The Boxhead Ensemble: Stories,
Maps and Notes from the Half-Light
2004 Live Performance and Film Screening
co-curated by Braden King and Astria Suparak
> Press reviews
> Photos from live performances + Show Posters
> 2001 Press Release
> Tour dates
> Below you will find:
FOTOFEST 2004 in association with TRUCKSTOP MEDIA / NYC presents
Boxhead Ensemble: Stories, Maps and Notes from the Half-Light
Improvised Music Performance and Film Screening
March 13, 2004 - 8:00 and 11:00 P.M.
The Aurora Picture Show, 800 Aurora Street, Houston, TX - (713) 868-2101
Improvising to a stellar program of poetic short films assembled by filmmaker
Braden King and curator Astria Suparak, the Boxhead Ensemble will perform the
North American premiere of "Stories, Maps and Notes from the Half-Light" as
part of Fotofest 2004: The Tenth International Biennial of Photography and Photo-Related
Initially joining forces to create the critically acclaimed soundtrack to Braden King and Laura Moya's film, Dutch Harbor: Where the Sea Breaks its Back, members of the Ensemble's rotating lineup have participated in such notable musical groups as Wilco, Cat Power, Souled American, Freakwater, Gastr del Sol and Dirty Three, among others.
In this incarnation of the Ensemble, musicians Michael Krassner, Jim White, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Scott Tuma will accompany works by some of the most interesting filmmakers in modern experimental cinema, including Jem Cohen, Paula Froehle, David Gatten, Barbara Meter, Julie Murray, Guy Sherwin and Phil Solomon.
praise for the Stories, Maps and Notes European tour:
"Stories, Maps and Notes" in Bristol
Boxhead Ensemble in Dublin
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MICHAEL KRASSNER - piano, organ, guitar
[Ensemble Director, Lofty Pillars, Simon Joyner, +...]
Founder of the Boxhead Ensemble as well as sometime sideman for artists including Edith Frost, Simon Joyner, Tren Brothers and Songs:Ohia. His producing and recording credits are extensive, including Boxhead Ensemble, Simon Joyner, Manishevitz, Parker Paul, Songs:Ohia and his own band, the Lofty Pillars.
FRED LONBERG-HOLM - cello, Nykelharpa
[Pillow, Terminal 4, Lightbox, Peter Brotzmann 10tet, Freakwater, +...] Lonberg-Holm is a top creative music cellist, active in a variety of projects in avant-garde jazz, sound experimentation and modern composition. He studied cello with Ardyth Alton and Orlando Cole and composition with Morton Feldman, Anthony Braxton and Bunita Marcus. His early career was based in New York City, working with such artists as Peep, Anthony Braxton's Creative Orchestra, John Zorn, God is My Co-Pilot and Anthony Coleman's Selfhaters. Since moving to Chicago in the early 90's, Lonberg-Holm has been involved in such projects as the Light Box Orchestra and Pillow. His recent work with Simon Joyner, Freakwater and the Lofty Pillars introduced Lonberg-Holm as one of the premiere arrangers in music today.
SCOTT TUMA - guitar, harmonica
[Solo, Souled American, +...]
As the long time guitarist for Souled American, Tuma developed his achingly beautiful sense of suspended time and melodic deconstruction. With his solo instrumental record, Hard Again, released in 2001 on Truckstop records, Tuma expands on his palate to create a truly unique and mesmerizing aesthetic. Tuma also graces us with his recent work with the Boxhead Ensemble and Simon Joyner's Hotel Lives.
JIM WHITE - drums and percussion
[Dirty Three, Cat Power, Smog, Nick Cave, +...]
Drummer for the Australian trio the Dirty Three and Boxhead Ensemble regular, Jim has also done drum duty for Nick Cave, Cat Power, Smog, Tren Brothers and Scott Tuma, among many others.
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FILMMAKER BIOGRAPHIES + FILM DESCRIPTIONS:
*Films created for the Stories, Maps and Notes event.
JEM COHEN / New York Waters (Numbers 1 and 2)* / 2004
PAULA M. FROEHLE / Breathless Ghost* / 2001
DAVID GATTEN / Hardwood Process / 1996
PETER HUTTON / Study of a River / 1997
BARBARA METER / Greece, to me / 2001
/ De Kade / 2003
JULIE MURRAY / 0* / 2001
GUY SHERWIN / Filter Beds / 1998
PHIL SOLOMON / YES, I SAID YES, I WILL, YES. / 1999
COHEN / New York Waters (Numbers 1 and 2)* / 2004
/ 16mm / about 6 min.
