RAFT is PAT NOECKER

Marking the milestones of RAFT and PAT NOECKER
This Thursday and Friday night I am bringing myself to life from video projection in Rachel Mason’s movie/art jam/theater production called “It All Started Right Here.”  I’ll be stuck full of needles and rocking my cell phone later on Friday.  I hope you can make it.  Should be fun!  Click on the pic for the invite and info.

This Thursday and Friday night I am bringing myself to life from video projection in Rachel Mason’s movie/art jam/theater production called “It All Started Right Here.”  I’ll be stuck full of needles and rocking my cell phone later on Friday.  I hope you can make it.  Should be fun!  Click on the pic for the invite and info.

Here’s some screen shots from my show at the most awesome Picasso Machinery.  Dana, Evan and Pete are the best.  Thanks to them for having me.  

For the first time, my number went out to the whole audience and it’s a bit much to perform my text-based show this way.  If I create group messages, I have some control over the media.  This night, I was so heavily bombarded by texts, that, by the end, I felt like Swiss cheese.  It was hard to compose and improvise with that much coming at me.  I was able to loop incoming matter, words like, “touch my butt, touch my butt, i’m not touching my body.”  In any case, Rachel talked in the intro about how a condition might be revealed.  And in fact there was.  I think it’s so easy for us to fire off words, senseful or not, and even though my case was exponentiated, the person on the other side of hyper-communication can become confused and thus operate at a sub-par level.  This is what happened to me this night….with so much coming at you, there’s a feeling of “what can I say.”  A feeling of paralization results.  If I were doing a performance art cover, I’d say it’d be that one where Yoko has everyone cut off her shirt.  I felt a little crucified, but by my own choice.

Here’s Torsten Meyer’s video of ASSEMBLE XI, “TRANSMISSIONS in A and E.”  It’s hard to capture all the energy of an event like this, but Torsten gets as close as anyone could.  Thanks to him and ACE HOTEL NEW YORK.

Here’s Torsten Meyer’s video of ASSEMBLE XI, “TRANSMISSIONS in A and E.”  It’s hard to capture all the energy of an event like this, but Torsten gets as close as anyone could.  Thanks to him and ACE HOTEL NEW YORK.

Last night’s 11th installment of ASSEMBLE pretty much blew my mind.  The sheer power that descended on this group of 11 to play my TRANSMISSIONS drone piece in A and E was transformative, dark, uplifting and as I was told, tear-inducing.  A couple people in the audience told me they cried.  That’s about the best compliment ever and truly a testament to the A and the E as reality-altering, transcendant pitches.  Every performer brought something different to generate the tones. Brian Chase made drones from his drums, Sabisha Friedberg manipulated oscillators, while Dana Schechter played a lap steel, among others who played instruments like synths, bass, bari sax, viola and tape loops.  

At first the crowd noise was louder than the ensemble volume, but our collective effort kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger.  When I wrote and designed this piece, I intended for it to do just that, i.e., crescendo.  

Through my cell phone and the Tone Generator App, I was able to keep working the A at 440 hz., then at 220, hz., then at 110 hz., then at 55 hz., then to the Theraminator App, which allowed me to push the A at 880, 440, 55…but this time with an arpeggiated, but subtle square-wave rhythm.  Speaking of square waves, I kept blending those and sine waves, which bore mysterious overtones, which I think helped usher the spirit into the piece.  

I was simultaneously looping the sustain and drone on two loopers, one left, one right, each with a two minute interval.  At 30 seconds into a loop, I would fade the signal down with volume pedals, then reintroduce the signal at one minute, then start fading it again at 30 seconds.  This provided dynamics on both loopers and kept the drone from getting old.  And also, when I felt there was getting to be too much high end, I’d bring back the 55 hz. to ground it all.  And yes, this is why bass rules.  It keeps the whole picture pleasing and balanced.  

The power of the sound morphed into a daunting, haunting, uplifting gentle giant.  And as I mentioned spirit earlier, this is the form it took for me.  

The best vision I had all night, which was generated by the sound, was a swirl of clouds in the middle of the room that looked like thunder heads ready to drop rain.  

And make it rain we did.  

