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    Tony Conrad at Spaceland

    Tony Conrad at Spaceland, 1998.
    Tony Conrad at Spaceland, 1998. Photo by Rich Jacobs.

    Los Angeles, California
    March 11, 1998

    In between a week’s worth of matinee performances at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art’s Temporary Contemporary, Tony Conrad performed one night at Spaceland. With friend Alexandria Gelencser on bodyless cello, Tony tried to saw his violin in half and swayed around the stage with 35 years worth of cloudy, clear, cloud flotation experience behind him. Slow, slower, slowest. Continuous ebb and flow. Egg on. Loud, louder, loudest. With Alex’s steady drone supplying the foundation, Tony was really free to soar on this night, and that he did, despite the fact that the sound system occasionally cut out, which reduced the volume level somewhat for a few moments at a time. Silhouettes of the pair were thrown by a lamp onto a large, translucent sheet that completely hid the stage. Alex’s silhouette remained motionless, save for her right arm, which steadily sawed away as Tony slowly swirled in time to this timeless comforter of sound. After 45 minutes, Alex finally had to give up when her cello began to cut out really bad, and Tony followed suit a moment later. Thanks must go out to these two troopers for sticking it out as long as they did, and for flowing out some original, important and lively music.

    Tony Conrad, LACMA Temporary Contemporary, 1998.
    Tony Conrad’s motorized violin installation at LACMA Temporary Contemporary, 1998. Photo by Rich Jacobs.

    Tony Conrad, LACMA Temporrary Contemporary, 1998.
    Close-up. Photo by Rich Jacobs.

    Tony Conrad, LACMA Temporrary Contemporary, 1998.Tony Conrad at LACMA Temporary Contemporary, 1998. Photo by Rich Jacobs.

    Note: This article originally appeared in Lou Zine (Lou’s Records newsletter) in March 1998.

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