In our art and photography coverage series Color in Motion, we are always looking to bridge as many foundations and mediums of the worlds. In the world of imagery and photography, there isn’t a more advanced source then the work being conducted by NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope for a look into the vast amount of space that represents our universe. Celebrating the 23rd year of its existence this week, NASA captured a stunning image of the Horsehead Nebula that we are sharing with our readers today. Check out the article from CBS for a full break down of the image captured by clicking here. Image courtesy of NASA.
On April 8th, Chicago’s Angel Olsen took center stage at the infamous Echo in Los Angeles, CA, playing for a very receptive audience of this rising folk singer. Olsen was recently signed to the long standing Jagjaguwar this year, a label that was founded in 1996 and located in Bloomington, Indiana. The label has given her high praise, stating in their press news, “Her voice is an incredibly strange, yet warmly inviting instrument always positioned at the forefront of her songs.” This was on full display at the Echo as her voice was unique, powerful and remarkably controlled. The live band that she has taken on tour with her consists of Danah Olivetree (cello), Stewart Bronaugh (bass) and Joshua Jaeger (drums). Fully polished, everyone brought a lot of presence at The Echo, giving Olsen a lot of room to do everything that makes her so unique. Angel Olsen is an accomplished guitar player and song writer, really defining her own identity and character within minutes of performing. The Echo presents a special world where everyone is close and able to really interact with the setting and Olsen’s approach to music was perfect for this atmosphere. Sound Colour Vibration’s head photographer Oliver Walker was on site for this performance and documented the night in full. Enjoy the photos from Angel Olsen and her band while listening to the Angel Olsen single “Tiniest Seed” from Bathetic Records below.
Angel Olsen live at The Echo Los Angeles
All photography from Oliver Walker | http://olivermwalker.com/
A transatlantic epistolary exchange.
A song transformed into a film score and mailed across the Atlantic Ocean.
The score interpreted using an intuitive approach and a single roll of 16mm color negative film. The film exposed, rewound and re-exposed many times, developed and sent back across the Atlantic. These images were collected with the foreknowledge that the film would be extensively manipulated in the darkroom. An archaic homemade contact printer was used to create the final look and that film was hand-processed, and rinsed and repeated all in the same room in which the score began.
Time passing. The feeling of time. Collapsing space. Collapsing time. Collapsing time and space.
*16mm print available and recommended for screening purposes. This is the digital version.
“Sweet Dreams” available on Angel Olsen’s “Sleepwalker” 7 inch from Sixteen Tambourines (sixteentambourines.bigcartel.com/)
US footage processed at Filmworkers/ Astro Labs Chicago. Austrian footage hand-processed at the filmkoop wien. 2K film scan by Synchro Vienna
This film was made under the auspices of a Fulbright grant funded by the Austrian-American Educational Commission.
On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, Los Angeles was given a special presentation of some of the best modern electronic and hip hop music at the always packed Low End Theory. Including Baths, Dauwd, Ta-Ku, Dark Time Sunshine, special guest Busdriver and all of the Low End residents (Nocando, GLK, D-Styles, Daddy Kev and DJ Nobody), the evening was filled with an entirely different atmosphere than usual. The connectivity power was activated right from the beginning and a deep sense of passion swept through the Low End audience with superb sets from everyone on the bill. As the official return of Baths to the Low End Theory, this Anticon artist has been canvasing the world with his musical craft and Low End Theory was a must stop event for this visionary. Everyone on the bill that night was in full stride with various projects, highlighting one very small pocket of the collective artistic momentum that is existing in the 2010′s.
Baths has been promoting material off his upcoming album scheduled to release with Anticon in May of this year and anticipation has been raised with the type of set he gave to the city of LA for Low End. London’s Dauwd is also in promotion of new material with the February release of a bass heavy and experimentally electro EP by the name of Heat Division (Pictures Music Records). The vibe of the room changed entirely for his set, defining why he has been creating the type of buzz there is around him. Ta-Ku is one of the hardest working individuals in modern producer culture, claiming a large body of networks that include Project: Mooncircle, Soulection, HW&W, Sunday Records, Mushroom Music and much more. Low End Theory is an evolving platform for many different producer types and Ta-Ku brought his unique presence to the night without flaw. He has the kind of presence and sonic type that fit seamlessly with the past foundations of some of the best sets at Low End. The moment he got on the Low End stage, you could just feel what was about to happen.
Dark Time Sunshine is on the last leg of their US tour with Void Pedal and Moodie Black and stopped by Low End Theory for this one off date. Members Onry Ozzborn and Zavala create a very progressive and unique type of hip hop that is mind blowing in lyrical form. The beats are full of color and life, with deviations to the norm that are starting to become the norm in hip hop. Experimentally driven, the music is large and taps into a completely new type of atmosphere for the genre. There set was yet another completely unique experience that was highlighted by the contagious good vibes that were in the crowd. Busdriver was a special guest for the evening and displayed his technical and creative prowess on the mic for LA.
