MentalRrancho, No Idea Festival, and Culture Hole are proud to present a night of experimental sound performance; ESCAPEiSM (Ian Svenonius), Toshimaru Nakamura (Tokyo) + Sean Meehan, and Werner Dafeldecker (Vienna/Berlin) + Valerio Tricoli (Palermo/Berlin). Dallas’ longest running watering hole, Sons of Hermann Hall (established in 1911), will serve as a sonic venous system, as each performance occupies various rooms of its architectural body.
Ian F Svenonius (born 1968) is an American musician and singer of various Washington, D.C.-based bands including Nation of Ulysses, The Make-Up, Weird War, XYZ, Escape-ism, and Chain and The Gang. Between his numerous projects, Svenonius has released more than 19 full-length albums and more than 20 singles, EPs, and splits. Svenonius is also a published author and an online talk show host.
His first band, Nation of Ulysses, which released its first record in 1990, was highly influential in the punk scene but dissolved in 1992. After a short-lived side-project called Cupid Car Club, Svenonius formed The Make-Up in 1995, who combined garage rock, soul, and liberation theology to make a new genre they dubbed "Gospel Yeh-Yeh”. The Make-Up disbanded early in 2001, and a year later, Svenonius formed the band Weird War, who were also known briefly as the Scene Creamers. Currently, Svenonius is leader of the band Chain and the Gang.
Svenonius' solo work includes the 2001 album Play Power under the fictional pseudonym of David Candy, the book The Psychic Soviet, and as host of Soft Focus on VBS.tv. Svenonius' projects and writings have all shared an anti-authoritarian Marxist political viewpoint.
Drummer Sean Meehan began performing in the late 1980s at the Amica Bunker series for improvised music, located at the Anarchist’s Switchboard and later ABC No Rio in New York City. His work has been presented at some of the most prestigious venues for new music including the Instal Festival (Glasgow), The Whitney Museum's Biennial (New York), Lincoln Center (New York), and Goethe-Institut (Hanoi), but he primarily performs at small, informal spaces and artist-run festivals. For nearly twenty years he and Tamio Shiraishi presented their summer concert series, always in different playful and devious locations throughout New York City. Central recordings include his duo with Sachiko M (2001); Sectors (2005) his double CD for solo snare drum; his duo with Ellen Fullman (2007). Meehan also creates music-related objects for speculative listening.
Toshimaru Nakamura's instrument is the no-input mixing board, which describes a way of using a standard mixing board as an electronic music instrument, producing sound without any external audio input. The use of the mixing board in this manner is not only innovative in the sounds it can create but, more importantly, in the approach this method of working with the mixer demands. The unpredictability of the instrument requires an attitude of obedience and resignation to the system and the sounds it produces, bringing a high level of indeterminacy and surprise to the music. Nakamura pioneered this approach to the use of the mixing board in the mid-1990s and has since then appeared on over one hundred audio publications, including nine solo CDs.
He has performed throughout Europe, North America, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Korea, China, Singapore and Malaysia, performing and recording both as a soloist and in collaboration with numerous other musicians.
As an active organizer of concerts in Tokyo, Nakamura has helped many musicians coming to Japan find places to perform, both with himself and with others. From 1998 to 2003 Nakamura and Tetuzi Akiyama ran the concert series Improvisation Series at Bar Aoyama and then later the Meeting at Off Site series of concerts. Both these concert series were crucially important in exposing a new manner to improvised music (referred to as Electro Acoustic Improvisation) to the Japanese public and to foreign musicians visiting Japan, making Tokyo one of the global hotspots for this new approach to music
Werner Dafeldecker was born in Vienna in 1964 and studied the double bass, which he plays with passion. As a musician, composer and sound artist he takes advantage of the manifold possibilities offered by electro-acoustics. His musical projects are often inspired and deduced by outside influences such as architecture, science, photography and film - partially resulting in the creation of graphical scores for various ensembles and instrumental performers.
Werner also focuses on site specific projects, field recording and opposing natural and environmental sounds with synthetic variants. He has built up an extensive sound archive and created several electroacoustic pieces for radio and film. Around ninety sound-recordings are documenting his artistic framework. He held lectures and workshops presenting his work i.a. at University Bellas Artes-Madrid, Hochschule für Gestaltung-Karlsruhe, RMIT University-Melbourne and Edith Cowan University-Perth.
Valerio Tricoli (Palermo, Italy, 1977) is a composer and performer of electro-acoustic music. Since the mid '00 is main instruments for live presentations is the Revox B77 reel-to-reel tape recorder, used as a completely analogue / ergonomic device for live sampling and real-time transformation / editing / mixing of pre-recorded (field or studio recordings) and made-on-the-spot sound sources, the latter usually being vocalizations (including speech and singing), small acoustic and electronic instruments, objects, the amplified sound of the room itself in which the concert takes place and - in the case of group sets - whatever is produced by the fellow musicians.
On a formal level his sets focus on the impromptu creation of a narrative which takes into account the multiple relations intervening between reality, virtuality and memory during the acoustic event: sounds are always hovering between the "here and now" of the concert situation and the shady domain of memory - distant but at the same time present like in a deja-vu experience. Privileging fracture over continuity and by the use of a dynamic range that could often jump suddenly from near-silence to extreme blasts of sounds, an almost tactile feeling of brooding tension is often attained.
His electro-acoustic studio compositions, documented on few records, are aligned to the tradition of Musique Concrète and explore themes of the internal - represented both by the psychological and the physical - and of the occult, which together with the large use of spoken text makes them often deeply existential works, self- investigations of the psychological, emotional and irrational horror within.
Over the years Valerio has been active in some long-term collaboration with other musicians, composers, choreographers and multimedia artists. He is a founding member of the italian avant-rock group 3/4HadBeenEliminated and has been working extensively with Thomas Ankersmit, Antoine Chessex, Werner Dafeldecker, Anthony Pateras, Hanno Leichmann.