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Fire Over Heaven: Kurt Ralske, Gao Jiafeng, Mike Bullock, Todd Capp



A meeting of several generations of musical avant-gardes. Todd Capp's style was formed in the late '60s radicalism of the AACM in Chicago; Kurt Ralske came of age in the '80s NYC experimental improv loft-music scene; Mike Bullock and Gao Jiafeng contribute a younger generation's fluency with electronics and oblique performance stances.

Mike Bullock is a composer and intermedia artist based in Philadelphia. He works with modular synthesizers, computer sound and video, contrabass, and drawing.

Todd Capp started playing drums as a student at the University of Chicago. He cut his musical teeth playing the blues in South Side basements while absorbing fresh approaches to sound, space and time developed by the newly-formed Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).

Gao Jiafeng makes cross-disciplinary performances that are mostly sound-oriented, improvised and site-specific, by integrating a variety of sound strategies from my own constantly expanding vocabulary: freestyle storytelling, field recording, cited Youtube videos, live Karaoke, Asian pop music, noise and improvisation,

Kurt Ralske is a video and installation artist, improvising musician, and composer. He programmed and co-designed the 9-channel video installation that is permanently in the lobby of the MoMA. He is also the author/programmer of Auvi, a popular video software environment in use by artists in 22 countries. Ralske is Chair of the department of Media Arts (Digital Media / Video / Film / Animation / Sound) at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Recorded at Outpost Artists Resources, the gallery and production center in Ridgewood, Queens on July 9, 2015 and presented as part of their Fire Over Heaven Music Series curated by Greg Fox.
 

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The object of this series is to invite emerging and established innovators to share their work. These programs are usually a combination of an interview with a far-reaching perspective on the artist's career, some recordings illustrating this history, and something new. Open territory. The unfortunate and unintended messages that come attached to a title like Experimental Composers are many. Still it is one of the few labels to come out of the world of music that has not been co-opted by promoters, corporations, journalists, or lawyers. This one just seems to have anti-market goo on it. Hooray. It's also just bad English (as if to imply that these poor souls are themselves, in their flesh and blood, some kind of experiment and, perhaps, even expendable). And then there is the spectre of defying the wisdom of the great Edgar Varèse who said something like, "I do not write experimental music. My experimenting is done before I make the music. Afterwards it is the listener who must experiment."
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