Dung Mummy: Experimental Arts and Music with Four Bands
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The last date listed for Dung Mummy was Friday June 23, 2006 / 9:00pm.
Soriah West Coast Tour, June 2006
This June, ritualist and throat singer Soriah (portland) joins forces with Lana Guerra of Power Circus, Noah Mickens of Nequaquam Vacuum, and Ryan Olson of Synchronicity Frequency; to bring their unique blend of tribal and postmodern musical performance to their fellow Westsiders while they are all briefly in the same part of the country.
Through the use of a vocal technique most commonly known as throat singing, Soriah wordlessly articulates the contours of vast virgin planets and deep wooded regions with each site-specific performance. Sonic artisan Soriah has emerged from a six-foot cocoon and sang from high in the branches of an old Oak tree, blending haunting chants with stunning visual performance that unavoidably astounds. Whether alone with an alter-organ beneath his fingers or flanked by a carefully chosen musical troupe, Soriah is always an experience in divining Chaos. Soriah’s desire to throat sing derived from a need to express the spectrum of emotions that live beyond the limitations and pre-associated ideas of established language. The name Soriah is a phonetical epiphany which he later understood to be an ancient Sufi term for our Milky Way galaxy. He uses a poly-pantheonic singing base to reach five octaves with his voice, which he then concentrates and distorts using effect processors, sequencers, and synths to channel his energy back to the listener. The amplified result is hypgnotic, exposing Soriah’s command of delicate musical gesture and force. He says, "A Soriah performance is a realization of divine tendencies in one’s everyday existence- an extraction from the background noise of the mundane that brings the listener to a mythological and yet tangible level. Each performance is an offering to those “tendencies” for a more metaphysical understanding of the world through music and theatre." Soriah is that and more. With several years of classical vocal training, Enrique Ugalde emerged as Soriah in 2000 and has since performed across the nation. Synchronicity whisks him to and fro, from the Exotic Erotic Ball in San Francisco to a recent impromptu perfromance with The Polyphonic Spree in Portland’s Alladin Theater. Soriah has gained a following through twilight performances ranging from a Butoh-esque cocoon transformational rite performed at Lollapalooza 2003 to regular sit ins with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and alongside GWAR at The Roseland Theater. Soriah’s existence is living proof that the conceivable pathways to the soul are still, even in the 21st century, comprised of a vast uncharted territory
First gaining underground notoriety for her work in the media of hair, make-up, paint, ink, and fabric; Lana Guerra won the admiration of noise-heads the world over as one half of the duo Cthulhu is Sex. Playing solo as Power Circus, Ms. Guerra wileds an array of homemade analog synthesizers and circuit-bent electronics with subtle expressiveness and nimble ferocity. The result is a riotous pile-up of vocals, samples and homemade/modified synthesizers; broke noise meets psychedelic meets cartoon soundtracks, with off-puttingly musical results.
Noah Mickens is a musician who makes sounds with found objects and his voice, both alone and in collaboration with others. Of these collaborative efforts, the most significant by far has been the free post-asiatic ensemble Nequaquam Vacuum. During his time with Nequaquam Vacuum, he has also served as a member in full standing of The Steve MacKay Ensemble, cathartic neo-classical quartet Autism with Guy Tyler, Nolon Ashley, and Andrew Hansen; the afro-noise-dance band Clouds of Blood with Sam Mickens, Jherek Bischoff, Pol Rosenthal, Paul Kikuchi, and Gregory Reynolds; and The Carnival of the Damned Band with Dylan McPuke, Zombie Dan Abbot, Samantha X, Rumplestillborne, Verbaine Horehound, H.E.A. the Lobster Girl, etc. He has also collaborated live and in recordings with a wealth of musicians including Soriah, Moe! Staianoï¿½s Moe, The Hobo Gobbelins, The Master Musicians of Hop-Frog, The Nightgaunt Ensemble, Bill Horist, Nathan Hubbard, Sikhara, Ripit, Tom Swafford, Paul Rucker, Ishan Vernallis, The Monktail Creative Music Concern, Noancer, Joan Laage, Linda Austin, Yellow Swans, The Dead Science, and many many others. His solo four-track project, Dig the Butcher, has released a single track on a compilation CD, and otherwise lies in wait in a box full of tapes and notebooks. He was also somewhat well-known during his wild adolescence as the lead singer of L.A. blues-punk band Poor Old Timer, and before that cut his musical chops as a child vocal prodigy in musicals and choruses and with a rudimentary noise band called Tarterus.
Noah Mickens is a performance artist and butoh dancer. His explorations into movement-based performance began with his introduction to Seattle butoh troupe P.A.N., which led very rapidly to collaborations between that troupe and Nequaquam Vacuum. Over time, his relationship with these dancers led to increasing involvement in the dance element of these performances, till at last he began to practice butoh independently of his role as musical accompanist. He was made an official member of P.A.N. in 2004; and has since founded his own butoh-inspired troupe in Portland, Insomnia Butoh.
