Loading Events

Friday - 7:00pm (ET)
February 8, 2008

International House
3701 Chestnut St Philadelphia PA 19104
+ Google Map

Gene Coleman, bass clarinet
Jason Calloway, cello
Marina Peterson, cello
Evan Lipson, bass
Alban Bailly, guitar / accordion
Dustin Hurt, trumpet / accordion

Aelita: Queen of Mars is a silent film directed by Soviet filmmaker
Yakov Protazanov made at Mezhrabpom-Rus Film Studio and released in
1924. It was based on Alexei Tolstoy’s novel of the same name. For its
showing at the I-House on February 9th, the film will be presented
with live music created by Philadelphia composer Gene Coleman and
performed by Ensemble Noamnesia. The ensemble will feature Anthony Jay Ptak
playing the Thermin, an electronic instrument invented in the early 20th century,
which many people are familiar with from its use in science fiction movie
soundtracks of the 1950s.

Though one focus of the story is on the daily lives of a group of
people during the post-World War I Soviet Union, the enduring
importance of the film comes from its early science fiction elements.
It primarily tells of a young man, Loss, traveling to Mars in a rocket
ship, where he leads a popular uprising against the king, with the
support of Queen Aelita who has fallen in love with him (after
watching him through a telescope). Probably the first full-length
movie about space travel, the most notable part of the film remains
the constructivist Martian sets and costumes designed by Aleksandra
Ekster. Their influence can be seen in a number of later films,
including the Flash Gordon serials and probably Fritz Lang’s
Metropolis. While very popular at first, the film later fell out of
favor with the Soviet government and was thus very difficult to see
until after the Cold War period.\

Gene Coleman is a composer, musician and artistic director. He has
created over 50 works for various instrumentation, often-using complex
notations and improvisation in the same score. Innovative use of sound
makes Coleman, both as a composer and as a performer, an artist who
seeks a synthesis between what is called noise and what is called
music. Since 2001 his work has focused on globalization and music’s
relationship with architecture and video. He studied painting, music
and film making at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where
his principle teachers included legendary experimental film artists
Stan Brakhage and Ernie Gehr.

Ensemble Noamnesia is a group of musicians playing new and
experimental music. Founded by composer Gene Coleman in Chicago in
1987, the group now consists of about 10 musicians who work on a
project-by-project basis in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York. Many
of the players come from a classical music background, but are equally
versed in new types of interpretation and sound production, as well as
improvisation. Over the years a stellar cast of international guest
artists have worked with them, including Jim O’Rourke, Helmut
Lachenmann, Otomo Yoshihide, Luc Ferrari, George Crumb and many
others. The group is devoted to playing music that invites new ways of listening.

Anthony Jay Ptak is an artist and a composer born in Brooklyn, New York in 1970. He grew up near the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the RCA Radio Central testing facility. An inviolable autodidacticist, he has studied with Tony Conrad, Paul Sharits, Lydia Kavina, and Herbert Br¸n, and had technical consultations with Robert Moog. He performed at the First International Theremin Festival. He has been a guest theremin artist under directorScott Wyatt at the historic Experimental Music Studios at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2000. He was appointed visiting researcher in 2001, and participated in the C4A Computing for the Arts initiative for Fine and Applied Arts at UIUC. He taught sound art and musique concrËte for new media artists at the School of Art and Design at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has presented at Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), School of the Art Institute, Chicago Cultural Center, St. Louis Art Museum, Krannert Art Museum, FFMUP Princeton University, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, Roulette Intermedium, The Kitchen, and Issue Project Room in New York. He was first introduced to the theremin in 1987 by improviser Eric Ross . He began playing an etherwave theremin kit 0017 in 1995. A. J. Ptak is a founding member of the New York Theremin Society . He currently resides in New York City. More at: http://axoxnxs.com

« All Events

  • This event has passed.