Category: Music

Interview on Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then

Donna K. recently interviewed me for her blog Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, and we talked green screens, process, humanity, space, and distribution models, among other things. The interview was part of a series profiling “interesting women of the current cultural landscape” that also includes interviews with Kate Gilmore and Nancy Gerstman of Zeitgeist Films. Donna K’s blog began as a way to document the making of her partner Brent Green’s film of the same name. See a trailer for the film here.

Check out the interview!

Written by Comments Off on Interview on Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then Posted in Art, Me, Music, Space

This is Not a Myth @ Kaskadenkondensator, Basel

On my very last night in Basel I had the pleasure of performing at Kaskadenkondensator, a space for experimental performance, also known simply as Kasko for short (the full name translates to “cascade condensor”). I had met Axel Topfer, a German artist living in Basel who worked at Kasko, and together we mounted an installation for a one-night event. The performance combined my usual suspects of music, costume, video, miniature sets, singing, and dancing with a physical set that contained and defined the action within it and utilized many of the physical objects I made during my residency. Though packing and cleaning was an endless nightmare afterward, the event was a sweet ending to my stay, the best kind of farewell.

Read more about the performance and see images on the This is Not a Myth page on my site, including the one below.

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Group Show at Dreispitz, Basel

Below are some shots of my work in the group show of iaab residents at the organization’s new Dreispitz project room. I showed my new video Ode on a Terran Urn as well as a new installation piece featuring video, costume, and wall hangings called Costume-Object Workshop. The other artists in the show are Jan-Henri Booyens, Taro Shinoda, Georges Audet, and Sami Lukkarinen.

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Ode on a Terran Urn – Online Premiere

My new video Ode on a Terran Urn is finally complete and is going up on youtube and facebook in segments. The first chapter was put up last Monday, and you can see it here below or by visiting my magstoriches youtube channel.

I also made a Metalmags fan page on Facebook which includes links to these videos as well as photos and video stills. Go “like” it!

Introduction to my fellow iaab residents and local artists

I’m two weeks into my six-month residency in Basel, Switzerland, and really starting to feel settled. I wanted to take a few moments to share some information about the other artists in residence as well as a few others I have met since I arrived. Everyone is quite friendly, and I’m happy to have a great group of peers here.

A bit of info on the residency: it’s hosted by an organization called the iaab – International Exchange and Studio Program Basel. It’s an exchange program with Galapagos in D.U.M.B.O., so they host a Swiss artist during this same period.

Sami Lukkarinen is a painter from Finland who makes quite large paintings of Facebook profile images, though totally pixelated. I also recently learned of an annual group performance piece that Sami participates in which involves posing as a homeless person and washing windshields while cars are stopped in traffic.

Sami is accompanied by his fiancee Mari Koistinen, who is a freelance journalist and also belongs to a ukelele band called Pentelele. Sami and Mari are both lovely people and quite sweet.

Jan Henri Booyens is a painter from Pretoria, South Africa. He sports a cool curly-edged moustache and is definitely the badass of the group.

Georges Audet is a sculptor from Montreal who appreciates a good thrift store as much as I do. We can both be quite nervous and neurotic at times, a source of much amusement between us.

Taro Shinoda just arrived from Japan the other day – I met him but have not yet had a conversation, so can’t provide a detailed report. He has been videotaping the moon the last couple of nights which only adds to the intrigue.

I’ve also met a very interesting Swiss artist named Barbara Strebel, who also has a studio at iaab. Barbara has a project called ArtCast – a great archive of interviews with artists, including many big names, and she also puts out a newsletter with local arts listings in Basel. Barbara has been incredibly generous with her time, teaching us about local culture and even leading me on a tour of all the local fabric stores. She’s a very sweet woman and seems to know EVERYONE here! Pretty amazing.

One of the people I met through Barbara is an artist named Matias Huart. After meeting him, I checked out his website and saw that his work is quite nice and also very well known. He had a retrospective at the Fondation Beyeler (a modern art museum that’s about 10 feet from my studio) in 2009 and has shown at many of the museums here. In addition to his visual art he’s been involved in the music scene, working with John Cage, Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno (!) and Nina Hagen.