His most-developed performance project has been the nightmare opera Societas Insomnia. First conceived by Mickens, David Heifetz, and Dale Morris; Societas Insomnia brings together performers from the transgressive and ghettoized genres of pain threshold performance, S&M, and fire dancing with practitioners of the circus arts, butoh, and improvisational music. The result evokes a living nightmare, a continuing mythopoeic story arc which has been presented thus far in four chapters over the course of December 2004 – November 2005. In this troupe, Mickens plays the part of Dig, a demonic ringmaster-like figure who leads the Nightmare Company through butoh-esque movement and glossolallia vocals, as well as dabbling in hook suspension and the occasional firesword duel.
Mickens has also performed, choreographed and danced with Soriah, The Death Posture, The Villainaires Academy, Implied Violence, Roadkill Puppet Theater, Bryan LeFay, Mya Fitzdare and The Cabaret Boris and Natasha Dancers under choreographer Linda Austin.
Noah Mickens is a circus ringmaster, a queer father of two, artistic director of the performance nightclub Someday, a board member for 2Gyrlz Performative Arts, the coordinator of the United States branch of the international Radon Collective, and the all-around arch maven of the Portland arts underground.
His work has been the subject of newspaper articles in The Portland Tribune, The Portland Mercury, The Oregonian, Willamette Week, The Organ, Portland Monthly, and The Seattle Stranger; local television programs Oregon ArtBeat and AM Northwest; and the national arts and design magazine PLAZM. He will continue.
Synchronicity Frequency is the concept of musician and composer Ryan Olson. Ryan has been learning and playing music since the age of 12. He started with classical training on nylon string guitar and eventually felt the need to have full compositional tools at his fingertips. As technology progressed so did his vision. He began full composition on hardware in the late 90’s and soon made the transition into computer based sequencing. Not willing to completely relenquish artistic endeavor to a computer screen, Ryan interweaves hardware with pro software to advance the listener into an expansive universe of sounds, styles and textures.
In 2004, Ryan joined arms with the dark performance troupe Societas Insomnia, working closely with curators to organize and draw upon the wealth of talent available to the live improvisational musicians of The Nightgaunt Ensemble. As a further demonstration of Ryan’s wide interest in different styles, he joined with the wiley cirkus troupe, Thee 999 Eyes ov Endless Dream and Cirkus Sideshow ov thee Damned for a west coast tour in summer of 2005. This proved to be quite an adventure full of great musical experience further expanding Ryan’s ear to various forms of styles and performance. The end of 2005 provided Ryan with the opportunity to enter as a performer into The Enteractive Language Festival, hosted by 2 Gyrlz Performative Arts in Portland, Or. Later, in the start of 2006, Ryan joined the likes of Blixa Bargeld and Jarboe at his return to the How to Destroy the Universe Festival.
Currently Ryan is preparing several performance pieces to be delivered on pressed CD and DVD. Synchronicity Frequency will always be an evolving sound performance project, promising to deliver excellent electronic music, live and recorded. Also, works are under way to advance Societas Insomnia to a level which can be delivered to those who could not locally experience the growth of the timeless dark story of pain and dreams. Be sure to catch Ryan in 2006 in the Movement Through Ambience sound series and Synchronicity Frequency.
Hans Fjellestad (b. 1968) is a musician and filmmaker currently based in Los Angeles. He studied music composition and improvisation with George Lewis at University of California San Diego (UCSD), and classical piano with Krzysztof Brzuza. Fjellestad has composed for film, video, theater, dance and has presented his music, film and video art in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, Mexico and Brazil.
Fjellestad has an extensive discography both as a solo artist and in collaboration with many legendary players in the international experimental music scene. An “innovative musician” (All About Jazz) and “mad scientist of sound” (SLAMM), his music has been described as “unbridled sonic freedom… raw, almost shamanic energy that embodies the true essence of unrestricted music” (XLR8R) and a “spicy concoction… refusing to behave itself, it screams, throws things and makes a mess” (The Wire).
Fjellestad has performed and/or recorded with Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, Peter Kowald, Li Quan Ninh, Lisle Ellis, Haco, Miya Masaoka, Money Mark, Donkey, Takayuki Kato, Saga Yuki, Kojima Takashi, Arai Minako, Trummerflora Collective, Thomas Dimuzio, Tetsu Saitoh, David Slusser, Baiyon, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Jakob Riis, P.O. Jrgens, Carl Bergstrim-Nielsen, Rob Rowland, Mike Keneally, Nortec Collective, among many others. His music is available on Hollywood Records, Accretions Records, Circumvention Music, Brain Escape Sandwich, Barely Auditable Records, Pan Handler, and Vinyl Communications.
