Sun Worship Series, BUOY

Sun Worship 10::: 2011 Autumnal Equinox
Coming up soon is the 10th installation of the quarterly series known as Sun Worship. The series has been dedicated to bringing the work of performance artists involved in free improvisation to the Seacoast area for two and a half years now.
Sun Worship Series::: Gallery:::
For this particular Sun Worship event I have imposed a restriction on the performers to present work without the aid of electricity. This is not only a way to celebrate those artists who already have been able to present works unaided by electric current, but also challenge those of us that have thus far relied on it.

Two such artists are pioneers of the experimental music field from New York, Tom Hamilton and Al Margolis. Long time friends Tom and Al have performed all over the world together. This will be a very special one of a kind installation by these two who have been developing their set specially for this acoustic version of Sun Worship.
Tom Hamilton:::
Al Margolis:::

Horn blower, percussion percussor and visual artist Steve Norton will be bringing his group Kilter to BUOY. Steve has been playing free improvised music and other means of audio expression for decades. He is an expert in knowing when, what, and just how much.
A Boston group that celebrates their non electric eccentric with every performance is Skinny Vinny. I'm going to take a guess that this will be a 4th participation for The Skin Vins at Sun Worship. Their sound has momentum!
Skinny Vinny:::

I was hoping to be joined by trumpet player Forbes Graham but alas he is in Europe and will not be attending. Bicycle wheels will be summoned for sound with or without aid from another sounder. (Instead I performed with an amended version of a group I am part of, Grau Garten. Missing was Greg Kowalski, participating were Steve Norton, Marc Bisson, Dave Bacon, and Dei Xrist)

Another Boston trumpeter and returning artist Eric Dahlman has let me know he will be able to participate and will be accompanied by friend Erik Nugent.

And the latest addition is William Jasper and friend Myles. William and Myles are 14. William and his siblings have performed around Portsmouth for years and it will be an honor to include them at this 10th Sun Worship event.

 Two Years of Sun Worship Series

I am very excited for the 8th in the Sun Worship Series.  Not only because the line up consists of performers whose work I truly hold in high regard, and that some of these performers have become my friends.  But Sun Worship 8 concludes two years of the series.  Two years is not so long to be doing something.  But in the early days I really had no idea if I could pull something like this off.  Now it's two years later.

Sun Worship Series started with the first show in June of 2009 at a short lived club in a very small remote community about a half hour drive from Portsmouth.  Rick had a vision for his club B789, to be a sort of community meeting place, to provide space for marginalized arts to come to the people.  He was proud of his one of a kind pool table that curved around through the middle of the space.

Not many people came to that first event.  The tip jar was nearly empty.  I tried to get Rick to take what was there but he refused.  For the second event I already had Mystic Out Bop Review, Crank Sturgeon, birdorgan, Walter Wright in a sort of pre-Loup Garou duet with Kit Demos, Peace/Loving booked.  When I emailed Rick to let him know the line up was set and confirming the date, he referred me to another fellow.  Some young guy who had an idea he would be the booking agent for B789.  Gone were the ideas of the community space and all.  Rick was losing money and in the process, lost his vision.   I was told rent for a Sunday night would be $200.

With weeks to go before the show I called my old employers and friends at Grain Surfboards.  Mike and Brad are really good natured positive fellas.  I asked if I could use the reception room for the night.  They said no problem and it was set.  The Grain headquarters is even more remote than B789.  It was tough getting people to come all the way out there.  But a few did.  Eli and I made food and heated it up there in the kitchen.  The show was 'intimate', with some beautiful wooden surfboards for the backdrop.

For the third Sun Worship, Winter Solstice 09, I asked Alex at BUOY Gallery if he'd mind me putting the show on there.  I offered $50 as I recall.  But he was fine taking 1/2 the donation jar for the gallery.  That show was terrific and the space definitely the best home to the series thus far.

Since then Sun Worship and BUOY have been in a loving committed relationship, supporting each other and cohabitating. For this I am grateful, I can't say it enough.

Sun Worship no. 7 is coming up in less than four weeks!  I have to admit, the Winter Solstice one is my favorite.  And just days after this event, we will be treated to a full moon on the solstice.

The Sun Worship is going to be a bit more work than usual but I'm looking forward to the results.  Based on the collaborative participation effect Laura Lulof's installation had on the previous Sun Worship event, it seemed like it just wouldn't be the same to go back to the same old Buoy Gallery for the next one.  So I have enlisted area artists Peter Donovan, Al Mead, and Greg Kowalski to help transform the space once again into another collaborative installation.  Performers  that evening will include Peace, Loving from Jamaica Plain, after a very heavy year of touring.  Also appearing will be Maine's veterans of improvisational sound, Mystic Out Bop Review, Walter Wright's Loup Garou, Lou Bunk and Lou Cohen from the Open Sound series in Somerville will bring 2Lous, and of course, an installation of the Offset Needle Radius.  Greg Kowalski (previously of Qfwfq Duo) will be returning to add beautiful improvised projections throughout the evening.  Come one come all to another convergence of the Sun Worship! 

Copies of the poster on heavy semi-gloss paper will be available for purchase at the event or get in touch with me.

