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Old 08.29.2007, 03:20 PM   #1
tesla69
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9/20/2007Free! Text of Light. Text of Light (Alan Licht & Lee Ranaldo) perform improvised electroacoustic
music to the films of Stan Brakhage as part of the New Composers Series at White Box, presented in collaboration with EMF, New Wilderness, and Diapason. 7 PM WHITE BOX 525 W. 26th St NYC 212-714-2347 (off WFMU site)

the venue site has some different info...
Thursday, September 20, 2007, 6-8pm

Presenting Alan Licht’s Text of Light
The Text of Light group was formed in 2001 with the idea to perform improvised music to the films of Stan Brakhage and other members of 1950-60s American Cinema avant-garde (Brakhage's film Text of Light was the premiere performance and namesake of the group). The original premise was to improvise (not illustrate) to the 1950-60s American Avant-Garde Films, an under-known period of American filmic poetics. Members of the group include Lee Ranaldo and Alan Licht (gtrs/devices), Christian Marclay and DJ Olive (turntables), William Hooker (drums/perc), Ulrich Krieger (sax/electronics), and most recently Tim Barnes (drums/perc) .Various combinations of these players attend Text of Light gigs thereby presenting various group permutations while other times all members participate. Alan Licht was born in New Jersey in 1968. His earliest 1970s musical influences were with mainstream rock bands like the Bee Gees and Wings.
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Old 09.14.2007, 11:26 AM   #2
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at the venue last night twas listed as 6-8pm with Lee, Alan, DJ Olive, and Marina Rosenfeld and you'll probably want to get there early...
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Old 09.14.2007, 01:09 PM   #3
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here you go: http://www.whiteboxny.org/program/ne...ers/index.html
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Old 09.19.2007, 12:49 PM   #4
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so,safe to say this will start at 8?
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Old 09.19.2007, 01:35 PM   #5
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Very nice set. Dense and glacial...the Brakhage films were mesmerizing, not sure if they're genius or madness inducing...Licht sat surrounded by effects that looked more like radios...Lee's pedals seem to be half painted in bright ugly orange...DJ Olive seemed to be adding osme cool stuff to the mix off his laptop and Marina Rosenfeld actually sounded good (I've posted my dislike for her in the past), adding a lot of heavy, low level repetitive rumble and grinds with her turntable mixes.
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Old 09.21.2007, 08:43 AM   #6
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so just to give you people who didnt go a small run down, they started letting people in at around 8, there were maybe 20 or 30 of us, so we got seats no problem. People that came in later could watch from the back as well, so in all probably around a 100 people were there for this free show. The gallery owner, Im guessing (who did not introduce himself, so I dont have his name) gave a small talk thanking Elliot Spitzer for funding and then it was on to the show. He also connected this show with the happenings of the early 70s vietnam war era and that art scene, and the art scene as it is now, and so politicized it. And clearly the title of the film echoes that famous line from US Declaration of Independence.

Looking forward, Lee was set up on the far right, Alan was next close to the middle, next was the space for the film projection, and on far left was the table where DJ Olive and Marina Rosenfeld did they turntables electronics thing.

The film was I take These Truths and I think I... was also spliced in though I cant confirm that, though the title of it was projected. The table team threw in some irregular rhythms and noise elements, including what sounded like a funeral bell tolling, while the guitars were in a sort of a duel, at times Alan would pull of long smooth noises, while Lee would beat out some stocatto type thing from his set up (on a guitar I did not recognize and a small amp), Drum sticks came into play both for Alan and Lee and Alan used small vibrating elements as well to get the sound out, so at times it sounded like the helicopter thump. This description hardly does justice to the thing, as the piece was about 40 min. long and of course with a lot of variety. Just should mention Lee did at some points his signature dragging of the guitar on the cement floor, striking of the neck and I thought a real fun touch at the end, throwing the drum sticks up in the air and letting them fall where they may.

All this to the backdrop of Stanley Brakhage film I think the dominant color was red, but then it was sort of audio/visual abstract experssionism. A very intellectual piece. Since we dont know what to expect next, and there are no recognizable chord or phrases, and beat is irregular, the listener/viewer has a lot to process in his mind. And same thing with the visual, all abstract painting, except for a picture of an old woman at the end. Also some spoken words in the beginning, from . I think a political speech, I forget what it was though, from Marina's record gear I believe.

Anyway I think the photographer from NY Times and maybe a reporter were there so we might get some sort of professional review on this. Also I noticed one kid was getting some footage down on his camera so it might pop up on youtube, hopefully. I looked in his viewfinder and its gonna look good for sure the Brakhage full frame with that music. And I think the gallery was recording this as well, probably for their personal/archival purposes.

One quibble might be that the projection on the wall could have been a bit larger, I guess that was down to limitations of the space and and 16 mm projector. Also In retrospect I should have got a spot further back in the room because the guitars kind of overwhelmed the electronics from where I was sitting. But, all in all, another great show from Text of Light.
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Old 09.21.2007, 08:57 AM   #7
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Thank you for the details tesla69 and Georgekrz... I was lucky to see TOL a few years ago in London and your reports brought back some sweet memories...
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Old 09.21.2007, 09:02 AM   #8
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Yes, thank you, tesla69/georgekrz.

I was at that London show too, and I wish that they'd come back.
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