HarSMedia

t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ...
Vieux Media Fests à La Générale - 4 ((2018))

september 1, 2018


[ ... Read earlier words & thoughts about the 2017 Vieux Media Fest at La Généreale ... ]

Vieux Media Fest 2018

#13 - More K7-tree again (ii) ...

vieux media

For the 2018 Vieux Media Fest at La Générale, from July 5th to 8th and on July 14th & 15th, once again the found K7 tree came rising to the surface. In the picture you see it decorated with enlarged photocopies of the detailed , hand-written (in French) instructions by an elderly person —as seems to teach us the writing— on how to operate a cassette player. Also that intriguing pense-bête was found in the streets, about four years ago. So that's one year before we picked up the tree.

#14 - ... and more Farfisa

The wonderful Farfisa organ, that for all of the year that passed had stayed up on the gallery, was as well assigned another rôle this year. In order to give it a more central place and make it more accessible, Rébus proposed that we try to bring it down into the main hall. That was an interesting thought but not so very easy to realize, given the weight and the fact that it is pretty difficult to handle. But after a failed attempt to wrap a thick rope around it and lower it over the gallery's railing, we managed to haul it down along the metal spiral staircase, step by step.

vieux media 2018

vieux media 2018

vieux media 2018

#15 - Theorbo & Frippertronic

This year's VM Fest opening performance, on the evening of the July 5th, featured the theorbo, a very large necked lute-like plucked string instrument, the giraffe among the lutes. It was developed, Wikipedia says, in the late 16th century, at a time when musical works being written asked for instruments with a deeper bass range than the then traditional ones. I do think it was the first time ever that I actually saw and heard a theorbo in real life. It was plucked by Caroline Delume.

vieux media 2018

The picture was made during the soundcheckings for that evening's performance, which, in addition to the playing of the theorbo, was to feature as a second layer a touch of live-looping by means of an analogue tape-echo, Frippertronics-style, for which we used two of the found tape machines that are part of Rébus's fine vieux media collection, stocked in La Générale's cellar, and a reel-to-reel tape that —of course— was also found, somehow somewhere.

vieux media 2018

That evening Caroline Delume performed Velocity of Sleep, a piece by Kali Malone, who is an American composer and musician based in Stockholm. It is a minimalistic, slow and meditative piece, built from singly plucked strings and overtones. "The tempo of the piece should be very slow, relaxed and lulling," the composer writes in her performance instructions included in the score. "It is ideal if the musician is near sleep while playing."

Velocity of Sleep was preceded, in overlap, by Karthinka Naïr's reading of her poem "Lines: For Where There Is Singing", on Parisian public transport, eulogising (some of) those who make it run and lead an Isa searching music ("just in time") to a Velocity of Sleep performance by Caroline Delume earlier this year, at "the other end of wakeful Paris".

vieux media 2018

Here is a picture of Caroline's performance of Kali Malone's piece, with the analogue tape-loop system running and responding, made by Sonia Soraya.

vieux media 2018

Later that evening, as an afterthought, we also played back again what had been captured on the old reel-to-reel tape that was used and had also already played back in real-time the sounds that were captured during the performance). Almost always such 'frippertronics' recordings are fascinating documents, and this one was no exception.

American composer Terry Riley was one of the very early pioneers of this particular tape technique, in the early 1960s. In a short interview that I recently found on YouTube he clearly expresses what was and —indeed— still is the very special thing about the analog technique of live-looping, which becomes even more apparent with the ageing of the machines and the tapes: "I became interested in the noise of these tape recorders, cheap tape recorders, and the noise of the sound build-up, as you add layers of sound, that became fascinating to me, because it became a sub-text to the actual music that I began with. And it would also like of disintegrate into this kind of grainy, these grainy textures that had all ghosts inside of them... That became very mystical for me, that became a really mystical experience to listen deeply into these, really, things where you just kind of hear voices that weren't there, in the music..."