Sun Worship 7::: 2Lous, Greg Kowalski
Video by Greg Kowalsky.  He is manipulating projections in real time as 2Lous performs off to the side.  The sculptures seen were constructed out of salvaged materials by Peter Donovan an

Sun Worship 6 at BUOY:::  Greg Kowalski, Birdorgan, Skinny Vinny, Installation by Laura Luloff!

Hot on the tails of another Frantasia Festival is the 6th edition of Sun Worship Series.  This time Mercury will still be recovering from a retrograde session of confusion and adding to that sensation is an installation at our host gallery Buoy.  The installation is by Brooklyn artist Lauren Luloff.  The space is broken up with colorful walls of laminated fabric with occasional windows and portals.  Should be interesting- and I like interesting.

Photos by Elizabeth Thompson

   On the bill was Id M Theft Able, Skinny Vinny, some such configuration of Birdorgan, and the post accident return of Offset Needle Radius, Improvised projections by Greg Kowalski.  At the conclusion of Id M Theft Able's set, a chorus of mayhem ensued created by all of the evening's participants. 
   This was first Sun Worship not to occur on a SUNday.  Instead, it will be happening on SATurday September Eighteenth.  SO no more excuses.   Come experience fringe sound art in an otherwise well hemmed arts community.

:::Sun Worship 5:::
  Feverishly trying to keep up with springtime work volumes at the bike shop took precedence over creative endeavors.  That meant that planning for the fifth Sun Worship event suffered. So I was even more grateful for the performers who were able to rally with only two weeks notice.  Eric Dhalman was able to enlist a friend on guitar and bass to accompany him on horns, whistles, and various light treats. Although Joshua Jefferson was not in the area to join in, Steve Norton and Angela Sawyer were up for a performance and brought their elaborate collection of bird calls, horns, electronics.  They performed an extensive and dynamic set moving through various textures and intensities.  Birdorgan was complete again with percussionist Mike Daley who incorporated his crutches in the first performance since he crashed his scooter.  Lighting up their set was Greg Kowalski from Qfwfq Duo, projecting real time abstract images across the group and wall behind.  I brought along the bicycle wheel, electronics, etc., for a performance of Offset Needle Radius that was somewhat eclipsed by bunq's implosion of various objects, crumpled paper, balancing sticks, toys, etc.
   In all, the evening was another great night of free improvised performance.  September will bring Sun Worship VI, will be the first Sun Worship event to take place on a Saturday, and will no doubt be great.  So write it on your calender, September 18th: Sun Worship VI!

Sun Worship III 
:::Review by Peter Donovan:::
Nailed to a tree
down a path in
the dark-this is
underground.  Forget
what you know about
sound. Full circle thru
the filter of life.
Thrown out the window
& let go.
There's a man rolling
his drum set &
one zinging a bike
rim.  Slurping Arias
to 1000 thread count
patch work sky scrapers.
Forget what you know.
close your eyes.  You're
in an underground cave
only florescent deep sea
fish see-That's what you

hear-it's the inside of
a beetle's shoe in the
mossy garden of doom.
It's warm, slow &
friendly in here.
It's gentle geek
underground abandon.
Punk Rock for the
new world.
The real deal-people
who are truly here
to listen.  This isn't
any poser mall
brought lingo & look-
this is finding that
thing that's real.
Hope you were there-
if you weren't-
oh well your loss


(Photos by Eli Thompson & JBaker)


Portsmouth Area's Experimental Improvisation Event of the Year

Coming soon, it's Sun Worship III event on December 20th at Buoy Gallery in Kittery. Here's the flier. This is going to be a really fun event. You will be very sad if you choose not or are unable to attend.
Click on the flier for a printable image. THen go to your favorite local coffee shop and tape it to the window. This is how we spread the word. 


Autumn Equinox Happened, and We Were THere

Fun night at Grain Surfboards September 20th. Eli made butternut squash soup, cookies, cornbread. Marc Bisson and Dei Xrist of birdorgan brought the beans and rice. Great performances happened from Mystic Out Bop Review, birdorgan, Adam from Peace, Loving created an innovative installation with surround sound and edited Star Trek video. Offset Needle Radius kicked off the night with new perspectives on the musical wheel harp bike wheel performance. Walter Wright collaborated with Kit Demos for some beautiful electronics duetness, and then sat in for the birdorgan session as well. It's too bad Grain Surfboards is so far from any town. It was a nice intimate space for such an event. Stay tuned for developing plans for winter solstice... 


Sun Worship Comenced Despite Rain, Darkness

It wasn't easy to invoke sound prayers to a sun that has been scarce in these parts for weeks now. But we did our best to make a sonic offering and call for the sun's return to dry out our bogs. A handful of friends were present to witness incredible sounds amidst trance inducing light shows and projections courtesy of Rick Spencer and the B789 performance space. Rick projected video and had the lights going wild while we created sounds of worlds colliding, eclipses, broken band, blowing sands. Last minute addition to the line up Asa Irons brought some of his gigantic saw mill blades to create a drone scape that led to imagery of a solar eclipse. Birdorgan was Mike Fun, Dei and Marc this time around for a sound voyage that changed and morphed over a 35 minute journey. Offset Needle Radius was a steel rod bowing growing feedback layers phasing in and out and getting a bit loud so I am told. Zeroking looped and drummed paused, shifted, repeat until Marc and Mike Fun joined in to close the night. Thanks to everyone who participated and came to witness. Special thanks to Rick Spencer for creating and sharing the B789 space with us.