A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS), in conjunction with the MAK Center for Art and Architecture (R.M. Schindler House), presents sound. at the Schindler House: Tape Music, a rare concert of music composed for reel-to-reel tape on Saturday, Aug. 25.  The unique architecture of the Schindler House creates multiple listening spaces to revisit this historic concert form featuring recent works from John Wiese and William Basinski; historic works from Pauline Oliveros, and the collaborative duo of Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw; as well as selections from Gary Todd’s Cortical Foundation label that were composed for tape, on tape, and originally presented on tape.

Produced by SASSAS, the sound. concert series pushes new music boundaries by creating unique listening experiences for audiences that combine experimental music and unconventional settings.  The Aug. 25 sound. event starts at 2 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m.  Advance tickets are $12; $10 for SASSAS members, Friends of the MAK Center and students/seniors; and can be purchased at www.sassas.org/sound/2012.  Tickets are $15 at the door.  The Schindler House is located at 835 North Kings Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069.  For more information on this concert, as well as other upcoming SASSAS events, please call (323) 960-5723 or visit www.sassas.org.

When composers first began to write music on computers and electronic instruments, the only way for them to perform those works live was by playing back a tape recording.  This was the origin of the tape concert.  The audience sat facing a pair of speakers, with the tape recorder and sound equipment behind them. The sound engineer was thought of as a technician not a musician (almost like the conductor.)  The speakers took the place of the instruments.  As technology changed, computers and synthesizers became more portable, and tape concerts faded away. Today, musicians play back their compositions on laptop computers, but the controversy over what constitutes a live performance and what constitutes the instrument remains.

For this concert, SASSAS transforms the four studios of the Schindler House into distinct listening spaces, each containing a unique work or collection of works.  Noted noise artist John Wiese’s installation, “Magical Crystal Blah” (2005/2012), will run in one of four studios, while William Basinski’s live performance of “Vivian & Ondine” will take place at 5 and 7 p.m. in the courtyard; Pauline Oliveros’ “Bye Bye Butterfly” (1965) and “I of IV” (1965-66), Mike Kelley/Jim Shaw’s “Tape Collage” (1975), and Jim Shaw’s solo work, “Guitar Tape Loop” (1975), will run in rotation in another studio; while selections from Gary Todd’s now defunct Cortical Foundation label, organ of Corti, will run continuously in the fourth studio.

In conjunction with sound. at the Schindler House: Tape Music, SASSAS also presents a special edition of its free monthly soundShoppe workshop devoted to working with reel-to-reel tape on Sunday, Aug. 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock (2225 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041).  This FREE unstructured workshop/jam for experimental musicians and sound artists will feature a demonstration of looping and cutting.