Saturday, March 31, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
C. Spencer Yeh and Andrew Lampert

This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring musician and artist C. Spencer Yeh and artist, curator and filmmaker Andrew Lampert, who will be joining forces for a performance presented by New Music Circle next Saturday, April 7 at The Luminary.

Yeh is a violinist, vocalist and electronic musician who studied film in college; Lampert is an artist and filmmaker who frequently collaborates on multimedia performances and sometimes plays music. For their St. Louis show, each man will do a separate set, and then they'll perform together for the evening's finale.

Born in Taiwan, Yeh studied film at Northwestern University in Chicago and is known for his musical project Burning Star Core and for collaborations with artists such as Tony Conrad, Thurston Moore, Jandek, Ben Hall and Don Dietrich, Nate Wooley, Colin Stetson, Okkyung Lee, John Wiese, Chris Corsano, and many others.

Lampert, who's originally from St. Louis, was trained as a film archivist and previously was a curator for Anthology Film Archives in New York City. In his own work, he "explores the cinematic experience as content, experimenting with the physical spaces between projector, projectionist, audience and screen, and with the experiences made possible through their convergence."

What this most likely means in terms of their performance here is that Lampert will be projecting images from a variety of sources – 8mm film, 16mm film, and digital video - and cutting and mixing them in real time, presumably in response to the sounds Yeh is producing with his violin, vocals, and electronic gear running through a quadrophonic (i.e four discrete channels) sound system.

Since this will be the first time that Yeh and Lampert will have performed together, there's no way to "preview" the show in any meaningful sense, and in any case, an online video is only going to capture a portion of what happens in a multi-media show like the one they'll be doing.

What is possible, though, is to show you some of the work Yeh and Lampert have done individually, in hopes of conveying some idea of what their collaboration may be like.

The first video up above is a recording of Yeh's performance at the 2017 New Media Art & Sound Summit in Austin, TX, in which he's using his quadrophonic setup to process and playback material drawn from recordings of the RCA Mark II synthesizer, the first programmable synthesizer ever built.

After the jump, you can see two more of Yeh's solo performances, from March 2014 at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, TX, and March 2012 at Studio Soto in Boston, that demonstrate more of the range of his sets.

The fourth clip is a 2014 interview with Yeh, in which he talks about the development of his work, the Burning Star Core project, and his approaches to using voice, violin and abstract sound.

As for Lampert, the nature of his performance work makes it difficult to document in the usual ways, so there's not much pertinent footage available online. That said, today's fifth video is a recording of a gig he did with percussionist Chris Corsano in 2014 in Austin, TX that may have some relevance to how he'll approach his St. Louis performance. The sixth and final clip is a brief excerpt from a performance that Lampert did with video artist Greg Pope in 2011 in Norway, offering another glimpse of his live modus operandi.

For more about Andrew Lampert, read the brief feature about him from 2010 in Bomb magazine, and his 2014 interview published on the website of the School of Art Institute of Chicago.

For more about C. Spencer Yeh, read the feature story about him in the December 2017 issue of Interview magazine and the interview with him published in 2016 on the website of Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

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