A Nation of Joiners, Weather Modification and YOU!
The Los Angeles Department of Weather Modification, Northern Bureau
at Southern Exposure in San Francisco
January 29 – February 14, 2015
Sound artist Chris Kallmyer and the Los Angeles Department of Weather Modification establish an office space and Northern Bureau headquarters at Southern Exposure. With five live programs and a gallery installation, the LADWM continue their sonic explorations into our experience of weather and cultural history of weather modification practices. Kallmyer and other musicians from the LADWM use immersive sound, ritual and radical environmental experiments to end the California drought and create weather.
LADWMNB ENDS THE DROUGHT
Thursday, January 28, 2014, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
The drought comes to an end as we dance it out and perform long-trusted drought-ending rituals, such as an ancient Roman stone dragging ceremony, the tossing of water from a high place by a village elder, and a gathering of twins.
Saturday, January 31, 2014, 2:00—4:00 pm
Join Kallmyer and his guests for an afternoon performance of fog-inspired music, with distant horns, slow moving sounds, and white-out-conditions taking us back to a pre-global warming San Francisco summer.
Thursday, February 5, 2014, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
In North India, music regularly ushers in the monsoon season. Join the LADWM for a concert of traditional and experimental ragas on sarode and tabla. Sarode player and son of Ali Akbar Khan, encourages precipitation with these rain-inspiring ragas.
AMERICAN RAINMAKER: A WEATHER OPERA
Thursday, February 12, 2014, 7:30—9:00 pm
A weather expert visits to talk about weather modification in the west, and the LADWM weather consultants tell the tale of Charles Hatfield, an early experimental rainmaker.
Saturday, February 14, 2014, 2:00-4:00 pm
The LADWM’s annual Valentines Day celebration articulates a love letter from precipitation to the people of San Francisco. Thunder needs you, and is wants you back. Bring an umbrella and a friend.
In western Ireland, where my family is originally from, oysters are a treat in the winter season. When poor dairy farmers had little money they could still cook a Christmas dinner of Ling (a dried fish) or oysters, which could be gathered from the shoreline. Aside from affordable seafood, they also had plenty of milk from their cows fed on their fields – and thus we have traditional oyster stew: milk, oysters, potatoes, herbs. Simple and made from necessity + a strong sense of place. Good Oystering, Merry Christmas, and Happy Solstice!
on the piece:
Consider the Oyster is a document of place, culture, and a window into oyster farming in West Marin. It is based off of three basic facts:
1. Oysters reflect the place in which they are made. This recording documents the process of farming oysters with field recordings and two channel video.
2. Oysters are equally, a grounded and celestial food: flavored by the tides, created by the rotation of the sun and moon. They put us in touch with our own position in relation to movement of our planet. Two drones are sounded to represent the sun and the moon, proportional to their gravitational pull on the tidal waters.
3. Oysters are bivalves, and so is a pump organ. I performed on pump organ throughout the piece as a musical analogue for our beloved oyster.
In May of 2014, participants arrived to Headlands Center for the Arts for a circuit of edible experiences including a sonic investigation into the process of oyster cultivation, synchronized group shucking, and considered consumption of our favored bivalve. Culminating with a meal of oyster stew in the Mess Hall, participants should come with hungry minds and bellies and can expect to be wholly satiated.
This piece was performed at Walker Art Center’s Open Field on July 17, 2014 by Chris Kallmyer, Sue Nelson, and the public.
Participants were invited to oil their gloves, do some light stretching, and throw around a lemon as warm-up as an homage to Fluxus artist Ken Friedman. This score was performed, featuring the sound of catch and longtime Twins organist Sue Nelson. Afterwards, we had freshly-squeezed lemonade, hung out with Sue, and folks went home with a copy of the score.
Baseball Day to Day
Walker Art Center // July 10 – 17
I’ve always loved baseball. And I’ve always loved experimental music. So, now they are together during my residency at the Walker. Other musicians have loved baseball before – like Charles Ives, Milton Babbitt, and John Luther Adams – but only I have the profound lack of foresight to slam the two together in such reckless and inelegant ways. So, be prepared for incidental organ works in and around the museum, meditative whittling of an amplified baseball bat, the building of a baseline in honor of LaMonte Young, and a public game of backyard catch.
July 17 at 7pm // Walker Open Field
Play Catch, All Together
Grab your glove and join artist Chris Kallmyer and Twins organist Sue Nelson for a work focused on the sound of people playing catch alongside a baseball stadium organ. Participants are invited to oil their gloves, do some light stretching, and throw around a lemon as warm-up—an homage to Fluxus artist Ken Friedman. Afterwards, have freshly-squeezed lemonade, meet Sue, and take home a well-oiled glove and a copy of Chris’ score for Play Catch, All Together.
