Cinema Auricular: Cinema of the Ear

Date: 13 October 2001 | Season: Cinema Auricular

13 October – 21 October 2001
London Barbican Centre & Tate Modern

A season of film and video as part of the ELEKTRONIC festival at the Barbican.

It might seem logical to suppose a historical and natural link between electronic music and abstract or impressionistic films, but there are surprisingly few examples of films that were made in direct collaboration between filmmakers and composers or musicians. However, there is a significant body of films that ‘borrow’ or re-appropriate recordings of contemporary music, and a number of works for which their makers have assembled soundtracks which may, if separated from the visuals, be heard as extraordinary electronic compositions. In such films, electronic, tape music, noise, primitive sampling and musique concrete come together in chaos or harmony to accompany astounding visual constructions.

The film series of the Elektronic festival will present screenings in which the sound and image complement each other on the highest level. It will feature an international selection of historic and contemporary works by Bruce Conner, Malcolm Le Grice, Peter Tscherkassky and others, and a live music and film concert by Phill Niblock. Composers whose unique works may be heard of the soundtracks include Edgar Varese, Christian Fennesz, Terry Riley and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

The series will open with an informal screening in the Barbican Pit Theatre on the afternoon of Saturday 13th October. Between the films, Mark Webber and Gregory Kurcewicz will be playing recordings of rare and wonderful electronic music. Come down to our level and see what you’re in for.

Of Synthesis and Synthetics

Date: 13 October 2001 | Season: Cinema Auricular

Saturday 13 October 2001, at 3:00pm
London Barbican Pit Theatre

Sounds emanating from the early electro-acoustic studios and the primitive/pioneering synthesisers of Robert Moog and Don Buchla. An informal film screening punctuated by recordings of scarce and wonderful electronic music through the ages played by Mark Webber and Gregory Kurcewicz. Including Mick Jagger’s mind-bending score for Kenneth Anger’s Invocation of My Demon Brother and rare recordings of Varese and Ussachevsky. Come hang out, watch films, listen to music, drink coffee, pretend to stroke your beard (though that’s an entirely inappropriate thing to do).

Note: Where the soundtrack is not by the filmmaker, the composer’s name is in square brackets

William Pye, Reflections, UK, 1972, colour, sound, 17 min
David Ringo, Balconies One, USA, c.1968, b/w, sound, 6 min [Edgar Varese]
Ian Hugo, Aphrodisiac I, USA, 1971, colour, sound, 6 min [David Horowicz]
Adam Beckett, Heavy-Light, USA, 1973, colour, sound, 7 min [Barry Schrader]
Hollis Frampton, Special Effects (Hapax Legomena VII), USA, 1972, b/w, sound, 11 min [Don Buchla & Victor Grauer]
Lloyd Williams, Two Images For A Computer Piece (With Interlude), USA, 1970, b/w, sound, 10 min [Vladimir Ussachevsky]
Ed Emshwiller, Thermogenesis, USA, 1972, colour, sound, 12 min [Robert Moog & Jeff Slotnik]
Tom De Witt, AtmosFear, USA, 1966, colour, sound, 6 min
Kenneth Anger, Invocation Of My Demon Brother, USA, 1969, colour, sound, 11 min  [Mick Jagger]
Norman McLaren, Synchromy, Canada, 1971, colour, sound, 7 min
David Rimmer, Migration, Canada, 1969, colour, sound, 12m [Phil Werren]

Phill Niblock Live Performance

Date: 14 October 2001 | Season: Cinema Auricular

Sunday 14 October 2001, at 6:15pm
London Barbican Pit Theatre

Intermedia artist Phill Niblock (USA) presents a concert of live and pre-recorded microtonal music with simultaneous triple video projection of sections from his long running Movement of People Working film series, shot in Mexico, Peru, Brasil, and China. Niblock makes thick, loud drones of music, filled with microtones of instrumental timbres that generate a multitude of difference tones in the performance space.

Phill Niblock, Hurdy Hurry (for Hurdy Gurdy)
Phill Niblock, A Y U Live (aka As Yet Untitled) (for Baritone Voice)
Phill Niblock, Guitar Too, For Four (for Electric Guitar)
Phill Niblock, Pan Fried 25 (for Bowed Piano)

Guitar Too, For Four will be augmented by a live electric guitar quartet featuring Jem Finer, Robert P. Lee, Matt Rogalsky and Mark Webber.

Transcendent Power: Electronic Elevation and System Stimulation

Date: 15 October 2001 | Season: Cinema Auricular

Monday 15 October 2001, at 7:30pm
London Barbican Cinema

Going beyond direct experience into the spiritual and ecstatic realms, reaching outwards / inwards / upwards toward perception. Beginning with a film that “plays directly on the mind through programatic stimulation of the central nervous system” and ending with Bruce Conner’s amazing hallucinogenic journey. Rarely seen works by the abstract masters Davis and Belson, plus Kirchhofer’s stunning dematerialization of celluloid and Vegter’s captivating computer piece.