Low End Theory became a very different experience on March 20th, 2013 then ever before and was a night we feel honored to have captured with the photo collection that is below. The residents of Low End Theory have constantly been sharpening their skills over the life span of Low Ends existence and it’s astonishing to see it all continue to elevate on the level it did this last week.
Baths, Ta-Ku, Dauwd & Dark Time Sunshine + All Residents
March 20, 2013 @ Low End Theory Los Angeles, CA
All photography by Oliver Walker
NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day March 11, 2013
Sakurajima Volcano with Lightning
From NASA | http://www.nasa.gov/
“Why does a volcanic eruption sometimes create lightning?
Pictured above, the Sakurajima volcano in southern Japan was caught erupting in early January. Magma bubbles so hot they glow shoot away as liquid rock bursts through the Earth’s surface from below. The above image is particularly notable, however, for the lightning bolts caught near the volcano’s summit. Why lightning occurs even in common thunderstorms remains a topic of research, and the cause of volcanic lightning is even less clear. Surely, lightning bolts help quench areas of opposite but separated electric charges. One hypothesis holds that catapulting magma bubbles or volcanic ash are themselves electrically charged, and by their motion create these separated areas. Other volcanic lightning episodes may be facilitated by charge-inducing collisions in volcanic dust. Lightning is usually occurring somewhere on Earth, typically over 40 times each second.”
See this and more amazing photographs at: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130311.html
Bureau B opens the vaults back up on the 1982 electronic and ambient record “Wasser im Wind” from Cluster’s Roedelius
Hamburg, Germany based label Bureau B have been working very closely with one of the pioneers of electronic, ambient and experimental music: Hans-Joachim Roedelius. As one of the founding members of Kluster and what would more commonly be known as Cluster, Roedelius rose out of the legendary Krautrock scene during the shifting era of the late 60′s into the 70′s. Nureau B has been releasing many of the solo records of Roedelius that were put out in the 70′s and 80′s from the famous German label Sky Records. I recently got my hands on one of their reissues, Wasser im Wind and after over a dozen listens later, I am now heavily archiving many of the Roedelius related transgression of mainstream ideologies through album form that I never knew existed. His total output and quality over the last 40 years is prolific, stunning and jaw dropping to say the least.
It’s hard to believe that by the time Wasser im Wind came out in 1982, Roedelius had already completed over 10 records with Kluster/Cluster, 9 solo records along with various other projects that came about with the likes of Brian Eno and others. Mind you, this was all in the period of a year or two beyond a decade. Roedelius was already embedded into the fabric and pulse of electronic music by the tim 1982 rolled around. There has never been a phase in electronic music that didn’t include him since his debut record with Kluster. In the purest and most honest way to approach music, Roedelius has continued the evolution of his Cluster project in recent years. With a third break up under the Cluster name, the Bureau B label and Roedelius have embarked on a new series of releases under the name of Qluster with Onnen Bock joining Roedeleius. Since May of this year, two LP’s have already been released: Fragren and Rufen.
New synthesizer technology was becoming more accessible to the youth at the turn of the 60′s and Germany utilized this collectively like no other region of the world. Very rarely does a genre have more definition in the idea of individuality and evolution of sound with acoustics and electronics among colleagues in one country than it does with musical scales and theory. This rarity occurred with Roedelius and the movement known as Krautrock. Roedleius was releasing all of his solo records with Sky Records, a Hamburg, Germany based label run by former Brain Records associate Günter Körber. Günter Körber had left Brain to start his own label and his relationships with the bands from Brain afforded him a healthy cast of a whose who list of Krautrock pioneers to join him. The label was only 3 years old when Roedelius released his first record Durch die Wüste (1978) with them. Only 5 years after the debut outing of Durch die Wüste, Roedelius was releasing his 10th solo record on the label with Wasser im Wind.
For anyone into the works of Cluster, you will be familiar with the dense, murky avant-garde sonic work outs found all over their catalog. Experimental music of the 70′s went clear across the board and Cluster still holds ranks as one of the most influential in Europe and one of the most outward bands. In the mid 70′s, the members of Cluster had formed a very close working relationship with fellow electronic pioneer of their time, Brian Eno. In 1977 Brian Eno, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and ever present Dieter Moebius constructed an album with the help of Can bassist Holger Czukay and Germany avant-garde composer Asmus Tietchens on synthesizer called Cluster & Eno. Also released on Sky Records, this album propelled Roedelius into a world where solo releases around his main projects was possible.
The releases from Roedelius after Cluster and Eno would come at the world in a rapid and intense manner and Roedelius would further explore other sounds outside of the avante-garde. By the earlyy 80′s, Cluster had begun what would prove to be a very long hiatus. This hiatus gave Roedelius further room to expand his solo career. Wasser im Wind culminates all of his projects in a way that reflects this hiatus and resting period of an electronic band who went 10+ years strong. Brian Eno had a huge influence as well and his voice comes through loud and clear with Wasser im Wind.
