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Discussion and Performance

Fennesz and Polwechsel

Computing Culture Group and Non-Event
With support from the Austrian Culture Foundation of New York

Friday, October 24, 2003
See Non-Event for more details.

Bartos Theatre/Lower Atrium, MIT Media Lab (E15)

Christian Fennesz (Austria)—Laptop computer

Polwechsel (Austria, United Kingdom):
Werner Dafeldecker—double bass and electronics
John Butcher—saxophones
Michael Moser—cello
Burkhard Stangl—guitars and electronics

Non-Event, in collaboration with MIT Media Laboratory, presents an evening of electro-acoustic improvised music by Fennesz and Polwechsel.

The predominantly Viennese quartet Polwechsel have exhaustively explored the grey areas between composition and improvisation, electronic and acoustic, jazz and classical for much of the past decade. Since its formation, Polwechsel has developed a highly original sound, based on microscopic textures and instrumental deconstruction, that has placed them at the forefront of European experimental music.

Christian Fennesz is possibly the most prominent of the current field of laptop musicians. He burst onto the scene in 1995, with Instrument, a record of deconstructed guitar compositions, and has since explored various combinations of guitar and laptop, melody and distortion, improvisation and postproduction on recordings for the labels Touch and Mego. He is also an integral member of the all-star electronic orchestra MIMEO and the laptop trio Fennoberg.

This evening's concert will feature individual sets by Polwechsel and Fennesz, followed by a collaborative set with all five musicians. There will also be a talk with the musicians, open to the public, taking place the afternoon of the concert, at 4:30 PM in Bartos Theater, downstairs in the Media Lab building.

This concert is made possible in part by the Computing Culture group at the MIT Media Lab and the Austrian Culture Foundation of New York.

The Computing Culture group, led by Chris Csikszentmihályi, works to create unique media technologies for cultural applications. Projects will result in specific works of art, but will also help further an understanding of the relationships between new media and cultural production. Some of the strategies utilized include interventions in contemporary consumer electronics, creating special events for public situations, and applying technical research and development to cultural agendas that wouldn't normally receive them. The group's emphasis is on physically embodied, rather than screen-based or virtual, work.

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