9/21/16 @ NightLight, Chapel Hill NC
Elka Bong: [Chester NY, Lowell MA]
Al Margolis – clarinet, violin, objects
Walter Wright – AVSynth
AL MARGOLIS aka If, Bwana
a recent review of Margolis’s work says: “Let it be declared that Al Margolis/If, Bwana is some sort of evil genius working with raw materials which are never adapted to a genre or a context, because they create one in that very moment. Those sources are radically altered up to an utterly unrecognizable state, anarchic manifestations moving in compact determination.” (Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes).
Margolis has been an activist in the 1980s American cassette underground through his cassette label Sound of Pig Music; was co-founder of experimental music label Pogus Productions, which he continues to run. Active under the name If, Bwana since 1984, making music that has swung between fairly spontaneous studio constructions and more process-oriented composition.
Margolis is a musician who straddles the rock and experimental worlds: When he’s not clicking away at the programs and processors that collate and mash up the samples used for his If, Bwana guise, he plays bass for long-running art-punks the Styrenes, a band rooted in the same 1970s Northeast Ohio avant scene that birthed Pere Ubu and Devo.
He has recorded and/or performed with Pauline Oliveros, Ione, Joan Osborne, Monique Buzzarté, Katherine Liberovskaya, Adam Bohman, Ellen Christi, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Jane Scarpantoni, Ulrich Krieger, David First, and Dave Prescott, among others.
is an interdisciplinary artist, his practice includes computer programming, electro-acoustic music, and video performance. His focus is on “improvisation as a way of being present in the world.”
Wright was one of the first video animators. At Computer Image Corp he animated letters, words, and titles for Children’s Television Workshop. He was a video animator for Ed Emshwiller’s Thermogenesis and Scapemates, aired by WNET’s Artists Television Workshop. Scapemates was the first computer graphics video nominated for an Emmy Award (1971). He showed his work at the first computer art conference at the Kitchen (NYC, 1973). In 1973-76, as artist-in-residence at the Experimental Television Center, he pioneered video performance touring public access centers, colleges, and galleries with the Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer.
Wright has developed software and hardware for artists including the Video Shredder, a desktop video processor for the TARGA2K. Currently he works with Max/MSP, softVNS, and Processing. His programs and sketches are available on his blog.
Wright performs with several groups including Egregoros, ensemble inédit ?!, and Tough Day Tubing. He plays a Bugbrand Board Weevil, contact mics by Crank Sturgeon, drums and percussion, and audio visual synthesizer.
Wright is a co-founder of 119 Gallery, the first digital art gallery on the World Wide Web, located in Lowell MA.
9/24/16 @ Complete Confusion Fest, Jacksonville FL
9/26/16 @ Action Research #159, Gainesville FL