Last year's String'em up festival in Berlin focused on a selection of string players who have contributed something radical and unique to the language of contemporary music. String 'em up this year in Rotterdam will make some attempt to juxtapose the sound and technique of real (and outstanding) string players against the ubiquitous sound and technique of contemporary music - the sampler and the record. To underline the point (if not perversity) of this, I've asked our main sampler player (Bob Ostertag) to use sampled string sounds and our main turntable player (Otomo Yoshihide) to use disks of string music. Just to confuse the issue, amongst all this simulacra will be thrown some state of the art interactive computer systems running real time MIDI controlled string samples and string images.
So in this String'em up there is a whole mix up of the real, the fake, the virtual... not to mention the good, bad and the ugly ... or just plain noisy. No matter that someone maybe able to down load the entire
content of their brain into a computer 25 years from now (anyone who wants
to do that won't have much to download anyway), the last thing that a
computer will ever be able to simulate in real time is the sound of a
violin being played left handed for the first time by a trained violinist
(I'm serious) .... that amount of indecision, unreliability, envelope
malfunction, unrepeatability, awkwardness, variation in every agonising
millisecond takes just too much computation. So as with most music
practice, in this festival it could well be the differences between
musicians and their sonic resources that tend to create the moments...
rather than the similarities.
a note to double bass players (there are a lot of them): sorry ... we did
all that last year.
a note to viola players: the usual irritating jokes are on page 49 of this
THE ROSENBERG MUSEUM (in V2)
The Rosenbergs are a dynasty of innovative violinists from Australia.
The three most known artists from this family are Jo 'Doc' Rosenberg (legendary bebop violinist); Jimmi Rosenberg (country & western star, turned hard core heavy metal); and the most famous (ie. dead) Dr. Johannes Rosenberg (composer, musicologist and experimental violin instrument decomposer). The later Rosenberg also lived for a large part of his professional life in the unfashionable former DDR.
The museum consists primarily of documentation illustrating the musical
practice and obsessions of this most radical of 20 century musical enigmas,
including some of the 'Relative Violin' deconstructions and the always
popular 'Kitsch Violin' collection. The Rosenbergs are the first 'virtual' music dynasty to become real. After years of existence as experimental Hörspiel, fake TV documentaries, books of dubious biography, and living on the internet, The Rosenberg Museum now becomes physical reality in its new premises in the town of VIOLIN in Slovakia (I'm not making this up!)
To put it another way, The Rosenbergs might be described as, surrealist satire dealing with many of the issues now facing the musical culture of
this world .... a wicked but humour filled critique. Between them, the
Rosenbergs deal with everything from the pointlessness of 'jazz education,
why there is so much really bad performance art, the agony of
musicologists, the ignorant pretensions of music criticism, the cultural
imperialism of New York, the business of the 'culture' Industry, etc.
There is massive pictorial evidence too (in case you didn't noice it yet)
to support the Doctor Johannes' prediction that after the decline of
communism and capitalism would come the The Age of Shopping. So If you want
to know 'where we are going and who is paying for the pizza after the gig'
..... then this is your only chance to experience the Rosenberg Museum in
Holland. As critics of THE PINK VIOLIN (the first book about the
Rosenbergs) point out
A book that dares to write a new opus in the music of this confused Century...
THE LITERARY REVIEW
If this isn't what happened in the story of contemporary music, then it
should have .....
Music, history, and a family of perverts ... it's quite disgusting and often
in bad taste
THE TIMES MUSIC SUPPLEMENT
The V2 exhibition shows the collection of EVERYTHING THAT CAN BE DONE
WITH A VIOLIN
- a selection from the deconstructed relative violins
The Kitsch Violin archive
pictorial evidence to support Rosenberg's prediction of cultural demise the Age of Shopping
new exhibit pieces ...
plus some newly restored instruments.
There will be regular 'broadcasting' of performances, lectures, concerts on the internet.
The curator of the Rosenberg Museum is Jozef Cseres (SK). He became the
director of the Rosenberg Museum for 2 reasons.
When not running the Rosenberg Museum, Dr. Cseres teaches aesthetics at
Bratislava University, writes like a maniac on contemporary music issues
and organises the Sounding Off' concert agenda and festival.
