Information report from V2 / Spread the Word

21 Million Stickers and Continued Activities Worldwide
Having just passed the 21 million sticker milestone, STW extends a very special thanks once again to our ever-constant and kind friends in Mexico City for their heroic diligence there, despite occasional frustrations with abducted packages. We also wish to acknowledge our brave ally in Bulgaria facilitating sticker distribution in Macedonia and the Balkans. To our old friend in Portugal, thank you for helping to spread the word in your language via the Internet. Anonymous resisters at the Burning Man event in Nevada made the emblem quite visible once again, for which we are extremely grateful, as attendance was near 50,000 this year. Thanks always to all our friends in the music industry worldwide. Continued gratitude to our longtime friend in Texas for ongoing distribution efforts at the local library there. And to our brethren from delusionresistance.org who were the voice of resistance at the Roswell Festival, we salute you all.

Resistance in Action
Courtesy of Eclipse Records, STW has a Street Team!

Accolades to Mail Artists and Relay for Life Team
STW would like to offer a long delayed extension of gratitude and respect to the worldwide mail-art network. Mail artists from around the globe have distributed stickers for over a decade through their own unique and creative web. We are honored to be a part of the mail-art community whose correspondences have colored the STW mailbox for many years. Our deep thanks also to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life Team/Florida for their fine efforts supporting both causes this past spring. Well done everyone!

Resistance efforts in South America
Many thanks to the major record and concert production company in Bogota, Colombia, for its resistance efforts in South America. The company distributes stickers at concerts, and includes a sticker on every event ticket. Through industry magazines, this company has offered networking of resistance materials in conjunction with international band promotion. Spread the Word wishes to extend deepest gratitude to the tour manager/editor who has been behind the alien resistance movement for nearly 10 years. Muchas gracias to our loyal andcaring friend for continued and tireless dedication.

Resistance activities underway in Kosovo, formerly Yugoslavia
Kosovo is a struggling country with an average monthly salary of $30 and unemployment rate of 60%, yet still wanting participation in world issues. For security reasons, supplies were sent to a contact person in a neighboring country who was kind enough to deliver the stickers across the border to a library in Kosovo, where they will be distributed. STW extends our deep gratitude to the courageous individuals behind this effort.


Akkord I On: "ppp-fff"

Slowly Vital Weekly conquers the world - or rather the world conquers Vital Weekly. Akkord I On are from Almaty, Kazakhstan - the very first time I receive something from that part of the world, of which I know nothing (but I never go the cinema either).

The label Replica was launched during a festival of the same
name, the very first (again!) in that country. Akkord I On is a duo of Roman Bliznetsov and Konstantin Timoshenko, who released an EP before and now come with "ppp-fff", which classical music phrase for "pianissimo-fortissimo" - very strong silence that is.

Timoshenko plays laptop, field recordings and electronics, while Bliznetsov plays accordion (hence the band name), small horns and objects. Just as we recently saw with the release by Zavoloko, this seems to be a new wave of artists merging music from their own country along with microsound, techno or more experimental music. Akkord I On does it mainly with techno like music. Pieces are held together with a 4/4 rhythm, over which they freely (and more experimentally) freak out with their sounds.

Not every moment succeeds well, such as "Grace" which is way too long, and muddles in dub effects, but the opening "F Birds" is very nice, with clear field recordings, melancholy on the accordion and a strong beat. Also "Shoegazetta" is quite alright (and the titles shows their humor, "L'Amourmansk" is another fine example).

This release may have needed a bit more editing, but as debut it's quite alright.

[CD-R by Replica]

Frans de Waard / Vital Weekly

Photos: R.R.


Interview: Elliott Sharp

New York blues

He’s one of those who have been symbols of the avant-garde in New York, but his relation with that city has changed, because – he says – «it's not the same». The multifaceted sound artist Elliott Sharp talks to GPInformation on this subject, as well as on his work and its origins and identity.

Let's start by the present. What are your current projects? In what are you working these days?
I'm in the middle of composing a 45-minute piece, "Polymerae", for Frankfurt's Ensemble Modern, that will premiere in April with the dance company of Jacopo Godoni, and I've just completed a piece titled "Sidebands", dedicated to Karlheinz Stockhausen for the Fylkingen Festival in Stockholm in February. I've also just finished recording a set of my recent string quartets with the Sirius Quartet. There are also recently recorded improvised duos with Frances-Marie Uitti, Josef von Wissem, Scott Fields, and Saadet Turkoz.

Throughout your career, you have been developing a close relation between "conventional" instrumentation and electronics. However, in the "Sharp? Monk? Sharp! Monk!" project your option was to play only with a guitar. Was that a conceptual option, or did you just felt that it was the best way for interpreting Thelonious Monk?
I often play acoustic guitar at home and Monk's music is something I enjoy playing. It seemed natural to record it that way. I've done a number of fully acoustic recordings in recent years and I like the sound very much.

