Saturday, November 03, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Ellen Fullman's Long String Instrument

Today, let's check out some videos featuring artist, musician, and instrument inventor Ellen Fullman, who will be in St. Louis next week for a residency sponsored by New Music Circle, culminating in a performance on Friday, November 9 at 560 Music Center.

While she's here, Fullman also will make public presentations about her work on Wednesday, November 7 at St. Louis University and the 560 Music Center, and on Thursday, November 8 at Washington University's Sam Fox School; see the New Music Circle website for details.

Ellen Fullman is known for inventing and performing on the Long String Instrument, described as "an installation of dozens of wires 50 feet or more in length, tuned in Just Intonation and "bowed" with rosin-coated fingers, producing a chorus of minimal organ-like overtones."

Currently based in the San Francisco area, Fullman is a native of Memphis, TN who studied sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute. She began working on the Long String Instrument in 1981, and over the years has developed various performance techniques as well as a specialized notation system to choreograph the performer's movements while playing the LSI.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards, commissions and residencies. and has performed at venues and festivals in Europe, Japan, and the Americas, including the Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center, Other Minds, Walker Art Center and Donaueschinger Musiktage.

Fullman has made a number of recordings, including Ort, with Berlin-based collaborator Jörg Hiller, which was selected by The Wire as one of the top 50 recordings of 2004, and Fluctuations, with trombonist Monique Buzzarté, which made The Wire's top 50 of 2008.

You can see and hear Fullman and the LSI in action in the first video up above, recorded in June 2017 at the Tectonics Music Festival in Athens, Greece.

After the jump, there are clips from two more performances - the first by Fullman and cellist Theresa Wong in 2017 at the Nief Norf Summer Festival in Knoxville, TN, and the second in April 2016 at the Sonic Protest Festival in Paris.

Next is a short video from 2009, in which Fullman talks about the development of the Long String Instrument and shows off some of its capabilities.

The last two clips both come from Fullman's residency in March 2013 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). There's a video of her performance with Wong, cellist Abby Alwin and trumpeter James Cornish, followed by a video of her artist's talk, "Constructing a Musical Phrase from the Ground Up," in which she "shares the concepts, stories and techniques behind the construction of the Long String Instrument, culminating in an audience participation demonstration."

For more about Ellen Fullman, read the interview with her published in 2016 by The Guardian.

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

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