He was driving through the Slovakian countryside one day with minimalist
composer Phil Niblock, listening to a recent cassette of that composer. As
the cassette finished Phil said' Look we're in the town of VIOLIN'...and so
indeed they were
No one else wanted the job.
Since this timely post modern event, Jozef has been responsible for getting
the mayor of VIOLIN to hand over the local football club to Rosenberg fans
as the new global centre for museum activities. The Violin football club
certainly comes equipped for the job, armed as it is with a small concert
hall, a bar and a library. At the time of the inaugural concert, the
library key had been lost so no one can really ascertain what undiscovered
glories lie on those dusty shelves.
Assisting Mr. Cseres in Rosenberg activities over recent year has been the
former New York fluxus virtuoso (still completely unreformed) double bass
player Mr. Ben Patterson (USA), probably the only member of the fluxus movement ever to earn his living as
a professional musician.
Apart from being the first African American ever to play bass in an American symphony orchestra,
he is also (as far as I have been able to research) the first non violinist ever to make Violin
Case Marmalade and drink an entire bottle of whisky at one sitting ...
this was also a 'first' for the town of Violin as witnessed in the 'sounding
off' festival of October last year in Nove Zamky. Ben could be performing
at various times in the 3 days of museum manifestation in a variety of
violin related episodes.
The Rotterdam 1999 String'em up festival will also be something of a
Rosenberg summit . We are proud to announce that the director of The
Rosenberg Archive in Melbourne (and publisher of the two classic tomes on
the Rosenberg family) will be able to join us in May. Composer Rainer Linz
(AUS) is the undisputed voice of Australian alternative new music and he will be realising part of the 'unified music relativity theory' with an
interactive violin installation from Dr. Johannes Rosenberg's Kamikaze period.
The Kamikaze violin dates from Rosenberg's period in the Imperial Japanese
airforce. We know from letters written at the time that Rosenberg was concerned with
establishing a new sound world for the violin, involving new performance
techniques and showing an apparent disregard for the instrument's history.
Mr. Linz will present a demonstration/ performance on the original
Kamikaze violin at advertised times throughout the 3 days of the festival.
Rainer Linz is a composer and performer with a long involvement in
Radio, music theatre, instrumental and electronic music. His work includes
an opera, as well as numerous chamber and electronic pieces intended for
live performance. He is also an author and publisher and as such has
provided the only documentation of what can be described as 'experimental
music' over the last 20 years in Australia. His association as the sound
designer with performance artist Stelarc extends back over a decade. He
works regularly using his interactive set up with clarinettist Brigid
The museum will be opened on Friday 14th at 8pm with a speech from
internationally acclaimed Rosenbergologist Sally Jane Norman (NZ/FR).
This dedicated critic and theorist has just completed a paper on the
recent appearance of Rosenberg phenomena in the art world and will be
informing us on what the future might possibly hold for geneticists and
violin players alike. Last year Sally was mainly responsible for putting
together the innovative and stimulating TOUCH symposium of STEIM in
Amsterdam. Apart from spending much of her time sitting in euro trains
pounding away on her word processor, S.J.N. informs ZKM and other
futuristic euro institutions on what it's all about, where we are all
going, and 'who's paying for the pizza after the gig'
Performances at V2 on Friday 14th, start at 20.00
- Introduction or wayward comments from Sally Jane Norman
- Demonstration/performance by Rainer Linz on The ROSENBERG KAMIKAZE VIOLIN
ROSENBERG -INTERACTIV a new media performance by Jon Rose.
with both sound and image being manipulated through a unique MIDI
interface controlled by violin bow pressure, bow movements (through an
accelerometer); and pedalboard.
Images are accessed from the ROSENBERG
MUSEUM archives, existing as quick time or pict files on hard disc. These
are then mixed with live video camera images of the violinist who thereby
undergoes a kind of anthropomorphic process, becoming digitally/visually
part of the archive being manipulated.
The programme used (Image-ine) is the most recent to be developed at Steim by the brilliant software man Tom
Demeyer. (see video of Berlin performance).
As a model for this work, I have taken Daniel Dennett's analogy of
The Library of Mendel.
