New York’s Fridman gallery re-activates its record imprint with this absorbing collaboration between Ben Vida (fresh from his stunning 4 hour 'Reducing The Tempo To Zero’ opus for Shelter Press), and noted composer for dance, Marina Rosenfeld - whose collaborative album with Warrior Queen and Okkyung Lee 'P.A. / HARD LOVE’ is to this day one of the most brilliantly singular LP’s we’ve stocked. RIYL Jim O’Rourke, Laurie Spiegel, Terre Thaemlitz, Rashad Becker.
Working in the space between improvisation, sculpture, sound installation, and experimental composition, both artists’ skill for creating highly descriptive yet elusive sound structures is at its illusive and ephemeral best across both pieces, from the strangely penetrative metaphysical point of view explored in ‘Any Landscape’, to the sprawling tendrils and searching electronic filament of ‘Branches’ that feel like the process of mycelium or spores finding a way into the cracks between the decayed concrete, glass and steel of crumbling urban environments.
Drawing on decades of combined experience, ‘Vertice’ unfolds along two 20 minute pieces with a natural grasp of more delicate sounds opening out in vast imaginary spaces. Their palette of field recordings, vocals, keys and electronics is placed at the service of an elusive underlying schematic, snipping away at the ligature of logic until their sounds are released into space as clusters of animated insectoid patterns. It resembles patches of gently overgrown vegetation, like rooftop gardens or thickets of mossy growth overhead.
In scale and fractured design, it comes to describe a vertiginous sense of detachment from reality, probing and challenging the listener’s proprioceptive senses with cool but heady arrangements of free-floating, aerial, and seemingly unmetered tones and dabs of vocal that appear to describe a slow and purposeful movement above and around our architectural surroundings.
As part of a series of celebratory events at ISSUE’s 22 Boerum theater, Thursday, March 12th, ISSUE presents the New York premiere of Always Already, a new commissioned work by Ben Vidaperformed by renowned quartet Yarn/Wire, vocalist Nina Dante, and Vida himself. Previously both ISSUE Artists-In-Residence, this is the first ever collaborative project between Vida and Yarn/Wire. The evening also features the ISSUE debut of New York based composer Aaron David Ross (ADR), presenting new compositions from his unreleased Filter Failure song cycle, accompanied by self-made animations.
Always Already is a text based composition for electronics, voice and ensemble. It is a hypnotic examination of the materiality of language that emphasizes the rhythm of speech through repetition and variation. Composed and performed by Ben Vida with Nina Dante and Yarn/Wire, this new work expands on the compositions for small vocal ensembles which Vida has presented at such venues as the Kitchen and BAM.
Always Already is the first of these pieces to include live instrumentalists. Keyboards, marimbas, electronics and voices are braided together to produce a mesmerizing ramble of language and notes. The works abstract narrative was developed out of a dense cyclical text which was inspired by the rhythmical essays of Gertrude Stein, the Gysin/Burroughs cut-up method and the parsing systems of the Conceptual Writers.
Ben Vida premieres his new text-based composition for electronics, voice and ensemble. Always Already is a hypnotic examination of the materiality of language that emphasizes the rhythm of speech through repetition and variation.
Composed and performed by Vida with Yarn/Wire and Nina Dante, this new work expands on his other compositions for small vocal ensembles, which he has presented at Lampo, The Kitchen and BAM.
Always Already is the first of these pieces to include live instrumentalists. Keyboards, marimba, electronics and voices are braided together to produce a ramble of language and notes. The work’s abstract narrative was developed out of a dense cyclical text, which was inspired by the rhythmical essays of Gertrude Stein, the Gysin/Burroughs cut-up method, and the parsing systems of the Conceptual Writers.
Shelter Press cap 2019 with a steeply hypnotic, four hour long immersion into the liminal boundaries of Ben Vida’s digital and analog synthesis - one of the most immersive and moving releases we’ve heard this year and an unmissable trip for followers of Eliane Radigue, Dennis Johnson, La Monte Young, Morton Feldman or anyone who fell deep into Jim O’Rourke’s recent, similarly epic 'To Magnetize Money And Catch A Roving Eye’ set.