Pat Spadine, Jeanann Dara, JG Thirlwell, Greg Fox, Jeff Tobias (props for filling in at the last moment) Camilla Padgitt-Coles, Melissa Moore, Sabisha Friedberg, Dana Schechter, Brian Chase, Rachel Mason and Matthew Caron on projections all changed reality for this one hour.  Pat brought his bells that were in the key of the piece and I handed them out to friends in the audience to ring for the last ten minutes of the piece.  Another joyous element of this night that I feel made people happy, which made me happy as well.  

Ben Sisto did an amazing job by getting BLACKSTAR to donate 11 amps for the night.  He provided us all with appropriate power, chairs and more.  Maia Ibar brought us all drinks while we played.  

So many kind and cool people…

I love working with people who are up to a challenge and who have a deep belief in the power of collective expressions.  Last night was that for me.  

It was truly one of the best nights of my life and I felt so much love between us, the performers, and friends and some strangers in the audience.  ASSEMBLE XI, IS OVER.  On to the next…

Now, can’t wait to play PICASSO MACHINERY this Friday night.  

RAFT in IMPOSE MAG…

RAFT in IMPOSE MAG…

RAFT’s TRANSMISSIONS/ASSEMBLE XI Piece in Paper Mag’s Top 10 CMJ Picks…

RAFT’s TRANSMISSIONS/ASSEMBLE XI Piece in Paper Mag’s Top 10 CMJ Picks…

RAFT is playing on East Village Radio tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. EST.  I hope you can tune in!

RAFT is playing on East Village Radio tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. EST.  I hope you can tune in!

RAFT wrote an essay for Periscope Magazine called the Invisible Vision. Click here to read.

The editor Yumi Sakuma’s intro:

A few months ago, I asked Pat Noecker, aka RAFT, if he would contribute to Periscope. He elaborated on how over the last 5 years or so, live visual elements at music and sound shows and live music and sound at art shows have become commonplace.  He explored the notion that perhaps they at times cancel each other out and discussed how leaving music and sound invisible may evoke a deeper, more transformative experience. After that night, I started to close my eyes at shows and realized darkness transformed me into more of an active listener. It almost felt like my heart beat became a part of the vibrations. Pat and I debated about the kind of visuals we could provide to go with his essay since Periscope is a visual oriented magazine and his essay is about invisible matters.  Video artist Sofy Yuditskaya kindly agreed to modify the video she composed for a piano piece Pat did at Spectrum in Manhattan where he combined the grand piano with his John Cage Prepared Piano app.  The essay written by Pat is not a manifesto.  It is, however, a revelation of one person’s desire to reduce environments, thus illuminating something larger, like the necessity of separating music and art for the sake of active listening.  Finally, these thoughts lay bare the impetus behind an inward migration by the mass to once again recalibrate the city, the city here being our ever expanding consciousness and intellect.   (Yumiko Sakuma)

ACE HOTEL HAS COMMISSIONED RAFT for an ASSEMBLE event and I’m bringing them my ensemble piece, “Transmissions, Long Tones in A and E. ”  It’s Saturday, October 19 at 8 p.m. in the Ace Hotel Lobby and is free to the public.  I’m grateful to these amazing folks who are playing in the ensemble:  Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Sabisha Friedberg, Dana Schechter, Greg Fox (Guardian Alien/Z’s), JG Thirlwell (Foetus), Camilla Padgitt-Coles, Melissa Moore, Rachel Mason, Daniel Schlett and Pat Spadine (Ash Can Orchestra).  Matthew Caron will be projecting as well!  Please come.  I think it will be memorable in every aspect.

ACE HOTEL HAS COMMISSIONED RAFT for an ASSEMBLE event and I’m bringing them my ensemble piece, “Transmissions, Long Tones in A and E. ”  It’s Saturday, October 19 at 8 p.m. in the Ace Hotel Lobby and is free to the public.  I’m grateful to these amazing folks who are playing in the ensemble:  Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Sabisha Friedberg, Dana Schechter, Greg Fox (Guardian Alien/Z’s), JG Thirlwell (Foetus), Camilla Padgitt-Coles, Melissa Moore, Rachel Mason, Daniel Schlett and Pat Spadine (Ash Can Orchestra).  Matthew Caron will be projecting as well!  Please come.  I think it will be memorable in every aspect.

CagePiano Play and Share

Headed to Providence on the bus and just
made this short piece on my John Cage
Prepared Piano App.