This year’s Artist In Residence is Bob Ostertag. Few people represent the junction of our jazz, pop, world and classical streams of our programming as well as Ostertag.
Composer, performer, historian, instrument builder, journalist and activist, Ostertag’s work cannot be easily pigeonholed. He is widely hailed as one of the great exponents of spontaneous electronic composition of the last 30 years. He has produced 21 CDs of music, two movies, two DVDs, and three books. His writings on contemporary politics have been published on every continent and in many languages. Electronic instruments of his own design are at the cutting edge of both music and video performance technology. He has performed at music, film, and multi-media festivals around the globe. His radically diverse collaborators include the Kronos Quartet, John Zorn, Mike Patton and Anthony Braxton. He is currently Professor of Technocultural Studies and Music at the University of California at Davis. He is joined in performance by Québecois filmmaker Pierre Hébert. The ongoing creation Living Cinema brings cinema out of the movie and recording studios and onto the stage. Ostertag has created innovative software that allows the two artists to actually perform an animated movie with soundtrack, live on stage. The flexible, open-ended character of Living Cinema gives the artists the ability to respond immediately to political and cultural events in a way that conventional cinema never could. The work is thus profoundly influenced by world events.
The performance is innovative enough to be difficult to describe to those who have not seen it, yet transparent enough to be easily grasped by those in attendance. Children have typically been among its most enthusiastic fans. Ostertag’s most recent composition is The Book Of Hours (for Roscoe Mitchell, Theo Bleckmann, Shelley Hirsch, and Phil Minton). This is the subject of a reinterpretation by local luminaries of 5biTscience. Under the direction of Nilan Perera (guitar), an ensemble composed of acoustic bass (Wes Neal), drums (Mark Segger), a saxophone (Jay Hay) and conducted live sampling (Matt Miller) will rip the guts out of Hours’ meta score in the manner of another of Ostertag’s works: Verbatim (1996/2000). The ensemble’s instrumentation and methodology conforms to the older work in a re-examination of the newer composition. As with so much of Ostertag’s work, the result – and the entire evening’s proceedings – is a disorienting and exhilarating Moebius strip of past and present, live and electronics.
More info: 416-204-1080 • www.musicgallery.org