JOHN DUNCAN has operated for decades at the cutting edge of performance, video, experimental music, installation, pirate radio and television. He has played a pivotal role in the development of performance art in Los Angeles, of experimental music as a member of LAFMS, of Japanese noise and pirate radio in Tokyo. Duncan’s work in experimental music continues to have a lasting influence as his art overall continues to be honed, refined, sharpened. http://www.johnduncan.org/
Moving Furniture Records is a label based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands specialized in releasing experimental electronic run by Sietse van Erve, started in October 2008. The label has a strong focus on drones, experimental ambient, minimalist, microtonal and field-recordings music, but we don’t limit us to this.
Moving Furniture Records has released music by both renowned, musicians such as Frans de Waard, Gareth Davis & Merzbow, BJNilsen and Machinefabriek, as (young) new talent such as Find Hope In Darkness, Zeno van den Broek, Bas van Huizen, Rose & Sandy and Haarvöl.
Review in Vital Weekly “I heard the name John Duncan for the first time in the mid-’80s, and ever since I heard his music off and on. In the last decade, mostly off. I am not sure if there are many new releases from him, or maybe they simply don’t reach me. Duncan was once part of the Los Angeles Free Music Society, starting a trajectory that brought him to Tokyo, Amsterdam, and then Italy, where he performed radical music. The shortwave radio is one of his main sound sources (well, perhaps ‘is’ should be ‘was’). Kirstein, on the other hand, is someone of whom I heard not too much music, save his work with Pär Thörn (Vital Weekly 1261) and that he is a member of Lights People (Vital Weekly 884) and Topos, a trio with Jacob Kirkegaard and Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard. I believe you could call him a computer musician, but that is also what you could call Duncan.
This collaborative work started with a dream Kirstein had in which Duncan repeated the phrase ‘You Are Safe’ (the dream was on the day that Roky Erickson from the 13th Elevators died, March 31, 2019, if that has any relevance). Kirstein asked Duncan to record that phrase, as well as ‘Come To Me’, which is the second piece here, and around that, they spin an intricate web of sine waves or drones; or both. You never know how these are generated nowadays. Likewise, I am not entirely sure what was done here, beyond the voice of Duncan. ‘Come To Me’ is repeated more times than ‘You Are Safe’ and has more words. It is a song if you want. I don’t know how the drones/sine waves were made, but my best guess is that these are computer-generated. In ‘Come To Me’, the drones at the beginning sound like a buzzing insect, which is slightly annoying, but over twenty or so minutes, it morphs into a gentler variation. By then, the repetitions of the voice are also less. ‘You Are Safe’ starts with a similar drone as ‘Come With Me’ ends, maybe tying both pieces together, but the drones remain sober and atmospheric throughout this piece. The repeated text is almost like a warning signal. I enjoyed this piece a lot for its minimal character and, honestly, the lesser amount of text. The other one is not bad at all, certainly in the second half of the piece. It is altogether a most interesting collaboration. (FdW)”
Read a review here:
Pythia’s Journals is a monomedia art festival text, sound & visual art that offers different possibilities to think, act and sense ourselves into a future.
Pythia was the interpreter of the curious singing sounds from the intoxicated oracles. She transformed the seemingly incoherent utterings coming from the hazy cave into cryptical prophetic messages for the curious. And we are so ever curious to read those journals from the future.
So, this is not about the pandemic per se. This is about the future.
The inability to envision a future, because of an all-encompassing present time as a state of mind is one definition of depression (as described by Mikkel Krause Frantzen in his book Going Down Slow). Pythia’s Journals wanted to ease us out of this stasis by providing strange and radical artworks as possible and impossible futures.
The internet of course has its own limitations, hence ‘monomedia’. On the other hand it offers a cheap, easy, and international forum across distances that are now otherwise closed down.
So we decided to make an online festival filled with a strange energy, with an easy touch and with swift decisions. It needed to be done in one fast and precise movement, a stroke of luck, when you hit the ball just right, as when the stone skips across the water it bounces impossibly on the surface.
We compiled a quick list of local and international artist and – though we had no money- we contacted them with this naïve and ambitious idea of creating a platform to think and envision futures on a medium that during lockdown seemed to be the only safe* public space where we could try to grasp what was going on.
Most said yes. Thank you to all of you.
The artists are: Elena Lundquist Ortiz, Alexander Holm og Stine Frandsen, Miss Fish, Nanna Gro Henningsen, Marja-leena Sillanpää (S), Francesca Burratelli (Dk/It) Leyya Mona Tawil/ Lime Rickey International (Syria, Palestine, US), Pär Thörn (S), Ursula Nistrup, Mycelium, John Duncan (US), Kristoffer Ørum, Marcela Lucatelli (br), Don Dietrich (us), Geraldine Hudson (uk), Marie Eline Hansen, Danielle Dahl (no), Ragnhild May, Kristoffer Raasted, Puce Mary, Claus Haxholm, Jacob Lillemose, Marianne Jørgensen, Christian Vogel (uk) and prophetic mixes by Joachim Nordwall (s) Cejero DJs, Isak Tind, Mark Kirkegaard Andersen.
All adventurous, curious and radical artists in their own right
This focus of artistic energy has resulted in a great collection of videos, texts, sounds and images mostly new and some older works set in a new context. Some short, some very long, some dark, some cryptical… all interesting and thought enticing
The festival starts on may 13 and goes on until may 16. New works are uploaded during these days. The artworks will then be online until may 26.
Pythia’s Journals is an online festival and we ask for the audience to buy a ticket to experience the art. Everything goes directly to the participating artists. We encourage you all to buy works directly from the artists and bandcamp.
We are very grateful to Nordisk Kulturfonds opstartspulje for the quick decision to support the festival.
All of this funding also goes to the participating artists.
We hope that you will buy a ticket and enjoy this quickly established attempt to create something beautiful, interesting and prophetic. We hope you too can read the hazy singing that can bring us into a different future.
Signe Vad & Tobias R. Kirstein