My root practice and tradition is as a musician, and while I have produced a number of music albums over the past several years, the scope of my work has extended far beyond (and in many cases, focused on domains other than) music. Because improvisation, collaboration, and experimentation with varied means of expression are all so crucial to what I do, there is no “typical” or paradigmatic performance. Instead, what characterizes my performance practice is its reach across the spectrum of sonic and visual expression: from all-acoustic music to electroacoustic music to audiovisual performance, to performances where I am focused primarily on live production of image.
For the sake of brevity in this portfolio, I offer just one example each of these 4 performance modalities (acoustic, electroacoustic, A/V, video).
Improvisation and site-responsive performance are two of of my grounding disciplines. In this all-improvised performance in an abandoned swimming pool on a museum campus in Vermont, from a 2016 tour with contrabassist Kyle Motl, we further extend the timbral and harmonic explorations featured on our LP release Psychogegraphia.
“I Remember Clipboard,” one track from the my collaborative trio Seven Count, is built in part from recorded live performances in our Request Line installation. I play saxophone on this recording, and also produced the montage and mix, which creates the layered quality of disparate sampled audio elements, interweaving and blurring with the band’s acoustic performance.
My collaborative trio Seven Count is here performing a live soundtrack for RGBW, the 45:00 3-channel film at the heart of my Screenbathing exhibition. (Watch to 36:55) Composing music “to picture” (i.e. to create felicitous image-sound pairings) is one of the root practices that has informed and made possible my many intermedia collaborations.
Drawing upon my experimental and exploratory approach to improvisation, I have developed a parallel practice as an improviser of abstract video or “visual music” on an ever-shifting assemblage of out-of-date video processing hardware, employing camera feedback and “no-input mixing” (in which the outputs of a device are plugged directly back into its inputs) to try and get the devices to express latent possibilities which are foreclosed by conventional uses, and from there, to bend the ensuing flow of light and color in time into abstract narratives and compositional forms. Every circuit or signal processing system has its hardwired “preferences,” its tendencies and inherencies that, when allowed to build up through the instantaneous reiterations of feedback, allow the technology to disclose something of their essential nature: the images that image-making technologies would show us if asked to paint their own self-portraits. In this way, my video work asks: What happens when our media technologies are treated as collaborators and not as mere tools? As intrinsic sources, and not merely transmitters, of sensation and knowledge?
Much of my work in the combination and and interfacing of sound and image has occurred within my collaborative duo, They Shoot Lasers, Don’t They?