Thank you kindly for your constant interest in Merzbau! Only today after a random visit here I realized that there have been more than 13000 visitors to this blog! Merzbau is over [at least for now] but this does not mean that I will bring it down. It will remain online for archival purposes.
There has been a return to the merzposting though. There is a new incarnation of this ongoing ‘effort’ that is called Llamarinth. This is a new journal of the weird and wonderful maintained by me and a very dear person to me, houdinismother. I am sure that Merzbau readers will find many things of interest there and they will not be disappointed.
I would be glad to see you and maybe hear from some of you over at Llamarinth!
Currently in the process of rearranging and enhancing Merzbau links section. In the interim check this film:
This is one of the best music movies that was made in Russia ever. In 1989 well-known TV and movie director Svyatoslav Chekin and artist Yury Sobolev decided to make a film based on solo work by Vladimir Tarasov. The famous free-jazz drummer, Tarasov was 1/3 of Ganelin-Tarasov-Chekasin trio but after Slava Ganelin’s emigration to Israel he started solo career, working on series of projects with common name ATTO. Chekin and Sobolev, who was a screenwriter of the film, choosed ATTO IV. There are no words in this film. Only a big Artist and his music, his art collection, his friends, his family, his life. It’s the best Svyatoslav Chekin’s film, his Opus Magnum. He died two years later in London, while editing movie foer the late great Mstislav Rostropovich. This film was out of public attention for very long time. Director’s family wants now to correct this situation
No blogging for quite some time. University exams and almost unbearable summer heat prevented all activity. Merzbau officially now slips into summer hiatus. Back in full by Fall with some interesting collaborations. There will be a couple of more posts in a about a weeks time mostly concerning shares to last you through summer.
Next Saturday [July 5th] I am leaving for a trip abroad. Milan, Paris, London [1 day stop] and Venice. Most time will be spend in Paris [about a week]. Two dear friends living there provided me with invaluable info [thank you so much losfeld and continuo]. If you have anything related to these towns, places to visit, record stores, galleries, museums, exhibitions, book stores and so on, you feel like sharing, please drop me a line. Keep in mind though that I have been already more than once in London and Venice and only something really special or a current event will be of interest concerning them. Paris and Milan are Tabula Rasa so anything is more than welcome.
A pile of new arrivals at Merzbau evolving place, blessed are the trades! Moorman’s box set [at last!], two Gandera tapes, two Comelade tapes, one cassette tribute to Crowley, three Coil, Berrocal, four Silvester Anfang, about ten Graveyards and Graveyards-related releases, Meads Of Asphodel, Joe Jones, Michel Chion, Teiji Ito, Daniel Kientzy, Pierre Henry, Gurdjieff’s Harmonic Development and more.
A decent tape deck now obtained, up and running, making dmtls able of enjoying cassette obscurities.
Reading Breton, Petropoulos and Bataille.
Tulse Luper suitcases on Greek cable TV!
All in all, everything is ok with Merzbau, there was only too little time and not the right mood for much blogging, so don’t worry, just in case you did.
Fun with Nuns on stage for another sonic assault, prepare!
31st of May @ Department Of Music Studies of A.U.T.H. university. Their act will be part of a Cage-ian Musicircus. No more info on other appearances, if you have any drop me a line.
Another big update to merzbau trade / sell page. 44 items added [!]. Diamanda Galás, Tunguska-Guska [Ultra Rare], more Blood Stereo, more Residents, more Death In June, a couple of rare experimental/noise compilations, Pere Ubu, a rare Uchihashi Kazuhisa VHS video, a miscellany of vinyl [7" and 12"] for starters and many more. Come on in, take a look.
I got to Warehouse ‘Art Factory’, where the festival was held, on the first day at about six twenty [opening was arranged for six o' clock sharp]. I felt that it was not a really great idea to attend the opening of the festival given the fact that I was not very interested in the first day’s programme. Unfortunately I had the right feeling. As soon as I got there, everyone was going up and down the place in fury trying to make the last checks, the last arrangements. Such things where to be expected but I was optimistic. It was about an hour+ later that we finally heard a sound. No announce, nothing. Someone from the organizing crew sat behind the console and kicked off the performance. Acousmatic [!] Music – International Selection read the programme and I expected to actually see the composers at work, not just their works performed. There was a constant coming and going along with chattering and laughter [that was a thing about all afternoons in the event] as if nothing was going on. It was far from ideal circumstances to listen to these acousmatic works which at least demanded attention. To be honest though I was not impressed by their quality. I left the place just in time to miss the opening speech, that would bore even more. End of day one.