...although in this case it is a museum and instead of finding countless versions of the same book but all
slightly different, one finds countless product usage of the same icon ....the violin
for more information about the Rosenbergs...read the books THE PINK VIOLIN
and VIOLIN MUSIC IN THE AGE OF SHOPPING...and visit the museum of course. It
is hoped at the time of writing this that a comprehensive catalogue of the
museum's perversities will be available at String'em up for public
PEELED HEARTS VIOLIN
a violin performance by one of Australia's extreme noise talents Lucas
Abel, currently enjoying a meteoric rise to fame in the more grubby music
scenes of Sydney and Tokyo. Known for his extreme use of amplified finger
nails on rather dangerous lumps of high spinning concrete, Lucas has
recently taken up another excruciating instrument of sonic torture ....the
violin. At a concert in Sydney last year he tried to squeeze his audience
into a telephone box (or those daft enough to follow him out of the concert
space and down the street...)
at the time of going to print, the following information was sent to us...
I haven't finalised what i'm to do yet and I probably won't know for sure
until the day as I have a hard time with commitment, I've scrapped that
record fan idea for now, at the moment I'm thinking:
first night: play the violin with pick up on the end of each of my fingers.
second night: I'd like to simply play my humming bar with my mouth as
third night: using a bowie knife pick up I will stab the violin until it is
RITUAL by Miya Masaoka
....another purge of the Man Ray violin/body industry expressed with the spirit of Yoko Ono.
Multi-media body performance with giant hissing Madagascar cockroaches
A visually stunning and conceptual piece, this Butoh-inspired performance
reflects the progression from the extremely internalised movement of the
slow-moving body-- to no movement at all.
Ritual seeks to re-conceptualize the body as a canvas on which to deconstruct notions of
gender, ethnicity and power. A body in motion that gestures and poses inherently displays idiomatic movement references, both cultural and
aesthetic. A passive, non-moving body holds multiple readings for the viewer, and the level of interpretation is broad and limitless.
Ritual is a multi-media piece which includes the performer, Miya
Masaoka, lying naked with giant Madagascar cockroaches roaming freely on
her body. Close-ups of the roaches are projected onto a large video
Ritual is an offering to encourage the viewer to consider the
relationships between the social construction of the body, race, and
gender in performance. Recent theoretical work by various critical
theorists suggests bodies tend to indicate a world beyond themselves,
beyond their own boundaries, a movement of boundary itself. Bodies cannot
be said to have a signifiable existence prior to the mark of their gender;
the question then emerges, how do we reconceive the body no longer as a
passive medium or instrument for which cultural meanings are inscribed?
The body, can, for example, be thought of as machine, a work of art, an
object of desire/revulsion, a site for hegemony and control, or ...an ersatz
This performance was almost like an installation..there was a certain
sense of Japanese minimalism that rendered Miya Masaoka's Ritual a gem,
a masterful embodiment of sound and image, live and on video projection. I
highly recommend this for those interested in the new burgeoning genres of
Anthony Burton, High Performance
Miya Masaoka's performance Ritual is quite simply, a Tour De Force.
La Monte Young, American composer
A standing room only crowd packed the 300 seat hall for the 90 minute
performance, the last 15 minutes which featured Miya Masaoka's Ritual.
And, as if in a church, the audience sat in silence as Masaoka ly naked.
... .police were stationed outside Friday night's Watkins' Hall, and
officials received more than 100 calls of complaint, some threatening to
protest at the performance and one vowing a citizen's arrest for public
nudity, according to assistant professor Deborah Wrong
Bill Shalkin, The Press Enterprise
All performances to be broadcast live on the internet:
Performances at V2 on Saturday 15th, start at 20.00
Rotterdam String Project: FÄDEN
A chamber opera about a confused woman on an empty lot in a city. She is
waiting/resting, and doesn't know if she is herself or a figment of projected images. It is not a dramatic opera with a 'madness'-aria and death at
the end (thank God for that!)
It's more like a knot of sound and text images twisted together. The set
is also a sound-installation that transmits and connects these fragments through
strings and tin-can-resonators.
Kora Schmeiser - is a singer from Den Haag performing modern compositions
plus she plays all that nice Baroque recorder stuff ... also works in theatre with DoeDaDa.
Joe Williamson & Frank van Berkel- double basses
Joe finally packed his case and left New Dutch Swinging Amsterdam for the
musica heterdosa of Berlin. He has played with Paul Termos, Tobius Delias,
Leonid Soybelman, Kletka Red, and the unfundable Exiles band etc.
