In memory of the late polymath avant-garde artist Tony Conrad (1940-2016), longtime friend and coconspirator Charlemagne Palestine returned to the site of their first encounter for a tribute performance on what would have been Conrad's 77th birthday, performing on the bells at St Thomas's Church, in New York City for a rich album of ritualistic ringing and tones.
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Label: Blank Forms
Catalog ID: BF 001CS
Squidco Product Code: 25231
Recorded at St Thomas's Church, in New York City, New York, on March 7th, 2017
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Actual title: STTT THOMASSS '''''''DINGGGDONGGGDINGGGzzzzzzz ferrrr TONYYY''''''''
"In memory of the late polymath avant-garde artist Tony Conrad (1940-2016), longtime friend and coconspirator Charlemagne Palestine returned to the site of their first encounter for a tribute performance on what would have been Conrad's 77th birthday.
Charlemagne Palestine is a composer, performer and visual artist born in Brooklyn in 1947. Often labeled as one of the founders of minimalism alongside Glass, Niblock, Reich, Riley, and Young, he prefers to call himself a "maximalist", eschewing the clinical stereotypes of the former term in favor of a full-blown erotics of possibility that in its ritualistic performance conjures a sense of sacredness without specificity.
But before the intoxicating overtones of the Strumming Music (SR 297CD, SSH 003LP) for which he is best known, before the stuffed animals and snifter of cognac that have become his trademark onstage, Palestine's first solo performances were as carillonneur of the Saint Thomas Church at 53rd Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. From 5:00 to 5:30, every day between 1963 and 1970, Palestine operated the 26-bell carillon, starting with the hymns he was expected to play before shifting into improvised "klanggdedangggebannggg" sessions that would form the basis for his incantatory repetitions to come.
Palestine hammered the instrument's keys with his fists and pounded its pedals with his feet, effectively playing the entire building while relishing the corporeal thrill of the ceremony. Soon known as the Quasimodo of midtown NYC, his performances became a sonic mainstay of the neighborhood, attracting a diverse group of fans including Tony Conrad who, then living in Times Square, one day introduced himself inside the church. The artists became fast friends and collaborators, with Palestine recording some of Conrad's work on the carillon and contributing music to his film Coming Attractions (1970).
On March 7th, 2017, Palestine climbed the spiral stairs of the Saint Thomas Church's bell tower once again. This cassette features a full recording of STTT THOMASSS ''''"'"DINGGGDONGGGDINGGGzzzzzzz ferrrr TONYYY'''''''', preceded by a brief incantation delivered one month later at a Tony Conrad memorial."-Blank Forms
• Show Bio for Charlemagne Palestine
"Charlemagne Palestine (born Chaim Moshe Tzadik Palestine) is a performance artist from New York.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947, Palestine began by singing sacred Jewish music and studying accordion and piano. At the age of 12 he started playing backup conga and bongo drums for Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Kenneth Anger, and Tiny Tim. From 1962-69 Palestine was daily carillonneur for the Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in Manhattan, eventually creating a piece that consisted of 1,500 15 minute performances.
From 1968-72, Palestine studied vocal interpretation with Pandit Pran Nath, experimented on kinetic light sculptures with Len Lye, composed music for Tony and Beverly Conrad's film "Coming Attractions," taught at Cal Arts with Morton Subotnick, created the sound and movement piece Illuminations with Simone Forti, and developed his own alternative synthesizer, The Spectral Continuum Drone Machine. Throughout the seventies Palestine created records, videos, sculptural objects, abstract expressionist visual scores and performed regularly in the company of his stuffed animals. From 1980 to 1995 Palestine performed only rarely, exhibiting instead at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and in documenta 8. During that time he also founded the Ethnology Cinema Project in New York, which is dedicated to preserving films that document disappearing traditional cultures.
After moving to Europe in 1995, in addition to creating exhibitions, Palestine performs regularly, re-releasing older material and developing new videos and sonic projects."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne_Palestine)
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