Thursday. Having previous experience with Acousmatic Music – International Selection [at six also] I decided to go to the festival a little later to catch with Karlheinz Stockhausen feature starting at 19.30. It was about eight when I entered the ‘Art Factory’ and Acousmatic Music was still going strong! Stockhausen feature and the following …in 3 movements performance were mysteriously canceled/postponed [never to find out what actually happened]. Then there was uninspired video art for some ten more minutes and after that flute, saxophone, clarinet, electronics and video performance by Demetrius Spaneas. He was in my opinion overtheatrical in his moves but I enjoyed his set, probably because I was at last seeing something [see photos]
After that I was expecting one of the stand outs of the festival [in my opinion at least], Gerard Pape plays Gerard Pape. It was at this point that things started going seriously wrong. Pape was there but just to announce that due to a strike at the airport he was not able to get in time here to make a soundcheck and that he would play his set Friday evening [see photo]. This moment after, it became clear that Read more…
Over 10 programmes, artist/musician Ian Helliwell delves into his archive to look at the development of electronic music right across the world in the classic era of analogue technology. Starting in Europe and finishing up in the Southern Hemisphere, he will be playing vintage tracks from celebrated and overlooked composers from each country.
6 programmes already completed [Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Holland and Belgium, Scandinavia]. Next programme announced: #7, Eastern Europe. Stay tuned here.
Due to the nature of my trip to and business in Athens apart from attending EMW I paid a visit to a variety of artists and galleries. The following selection is of the most interesting ones
Nikos Lytras in National Gallery
A great exhibition showcasing and documenting the work of Nikos Lytras who unfortunately died at a young age and left only a small body of work. What lacks though in volume it makes up in importance. One of the greats that is frequently ignored. On the brink of Greek modernism Nikos Lytras was a daring pioneer. From his portraits and nudes to his land and seascapes you can admire his full, fluid brush stroke, bearing strength and emotion, his stroke that was rejected at the time as dirty and filthy. A rare event of great importance.
Until 2th of June
Dafni Rokou in Astrolavos Gallery
With studies in photography and cinema Dafni Rokou has created about 30 pieces [varying sizes] using mixed technique, for her exhibition in Astrolavos gallery. This part of her work [unfortunately I am unfamiliar with her other projects or activities] is simply amazing. Dark, dusted, surreal, disturbing at times visions staged and executed in first phase [I presume] photographically. Greatly influenced by the Russian avant garde of the 20s, Rokou does very little to hide the cinematic feel her work evokes. Witkin is there [even Alan Tex] along with a variety of references and influences all creatively filtered and combined to form the amalgam of Dafni’s work. The concept and main inspiration for this unit of pieces are the undelivered letters and packages trapped forever within four Post Offices scattered around the globe, that closed on the same day on exactly the same time. Stories left untold, wishes that never reached their destinations. Hopes, fears, events, places and faces. I actually bought a piece at the exhibition [shown below], I wish I could afford more. I will try to get in touch with Dafni Rokou and get back to you with more on her and her art.
Until 24th of May.
Also [worth mentioning]:
Nansi Sousoula also at Astrolavos [until 24th of May] and Stelios Faitakis at The Breeder [Eumorfopoulou 6, Psirri, until 30th of May]
A casket full of aural oddities, this is the title of a new merzbau post series, inaugurated by the present one. I could have started a separate blog for these [I've seen others doing so] but I chose to stick with my current entity. Merzbau after all was, is and will remain a casket full of oddities.
There is no clear line to separate what belongs to these series and what not. Generally small run releases limited or not, sonic products on which little, fuzzy or incoherent information is available, outsider sound art, found music and in general everything dmtls considers obscure or weird enough will find its place here. Frequently bought in large volumes and/or rather cheap, found in all places possible these recordings have a special beauty of their own.
The idea for these posts came after a package was received from Finland, a package I could only describe as A casket full of aural oddities.
Presented here are two cdrs from the aforementioned package.
Paraffin Affiliates is [or was, unsure about their current state as the last signs of their existence found over the net, date five to six years ago] a Finnish free jazz impro/noise unit. Our music is noisy and furious, and yet intuitive. It is more a question of variations in intensity than of structure says Joonas Virtasalo, clarinetist of the band and he is putting his finger exactly on how Paraffin Affiliates works sound like. Squeaks and skreaks, noise and chaos. Wild free improvisations featuring clarinet, guitars, bass, drums and even accordion in a couple of tracks, make for a study of variations in intensity while retaining that little something [structure of some kind?] that keep these recordings from falling apart , from making another dull noise statement
demo 2002 [ask for re-uploading if interested]
demo/promo 2003 [ask for re-uploading if interested]
ElectroMediaWorks 08 is open to anyone interested in the theory, technology, philosophy and practices of mixed media arts in today’s state-of-the-art cultural landscape.
Medea Electronique, CMCP (Center for Music Composition and Performance) and EPHMEE (Electroacoustic Music Research and Applications Lab, Music Dept. Ionian University) co organize an intensive program over five days and nights, presenting international shows and productions featuring innovative media art, electronic music and cross-over work performed by musicians, video artists and sonic artists.
ElectroMediaWorks ’08 is hosted in an 1800 square meter industrial space in down town Athens. A full 16-channel sound diffusion system will be installed for electroacoustic and live electronic music performance, with a 5.1 surround system for video art installations.
Yes it is final, tickets issued. I am off to Athens next week for ElectroMediaWorks festival [?], a great concept, a major event, for free [!] in a wide abandoned factory space [it couldn't have been more suitable]. Five days of cutting edge avant-garde in the heart of Athens, in the heart of May. dmtls will be there on the first three days only [unfortunately], that makes for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Any friends or readers of merzbau also attending are strongly urged to come in contact.