*BYO Glove, Balls Provided
The year is getting off to a good start, and I’ve just shared the documentation from This Distance Makes Us Feel Closer, an installation created around the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in central New Mexico.
Also in the news, “West Coast Soundings” a record featuring collection of West Coast experimental composers will be released on April 12th at 18:00 by Edition Wandelweiser at the Kolumba Museum in Köln. A concert of works will be presented in conjunction with a special exhibition of the works of Bruno Jakob. (Man, this is so germanic.) I’m privileged to be a part of a project with so many fantastic composers from Los Angeles. Information about the project can be found here.
“All on its own, Denver Night might have single-handedly rescued the Biennial of the Americas on a grand scale: Masterminded by MCA’s Adam Lerner and sound artist Chris Kallmyer in the spirit of blurring the edges between art and fun, the climactic gathering, which qualified as a “happening” of major dimensions, included an opera for dogs, an interactive light installation by Boulder artist Jen Lewin, Viviane Le Courtois’s welcoming Human Grazing Experiment and most notably, a fine finale to Nick Cave’s stay in Denver — HEARD•DAM, which let loose an army of Cave’s flowing horse Soundsuits into the park, to the delight of all. It was a world-class evening for a world-class town.”
Additionally, the Two Barns created by Indie Architects and Paul Priessner for the event were chosen to be included in the Phaedon Atlas this year.
Upcoming will be a series of projects researching weather in downtown Los Angles, an optimal oyster eating environment, and a project in the midwest soon to be announced about Fluxus and experiential learning.
This week I am installing Weather Stations at Pomona College’s Museum of Art: a performative investigation of our weather and ways of forecasting. Since my move north to San Francisco I haven’t been back down to Los Angeles, and I’m excited for his opportunity to share new ideas in the work. I’m super grateful for Mark Allen and Pomona to invite me to come make the work. More information about Weather Stations can be found here.
Back in the Bay Area, I’ll be creating a new installation with video of Ronald Reagan in the Latrines at Headlands Center for the Arts at their annual First Look. Along with this video and sound piece, we will be recreating the bell piece, everyone in a place! Super psyched for something new and something oldish, revisited.
This Distance Makes Us Feel Closer
I’m working with High Desert Test Sites this month as a visiting artist at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in New Mexico. I am creating an immersive, mountaintop sound work that will surround the observatory, which overlooks the Very Large Array and surrounding high-desert at 10,600 ft. If you are in New Mexico, come join us on October 18 to listen to a new sound work created with a set of custom instruments that resound for miles over the ridge. More information about This distance makes use feel closer can be found here. Special thanks to the Magdalena Ridge Observatory, Michael Bisbee, and Catherine DeMaria.
Also in recent news! I worked with Nat Evans in Seattle to create music with bicycles, and music folks eating tastefully cooked Salmon. More information coming soon regarding this new collaboration entitled “House Guests.”
July 19, 2013 – 7:00 – 11:00 pm
Civic Center Park – Denver, Colorado
Denver Night, A Concert with Music and Animals is a unique evening of music and art in Denver’s Civic Center Park, including eclectic concert of folk, classical, jazz, rock and avant-garde music in additional video art, sculpture, and dance. The live program kicks off with artist Nick Cave’s dance spectacle performed in horse costumes and includes an all-dog opera accompanied by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. The event begins at 7pm with the opening of an interactive art by Colorado artists.
Denver Night: A Concert with Music and Animals was created by Adam Lerner and Chris Kallmyer. A special thank you to the Biennial of the Americas for hosting such an event.
I’m excited and humbled to be speaking at this TEDx conference on performance, liveness, and presence. Come check it out if you get a chance!
1. I’m in Chicago this week, a visiting artist hosted by Columbia College’s Media Arts Dept. I’m very excited to give a workshop, a lecture, and visit with students one on one. I’m also excited to visit Intelligentsia and eat a hot dog. Below are some descriptions of what I’ll be up to.
Sheep, Failure and the Emergent Potential of Site.
Chris Kallmyer makes work with everyday objects like sheep, cheese, lawnmowers, and car horns to create site-specific works in places like museums, open fields, igloos and parking structures. He will be talking about his unique path from playing in punk bands in DC, his brief career as a orchestral musician in Europe, his role as dedicated cheese-monger, and current work making events and installations that articulates the dynamic between art and life – exploring the processes, customs, and environments through which humans have altered landscape and place. Chris lives in Los Angeles where he works with Machine Project and a rich community of artists and musicians in the NE part of the city.
