Arc

Sunday, October 17 @ 8PM

Green Kill Livestream

The Other Arc Ensemble,  a collection of writers/musicians, will present a sound/music piece by Jed Shahar with video by David Gruber Jr. and words (language by the audience/field recordings) by Jeffrey Joe Nelson. The Other Arc Ensemble, made up of the aforementioned and Jarrod Annis, Edmund Berrigan and Benjamin Miller, performs as the “house band” for the Greetings reading series, playing extended atmospheric preludes, stand-alone improvised music sets, and as accompanists to poets. In this Intermedia Lab event the Ensemble will enact an hour-long piece exploring the lines between profane and ritualized (if not sacred) uses for language and art (visual and acoustic). The hushed audience attending to a performance is a convention Satie questioned with his Musique d’ameublement, and it is one the Other Arc Ensemble has attempted to challenge in performances at the Greetings reading series, at which the chatter of a gathering audience blends with playing of the ensemble. Often this is accomplished without a discrete “start” to the music. In fact, an “end” is often arrived at when a collective silence from the audience and musicians arrives. Since poetry attends to and makes use of language—a medium used, out of necessity, for profane or daily existence—the Ensemble demarcates, in collaboration with the audience, a silence with which to consider the poetry that follows with a different attention. Central to that exploration are the concepts of collaboration and improvisation. The live audience (both attending and online during the livestream) will be the primary source of language input for the collaboration. The audience’s conversation and role as primary linguistic input for the performance is the least predictable and perhaps most technically challenging aspect of the proposal. A series of prompts, questions, instructions and suggestions will be prepared by Jeffrey Joe Nelson for the audience—an arrangement of performers and the  audience members blurring distinctions (calling back to Satie’s Musique d’ameublement piece at the Paris Art Gallery). Finally, a possibility would be the use of field recordings of audiences before and after performances (with clearly articulated conversations) could be employed. The hope is that these attentions will result in an occasion to explore how music, image, and language influence one another while moving in and out of those boundaries of everyday and ritualized (if not sacred) artistic usage.

For a sense of what grace may prevail, see David Gruber Jr.’s “Coney Island”: