All Senses Festival is back for its second year, September 25-30th, 2018. All Senses Festival is a collaboration of several ongoing artistic endeavors combined under one umbrella: music, spoken word, film, an antique, craft and art fair, and much more. The festival incorporates multiple venues on both sides of the Mississippi River, taking place at The Figge Art Museum, Rock Island Brewing Company, and Rozz-Tox.
The week will kick off on Tuesday at the Figge with The Roedelius Cells, an immersive audio experience created by Grammy-nominated composer Tim Story, and featuring original piano recordings by Hans-Joachim Roedelius; presented by The Figge Art Museum, Ragged Records, and Curious Music. The installation will be in the Grand Lobby Tuesday through Thursday evening, where a closing ceremony and conversation with Tim Story will take place. After the closing ceremony, a brief cocktail hour will lead into Cinema at the Figge, presented by Ford Photography. There will be a short film program with live scoring from Brian Barr of Aseethe and Emma Ruth Rundle, as well as a feature film. Cinema at the Figge is free, with donations welcome, and guaranteed seating for All Senses ticket holders.
The music segment of All Senses includes national, regional, and local acts; a few of the highlights include Bongripper, Emma Ruth Rundle, McCombs/MacKay/Rumback, Telekinetic Yeti, Condor & Jaybird and The Golden Fleece present: Snooty and the Snout Pouch and more. Between sets, there will be readings from national and regional spoken word artists, presented by the Midwest Writing Center.
In preparation for this years All Senses Festival, September 25th-30th, the Figge Art Museum, Ragged Records, and Curious Music team up to present “The Roedelius Cells” installation in the Figge’s Grand Lobby. The Roedelius Cells is an immersive audio experience, created by Grammy-nominated composer Tim Story, and featuring original piano recordings by Hans-Joachim Roedelius. The program is an unconventional cycle of pre-recorded pieces, constructed by Story from thousands of short extracts of Roedelius’ piano recordings, and reproduced via 8 discrete audio channels which will surround the Grand Lobby’s interior space. Since each of the equidistant speakers reproduces a unique layer of each piece, the combinations that visitors experience as they explore the sound stage coalesce and evolve in unexpected, unrepeatable ways – essentially extending the act of composition to each individual participant.
“Extraordinary…a highly-successful celebration of the work of two internationally-recognized artists… Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the installation was the high number of visitors who stayed throughout the entire duration of the hour-long audio cycle, often remaining well into the next before pulling themselves away from this immersive and deeply satisfying visitor experience.”
– Scott Boberg, Manager of Programs at Toledo Museum of Art
In the course of recording several music projects over the past decade, long-time collaborators Tim Story and Hans-Joachim Roedelius captured many hours of Roedelius’ intuitive solo piano improvisations. Rediscovering these extended recordings years later, Story began treating them more as building blocks than finished compositions. Recombining very small edits of this material into layered, evolving patterns, Story painstakingly built compositions solely from the source piano recordings, but which bore little resemblance to Roedelius’ originals. These short, repeating, interlocked layers – consisting of thousands of fragments , each often just a few seconds in duration – create a syncopated, shimmering interplay more reminiscent of Steve Reich’s structured minimalism than Roedelius’ expansive lyricism. Bits of extraneous noise and conversation from the casual sessions occasionally get swept up into the evolving loops, creating a kind of eerie human percussion. To extend the act of ‘re-composition’ to the listeners themselves, Story incorporates a playback system that spreads the individual layers discretely amongst 8 speakers, so that travelling through the physical space changes the fundamental perception of the cells’ interactions in unique, evolving and unrepeatable ways.
“I’ve always been fascinated how we humans continually create order out of randomness, how our brains construct ‘compositions’ out of the haphazard sounds and visuals of everyday life. Creating audio art from ‘found sounds’ is nothing new, composers of musique concrète and audio collage have been doing it since the advent of audio recording. But what if these found sounds were not recordings of events in nature or industry, but rather bits and pieces culled from someone else’s musical performance? This ‘music made from music’ is often radically removed from the original piano pieces played by Joachim – but though his performances have been mercilessly chopped, interrupted and rearranged, the innate lyricism and delicacy of his playing magically survive.
“Systems music of this kind depends so much on the audio content that is subjected to the process. In Cells, the exclusive use of piano – one of the most universally recognizable of Western instruments – encourages the listener to both focus on the conceptual process itself, and engage with the work in a more viscerally musical way. Most importantly, this familiarity allows Cells to quietly subvert expectations of what ‘piano music’ can be. Like the pixels in a video image (or the dabs of color in impressionist painting) that dissolve into abstraction the closer one approaches, so do the cells surrender their cohesion and re-coalesce into new patterns as listeners explore the soundstage.