Fjellestad (or his alter-ego, “33”) has performed in such far-flung venues as The Roxy (Prague), Shinjuku Pit Inn (Tokyo), Festival Beyond Innocence (Osaka), Big Apple (Kobe), ABC No Rio (New York City), Bimbo’s 365 Club (San Francisco), Velvet Jones (Santa Barbara), Don Loope (Tijuana), Spring Reverb Festival (San Diego/Tijuana), SIGGRAPH (Los Angeles), Den Anden Opera (Copenhagen), Yokohama Jazz Promenade, Big Sur Experimental Music Festival, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and the Northwest Electroacoustic Music Festival (Portland).
His film and video work has shown at the London Institute of Contemporary Arts, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Tokyo’s Shibuya Station, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Point Loma Wastewater Plant, Cleveland Museum of Art, Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Miami Art Central, Salina Art Center, IAF Videoart Festival Tijuana, and the Saio Paulo International Short Film Festival.
Fjellestad’s MOOG (2004), a feature length documentary on synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog, was released theatrically across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan. Stephen Holden of the New York Times dubs MOOG a “compelling documentary portrait” of a “provocative, thoughtful and deeply sympathetic figure” and the London Daily Telegraph calls it “brilliantly inspiring on many levels.”
MOOG was an Official Selection at numerous international film festivals including the Rotterdam International Film Festival (Netherlands 2005), Madrid International Film Festival (Spain 2005), Adelaide International Film Festival (Australia 2005), Naples Sintesi Festival (Italy 2005), Belo Horizonte INDIE Film Festival (Brazil 2005), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Czech Republic 2004), Sheffield International Film Festival (UK 2004), Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (Ireland 2004), Asheville Film Festival (North Carolina 2004), Bergen Ekko Festival (Norway 2004), and Barcelona In-Edit Film Festival (Spain 2004) where the film took home top honors at the Documentary Awards Ceremony. MOOG is distributed by Plexifilm.
Fjellestad’s previous film Frontier Life (2002) is a feature documentary that explores the strangely inventive world of Tijuana, Mexico. Filmmaker Magazine calls the film a “fresh… quick-paced, smartly edited doc that boasts an innovative score.” Frontier Life has screened in theaters across the U.S., Canada, Spain and Mexico with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Council, Centro Cultural Tijuana, and El Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes.
Frontier Life was an Official Selection at the Mexico City International Film Festival (Mexico 2005), Madrid International Festival of Contemporary Art – ARCO (Spain 2005), Barcelona Festival of Contemporary Mexican Art (Spain 2005), Sound Unseen Film & Music Festival (Minneapolis, MN 2003), Northwest Film Forum (Seattle, WA 2003), D.U.M.B.O. Arts Center Art Under the Bridge Festival (Brooklyn, NY 2003), San Antonio Cinefestival (New Mexico 2003), and Calgary International Film Festival (Canada 2002). Frontier Life is distributed by Third World Newsreel.
Fjellestad is currently writing/directing several upcoming narrative feature films including Lords of Chaos, a story set in the Norwegian Black Metal music scene of the early 1990s.
Fjellestad has appeared on NPR “Day to Day”, WBAI New York, BBC Radio 4 “Front Row”, Canal 22 Mexico, MTV Latin America, ARTE “Kultur”, Danmarks Radio “Klassisk”, and been featured in the New York Times, Keyboard Magazine, La Prensa, Japan Times, The Wire, Verdens Gang (Norway), International Herald Tribune and the Guardian UK. He has given master classes and lectures at various academic institutions including San Francisco Art Institute, Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematograficos and Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana in Mexico City, Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT), Center for Research in Computing & the Arts (CRCA) in La Jolla, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Fjellestad co-founded the Trummerflora Collective, and has worked as a curator/producer for the international art initiative, inSite_05.
A Progressive exploration drawing upon many influences including: Rock, Classical, Jazz, Avant Garde, Ambient, Middle Eastern, and Trance. Exquisitely recorded on an organic level, transporting the listener to musical destinations yet undiscovered.
Magic Box is the brainchild of visual artist/musician Tom Maxwell (The Blue Hawaiians) and film maker/guitarist Steve Denny. Together they created musical montages for fine artist/performance painter Norton Wisdom at live exhibitions.
The hop-frog kollective’s Refrigerator Mothers are ritualistic and tribal post-punk folk dreamweavers but, let not the term folk lead you to the narrow field of American folk music but to indigenous folk music from around the world. The Refrigerator Mothers post-post-punk kraut punk folk-noise punk sound of the future embellishes electronic beats, with looping as well as live tribal percussion, throbbing bass and swirling guitars rich with the usual cast of hop-frog kollectiv members and their toy/world instrument antics ranging from saz to electric kazoos to rebaba to kitchen sinks to cumbus to child sized accordions. After several CDr releases their first vinyl release is slated for summer 2006 on URCK records with an album to follow in the winter.