What makes Wasser im Wind so unique is the inclusion of guitarist, bassist and engineer Eric Spitzer-Marlyn along with saxophone player Alexander Czjzek. Both would work extensively with Roedelius in the future and this was the beginning of that relationship. Czjzek plays on 3 of the 9 songs and is not as present but his instrument brings a very different relationship to the music of Roedelius. This is the kind of record that is easy to enjoy on many levels, with the headphone experience providing the most intense feeling.
The voice of Cluster had gone away from Roedelius in his late 70′s and early 80′s solo releases. Wasser im Wind brings back the voice of Cluster on many of the songs back for one last auditory celebration. With long wave like synthesizer sheets that oscillate around the mix, there is an ongoing imaginative and ancient like tone that springs forth in all of the songs. The vocal addition from Roedelius in the song ‘Zwei Sind Eins’ creates a very omnipresent feeling that would work perfectly in a scene of Dune or Blade Runner. The pulsating and loop of synthesizer keeps the song grounded in the era it was created in with the vocals and layering of further synth creates a very mystical presence.
There is a lot of pulse like synthesizer parts with the songs without saxophone, while the songs that do have saxophone bubble and rise out of the depths of something deeper and more foggy. ‘Immergrun’ shows a marvelous display of natural piano with saxophonist Czjzek soaring around all over the elegant sound. Classical, contemplative and experimental, it’s a completely natural sounding piece and shifts the tonality of the album drastically. Talk about dynamics. On the piece ‘Auf Des Tigers Spur’, guitarist Eric Spitzer-Marlyn lets loose and shows his presence in a way more commonly used by a guitarist. The first time I heard this LP I didn’t even realize guitar was being used until this moment came. Then further listens revealed how tricky and clever his guitar masks itself with the usage of effects and how that models the synthesizer in place.
‘Wasser im Wind’, the title track of the album is my favorite number. Long and stretched out swirls of synthesizer wash over gently like crashes of waves that overlap each other. There is a sound that permeates in the background, almost a sign of distress. Rhe saxophone is drenched in delay with a very eerie slow bubbling series of note configurations. There is something waiting to burst out and the use of restraint and tonality is superb and surreal. A little over 5 minutes, it reflects the ancient tones found in a lot of the Cluster records where the use of electronics modifies itself to include a voice and soul. The inclusion of a sample from the beach with a sea gull is faintly interjected faster than it can be grabbed by the common listen. This album is full of that type of surprise and non obvious depth.
With Wasser im Wind, the post production of the album and the panning and positioning of the sounds is just as important as gear and conceptual elements of harmony present. The Drummer One rhythm machine is boldly brought back into the mix, a feature of many of the old Cluster albums. The post production elements mentioned before bring out distinct tonal qualities in each song that reflect how much detail was put into the minimalistic and subtle nuances from song to song. When I first heard Wasser im Wind, it didn’t hit me as strong as when I put on headphones and dialed myself in right. By the time I got to the end on my dozen listen or so, there was a cerebral calming that occurred over me, a reflection of my own musical past and what I valued in sound. Music that can at times peaceful and serene and others dark and mischievous is a reflection of the compassion and vision the German arts community had in the 70′s in the world of electronics. Listening to this album liberates me from the trappings of not connecting beauty when thinking of Germany from the obvious history the country is most commonly known for.
Wasser im Wind is an incredible nod to the past and a hint of the future in electronic pioneering. There is a perfect balance of conventional and unconventional ideologies of sound present. Electronic derivatives of sound since the 70′s such as trance, jungle, dubstep, beat music, and so much more all have origins in the forging of electronic culture by the Krautrokc pioneers Cluster and its core members. Roedelius gave breath and energy to this movement and it’s beautiful to see him still doing his thing in the world of electronics 40 years later. He will be a permanent landing point for anyone who ventures into the legacy of electronic music and this reissue is just as important to that legacy as any of the pivotal albums from Cluster. Wasser im Wind is a very important and long awaited reissue.
- Erik Otis
Wasser im Wind
Sky Records 1982
Reissued with Bureau B 2011
- Der Ruf der Ferne
- Am Stadtrand
- Zwei sind eins
- Auf des Tigers Spur
- Wasser im Wind
- Heilsamer Brunnen
- lFenster im Schnee
Sound Colour Vibration photographer and head of our film department Erick R. Wilczynski documented a recent Roedelius performance in Los Angeles at the Echo. Curated by Dublab and held on Ocober 27th, the event showcased Roedelius doing what he does best: a crash course, live guide book and amalgamation of the modern electronic music his colleagues and himself pioneered and branded for the world to share. Check out a small sample of the full photo set we will be posting soon.