Ben Vida’s first solo release in three years finds him fully consumed by ideas on perceptions of time, grain and tone. In four glacial movements he commits a vast array of dematerialised drones which, while ostensibly minimalist, are rich with sonic phenomena and granular details that become apparent with focussed listening. The work is the result of Vida’s own daily practice involving deep, sustained listening processes, as he strives to achieve the rarified effects evoked by seminal minimalist works from the ‘60s to the ‘90s which, like this one, combine ideas from maths and non-Western tunings with the tireless capacities of electronics to highlight the most intimate and elemental sonic phenomena and manifest their transcendental nature with meditative effect.
Perhaps the best metaphor for this sound is the idea that still waters run deep. The oceanic scale of the album mirrors a rich sense of inner life to Ben Vida’s music, highlighting through its glacial developments the paradoxical relationships between perceptions of macroscopic density and granular, nanoscopic detail that draws the ear between the concrete, discrete and ephemeral nature of his sounds. While rich in detail, the piece gets really interesting in its transitions between the tidal swells of its many parts, when the diffracted flow results in strange, ear-probing junctures of sonic phenomena and arcing harmonic formations begin to reveal themselves in monumental events.
A challenging amount of endurance is required to follow the full shape of ‘Reducing The Tempo To Zero’, but once caught in its temporality the effect is remarkable, recalling to our minds the character in Ballard’s ‘Myths of The Near Future’ who suffers from delusions that he’s an astronaut, and who begins to perceive a loosening of the boundaries between past, present and future amid the shimmering golden light of Florida. Swap space for the ocean, and the ocean for inner space, and Vida’s sonorous 4 hours of swimming sound have the capacity to supply a overwhelming subjective experience for those with an open imagination and precious spare time on their hands to get better acquainted with their own grasp of time. One or the holidays then.
All Tracks: Ben Vida, 2019 Sources Include: Tanzanie. Masumbi. Musique De Divertissement Wagogo; Nouvelle-Guinee. Les Papous Chasseurs de Tetes; Music of the Berta from the Blue Nile; Musique Gbaya; Orchestre Et Lithophones Kabiye; Ethiopia. Ari Polyphonies.
“Heteroglossia” describes the coexistence of distinct varieties within a single language. In Ben Vida’s composition Heteroglossic Riot, software reads text scores, which in turn drive the synthesis of synthetic speech and abstract sound. Through the interplay and disparity between text, speech, and sound, Vida points to the idiosyncratic possibilities offered by computationally assisted translation.
Fractal, electro-acoustic improv from NYC’s Marina Rosenfeld and Ben Vida, conjuring a steeply layered investigation of proprioception and dreamtime psyches...
Marking Marina’s first appearance since the resoundingly unusual electro-dub of her ‘P.A. / Hard Love’ [Room 40, 2013] recordings with Warrior Queen, and also Ben Vida’s follow-up to ‘Damaged Particulates’ [Shelter Press, 2016], their probing collaboration is a wicked exercise in vivid, abstract terraforming.
As they both hail from NYC, it’s possible to hear the 8 parts of ‘Feel Anything’ as a gyring, topographical reading of their environment. In bifurcating formations they strafe and wind thru varying densities of tone and space in sloshing meter, scaling the listener’s focus from vertiginous showers of sparky electronic scree to demolished string orchestrations and wide, abyssal bass in fractious permutations.
We can instantly recognise some of Marina’s signature, eerie dub touches carried over from her ‘P.A. / Hard Love’ EP, but here they are unsettled, unstuck by Vida’s nervy tics and persistently amorphous electronics until they both effectively form a sort of vaporous free jazz describing the waveform-like outline of urban panoramas and the insectoid scuttle of busy populations, scurrying up and down and thru skyscrapers, subways, lofts and streets.
And So Now Video Link https://www.bam.org/visual-art/2018/and-so-now
Composed by Ben Vida Vocalists: Nina Dante Brandon Lopez Jessica Pavone Ben Vida
BAM is pleased to present a new experimental work by Ben Vida that examines the aural threshold between verbal sense and nonsense. Featuring a quartet of vocalists, And So Nowoscillates between the phonetic and the linguistic; at times the tempo and rhythm of the speech lifts the language outside the realm of communication, shifting it into pure sound. Cyclical singing is juxtaposed with spoken monologues foregrounding the material aspects of language. As the vocalists exchange words and phrases, a narrative develops, revealing how the communicative “signal to noise” ratios have fallen out of balance. Accompanying the vocalists is a soporific bed of electronically synthesized audio. This lattice of voices and electronics acts to create a mesmerizing aural experience. Inspired by the text sourcing methods used in John Cage’s Diary and Thomas Bernhard’s Voice Imitator, the rhythmical essays of Gertrude Stein and the parsing systems of the Conceptual Writers movement, the verbal score of And So Now references a history of experimental writing.
