Moritz von Oswald: Akklamation / Antenes / Britton Powell
Saturday, January 18th, ISSUE opens its 2020 season with new work from legendary electronic music innovator Moritz von Oswald, musician, instrument builder, DJ and 2017 ISSUE Artist-In-Residence Antenes (Lori Napoleon), and American composer Britton Powell.
Moritz von Oswald remains one of the defining figureheads of the so-called Sound of Berlin as a member of Basic Channel, Rhythm & Sound, Maurizio, and as one half of the Borderland duo alongside Juan Atkins. As a driving force behind the emergence of dub techno, he is widely considered as pivotal in the progression of electronic music since the early 90s. At ISSUE, he presents a new live show entitled Akklamation, a performative compositional cosmos that sets out to unify the expansive and divergent musical paths of the electronics master. From his origins in the German new wave, to his pioneering work in the intersection of dub and various strands of electronic music, to his more recent forays into the fringes of experimental music and composition, Akklamation serves as an investigation into the future of rhythmic structures, timbral architecture, and an exploration of the psycho-physical effects of repetition.
2017 ISSUE Artist-In-Residence Antenes (Lori Napoleon) returns to ISSUE to present a new iteration of her ongoing exploration of material from the NOKIA Bell Labs Archives -- a research process that has run parallel to her practice of appropriating antique and/or otherwise obsolete objects in ways that reference and extend their original functionality. Further refining, processing, and spatializing this material, Napoleon combines synthesis with binaural recordings of Bell Labs artifacts from telecommunications history paired with microscopic sounds produced by personal objects from her life (shells, wires, rocks, old watches, etc.) recorded within the famed The Murray Hill anechoic chamber, the world's oldest wedge-based anechoic chamber built in 1940. Notably, she also uses hand-made equipment built during her residency, including a switchboard that electronically controls 90's flip phone motors Napoleon salvaged -- creating organically unfolding rhythms, drones and resonances within these items, including a replica of the first liquid transmission telephone.
American composer Britton Powell presents If Anything Is, a new work exploring themes of hyper-reality and ambient capitalism through a mixed-media environment designed for sound and multichannel video. Filmed and recorded over the course of 2019 the work explores an ecstatic exchange of experience in the face of a much-accelerated media and commercial world. A meditation on the intersection of technology, ritual, and urban landscape, the work draws a map through scenes filmed in New York City and points the audience towards the collision at this crossing.
Moritz von Oswald, legendary master of electronic experimentalism and technical exactitude, has an unassailable place in the modern history of forward-thinking music. To follow his career is to take a guided tour through some of the most important developments, places and people in the history of electronic music. Trained as a classical percussionist, von Oswald joined avant-garde new wave band Palais Schaumburg in the early 80s. His growing interest in the possibilities of electronic music culminated in a landmark collaboration with Thomas Fehlmann in 2MB (and 3MB with Juan Atkins). He founded Basic Channel (with Mark Ernestus) whose releases defined and eptimozied various genres, primarily minimal and dub techno, throughout the 90s. As a central figure in the Berlin electronic music scene which coalesced around the Tresor club and label, von Oswald helped initiate and develop the famous Berlin-Detroit-Chicago axis, collaborating with artists in the burgeoning Techno scene across the Atlantic such as Juan Atkins, Eddie Flashin Fowlkes, Jeff Mills and many others. As half of both Maurizio and Rhythm & Sound (again with Mark Ernestus) he transformed this new sound in respectively minimal and dub-inflected directions, originating ongoing traditions in electronic music. Von Oswalds influence on the fledgling music scene in Berlin also had a more concrete dimension flowing from his tireless work as a mastering and cutting engineer at the legendary Dubplates & Mastering studio -- contributing to acclaimed releases on imprints such as Warner, Universal, Sony, and Columbia records as well as a slew of the most important works in electronic music. Over the last decade, von Oswald has branched out into more experimental and improvisational contexts: a landmark release for Deutsche Grammophon which commissioned him and Carl Craig to recompose music from Ravel and Mussorgsky, a critically acclaimed collaboration with Norwegian jazz trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer for Universal Musi, as well as continued recorded and live work as The Moritz von Oswald Trio which sees him conduct Max Loderbauer, and legendary Afro-beat pioneer Tony Allen. He has also released multiple works and toured extensively with Juan Atkins as Borderland and has released further solo works. Von Oswalds later work builds on his illustrious output from the 90s and 00s - which has now entered the canon of truly original and influential electronic music -- expanding it through new projects, collaborations and performances.
Musician, instrument builder, and DJ, Antenes (Lori Napoleon) resides in New York with her collection of self-made sequencers and synthesizers using repurposed vintage telecommunications equipment. The artist draws musical influence from the curious and ephemeral sound-world of outdated telephone and telegraph networking systems, finding parallels between both atmospheric and mechanical aberrations inherent in the materials and various forms of synthesis. Her productions integrate sounds reminiscent of pulsing analog relay switching systems, errant radio transmissions, cross-continental echo, signature drones and message interferences between wires. A devoted practitioner of crossing between disciplines, Antenes has held residencies for electronic arts at Worm (Rotterdam), ISSUE Project Room (NYC) Bell Labs (Murray Hill, NJ), Harvestworks (NYC) and Signal Culture (Owego NY) and has appeared at numerous interdisciplinary events including the New York Electronic Arts Festival, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratorys Intersections exhibition (Batavia, IL), Open House Londons Sonic Visitations, and Trinity Colleges Science Gallery (Dublin). Inspired by the Buchla 100 modular system, her synth work is featured in the 2013 film I Dream of Wires: The Modular Synthesizer Documentary, as well as in several masters theses including Mills College, Fashion Institute of Technology and Clemson University. She also leads hands-on DIY synth workshops, having recently lectured at CalArts, Oberlin, SAIC, ReWire Festival, MoogFest, and UC-Boulders music departments, along with Monthly Music Hackathon, Dame Electric at Pioneerworks and Womens Synth Workshop at the Kitchen (NYC). She has been featured in articles and podcasts including The Creators Project, ClockTower Radio, and writer Steven Johnsons Wonderland Podcast (alongside Brian Eno, Alex Ross and Caroline Shaw). She also keeps busy behind the decks of underground events globally, including The Bunker New York, De School Amsterdam, Tresor Berlin, Corsica Studios London, Rural Festival Japan and more. Antenes has releases on L.I.E.S., Silent Season, and The Bunker New York (as Antemeridian).
Britton Powell is an American composer based in Brooklyn, New York. Powells music has appeared at venues around the world including Centre Pompidou (Paris), The Barbican Center (London), Todays Art Festival (Den Haag), Ultima Festival (Oslo), Unsound Festival (Krakow), The Kitchen (NYC), and The Guggenheim House (Japan). His work has been featured in The New Yorker, Washington Post, Bomb Magazine, and Wire Magazine among others. He has worked on recordings for Warp Records, Mexican Summer Records, Unseen Worlds, and Catch Wave Ltd. Powell has worked and collaborated with Jon Hassell, Matmos, Lucy Railton, Jon Gibson, Huerco S, and many others.
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