Monday, December 11, 2017

F a Triumph of Executive Professionalism!



F's only gig of 2017 was a great success, and the debut of percussionist Kane Lafia went without a hitch. We played a 35 minute improvised set ranging from a wall-o-noise to delicate ambient soundscapes, while a specially-crafted artisanal psychedelic lightshow was projected over us, and a live video stream of the performance went out online and was rear projected onto the Odd Ark Gallery's frosted window, allowing the considerable crowd that couldn't squeeze into the actual space to follow along. The cassette didn't quite sell out, so text Machete if you're jonesing! Here is a gallery of images from the event, with video to follow, hopefully...






Thursday, December 7, 2017

Destination: Hellfire!


Here are a couple of shots of the neighborhood we're supposed to move to in 3 weeks, after 20 years in the Wilson house on Benton Way -- just inside the evacuation zone of the Creek Fire, one of four major conflagrations currently devastating LA. It's a horse community just south of the 210 freeway, called Shadow Hills, and it recently escaped from the La Tuna Fire from the other side.


This is from the Sepulveda Fire to the south - the biggest -- the Thomas Fire -- is wiping out Ventura and Ojai - here's a shot from a video from some one's morning commute on the 405.


And returning to the Creek Fire, I'm not sure this FB friend was paying attention to the details of the algorithm-generated map that accompanied his good news...




Monday, December 4, 2017

Crunching the Numbers: Tim Hawkinson's Bosun's Bass and the Dialectics of Breakfast Cereal

(Just found the Exploratorium posted the pdf catalog (including my essay) for Tim's 2015 installation online...)
Image result for tim hawkinson bosun's

"What the heck is a bosun’s whistle? OK, something’s coming back—a deep childhood memory of strongly desiring and eventually obtaining a Cap’n Crunch plastic two-note whistle from the bottom of a cereal box. I was an experimental musician even then, and explored the humble instrument’s potentials extensively around the family home for several weeks, before it mysteriously vanished. I was inconsolable. But I got over it and moved on to the family turntable, which is a whole other story.

When Tim Hawkinson decided to use a bosun’s whistle as the model for his ambitious kinetic sound-sculptural installation at the Exploratorium, he was tapping into a curious nexus of pop cultural and historical reference—an auditory trope that most of us would recognize, but whose original meaning and function are probably lost in the fog of technological obsolescence.


Familiar through countless mass-media depictions of nautical life (and, as I recently noticed, extraterrestrial escapades in the form of the Starship Enterprise’s electronic PA system on the original Star Trek series), the harsh, teakettle tones of the non-diaphragm type whistle have a loose semiotic charge—navy-something—but very few parsable details. 

In fact, although it is now limited to ceremonial use—an idiosyncratic vestigial indicator of a “traditional” identity which has been completely subsumed by a homogenized global military culture centered on computers—the bosun’s pipe (aka whistle, call, or pippity-dippity) represents a functional language devoid of words; resembling whistlelanguages found in indigenous cultures around the world and probably inspired and based on some ancient maritime culture—the Greeks supposedly used pipes to time the oar-strokes of their galley slaves.

Image result for silbo gomero whistling language

While a traditional whistled language such as Silbo Gomero—used by inhabitants of the Canary Islands to communicate across their jagged terrain—bears a direct, if convoluted relationship to the regular spoken language of its host region, the same cannot be said with any certainty about the language of the bosun’s call. Instead, seamen have, over the course of time, reverse engineered the whistles with phoneme substitutes of their own devising, nonsense phrases or ironic vernacular translations, such as “The officers’ wives eat pudding and pies, the sailors’ wives eat skilly” for the officers’ call to mess (dinner). 

There’s something about this inversion and simulation of an organic communication system—and the improvisational, collaged translation that unfolds from it—that seems very reminiscent of Tim Hawkinson’s creative process. On an immediate level, the bosun’s whistle dovetails with a number of recurring themes in Hawkinson’s oeuvre..."

Read or download the entire pdf catalog for Tim Hawkinson's "Bosun's Bass" at the Exploratorium here: https://www.exploratorium.edu/sites/default/files/pdfs/OTW_TH.pdf or ATJ

Sunday, December 3, 2017

F for Fortissimo


F will be performing as "F for Fortissimo" at ODD ARK Los Angeles 7101 North Figueroa Unit E, in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, 90042 on Saturday, December 9th from 4 - 6 PM, with psychedelic lightshow.

Admission is FREE!

This performance celebrates the release of their limited edition cassette F for FF on Redacted Records. Each cassette is numbered, hand stamped and sealed with red wax, and the edition is strictly limited to 52 copies. Also available at the event will be a few remaining 12” LPs of their debut album Faüxmish, as well as screen-printed t-shirts.

F is a Los Angeles art-rock supergroup whose motto is "Simplicity Through Noise" and who have developed a practice rooted in improvisational ensemble playing using electric guitars (played with rubber mallets and other extended as well as traditional techniques) and vintage synthesizers, in various combinations of three. F are Daniel Hawkins, Marnie Weber, and Doug Harvey, and this event marks the debut of new member Kane Lafia on percussions.