After the more "classical" sound of previous projects, "Hums 2 Terre" brought you back to more experimental territories. Was that intentional on any way, or was it only a part of a natural process?
I don't believe I've ever left any of my operating zones - through-composed orchestra pieces, "experimental" work, improvisations, blues, film scores, electronic and computer music. They're all parallel threads.

You have studied a wide range of academic disciplines, like for instance, ethnomusicology. What's the importance of that scientific background on your musical production? And, in the same line of thought, how does physics reflects on your work?
Everything I read or study ends up being part of the process! I do like the way mathematicians and physicists map reality to abstraction. It's very resonant with the way I compose and I like to imagine my musical processes as operating in a similar way.

Probably this is a limitative question, but - and in spite of your other influences - would you consider blues and jazz to be a kind of a "skeleton" of your musical work?
I don't know if I would put it that way. I grew up listening to and playing blues and jazz - they're as much a part of my daily life as speaking English or drinking coffee.

Who were your favourite musicians, back then?
The first jazz record that I really "heard" was John Coltrane's "Live at The Village Vanguard" – I listened to it because of his published obituary in the “NY Times” the day of his death. It whetted my curiosity and a friend's father had the record which we put on – I was blown away by it! Next for me was the Mingus record "Oh Yeah" on Atlantic - absolutely killing.
I became very excited by jazz and tried to listen to everything I could get my hands on, searching record store bargain piles (because I had no money!) and in libraries. When I became a radio DJ at Carnegie-Mellon University's WRCT during a summer session there, as a "junior scientist", when I was still in high school in 1968, I dug into the ESP records as well as lots of Ornette, Ayler, Cecil Taylor, Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra.
My exposure to blues started with The Yardbirds and The Stones and I soon was listening mostly to Howlin' Wolf with Hubert Sumlin, Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, Skip James, Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Joe Williams, Blind Willie Johnson, Otis Rush, Albert Collins, B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King.

When was the moment in which you started to get into more experimental sounds?
As soon as I began to explore music, I was into the outer limits. I was a science fiction fan growing up and I loved the soundtracks to sci-fi films (and still love), Bernard Herrman's score to "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and "Mysterious Island", as well as the wonderful electronic soundtrack to "Forbidden Planet" by Bebe and Louis Barron, which I first heard around 1963.

My access to the music library at WRCT allowed me to dig in deep to various composers such as Cage, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Partch, Ligeti (saw "2001:A Space Odyssey" that Summer as well with Ligeti's incredible music) and more.

Although being a multi-instrumentist, is there a special instrument for you, in terms of use and sound?

I'm most comfortable with guitars but when I have the time to keep in practice I truly love playing saxophone and clarinets.

While performing live, do you prefer to perform "prepared" works, or just improvise, taking yourself by the moment?
I like them all – it's only dependent on the desired situation.

I can't help having in mind your contribution for the "Alphabet City" album (released on the Sub Rosa United Series). In which way are you inspired by cities, in general, and New York, in particular?

New York was (and I'm using the past tense purposefully) a very inspiring place for creative work. I still love living here but it's not the same – it's about marketing and consumption, not about living out a creative fantasy and manifesting it in art.

In your online tour diary, you mentioned the fact having played in Portugal only a few weeks after 9/11. Were you in New York that day? Which are your mains memories of it?
I arrived back from Warsaw the day before. My main thoughts were anger at the people who perpetrated this horror – NOT the ones who piloted the planes but the government of George Bush and his cohorts in the corporate oligarchy. If not actually ordering the attack, their policies created the conditions. There's too much to go into here!

After these years, what's your vision on what was changed in the city, both from the social and artistic points of view?
This city is controlled by real estate forces. Its character has changed and there's not much we can do about it in terms of keeping it vital as a creative place – cities change and the creative force moves to other locales.

Talking of New York, do you feel close to the Radical Jewish Culture, promoted by John Zorn?
Not at all. "Jewish culture" had almost always been radical, but this particular movement is very Zionistic and reactionary. I presented my piece "Intifada" at the first Radical Jewish Culture festival in NYC, at the Knitting Factory, and I was booed and shouted down when I gave a preamble to the concert saying that Judaism, whether cultural or religious, is not necessarily the same as Zionism and that as the son of a Holocaust survivor, I find the Israeli oppression of the rightful and long-time inhabitants of the area known as Palestine to be shameful and abhorrent. I greatly dislike religion and nationalism - the source of much human suffering!

Artists like Zorn himself or Z'ev have inspired some of their works on the Jewish heritage. Did you ever have a similar approach?
Just as all of my work is informed by my interest in the sciences and acoustics, all of my work is informed by my Jewish heritage. I just don't wear it on my sleeve!

Nuno Loureiro
(Interview + photos)

This interview is also available at the Clean Feed and Trem Azul blogs.


Iris Ollschewski: "Sound-Destillation"

Destillaat is a yearly exhibition of young artists at Extrapool, taking the form of video, installation, painting, printing and in some cases music. To distill the new talent from the various art schools in The Netherlands.