#16 - Linz en direct

On very early Saturday WeiWei and I flew from one Vieux Media Fest to another one. In Linz, Austria, via Frankfurt, Germany, we were to be part of and contribute to the final week of Wolfgang Dorninger's Cassette Culture Node.Linz exhibition and events. More on that in a next entry. But here of course is the place to mention that we just did what was sort of the obvious thing to do, when on Sunday July 9th we threw a vritual anchor over from the Ursulinenhof Foyer in Linz, and streamed an hour long exposé & tour of the exposition by Wolfgang directly into La Générale in Paris.

Linz --> Paris

Linz --> Paris

#17 - Paper Time Machine

We were back again in La G on the afternoon of the 14th of July, day of the French La Fête Nationale, of Bastille Day. Waiting for Yximalloo to arrive and join us in a 54th unPublic, there was time to leaf through the big pile of found yellowed newspapers and magazines, left by F.M. on the sitting corner's low table.

tout politique

The old paperts date back to the 1930's and 1940's. Fascinating how, modulo names, the headlines that figured in the news back then read, look and feel uncannily up to date, familiar and contemporary, like mere transpositions of the same melody. It's how in history —like in music— themes do endlessly repeat.

Almost eighty years ago, here's how Le Matin read on July 15th 1939...

tout politique

And that same paper some monthses ( * ) earlier, on February 17th 1939...- strange and bitter fruit!

tout politique

tout politique

...

...

tout politique

...

tout politique

#18 - unPublic #54

This summer's Vieux Media Fest's out-of-town special guest came flying in from Japan. Yximalloo, whose passport name is Naofumi Ishimaru, launched what at 63 might be his 'last European tour' from the Parisian La Générale. Or that was what he told us before arriving. But already before moving on to Berlin, Naofumi seemed pretty sure he'd be back again next year. Yximalloo arrived with a big backpack crammed with merchandise —an avalanche of music on K7s, CDs, vinyls; the original fruits of a DIY recording career that has been going on for some 45 years now, and started out in the early 1970s; fruits that he continues to release and market (or rather unmarket) all by himself, with little or no 'professional' distribution. If you want to have some, you will have to try find and see Yximalloo to get some.

In the afternoon of July 14th he joined FlexRex, Michael Ghent, Rébus and me for the 54th unPublic, underground at La Générale, playing one of Rébus's vintage keyboards, a Casiotone CT-810 with a microphone.

This unPublic was filmed and real-time projected with a found vieux camcorder by Anthoine Camus who just happened to pass by. Yet only the photographs remain, as the recorder remained tapeless.

uP 54

uP 54

uP 54

uP 54

uP 54

uP 54



Read about unPublic on the SoundBlog:

(2018, november 02) - "Five years stuck on my eyes" (Lustrum Non Publicum) (uP#56)
(2018, september 01) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [iv] (uP#54)
(2018, august 13) - Rage, rafts & refugees (uP#49, uP#50)
(2018, august 10) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [iii] (uP#45)
(2017, june 11) - Moving out, of, on ... [ii] (uP#42)
(2016, june 10) - unPublic #18 - 대부도 (Daebu-Do), 14 June 2015 (uP#18)
(2016, may 07) - In Praise of Slowness (uP#21)
(2015, july 15) - Bridges, troubles, water (uP#19)
(2015, april 14) - Mal-là--colisé dans l'espace et dans le temps (uP#16)
(2014, august 02) - Appearance and Reality (uP#8)
(2014, march 08) - "12 - 11 - 9 - 10 - 3 - 6 - 7 - 1 - 2 - 8 - 4 - 5" (uP#5)
(2013, december 31) - Candles, Cassettes & Champagne (uP#4)
(2013, november 23) - unPublic 1, 2 (sauf riverains) (uP#1, uP#2)


Read about unPublic in Gonzo (Circus) [Dutch]:

Gonzo #143, januari/februari 2018 - Met kop noch staart: muzhakdag! (uP#48)
Gonzo #139, mei/juni 2017 - De waan, de wil, de weg


Read about unPublic elsewhere:

Electronic Cottage, november 2018 - unPublic - 'Five Years stuck on my eyes' -sketch as a memoire


To listen, download & support, visit unPublic @ Bandcamp.


