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The Ashcan Orchestra

The performances of the Orchestra's residency opera project, "Apollo's Accidental Answer" took place on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, September 12, 13, and 14, 2012.

Apollo's Accidental Answer

"Apollo's Accidental Answer," is an opera based on the myth of Cassandra, following her newly granted power to see into the past. Her visions form a creation story that ranges from the big bang to human civilization, all of which takes place in her room, and her mind's "eye." Performances are on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, September 12, 13, 14. The Ashcan Orchestra is simultaneously the audio/visual work of composer P. Spadine, a large collection of toy, re-appropriated, and "real" instruments, and a revolving performance ensemble based in Bushwick, NY. Since 2007 the ensemble has been popping up in D.I.Y. style and art house venues thoughout NYC and the eastern seaboard, employing everything from children's handbells, prepared tape recorders, stacks of discarded televisions, homemade circuitry, colored lightbulbs, mirrors, to more widely accepted noisemakers to create new music in forms more familiar than the instrumentation would lead the listener to believe. This process from humble and understandable beginnings to grander and more complex ends, has been a vehicle to both celebrate and emulate the physics that bind the known universe. Hailing from the nefarious Le Wallet, Ashcan has shared space, members, and ideas with many like minded groups, including Chubby Behemoth, LuxLuxLuster, Cavex, PC Worship and The Dreebs.

Open House Open Studios 7 August 2012

For the Clocktower's August Open House, artist and composer Matthew Ostrowski premieres his unending composition for computer-controlled rotary telephones, and the Ashcan Orchestra performs in anticipation of its opera, "Apollo's Accidental Answer," coming in September. All other galleries, studios, and long-term exhibits are on view as well. Matthew Ostrowski's "The Host" is an installation for an array of computer-controlled rotary telephones. Using swarm intelligence and small-world network algorithms, Ostrowski transforms the phones into a flock of obsolete instruments with an atavistic sentience: Not the advanced consciousness of communication devices as we fantasize them, but a primitive will whose intentions are utterly alien to us, expressed in a language of peals and clicks. The Host aims to unfold the formal object of the telephone by reshaping its familiar sonic and social relations, reconsidering it as orchestra, bedlam, hive, and site of exchange.