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David First, "Blue" Gene Tyranny, John Cage
Sainkho Namchylak / Ned Rothenberg
Ben Neill / Daniel Goode
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Wires at 1265 Electric Ave. in Electric Artblock (Venice, CA)
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In "An Autobiographical Statement" (Southwest Review, 1991), John Cage recollects the two years he spent after beginning his 1939 Imaginary Landscapes series "trying to establish a Center for Experimental Music." "Though I found interest in my work," he said, "I found no one willing to support it financially." Wires Center for New & Experimental Music (Electric Music, Inc.) was founded as a non-profit organization in 1991, by Andrea Loselle, Matt Easton and myself, and presented its first concert March 1, 1992, with the premiere of Cage's One6 (1990), performed by János Négyesy, the violinist to whom it is dedicated, and — as Cage specified — a sound sculpture by Mineko Grimmer. One6 was followed by Luigi Nono's 1989 "Hay que caminar" soñando ("But we must go on" dreaming), also performed by János, with Päivikki Nykter.
Wires occupied a loft, whose upper two floors bisected the space, lending itself to interesting acoustical and performance possibilities, which can be heard from their stations in Päivikki and Jånos' performance of "Hay que caminar" soñando.
March 1, 1992 Cage One6 & Nono "Hay que caminar" soñando
János Négysey and Päivikki Nykter
sound sculpture by Mineko Grimmer
May 22, 1992 Morton Feldman: Patterns In A Chromatic Field
Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, cello, and Vicki Ray, piano
October 2, 1992 Christopher Hobbs & Marty Walker
November 14, 1992 Carl Stone
December 19, 1992 John Fonville
January 16, 1993 Steven Schick
February 6, 1993 Roger Reynolds with Philip Larson
February 13, 1993 Alvin Lucier
Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, Arthur Jarvinen and Marty Walker
April 3, 1993 Das Klarinettenduo (Cologne), with support from Goethe Institute
June 20, 1993 Morton Feldman For Philip Guston
Dorothy Stone, Gloria Cheng and Arthur Jarvinen
October 31, 1993 Sainkho Namchylak & Ned Rothenberg
November 14, 1993 Malcolm Goldstein, Franz Aeschbacher and Philippe Micol
January 15, 1994 Daniel Goode and Ben Neill
January 29, 1994 Cactus Needle Project (Sam Ashley, Ben Azarm, Bob Gonsalves, Jim Horton)
The photo below Alvin's note is from the premiere, which was February 13, 1993 — not as published by MusikTexte (right). The program also included Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra, performed by Art Jarvinen on the triangle, and In Memoriam Jon Higgins, for clarinet (played by Marty Walker) and pure sound wave. Alvin is standing with Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick and Nobuyo Okuda in our performance space at 1265 Electric Avenue.
Twenty years later, almost to the day, we performed Music for Cello with One or More Amplified Vases for Torrance Art Museum's REVERB exhibition, using five vases by Mineko Grimmer, with cellist April Guthrie.
Although more time had passed than we hoped before anything by Bob Ashley was presented, Tom Buckner and Joe Kubera's performance of The Producer Speaks, which could be heard by clicking on Bob's postcard, aptly sums up all that went into the project.
Detail of One6 sound sculpture by Mineko Grimmer (Andrea Loselle, photo). Click photo to hear performance.
corresponded to something like Vinko Globokar's observation about Los Angeles, as he surveyed it from my backyard. For one thing, he thought calling our city "L.A." denigrated its much more beautiful identity (and identification with) El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reine de Los Angeles de Porciúncula; the second was how all the wires telegraphed from pole to pole reminded him of an outpost. When Wires was founded in 1991, Los Angeles was still very much of an outpost for new music. But a scene that produced musicians like the clarinetist John Carter betrays its sophistication, and its individualism continues to be a misunderstood feature of its cultural ecology. Nevertheless, Venice circa 1991, unlike Santa Monica to its north and Marina del Rey to the south, was largely dominated by gangs and artists.
February 16, 1996 Wadada Leo Smith
February 17, 1996 Joan LaBarbara
February 24, 1996 Vinko Globokar
March 15 & 16, 1996 Marina Rosenfeld & the Sheer Frost Orchestra
The Next (Now)
In memoriam Esteban Gomez,
& Riley In C
clicking on each page will open links to articles and reviews in the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly
October 15, 1994 Jaap Blonk
February 11, 1995 Wadada Leo Smith & Nda Kulture
David Philipson, David Trasoff, Wiliam Roper, Glen Horiuchi, Sunship Theus
April 6, 1995 Robert Dick
April 7, 1995 Thomas Buckner with Joesph Kubera
April 8, 1995 Joseph Kubera
April 10, 1995 Carl Stone & Otomo Yoshihide
I spent a semester as visiting composer at Mills College Center for Contemporary Music & California College of the Arts
With thanks to Michael Morris of Valensi, Rose & Magaram