All photography by Oliver Walker
Last month, the mood was ecstatic at the weekly Low End Theory beat night in a way unlike many other nights held at the prestigious event. 5 years after the birth of not only a club event but a distinct movement in current music, Low End Theory was celebrating its birthday under the falling sky of Southern California in a beautiful time of year to be here. All the residents were in house: Gaslamp Killer, Daddy Kev, Nocando, Nobody and D-Styles. The evenings smooth transitions of residents and guests were a strong indication of the bond the Low End family has created over the last 5 years of constantly holding it down in the LA area. Within these five years, residencies have expanded into Japan, New York and now San Francisco.
Low End Theory’s 5th year of existence was a landmark statement to the community of LA and experimental electronic music at large. Nocando, D-Styles, and Daddy Kev got things started with Nocando reminding the audience that Low End was one of the very few all-ages venues, which the crowd cheered by raising either hands holding cans of pabst or empty ones emblazoned with X’s. Nosaj Thing took to the stage with a rare turntable performance playing a sort of tribute mix to Low End residents and frequent performers, ending with Birthday Music by Gaslamp Killer.
The climax of the evening was with no doubt the surprise guest appearance of Mix Master Mike (fucking unreal) gracing the Low End stage. The level of energy was high upon Mike’s visual contact with the audience. At various parts of the night the age of the building was shown by the feeling of the floor shaking to the beat. Though Mike’s computer was still present, it was awesome to see the level of turntabalism that Mike aka The Serial Wax Killer continues. Mix Master Mike is and will always be one of the king’s of the decks. Experience a really raw audience capture of what Mix Master Mike brought that evening here. DJ Nobody got onto the stage to take over shortly after Mike’s set, after which Daddy Kev, D-Styles and Nocando took turns to close out the night. 5 years in the making and Japan, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are deeply embedded with the presence of Low End Theory and the circles of those who create with them. What’s next?
- Oliver Walker and Erik Otis
Big Sir was founded in the late 90′s and early 2000′s. The group features two musicians that are well known in the Sargent House universe: Lisa Papineau (Pet, ME&LP, Jun Miyake) and Juan Alderete (Vato Negro, Mars Volta, and Racer X).
Juan is a seasoned bassist whose abilities shine in both finger picking and fret board work as they do in the department of effects pedals and unique tones. When you see his pedal board display in any live setting, it can be a little daunting for anyone who plays music and dreams of owning even a third of the stuff this guy carries from gig to gig. Big Sir is no exception to this rule and the creamy tones Juan gets from his vintage and modern collection of bass guitars flow out of his bass rig and pa selflessly. Juans tones really absorb the low end inside of a venue, especially a smaller spot like the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. Add the marvelous vocal and keyboard talents of Lisa to this mix and you are ready for something very special to happen. Lisa is a true professional, able to withstand any movement on stage and retain the fullest and richest range of vocals and find enough time to add sheets of synth.
Big Sir have released three albums since 2000. Being a functional and creative group with so many other demanding projects for nearly a decade has proven to be a balancing act that has not been on their side until recent. With 3 albums under their belt in the course of 10 years or so they had yet to embark on a full tour. This brings us to a brisk Friday night in Silverlake, just east of downtown Los Angeles, at the Bootleg Theater (also common ground for Sargent House). Big Sir completed their 2011 West Coast tour with the drumming contribution of Cedric Bixler-Zavala (De Facto, The Mars Volta, At The Drive-In, and Los Dregtones), a very warming welcome to all those in attendance. Anticipation was high and the 70′s kit Cedric Bixler-Zavala had for this gig was a beautiful touch. Brushes and minimalism was his approach for the evening and he played really well as a supporting member of this incredible group. It was a pleasant surprise to see Jonathan Hischke (Hella, Dot Hacker, Le Butcherettes, and many more) take stage with the trio. Hischke stayed on stage for the entire show and added some great synth bass to the eclectic mix. If you are into people who are approaching electronics and the bass guitar with new ideas and new visions, Jonathan’s works should surely be at the top of that interest.
The final guest of the evening was Matt Embree (The Sound of Animals Fighting, RX Bandits) who sang along with Lisa on a couple of songs. It may as well be noted that Cedric also lent his backup abilities at times. All of this has been orchestrated to promote the release of a new Big Sir album and to present a small preview for the new phase of accelerated activity of Big Sirs future. The live performance was a promising illustration of what the bass and vocal-driven band have in store for the audience with their new release due out early next year on Sargent House.
Papineau and Alderete carried the audience through the whimsical night. Papineau’s vocals defied a singular structure and her dance moves were the perfect visual accompaniment to the music. Alderete’s bass was augmented in a higher tone while Hischke’s synth bass played on the deep end. The pair accompanied one another beautifully.
One of the most free form parts of the evening was the encore performance. Lisa Papineau assured everyone it was mostly “improv” and the crowd was stunned largely in part from this ending section by the evenings conclusion.
Big Sir are a staple in the study of the bass guitar and how it marries perfectly with the angelic vocal tones of a beautiful singer such as Lisa Papineau. God Bless Juan and Lisa, and their undying love for the vision of Big Sir.
