OLIVIA BLOCK and the BULLOCK/CLUETT/DULIN Trio at the Goethe-Institut
Saturday, March 8, 2014

Non-Event and Sedimental records present
an evening of music and video with

OLIVIA BLOCK performing The War of the Ghosts
BULLOCK / CLUETT / DULIN Trio

Goethe-Institut Boston
170 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02116
8 p.m.
Advance tickets: $10 / $8 for students with ID
At the door: $15 / $10 for students with ID

About the artists

OLIVIA BLOCK creates original sound compositions for concerts, site-specific multi-speaker installations, live cinema, and performance. In a recent feature article in the April 2011 issue of The Wire magazine, Julian Cowley describes Block’s compositions as “finely nuanced textures of environmental material and occasional surges of sonic power blended with an elegant instrumental architecture.” Her compositions often include field recordings, musical scores, and electronic textures. Additionally, she performs her own partially improvised compositions for inside piano and electronics, and objects.

She has performed, premiered and exhibited her work throughout Europe, America, and Japan in tours in festivals including Sonic Light (Amsterdam), Kontraste (Krems), Dissonanze (Rome), Archipel (Geneva) Angelica (Bologna), Sunoni per il Popolo (Montreal), and many others. Additionally, she has presented work at the ICA (London), MCA (Chicago), La Biennale di Venezia 52nd International Festival of Contemporary Music, The Kitchen (NYC), ISSUE Project Room and Experimental Intermedia (Brooklyn). She has completed residencies and premiered works at Mills College of Music and The Berklee College of Music. Block has presented talks at additional universities in film, music, and media arts departments, including Yale University and Indiana University.

Her most recent release Karren on Sedimental was named one of the top albums of 2013 by Art Forum, Pitchfork, and the Wire.

MIKE BULLOCK is a composer, media artist, and porcelainist with over a decade of international activity. His work encompasses electroacoustic improvisation, installation, live video, contrabass, and synthesizer. Bullock performs across the US and in Europe, collaborating with a huge range of artists including Bertrand Gauguet, Andy Guhl, and Mazen Kerbaj, Pauline Oliveros, Bhob Rainey, Steve Roden, Keith Rowe, and Christian Wolff.

Bullock’s music has been released by numerous labels including Sedimental, Intransitive, Important, Winds Measure, Sedimental, Grob, 1.8sec, al Maslakh, and Homophoni. He holds a PhD from the Arts Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and has taught and lectured in the US and Europe on field recording and improvisation. With Linda Aubry Bullock he is the co-founder of the art-edition label Shadowselves.

SETH CLUETT (b. Troy, NY) is an artist, composer, and performer whose work ranges from photography and drawing to video, concert music, and critical writing. His “subtle…seductive, immersive” (Artforum) sound work has been characterized as “rigorously focused and full of detail” (e/i) and “dramatic, powerful, and at one with nature” (The Wire). The recipient of grants from Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Fund, Meet the Composer, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Cluett has published articles for BYPASS, Shifter, Intransitive, The Open Space Magazine, Leonardo Music Journal, 306090, Earshot, and the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. He has presented at venues such as MassMoCA, The Kitchen, GRM, Palais de Tokyo, STEIM, and Dundee Contemporary Arts and work is documented on Line, Radical Matters, Sedimental, Notice, and Winds Measure recordings. In the fall of 2012, Cluett joined the faculty of Contemporary Arts at Ramapo College of New Jersey where he teaches courses in audio engineering as well as electronic and experimental sound practices.

A native South Carolinian, Brooklyn-based trombonist TUCKER DULIN attended music school at the University of Southern Mississippi, New England Conservatory, and The University California, San Diego. He has recently enjoyed the privilege of performing with Bryan Eubanks, Cat Lamb, Andrew Lafkas, Barry Weisblat, Ben Owen, Jason Brogan, Radu Malfatti, Stuart Dempster, Gust Burns, Seth Cluett and more. Some of Tucker’s other interests are web development and endurance training.

About Olivia Block’s The War of the Ghosts

The War of The Ghosts is a video and live sound performance by Olivia Block, thirty minutes in length. The title of the piece refers to a famous 1932 study on reconstructive memory by psychologist Frederic Bartlett. The video footage, recorded on a low-end consumer model “GoPro” HD camera, is a mountain sunset in northern New Mexico. The uninterrupted recording darkens naturally as the sun recedes, leaving less light for the camera to utilize. The lack of light causes the image to pixelate into a decaying mass of moving bits, as if the camera struggles to recreate or confabulate a memory of the previous picture.

The sound portion of the piece originates from two main sources. Field recordings taken from a forest near the mountain in the video are mixed and processed live. Additionally, cassette tapes from historical anthropological fieldwork of native American language transcriptions are played, obscured and treated in various ways. The performance includes the utilization of various methods of acoustic decay, including detritus from cassette tapes and digital distortion. Over time, the sounds of the forest and other concrete sounds, including the birds and wind, subtly transform into a wash of white noise that blends with the room. Ultimately, the sounds decompose into acoustic textural distortion, revealing only glimpses of the original intact field recordings and pieces of language. The War of the Ghosts investigates memory, language and confabulation, transcription and recording, duration and perception of time, and representations of nature.