Nov 23, 2014
The first ever collaboration of forward-thinking architect / composer Christopher Janney and legendary bassist / producer Bill Laswell promises a wild ride on the highest artistic level. The duo, with its cast of world-class musicians, utilizes composition, dance, sound, and visuals to create a multi-media experience unlike almost anything happening these days.
A new project, entitled “Exploring the Hidden Music”, will be unveiled at New York’s Gramercy Theatre Tuesday, November 25, 2014; at 8PM. Janney has created numerous permanent interactive sound / light installations, attempting to make architecture more "spontaneous" and, in reverse, to make music more physical. The latter will be experienced in his new version of "HeartBeat," a dance / music / cardiology mash-up, made famous in the 1990's with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Janney's "Visual Music Project," introduces visual music in "real time “with Janney performing on his custom "visual synthesizer." Janney and Laswell intend to "explore the hidden music" - found in spaces, the human body and in the meeting of artistic minds.
Laswell is the natural choice to be the musical director for the evening, and his cast of musicians covers a wide variety of styles, from jazz to rock to worldbeat to soul (much like Laswell himself!). Onstage will be Trilok Gurtu (John McLaughlin, Joe Zawinul), Dave Revels (The Persuasions), Sheila E. (Prince, Ringo Starr) and Lynn Mabry (Talking Heads, Sly Stone, Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler) and turntablist D.J. Logic. In Sara Rudner, Janney acquired a prominent choreographer and long-time collaborator who currently holds the position of Director of Dance at Sarah Lawrence College. The interactive sound / light installations at the door and a new interactive light work "Touch my Light" over DJ Adam Gibbons (Uhuru Afrika) set with live drumming makes sure to round out the program.
Podcast 456 previews this event, and my conversation with Christopher Janney digs into the philosophy behind the project, as with the planning and execution of an event of such large scale. Musical selections include representative performances from musicians, who will be performing, like Trilok Gurtu, including an excerpt from a performance of “HeartBeat” with The Persuasions for the American Heart Association, from February, 2013.