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Experimental composer and filmmaker Phill Niblock known for his thick loud drones and semi abstract videos recently added me to his mailing list which has thus far served the primary purpose of reminding me of how much I’m missing. For example, if you happen to be in Krems, Austria today, you can watch his premiere of “Stosspeng” at the donau festival, a piece for two guitars performed by companions Susan Stenger and Robert Poss, otherwise you’ll have to wait until the next time I get a list of events he’s playing that are more local. Adding to New Yorker frustration that the festival takes place somewhere other than here, I’ll note that also on the program for this concert is Throbbing Gristle, KTL, Haswell and Hecker, and the Boredoms.
For the 98% of my readers who won’t be able to attend the above event I managed to cull a few truly great Phill Niblock resources from the web for your perusal. First up, in what is undoubtedly the most informative interview I’ve read this year, Bob Gilmore (with Guy de Bievre) talks with Niblock about his current(ish) exhibition at London’s Sketch Gallery, the development of his career, and his approach to art making. I particularly enjoyed the recollection that when Hermann Nitsch was in town they had spilled blood all over the Kitchen’s floor thus rendering it unusable, thereby prompting his famous loft concerts, and the discussion Niblocks interest in making work that doesn’t have development. Second, I found a great quick time excerpt from Niblock’s video The Movement of People Working on Experimental Intermedia, which demonstrates this desire. I’m inclined to say relatively little more about this piece since the title basically describes it. I suppose it goes without saying though that if you don’t like drone music you may not find much interest in this work. Finally, I’ve posted Phil Niblock’s 1966 Magic Sun above. An “avant jazz cinema classic”, Niblock uses negative filming techniques, often shooting close ups of the instruments and hands of the Sun Ra Arkestra!
Related: Paper Thin Walls, Drifts and Drones.