Yasunao Tone

Listening in Reverse (TIME, DATES, LOCATION CHANGED)

Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 2:00pm
The Russell House, 350 High Street, Middletown


Pierre Cabanne: Your first American readymade was called "In Advance of the Broken Arm." Why?
Marcel Duchamp: It was a snow shovel. In fact, I had written that phrase on it. Obviously I was hoping it was without sense, but deep down everything ends up by having some.

While composers may employ methods and strategies in an attempt to evade specific meaning, listeners are rarely devoid of a desire for that meaning. And, of course, any method or strategy carries its own entanglements with meaning, as do the sounds, objects, and behaviors they may shape. This event focuses on music that expose the recursive nature of these processes.  

2pm Workshop presentation of Runthrough by David Behrman
The audience will be introduced to the piece Runthrough and invited to try their hand at playing parts of it. Runthrough is based on four channels of electronics designed and built by David Behrman.  Two performers shape the sounds,
based on multiple overlapping patterns of modulation that smoothly glide from tremolos to sharp, declarative impulses while two other performers diffuse those sounds throughout the space using a flashlight controlled homemade sound diffusion system.

David Behrman has been active as a composer and artist since the 1960s – making sound and multimedia installations for gallery spaces as well as compositions for performance in concerts. Working at Columbia Records in the late 1960s, Mr. Behrman produced many of the "Music of Our Time" series of new music recordings for Masterworks and Odyssey. Among them were the first recording of Terry Riley's In C as well as his Rainbow in Curved Air, and works by Robert Ashley, John Cage, Mauricio Kagel, Alvin Lucier, Richard Maxfield, Gordon Mumma, Pauline Oliveros, Henri Pousseur, Steve Reich, David Tudor, Christian Wolff, and other influential composers. Together with Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier, and Gordon Mumma, Mr. Behrman founded the Sonic Arts Union in 1966. Sonic Arts performed extensively in North America and Europe from 1966 to 1976. Mr. Behrman worked extensively with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, creating music for several repertory dances. Mr. Behrman was also co-director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College from 1975 to 1980 and has returned to Mills as visiting artist/professor several times since then, most recently in February 2013. He has taught also at Cal Arts, Rutgers, Ohio State, and the Technical University in Berlin, and was a member of the Milton Avery Graduate Arts Program faculty at Bard College. 

3pm Aletheia (1987) by Yasunao Tone performed by Barbara Held
The score consists of dance notations from eighth century China and analytical charts of the dance notations. The interpretation of the flutist is based on the meanings and phonetic values of the Chinese characters used in the score, numbers in the charts, and manipulation of the voice control solenoids by parameter of the flute’s amplitude. The solenoid system was first used for “Piano for Taoists,” with an ancient text, tales of Taoist hermits and magic, in English translation and original Chinese. The voice of the reader triggers electro-magnetic hammers on piano strings so the piano seems to be played by a ghost.

3:20pm Lecture (via GoToMeeting) by Godfre Leung, St. Cloud State University
Godfre Leung is an art historian and critic specializing in postwar and contemporary art, sound studies, and critical theory. He is currently working on a book project, tentatively titled Playback: Medium, Media, and Digital Audio in Marclay, Tone, and Eno, that analyzes critical uses of reproductive audio in three 1985 works of art and which articulates an alternative account of the digital shift through the perceptual matrix of the compact disc.

3:40pm Lecture (via GoToMeeting) by Yasunao Tone
Yasunao Tone, a co-founder of Group Ongaku and an original member of Fluxus, was born in Tokyo in 1935 and has resided in New York since 1972. He has given numerous concerts and group performances, and has participated in group exhibitions and collaborations.

4pm Panel discussion with David Behrman, Barbara Held, Ron Kuivila

Images: thumbnail - David Behrman; event image above - Yasunao Tone.