SOUTH OF THE SLOT provided a beautiful series of events during November, but I'm told they only had the money for one month's rent and that now it's over. Nov. 1 the Mills Performing Group did a concert there. Since I had some music on the program, I think I'll talk about what happened. At the top of the printed matter handed out, Craig (Hazen) wrote, "We believe that it will become immediately obvious that things are not necessarily happening in the order below." He was quite right. Nothing was where it said it would be, but then it didn't really promise to be there anyway.
First on the program was Craig's UNPREPARED APARTMENT VS. EXTENSIVE INTENTIONS which was gorgeous. Craig described it by saying, "Live improvisations and 4-track tape repetitive redundancies featuring Mr. Negative on the electric kazoo and Craig himself at the Mighty Wurlitzer." With that in mind, it was not at all redundant, but intricately reiterative in the most combination-genital-and-solar plexus oriented /aimed sensuous way. The music rings thru the body modulating what ails it. It really was deeply exciting and healingly terrific. As I listened, it off and on occurred to me that this is what death-by-bass-locusts would be like, and if so, one would willingly die.
Virginia Quesada's SPARKLED FRAGMENTS, masked sound fragments produced by an automated process using one system to produce rapid pitch changes and another that brings the sound in and out of the audible range, according to Virginia's notes, was next. It was exactly what it promised. Mixed shapes appeared and disappeared in what felt to me like abstract animation. Her work seems to have a painterly feeling to it. Very visually oriented, and yet realized on tape.
Erv Denman's new music, CHINA IMPORT was just finished in time to do here. It was a tape piece made on the 8-track I believe from recordings of tiny imported accordions Erv just bought. I think it was truly quad, but the space mixed the sound almost too thoroughly to make sure. It was extremely expansive harmonically and in the second half was rhythmically developed through the use of a "clarified" beat that entered, went to the edge of a jazz feeling and then backed off barely in time, but retained the swing. It arced at the edges, but retained an instance on two-dimensionality, formally.
TORERO PIECE, by Beth Anderson and performed by the composer and Peg Ahrens came next. It is a text-sound duet originally performed by Marjorie Celeste Anderson and daughter. the directions are to discuss the most dramatic event or relationship in your life and this is dueted by a series of Spanish phonemes (thus the dedication to ZAJ) whose order is determined by a coded version of a paint-by-numbers picture (bull and toreador or torero) bought at a rummage sale in San Diego while visiting Pauline Oliveros. A short version of this is about to be available on a text-sound record put out by Arch Street in Berkeley. This record ought to be out by Christmas. Charles Amirkhanian would know more about the dates and places, if you'd like a copy. More about this later.
Craig's next piece was HESITATION, a 4-track tape. And it really ripped. His music is so visceral. Sometimes it smooths out the spine and other times, it rips your gut apart. These subjective reactions were followed by clunking-inside-my-stomach, bamming-my-eardrum-thoroughly, bawapawapaing-in-my-throat, and ended up with sliding-back-into-shredding the entire body.
Peg Ahrens has a new piece called BLURP!!!, and she says it is, "permutations through time and space." I don't know what was going on in the sky that night but since everything else seemed to affect me bodily, this did too. It seemed to be totally oral. Peggy Blurp Ahrens, with the recurring Tigger theme woven into too many thematic ideas to count. Resembling improvisations on the eternity of the oral cavity. The most wonder-full comment I heard was, "Sounds like a healthy mid-western farm girl." Of course, Peggy is from Ohio, but the sounds weren't. Very full of humor and very aware of it. Nice.
TOWER OF POWER a 2-channel mix of a 5-channel organ piece originally performed by Linda Collins was played back in quad. It's main concerns are with Martian-made overtones which are tunes, but since those lovely and huge speakers were available, the amplitude exceeded the audience, even the most conceptual. If the people could have stood before the speakers without fear and enjoyed the air force and mix, it would have been more enjoyable for them, but then I was the composer and have no right at all to suggest reactance.