- Erick R. Wilczynsky
All photography by Erick R. Wilczynsky
dub verb \ˈdəb\ – 1: to alter the soundtrack of (an old recording, film, etc)
2: a. music a style of record production associated with reggae, involving the removal or exaggeration of instrumental parts, extensive use of echo, etc b. (as modifier): a dub mix
3: : to trim or remove the comb and wattles of
4: the new sounds added to a film or tape.
lab noun \ˈlab\ – a place equipped for experimental study in a science or for testing and analysis; broadly: a place providing opportunity for experimentation, observation, or practice in a field of study.
dub·lab – a non profit public music internet radio station and live collective of electronic and analog oratory and ocular artists.
12-year – The ripe age for a great fermentation of qualities and flavors.
Dublab 12-year – A celebration of artists, their live experimental history, and their nonprofit outlet to their fan base. A Culmination of modern history in experimentalism and multidisciplinary arts with emphasis in electronics.
The Dublab 12-year anniversary went down this year and was held at ATX: Atwater Crossing Arts & Innovation Complex. The event was spread out between three stages in the complex. After entering the venue, you are greeted by really nice people who are trying to give you free things: stickers, cds, and other jazz. I queried whether or not that table of iphone4 cases is up for grabs and to my surprise they were. Naturally one case per person; after receiving a classy free iphone 4 case from one of the sponsors I was into the thick of one of Dublab’s most impressive events.
Feeling slightly flattered and slightly more elated, became saturated immeidately into the world of the 12yr-anniversary for the prestigious Dublab organization. The first stage, the courtyard, is your introduction to whatever absurdities the night may hold. There is an inexorable rotation of DJ’s throughout the entire night, you can always count on this area to have sounds constantly cycling, waiting to reach those passing or stopping by. The schedule is hard to follow because artists off the formal schedule keep chiming in for a bit and spinning records for what seems to be random amounts of time. This stage seems to be the feel-good stage where artists can step out of their immediate styles and play whatever they damn-well please. As a member of the amoebic like audience, you have the same liberty of staying, going or just passing through on your way to another area offered for this event.
Waltzing through the corridors takes you to the next stage, the AT1. This serves as the main event stage and was site for some of the best sets I have seen in a long time. The room was enormous as was the size of the stage set up. In the far back were tables, chairs and, naturally, a bar. An adjoining wall was adorned with couches for the less vivacious and the more exhausted patrons present that evening. With the amount of stimulation occurring, exhaustion was inevitable by ends night.
Jaunting further down the rabbit hole brought me outdoors where, initially, I was greeted by the Hit+Run t-shirt screen-printing station (for those less familiar with the scene you can choose your logos and print your own shirt.) Jumping off the low ledge upon which Hit+Run was perched brings you to LA’s infamous taco trucks. Five to be general, and no tacos to be precise; these trucks wafted your parched mind and stomach with delicious aromas that either made you full and happy, desirous and empty, or damning yourself for eating before you came.
Again you traverse the electronic circus grounds and jump over an even smaller wall, skip through the parking lot, enter the glass door -making sure to keep quiet, in accordance with the sign, as not to disrupt the angry seeming Shakespearean actors troop- and flow effortlessly into the final effort of the Dublab spectacle. This is where you find yourself in perpetual motion falling down the rabbit hole. This is…The Goldilocks room. There are no words that can do such a place justice, especially with a bias to one trivial opinion or another. The room is a gritty warehouse with large opaque-glass windows –which were hit with pretty and vibrant orange spills of light from outside with visuals encompassing all interior walls. This is of course the visual installment/experiment and a staple of the modern electronic beat scene. The 60′s psychedelic scene isn’t so far away from what was going down here and the visual presentation had a lot to do with this connection. There were projectors on numerous walls, a dj in the front, and a man generating analog visual occurrences on a large projector in the front of the room.
The performers, dj’s and producers of the evening served the night well, placing an emphasis on the constantly shifting pulse of modern electronic music and particularly th0se who have been associated with Dublab’s rich legacy for these past 12 frutful years of their existence. Teebs, The Gaslamp Killer, Daedelus and Take aka Sweatson Klank brought the crowd to a very comfortable and relaxed mood by the end of the night. All of the main performers blended a very unique type of energy in their sets that was unlike any others from their colleagues. Collectively speaking, the selection of these artists really made this a special evening to be a part of and the presentation of it left many of the people with us speechless at the end. It was easily one of the most cohesive branching of bills I have experienced in the many shows I have seen for the artists who frequent Dublab and Low End Theory.
This evening was all about the state of modern west coast electronics from the last 10 years and everyone displayed this rich culture the entire evening. Teebs has a very relaxed, spiritual and glossy feel to his creations, you become transfixed and hooked to his collage work and sheets of sound. His movements on stage seem so flawless and in control while on the other side of the coin Gaslamp Killer really shows you what it is like to go nuts and love every moment of it. This type of duality occurred in many instances and for all sets. The photography captured from the Sound Colour Vibration at this years 12 year anniversary Dublab event depicts the rich color and vibrancy that this night blossomed into and the overall aesthetic Dublab has been giving the world for 12 years.
