[microsound] Rhys Chatham

Dave Seidel dave at mysterybear.net
Wed Feb 4 18:40:34 EST 2009

Concur on all that (I was there from '78 to '88).  Another point for 
reference for this music is idea of music for multiples.  See Mary Jane 
Leach's really comprehensive list here:


[Disclosure: I did the first recording and performances of Lois V 
Vierk's "Go Guitars", which is a great piece for five electric guitars 
in a quarter-tone-based tuning, and which is on MJ's list.]

- Dave

Kim Cascone wrote:
>> and i should add that Rhys and Glenn were developing their ideas at
>> the same time, in the highly charged, creative stew that was the NYC
>> downtown art scene in the late 70's - early 80's. lots of really
>> interesting musical ideas/bands: DNA, Liquid Liquid, Y Pants,
>> Contortions, Mars, Lydia Lunch et al. combine that with Philip Glass,
>> Laurie Anderson, Steve Reich, etc. and BOOM.
> some coffee thoughts:
> I lived and worked in Manhattan around that time and attended the  
> Noise Fest at the White Columns on Spring St in '81
> (I even managed to 'find' poster for it and now hangs in my studio)
> Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham all played at the Noise Fest
> in addition to a lesser known downtown guitar ensemble headed by  
> Jeffery Lohn and who I auditioned for
> but I saw Rhys play at the Mudd Club or Club 57 (can't remember  
> which) where his percussionist played metal poles with ball-peen hammers
> a very intense concert so say the least and in some ways more  
> interesting than Glenn's work
> but I was big fans of both of them
> a few years later I saw Glenn speak at the Exploritorium in SF so I  
> chatted with him a little afterwards about the NY scene and why I  
> moved to SF
> I would have to say that some of the context for this was 'New Music'  
> as mashed up with the 'No Wave' music happening in NY around that time
> and there was a lot of cultural cross breeding going on then
> witness the New Music America festivals and Ear Magazine which were  
> both based in NYC and which helped to stir the 'creative stew' that  
> Bruce mentioned
> I had a friend who played in Glenn's ensemble (before Glenn got  
> famous) and he told me this story about how Glenn knew almost nothing  
> about rock music and rock guitar techniques
> so he continually asked my friend to play him 'historical' rock 'n  
> roll records and explain to him how certain guitar pedals were used  
> in making rock guitar sounds
> also, I had the pleasure of seeing DNA play at CBGB's several times  
> and think Arto Lindsay is one of the most original guitarists of his  
> time
> his playing in DNA astounds me to this day and totally shifted how I  
> thought of the 'guitar'
> only to be further damaged by Keith Rowe and Fred Frith later on
> my Berklee College of Music education never looked so provincial as  
> during that time
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~DaveSeidel = [

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