July 2019

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Artists' Television Access

$7-$10

Christopher Burns, Bill Hsu, and Peter J Woods present an evening of solo and ensemble performances blending video, animation, theater, and improvised electronic music. Burns’ Interferometry collages text, animation, and a variety of musical genres to relate a story about a 19th-century episode in the history of science as a parable about invisible structures in contemporary society. Woods’ Comedy Pt. 2 ventures into realms of performance art and endurance as it interrogates privilege. Burns’ and Hsu’s duo project Xenoglossia/Leishmania uses heavily layered audio synthesis and starkly minimal, highly choreographed animation to create a complex and immersive experienceCollaborative audiovisual improvisations round out the evening.

While he splits his time equally between curating shows, running a label and playing in numerous groups, Milwaukee artist Peter J Woods’ solo work resides within its own universe. Pulling equally from the worlds of harsh noise and absurdist theatre, Woods’ performances build a sense of terror from simple imagery, muted text and an unpredictable barrage of silence and sound. His most recent project, “Impure Gold,” represents this aesthetic and thematic sensibility through a multi-media approach that includes writing, theatre, concerts, photography and film. Woods has worked with a number of musical groups, from punk and metal bands like Galactic Cannibal and Mountain Language to collaborations with a wide range of experimental artists, including Olivia Block, Tatsuya Nakatani, xALLxFORxTHISx, Alex Kmet, Phoned Nil Trio, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee faculty members Christopher Burns and Amanda Schoofs. He has toured across the country off and on for close to a decade, performing at events such as End Tymes Festival in New York and Eugene Noise Fest in Oregon, alongside artists such as Negativland, The Haters, Hiroshi Hasegawa, and more. Woods also runs FTAM, a record label and concert promotion organization that hosts a wide range of shows, including the annual Milwaukee Noise Festival for the first eight years and the St Louis Noise Fest for two. His theatre work has been shown at the Minneapolis Fringe Festival, the Chicago Sketch and Comedy Festival, and the Sensoria series at UW-Milwaukee.

Bill Hsu works with electronics and real-time video. His work mostly involves using gestural interfaces to control animation and sound synthesis, and building real-time audio-visual systems that interact with human performers. He has built interactive pieces and installations in collaboration with Peter van Bergen, Christopher Burns, John Butcher, James Fei, Matt Heckert, Lynn Herschman, Jeremy Mende, and Gino Robair, among others, and performed in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Articles about his projects have appeared at huffingtonpost.com and slashdot.org. He is a founding member of the Beanbender’s collective, which organized over 150 concerts of new music in the San Francisco Bay area. He teaches and does research in the Department of Computer Science at San Francisco State University.

Christopher Burns is a composer and improviser whose works collage and layer musical trajectories, creating imaginative juxtapositions and innovative forms. His music embraces complexity and clarity, incorporating densely braided, rapidly shifting materials alongside gradually evolving, linearly directed textures. Recent projects add digital animation, choreography, and motion capture into this mixture, integrating performance, sound, and visuals into a unified experience. 

Christopher’s work as a music technology researcher shapes his creative output in both electroacoustic and instrumental chamber music. He writes improvisation software which explores a variety of unconventional musical interfaces, and facilitates the performance of multilayered electronic textures. In the instrumental domain, he uses algorithmic procedures to create and elaborate distinctive pitch and rhythmic structures. Christopher is also an avid archaeologist of electroacoustic music, creating and performing new digital realizations of music by Cage, Ligeti, Lucier, Stockhausen and others. His performance of Luigi Nono’s La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura, made in collaboration with violinist Miranda Cuckson, was named a “Best Classical Recording of 2012” by The New York Times.