I also met through Barbara a very cool gentleman named Seamus Hughes, a choreographer, director, and visual artist from Dublin. He’s a very sweet and wise man who feels like an old friend from the get-go. He was the founder of Fieldworks Performance Group in Australia and has had a long and varied career, which included working with Joseph Beuys. I found some of his work online, like this choreographed piece Scenes from a Prison.

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Cover Version LP at BAM/Delia Derbyshire

If you’re in Brooklyn this evening, check out this group show I’m in at BAM called Cover Version LP curated by Timothy Hull, featuring a lot of friends and great artists. From the BAM site listing:

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In Cover Version (LP), curated by Timothy Hull and organized by BAMart, over two dozen diverse artists reimagine the cover art of albums they find influential. These unique reinterpretations of the iconic LP bring new life to the art that covers vinyl, highlighting the intersections of art and music.

Artists: Glen Baldridge, Kadar Brock, Colby Bird, Jessica Cannon, Mathew Cerletty, Devon Costello, Justin Craun, TM Davy, Langdon Graves, Joseph Hart, Elizabeth Huey, Scott Hug, Butt Johnson, Faten Kanaan, Denise Kupferschmidt, Josh Kline, Erica Magrey, Michael Mahalchick, Eddie Martinez, Dave McDermott, Keegan McHargue, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Nolan Simon, Colin Snapp, Jennifer Sullivan, Nick Van Woert, Ryan Wallace, Will Yackulic.

Opening Reception
Tue, Jan 11, 2011, 6—9 PM
Natman Room, Peter Jay Sharp Building
30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn

For my piece I cheated slightly and created a cover for an as-yet-nonexisting album, the Lost Recordings of Delia Derbyshire. She’s been a bit of an obsession since I learned that she recorded the original Doctor Who theme song, a genuinely beautiful masterpiece of analog electronic music. Several more of her songs are included on a BBC Radiophonic Workshop compilation, including Zivzih Zivzih Oo Oo Oo, a creepy droney alien-sounding song where all the words are played backwards. After she died in 2001, over 250 tapes were discovered in Delia’s attic, and fans have been teased with the notion of the posthumous lost recordings release for the past few years. Here’s to hoping that by creating this cover, I can will the album into existence!

Here is the official cover, and an alternate below:

Delia Derbyshire, Lost Recordings
Erica Magrey
Digital collage
2011

Delia Derbyshire, Lost Recordings - Erica Magrey

The Lost Recordings of Delia Derbyshire (Alternate Cover)
Erica Magrey
Digital collage
2011

The Lost Recordings of Delia Derbyshire (alt) - Erica Magrey

Costume for Woods – Death Rattles

I realized that I never shared photos from a costume project from the spring – a music video for “Death Rattles” by Woods, directed by my good friend Sophia Peer. I had only a couple of weeks to costume a cast of 13 people and a budget of about 200 dollars. We were lucky to be able to borrow some of the basic pieces, and I created headpieces, collars, belts and other accessories to add character. I designed and created the 3 children’s costumes from scratch, using rough earthy colored fabrics and netting. The song is both haunting and catchy, and Sophia did a great job of conjuring its spirits.

“Death Rattles” by Woods (directed by Sophia Peer)

Stills from the video
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Images of the children’s costumes (click on thumbnail to see larger)
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Metalmags and the Alien Ambassador: Synchronicity

Lo and behold, the long-awaited sequel to An Opportunity for Social Engagement has arrived. Join our alien friends as they get down in the outer reaches of space. As always, the characters are played by myself and by Collin Cunningham.

Watch the video on my youtube channel, Mags to Riches.

View the growing Metalmags and Alien Ambassador playlist on my channel.

Two more Metalmags and the Alien Ambassador projects are in the works, so you’ll be seeing more of us! Look out for a preview of the upcoming long form project on my website.