On the Many Vehicles of India | Kagakūkan

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Something You Nakai wrote recently after traveling in India for a month has been published on the website of Kagakūkan, a research center organized by Fujiko Nakaya and Kenjiro Okazaki. The essay is titled “On the Many Vehicles of India” and is of rather apologetic nature.

https://kagakuukan.org/eng/texts/on-the-many-vehicles-of-india

On December 31, 2018, I flew from Tokyo to New Delhi. I had just finished the manuscript of my book on the American multi-instrumentalist and composer David Tudor which had kept me occupied for most of that year, and my son Aevi, who usually keeps me occupied when my work does not, was away in San Diego spending winter break with his mother and brothers. Having thus secured time for myself, I decided to travel in India for three weeks. Since I was immersed in writing until the very last minute, I had made almost no plans for the trip. The only thing I had decided in advance was to visit at some point the holy city of Varanasi, a place several different people on several different occasions and for several different reasons had strongly recommended me to go. Or at least that was what I thought. But actually there was one more thing that had been decided beforehand: I was scheduled to give a presentation at the gathering of Kagakūkan the day after my return to Tokyo. Because of this prearrangement, coming up with something clever to say on that occasion was on the back of my mind as I traveled. On January 24, 2019, I had safely returned to Japan and kept my promise by reporting on some of the observations I had made over the course of my travel. The following is a written version of that report, slightly extended and rendered into English (for performativity’s sake).”

ANY 4 ACTS | March 27-April 9 | Berlin & Cyprus

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No Collective/Already Not Yet is putting on a series of 4 Acts to launch our new periodical MATTERS OF ACT and a new philosophical Question-and-Answer-and-Picture book ARE WE HERE YET? written by a four-and-a-half-year-old.

Deviating from the usual (boring) meet-the-author, appreciate-her-reading type of book release gatherings, these Acts will stage literal theatrics that reflect and deflect the myriad exploration into “matters of act” engaged in our new journal. Together they grapple with the core problematics of literature and theatre: the enactment of text and the consequent fracturing of time.

The first Act at  Grüntaler9 takes the form of a Panel Discussion about ARE WE HERE YET? and MATTERS OF ACT with You Nakai, Lindsey Drury, Johanna Gilje, Teena Lange, Natália da Silva Perez, & Joël Verwimp, and moderated by two Already Not Yet authors: a very impatient six-year-old Aevi, and a very patient sexagenarian Roland Albrecht from the Museum der Unerhoerten Dinge. Conversation will center on the problems of “Act” (both as action and pretense) and “Past Future Perfect” (the featured topic of the next issue).

The second Act will be an After-The-Fact Rehearsal of the first act at the same venue with the same members (absentees replaced by effigies–stuffed animals, LEGO figures, etc), which aims to achieve through contrivance and pretense what the first Act realized so naturally.

The third Act will reinstate these anti-causal proceedings into a genuinely classical context, by staging a revelatory Denouement at the Ancient Greek Theater of Kourion in Cyprus on April Fool’s day.

The final Act will return to Berlin for a much needed Q&A Session (or the efforts thereof) at the Museum der Unerhoerten Dinge (Museum of Unheard (of) Things), led by the author of the speculative Question-and-Answer book ARE WE HERE YET? The then-four/now-six-years-old Aevi, who is currently learning to read, will attempt to read his own book for the first time in public.

Entrance is free to all 4 Acts. Limited copies of MATTERS OF ACT, ARE WE HERE YET? and other Already Not Yet books will be sold at a special discount price at each Act.