Frank comes from Rotterdam and does the impro, impro rock thing with for
example Han Buhrs and also his own Berkelband.
Gerard van Dongen - plays the prepared piano and all the electronics....and I suspect he is responsible for this piece. He is a
composer and improviser living in Rotterdam. He does a lot of solo work and plays with the acoustic Kwint and the electro acoustic impro group Gates.
He also writes music for theatre.
The text for FÄDEN was found and chopped up from the wonderful and
disturbing work of black Austrian dissident writer Thomas Bernhart, Kurt
Tucholsky and the Bild newspaper.
Performances at DODORAMA on Saturday, 15th, start at 22.00
TECHNO MIT STÖRUNGEN.
On stage are the techno musicians (techno used in the broadest
sense ...scratch, sampling, play back, computers, etc). Through the use of
traffic lights as a cue device, the Improvising musicians (techno
gladiators!) confront, interrupt, disturb, complement, make arrangements
with, play with, or turn off .. the techno machine. There is a continual
walk on/walk off atmosphere. This piece was first performed at The Wells
Festival, Austria in 1995 with some 30 musicians.
Otomo Yoshihide - turntables, guitar (JAP)
Otomo Yoshihide is Tokyo's premiere noise DJ and has spent years at the
cutting edge of Japan's noise underground -- collaborating with Yamatsuka
Eye, the Boredoms, leading his own groups Ground Zero and ISO ...and
collaborating internationally with just about anyone worth collaborating
with. He was the main figure in Jon Rose's cultural satire project
SHOPPING and the seminal TECHNO MIT STORUNGEN. Otomo is also known as
composer for numerous soundtracks for film, from Chinese and Hong Kong
cinema to Japanese underground, and has received high worldwide acclaim for
these works as well. Otomo just recently changed his overall style and
approach to live performance, so here's a chance to see what he is now up
DJ Git Hyper- turntables
Git was one of the first Dutch DJ's to start mixing jazz with hip hop
(better not mention that at the BimHuis mate) and first reached massive
public attention with legendary rap crew Supersonics and very un dutch jazz
group Sfeq. As his music has become more threatening, sizzling, subtle and
discrete, so his number of party engagements have declined...funny about
that. 'He plucks the records from the case with the dexterity of a
magician'. Git recently released 'Zimmerman Two' on DOX.
Francis Marie Uitti - cello (USA)
Frances-Marie Uitti pioneered a new dimension to the new music cello
transforming it into a polyphonic instrument by the use of a double bow
technique into a transfigured string quartet.. As the uncrowned queen of
new music (Steim Catalogue) she has long suffered (never been able to
stop practising) for all those dots written by those out of control
composers like Gyorgy Kurtag, Luigi Nono, Giacinto Scelsi, Louis
Andriessen, Jonathan Harvey, Richard Barrett, Vinko Globokar, J.A.Yim,
Clarence Barlow,etc .
They have all used and abused the double bow thing in their works dedicated to her. Apart from collaborating with lots of the
dead and living heavies like Cage, Ferneyhough... Ms. Uitti likes to have her ears occasionally pushed out of shape by playing along side the guitar
amp of the very sensitive Elliott Sharpe.
Greg Kingston - guitar (AUS)
an extraordinary and wild guitar player who has been playing a unique brand
of improvised music since the late 70's. He has been a life long sufferer
of Tourettes Syndrome. For all the frustrations, Torettes has proved to
be of benefit to Greg as an improviser... there is a quirky lightness and
rapid speed of response in the Kingston guitar style. He is often referred
to as the Eugene Chadbourne of Australian music, although the Guardian in
London referred to him as a foot-stomping Barney Kessel on speed. Derek
Bailey recognised Greg's talent and offered him a gig on the spot.... one of the guitarist's rare trips outside of Australia where he has a devoted
Dominique Regef -Hurdy Gurdy (FR)
Dominique is very reluctant to give out any information on his work, so
biographical details are scant indeed. This is probably irrelevant as his
reputation in France is huge, working as he does in many fields of music
from the rich mediaeval tradition to de rigeur improvised music (with such
musicians as Jean Marc Montera), when I contacted him for this gig, he was
researching music in Morocco. As to the hurdy gurdy itself, its rediscovery
in contemporary music continues in an exponential curve. Back in the old
days, Leonardo da Vinci thought it was a pretty cool instrument too, coming
up as he did with a multiple polyphonic version.