- Erick R. Wilczynksi and Erik Otis
Check out our favorite pictures from the hundreds taken by the following members of the California chapter for SCV’s photography team: Oliver Walker, Erick R. Wilczynski and David Acampora.
Jill Furmanovsky might be one of the luckiest photographers in this day and age. How she connected herself into the resident staff at one of London’s top venues of the 70′s is a story you have to read. London’s modern music scene of the 70′s was exploding with new frontiers of sound and the historic Rainbow Theater was a melting pot for the worlds top acts to bring their live presentation to the fans in the UK. Jill Furmanovsky was at the center of all of this excitement, taking pictures of the best in the creative world of the arts.
We contacted Jill in the hopes to interview her about her rich legacy and more importantly the contributions she made to the recent Pink Floyd Immersion box sets. We could not have been happier that she agreed. Enjoy this interview with Jill Furmanovsky, we feel her works are a very important time capsule for future generations of influence and can be used as vital tools for personal research to any photographers or historians of music. We can only be so lucky to have talent like hers in this world.
Jill Furmanovsky exclusive interview with Sound Colour Vibration
Conducted by Erik Otis
*All Photos ©JillFurmanovsky/ not for reproduction without permission
Before we dive into the rich contents of this new Pink Floyd Immersion set for Dark Side of the Moon, I wanted to talk a little bit about your start at London’s historical Rainbow Theater in the 70′s. You had the opportunity of studying at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and soon there after got a gig as a resident photographer with the Rainbow Theatre. How did you get linked in so quickly with just arriving at this college?
In those days, early 70’s, photography was not considered an art, it was a service department within the art school. All degree students (I was studying Textile design) were put on a two week course so that they could photograph their work or use photography as part of their design work. However, despite its lowly status, it was a terrific department staffed by professionals. There was a huge darkroom with helpful technicians and a studio. During my 2-week course I went to the Rainbow one night to see the band ‘Yes’. I took the college camera and a roll of b&w film. Somehow I managed to join a bunch of professional photographers who were shooting in the pit area. At the end of the show two of them asked me if I was professional. I lied and said yes so they offered to let me take over from them as official Rainbow photographer – they were off to make a film somewhere. I remember going back to college the next day and saying to the tutors ‘teach me everything quickly – I’ve got a job! Well it was an unpaid job but it was my passport to the rock world and professional photography.
Were you nervous for your first shoot at the Rainbow Theater and what was the first concert there that really blew you away and made you love the process you were involved in?
I was hooked on photography from day one, roll one. I knew in my soul that me and the camera were going to be an item – it seemed destiny. So it didn’t seem at all strange to get a job and to be shooting for real after a two-week course, even at the Rainbow. However, my first lot of pictures were not great! Pink Floyd were my favorite band at the time, and being at one of their rehearsals as well as their shows in the night blew me away.
What was the most bizarre or memorable experience you had during your photography residency at the Rainbow Theater?
Some good moments, some bad, some damn strange and some funny. Van Morrison and the Caladonian Soul Orchestra over several nights – superb. Lisa Manelli’s breast falling out of her costume during a dance move – with Peter Sellars giggling in the wings, Chuck Berry walking through the packed auditorium to collect his money in cash from the box office, having the film ripped out of my camera at a David Bowie concert by one of his manager’s henchmen, Bill Withers alone onstage with an acoustic guitar, the balcony bouncing with Slade fans going wild, James Brown lit by red light singing It’s a Man’s World, the first performance of Tommy by The Who with Sandy Denny and Merry Clayton Bell and Rod Stewart etc. Eric Clapton playing Layla for the first time, seeing Robert Plant and Roy Harper hanging out backstage, The Clash fans trashing the first two rows of seats….
What types of cameras and lenses were you using in this period and do you miss the analog era of photography?
Pentax Spotmatics at first and then Nikon FE’s. I don’t miss them as such, but I am amazed at how sharp a lot of the pictures are considering the lighting conditions, slow-ish films and hand focusing of a moving object. Don’t think I could do that now…
Who were some of your favorite photographers to work with during that period and what was the funniest shoot you did during the 70′s?
I loved Barrie Wentzell because he made me laugh – he used to stay in the bar for the show but turn up for the encores. Invariably he got the best shots. Mike Putland told me how to process up-rated film during a long drum solo – “Microphen, nine and a half minutes, 70 degrees” he shouted. And of course Pennie Smith was there, my only female colleague, with her little suitcase, which I think she still uses. We both had a laugh when Todd Rundgren came on stage with a bulge in his glitter suit described by ‘Sounds’ as ‘a sack of potatoes.’
On April 11, 1973, Pink Floyd played two concerts at the Rainbow Theatre to promote Dark Side of the Moon. Can you describe in as much detail as possible, the atmosphere that was present during this period of Pink Floyd and particularly these shows. We are very fascinated into the window that you had being around this scene and being able to judge it from the vast experiences you hold to the region while completing your studies.
