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No. 6 - The Kitchen Improvises: 1976—1983

Orange Mountain Music, 2011

Curated by composer George Lewis, this CD brings together performances from a moment of particular hybridity in the downtown music scene, and portrays the emergence of a new model of composer-improvisors. Included on the CD are performances by Earl Howard, Gerry Hemingway, Roscoe Mitchell, Gerald Oshita, Thomas Buckner, Oliver Lake, Meltable Snaps It, and Lewis himself, who was additionally Music Curator at The Kitchen from 1980–1982. As Lewis writes in his liner notes: “The creative artists whose works appear on this CD of archivally preserved work forged heretofore uncommon aesthetic alliances in a practice of post-genre mobility that at the time seemed difficult to understand for those public commentators who were trapped in binary systems of cultural signification—jazz/classical, black/white, and the rest. What was being envisioned by the new improvisors was not a new common practice, but a new noise that could bring together the widest range of traditions. Improvisation provided a means of speaking across boundaries of culture, genre and practice, exposing the ideological rigidities that framed the practice as individualistic, habitual, uncontrolled, incoherent, lacking in formal unity, unreliable&emdash;and of course, simply ‘unstructured.’“

No. 5 - Pianos in The Kitchen

Orange Mountain Music, 2011

Pianos in The Kitchen brings together select concert recordings of solo piano works performed at The Kitchen from 1976 through 1983, including works from the 1976 Bösendorfer Festival and the 1983 series of benefit concerts that supported the purchase of a new Steinway Baby Grand piano for the institution. Featured are names familiar to The Kitchen’s history such as Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Charlemagne Palestine, and Anthony Davis as well as performers/composers Harold Budd and Dennis Russell Davies, who have enjoyed important careers, but are not necessarily associated with The Kitchen’s programming. This CD covers a range of genres, from jazz to classical to new music. All of the recordings document performances in which the piano–the instrument most central to the development of Western music–is played, explored, and extended. There is a notable immediacy and intimacy about each performance in this compilation, stemming perhaps from the nature of live recordings and the strength of the piano as a large organic, vibrant instrument. When listening to these recordings, you may feel an almost physical sense of closeness, aware of the performers’ breath and their hands, the reach towards new gestures beyond the academy.

This project was funded in part with generous grants from The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and The GRAMMY Foundation.

No. 4 - Composers Inside Electronics

Orange Mountain Music, 2007

The Kitchen and Orange Mountain Music are pleased to announce the release of From The Kitchen Archives No. 4: Composers Inside Electronics. This CD features live concert recordings by Composers Inside Electronics, a pioneering collective of musicians and sound artists centered around David Tudor, who is best-known for his collaborative relationships with composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham. The compositions featured on the disc by David Tudor, John Driscoll, Phil Edelstein, Martin Kalve, and Bill Viola were recorded during two series of performances that took place at The Kitchen in 1977 and 1978. Known for creating sound works with the home-built circuitry devices they favored over commercial synthesizers, Composers Inside Electronics would bring together many of these custom-made instruments for each sound installation or performance, often linking them together differently for unique sonic results each time. While electronics were the primary focus, the compositions on this disc also include acoustic sound sources such as a gong, a saw, and an amplified conch shell. The work of Composers Inside Electronics was groundbreaking in its day, yet feels contemporary 30 years later, as so many younger musicians and sound artists look to take on this legacy, exploring both analog and digital music.

This project was funded in part with generous grants from The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and The GRAMMY Foundation.

No. 3 - Amplified: New Music Meets Rock

Orange Mountain Music, 2006

"What happens when instruments find their way into the wrong hands?"
-Elliott Sharp

Amplified: New Music Meets Rock, 1981-1986 is the third release in a series of CDs compiled from The Kitchen's archive that documents historic concert recordings at The Kitchen from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s. While the first two releases, New Music, New York 1979 and Steve Reich and Musicians, Live 1977 focused on major figures of new and experimental music from The Kitchen's first decade, Amplified moves into the early 1980s, representing a vocabulary that emerged from the avant-garde, minimalist, and No New York scenes in the 1960s and 1970s in New York City. Highlights from the CD include the layered guitars of Rhys Chatham's works; classical cello played through electronic effects pedals by Arthur Russell; a Christian Marclay piece created with multiple turntables "prepared" with his "To and Fro-nograph"; one of the earliest Sonic Youth concert recordings; two tracks by Swans; and a rarely performed large orchestral piece by Elliott Sharp. Even now, more than twenty years after these shows took place, these recordings capture an explosive energy and vitality that still feels vibrant.

No. 2 - Steve Reich and Musicians, Live 1977

Orange Mountain Music, 2005

Steve Reich, an important "first generation" minimalist composer, remains one of the foremost composers of our time. While throughout the years, Reich has performed and recorded worldwide, some of his most dynamic performances have taken place at The Kitchen, including a performance by Mr. Reich and Musicians that was recorded in 1977. Now this recording, which had since been held in The Kitchen's extensive archives of historic audio and videotapes, is released by Orange Mountain Music, in collaboration The Kitchen.

