just to be 100% clear: the concert of L’OCELLE MARE tonight got cancelled (because of health issues) . There wil be a new date spring 22.
Ian Svenonius has indefatigably devoted his professional life to building an extensive and formidable body of work that feels as vibrant and urgent as ever in 2019. Known internationally via bands The Nation of Ulysses, The Make-Up, Chain and the Gang, and Weird War among others, he has also authored three books and numerous articles and essays while somehow still finding the time and inspiration to work as an actor, TV host, and DJ. And diverse as his work may be, the core concerns of communication, immediacy, and truthful artistic expression run throughout, regardless of the medium or moniker associated with any given Ian Svenonius project.
As gracious as he is prolific, Ian kindly whiled away an evening with Weirdo Music Forever recently, discussing new recordings and touring for his project Escape-ism, past work, contemporary online culture, and more. We are also delighted to present a new fantastic photo set of Ian and Alexandra Cabral by one of our favorite photographers, Miriam Marlene.
Bobby Weirdo: I wanted to ask about Washington D.C., which has music traditions that are very different from each other. It feels like mainstream music media has never given much attention to that city, and I’m curious about the music that has come out of there and how it might have informed what you do.
Ian Svenonius: It’s always been real backwater, and that used to be kind of a cool thing. A lot of people have come out of there or lived there. Bo Diddley lived there most of his career. He had a studio there, cut a lot of records there, and he scouted soul bands there [like] The Four Jewels or the Jewels and Billy Stewart. Link Wray lived there and had a record label. Bunker Hill, Gil Scott-Heron, Eddie Floyd, and Eddie Hazel lived there. Marvin Gaye is from there, Van McCoy who wrote “The Hustle”…
Ian will be playing with his partner Alexandra Cabral on 15th November as an opening act for the Thurston Moore Group. Read the whole interview HERE
Multifaceted drummer Valentina Magaletti surveys alternatives to the conventional kit
Against the conventional approach to percussion, with simple gear and canonical sound sets, this playlist aims to show how multifarious and exhilarating are the potentially unbounded resources of unconventional drumming.
Virtually every object can be transformed into a percussive source, since everything has a hidden voice, with its timbre, its beat, its extension, its field of reverberations. To listen to this hidden voice, to let it resonate in all its unpredictable syntax, to be the medium of its expression both as a performer and as a listener, is a synaesthetic experience through which we are confronted with the tactility of sound.
Rather than focusing on a musician’s skills, unconventional drumming is focused on texture, the substrate from which the sound is originated. Unconventional drumming could mean experimenting with the usual drum kit, or modified or implemented with unusual percussion, sometimes from the repertory of traditional music.
Often with unconventional drumming the sonic sources are objets trouvés – the performance becomes the building of resounding merzbau or the recollection of some lost, pristine landscape. In other cases, the choice is for everyday objects or elements that become the ally’s voice in surges of emotions, endurance or outcry.
Ahbez was a beat poet and composer who wrote the hit tune ‘Nature Boy’ that gave Nat King Cole his first big success in 1948. Ahbe approached exotica from a very different angle which resulted in a concept album about an utopian society living on an island far away from the modern western world. ‘Eden’s Island (The Music Of An Enchanted Isle)’ is a masterpiece of proto psychedelic music.
When a young record collector named Brian Chidester found a picture of “Ahbe” with Brian Wilson working on ‘Smile’, he felt the urge to research the life of Eden Ahbez. Chidester embarked on a journey of more than twenty years that culminated in a movie, “As the Wind: The Enchanted Life of Eden Ahbez”, telling the story of one of pop culture’s most enigmatic figures in full.
Brian Chidester and his filmmaking partner John Winer now have not only gone wild in bringing the life of the Eden Ahbez to a wider attention, but they have taken part in the ultimate re-release of Eden Ahbez first and only cult full length record. Everland Music and Ebalunga!!! recently announced a very special reissue of ‘Eden’s Island’ that will include almost 20 unreleased songs. The vinyl version includes a 12“ size, 24 page booklet, while the CD version comes as a double CD with 2 booklets. There’s also a very limited Collection Deluxe Wooden Box Set and Limited Wooden Cover Slider Edition on Double Vinyl available.
“All truth is comprised in music and mathematics,”Margaret Fuller wrote in the middle of the nineteenth century as she was changing the fabric of the time. Exactly one hundred years after her untimely death, another tragic hero of another century, whose mind would shape the epochs to come, united these twin truths in a single, rapturous force-field of possibility on the pages of a programming manual containing the first instructions for how to compose music on a computer — a foundational marriage of technos and tenderness.
While the world saw early computers as oversized calculators, Alan Turing (June 23, 1912–June 7, 1954) was asking whether a computer could make you fall in love with it. Only those rare artists of the possible can look at something on the cusp of becoming and see what it can be, not as an incremental evolution of the extant and the familiar but as a leap toward the unexampled and the unimagined.
Out of Turing’s uncommon orientation to possibility arose one his most profound and undersung contributions to the modern world: the birth of digital music. Envisioning the computer’s potential as a musical instrument, Turing became the first to compose a computer program for playing notes — the greatest contribution to the universal language since Pythagoras first radicalized music with mathematics.