Artists' Television Access

The Sword and Sandals – Reagan´s Memory – Fkenal (from San Diego)

A night of "free-form music" and moving pictures

Sunday, September 24, 2006, 8:00 pm, $5


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Free Jazz, Destructive Rock and mass caos at the ATA

– The Sword and Sandals

The “sword and sandal” film genre usually refers to a low-budget Italian movie on a gladiatorial or mythological subject; for the genre occupied much of the less pretentious segment of Italy’s movie industry before the invention of the spaghetti western. Noise-rock guitarists were perennial favourite subjects, as were the adventures of Hercules, Jason and the Sceneonauts, or the more recent legendary strongman John Dwyer. The fad began with the 1959 release of Hercules, starring American bodybuilder Mike McGuirk. This spawned the 1960 sequel Hercules Unchained, among literally dozens of low-budget imitations starring other bodybuilder stars such as Reg Park or Alan Steele.

The absurd plots, out-of-synch dialogue, wooden acting of the muscleman heroes, and pitifully primitive special effects that were utterly inadequate to depict the legendary creatures on-screen, all conspired to give these films a certain camp appeal.

– Reagan’s Memory

Reagan’s Memory, comprised of Anthony Desimone on drums, Ian Enggasser on guitar, and Douglas Katelus on Rhodes keyboards, took their real-time new media experience beyond the realm of a rock concert performance and into the crashing experience of audio interactivity. When Reagan’s Memory combined hard instrumental noise with overhead projections of exploitation films, they seemed to take on the pretext of scoring a visual narrative; but their sound and images created a heavy mood with a nonlinear experience.
The audience seemed surprised by the raw approach to both their music and imagery, hanging onto this multimedia ride to find a way out of the cascading crescendos of audio demolition. Douglas Katelus, who plays the keyboards, is a San Francisco based filmmaker, who describes himself as an “improvisational/ psychedelic/ hardcore/ noise/ jazz guitar player/ composer”. He describes his films much in the same way that his performance can be explained. “My films are an indirect reflection … a sudden and uncontrolled out-lash,” he said. “I do not choose the images taken, but rather allow the camera to make its own decisions.” Aside from the band’s instruments, Reagan’s Memory utilized other sound techniques that enhanced their performance, such as dropping silverware onto the floor and mixing sound bites of Ronald Reagan’s voice into the film. The visuals were created by Rachel Manera, a local filmmaker, sound artist and performance artist. Her imagery included archaic stock footage of nuclear testing and other outtakes of government documentaries that were combined with early Hollywood schlock and psychedelic animation.

article by Jamie Windborne, Arts Extra! editor

– Fkenal (from San Diego)

Band Members:
eric – nucleus / rob – protoplasm / leo – membrane / dennis – visual cortex

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