(all the gnus)
|February 2014 [pz gazzetta xvii] (view online)
March 13, 2014
Carbon Song Cycle on both coasts, UK Immigration Shenanigans, Art and More Art
Dearest Gazzetta Readers,
Happy Year of the Horse! After the wild ride that was twenty thirteen, let’s stroll gently into twenty fourteen, shall we? My head is still spinning slightly from a very eventful last quarter since the previous Gazzetta. A tremendous amount has transpired and there have been many interesting new developments. Where to even begin? I have much local (Bay Area) activity brewing now and in the coming months including this past weekend's San Francisco premiere of Carbon Song Cycle, next month's duo concert with Joan La Barbara on the ROOM Series, and an April duet with Steven Schick on the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players' upcoming festival. Read on (scroll down or click the links above) if you're anxious to get details on any of those events. Meanwhile, allow me to report news of my recent travels, and exciting planned projects...
Fall Travel and Trouble with the British Law
The most bizarre part of my journey occurred when I went to the UK as a visiting artist to do on-campus performances and talks at the University of Sussex, City University London, and Brunel University. I was detained by UK border control officers for about four hours in Gatwick Airport. In all my years of traveling as a performing artist, I have never before had such an experience, but my understanding is that this has been a frequent and persistent problem for artists trying to enter the UK in recent years. I’ve also heard it said that, with regard to unfriendly treatment at border control, the UK and the US are the worst. In my case, there was a great deal of confusion about what sort of visa or credentials I should have had in order to enter the country for the reasons I gave. I was questioned at length, and held for hours under the threat that I might be forced to leave the country. In the end, I was allowed to stay on through the date of my return ticket, with the caveat that I was forbidden to give my scheduled London performance.
I’ll not bore you with all the details, but I will say that there was a rather curious outcome in the weeks following. Thanks to an activist named Manick Govinda, who is part of a London-based arts advocacy organization called “artsadmin”, the case was brought before the House of Lords, and not only was my name mentioned in Parliament, but a summary of the proceedings was aired in a BBC broadcast. Here’s an extracted clip, in case you care to savor the British pronunciation of my name: www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152427476367586
The more important outcome is that, thanks to Mr. Govinda and Lord Tim Clement-Jones, the UK Home Office has been compelled to publish a revised, and more clear version of their regulations. This makes it much easier for visiting artists to understand, and makes me confident that I will know what I need to do next time I travel to London for work.
Royal Treatment and Beautiful Art
A major highlight of my journey was my visit to Venice to catch the Biennale just in the nick of time. It was in its final week during my trip. In the two days I was there, I managed to visit nearly every pavilion at both sites (Giardini and Arsenale) and still make my customary visit to see the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. My enthusiasm for the work there never wanes.
New York Goodness
Not having had enough of New York in November, I returned in December for a couple of weeks around the holiday to visit with family in Beacon, and to attend performances and gallery exhibitions in NYC. I enjoyed a lovely holiday with three of my siblings, a sister-in-law and 2 nieces. And I made numerous Metro North train trips back and forth to cram in as many art-seeing excursions as humanly possible. Highlights included time with the Magritte exhibition at MoMA, a remarkable William Kentridge multi-screen installation at the Met, Richard Serra at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, and a solid afternoon of worshiping at the alter of the DIA Beacon, where one can be immersed in the massive-scale works of avant garde masters.
And then there were the priceless December performances! I was lucky enough to be in New York in time to see Theresa Wong’s The Unlearning with Carla Kihlstedt at Roulette, and to see Robert Wilson’s The Life and Death of Marina Abromovic at the Park Avenue Armory. Two very different but very moving performances.
Robert Wilson’s work always shakes me to the core and leaves me buzzing with the desire to run back to my studio and immerse myself in making new work of my own. This piece was no exception. From the opening preset of three Marina Abromovic open-caskets floating in a misty blue void with half a dozen Dobermans elegantly roaming the stage, to the stately anthems performed by Antony and the vibrant rants and narrations of Willem DeFoe, I was spellbound for the entire three hours.
