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Two Specials in one edition DO or DIY with People Like Us
Wednesday, September 22nd, 7pm – 8pm
DO or DIY with People Like Us
An old musician’s joke is on the order of “it takes him half an hour to play the Minute Waltz”. Today, WFMU’s favorite local classical music composer Dave Soldier visits for a live performance of his newest collaboration, with the late Frederic Chopin and living electronic musician Sean Hagerty. Soldier performs the Minute Waltz on the grand piano at Le Poisson Rouge very very slowly, lasting a half hour, while Hagerty stretches each piano note out over time. Chopin may make a surprise appearance.
Irene Moon and a cast of characters from the Auk Theater perform a musical mystery theater about insects. Each character has an insect of choice that is suspect in a recently discovered serial murder. Information about insects is introduced as they try to unravel the “who done it.” Not all of the content is logical, but it is absolutely factual. Irene is an entomologist and musician at North Carolina State University whose present research involves the dissection of wasp heads and the representation of the muscles found within the head. She was quoted recently to say, “social bees and wasps are commonly found and easily organized. It’s the non-social beasts that fascinate and truly demonstrate how many creative methods there really are to dispose of an unfriendly caterpillar.”
Opening Gala – The Keystone Cut Ups
People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz
15th September 2010
Location: The Maltings Theatre, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, UK
UK / 2010 / 40 min / Cert. Suggested 12
The premiere performance of the new commission from artists People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz opens the Festival. The Keystone Cut Ups is a live performance that combines video-collage with an original musical score, created using sampling and live instrumentation, to explore the aesthetic, contextual and stylistic relationships between early silent-comedy and early avant-garde cinema.
Using the influence of slapstick comedy on the Surrealists as a starting point, the piece takes us on a madcap journey, combining the techniques and popular imagery of the two genres.
The Surrealists took to cinema easily, using it as a device to show their disdain for established artistic tradition. In their quest to liberate the imagination, they believed that the process of juxtaposing unrelated elements would create images of great emotional and poetic power. Thomas Pynchon wrote, “one could combine inside the same frame, elements not normally found together to produce illogical and startling effects”.
In early silent films the actors often came from the Vaudeville tradition. They used flamboyant body language and facial expressions, a style suited to melodramatic comedy, which was popular at the time for its escape value. The earliest films were influenced by the presentation methods of theatre and the stage sets and inclusion of orchestras and dancers were motifs of entertainment that stuck throughout cinema’s evolution.
The Keystone Cut Ups employs a surrealist approach, presenting images side by side on the screen at the same time. It includes the everyday objects, such as top hats or umbrellas that were utilized as props by both slapstick comedians and the Surrealists, as well as reflecting the concerns of the day like mass industrial automation, and the stories made popular through film at the time, which included clunky monsters and the fantasy of trips to the moon.
The work reflects simultaneously on the histories of these two distinct schools of cinema and how they inform one another, whilst producing a work whose structure and format is informed by both silent comedy and early experimental and avant garde cinema. – Iain Pate
Don’t miss this unique event (which we have slaved over for the past two months!!!), followed by a drinks reception in the Maltings’ Stage Door Bar.
Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival
15–19 September 2010
Now in its 6th year, the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival returns to celebrate the art of film in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Over the course of five action-packed days, we will be offering a whole range of feature and short films, artists’ film and video work and specially commissioned pieces. These will be screened at the Maltings and other unique architectural locations across town as part of the Artist’s trail.
This year’s theme, Stagings, explores the role of the screen as a stage, turning Berwick itself into a platform for screening, projecting and staging moving image. The selected works offer different approaches to the relationship between performer, camera and audience and will include dance on film, music videos and old classics – something for everyone: from children to families to fans of film, art, theatre and music.
There are four new commissions this year, of which one is for the creation of a brand new live a/v performance from People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz to be premiered in Berwick on Wednesday 15 September.
People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz – Over the past five years the collaboration of People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz has produced two full length albums, a podcast series, a live soundtrack to Christian Marclay’s ‘Screenplay’, a 7″ single on Touch, and a 10″ EP. Their work has been disseminated internationally to widespread critical acclaim, straddling the absurd with the accessible, filtering experimental and avant-garde techniques through the looking glass of humorous pop music. They have come to resemble something akin to the Morecambe & Wise of the avant-garde…
Individually both artists have produced a vast body of work that collectively spans hundreds of hours, across film, theatre, albums, radio and live performance. Most recently People Like Us released the album ‘Music For The Fire’ in collaboration with Wobbly on the Illegal Art label (with a new solo record due later in the year). Ergo’s most recent productions are the new album ‘Things to Do and Make’ on Care in the Community Recordings, and the contemporary opera about radio, magic and death ‘The Mourning Show’.
The other commissions by other artists are:
Mat Fleming, Deborah Bower and Harriet Plewis – Mat has been making films since he was 18 with a special enthusiasm for 8mm and 16mm film. In 2001 he co-founded Cineside, which became the Side Cinema, and then Star and Shadow Cinema collective. Deborah is an artist, film enthusiast and zine maker. Having studied fine Art, she works mainly with film and the pieces often involve lone characters performing to camera in a cinematic manner. Harriet is a performance artist, movement director and co-founder of experimental theatre collective, The Awkwards. She trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Paris and frequently performs with companies including Zephyr in Zanussi Dance Collectif and Factory Party Productions. Her work, often comic, is concerned with the representation of authenticity and modern approaches to protest.
Corin Sworn – originally from Canada, Corin now lives and works in Glasgow. Her practice examines shifting ideals and understandings from one period in history to another. Sworn examines these themes through the production of objects, ephemera and films. These films use various historical events and understandings to construct loose narratives that wander among fragments of the past. Through the use of appropriation much of her work is built from these ‘fragments’.
BJ Nilsen – is a Swedish sound and recording artist. His work is primarily focused on the sound of nature and its effect on humans, field recordings, and the perception of time and space as experienced through sound, often electronically treated. Nilsen has created worked for documentary film, television and sound designer. He has collaborated with, among others, Chris Watson, Christian Fennesz, Hildur Gudnadottir, Semiconductor, Brandon La Belle, Phillip Jeck and Jon Wozencroft.
DO or DIY with People Like Us – Ergo Phizmiz Special
Wednesday 15th September
Join Ergo Phizmiz in the studio for this week’s DO or DIY featuring the premiere broadcast of the entirety of Ergo Phizmiz’s score for “La Puce de Neige” (“The Snow Flea”), a mime puppet-opera for Buchinger’s Boot Marionettes, which premiered in Marseille, November 2009.
The show, created for children, tells the story of Kerugug, a snow flea who in the Arctic who is displaced to Antartica through a hole in the world, and his journey back – with an evil ice-cream in hot pursuit, sneaking snow fleas to use as anti-freeze in his produce. The piece combines field-recordings of Inuit folk songs with a memetic score that references Mussorgsky, Moondog, French folk songs, Augustus Pablo, Prokofiev, Strauss, and Raymond Scott.
Improvising vocalist and sampler-spitter Gwilly Edmondez joins People Like Us to talk about paperweights, bog-standard footwear and 50 Pence, while dashing off a handful of 21st century pop songs that are already ahead of their time. In a revealing discussion, Gwilly helps unravel some of the mysteries of modern awareness while promoting the complete decomposition of all music.