The first disc is a documentary about George and the ballet, with some old footage. It's a fair introduction, a little oversimplified and more like a promo film for the revived ballet than a real documentary - which is what it is, so fair enough. And there is good material here. Disc two is a whole performance of the world premiere, in 1999, of the Ballet as originally conceived - for 12 player pianos, 7 percussionists, 2 pianists, bells, sirens and airplane propellers. A landmark work, with some prescient ideas (endless repetitions, use of long silences) featuring for the most part relentless hammering; the ultimate crystallisation of futurist outrage, and one of the most blatant, howling, in your face compositions of the last century. George takes an idea, multiplies it by 100, then heaps some more on top. Written primarily to offend old ears and to cement a reputation (it succeeded), this work, unlike that of Varese or Schoenberg, has no aspiration to ground a new means of musical expression; rather it made newness, noise and the machine aesthetic an end in itself. In this it was essentially a Futurist work before it was a musical work. But a musical work it is nevertheless, and a classic. Most familiar is the much-reduced 1953 concert version. Then there was a release some years ago of a reconstruction of the 1923 version, in which 9 grand pianos replaced the 12 player-pianos when it became clear that the mechanical pianos could not be synchronised. The invention of the synclavier and MIDI have changed all that and this is a full reproduction of Antheil's original score. The DVD also contains Ferdinand Leger's 1935 experimental film 'Ballet Mechanique', made to be shown synchronised with the music, as well as useful interviews with archivist and composer Charles Amirkhanian, film composer David Raksin, composer Henry Brant and several others. Total time just under 3 hours.
Four films on John Cage by Frank Scheffer and Andrew Culver. Includes 19 QUESTIONS: Cage answers 19 questions on a variety of subjects, using chance operations to determine the duration of his answers. FOURTEEN: performed by the Ives Ensemble and filmed with multiple cameras using chance operations to determine the position, angle, focus and aperture settings of each shot, and to determine the edits. PAYING ATTENTION: in the spirit of the Cage-Cunningham co-temporal works, Scheffer worked with the video and Culver with the audio (an interview with Cage) separately. Thethe two run simultaneously. OVERPOPULATION AND ART WITH RYOANJI: The audio combines Cage's spoken performance of his text Overpopulation and Art simultaneously with his Ryoanji for four voices and percussion.
A film without a subject by John Cage, produced and directed by Henning Lohner with 103 for large orchestra (1992) the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln (or Spoleto Festival Orchestra) (90 minutes)
Cage created this, his only feature-length film - for camera person and light - in the year he died. No people and no things and no ideas about repetition and variation, just empty space and varying intensities of light., accompanied by the orchestral work 103."Of course the film will be about the effect of light in an empty space. But no space is actually empty and the light will show what is in it. And all this space and all this light will be controlled by random operations." The DVD offers a choice of two orchestral soundtracks, plus a 43-minute documentary on the creative process and realization of the film made for television by Henning Lohner, with new narration by Joan La Barbara. Plus an interview with Van Carlson & Henning Lohner in 2006 discussing their work with Cage, the film and the technical challenges of its realisation (33 minutes).
A classic collection including the early influential abstracts Rhythmus 21 (1921) by Hans Richter and the legendary Symphonie Diagonale by Viking Eggeling. Richter is also represented by his later Film Studie, and Ghosts before Breakfast. There are two Man Ray films, Le Retour a la Raison and Emak Bakia, plus Ferdinand Leger's Ballet Mechanique (made to accompany George Antheil's notorious score) and Entracte, made by Rene Clair and Francis Picabia for the Dada Ballet Relache - with music by Erik Satie. Performers include Erik Satie, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Darius Milhaud, Marcel Duchamp, Kiki, Paul Hindemith and Hans Richter.
Here are five pieces centred around environmental recordings by five authors: Hans Ulrich Werner, Carlos Alberto Augusto, Christoph Korn, Michael Rusenberg and Carlos Zingaro. Werner's piece, with sound by Michael Rusenberg, is a video montage of street scenes, art shots and urban sounds, Augusto's an audio work (in stereo and 5.1 surround) with some additional guitar, Korn adds violin (by Carlos Zingaro) to an ambient working around a street musician, with visuals in the form of carefully crafted, related, text, Rusenberg's is a long, excellent, soundwork taken at a river jetty by a giant bridge (with added percussion orchestra, choir and occasional narration), Zingaro works with abstract facades and distressed walls, aurally and visually represented. 80+ minutes, half in a choice of 4.00, 5.00 and 5.1 audio.
A 42 minute Swiss Documentary of Christian's turntable work made in Switzerland with large concert chunks (alone, with Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore, with Eliott Sharp and DJ Soulslinger, with DJ Olive and Erik M. Christian explains how he got there, demonstrates some techniques and preparations and meditates on the turntable, improvisation, and the difference between the sonic and the visual arts (in French, mostly, subtitled in English). Expensive, but a very small edition and all there is. Well made.
77 minute DVD that was premiered in April 2004 at the Images International Film and Video Festival in Toronto. Static but relentlessly changing a ghostly crowd of 88 sometimes dressed, sometimes naked, citizens of Quebec very slowly incorporate or desubstantiate, and that's all. Somewhere between still and moving image, this is essentially a gallery work, strangely hypnotic, very stylised. Limited number.
There are two films here, one a full-length 1969 16mm recording of Delusion of the Fury, which mostly documents a real-time performance at UCLA (visually it's a cross between Noh and non European dance). There is also occasional outside footage added in as the piece goes on. An important document, but rather dry. Unless you have 5.1 (the soundtrack has been remixed in this home cinema format), or your TV is connected to your hi-fi sound system, it's probably better to listen to the CD. The second film is a documentary about Partch, made in 1972 and revised in 2005 when additional archival material was added. There is much excellent footage of HP, his remarkable instruments, and some performance extracts. Bonus materials include a TV extract from a 1961 performance of Revelation in the Courthouse Park, which is extremely interesting - I wish there were more of this - and a slideshow of Partch's instruments. For the documentary and the extract from Revelation alone, this is invaluable.
Man Ray made 4 films in the 1920s, which secured his place as a major figure in avant-garde cinema. They are collected here along with ten seldom seen short autobiographical films. All the films are in French with English subtitles. Contents: Le Retour à la Raison, Emak Bakia, L'Étoile de Mer, Les Mystères du Château du Dé. All zones PAL DVD. 112 minutes, with bilingual booklet.
An exemplary 91 minute documentary on the work of the great British land artist Andy Goldsworthy, with the added bonus of a very fine soundtrack by British composer Fred Frith. Made for Arte and subsequently distributed for cinema exhbition worldwide. All zones. In German or English with German and French subtitles. With 60 minutes of equally inspiring extra materials, documenting further works.
DVD with 244 pp17.5 x 25 cm paperback book. 88 colour plates. Violinists JON ROSE and HOLLIS TAYLOR travel 25,000 miles playing (and documenting) the Great fences of Australia, including the now famous Rabbit-Proof Fence and the 3300-mile-long Dingo Fence. They meet, amongst others, a flying priest, an auctioneer, an aboriginal gum leaf virtuoso, Central Australia's first piano, a singing dingo and various fence runners, and survive a plague of flies, a flea infestation, various deadly snakes, crocodiles, heatstroke, floods, storms and bush fires. This travelogue lets you trot safely alongside and includes a substantial and exhaustive DVD documenting 40 outback fenceDUBUFFETperformances, colour photos, fence music and birdsong transcriptions. Remarkable.
WEIGHT - PLEASE ADD £ 3.50 for SHIPPING OUTSIDE EUROPE.