San Francisco Goodness and Plate Full 'o Commissions
Looking ahead, my plate is still very full. I was happy to be informed that I’ve been granted funding for two large scale projects slated for next season. One (supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission) is a solo performance work called Memoria, in which I’ll continue exploring memory, and the other (a commission supported by a Gerbode Hewlett grant) is a work called Span exploring bridges (on which I'll be working with video artist Carole Kim). In addition to those projects, I have some smaller scale, but more pressing works to create including a song commissioned by Amy X Neuburg and the Paul Dresher Ensemble for a concert this winter, and a short work for percussion and voice & electronics that I’ll perform as a duo with Steven Schick for the Contemporary Music Players in April. I’ve got to get started on composing those works right away! And, the most fast-approaching project of all is a duo concert I’m doing with Joan La Barbara next month as part of my ROOM Series.
So, there’s really no time to spare! I better stop writing this Gazzetta issue and start composing some music, right?
Photos by Pamela Z, Valerie Oliviero, Eduard Escoffet, Laura Dean
Thursday March 13, 2014, 8pm
Pamela Z Arts' intimate avant chamber series is proud to present a shared evening of experimental vocal works by extended voice pioneer Joan La Barbara and composer/performer Pamela Z as the first event in the 2014 ROOM Series season.
Each will perform solo works, and the two will perform some improvised and scored duo work. Although some of Ms. Z's works will involve her signature live electronic processing and gesture-controlled sound, Ms. La Barbara's solo work and the duos they perform together will be mainly acoustic – working with the sound of the voices themselves in the room.
This concert will be the only local event in which La Barbara will focus on acoustic voice work (solo and in duo with Pamela Z) during this rare Bay Area visit.
Royce Gallery, 2901 Mariposa Street #18, San Francisco, CA
Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets
The ROOM SERIES
SAN FRANCISCO CONTEMPORARY MUSIC PLAYERS Sweet Thunder Festival
Ongoing Free Installation: April 24-27, 2014
Katharina Rosenberger and Heiko Kalmbach's Interactive Sound and Video Installation Viva Voce is dedicated to vocal performance art, exploring voice and embodiment, identity and oral tradition. In the gallery space three singers are to be encountered via a life-size video projection. From an iPad station, the visitors can "play" the vocalists by means of tapping on an interactive 3D score interface. The compositional work for Viva Voce follows an open form, with detailed notated musical and text-based passages preformed along freer parts, where the vocalists are encouraged to improvise with sound and text following a narrative that is closely related to their personal interests and cultural background. With such a setup Rosenberger aims to address and emphasize (musically as well as dramatically) each vocalist's personality, as a performer on stage and as an individual of our times and how the latter feeds back again into his or her performance practice.
Saturday, April 26, 2014, 7:30pm
San Francisco Contemporary Music Players will present guest performers in a journey through the history of electro-acoustic music including a special performance by SFCMP Artistic Director Steven Schick with Pamela Z of a new work composed by Z for percussion and voice & electronics.
Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist whose solo works combine a wide range of vocal techniques with electronic processing, samples, video, and gesture activated MIDI controllers. Ms. Z has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. Her work has been presented at venues and exhibitions including Bang on a Can (NY), the Japan Interlink Festival, Other Minds (SF), the Venice Biennale, and the Dakar Biennale. She's created installation works and composed scores for dance, film, and new music chamber ensembles. Her numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Creative Capital Fund, the CalArts Alpert Award, the ASCAP Award, an Ars Electronica honorable mention and the NEA/JUSFC Fellowship. www.pamelaz.com
Pamela Z is represented and fiscally sponsored by Circuit Network. If you wish to make a tax-deductible contribution to Pamela Z or Pamela Z Productions, you can make a donation via PayPal:
For booking inquiries contact Elisabeth Beiard at Circuit: 415 863 2441 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pamela Z Productions | 540 Alabama Street, Studio 213 | San Francisco, CA | 94110 | tel: 415 861 EARS
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