“The word cells was chosen deliberately – it refers both to the audio building blocks layered into each composition, and to the word’s organic biological meaning– the intensely personal expression that seems to flow so effortlessly from my friend Joachim’s musical DNA. So, whose music is this, anyway? There’s no easy answer, but by encouraging the listener to become collaborator, and fundamentally reinterpret my reinterpretations by the way in which he or she moves through these cells, I hope to bring the act of ‘composing’ full-circle.”
Grammy-nominated American composer Tim Story has been called “a master of electronic chamber music” (CD Review, USA), and a “true artist in the electronic medium” (Victory review, USA). Through three decades of influential recordings and live performances, Story’s unique blend of careful composition and innovative sound design has garnered a dedicated worldwide following.
Austria-based German composer Hans-Joachim Roedelius has profoundly influenced generations of musicians in a career spanning more than a half-century and over 100 solo and collaborative recordings. From his groundbreaking duo Cluster with Dieter Moebius, to his genre-crossing solo works and collaborations with luminaries including Brian Eno, Roedelius is recognized as one of Europe’s most important sound pioneers. Equally at ease with the most abstract of electronics and the most evanescent of piano solos, Roedelius has exerted an indelible, global impact on ambient, electronic, experimental, and wholly undefinable genres of music. Longtime friends and colleagues, Roedelius and Story have collaborated on many musical projects, including the acclaimed albums Lunz (2003), Inlandish(2007), and Lazy Arc (2014).
In this blog post I’m going to give you a brief sort of abstract history of San Francisco’s underground punk hero’s Chrome through different articles, quotes, videos and album artwork that was made by the band’s own Damon Edge. So sit back and soak in these other worldly transmissions and mentally prepare yourself for March 27th at RIBCO with Chicago’s HIDE.
When it comes to influential underground rock bands, San Francisco is (was) lousy with them. Throw a rock randomly into a crowd on Market St. and you could end up hitting a member of the Flamin’ Groovies, Crime, or maybe even one of the Residents (though in the case of the Residents, you couldn’t confirm it). Out of all the Bay Area bands to have been declared seminal, Chrome is probably the most influential while having the least to show for it. Founded in 1975, their Stooges-meets-synths-and-experimental-noise sound is credited with being the beginning of industrial rock music — the stuff that that made careers for Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, among countless others. – from KQED’s article Chrome At 40
Being on the cusp of just about every rock’n’roll crossroads you’d care to mention, Chrome’s debut THE VISITATION is a particularly strange hybrid, having been conceived and executed during that unforgiving hinterland between ‘The Death of Prog’ and ‘The Birth of Punk’. Recorded in San Fransisco throughout 1976, and replete with poorly-photocopied lyric sheets and generally arty detritus, this self-released first LP’s home made sleeve implied far more vicious contents than the opening tracks delivered. Like KICK OUT THE JAMS, the opening song (no, two songs) of Chrome’s debut LP bore nothing more than a passing resemblance to the general canon of work that Edge & Co would output in the coming years; the debut even employing the services of a soon-to-be-jettisoned leader singer geezer, who went by the unconvincingly normal name of Mike Low; plus the chameleon-like lead guitarist John Lambdin, who seemed able to deliver whatever Damon Edge asked of him. On neither opening song (“How Many Years Too Soon?” and “Raider”) was there much evidence of the unprovenanced ur-scrawl that the insane record cover implied, Low’s euphoric pleading and whining set over the kind of well recorded Hendrix-inspired heavy rock (Uli Roth’s EARTHQUAKE LP meets Flower Travellin’ Band) that would – elsewhere – have us all creaming in our jeans. However, hard rock and psychedelia is never what Chrome should be thought to have represented. And only on track three “Return to Zanzibar” did the Chrome beast of legend finally shake itself from its dormant repose, as Damon Edge’s now familiarly scrawny complainathon vocal style – here particularly reminiscent of Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith – and Klaus Dinger-on-an-exercise-matt drum things kicked into the kind of white trash junkie funk that New York’s No Wave bands would appropriate two years hence. – Julian Cope’s Chromology Article
Half Machine From The Sun – without asking you to explain the chronological events that led to the tape disappearing and resurfacing physically – where does this fit into the mythical soundscape of Chrome?
