(all the gnus)
Spring 2017 [pz gazzetta xxx]
Pamela Z Arts' Quarterly Newsletter (view online)
March 16, 2017: San Francisco, CA
April 15, 2017: San Rafael, CA
April 17, 2017: San Francisco, CA
May 4-7, 2017: San Francisco, CA
June 3-4, 2017: San Francisco, CA
July 1-2, 2017: San Francisco, CA
Radical Climate Shifts, New Work, Missed Blizzard
Gentle Gazzetta Readers,
I started off my year with two amazing and very different artist residencies. From January to early February, I spent five weeks in the tropical paradise that is the Robert Rauschenberg Residency Program. I went immediately from there to a month-long Creative Campus Fellowship in Middletown, CT, where the Wesleyan University campus was completely blanketed in a thick, crusty layer of snow.
I was part of the 24th group of artists to be granted a Rauschenberg Residency. The program is located on the island of Captiva, Florida. You can walk from the beach on the Gulf of Mexico side to the bay side in about five minutes. In between, there are coconut palms, a verdant jungle, and the Rauschenberg foundation properties – including houses where the artists stay and a beautiful, spacious main studio building with high ceilings, white floor and walls, and art-making facilities galore. There is a grand piano, analog and digital printing, a sound studio, wood and metal shops, and all manner of painting and sculpting supplies.
The setting was so idyllic and isolated, it brought to mind the 1960s British television series “The Prisoner.” People even rode around town on cheerful little golf carts and one-speed bicycles. I took to jokingly referring to us as the “Captiva Captives,” and I half expected to see “Rover,” the giant white balloon, appear and envelope anyone who tried to escape.
Five days a week, the artists sit family-style around a table and share beautiful, locally-sourced meals prepared by the resident chef. There are still a few Rauschenberg paintings and sculptures on some walls and on the grounds, and there are shelves and cabinets filled with his books and supplies. The batch of artists comprising “RR 24” were as diverse as they were brilliant, so I was surrounded by warm companionship and wonderful sights and sounds – including the constant, ever-changing layers of Marcus Fischer’s tape loops. I was always inspired, although it was sometimes difficult to fully focus on making work, because my thoughts were all over the map. I had too many ideas for too many separate projects! But I did make a little headway getting started on two new works – Pascal’s Triangle (my upcoming collaboration with Donald Swearingen) and Correspondence (my commissioned work for Wesleyan), and I generated a graphic score for a work dedicated to Pauline Oliveros. We all endeavored to be very present in that place and to ignore the jarring news cycle for a spell, but it was difficult not to pick up on some of it. A few of the artists even rented a car at one point and went to Miami Airport to support the protest efforts there.
Jerkin’ Back and Forth
I found it incredibly heart wrenching to leave the island in the end, but I had already been contracted for the Wesleyan engagement before I was even offered the Rauschenberg Residency and, in fact, had to cut my Captiva time short by several days. So I reluctantly changed gears, took off for colder climes, and jumped in with both feet to start my work at Wesleyan.
The second residency couldn’t have been more different from the first. Snow, wind, and sub-freezing temperatures replaced sand, balminess, and fallen coconuts. Also gone was my unfocused flitting from project to project. The Wesleyan Creative Campus Fellowship came with a commission, and I was expected to create and present a brand new work by the end of my residency. This hard deadline had the effect of whipping me into shape. I quickly developed a strict routine of rising, having a small breakfast, and heading straight for my office/studio where I diligently composed music, edited text samples, generated scores, and edited video for hours on end each day. This schedule was peppered with fellowship lunches, class presentations, and rehearsals with the students and faculty members who were going to perform my work. I scored Correspondence for a 16-voice chorus, a chamber ensemble of bassoon, viola, and marimba, five typewriters, a tape collage, and my voice and electronics. I completed the composition, generated scores, and rehearsed the various players all within my 4-week residency, and we mounted the big, theatrical work-in-progress performance on my last day there.
In addition to making the new work, I also had an existing piece performed by “Toneburst,” the school’s laptop ensemble. Led by Paula Matthusen, the ensemble teamed up with several acoustic musicians to perform my Twenty Answers. Commissioned in 2008 by the Bay Area’s Empyrean Ensemble, the work was scored for an eight-piece chamber group and “Magic 8-balls”.Paula arranged it for laptop ensemble and wrote an app for the group to use in performance.
I gleefully pointed out that it’s necessary to physically return the carriage, and that this was origin of the term “carriage return.” It was truly delightful.
Now I’m back in San Francisco, enjoying very agreeable weather, preparing for my performance/talk at the David Ireland House, and pausing a moment to write to you. I actually have many varied Bay Area engagements coming up in the next few months, and a lot of work to do preparing for those, so I’ll sign off here. But scroll or click down for details on my upcoming events.
Photos: Pamela Z, Senga Fittz, Isaac Saunders, and Mark Poucher.
upcoming event details:
Join The David Ireland House/500 Capp Street Foundation for the final segment in a series of three talks in conjunction with our inaugural exhibition in The Garage, centered on the theme of “organic logic."
For this talk, the artists will be presenting and demonstrating their sound objects and instruments. Using a variety of materials, from cut wood, to custom electronic devices, to analog record players and their own bodies, the artists contest the performative and visceral aspects of sound and how it changes the way we view and perceive the world around us.
Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampled sound, and video. Bernie Lubell makes interactive wood machines that visually construct the process of thought. Terry Berlier is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is often kinetic, interactive and/or sound based and addresses themes of the environment and queer practice.
Doors at 7 p.m.; enjoy the exhibitions before the presentations at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20 general admission, $15 students and seniors.
The David Ireland House
An evening of solo performances by Nina Wise and two of the world’s most exciting vocalist/composers, both internationally renowned pioneers in live electronics, looping, layered extended vocals, and poetic narratives. at Showcase Theater at 8pm in San Rafael, CA USA.
Reserved Seat Tickets: $33.50 upper section, $42.50 lower section
Splinter Reeds, the Bay Area’s first reed quintet, gives a concert as part of The ROOM Series at The Royce Gallery in San Francisco, CA.
The quintet performs a world premiere work by Theresa Wong, alongside pieces by Eric Wubbels, Ken Ueno, and Tom Johnson, featuring narration by Pamela Z, in an evening of contemporary reed music.
The ROOM Series @ Royce Gallery
Pamela Z and Donald Swearingen will perform a 4-night run of Pascal’s Triangle at Royce Gallery in San Francisco, CA USA.
A new work of electroacoustic music and live interactive media inspired by the beauty, ubiquity, and indispensability of mathematics, Pascal’s Triangle uses sampled text and sounds, voice & electronics, spatialized multi-channel audio, and interactive video. The movements of this evening-length work will employ numbers, patterns, and structures derived from mathematical principles: vignettes that evoke the poetic elegance of numbers.
The ROOM Series @ Royce Gallery
In July 2017, Stephan Koplowitz will premiere a new site work for Axis Dance, with an original score by Pamela Z, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as part of the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.
Yerba Buena Gardens
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 a Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, 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 Arts, you can make a donation via PayPal:
For booking inquiries, contact Elisabeth Beaird at Circuit: 415 863 2441 or email@example.com
Pamela Z Productions | 540 Alabama Street, Studio 213 | San Francisco, CA | 94110 | tel: 415 861 EARS
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