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Artspace's New Music Mini-Festival

Artspace's New Music Mini-Festival, with the Adam Art Gallery.

Featuring Pan sonic (formerly Panasonic), Makigami Koichi, John Rose, Tony Buck, David Watson and others.

Curated by David Watson

New York based expatriate David Watson, guitarist, bagpiper, and founding member of Wellington's legendary Primitive Art Group has put together a festival of new music, for three nights at Auckland's Galatos (4, 5, 6 March 2001) and two nights at Wellington's Adam Gallery (7, 8 March 2001). He joins Finnish electronica duo Pan sonic, eccentric Japanese vocalist Makigami Koichi, violin polymath Jon Rose from the Netherlands, Australian drummer and longtime Berlin mainstay Tony Buck and others. These eccentric, innovative instrumentalists will perform solo and in various collaborative groupings. The bill will also include New Zealand acts, soon to be announced.

David Watson says: "...these are wonderful artists who are genuinely ground breaking and never stop exploring."

Finnish clubs throb to the scarily extreme techno of Pan sonic, named after the giant electronics company. Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen mix ultra-minimal electronic fuzz with brainmelting distortion overload. Pan sonic cite as influences: the legendary proto-techno duo Suicide, industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle and Einstürzende Neubauten, the French "musique concrète" composer Pierre Henry and the eccentric cult rockabilly musician Hasil Adkins. Their sound is increasingly moving away from the regular 4-4 techno, and is now inspired by old Jamaican dub reggae and ska. They are also informed by rockabilly, which they give a late 1970s Eno-ish twist (they have been dubbed "horsemeat rockabilly"), and Japanese noise (they recently gigged with Yamatsuka Eye of The Boredoms). []

Makigami Koichi is an accomplished film and stage actor as well as an bizarre, often hilarious improvising vocalist. An early member of Ground Zero, he is best known as vocalist for Hikashu, one of Japan's longest-running underground groups. As a result of Hikashu's evolution from electronic pop into a fusion of world music, improv and noise, Koichi began collaborating with John Zorn, who produced the all-star Makigami solo record Koroshi No Blues. Makigami also performed with Derek Bailey and Yamatsuka Eye, and was the organiser of Zorn's monthly Tokyo-based improvisational forum Cobra. His first album for solo voice, Kuchinoha, was released in 1995. His recent CD Electric Eel, a collaboration with Swiss virtuoso Anton Bruhin on jaw harp, shows evidence of Makigami's study with Mongolian throat singing masters. Koichi plays with and subverts Orientalist stereotypes, taking his own culture to task through comedic exaggeration as geek "Number One fucking butterfly Boy". Though astute in employing technology, his performance is primarily based on his body and his voice. A staple on television talk shows, Makigami is a celebrity in Japan; he defies the traditional position of experimental artist. (

Throughout the 1970s, in England then Australia, violinist Jon Rose worked in a bewildering variety of music genres, from sitar to country and western; from new music composition, to commercial studio session-work to bebop; from big band serial composition to sound installation. He became the central figure in the development of free improvisation in Australia. In 1986, he moved to Berlin in order to realise his on-going project, The Relative Violin, a total art form based solely around the violin. He has made over 25 deconstructed violin instruments including the legendary double-piston, triple-neck wheeling violin and giant bowed instruments up to 15 metres in length. Rose has appeared on over 50 records and CDs and worked with many of the innovators in contemporary music, including Derek Bailey, Butch Morris, Fred Frith, Shelley Hirsh, Connie Bauer, Toshinori and Alvin Curran. In 1989, in co-operation with New Music Festival Inventionen (Berlin), he directed the first Relative Violin Festival with violinists from around the world. He is currently performing The Chaotic Violin, for violin and interactive software. Current group projects include Violin Music in the Age of Shopping; the infamous Berlin Noise-Impro-Rock Band; and the interactive Badminton game Perks, based on the musical innovations and perversions of Australian freak composer Percy Grainger. (

Australian drummer Tony Buck is best known as the leader of hardcore improvisation band Peril and a member of the trio The Necks. Graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium, Buck spent his early musical life experimenting with rock and jazz. He did all kinds of work, performing with visiting American jazz stars, appearing on TV with leading pop bands, and mixing noise styles in underground clubs. Since 1990 he has concentrated on personal projects. After a year in Japan, where he formed Peril with Otomo Yoshihide and Kato Hideki, Buck moved to Europe and became deeply involved in the European music scene. Now he is focussing on the integration of sampling electronics and percussion within an improvising context. He has developed a personal virtual MIDI controlling instrument at Steim in Amsterdam, which he often uses in solo performances. Buck has recorded over eighty of his own compositions and composed pieces for dance and theatre. His music has featured in several films, including The Necks' soundtrack for the Australian movie The Boys. (

David Watson started as a guitarist and improviser in the early 1980s in Wellington. He organised three national festivals of experimental music and was a member of Braille recording collective and the Primitive Art Group (1981-86). He moved to New York in 1987, and has performed and recorded with Sonic Youth's Lee Renaldo and Thurston Moore, his group Endgame (which includes Philip Glass' percussionists Jim Pugliese and Christine Bard), John Zorn, Ikue Mori, Shelley Hirsch, Mark Stewart (from Paul Simon's and Steve Riech's ensembles), John Cage collaborator Chris Mann, Christian Marclay and others. A regular at The Knitting Factory and Tonic, he's also played Experimental Intermedia, Merkin Hall, PS1, Roulette, Greenwich House, The Cooler and CBGB's. Playing bagpipes since the mid 1980s, Watson has set out to take this typecast instrument beyond conventional boundaries. John Zorn calls his new bagpipe CD Skirl "the great bagpipe record from the downtown scene."

FOR PRESS: For further information contact Robert Leonard or Sonya Korohina at Artspace, (9) 3034965. We have CDs, photographs and video material available.

TICKETS: Auckland tickets can be purchased from Beautiful Music. Price to be advised.



We reopen in February with a project by Et Al.

JOIN ARTSPACE: Artspace supports development in contemporary art. You can be part of our work by becoming a member. Members receive invitations to all exhibitions and events, discount admissions to paying events, the right to vote in elections of new trustees, the right to stand as for election as a trustee, and free copies of Artspace publications. Membership comes in two categories: Ordinary, $30/$20 unwaged per annum; and Corporate $250 per annum. Corporate members enjoy special benefits including the opportunity to use Artspace for entertaining evening per year. If you are interested in joining Artspace, simply email us with your address and we will invoice you.

ARTSPACE staff: Robert Leonard (director) and Sonya Korohina (administrator) trustees: John McCormack (chair), Paul Cullen, Derrick Cherrie, Steve Davies, Dominic Feuchs, Howard Grieve, Anna Miles, Monique Redmond, Francesca Rudkin and William Somerville.

hours: Tuesday - Friday 10-6 / Saturday 11-4 street address: 300 Karangahape Road, Newton, Auckland, New Zealand postal address: PO Box 68 418, Auckland, New Zealand phone: (64-9) 303 4965 fax: (64-9) 366 1842 e mail: website:

Artspace is a charitable trust whose mission is to present cutting edge contemporary art. Artspace receives major funding from Creative New Zealand.

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