March 27 (Monday) 7:30 PM
ACT 1: PANEL DISCUSSION (on MATTERS OF ACT + ARE WE HERE YET?)
moderated by Aevi & Roland Albrecht
with Johanna Gilje, Teena Lange, Jöel Verwimp, Natália da Silva Perez, Lindsey Drury, You Nakai
grüntaler 9
Grüntaler Straße 9 13357 Berlin
[This Act is reservation-only and limited space is already starting to fill up so please reserve your spot by emailing: info@alreadynotyet.org]

March 31 (Friday) 7:30 PM
ACT 2: AFTER-THE-FACT REHEARSAL (of ACT 1)
moderated by Aevi & Roland Albrecht
with Johanna Gilje, Teena Lange, Jöel Verwimp, Natália da Silva Perez, Lindsey Drury, You Nakai (absentees replaced with effigies)
grüntaler 9
Grüntaler Straße 9 13357 Berlin

April 1 (Saturday) 3 PM
ACT 3: DENOUEMENT (for ACTS 1 and 2)
with Lindsey Drury, You Nakai, Aevi, etc
Kourion Ancient Greek Theatre
9 Km west of Episkopi village, Lemesos-Limassol, 4620 Cyprus

April 9 (Sunday) 3 PM
ACT 4: Q & A SESSION (on ARE WE HERE YET?)
with Aevi & Roland Albrecht, and others
Museum der unerhörten Dinge
Crellestraße 5, 10827 Berlin

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Der in New York ansässige Verlag ALREADY NOT YET (alreadynotyet.org), geleitet von Mitgliedern des No Collective (nocollective.com), präsentiert eine Reihe an „Acts“, um ihre neue Zeitschrift MATTERS OF ACT sowie ein neues philosophisches Frage-und-Antwort-und-Bilderbuch ARE WE HERE YET?, geschrieben von einem vier-und-ein-halb-jährigen Autor zu bewerben.

Abweichend von dem gewöhnlichen Triff-den-Autor- und Hör-dir-die-Lesung-an-Stil werden die Acts wörtlichen Theatraliken auf die Bühne bringen, welche die unzähligen Erkundungen in MATTERS OF ACT (Angelegenheiten der Akt) reflektieren und bespielen werden, mit welchen sich die neue Zeitschrift auseinandersetzt. Dabei entfalten sie Kernfragen des Literarischen und des Theatralen: Die Inszenierung eines Textes und das konsequente Aufbrechen der Zeit.

Der erste Akt im grüntaler 9 (Nur mit Reservierung) hat die Form einer Podiumsdiskussion über ARE WE HERE YET? und MATTERS OF ACT mit Johanna Gilje, Teena Lange, Jöel Verwimp, Natália da Silva Perez, Lindsey Drury & You Nakai, moderiert von zwei Already Not Yet Autoren: einem sehr ungeduldigen sechsjährigen Aevi und einem sehr geduldigen sechzigjährigen Roland Albrecht (Museum der unerhörten Dinge). Übersetzung von Alexander Booth. Die Diskussion beschäftigt sich mit den Fragen von „Act“ (sowohl als Aktion und Schein) und „Past Future Perfect“ (das Thema der nächsten Ausgabe).

Der zweite Akt wird ein nach-den-Fakten „rehearsal“ des ersten Aktes am selben Ort mit den gleichen Teilnehmern sein (die Abwesende durch Puppen ersetzt), welcher durch Erfindungen und Schein zu erreichen sucht, was der erste Akt so natürlich realisierte.

Der dritte Akt wird diese anti-kausalen Vorgänge in einen klassischen Kontext einflechten, indem er dessen Auflösung in dem antiken griechischen Theater von Kourion auf Zypern am ersten April (Aprilscherztag) auf der Bühne präsentiert.

Der letzte Akt wird für eine vermutlich sehr notwendige Frage-und-Antwort Runde in das Museum der unerhörten Dinge nach Berlin zurückkehren, präsentiert von dem Autor des philosophische Frage-und-Antwort Buch ARE WE HERE YET? Der damals-vier-/jetzt-sechs-jährige Autor, der gerade dabei ist, Lesen zu lernen, wird versuchen, aus seinem eigenen Buch vorzulesen zum ersten Mal vor Publikum.