"Here in the city we forget that Manhattan is an island and we take our waters as they find us. (Incomplete movie for musicians to finish)." - JC
- COHEN is a Brooklyn based filmmaker. His feature film, CHAIN, premiered at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival. He has made several films with and about musicians including the 16mm documentary feature, BENJAMIN SMOKE (co-directed with Pete Sillen), INSTRUMENT with Fugazi, LUCKY THREE with Elliott Smith, and NICE EVENING, TRANSMISSION DOWN with Sparklehorse. He frequently collaborates with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, having made films for their live shows and recently working with them on soundtracks for his projects CHAIN X THREE and CHAIN. Other musical projects include work with Vic Chesnutt, Cat Power, and R.E.M. Cohen has had retrospectives at the Berlin Arsenal, Oberhausen and Gijon Film Fests and the Nat'l Film Theatre, London. Jem Cohen often works without a crew, shooting with small gear in hundreds of locations. He believes that there is such a thing as independent film.
New York Waters by J.Cohen
M. FROEHLE / Breathless Ghost * / 2001 / Regular 8mm & video
/ color / 3 min.
FROEHLE (Chicago) recently completed her eighth film, UNDERGROUND WOMEN,
which was funded by the Illinois Arts Council, Beck Institute for the
Arts, Columbia College and The Experimental Sound Studio Chicago. In addition
to her own films, she is an Assistant Prof. at Columbia College and has
directed music videos & music-related films for Atavistic, a Chicago-based
production company and record label. Credits include: Eleventh Dream Day
("Flutter", director; "Makin Like A Rug", co-director), Helmet ("Meantime"
Profile; Director of Photography; "Give It"; D.P.), and 4 Non-Blondes
("Dear Mr. President"; D.P.). Her films are distributed through Canyon
Cinema and Picture Start Chicago.
Breathless Ghost by P.Froehle
GATTEN / Hardwood Process / 1996 / 16mm / color / 14
“A hand-made, diary film generated from alternative processing techniques, chemical treatments, and optical & contact printing. A history of scarred surfaces, an inquiry, and an imagining: for the marks we sees and the marks we make, for the languages we can read and for those we are trying to learn. Written in the scratches on the floors, the scars on the hands, and the chemical etchings into the film emulsion, these languages of experience are unstable ones, their vocabularies constantly shifting with the passage of time. The film is contact printed by hand on an old Bell & Howell model C printer resulting in individual, unique release prints.” -DG
- GATTEN (Ithaca, NY) - Over the last three years David Gatten's films have explored the intersection of the printed word and the moving image, while investigating the shifting vocabularies of experience and representation within intimate spaces and historical documents. Through traditional research methods and non-traditional film processes, the films trace the contours of both private lives and public histories, combining elements of philosophy, biography and poetry with experiments in cinematic forms and narrative structures. Gatten was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial and in the 1999 and 2001 New York Film Festivals. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as in private collections in the United States, Canada and Japan.
Hardwood Process by D.Gatten
HUTTON / Study of a River / 1997 / 16mm / b&w /
silent / 16 min.
PETER HUTTON - (Annendale, NY) "One of my primary objectives with cinema over the past 25 years has been to evoke a sense of wonder over the basic visual potential of a single shot as a vehicle to reflect on the origins of cinema and its relationship to the phenomenological nature of film, light and vision." - P.H. Studied painting, sculpture, and film at the S.F. Art Institute, B.F.A., M.F.A. Has produced more than fifteen films, most of which are portraits of cities around the world. Associate prof. at Hampshire College and at Carpenter Center, Harvard Univ.; visiting associate prof., SUNY at Purchase.
Study of a River by P.Hutton
METER / Greece, to me / 2001 / 8mm to 16mm /
color / 8:30 min.
"The emotional center of the film is my love for Greece" - BM
De Kade / 2003 / 8mm to 16mm / color / 5:50 min.
"The magic of ships when they dock, the expectation on the quays, the exciting theatre of the people with and without their vehicles, the hello's and goodbye's are typical of veryday life on the Greek islands." -BM
- METER (England and Holland) - "I was confronted with experimental film in the '70s for the first time and immediately engaged with it. FROM THE EXTERIOR was the first experimental film I made. I was one of the founders of the Dutch Filmmakers Cooperative and curated a vast number of experimental film programs in Holland, which at that time were met with a lot of interest. The conflict which rose in especially British experimental film "circles" about the so-called "political relevance" of experimental film caused me to abandon experimental film in the mid-'70s. I followed films concerning social issues for several years. For a number of reasons (cultural climate in Holland being one of them), it took until the middle of the '80 to re-discover it, which felt like meeting an old love. Since then I have made a number of experimental films again." - B.M.
