GMMG

Live-performance, photo collage & mapping, record collecting, listening (2015-ongoing)

Performances in Toronto, Ontario & Cambridge, MA.

 

Notes: In March 2015, I was invited by artist Christopher Willes to create a piece for a performance at the esteemed Music Gallery in Toronto. Being an avid record collector, I was familiar with their short-lived record label "Music Gallery Editions" (active from the late 70's until the mid 80's). When I began planning my trip to Toronto, I realized that the Music Gallery wasn't in the same location that was listed on their early albums. It had, in fact, moved a few times. The original location was at 30 Patrick Street - and like many small arts non-profits, it went through a number of incarnations before finding its current location at the St. George the Martyr Church, at 197 John Street. Since I was already working with concepts like displacement and site-specificity, I was looking forward to playing around with these themes in regard to the Music Gallery's changing locations; and, loosely, the role that gentrification plays in compromising an already fragile scene of artists, especially those in the avant garde.

The sounds heard during my original & subsequent performances of the piece consist mostly of samples from Music Gallery LPs and recordings of these samples being played back into St. George the Martyr Church. Because of this, the samples themselves have been highly altered and may not be recognizable to the original musicians. The samples range from a few seconds to a few minutes. There's also a brief excerpt of a guitar recording that was used in Eli Keszler's Filtrations performance at the Kitchen in NYC. I included these sounds as a nod to the stylings of the early MGE records.

During the performance, this excerpt played out of a snare drum that was placed by the entrance to the performance space.

With each new recording that is introduced to the space, the original musical material fades into the background while incidental noises take over - footsteps, the creaking church floor, people shifting in their seats, etc. The piece itself opens up with a few minutes of footsteps playing over loudspeakers. The first sample doesn't enter until around the 5 minute mark.

I haven't approached this from the perspective of a completist, although future versions of this piece may incorporate more albums, as my collection grows. While in Toronto, I found a handful of MGE albums at a few different local stores, most notably at the wonderful Good Music. The albums were transcribed by myself and therefore reflect the idiosyncrasies of the actual albums in my collection.

The collages above measure 8 3/4" x 8 3/4" - the same measurements of the cover image from CCMC vol. 1 & 2.

These images are screenshots from Google Earth, taken in and around both the original location of the Music Gallery & its current home.