As I said, I was a massive Pink Floyd fan, so being at the rehearsals and shows at the Rainbow was extraordinary. I remember being swamped by dry ice and poking my head over it to take shots, I remember Gilmour playing those divine solos and focusing on his arms, which are really beautiful and thinking as I studied his face with a telephoto lens, this is the best job in the world. I remember buying a raffle ticket from Nick Mason at one of the rehearsals. It was for a street party in Camden Town where he lived and I won one of the prizes – a crate of booze. I don’t really drink but being rung up and collecting the prize from him was a thrill. A year later I went on the road with the band and took a lot of the pictures that appear in these Immersion sets.
Now we would love to dive into the new Immersion Pink Floyd box sets you are involved with. Dark Side of the Moon has been released and is a marvelous collection. I love hearing the Alan Parsons mixes that were done in 1972 and all the video along with the beautiful linear notes and photos presented in those. You had a heavy hand with the photography present. How did they select you for this task and what exactly did they ask of you?
I was chosen by Hipgnosis to go on the road with the band in 1974 on their UK tour. I was 21 and had just finished college so it was a gift of a job. I had been to see Storm and Po in the early 70’s while a student hoping for some work. I thought they were brilliant. They didn’t need me to shoot their covers, and anyway I wasn’t technically proficient in that area, but when it came to documentary work it wasn’t their bag so they offered the tour to me. The images were for a possible book project they were working on with a writer called Nick Sedgewick, a friend of Roger Waters. I had to shoot the sound-checks, the roadies, the band playing all their various sports, the travel on trains, backstage stuff, hotel scenes, and of course live pictures. It was an exhausting but exhilarating experience. Sadly the book never materialized as it probably gave too much away or upset people, I don’t know exactly what happened to the text, but the pix remain.
How long did the process take for all the steps involved with the box and what was the most rewarding parts of your time working on this Immersion release?
It has taken the best part of a year to do the picture research for DSOTM, Wish You Were Here and possibly The Wall too. Scanning images that have not been seen before has been fascinating. I was picture editing Hipgnosis images as well as mine, and as a fan I was intrigued to find unseen images. I love that the band gave such little attention to their clothes or stage appearance – it was always more about the music, the lights and the effects. So refreshing after all the posturing of other bands of that period.
What was the most stressful part?
Being a nubile young girl on the road with a load of blokes, not being particularly experienced or well-trained as a photographer, working for Storm is not easy (!) and on top of it all I was anxious to prove I was worthy of the job – taken as a whole it was stress personified but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
When you look at this new box set and you realize what it means in the context of modern culture, where do you place it in your collection of works you have been involved with?
I am very proud to have been involved with the whole project. DSOTM is a classic plain and simple but seeing the band revealed while they work is interesting now. It was Paul Loasby & Andy Murray from David Gilmour’s management who suggested including books of photos in these Immersion sets. I think fans will appreciate the intimate portrait of probably the most private band (of that stature) to emerge in the 70’s. Also Storm has surpassed himself on the packaging of these Immersion sets. Those painterly versions of the famous prism/rainbow cover are true works of art.
How many photos of Pink Floyd do you have in your archives that are unreleased?
Quite a few. Hard to say in numbers but I could probably do a book on the band and still find some unseen gems now.
They also included the quadrophonic mix Alan Parsons prepared for Dark Side on the dvd audio only disc, did you ever partake in the quadraphonic listening experience for this record?
I did love their quad sound when it was live, but haven’t heard the recorded quad version yet.
What can long time fans of Pink Floyd expect on the Wish You Were Here Immersion set?
Another book of photos and more amazing Storm graphics. There is probably more but I haven’t seen it yet.
Was the process easier or harder for the Wish You Were Here Immersion set in the work you contributed towards it?
There is only one set of photos from the recording of Wish You Were Here. We have included quite a few in the package. I wish I had taken more!
Have you heard anything new on what EMI plans to release in the next round of major releases after the Immersion box sets are out?
Sorry, don’t know.
Having seen extensive amounts of box sets released over the years for scores of artists, what do you feel separates the Immersion set for Dark Side of the Moon from any other box set ever released?
Can’t really answer that either.
What is your favorite audio or visual moment out of all the discs present from the Dark Side of the Moon Immersion set?
Storm’s artwork with the paint colours running into each other is superb. Haven’t got around to listening to all the CD or DVD’s yet.
How about the Wish You Were Here Immersion box, what is your favorite moment on that set?
Wish You Were Here is my favourite Pink Floyd album – every moment is great.
How receptive was the Pink Floyd towards you when you were shooting inside of the studio for Wish You Were Here?
The band accepted me being there and, for the most part, forgot about it, which is what you want when you are working as a photo-journalist. The recording process can be boring so there were moments when I spoke a little, mainly to Nick Mason as he wasn’t recording that day. The rest of the time it was observation and a discreet presence on my part.
