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Tony Conrad Solo



A pioneering force behind the evolution of minimalism, violinist and composer Tony Conrad’s performances employ a droning, mesmerizing performance idiom of long durations, amplification, and precise pitch to explore new worlds of sound. In this episode, Conrad performs live on solo violin in celebration of ISSUE Project Room's 10th anniversary, recorded live in July 2013.

Polymath Tony Conrad is known by many names: composer, filmmaker, video artist, media activist, writer, and educator. Associated with the founding of minimal music and underground film, he is well known for his pivotal role in the formation of the Velvet Underground and as a co-founder The Dream Syndicate— who utilized intonation and sustained sound to produce what the group called "dream music", what we know now as drone. Conrad has composed more than a dozen audio works with special scales and tuning for solo amplified violin with amplified strings. Conrad has played and collaborated with Rhys Chatham, Charlemagne Palestine, Jennifer Walshe, Tony Oursler, Eli Keszler, and many others. In the early 1970s Conrad produced several series of works that severely stretched the limits of “film,” including his cooked and electrocuted films, and the “Yellow Movie” series, and "The Flicker" (1966), which is considered a key early work of the structural film movement. Conrad’s work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Documenta, Venice Biennale, Tate Modern, LA Museum of Contemporary Art, and many others. He exhibits at Greene Naftali Gallery in New York and Galerie Daniel Buchholz in Berlin and Cologne. Conrad’s early career is the subject of a study by Branden Joseph, Beyond the Dream Syndicate: Tony Conrad and the Arts after Cage (Zone, 2008).

 

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