Archive for Center of the End of Things

Playing Snow and Ending Things in Snowpocalypse

When the Snowpocalypse hit central Virginia, our plans for an 8-piece improv ensemble representing the HzCollective fell through at the Center of the Study of the End of Things‘ Symposium Opening. The storm left no drivable conditions for our HzCollective mates – including Kenny Yates, Jennida Chase and Hassan Pitts of Pilotone – to join us for the performance from Richmond. Grapefruit Experiment and our friend Erik DeLuca decided to go ahead with the gig as a trio. To echo the apocalyptic theme of the “the end of things,” we carried minimal gear in our backpacks and trekked in the snow maxing out our creative and physical ends.

Carey sounded her ever-sustained bells that she bought in China. I played amplified snow using Erik’s hydrophone while playing back samples of snow collected on our walk to the space. Erik played back and processed sounds of snow and vibes that he recorded throughout the day. We played a 28-minute improvised set. Then our set was joined by an impromptu reading (of his elegy to Lydia Gasman) by Steven Margulies.

After a short break, we went into a second set starting with Carey’s bells, live and captured on Erik’s tape recorder. Erik and I then joined Carey with electronic sounds. I used a bit reduction pedal to noisify the sound of snow-crushing. Erik played back and manipulated sounds of Carey’s bells. Then the projected sound started to cut in and out sweeping in as low-frequencies, as Erik gestured the smell of something burning. Thus we ENDED our set. Not only that, we put an END to the speaker, a decrepit JBL dust-collector donated by UVa’s VCCM [Virginia Center for Computer Music].

Organizer Wes Milholen said that they will honor the end of the speaker by shining a spotlight on it. Maybe they will even suspend it mid air.


The End.

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