Live Deconstructed: Philip Jeck and Ted Riederer
Last night I saw a performance/concert at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn by Philip Jeck and Ted Riederer that was part of the Issue Project Room Series celebrating publisher Touch's 30th Anniversary. The concert consisted of a live performance by Ted Riederer on guitar and vocals and Philip Jeck on turntables/electronics. This live performance was captured direct to lathe-cut vinyl. This live-recorded lathe-cut vinyl was then handed to Jeck who incorporated it into his live turntable/electronics. Then they repeated this process of recording the live sounds to lathe cut vinyl and over time live became all processed turntable/electronics over processed live recordings of turntables/electronics as if Jeck's instruments dissected Ted Riederer over time and repetition causing him to deconstruct before our, um, ears.
During the performance which lasted over an hour, I was mostly transfixed. At first by the physical goings on and the resulting music but over time my focus drifted toward pure sound. Abstract art. Ted Riederer referred to his collaborations with Jeck during his brief introduction as an "Exquisite corpse" (no pun intended considering the venue), the Surrealist game where participants add words or images to other player's words or images on the same piece of folded paper without the benefit of seeing what the other person has written or drawn. The end result is therefor an amalgamation of disparate parts made whole only due to their existence on the same piece of paper. Last night, we were the paper.
Somewhere about three quarters of the way through, when things were pretty much all Jeck, a young boy let out a loud and long yawn which served to at once break the spell I'd fallen under and to reinforce how this listening experience had heightened my listening attention to every sound and this great yawn folded into the performance along with some creaky footsteps caused by other audience members comings and goings over the old wooden church floors.
The event was well attended, the crowd was varied in terms of age, well tattooed, and extremely well behaved and attentive. This was not easy listening even though listening is easy. I left Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral hearing music's determinacy in Brooklyn's every sound.