Nyan Cat is a Lens
After exercises in mindfulness and listening, the group will move to a public space inside (or outside) where students will engage in focused observation and listening to the space. Participants will then assist in completing a spatialized and site-specific artwork based solely off audio samples from Nyan Cat. The work will use use everyday materials like teakettles, balloons, bells, rebar, or voice- and not-so-everyday materials like basic electronics, sine tones, and environmentally reactive algorithms. The work will be reapplied to several public spaces (interior/exterior) – and discussion will center on topics including sound art, site, human geography, gestalt psychology, and Nyan Cat.
I’m in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts this month, reading books, walking, and making works using materials found on the land. Here is a video of rocks I collected, teetering on top of speaker elements. More information about the residency can be found here. I’m very grateful for the support from Headlands and the surrounding community of artists here.
Just served a big glass of milk to a group from MCA Denver. The milk, made by Straus Family Dairy was accompanied by recordings of Vivien Straus’ remembrances of her childhood, then piped through a guitar. Machine Project hosted the group this morning, it was Excellent Fun.
In upcoming news, I’ll be putting on two exciting concerts on October 13: one in the afternoon (from 1-3) at the Hammer Museum, and another in the evening at the Broad Stage (from 7:30-9:30). More details coming soon.
I’m heading to Houston this weekend with Machine Project for BBQ, Rothko Chapel, and a series of events at a conference. On saturday 9/15 I’m performing FERMENT[cheese] for a group of conference goers: giving a cheese tasting with musical accompaniment with Mt. Tam from the Cowgirl Creamery. Then on sunday at 3pm, I’m collaborating with Casey Anderson on a project (below) at Alabama Song, an art space run by Kelly Sears. Alabama Song is located at 2521 Oakdale St, Houston, TX, 77004
Hall and Oates Optimal Listening Environment
Chris Kallmyer and Casey Anderson will create a set of experimental music based off of the work of the rock and soul duo, Hall and Oates. Songs will be inverted, stretched, deconstructed, and put back together in an effort to discover the Hall and Oates Formula: an urtext of their work. Note: Chris and Casey bear a mild resemblance to Daryl Hall and John Oates.
Land + Houses, my site-specific band recently created a series of works for the fountain outside the Pacific Design Center. Usually a loud omnipresent white noise, we arrived this fateful day to find that the fountain straight broke. We repurposed our works for this triangularly shaped, asphalt pad outside the PDC and played reassuring music to the broken fountain inspired by Kandinsky’s ideas about trianges. I editing this film together, which was beautifully shot by Marianne Williams. More information about the project can be found on the Land + Houses site HERE.
“The angle formed by two lines has an inner sonority which is warm and close to yellow for an acute angle, like a triangle, while the sensibility formed by obtuse angles is more cold and close to blue, like a circle.” – Kandinsky.
The ARID Journal of Desert Art, Design and Ecology has accepted my work into their first issue. I’m very excited to be included in this publication – and hope to have the opportunity to meet other desert artists, writers, and thinkers over the next few years. After the installation was completed in June of 2010, I returned to Los Angeles and didn’t do much with it. With the inclusion of this piece in the Journal, you’ll find a new piece of writing about the creation of the installation, the history of the site, and my impressions of the land surrounding Rhyolite, NV.
ARID: A Journal of Desert Art, Design and Ecology is a peer-reviewed bi-annual journal focusing on cross-disciplinary explorations of desert arts, design, culture and the environment for both scholarly and new audiences. ARID seeks submissions of scholarly articles, curriculum, visual essays and other media including sound and video that investigate diverse aesthetic, social, cultural, historical, ecological and political subjects related to desert regions of the American Southwest and beyond. ARID emphasizes the convergence of art, design, and culture with science, ecology, geography and other related disciplines to create a unique snapshot of and dialog about desert environs and cultures with a vested and active interest in the desert as a point of creative investigation.
ARID is the result of a new partnership between University of New Mexico’s Art & Ecology Program, Desert Initiative at Arizona State University, Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University.
Friday, July 6 // 8-10pm
at Machine Project
In overlapping performances, Colin Dickey, Nicole Antebi and Chris Kallmyer will explore the difference between two rival pitches, 440 Hz and 432 Hz: Colin Dickey will trace the history of the war for correct musical tuning, a debate that’s raged for two centuries and has involved the Nazis, French government, BBC, Lydon Larouche, and new age practitioners. Responding to the phenomenon of radial pattern formation by sound frequencies or Cymatics, Nicole Antebi will accompany the talk and performance with a video tinkering with the shape of sound. Additionally, Chris Kallmyer will accompany the talk sonically, creating an multi-channel environment of competing tonal systems and real-time examples of pitch-altered recordings of Wagner, sine tones, and live instruments.
Also, check out the new site for Land + Houses. We have some awesome documentation up there from our series of performances at the Getty Villa.