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Performance Grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage

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I’ve just been awarded a 2015 Performance Grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. I’m pretty blown away and very excited to get to work on this. June 2016 will see the Inauguration of The Philadelphia Embassy of the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland at Crane Arts. And the best part is, I get to work with some of my favorite artists who also happen to be some of my favorite people.

As the Pew Center announcement puts it: “Composer, improviser, and media artist Mike Bullock will join forces with Swedish composers and conceptual artists Leif Elggren, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, and Kent Tankred, and Philadelphia musicians such as Ian Fraser and Bhob Rainey, for a program of electronic music, performance, and installations, expanding Philadelphia’s connection to the international experimental music scene.”

It’s an honor to be included in a frankly mind-blowing array of artists and organizations receiving grants and fellowships. Here’s the complete list.

Three shows in late May

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In Late May, I’m playing three concerts in three states on two instruments. If you are in Boston, St. Paul, or Brooklyn, I hope to see you soon.

Wed 20 May: Modular synth solo at Boston, MA’s Waterworks Museum. I’ll be playing a new piece called “Emulation WW.” Opening for “Violin, Viola, Cello,” a new work by violinist Morgan Evans-Weiler, with David Michael Curry (viola) and Vic Rawlings (cello).
Friday 22 May: Modular solo on Jesse Goin’s Crow With No Mouth series in St. Paul, MN. Also on the bill is Asher Tuil in an exceedingly rare live appearance.
Monday 25 May: One of my favorite recurring projects, my contrabass duo with Andrew Lafkas, will be playing at Middle Press in Brooklyn, NY. Andrew and I will also play solo sets.

April at Fourth Wall: New installation: “Lagan”

Visit the gallery site here: Fourth Wall at Vox Populi

To cap our run as guest curators of Vox Populi’s Fourth Wall space, we present Lagan, an installation work combining resonant porcelain sound tubes, video, and lighting.

Lagan is a nautical term for cargo thrown from a ship and marked with a buoy, which rests on the sea floor waiting to be reclaimed. Even memories can be purposely submerged, their location saved, to be salvaged later. In the intervening period (has it been months? years? a lifetime?) they have been transformed, just as jettisoned cargo has attracted corals, lush seaweed, and colorful fish.

In creating Lagan, we find ourselves returning to deeply-rooted techniques and images of distant friends and places left behind, viewing and hearing them as they are in the process of submerging, transforming, and surfacing again with new layers of meaning and beauty.

Lagan 1

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March at Fourth Wall: CON-MYTHOLOGY/Moving Image

The Electronic Vision of Conrad Schnitzler

Conrad Schnitzler

Click here to read an essay on the life and work of Conrad Schnitzler prepared by Wolfgang Seidel for this exhibition, and here to visit the website dedicated to Schnitzler’s work, maintained by Gen Ken Montgomery.

Conrad Schnitzler (1937-2011) is legendary in the German electronic and avant-garde music scene as a founding member of Tangerine Dream and of Kluster. Though mostly known as a composer, his intermedia video work from the 60s, 70s and 80s is far less known. At Fourth Wall in March 2015, we are given a rare opportunity witness Schnitzler’s work with moving images as well as some rare photographs of his sculptural work in metal.

Schnitzler studied sculpture with Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art, exhibited his black and white metal sculptures in Berlin, and participated in performances and “happenings” in the same circles as many Fluxus artists, although he rejected being a part of any group or movement. In the early 70s Schnitzler left all of his sculptures in an open field, abandoned the art world and began to devote himself to composing music. His continual and prolific self-produced electronic music gained an international cult following. Schnitzler’s immense creative energy could not be limited to one medium. He continuously experimented with moving images to accompany his music by painting and scratching directly on 8mm film, shooting stop-motion animations and designing sets in which he filmed himself performing. By the 80s Schnitzler had become increasingly reclusive, shooting long meditative videos accompanied by his distinctive electronic musical scores.

This program of moving images accompanied by Schnitzler’s vintage electronic soundtracks are selected from a vast video archive, most of which has never been seen publicly before.

CON-MYTHOLOGY/Moving Image has been put together by Conrad’s friend and collaborator “Gen” Ken Montgomery in co-operation with Fourth Wall’s guest curators, Mike Bullock and Linda Aubry Bullock.

February at Fourth Wall: Ears Back, Eyes Forward

Still from Naomi Yang's music video for Richard Youngs' "Furrows Again"

Still from Naomi Yang’s music video for Richard Youngs’ “Furrows Again”

Ears Back, Eyes Forward

Video shorts from musicians and other listeners
Curated by Mike and Linda Aubry Bullock

Featuring works by:
Seth Cluett [Montclair, NJ]: Recollection
Malcy Duff [Edinburgh, Scotland]: Snowcone
Camille Escudero [Brussels, Belgium]: Vacillements de Rétine and Selfie Board On
Bonnie Jones [Baltimore, MD]: Untitled (in memory of Cynthia Gray)
Dina Kelberman [Baltimore, MD]: Colors Movie
Mazen Kerbaj [Beirut, Lebanon]: Inkology (in four movements)
Vic Rawlings & Jeff Silva [Easthampton & Boston, MA]: Excerpts from 215 Dead End Road
Naomi Yang [Cambridge, MA]: Furrows Again (music by Richard Youngs)
C. Spencer Yeh [Brooklyn, NY]: Landscapes and Subtitles
Neil Young Cloaca [Turners Falls, MA]: Impractical Palynology

Total time: 56 min. 33 sec.

Ears Back, Eyes Forward brings together 11 artists whose video works engaged us in the past year. Most of the artists represented have strong sonic roots and branches in their highly varied outputs. Even those who may not consider themselves sound artists contributed pieces with a canny ear for detail and timing. Throughout this reel, the artists use sound and silence to take a listen back onto memories of communication, loss, and transition.