The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jul 17, 2012

Alex Tyson and Jesse Kudler improvise Tuesday Tune-Out

Posted by CSchwartz

Every week at PhilaMOCA, Tuesday night becomes a multimedia mixture of live music and film. The event is called Tuesday Tune-Out, which brings in a local musical act to perform followed by a film or video screening of their choice. Generally, the film selection is some type of inspiration or thematic crossover for the musicians – something that represents their work.

From month to month, there is a different curator for the project who selects the weekly program schedule. For July, the curator is Herb Shellenberger of Black Circle Cinema. Last week included music by the band Pet Milk followed by a screening of the amusingly dated documentary “Future Shock,” narrated by Orson Welles.

A still from one of the 16mm films being projected for the performance.

This week, Shellenberger has invited Alex Tyson and Jesse Kudler for somewhat of a deviation from the normal programming. Instead of the usual band-then-movie setup, this Tuesday night explores the give and take between live electronic music and projected 16mm film. Shellenberger will be screening vintage educational films from the 1950s through the 1970s as Kudler and Tyson manipulate pre-recorded sounds, the film’s soundtrack, and even the whirr of the projector to patch together a live audio experience for the moving images.

Jesse Kudler is the composer of a variety of low-tech, multi-channel electronic music in which he utilizes all manner of sound making devices: radios and transmitters, pedals, cheap guitars and handheld cassette recorders, among others. He attended Wesleyan University where he studied with Ron Kuivila, Alvin Lucier and Anthony Braxton. Currently, Kudler is the co-founder and co-director of the Philadelphia Sound Forum, along with Ian Fraser.

Kudler and Tyson Jesse Kudler and Alex Tyson tweaking their setup for the show.

You may have heard of Alex Tyson through his work with Data Garden, a Philadelphia-based electronic music label which he co-founded. Back in April, he was a part of the “Quartet” event at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which played ambient music created by the electrical impulses of tropical plants. Tyson is also a visual artist and works with experimental and documentary film production.

With a table full of all manner of analog synthesizers, mixers, microphones, guitar necks and assorted equipment, the two are set to take some cheesy, old school educational flicks to an entirely new realm. The exchange between the two musicians, the film and the equipment is sure to be a real-time improvisational adventure. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the event costs $5.

PhilaMOCA is located at 531 N. 12th St., Philadelphia; 267-519-9651;

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