Reducing the Tempo to Zerois Ben Vida’s new long-form composition for four vocalists and electronics.
Please note, audience members may come and go throughout the near five-hour performance. Guest vocalists include Melina Ausikaitis, Nina Dante and Dan Mohr. Lighting design by Christine Shallenberg.
Informed by Morton Feldman’s String Quartet No. 2, the extended performance length of RtTtZ acts to complicate the listeners’ relationship to memory, absorption and attention. The timeline of this piece takes hours to unfurl, which means some audience members may only experience segments of the overall composition; this eliminates basic structural signifiers (like a strict beginning, middle and end) and leaves room for reconsidering how the developmental arc of a composition can function.
As an example of expanded composition, RtTtZ also takes historic cues from works like Stockhausen’s Sternklang and Le Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Dream House. In much the same way those pieces used staging and site specificity as elemental compositional building blocks, RtTtZ uses direct intervention with the gallery space to oscillate between installation and performance. Not only does this prompt a reinterpretation of agency for the audience (both by encouraging them to experience the piece from a number of different locations as well as having them determine their own length of engagement with the work), but, in terms of audience expectation, context and perspective, it also actively sets up a different kind of experiential proposal.
The 2016 New Ear Festival at Fridman Gallery
January 6-12, 2016
Fridman Gallery presents the inaugural edition of The New Ear Festival
dedicated to sound and performance. This year’s program includes:
Jan. 6 (Wednesday) — Marina Rosenfeld and Ben Vida
Jan. 7 (Thursday) — Byron Westbrook + Stephen Vitiello and Andrea Parkins
Jan. 8 (Friday) — Leila Bordreuil with Peter Evans, Jaimie Branch and Joanna Mattrey
Jan. 9 (Saturday) — Phill Niblock + screening of “The Movement of Phill Niblock”
Jan. 10 (Sunday) — Cecilia Lopez, video/sound installation on view 12-8pm
Jan. 11 (Monday) — CT-SWaM:: spatial sound works & talks
Jan. 12 (Tuesday) — Kevin Beasley: Listening Room
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ BRAUBLFF (Materie und Laut) is a series of live events in collaboration with KRAAK (Gent). Where and how does language transform into music? A possible answer: the point where language loses its meaning and becomes pure matter – by repetition, mutation and deconstruction, made possible by technology, cut-up techniques and tape-manipulation.
The idea for this series of events originated from a shared obsession for the work of vocal poets such as Henri Chopin, Byron Gysin, Lars-Gunnar Bodin, and the Revue OU catalogue.
BRAUBLFF brings together contemporary vocal poets and text-sound composers with the pioneering work of the avant-garde since the 1950s.
Ben Vida returns to The Kitchen with Slipping Control (ver.3) which examines the connectivity between machine-derived and spoken rhythms. This new iteration focuses on cycling vocal patterns and psychoacoustics all in the service of a rather broken sort of dance music. With Vida on electronics and Tyondai Braxton and Amirtha Kidambi on vocals.
January 21, 8pm Tickets $15
Music programs are made possible with support from The Amphion Foundation, Inc., The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation. Annual program support in part provided by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Join us for an after-hours private viewing of current exhibitions, including ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s which the New York Times calls “an extraordinary accomplishment.” Once the general public has left for the day, the museum’s landmark building will fill with the sounds of a live performance by Ben Vida featuring new compositions of Santeria-inspired rhythms transformed into synthesized music.
Ben Vida is a New York–based artist and composer. He has been an active member of the international experimental music community for two decades with a long list of collaborators, bands, and releases to his credit. In the mid 90ʼs he cofounded the group Town and Country and has since worked as a solo artist with releases on such labels as PAN, Alku, Shelter Press, and Kranky. He has presented works in a range of museums, galleries, and music venues including MoMA, The Kitchen, MCA Chicago, ICA London, Audio Visual Arts, Lisa Cooley Gallery, Leap Gallery Berlin, The Artistʼs Institute, and the Sydney Opera House.