Cor Fuller- piano string (NL)
Cor Fuhler is active as improviser/composer in the Amsterdam jazz and
contemporary music scenes... well there are worse things in life. Anyway he
has played with all the big bananas there. He focusses mainly on expanding
the sound of the piano, on collecting/playing many kinds of electronic and
acoustic keyboards. He is the inventor, manufacturer, player, researcher,
composer for and manager of the Keyolin. So if you work for Sony or Yamaha
and want to start producing the Keyolin world wide, Cor is the guy to talk
Bob Ostertag - sampler (USA)
Bob Ostertag has been at the forefront of electronic sound since the late
1970s, releasing more than a dozen cd's and records. His previous
collaborators include avant guarders John Zorn and Fred Frith, dyke punk star
Lynn Breedlove, rock star Mike Patton, the Kronos Quartet, Anthony Braxton and
more. His main touring group is SAY NO MORE with Phil Minton, Mark Dresser
and Gerry Hemingway. His most recent group features New York's underground
punk drag queen Justin Bond who famously tore a strip off Madonna at
material girl's own L.A. birthday party. Bob has a solo CD available on
Seeland which demonstrates that he is probably the most musical sampler
player around today.
Lucas Abel - feedback violin (AUS)
Jon Rose - violin, bows, whipolin (UK/AUS)
Performances at DODORAMA, Sunday 16th, start at 20.00
REAL & VIRTUAL STRINGS
A full power, action packed, intensive session of duos & trios. All the
things that string players like to do are very likely to happen - bowing,
double bowing (tripple bowing?), e-bowing, plucking, scraping, hitting,
thumping, blowing, sympathetic ringing, pulling, twisting, stroking,
whirling, cranking... which reminds me of a story told me by composer Arnold
Dreyblatt. When in Romania, he heard a fantastic 3 string double bass
player... unfortunately one of the strings had broken and was now being
bowed furiously with a huge knot tied in it . Arnold offered to buy her a
new one, Oh No she said it's just beginning to sound interesting.
Mary Oliver - viola & hardinger (keyed) fiddle. (USA)
according to her biography Mary Oliver was born in La Jolla, California of
Nordic stock (I'm afraid to tell you that she's neither Jewish, gay or
Japanese). As both violinist and violist, her activities have encompassed
premieres by composers such as Iannis Xenakis and Brian Ferneyhough (it's
that heavy guy again), as well as improvised music with groovers like
George Lewis and John Zorn. She also holds a PhD in experimental studies
from UC San Diego. Having escaped from under the black cape of violin
heavyweight champion Janos Negyesy, she has lived in Europe since 1993
where she continues her exploration of the Norwegian Hardanger
fiddle... solo CD imminent.
Miya Masaoka - Koto & electronics (USA)
Miya Masaoka is a virtuoso who has taken the Koto out of the confines of a
trad Japanese instrument into the world of contemporary music complete with
array of beaters, strokers and interactive computer system. She has
collaborated with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and Pharoh
Sanders. She also has her own orchestra which performs her own compositions
like What is the difference between stripping and playing the violin (I
didn't make that up!)
Dominique Regef- Hurdy Gurdy
Otomo Yoshihide - turntables
Bob Ostertag - sampler using string samples only
Francis Marie -cello
Cor Fuhler - Keyolin, piano
Greg Kingston - electric guitar
Jon Rose - violins, bows, interactive electronics, etc
Jon Rose has spent the best part of the last 30 years surviving at the
unfashionable end of new music while creating a unique, alternative and
radical new history for the violin and just about everything to do with it
(not to say he's done about everything you can do with it). He is
responsible for The String'em up festival and if you want to complain or
know more about his work, collaborations, instruments, cd's, books, films,
|info and tickets from....
3012 XL Rotterdam
tel. 0031.10.206 7272
attention of Mark Thelosen
3021 NP Rotterdam
tel. 0031.10.476 7832
attention of Lukas Simonis
|accommodation can be arranged for extreme fans and journalist say the
organisers at Dodorama|