Alle 4 Akte sind kostenlos. Eine limitierte Selektion der Bücher MATTERS OF ACT, ARE WE HERE YET? und weitere Already Not Yet Bücher werden zu Sonderpreisen während jedes einzelnen Akts verkauft.

“Music and Its Double: The Immaculate (And Not-So-Immaculate) Conceptions of No Collective” | TDR (61-1, Spring 2017), MIT Press

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The new issue of  TDR (MIT Press) has a fairly complex review/analysis of Immaculate Conception we staged last year with ensemble mise-en. Written by Cody Eikman, the piece is entitled “Music and Its Double,” and in addition to precisely articulating the mechanism of the work, it also launches a necessary critique of the relationship between experimental music and the so-called new music (namely the exploitation of the former by the latter). This is the second review of Immaculate Conception following “Double Act” in The Brooklyn Rail last year (http://brooklynrail.org/2016/09/music/immaculate-conception-by-no-collective), and mostly we are very happy abou the fact that there are appropriately two double reviews for our doppengänger piece. Thank you very much to everyone who spent time on this concert in one way or another (especially Dee Ali, our rehearsal director).

The video of the entire piece is here:
http://nocollective.com/i.html

“The problem of the double has explicitly haunted music since John Cage declared music to be part of theatre. In Immaculate Conception, No Collective explored this doubling by creating a doppelgänger ensemble that acted as a copy of the musicians of the group ensemble mise-en. This tactic foregrounded the theatrical dimensions of music, while the context surrounding the performance itself highlighted the problematic entanglement of original and double (between “experimental” and “contemporary”) in the social sphere of new music.”

“‘Contemporary music’ and ‘experimental music’ form an uneasy double in the world of new music today. The tendency is for the former to capitalize on the latter, while discrediting it as derivative (and therefore free) resource. Ensemble mise-en does not ‘examine’ as much as ‘exploit’ the ‘unusual corners of the composition world.’ But the perception of an apparent hierarchy between the polished and professional music and its unusual and amateurish double must be reversed. In most cases, the repertoire of a ‘contemporary music’ ensemble comprises none other than the ‘experimental music’ of yesteryear — ridiculed in the past, but accepted and institutionalized over time. Until the moment of acceptance from its double, experimental music remains a peripheral origin of what is generally regarded as ‘contemporary’ in music. That the refined copy can retroactively author the primitive original is no secret in the social sphere of new music. The fear of double persists therein.”

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/DRAM_a_00628#.WM7ZWnQrKRs

Review of “Concertos” | TDR (61-1 Spring, 2017), MIT Press

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The new TDR issue contains a belated book review of Concertos (+ other books from the Emergency Playscript series) we published from Ugly Ducking Press 6 years ago back in 2011 (http://www.uglyducklingpresse.org/catalog/browse/item/?pubID=140). We have our reservations about the review (it contains several factual errors), although some parts of it sound nice and it sure is great to have, finally, a review for that complex playscript we put so much energy into.

“The No Collective piece, Concertos, was first performed in Tokyo in 2008, by the Japanese participants of that prominent international collective — founded by the artist You Nakai — who have presented work at the borders of music composition and performance art at such venues as Tokyo’s Museum of Modern Art. Concertos was then reworked as a transcript by other members of the Collective. The performance piece appears to have an ongoing existence in the Collective’s repertoire, extending beyond the published volume of 2011, and has been performed with variations on at least four occasions, most recently in 2012. The original performance, consisting of 3 “movements,” each 18 minutes in duration, entailed animal as well as human participants, including interventions by a dog and a bird (the dog having been obtained from a “rental pet shop” [15], and the pigeon caught with a net, according to the transcript). The account of the performance on the Collective’s website records: “Feedback is produced between the contact microphone attached to the pigeon and the mobile speaker attached to the dog” (http://nocollective.com/c1.html).

