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.
Machine Project in San Francisco! Machine Project in San Francisco! FRREALZ! I’m heading up to San Francisco for house concerts on June 15 and June 18, partnering with BayArea artists for each event. I’m psyched to be working with our friends at SOEX again — more information as it comes about how to participate in each event. On the 15th, i’ll be performing experimental music in someone’s closet, and on the 18th I’ll be creating a home-version of my piece, FERMENT[cheese] — this time with more discrete pairings between sound and cheese.
from SOEX: Each event features a collaboration, double bill, or blind date between artists and performers from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is commemorated by a series of posters by San Francisco and Los Angeles designers. Events take place off-site in residences throughout San Francisco and Oakland. Southern Exposure’s 20th Street space serves as the production headquarters and meeting space for project participants and screens daily video documentation of each event as it accumulates throughout the project.
If you are in the mid-west, there will be a performance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in collaboration with Rebecca Davis, NY-based choreographer. The work is for my handmade Pythagorean chimes, and other percussion instruments. The performance is on June 16th! YAY!
I have new piece being performed in Brooklyn by John Hastings this next week. The performance will be at Vaudeville Park on April 24 at 8pm, with a pre-show performance by Nat Evans, the proudly occidental seattle-based composer. Come check it out!
Additionally, I’ve started a group called Land + Houses. We have our first show at the Getty Villa, creating spatialized music with the Pythagorean tuning system on homemade-chimes, strings, and brass. Its a good opportunity to walk around a Greek Villa, and hear some music that sounds nothing like Greek Music. There are performances from 11-3:30 on April 21, and more information can be found here.
Land + Houses is a project by Chris Kallmyer that highlights his collaborative work within the community of musicians and artists in Los Angeles. The group creates work that explores the dynamic between the built and natural environment. Land + Houses works with a focus on process and research in the hopes to create new structures in the exploration of site and context.
I’ve just published my second article with New Music Box, the NYC based contemporary music journal. The article synthesizes my recent research into Human Geography and its applications to performance, installation, and sound-based projects! The article can be found here: Sonic Cartography and the Perspective of Place.
I’m speaking at the College Art Association Conference this week at the LA Center for Digital Art. Its open to the public on 2/22/12 and starts at 6pm. Also, i’ll be collaborating with Jason Torchinsky on a sound installation involving balloons-turned-speakers and remote controlled cars. Come check it out at Machine Project on March 2 at 8pm. Thanks.
birdhouse speaker’s from this nest, swift passerine for wild up.
I started working with Chad Clark from Beauty Pill back in 2008 when we were both having some pretty serious health problems – these discussions and late-night meetings fruited into brass tracks for BP’s upcoming release – the first since 2004. Being 2012, a band like Beauty Pill (and a thoughtful guy like Chad) can’t simply release a record. Instead the band (made up of some of my favorite musicians in DC: Jean Cook, Drew Doucette, Basla Andolsun, Devin Ocampo, & Abram Goodrich) – created a project called the Immersive Ideal, finishing the record in 3 weeks of intensive recording inside an artspace-turned-studio, and now have create a sound installation where folks can explore the process of making the record. On top of this, the whole thing is controlled by MONOMES! – an adaptable device that my friend Brian Crabtree designs and builds. This whole project has been a colliding of two distinct worlds. LOVE. Also, as a DC native — it was a total pleasure to work with one of my favorite bands. Check out this track of Afrikaner Barista – with horns by Brian Walsh, Brandon Sherman, Andrew Conrad, and myself. Recorded at CalArts in 2009.
SCHEDULE OF INSTALLATION FOUND AT ARTISPHERE’s SITE
Great news all around this winter season. I’ve been working with a local modern music collective here in LA called wild Up as a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and member of the creative team (helping to drive the group with programming, and concept with a sound art perspective on things). We recently got a review in the Los Angeles Times, and wonderful write up from Out West Arts for a program of music by Clarence Barlow, player piano, and punk rock covers. The group plays a lot of fun and loud music, but also spends quite a bit of time talking about models of creativity and how the group can engender an experience for the performers and audience alike. wild Up’s next performance is on January 14, 2012 at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, CA.
In other news, I’ve been given an Artist in Residence Award from the Headlands Center for the Arts. I will be spending a month in the fall of 2012 in the Marin Headlands doing field recordings, and developing a series of indoor and outdoor installation works. This may or may not involve workshopping a trumpet recording project in the incredible, monolithic, concrete military structures dotting the pacific coast.
