On May 13th at Roulette’s MIXOLOGY FESTIVAL 2010, Canadian sound artist Gary James Joynes AKA Clinker will reprise his Cohen inspired live-cinema “On the Other Side… ” for the city that was once the home to the author and chanteur. Tonight’s event is sponsored by the Experimental Television Center. The Experimental Television Center’s Presentation Funds program is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and mediaThe Foundation.
ROULETTE: Tell us as about the work you’ll be doing at Roulette.
GARY JAMES JOYNES: Mixology will be the US Premiere of “On the Other Side..” a Live Cinema piece originally commissioned by the International Leonard Cohen Festival in 2008. The piece references the ethereal spaces he talks about in much of his poetry and explores this sense of dispersal from reality that one feels when in a mediative state. It is comprised of five movements of varying intensity that are both kinesthetic and synesthetic agents. These sensory components are not only present in this particular piece, but in my work in general. I have always been interested in the physical and emotional effects of sound and it is a recurring theme in my work.
R: How long have you been working on the project? What are you exploring, either in terms of imagery behind the work or performance tools?
GJJ: I have always made it a point to approach my audio-visual works from an improvisational place and I create systems where my audio and video is not synched in the computer. It becomes an opportunity for me to create these moments of synchresis “live” where our brains will connect the dots for us. I think this technique opens up possibilities for new and unique “A/V moments” to happen for both the audience and myself. I follow a loose road map while performing but no two performances are ever exactly alike.
The imagery and sound explores Cohen’s continued romance with the light and dark inside our human experience. I aim to create an audio-visual “deep listening” space which draws from the vast depths of emotion written into his words and voice. One of my very favourite things about Leonard Cohen is the sound of his voice, so deep and textural, and I had this idea about how wouldn’t it be wonderful to bath sonically in those deep bass tones. So that is where it all started from, and bath we will on Thursday ;)…
R: What are some defining characteristics of the musical scene you would fit yourself into? What elements of your scene differentiate it from what has come before, or what is happening now?
GJJ: I guess my music falls into the minimalist drone scene and I am continually drawn into the meditative spaces this music can create. I love deep, layered, textural sounds, and harmonic overtones. I really enjoy how this music has the potential to continually reveal deeper layers of sound over time. For myself I have been moving closer and closer to analog sources over the years. I have always used analog synthesizers in my practice. In the past year I have built a new analog modular system and to be honest, haven’t really touched many of my other instruments for awhile. I think a lot of artists I meet are looking at this kind of equipment again and getting back to a more hands-on approach to programming. I also recently taught myself to do overtone singing and will be doing some of this on Thursday.
R: What was the last music you listened to?
GJJ: My tastes run all over the map… today I listened to The Police Synchronicity, T++, some old Monolake, Porter Ricks, right now my I have an aleatoric modular patch that I have been working on for a few days droning and scratching away at me :)
R: Is there an event or experience that led you to start in experimental media?
GJJ: Being a visual artist I have always had ideas of incorporating multimedia in my live performances. The defining moment where I saw that my ideas could have a home was at the 2001 MUTEK Festival in Montreal. I remember being completely blown away at the level of detail and care that went into the presentation of the sound and video. MUTEK continues to be very important to me and it has become almost a pilgrimage for me. I have been very fortunate to have played there a few times now.
R: Who do you see as instrumental in your development as an artist?
GJJ: The two artists who have been instrumental in getting me to think completely different about music would be Brian Eno and Steve Reich. As far as drone music goes I think Phill Niblock’s work really stands out as well. Again I also have to point back to MUTEK and the many great artists I have seen and met there as well.
R: Do you do other things aside from music?
GJJ: I have been making my living as a musician and and a graphic designer for many years. Through the Fall/Winter of 2009 I was an artist in residence at the BANFF CENTER OF THE ARTS (BNMI) advancing some of my new ideas in sound visualization for a future audio-visual sculptural installation.