Synthesis presents Lux
avant-garde media-art duo Granular Synthesis will make their
way to West Hall on Wednesday for the North American premiere
of their multisensory art installation Lux. This marks the
first collaboration with iEAR Presents!, an ongoing series
offering a forum for pioneering and emerging electronic-media
artists, and EMPAC, RPI’s new Electronic Media and Performing
Arts Center—which is both a yet-to-be-completed building
and a fully focused mission.
EMPAC’s program stems from what those involved intend the
building to be—state-of-the-art facilities for use
by world-renowned and emerging artists and researchers,
“in fields such as visualization and movement capture; sending
new artworks onto the global stage.” RPI never claimed they’d
settle for being well-known in only the sciences, after
all, and their undergraduate EMAC program and graduate iEAR
program are prime examples of what will continue to lead
creative and cutting-edge artists (and audiences) to this
section of the Hudson Valley.
Granular Synthesis, an Austrian video- and sound-artist
collaborative, take their name from the computer-assisted
means of organizing very short pieces of digitally recorded
sound—granules—into larger patterns. The Vienna-based duo,
Kurt Hentschlager and Ulf Langheinrich, have been working
together since ’91, with an interesting desired outcome:
“Our idea was to attack an audience, rather than please
it,” Hentschlager has said—although he has admitted that
they have provided positive entertainment against their
On Wednesday, Hentschlager will be at West Hall to discuss
their installation Lux, which features video (providing
the only light source for the dark-enveloped audience) and
accompanying audio, which is in synch with the visuals.
“Any motion, change or reorganization of the visual and
sonic formations function as a unified field, and modulations
of the video in light and color cause equal modulations
in the sound.”
The event takes place on Wednesday (Nov. 19) at West Hall
(RPI Campus, Troy) at 8 PM. Admission is $5, $3 students.
Call 276-4829 or visit www.arts.rpi.edu for further information.
the age of the e-mail, the MP3 and the video download, paranoid
proclamations about the death of face-to-face interaction
are understandable. They’re also premature. As dramatic
illustration of this fact, the Story Circle of the Capital
Region will take part in a worldwide celebration of traditional
oral culture on Saturday (Nov. 15) at the Egg. Tellebration!
2003 will be staged around the globe that weekend, in 16
countries and 41 states; here in Albany, 10 storytellers—whose
stories range in style from humorous to hoary—will regale
listeners with all manner of real-life, real-time, reach-right-out-and-touch-’em
Over the last seven years, the local staging of Tellebration!
has attracted increasing numbers of story-hungry folks (organizers
of the event estimate that recent crowds have numbered between
300 and 400). And coproducer Kate Dudding has pointed out
that such numbers enable a thriving year-round trade in
storytelling. In a press release, she notes that “the proceeds
from the concerts have enabled us to underwrite 35 storytelling
programs at libraries throughout the Greater Capital Region.”
This year’s Tellebration! boasts Dudding as a performer
as well as an organizer; joining her will be Kent Busman,
Fran Combs, coproducer Joe Doolittle, Lois Foight Hodges,
Nancy Marie Payne, Frank Wind, Amy Spaulding, Carol Connolly
and Kathy Gill. All, by the way, are area residents. Heartening
evidence that in the Capital Region people are still more
than happy to look you right in the face and tell you a
The Tellebration! 2003 will take place on Saturday (Nov.
15), at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets for
the 7:30 PM show are $12 advance, $15 door. For tickets
or more information, 473-1845.
Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited
means “spears,” and Thomas’ socially charged music truly
lives up to that handle. A Zimbabwean who came of age in
the country’s revolution, Mapfumo has used music as a vehicle
for activism and protest. Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited
have been playing together since 1980, and their massive
all-night concerts are legendary in Zimbabwe. Their innovative
brand of Afropop combines elements of African jazz and R&B
with dance grooves and traditional elements including several
mbrias (a finger piano made of a gourd with metal keys used
His songs confront serious problems including AIDS, corrupt
leaders, and the problems of waning cultural identity. The
Mugabe government viewed him as such a threat that Mapfumo
had liven in exile in Eugene, Ore., since 2000. In spite
of this, he returns to Zimbabwe to play in the face of arrest,
and continues to record critical and potent songs for his
people. Mapfumo’s rare local appearance on Monday is a also
a benefit for WRPI.
Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited will play Revolution
Hall (421-425 River St., Troy) on Monday (Nov. 17) at 8
PM. For more information, call the club at 273-2337.