Happy New Years: for vertical space at MCA Denver as part of a sound installation created to accompany their 2011 exhibition on Fred Sandback. (helium filled balloons turned into floating speakers w/ field recordings and sine tones)
Wow, what a great fall! Performing with wild Up, writing another article for New Music Box, and I’ve decided to finally get a dog. Things are awesome here in Los Angeles.
Above is a video that Machine Project put together about our residency at the Walker Art Center this summer. It includes some performing in the Walker’s beautiful building, their resonant parking garage, and a piece i composed for lawn mowers. I hope you enjoy.
I’m in Denver this week working with MCA Denver to create music to accompany their remarkable exhibit on Fred Sandback. The space is stunning. I’m having a great time developing these three projects with the MCA. My time has been spent making field recordings, drinking beer, trading ideas with the extraordinary staff at the MCA, and coming to a greater understanding of Denver. If anyone is around on Saturday, feel free to stop by and check out the installations and exhibit on Fred Sandback’s work.
everyone in a place, 2010
everyone in a place is a day-long, public-activated sound installation. All visitors will be issued a small bell to be worn as they move through the museum. This participatory installation works as a design pattern to document in real-time how architecture moves people through a space.
for vertical space (for fred sandback) 2011
With this day-long installation, a balloon becomes a loudspeaker. Tones and field recordings of Denver are sent to these floating, mobile speakers to create an incidental sound piece for the museum’s atrium. The balloons are raised and lowered throughout the day, exploring and revealing the acoustical properties of MCA Denver’s central space.
possible constellations (for amy sandback) 2011
Roger Green and Chris Kallmyer
Roger Green and Chris Kallmyer will perform a 20-minute composition with guitar, banjo and field recordings in one of MCA Denver’s galleries. All field recordings were made in Denver and capture the local sounds that permeate and define the city’s sonic identity. Green and Kallmyer collaborated to develop work that explores light and space, as well as to create a contemplative environment for viewing Fred Sandback’s work.
photo credit: Katie Bergin – CARS
I’ll be at the Getty Center with Machine Project on October 22 to perform a spatialized piece for two alphorns. A dream come true. Here is a photo of our sound check at the Getty. I’m performing on a buchel, a midland cousin to the alphorn.
Terrain Music: for two alphorns
with Loren Marsteller
The Getty Center is built upon two naturally-occurring ridges that diverge at a 22.5 degree angle. Architectural grids were imposed upon each one of these ridges, and it is through this relationship that I could like to create a piece for two alphorns.
The alphorn is a long, wooden instrument used in mountain regions in Europe for means of communication. The project will feature three, 22.5 minute performances with each alphornist on separate walkways above the grounds of the Getty. Warm melodies will be directed from one hornist to the other. Additionally, gentle sounds will float into the public spaces of the Getty, setting a frame around the closer and more delicate sounds of the many water features, children, the arrival of the tram, etc. . . The vast system of walkways and balconies serve as prime performance spaces, and allow distance between the alphorns and the audience.
Machine Project is going to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis for the last two weeks in July. Please come out for electric melons, personalized music, sheep, pickles, cowboys and angels. Information can be found on the Machine Project site, or the Walker’s site.
I’ll be doing three projects at the Walker!
Music For Parking Garages
July 21, 2011 // 3-8pm
Los Angeles and Minneapolis musicians will partner to create site-specific sound works for the Walker Art Center’s parking garage. These pieces will create a warm ambient environment for visitors as they park their cars, stop in to listen, or even nap to the music. Come pull up a bean bag chair or backseat, and experience the acoustical charm of the parking structure.
Chris may or may not play trumpet at some time in some place possibly. . .
Chris Kallmyer, experimental musician, may or may not be playing a trumpet for some duration of time as an exploration of the spaces inside the Walker. Spaces could also be outside the Walker. Spaces may not be involved. (Trumpet optional.)
Who: Chris Kallmyer
What: maybe trumpet
the american lawn, and ways to cut it
July 28, 2011 // 6 to 7:30pm
Join us for Machine Project’s grand finale event: a three-part exploration of the American lawn and ways to cut it, via sheep, choreographed gasoline-powered ride-on-mowers with mounted oscillators tuned to the drone of their engines, and push mowers. Come help us examine the sonic nature of the Walker’s Open Field, while giving the lawn a much-needed trim.