The evening also includes a playlist selected by Zach Layton with songs by artists such as Kraftwerk, Harmonia, Can, Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, Neu!, and more.
Free for members, $20 general admission. Buy tickets online or by credit card at the door.*
Cash bar serves wine and beer. Guests wishing to purchase alcoholic beverages will be asked for a photo ID.
Want to skip the line and get in free? Become a member today to enjoy priority access to enjoy this after-hours viewing and other exclusive events.
Bloopers #1 is the newest iteration of the performance-driven collaboration by artists Michael Bell-Smith, Sara Magenheimer, and Ben Vida. Using the language of “breakdowns,” or comedic outtakes, the artists blend props, video, and electronic music to play with the social power of different kinds of media.
Presenting a joyously subversive take on popular culture and the social connections produced through sound and music, Bloopers #1 takes the question “Why do we hate some objects and love others?” as its starting point, and uses set pieces, dance-pop, cinematic cliché, and live performance to playfully tease the boundaries of language, crowds, and the nature of things that draw them.
Ben Vida is an experimental musician working with sound frequencies, psychoacoustics and audio illusions. He is also interested in instrument construction and its improvisational or autocompositional capabilities. Vida releases his work on Pan, Shelter Press and Autumn Records, among others. In Krakow, Vida will present “Damaged Particulates”. Commissioned for Unsound Festival New York, this piece makes use of an external sound system as well as SubPacs, a vibrating audio system that directly channels low frequencies to the body.
Slipping Control by Ben Vida SP038 Technical 21 tracks 35:37 min 12′ LP / 33 rpm 2014 first edition of 500 copies color cover + printed inner sleeve + double sided insert 140gr black vinyl More Info: Shelter Press
Mette Edvardsen (N/B) Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine - a library of living books performance, italian première ----------------------------- Canedicoda (I) Processo al Mochi/The size of a green pea installation, première ----------------------------- Ken Jacobs/Aki Onda (USA/JP) Nervous Magic Lantern expanded cinema, italian première ----------------------------- Daniel Löwenbrück (D) Waiting Room installation, première ---------------------------- Barokthegreat (I) Victory Smoke performance, première ----------------------------- Aki Onda (USA/JP) Cassette Spectacle #1 #2 #3 nomadic tape concert, première ----------------------------- Èlg (F) Venti storie su una pagina sola live concert ----------------------------- Dora Garcia (E) The Joycean Society film ------------------------------ Maria Hassabi (USA/Cipro) PREMIERE performance, italian première ---------------------------- Ben Vida (USA) Damaged Particulates live concert, italian première ----------------------------- Gaëlle Boucand (F) JJA film ----------------------------- Mette Edvardsen (N/B) No Title performance, italian première ---------------------------- Daniel Löwenbrück/Doreen Kutzke (D) Aktion 140411 sound performance ---------------------------- MSHR (USA) Time Blade~Liquid Hand sound performance ---------------------------- Enrico Boccioletti (I) #AERIAL: The Floating Body in a Distraction Economy live media, première ----------------------------- Ben Rivers/Ben Russell (GB/USA) A Spell to Ward of the Darkness film ----------------------------- Marco Berrettini (CH) iFeel2 performance, italian première ---------------------------- Porter Ricks (Thomas Köner/Andy Mellwig) (D) Live live concert, italian première ----------------------------- Neil Beloufa (F) Kempinski film
----------------------------- Rashad Becker (Syria/D) rashad becker plays traditional music of notional species live concert
Commissioned for Unsound Festival New York and making its worldwide debut at Phill Niblock’s historic downtown loft space Experimental Intermedia is a new exploration of sub bass called Damaged Particulates (undersong edition), created by one the most prolific sound artists and electronic musicians in New York today: Ben Vida. This unique piece makes use of bass frequencies throughout the space and also on the audience's seat-backs through use of SubPac, a high-fidelity tactile audio system that quietly and directly transfers low frequencies to your body.
Seating is extremely limited, advance tickets are necessary.