Undance

Back in the year 2000 the ever eloquent Momus, whose passport name is Nick Currie, was mainly talking about himself when he reflected upon the idea and notion, maybe even maybe-genre, of 'unpopular pop', the unpop. "It's pop," he wrote, "which has taken note of its irrelevance to the majority, and taken the opportunity to go boldly boho. To go, in fact, magnificently mad." And in that eighteen years ago note Momus pointed at Yximalloo —whose music around that time he had discovered at Other Music ( ** )— as 'the exemplary unpop musician'.

This all, slowly, came back to me only days after Yximalloo's partaking in this year's Vieux Media Fest, when by chance on one of my hard drives I re-discovered his 'Unpop' CD from 2008, for which Momus wrote the liner notes.

Yximalloo K7

I picked up some more Yximalloo —a pink/blue "Young Japan" (1986) K7, with a (what I guess is a) Jad Fair (the American 'half Japanese' who collaborated quite regularly with Nao) drawing on its cover (see the pic above)— from the wealth of stuff displayed on his merchandise table at La G, where, in the wake of France's soccer world championship's match on Sunday July 15th, Naofumi's performance was this year's closure of the Vieux Media Fest.

Yximalloo

Rather than an Unpop concerto, Yximalloo's VM-endFest to a casual passer-by might have seemed almost inspired by —or even part of— the orgiastic French nationalistic shoutdancing accompanied by random unrythmically Doppler shifting car hoots and yells that at the very same moments rippled up and down the Champs Elysées and other Parisian main streets, just as they did twenty years before.

Yximalloo

Rébus devised the fine geometric reflecto-projective background to this alien Undance, with Yximalloo jumping all over, like a Jack Flash. It was Gollum-ish and devious. Simple, modest but crashingly crazy. Sometimes he held the huge carrot that he got at a Chinese supermarket, pretending to play it as if this were a Guitar Hero contest; sometimes he held a microphone into which he spoke-sang unintelligible words, uttered sounds and phrases; or —it was a highlight— like some romantic unhero he sank on his knees to serenade the nice volunteering lady that at La G is in charge of the cartes d'adhérents...

Yximalloo

The music came from a set of backing tracks, played from a file on a laptop, or from a CD, I do not know which, but that of course does but little matter. Old school electronic, glitchy & cut-up & broken & minimal. Undance.

Bachi, the Yximalloo track featured on 'The Wire Tapper #47', the CD that comes with the August 2018 issue of the Wire ( *** ) —but you can also get Bachi at Bandcamp!— is a good example of Naofumi's Undance.

That's what it sounded like at La G.

It made me happy 🤗🤗 ...!

Yximalloo

notes __ ::
(*) sic ... [ ^ ]
(**) A record shop in New York City that specialised in underground, rare and experimental music (until June, 2016, when the shop closed down). [ ^ ]
(***) And yes, it is Nick Currie that wrote Naofumi into this August's Wire 😂 ... [ ^ ]

tags: Vieux Media, Frippertronics, Kali Malone, Terry Riley, La Générale, unPublic, Yximalloo

# .483.



SoundBlog entries around and about La Générale Nord-Est:

(2018, september 01) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [part iv]
(2018, august 13) - Rage, rafts & refugees
(2018, august 10) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [part iii]
(2018, july 21) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete... [part ii]
(2018, april 10) - La Générale Nord-Est (PAMP18-1)
(2017, august 19) - t'Obsolete or not t'Obsolete ... [part i]
(2016, august 04) - Nicolas Collins - 2 April 2016, La Générale
(2015, july 15) - Bridges, troubles, water - unPublic #19
(2014, april 08) - La physicalité du son. Tome 1.
(2013, december 13) - Candles, Cassettes & Champagne - unPublic #4
(2010, december 29) - Obsolescence
(2010, august 14) - "And what about Yi Sang?" (... à Paris [iv])
(2010, june 29) - Ceremonies (Yi Sang à Paris [iii])
(2010, june 25) - Read me a poem, Yi Sang! (Yi Sang à Paris [ii])
(2010, june 13) - Yi Sang à Paris [i]
(2010, january 13) - Art fleas (puces de l'art)
(2009, july 20) - General Acoustics
(2006, august 14) - placard : la générale (Belleville)


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