Obviously, I'm dropping the old name now, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop performing. There will be another one tomorrow night, Wednesday October 17, at 7:30pm and running until 9:30 or 10:00 at Making a Scene, downtown. It's in the old Duff's Business Institute building, at 110 Ninth St., in room 19 (on the second floor). Admission is $5, but they don't seem to charge you if you're carrying an instrument. The Sonic Roulette semistructured improvisation event on Saturday went well, so in that spirit, feel free to show up in a collaborative mood. Or just swing by to listen. Or just wander around the interesting room installations in progress. There may be some surprises, as well.
To get there (and park), your best bet is to go down Penn, and turn onto Eighth and park in the Goodyear parking lot if they're closed (which is what I did on Saturday), or park in the other lots off Eighth, or the garage on Penn. Hell, I don't care where you park. Just don't try to circle the building--the construction on Fort Duquesne makes that impossible. The building entrance is right there on Ninth, just down from the intersection with Fort Duquesne.
So come on down, and soak up the post-capitalistic ambience of a decommissioned business school! Walk between the paint drippings! Cover your nose and mouth as you go by the spray paint rooms! Check out the two (!) different installations which use aluminum foil! Linger in the techno-destruction-fetish room downstairs! In short, see what happens when a bunch of artists get to trash a place. More info is at http://www.makingascenepgh.com/ (warning--contains schlockwave content).
I haven't decided on another performance name yet, but some of the possibilities may be seen at http://toxicspores.net/ (a domain that will expire on June 20, 2002). Just hit reload to see a new one. Tell me your favorite! Or keep it to yourself! Write it on a brick and toss it in the river--it's your choice!
See you there (or not).
This one was kind of strange, but ultimately in a good way. Making a Scene was about turning some artists loose in an abandoned building for a week or so, during which they could paint, sculpt, make installations, perform, whatever. And so it came to pass that I went down there a few times--twice as part of a Sonic Roulette group improvisation put on by Robert Press, once just to check out the scene on the last night, and once to perform. Since my performance was in the middle of the preparation week, there wasn't much foot traffic. In fact, there was no foot traffic, and the only people in the building were other artists taking breaks from their preparations to wander around and see what people were up to.
Without a paying audience as such hanging out watching me, I set up in the room, turned off the lights, and made noise for two and a half hours. Occasionally other artists dropped by and we talked about what I was doing (and what they were doing in their rooms); some of them wanted to check out the sampling software or the singing bowl I had with me. It wasn't terribly different from just making noise at home, in many respects (apart from the other artists wandering around). From time to time I'd let the system fall into some kind of interesting pattern, and then go off and wander around myself. (For a net participant count of zero!) Arguably, this could have been dispiriting, but I enjoyed checking out what other people were doing, finding out that others were curious (although some had seen pretty much the same setup during the Sonic Roulettes), and just experimenting with noise and atmosphere.
(Nearly two months later, it turns out that this was a paying gig, grossing me all of $10. I have now officially made more playing to no one than I have made playing to a live audience. Apparently, this is an epiphenomenon of how the event was funded by the city. Your tax dollars at work, baby! )