The Next (Now)


Rbt. Ashley

In memoriam Esteban Gomez,

Steve Reich

Piano Phase

& Riley In C


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. 

Encore (1994-1996):

October 15, 1994 Jaap Blonk

February 11, 1995 Wadada Leo Smith & Nda Kulture

                  David Philipson, David Trasoff, Wiliam Roper, Glen Horiuchi, Sunship Theus

Tonal Immersion Festival 1

(Beverly Hills!)

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

With thanks to Michael Morris of Valensi, Rose & Magaram

Season interruptus: Northridge earthquake

I spent a semester as visiting composer at Mills College Center for Contemporary Music & California College of the Arts

Wires: to be continued; meanwhile, what they were saying:

Joseph Kubera

                                         click to hear

     David First, "Blue" Gene Tyranny, John Cage

Detail of One6 sound sculpture by Mineko Grimmer (Andrea Loselle, photo).  Click photo to hear performance.

Sainkho Namchylak / Ned Rothenberg

Ben Neill / Daniel Goode

         click for sound

clicking on each page will open links to articles and reviews in the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly

Tonal Immersion festival 2

(Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Hollywood)

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

To be continued…

Wires at 1265 Electric Ave. in Electric Artblock (Venice, CA)

Click image for more info.

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.

1991-2001 Venice, CA.

Wires Center for New & Experimental Music

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.

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.

Wires 1992-1994 seasons

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)