Greece, to me by B.Meter
MURRAY / 0*/ 2001 / 16mm
/ color / 4 min.
"In the way that a jelly-like substance is injected into the veins, arteries and capillaries of a donated corpse so as to solidify the tissue and render it more amenable to inquisition, so the angular spiral of the staircase (very dark) serves as an image of the double helix of dna (very dark on purpose).( I read about this in a book) and walking up and down such a structure is the equivalent of a kind of deep dreaming in a state of open consciousness full of physical effort , dreaming about things for which there are no names (yet)." - J.M.
- MURRAY (New York), born in Dublin, received a B.F.A. from The Nat'l College of Art and Design. In 1985 she moved to San Francisco on a Fulbright scholarship to continue postgraduate studies in art. While creating and exhibiting paintings and photographs there, she extended her investigations into the area of experimental filmmaking. Continuing to work in and draw relationships from painting and photography, she has completed about a dozen short films and has collaborated on numerous film installation / performance events with artists and musicians. She has curated programs of films including a selection for the Experimental Film night at N.Y. Women's Film Festival and an evening in N.Y. Filmmaker's Co-op 35th Anniversary series (1998). Murray is currently visiting artist at Binghamton Univ.
0 by J.Murray
SHERWIN / Filter Beds / 1998 / 16mm
/ b/w / sound / 9 min.
“Made at the site of the disused Middlesex Filter Beds in east London. Images of grasses and reeds, subtle shifts of focal point, the appearance of a vapour trail.” - G.S.
- SHERWIN (England and Holland) - "I studied painting at Chelsea School of Art in London in the sixties before turning to film, attracted by its inherent elusive qualities of movement and photographic evidence of the passage of time. Much of my work is in the gap between movement and stasis, and can have the feeling of being suspended in time, for example the silent 'Short Film Series' made from three-minute camera rolls, which I began in 1975 and which is still ongoing. I'm inspired by the many possibilities of form in film, such as film projection as a live event. 'Man with Mirror' is a performance in which I interact with a film made of myself in 1975; and recent work includes live presentations using multiple 16mm sound projectors. I've been connected with the London Film-Makers' Co-op (now LUX Centre) since the mid-'70s, a time when I ran the film workshop. I support myself through teaching; at Wolverhampton and Middlesex Universities in England, and on occasions at the San Francisco Art Institute, USA." - G.S.
Filter Beds by G.Sherwin
SOLOMON / YES, I SAID YES, I WILL, YES. / 1999 / 16mm /
color / sound / 3 min.
“The title is, of course, borrowed from the last lines of Molly Bloom's monologue, where, after reviewing all the lovers of her life, she comes home to Bloom, in a swooning affirmation like no other in all of western literature. I have always loved making 'quickie' films for a specific occasion, and this film was made in couple of days as a wedding present for my wife. My most simple, direct, and joyful film.” --P.S.
- SOLOMON (Boulder, CO) has been making films since 1975, and he is currently an Associate Prof. of Film Studies at the Univ. of Colorado at Boulder. Since arriving in Boulder in 1991, he has produced, among other films, several collaborations with colleague Stan Brakhage (including Elementary Phrases, Concrescence, and Seasons...). Solomon received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994. He is currently working on a feature-length series of short films entitled The Twilight Psalms, a series of cine-poems of the past photographed century, as well as a 6-channel digital projection installation, American Falls, which opened at the Corcoran Gallery in D.C. in 2005.
YES, I SAID... by P.Solomon
BRADEN KING - (TOUR CO-PRODUCER and CO-CURATOR, FILM PROGRAM) (New York) In
addition to co-producing and directing the critically-acclaimed feature documentary,
"Dutch Harbor: Where the Sea Breaks its Back" and several short films, television
segments and music videos, King was a founding partner in Chicago's TRUCKSTOP
Media, a recording studio, video post-production facility and independent record
label, where he co-produced Dutch Harbor's original film soundtrack with composer
Michael Krassner and the Boxhead Ensemble. He also co-produced two subsequent
live CDs by the ensemble - "The Last Place to Go" and "Niagara Falls" - made
up of recordings cullled from European and domestic tours of screening performances.