Note: Where the soundtrack is not by the filmmaker, the composer’s name is in square brackets

Standish Lawder, Raindance, 1972, 16 min [Robert Withers]
James Whitney, Yantra, 1950-57, 8 min [Henk Badings]
James Davis, Energies, 1957, 10 min [Norman De Marco]
Patrice Kirchhofer, Densité Optique 1, 1977, 27 min
Daina Krumins, The Divine Miracle, 1973, 5 min [Rhys Chatham]
Bart Vegter, Nacht Licht, 1993, 13 min [Kees van der Knaap]
Jordan Belson, Allures, 1961, 7 min
Bruce Conner, Looking For Mushrooms, 1961/96, 15 min [Terry Riley]


Currents of Chaos: Electro-Shock Cinema

Date: 16 October 2001 | Season: Cinema Auricular

Tuesday 16 October 2001, at 6:15pm
London Barbican Cinema

Confusion … delusion … retribution. Electronic feel flows as your nervous system careens into overdrive. From the chaotic Outer Space to the sublime #11, five films plugged directly into the National Grid to give maximum audio-visual pleasure (or pain). Throbbing, shouting, screaming, smashing … This is not for the faint-hearted, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Note: Where the soundtrack is not by the filmmaker, the composer’s name is in square brackets

Peter Tscherkassky, Outer Space, 1999, 10 min
Hollis Frampton, Critical Mass, 1971, 25 min
Martin Arnold, pièce touchée, 1989, 15 min
Paul Sharits, Axiomatic Granularity, 1972-73, 20 min
Joost Rekveld, #11 (Marey<->Moiré), 1999, 21 min [Edwin van der Heide]


New Age Voltage: Contemporary Digital Sound and Vision

Date: 17 October 2001 | Season: Cinema Auricular

Wednesday 17 October 2001, at 6:00pm
London Barbican Prompt Corner

The sounds of the analogue versus the digital, burning a cathode ray hole direct through your retina. A video programme of recent audio-visions from Vienna and other painfully modern assemblages from UK, France and Canada. Having broken sound and image down to its constituent blips and pixels, these contemporary filmmakers are reconstructing matter in beguiling new ways.

Note: Where the soundtrack is not by the filmmaker, the composer’s name is in square brackets

Billy Roisz & Dieter Kovacic, smokfraqs, 2001, 4 min
Steven Ball, Sevenths Synthesis, 2001, 7 min
Myriam Bessette, Azur, 2001, 3 min
Jurgen Moritz, Instrument, 1997, 5 min [Christian Fennesz]
Ben Pointeker, Overfart, 1999, 6 min [General Magic]
Nicolas Berthelot, Chrominances, 2000, 6 min
ReMI, comp.tot4: Zarakesh, 1999, 10 min [Renata Oblak]
[n:ja], track 09, 2001, 4 min [Shabotinski]
Herwig Weiser, Entrée, 1999, 9 min
Michaela Schwentner, Transistor, 2000, 6 min [Radian]
Karoe Goldt, ILOX, 2001, 3 min [Rashim]


Seeing Sound: Lightning Strikes the Optic Nerve

Date: 17 October 2001 | Season: Cinema Auricular

Wednesday 17 October 2001, at 7:30pm
London Barbican Cinema

Optical sound on 16mm film – a lightbulb reads a strip of amorphous black emulsion on clear celluloid and it somehow makes sound sense. Since the 1930s artists have examined and exploited the possibilities of drawing or printing a soundtrack. Two senses combined and confounded, both musical and cacophonous. Can you see what you hear?

Oskar Fischinger, Ornament Sound, 1932, 7 min
Norman McLaren, Dots (Points), 1948, 3 min
Barry Spinello, Soundtrack, 1969, 10 min
Richard Reeves, Linear Dreams, 1997, 7 min
Pierre Rovere, Black and Light, 1974, 8 min
Lis Rhodes, Dresden Dynamo, 1974, 5 min
Chris Garrett, Exit Right, 1976, 3 min
Jun’ichi Okuyama, My Movie Melodies, 1980, 7 min
Guy Sherwin, Musical Stairs, 1977, 10 min
Peter Tscherkassky, L’Arrivée, 1998, 3 min
Taka Iimura, Shutter, 1971, 22 min

Screening introduced by filmmaker Guy Sherwin.


Ohm Taping: Tape Compositions & Musique Concrete

Date: 18 October 2001 | Season: Cinema Auricular

Thursday 18 October 2001, at 7:30pm
London Barbican Cinema

Before the sampler: the tape machine. Before the break-beat: the tape loop. Before plunderphonics: musique concrete. Going back to a time when it was inventive and original to play with and re-appropriate snatches of sound gathered from disparate sources. Pre post-modernism from pre-eminent filmmakers.

Note: Where the soundtrack is not by the filmmaker, the composer’s name is in square brackets

Malcolm Le Grice, Threshold, 1972, 10 min
Keewatin Dewdney, The Maltese Cross Movement, 1967, 8 min [The Beach Boys]
Carolee Schneemann, Viet Flakes, 1965, 9 min [James Tenney]
John Schofill , Xfilm, 1966-68, 14 min [William Moraldo]
Stan Brakhage, I … Dreaming, 1988, 7 min [Joel Haertling]
Jud Yalkut & Nam Jun Paik, Beatles Electroniques, 1966-69, 3 min [Kenneth Werner]
JJ Murphy, Ice, 1972, 7 min
Ivan Zulueta, Masaje, 1972, 3 min
Jeff Keen, Marvo Movie, 1967, 5 min [Bob Cobbing]
Robert Breer, Fist Fight, 1964, 9 min [Karlheinz Stockhausen]
Eino Ruutsalo, Kaksi Kanaa, 1963, 4 min [Erkki Kurenniemi]
Jud Yalkut, Turn Turn Turn, 1965-66, 10 min [The Byrds]


La Region Centrale

Date: 21 October 2001 | Season: Cinema Auricular

Sunday 21 October 2001, at 3:00pm

London Tate Modern

Snow’s mammoth endeavour. Three hours of continuous swooping, swirling, twisting pans over a desolate Canadian landscape. The remote tonal instructions to the camera provoked an inspired minimal (maximal) soundtrack. Hold on to your hats, this trip may take some time.

Michael Snow, La Region Centrale, Canada, 1970-71, colour, sound, 190 min

Special off-site screening related to the “Cinema Auricular” programme at the Barbican Cinema.