Phill Niblock's "Swiss Hall Sound, Film,Video and Sound Installation"
3-9pm, Saturday, Oct 29, 1994, 1904 Jefferson St., Tacoma, FREE
Press: "Phill Niblock's music and films are concerned with detail and simplicity... dense, imposing sound mass... Sum and difference tones pile up until they sound like an orchestra of strings or an immense chorus of voices... one listens first to one level of detail, then to another, only gradually learning to hear everything at once." Robert Palmer, New York Times.
"(Music) consisting of sustained, closely juxtaposed notes knitted together in slowly but sometimes suddenly shifting texture... tense, tight beats, lazily cyclic curves and floating colorational shifts induced by clashing overtone patterns." John Rockwell, New York Times.
"Waves of sound roll over the audience... the piece began to swell in emotional intensity, but it was not overtly dramatic; the intensity of the this piece was in its didactic nature... As if putting your ear to a seashell, you listen and hear the roar of the familiar." Charles McCurdy, Philadelphia Enquirer.
"One can say that he works with loud sustained tones, the he piles them together in multitrack versions, that the tones are produced originally on conventional wind and stringed instruments, that they are purposefully out of tune, and that the resulting frequencies beat wildly against one another... rhythmically active these sustained pieces are, due to the many beats or pulsations which come about as the "out-of tune" notes jar against one another." Tom Johnson, Village Voice.
"The films and video are about movement, looking at the movement of people working. I film in non-urban environments, everyday work, frequently agrarian or marine labor, with simple and clear technique and rather long takes. I'm interested in movement as abstraction rather as anthropological or sociological fact, workers movement as dance abstraction. Rhythms and forms of body motion within the frame are the ultimate subject of these films." Phill Niblock.
Biography: Phill Niblock, composer and filmmaker was born in Anderson, Indiana in 1933. Since the mid-60's he has been making music and intermedia performances at: The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y.; The Whitney Museum; Wadsworth Antheneum; the Kitchen; the Paris Autumn Festival; Palais de Beaux Arts, Brussels; Institute of Contemporary Art. London; Akademie der Kunste, Berlin; and on radio throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has had grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York State Council of the Arts, the National Endowment, Creative Artists Public Service Program, and the City University of New York Research Foundation. He is a Professor of Film at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. He is director Experimental Intermedia Foundation and Founder and Director of the Sassekaai Artist and Residence House in Ghent, Belgium. His music is recorded on India Navigation Records and XI Recordings.
The Swiss: Built in 1912 as a dance and recital hall, the Swiss Hall is an extroardinary performance site with acoustics suited well to music and film installations of this sort-- as well to more traditional chamber music concerts in the future. Adorned with original Swiss countryside paintings, and natural woodwork in the chalet style, the space has been rarely used over the past forty years. It is now owned and made available to the organizers by the University of Washington at Tacoma.
Event Description: As the audience enters the installation space (they may arrive at any time during the installation), they will be greeted by twin projection screens showing original color films of people at work in distant places such as China, Indonesia and other countries of the far east. The performance space will be filled with the minimalist drone of the composer's music designed to capture the acoustic characteristics unique to the performance space. Live didgeridoo music will mix with the pre-recorded drone intermittently. The audience will be invited to move freely within the installation for any desired length of time-- some seating will be provided but listener/viewers will be encouraged to move about. Projected videos and video monitors will be situated at various positions throughout the space featuring people of far off lands speaking anecdotally about their lives. The installation will run continuously for six hours.
The event is made possible through the Newmarket Fund, City of Tacoma's Cultural Resource Division and presented by Newsense Intermedium with the assistance of the University of Washington at Tacoma and American Music. For more information contact Dan Senn: tel: (253) 759-2556, fax: (253) 759-2623. Phill Niblock may be contacted at tel:(212) 759-5127 and fax: (212) 431-4486. He will be available in Tacoma/Seattle on Friday, October 28th.