The published volume of Concertos experiments with the duplicities and multiplicities of transcription [...]. Concertos works both as a performance record, in its transcription of the participants discussing their memories of the performance, and also as an imaginative reflection on the performance itself: “People say ears don’t have lids, unlike eyes. But ears will open and close selectively, unlike eyes which seem incapable of selection” (9). The Collective’s participants appear keen to reinforce the elements of malfunction and disarray integral to their performance, recasting its ending as an extended suspension: “Then, after packing all the equipments, drinking, lamenting everything that went wrong, you have an INTERMISSION of eighteen months” (33).”

MATTERS OF ACT: Pre-launch event & rehearsal | December 20 & 23 | milkyeast, Tokyo

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No Collective/Already Not Yet is organizing a pre-launch event for their new periodical MATTERS OF ACT: A Journal of Ideas. This event in Tokyo assembles artists Takuma Ishikawa, Shinichi Takashima, and members of Art User Conference (Satoshi Hashimoto and Katsumasa Matsui) who participated in the inaugural issue, and will be held at the gallery space milkyeast, where the exhibition “Unconditional Restoration,” also featured in the journal, took place. Aside from discussing the content and form and performativity of MATTERS OF ACT, we will hand out Japanese translations of some of the texts, exhibit related documents, and also speculate about the future since that’s what Japanese people do at the end of the year. Also, there will be a “rehearsal” of the panel discussion on December 20, at the same venue. Space is very limited so please reserve your spot by emailing: info@alreadynotyet.org

MATTERS OF ACT: Pre-launch Event | December 23, 2016 | 6-9PM | milkyeast, 2-22-15 Shinkawa

MATTERS OF ACT: Pre-launch Event Rehearsal of Panel Discussion | December 20, 2016 | 6-9PM | milkyeast, 2-22-15 Shinkawa

 

 

Review of “Ellen C. Covito: Works After Weather” | TDR [60-2] (MIT Press)

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Gelsey Bell’s excellent review of our book on Ellen C. Covito‘s music has been published in the summer issue of TDR. Gelsey describes Covito’s works from her own experience of performing them, and draws an insightful comparison between Covito and Charlotte Moorman’s works.

Works After Weather captures the spirit of Covito’s music and communicates it to a readership that most likely has not seen her work performed. In fact, most of the book consists of translations of her prose scores (musical scores written in prose rather than musical notation), which will hopefully encourage more performances of the work. […] The composer proves to be rigorously articulate about the conceptual nature of her work and her role as a composer […] the precision of her ideas and the experience of performing her work reveals that she has mastered the compositional techniques developed in [Charlotte] Moorman’s era — a simultaneous emphasis on action and sound — and given them space to mature. As a rising star in the radical musical traditions […] Covito continues the necessary investigation of the conditions of art”

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/DRAM_r_00563#.WEf9tKIrKRs

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/619207

The whole book can be read and downloaded for free from Already Not Yet, or here:

http://issuu.com/alreadynotyet/docs/ellenccovitoworksafterweather

“A Double Act: Immaculate Conception by No Collective” | Brooklyn Rail

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A very nice review of Immaculate Conception we did earlier this year with ensemble mise-en has been published on Brooklyn Rail. It’s entitled “A Double Act” and was written by Cody Eichman. It contextualizes our efforts in the history of theatre and its discontents, including John Cage’s adoption of the term which placed it in a dialectical tension with the domain of “music.”

It starts like this: “I once heard a performance-studies scholar explain the difference between performance art and theater as that between presentation and representation. She was wrong. For the essence of theater lies not in representation, but in the duality between presentation and representation, as well as in the indeterminacy infiltrating this dichotomy. A play takes place in between action and act—and, as Gregory Bateson observed, the line separating one from the other always remains vague. Theater plays with this double identity (performance art often pretends it doesn’t exist).”

http://brooklynrail.org/2016/09/music/immaculate-conception-by-no-collective