DIFFUSION Festival (our sixth) takes place in two locations this year, at our year ’round home at the Red Room at Normals Books and on the second weekend at 2640 St. Paul Street.
This first night FRIDAY THE 10th of November is at The Red Room. Six pieces will be played with a break. Work by
• Stefan Meyer
• Michelle Helene Mackenzie
• Corey Thuro
• Angela Sawyer + ARKM Foam
• Jamal Moore
• Carrie DeCunzo
For some of these composers, it’s their first multichannel piece, some have been making this form of sound art for decades.
All these concerts will be presented in what is called by contemporary hi fi enthusiasts, “8.4” which is to say there are eight separately addressable speakers and 4 separately addressable “sub-woofers” for low frequency sounds. Different artists in different compositions use this capability in different ways.
These evenings require nothing more than engaged listening, no education or foreknowledge is necessary for enjoyment…though you might want the foreknowledge that we will only provide folding chairs, you might want to bring a butt-pillow, or a bean bag chair, or a joga mat and a blanket? You are welcome to lay on the floor if you’d like…
There will be almost no visual accompaniment, light show or videos.
Please join us, all four nights for this, the
Cinema for the ear!
Now if you are curious, some biographical information about some of the composers, and in some cases, links to their work.
Stefan Maier (b. 1990) is an artist and composer based in Vancouver, Canada — the unceded, traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. His installations, performances, writings, and compositions examine emergent and historical sound technologies as tools for speculation. Stefan works fluidly between experimental electronic music, sound art, installation, and contemporary classical music. His work has been presented by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (DE), INA-GRM (FR), Liquid Architecture (AU), Ultima festival (NO), National Music Centre (CA), G(o)ng Tomorrow (DK), Gaudeamus Muziekweek (NL), MONOM (DE), and Unsound Festival (PL), among many others. In 2017 he received a Mayor’s Art Award from the City of Vancouver and was a 2019 Macdowell Colony Fellow. Stefan is Assistant Professor of Sound Art and Sound Design at the School of Contemporary Art at Simon Fraser University.
Michelle Helene Mackenzie is a musician, artist, and researcher who works across electronic, ambient, and noise music. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Music at the University of California, San Diego. Mackenzie combines electronics, synthesis, voice, amplified objects and field recording. She has released music independently and collaboratively with ISLA, Hotham Sound, Music From Memory’s Second Circle, and GRM Portraits, and has performed at INA-GRM’s Live Electronics Series, Leaving Records’s Listen to Music Outside in the Daylight Under a Free, Deep Blue (various), New Forms Festival, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Interplay Festival, Polygon Gallery, Sunset Terrace, UCSD, and various other events. Her sound works and commissions have been shown with 221A (Vancouver), Active Cultures (Los Angeles), Albertinum (Dresden), Dynamo Arts Association (Vancouver) Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art (Buffalo), Esker Foundation (Calgary), the Hand (NYC), Kadist Gallery (San Fransisco), National Audiovisual Centre of Luxembourg (Dudelange), Patel Brown (Toronto/Montreal), Richmond Art Gallery, SFU Galleries (Vancouver), Unitt/Pitt (Vancouver), and Western Front (Vancouver).
Corey Thuro is a musician, visual artist and “philosopher”.
At some point in my late teens/early twenties, I started to think that listening to music gave the listener new knowledge, so that music could serve as the medium for the philosophical problems I had been dealing with my whole life, which, among other issues, included 1. A validation of ecstatic subjectivity 2. The irresolvable paradoxes concomitant to common sense. Since then I have become a participant-observer (to use CIA parlance) in the world of science and mathematics in order to hone my sense of their epistemological incoherence. Today the above are still among my problems, only I no longer believe that music conveys knowledge. I believe now that music, at its best, can generate inner states that briefly vivify you in a violently depersonalizing world. The spatiality of multichannel music can intensify this effect, blurring the boundary between the listener’s emotional state and their sense of the space they are situated in. I enjoy dancing. My aim with this piece was to make a room dance.
Angela Sawyer plays injured animal noises, injured human noises, injured machine noises, and garbage. She’s released a steady trickle of small-run lps, cds, cdrs & cassettes over the years, changes the names of her projects to suit her every whim, and has performed in a rental car, several bathtubs, and while throwing cake at someone who was throwing cake back. Dennis Tyfus from the Ultra Eczema label once said Sawyer is “the best living vocal artist”. You can also catch Angela doing stand up comedy around New England & she sold vinyl records in the Boston area for 35-odd years.
Home-recorded outsider sounds and cassette players from longtime New England ecology warlock Adam Kohl (ARKM foam, Peace, Loving, BANG! BROS., Knight Howls, Tri-cornered Hat, Mickey O’Hara duo, Yesterdays Jam, Ten Gallon Hat, LMFAO, Montana Big Boys, Andy Allen duo, Foom & Foam, etc.). Founder of the legendary venue the Whitehaus and friend to every stripe of traveler.
Carrie DeCunzo makes performances, compositions, videos, and installations that are studies in ways of thinking. She starts at the knots of socioecological narratives and material histories to explore hard contradictions and unanswerable questions. She grew up in the foothills of the Adirondack mountains in New York State and is currently engaged in a multi-piece exploration of ecological and social histories of the Hudson River.
She has performed music under the monikers beautywork, Natural Pleasures, and Carrie Ford. She has released music on her self-run, small-scale imprint KSX Solutions, and with No Rent Records and Love is the Law. She received an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College and studied geography and political ecology at the University of Vermont. She lives in Philadelphia, PA where she teaches piano and voice.
Join us for this first night and hear these unique works and listen in a way that you simply cannot at home. Doors open to the bookstore at 8pm and the music begins at 8:30. Seating is first come, first served at the door. A finite number of people can be seated, we’re sorry to say! Please bring cash as it’s VERY cumbersome for us to use digital monies.