Of From The Kitchen Archive No. 2, Steve Reich and Musicians, Live 1977, Reich said in 2005, "Not studio recordings. Unedited. Background traffic noise on Violin Phase & Music for Pieces of Wood. And yet-Real musical energy. Live performances. Intense young performers. Something special from 1977."

From The Kitchen Archives: New Music New York 1979

Orange Mountain Music, 2004

Over the last thirty years, The Kitchen has made extraordinary efforts to document every on-site performance with video and/or audiotape. In 2001, close to 300 audio recordings of Kitchen concerts from the 1970s and early ‘80s were discovered. While the tape boxes promised rare and exciting recordings by such artists as John Cage, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, and David Tudor, we were not able to listen to any of these reels without the funds and facilities to provide proper cleaning and re-formatting. A collaborative partnership with The Looking Glass Studios and the online label, Orange Mountain Music, has allowed for the restoration of a number of reels from the archive. This work has been done towards the ultimate goal of a series of CDs, of which the 2-disc set New Music, New York 1979 was the first in the series. NMNY 1979 documents outstanding performances by artists including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Meredith Monk, Tony Conrad, Jon Gibson and many more.

Partial funding for this recording was provided by the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and a grant from the Recording Academy.

JUST KICK IT TILL IT BREAKS

Catalog

Fia Backström, Carol Bove, Bozidar Brazda, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Adam Helms, Scott Hug, Corey McCorkle, Dave McKenzie, Josephine Meckseper, Michael Phelan, and Meredyth Sparks.

This catalog was published on the occasion of the group exhibition JUST KICK IT TILL IT BREAKS, curated by Debra Singer and Matthew Lyons, which took place at The Kitchen on March 8 - April 28, 2007. Copies are $10 and can be purchased at our box office at 512 West 19th Street, or by phone at (212)255-5793, ext. 11 (with an additional shipping + handling cost of $5).

In response to a moment in America marked by tepid civic activism, widespread conservatism, and rampant consumerism, the artists in this exhibition create works in which the “political” is addressed indirectly through allegorical approaches and subtle contextual displacements. Borrowing visual idioms from the realms of advertising, the media, and interior design, these artists locate tangential points of protest that are slyly complicit with the terms of capitalism they often seek to undermine. At the same time, they investigate romanticized notions of outlaw culture and underground movements, questioning whether any position of political resistance remains out of reach of commercial co-optation.

Between Thought and Sound

Catalog

This catalog was published on the occassion of the group exhibition Between Thought and Sound: Graphic Notation in Contemporary Music, which took place at The Kitchen in the fall of 2007. Copies are $10 and can be purchased at our box office at 512 West 19th Street, or by phone at (212)255-5793, ext. 11 (with an additional shipping + handling cost of $5).

The exhibition presented a broad range of graphic scores by contemporary composers and sound artists, and included forty-one works by thirty-one artists, namely: Laura Andel, Robert Ashley, James Beckett, David Behrman, Cathy Berberian, Earle Brown, Cornelius Cardew, Tony Conrad, John Driscoll, Morton Feldman, Jon Gibson, Tom Johnson, Alison Knowles, Joan La Barbara, Annea Lockwood, Alvin Lucier, Miya Masaoka, Kaffe Matthews, Meredith Monk, Gordon Mumma, Anthony Jay Ptak, Steve Roden, Marina Rosenfeld, James Saunders, Michael J. Schumacher, Elliott Sharp, Wadada Leo Smith, Yasunao Tone, David Tudor, Stephen Vitiello, and Christian Wolff.

Between Thought and Sound was curated by independent curator Alex Waterman and The Kitchen’s Debra Singer and Matthew Lyons. Designed by Will Holder, the catalog includes an introduction by Singer, an essay by Waterman, numerous quotes from the artists, and black and white reproductions of many of the scores from the exhibition. It also features a photo essay prepared by Lyons, highlighting The Kitchen’s historical connection to much of the material in the show.

Tracking the Thrill: Gretchen Bender

Catalog, Poor Farm Press

This catalog was published on the occasion of the exhibition Gretchen Bender: Tracking the Thrill which took place at The Poor Farm in August 2012, and The Kitchen in August 2013. Copies are $35 and can be purchased at our box office at 512 West 19th Street, by email at info@thekitchen.org, or by phone at (212)255-5793, ext. 11 (with an additional shipping + handling cost of $5).The catalog features essays and interviews by Stuart Argabright, Amber Denker, Michelle Grabner, Tim Griffin, Carla Hanzal, Robert Longo, Peter Nagy, Lane Relyea, David Robbins, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Philip Vanderhyden.

Among the most prescient yet overlooked figures of her generation, Gretchen Bender (1951-2004) anticipated our current state of image saturation, using scaffolds of screens, hypnotic repetitions of appropriated television footage, and aggressive sound as a critical match for an emerging cultural field of special effects and immersive viewing experiences. In this focused selection of Bender's videos, Total Recall—her seminal video performance, originally exhibited at The Kitchen in 1987—and Wild Dead are presented alongside the artist's efforts in music video and broadcast television, including her legendary title sequence for "America’s Most Wanted." Tracking the Thrill was curated by Philip Vanderhyden for The Poor Farm and organized at The Kitchen by Lumi Tan and Tim Griffin.