Syncretics Series: Hprizm: PRESSURE WAVE / Josh Sinton: krasa
Friday, March 15th, ISSUE continues its Syncretics Series with acclaimed composer and performer Hprizm (Kyle Austin) performing PRESSURE WAVE, an evening length audio/visual piece. Saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and creative musician Josh Sinton also presents krasa, a series of investigations exploring the amplification and sound magnification of the contrabass clarinet.
Curated by Chris McIntyre, Syncretics Series is a programming platform that unites differentiated musical practices on each concert event. Comprised primarily of solo and duo performances by artists culled from a wide swath of the field, Syncretics presents a manifold range of work including virtuosic improvisations, immersive audio/visual environments, and keenly focused programs of recent and contemporary repertoire.
Recently staged in Philadelphia by Bowerbird, Hprizms PRESSURE WAVE uses the amplified resonance of urban spaces and the intersectional place between Sonic Activism, Musique Concrète, and Raps early roots to examine the dense environments and circumstances that birthed Hip Hop. Scored with generative programming and degenerative tape loops PRESSURE WAVE is the magnetic memory of era long past.
Nam June Paik, Steve Reich, and Public Enemy were all working with burgeoning tape-based technologies to make overtly political statements. Most of my remembrances of the Black Nationalists struggle are also informed by the tape medium. Building on the works of my chief influences helped me to re-contextualize the sounds and images of Black Nationalism and present them in a nuanced, non-linear form.
Josh Sinton provides context for his work, krasa:
krasa is the name Ive applied to a series of investigations of the creative potential of the electric amplifier... I decided right away that this work would be done with a contrabass clarinet, an instrument I rarely play and have limited facility on... I deliberately wanted to use an instrument that I was familiar with but not overly so [to avoid] habits built from muscle memory and over-familiarity I immediately discovered [that] I was able to put very, very small sounds under a kind of audio microscope Small inhalations of breath, a key click, tiny perturbations in an expelled air stream, all these things could be magnified and therefore distorted Inconsequential, boring sounds could be made the center of my imaginative focus. The detritus of my musical practice became the very stuff I used for extended, improvised performances.
Ive used this Rube Goldberg of a biofeedback system (to quote Evan Parker) as a springboard for extended improvisations I alternate between barren, Beckett-esque soundscapes and walls of sound that seem to be conjuring some kind of Jungian archetypes from our collective unconscious. In fact, all I am doing is examining the sounds that spontaneously occur. It is very much like Isaac Newtons boy on the beach diverting himself with the vast quantity of pebbles he finds before him.
Because of the draconian conditions Sinton places on the process (i.e. a purposefully unfamiliar amplifier, limited mic-ing, etc.), he characterizes the krasa material as:
a methodical and deliberate act of boxing myself into a tight corner and seeing what spontaneous creative solutions occur when asked to perform."
Hprizm (Kyle Austin) is a American composer/performer hailed as an innovator by the likes of
TIME, NY TIMES and Rolling Stones. His pioneering synthesis of Hip Hop, Avant Jazz and Electronic Composition often draws comparison to Afrofuturist visionary Sun Ra. As the founder of the seminal collective [Antipop Consortium] he has shared the stages and spaces with the like of Public Enemy, Radiohead, Ornette Coleman, Roscoe Mitchell and many more. His pieces have been presented in the Met, The Whitney, Lincoln Center, The Philadelphia Museum Of Modern Art, The African American Museum, Venice Biennale, Sharjah UAE, The Walker Museum, The Penn ICA, & Theatre Du Chatelet.
Josh Sinton is a creative artist, composer and musical performer. Based in Brooklyn since 2004, he has collaborated with some of the brightest lights of the current NYC creative music scene including Nate Wooley, Ingrid Laubrock, Anthony Braxton, Jon Irabagon, Mary Halvorson and Tom Rainey to name just a few. He has worked as a composer, sound designer and actor in Chicago with Steppenwolf Theater, Bailiwick Theater and the choreographer Julia Mayer and traveled throughout the world performing in small villages in Western India as well as on large stages in Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro and Milan. His current research has led him to investigate the creative potential of the baritone saxophone as well as contemplating the various cul de sacs of improvised music here in New York City. He has led the bands Ideal Bread, musicianer and holus-Bolus and currently leads his Predicate Trio as well performing regularly with the trio What Happens in a Year and clarinetist and composer Guillermo Gregorio. His most recent projects are the albums making bones, the essay Four Hypotheses for SoundAmerican.org and the solo document, krasa. You can find out more about Sinton and his work at joshsinton.com
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