What it represents to me is the total maturity spiritually and musically of Damon and my collaborative efforts as Chrome. Some of the best songs that I got to sing are on HMFTS and some of Damon’s best songs vocally are on HMFTS. So we developed the mythological Chrome character, the guy that’s ‘looking for your door,’ the guy that ‘sometimes feels the rain’ to full maturity. The sad part to me (I don’t know how Damon feels about it because he’s not around to tell me), but to me it is that those songs didn’t get released at the time they were created because I think the maturity that is there would have taken us to another level. Damon had a big fear of losing credibility to our sound and he wasn’t ready for our maturity, nor a certain kind of success that I feel those songs would have brought us. But for me those songs were the best I could do, I did everything I could do to make the best Chrome character I could make. I was trying to make a great band. But it’s a blessing in disguise to have it released now.
At the time you were making those two albums – and Red Exposure(which is only slightly less frenetic) – there were very few bands working in territory even slightly similar; Pere Ubu, The Residents, later on Einsturzende Neubauten and Skinny Puppy. Was there any communication between any of you? Or did this similar cut & paste approach occur independently to several of you?
We had communication with The Residents and all the Ralph records artists like MX-80 and Tuxedo Moon. We’d all hang out and share ideas. It was a part of the Cold Wave, Gary Numan and all that. We called David Thomas once, Damon and I, ya know the lead singer of Pere Ubu. We were very aggressive. He was very normal guy and we got along very well. He was one of Damon’s idols and actually very similar to Damon, and I looked up to him myself. So we were stoked to get a hold of him on the phone. We did reach out as a band to other bands to hang out, especially Damon he was very social in the early days and into the dialogue. Skinny Puppy and Einsturzende started doing their thing after Damon went to Europe and took the name Chrome with him so I was going into a different direction by then starting my sound as a solo artist.
– from Paraphilia Magazines’ article by dixē.flatlin3
However, as the late-76 punk explosion changed the sonic temples of the rock’n’roll landscape out of all recognition between the release of Chrome’s debut and their follow-up, the trashing of the old ways brought many musicians not only in line with Chrome, but also actually into a position to surpass them. Chrome, however, rose to the occasion, as vocalist Mike Low disappeared over the horizon forever, leaving guitarist John Lambdin at the mercy of Damon Edge, now free to work on his lupine howl unobstructed. And with the release of Chrome’s second sacrificial offering ALIEN SOUNDTRACKS, the band absolutely nailed their muse to the floor. For herein was contained all of the yawp and thunder, all the bark and bitter rage of removal, all the homunculus ennui and editing room floor psychedelia that best represented Damon Edge’s unvented brainium. And, whilst the forms, cut-ups, splices, segue ways and collages of the record are never more extreme and lustfully executed than within the grooves of this LP, ALIEN SOUNDTRACKS still successfully walked that tightrope between horribly more-ish direct hits and the sheerly perverse barfothons which so obviously delighted Edge himself. But the change in sound and honing down of direction appears to have been due specifically to the appearance of new member (the legendary guitarist and mythically-named) Helios Creed, whose arrival tipped the scales so far in Damon Edge’s direction that every song on ALIEN SOUNDTRACKS would be a writing collaboration between the drummer and the newcomer, leaving previous songwriter John Lambdin orphaned in his own band. –
– Julian Cope’s Chromology Article
The sound of the group is often coarse and features heavy elements of feedback and distortion. Their experiments in mixing synthesized noise with rock instrumentation, marking them as part of the post-punk movement, been cited as a forerunner of industrial rock music. During the 1970s, Chrome’s music did not fit into any particular music scene in America, and people found it hartheir music.
We are BEYOND excited to announce that we will sponsoring legendary San Francisco synth punks CHROME! The sound of the group is often coarse and features heavy elements of feedback and distortion and experimenting with mixing synthesized noise with rock instrumentation, marking them as part of the post punk movement have been cited as a forerunner of new wave & industrial music. Also performing is Chicago’s goth/power electronics gurus HIDE.
You can purchase tickets HERE.
Are you ready to be pummelled by one of America’s heaviest and most iconic Southern Metal bands? WE ARE! All Senses is teaming up with Wake Brewing to you a night of dirge and filth for your ears.
December 28th / 8pm / 18+/ RIBCO
$10 advance tickets online at midwestix.com & physical tickets available on Friday at Ragged Records/Coop Records and RIBCO.
This show will be $15 at the door so get your tickets in advance!!!
Watch the sublime first music video from Bill & Ryley’s first album “Spiderbeetle” directed by the talented Kim Alpert. Out now Drag City Records.