Valeria Merlini, Vera Bremerton, Vesna Tomse, Wendy Van Wynsberghe...
Julia Eckhardt is a musician and curator in the field of the sounding arts. She is founding member and artistic director of Q-O2 workspace in Brussels. As a viola player, she has been involved in various collaborations with composers and improvisers, such as Phill Niblock, Pauline Oliveros, Stevie Wishart, Jennifer Walshe, Wandelweiser-composers, Christian Wolff, Antony Coleman and many of the young generation. She has taught and lectured at art institutes in Leuven and Brussels. Eckhardt is the editor of Grounds for Possible Music – On Gender, Voice, Language, and Identity.
The Second Sound – Conversations on Gender and Music