One little aside for you: I was so thrilled to be in Abbey Road studios, having been a massive Beatles fan who dreamt of going inside when I was a teenager, that I don’t know which was more thrilling being inside this sacred building or shooting Pink Floyd recording!
Thanks for your time, we really appreciate it.
FYF Photo Set from September 3, 2011
All photography by Oliver Walker
Welp, there goes my festival expectations for the year. FYF was amazing this year.
Sidebar: I went last year like a regular lad (bought a ticket, got frisked, and wandered around the festival and saw bands) and I had a great time. I had one bottle of water (which brought my total spendings to $19 I think?) and got to be front and center for Man Man, got real dusty to sleep, and got to see Panda Bear play stuff that ended up on Tomboy. I guess I just didn’t have any problems and ended up having a wonderful time.
2011 had bigger bands, better logistics, and cost a little more out of pocket. Below are my top ten photos from the day, and if you click read more you can see my 400+ photos from the day. Lets do this. – Oliver Walker
10. THE DESCENDENTS
9. GUIDED BY VOICES
8. GLASS CANDY
7. EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY
6. NO AGE
5. JAPANDROIDS and the wonderful attendees.
4. DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979. To much power in this picture for the blur to bother me.
2. DAN DEACON
1. KID DYNAMITE
An amazing day. Three bonus Polaroid’s
This is OFF! fan Matt Maust taking a picture of No Age fan Keith Morris.
Big thanks to FYF shaker Sean Carlson!
Check out the entire set of 400+ photos from this years Fuck Yeah Festival!!!!
The following list comprises the artists we have covered for this years FYF.
Twin Sister • Fools Gold • Touche Amore • Tijuana Panthers • Mister Heavenly • Title Fight • Purity Ring • The Head and The Heart • Ty Segall • Pink Mountaintops • Smith Westerns • OFF! • Future Islands • Japandroids • Cults • Strange Boys • Emo Phillips • Cold War Kids • No Age • Kid Dynamite • Broken Social Scene • Girls • Yacht • Guided by Voices • Nosaj Thing • Glass Candy • The Descendents • Dan Deacon • Simian Mobile Disco • Explosions In The Sky • Death From Above 1979
All photography by Erick R Wilczynski
Hold Up Art (hUPa)* is a contemporary art gallery in downtown Los Angeles that features the creativity of local artists. It is a very hip organization that holds free exhibitions and brings art and exposure to artists and patrons alike.
Recently Hold Up Art held an opening for the artist Mexican graphics artist Kraken. The exhibit is called Fantasmas (which loosly translates to “ghosts” in English),
Kraken’s artwork is gothic in origin but has a commercial appeal. There is clearly a comic book inspiration in his art. He has done work for commercial artwork for alcohol companies and brands such as: FedEx, Reebok, and Toyota. His art has been shown around the world but this marks LA’s first gallery exhibition for him. Much of his artwork features feminine characters and birds. The women seem depraved and downtrodden, while the birds feel fierce and energetic.
He has created live posters for Adrián Terrazas-González’s El Regimen Collective. The posters are reminiscent of the psychedelic rock posters that are known for the 60’s era.
Adrián Terrazas-González has a new jazz quintet called Jazztec, who played two sets at the Fantasmas opening. The quintet features Terrazas on flute/tenor sax/ bass clarinet, José Gurria-Cardenas on drums/percussion, Javier Vergara on tenor sax/flute, Artyom Manukyan on cello, and Eddika Édule Organista Moctezuma on vocals/ acoustic guitar. As in all of his live groups that play around LA, Adrián’s Jazztec puts on a lively technically skilled performance. Bringing everyone’s attention to the masters of their instruments and bringing awe and excitement to the jaws that fill the room.
To top off the event Hold Up Art provided free wine and beer to the attendees.
In all the only thing that was missing from a great gallery opening were cheeses to sample with the wine. – Erick R. Wilczynski
All photography by Oliver Walker
Arrived in time to catch Boombaptist. The name makes some sense of this gruesome duo, one half plays the hype-man while another lays down the bass. They come from texas and are prepared to take the left coast by sword.
Natasha Kmeto is a beat-maker and vocalist heralding from Portland, Oregon, her sound produced from a bewitching brew of computer clicks and tribal influences. When she sings (and boy can she) the personal and enchanting addition of live vocals lathers up her wet and crunchy sound with a coat pure flavor, tasting great until it is drowned out by a symphony of tribal drum clicks. Some well timed head-banging got the crowd involved with some of the bigger sounding beats of the evening.
FREE THE ROBOTS is the stage name of Chris Alfaro. This incendary fellow took to the stage, releasing chunky lethargy with a baptismal of bass on top. Harmonies of psych jazz blend with the digital and analog to create flowing electronic jazz compositions. Running bass, breakbeats, and free-form piano titillate the ear before the crunchy electronics really hit. Oliver Walker
FREE THE ROBOTS
FREE THE ROBOTS, GASLAMP KILLER, and NOCANDO
DADDY KEV and NOCANDO