Niblock / Ankersmit

The Arnolfini welcome Niblock and Ankersmit to perform solo sets at this special quadrophonic concert on Friday 15.11.13. Niblock will showcase two new pieces of music – Vlada BC (2013, 20 minutes) for Viola d’Amore (Elisabeth Smalt, viola d’amore) Euph (2013, 23:30) for a two belled euphonium (bass trombone, added) (Melvyn Porre, euphonium – as well as his recent piece FeedCorn Ear (2012, 30 minutes) for Arne Deforce, cello, which appears on a new double CD on Touch (TO91), published October 2013. He will also show recently restored films from his looking at the movement of people working series, much of which has never been shown before. Thomas Ankersmit, whose set at last year’s Visionary Kingdom was one of the standouts, will present a live quadraphonic sound performance for Serge analogue modular synthesizer, in which shadow-phenomena of human auditory perception mix with swarms of hungry locusts.

Phill Niblock is a New York-based minimalist composer and multi-media musician and director of Experimental Intermedia, a foundation born in the flames of 1968’s barricade-hopping. He has been a maverick presence on the fringes of the avant garde ever since. In the history books Niblock is the forgotten Minimalist. That’s as maybe: no one ever said the history books were infallible anyway.

His influence has had more impact on younger composers such as Susan Stenger, Lois V Vierk, David First, and Glenn Branca. He’s even worked with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo on “Guitar two, for four” which is actually for five guitarists. This is Minimalism in the classic sense of the word, if that makes sense. Niblock constructs big 24-track digitally-processed monolithic microtonal drones. The result is sound without melody or rhythm. Movement is slow, geologically slow. Changes are almost imperceptible, and his music has a tendency of creeping up on you. Since 1968 Phill has also put on over 1000 concerts in his loft space, including Ryoji Ikeda, Zbigniew Karkowski, Jim O’Rourke.

Thomas Ankersmit is a musician and installation artist based in Berlin and Amsterdam who has performed extensively and released on labels like PAN (with long-time collaborator Valerio Tricoli). His work combines abstract, intensely focused acoustic saxophone work with hyper-kinetic analogue synth and computer improvisation. He also creates installation pieces that use sound, infrasound and “modifications to the acoustic characters of spaces” that disrupt the viewer/listener’s perception of the exhibition space and their presence within it. His new album drops on Touch soon.


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