In 1999, King moved to New York where he founded TRUCKSTOP MEDIA / NYC and was
signed to the directing roster at documentary and commercial production company
Corra Films. King has created several "Films for Live Performance" - a series
of minimalist visual accompaniments for shows by bands and artists such as Low,
Tren Brothers, Brokeback, Papa M, Ken Vandermark and Paul Lytton and Alan Licht,
and he recently completed music videos for Tortoise, Brokeback and Sparklehorse.
King is currently finishing a feature documentary concert film on the Australian
instrumental band Dirty Three.
- ASTRIA SUPARAK - (CO-CURATOR, FILM PROGRAM) (Brooklyn and Montreal) Suparak curates site-specific film, video, and audio shows for international art museums and galleries, film festivals, music venues and bands. After the shows play to their particular audiences Suparak then brings the work to different settings and a wider public, with locations including schools, sports bars, artist collectives, living rooms, skating rinks and churches. Suparak founded Pratt Institute Film Series in 1997. Her videotape compilation “Some Kind of Loving” is produced by Joanie 4 Jackie, Carnegie Mellon University published “Boredom Notebook” made in collaboration with students, and the current issue of LTTR Feminist Art Journal features her booklet “Diagrams from Waiting”. Current projects include “Let’s get tested” for Internationale Film Festival Oberhausen and “Telepathetic” for Eyebeam gallery in New York.
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BOXHEAD ENSEMBLE HISTORY:
The first incarnation of the Boxhead Ensemble dates back to 1991 in Los Angeles, where Michael Krassner assembled a group of local musicians to improvise a score to Braden King and Larry Stuckey's short 16mm documentary, "The Original Pantry Cafe". In 1996, Krassner assembled a new incarnation of the Ensemble to score Braden King and Laura Moya's lyric documentary, "Dutch Harbor: Where the Sea Breaks its Back". The resulting soundtrack, featuring collaborative performances by Joseph FERGUSON, David GRUBBS, Charles KIM, M. KRASSNER, Douglas MCCOMBS, Will OLDHAM, Jim O'ROURKE, David PAVKOVIC, Rick RIZZO and Ken VANDERMARK was released to international acclaim by Atavistic in 1997.
Shortly thereafter, the Ensemble embarked on its first European and U.S. tours, with a rotating lineup providing live soundtrack accompaniment to screenings of Dutch Harbor. The tours resulted in two additional CDs, "The Last Place to Go", a document of the European tour featuring Edith FROST, Ryan HEMBREY, C. KIM, M. KRASSNER, Fred LONBERG-HOLM, W. OLDHAM, Julie POMMERLEAU, Scott TUMA, Mick TURNER, K. VANDERMARK and Jim WHITE, and "Niagara Falls", recordings from the U.S. tour featuring Jim BECKER, D. GRUBBS, R. HEMBREY, C. KIM, M. KRASSNER, F. LONBERG-HOLM and Darren RICHARD. In 2001, the Ensemble completed and released "Two Brothers" with another new lineup rotation: Jessica BILLEY, R. HEMBREY, Glenn KOTCHE, M. KRASSNER, F. LONBERG-HOLM and S. TUMA, plus David Michael CURRY, Steve DORAKE, Gerald DOWD, J. FERGUSON, Guillermo GREGORIO, Jeff PARKER, M. TURNER, Jeff TWEEDY and J. WHITE.
In 2003, Krassner and the Ensemble created the score to director John Hyams' HBO Documentary on the ultimate fighter, "The Smashing Machine: The Life and Times of Mark Kerr" and director David Gordon Green (George Washington) will be featuring a track from "Two Brothers" in his upcoming film "Undertow". "Quartets”, the Ensemble's most recent CD was released in 2003 and features J. BILLEY, Michael COLLIGAN, R. HEMBREY, G. KOTCHE, M. KRASSNER, F. LONBERG-HOLM and S. TUMA.
Original Film Soundtrack:
Dutch Harbor: Where the Sea Breaks its Back (ALP85CD - 1997)
The Last Place to Go:
Recordings From the Dutch Harbor European Film Screening Tour (ALP96CD - 1998)
Recordings From the Dutch Harbor U.S. Film Screening Tour (ALP105CD - 1999)
Two Brothers (ALP126CD - 2001)
Quartets (ALP136CD - 2003)
Further information on Boxhead Ensemble, see:
Truckstop Media: http://truckstopmedia.com/boxheadensemble.html
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