One of this year' s participants was German's Iris Ollschewski, who asked a whole bunch of people that at one point or another played at Extrapool to send in some sounds from which she would distill a composition that was played on four speakers in a small room. Thirteen people responded positively and Iris composed a six minute piece out of that. It's hard to believe that it comes from such diverse sources, even when Iris applies collage like methods to create the piece. The various sources flow quite naturally into eachother and form a coherent music composition of little over six minutes, also when "reduced" to a stereo mix.

Comes with a nice cover and limited to a few handful copies. Completists for the works of say Roel Meelkop, Harald Sack Ziegler or Machinefabriek should pay notice!

"SoundBodies, oder wohin führt ein Kreis?"
(turntable installation by
Iris Ollschewski)

[3"CD-R, private release]

Frans de Waard / Vital Weekly
Photo: R.R.


Vaimous: "Box"

The man behind Vaimous is one Johan Sandsjö, who still uses software he downloaded to his 486 computer in 1998, when the Swedish government started a program of bringing PCs to their civilians.

The pieces on this CD were recorded over a long period, from 2003-2006, and they were recorded to be played live. Thirteen relatively short electro pop tracks are to be found here: stomping rhythm box, fat bass and vocoder vocals. Maybe it lacks some variation here and there, but throughout it's a very pleasant listening. I was reminded of good Suction Records releases (whatever happened there?) and releases of Swedish Slowball label - which also seems very old by now.

But that doesn't mean that this sounds old or worn out, Vaimous brings quirky uptempo electro-pop punk and it's great. A small strip of sunlight on a rainy day.

[CD by Empop]

Frans de Waard / Vital Weekly

Photo: R.R


jliat: "now thats what i call noise" vol. 10

«Oh yes - i do. In the past whether and whatever i did i always had to push onto something new - even the drones in the end became from the point of making them less and less interesting / exciting. I remember feeling sick that this happened and envious of painters like Pollock who could continue the same kind of thing for many works over a period. But with the noise works this just hasn't happened!

So i've been making these short tracks for soon a year and have recorded already up to volume 20. When time allows i want to make many more and create a virtual Mall online of downloads. Maybe an animated shopping Mall where all the shops stock jliat noise... so just as the 3.59 tracks parody the pop single i can parody the present consumerism...»

Note: This collection is already on its 12th volume.

[CD-R by jliat]

Frans de Waard / Vital Weekly
Photo: R.R.

Novidades Alg-a


"aliaXe", de Xe, é um dos mais recentes lançamentos da netlabel Alg-a. Este projecto, «que disolve os anteriores plumbandplumber e uveaele», apresenta «un conxunto de "accións percusivas" nos elementos da batería (caixa, charles, timbáis), coa axuda de diversos obxetos (de forma non ortodoxa e en baixa calidade), para mais tarde mesturar, transformar e descontextualizar os sons resultantes das accións, con procesos electroacústicos e dixitáis. Un total de dez micro-composicións deseñadas tanto para a escoita con auriculares, coma para levalos de ton no móbil».

Entretanto, também disponível no site da Alg-a está o (muito interessante) vídeo "irration4l", de MARULA, uma artista visual galega que trabalha sobretudo no campo do video jockey.



Senses - Ciclo de Música Electrónica e Multimédia

Mika Vainio (fotografia: D.R.)

Depois do óptimo cartão de visita que foi a actuação de Tim Hecker, em Outubro do ano passado, o ciclo Senses, dedicado à música electrónica e ao multimédia, volta ao palco do Teatro Académico de Gil Vicente (TAGV), em Coimbra.

E o início não poderia ser melhor, com a apresentação ao vivo, no próximo dia 24 de Janeiro, de Mika Vainio, uma das "caras-metade" do projecto finlandês Pan Sonic. O ciclo segue em Fevereiro, nomeadamente no dia 28, com os alemães Rechenzentrum. Para Abril, está já confirmada a presença de Colleen.

(fotografia: Martin Eberle)

Recorde-se que, em 2007, esta iniciativa contou com a presença de nomes como People Like Us, Murcof, ISAN, Vítor Joaquim ou FM3, entre outros.

Senses é uma organização do TAGV, com programação de Afonso Macedo.

Colleen (fotografia: D.R.)


Alfredo Costa Monteiro: "Allotropie"

Despite my name, my French is not what it could have been if I paid more attention in school, but if I understand correctly from the short liner notes of this release, the music was made for an installation made in Barcelona, using sounds from 100 different kinds of paper and there is no use of electronics.

Monteiro is one half of Cremaster, as well as many other improvisation musics. The twenty minute piece is an interesting one, especially if we are indeed to believe that it's the paper who does the talking. I am not entirely sure how these sounds are generated (microphone recording? contact microphones? tearing? rubbing? cutting?), but it's very hard to believe that this just the sound of paper. It seems like an onkyo recording of a saxophone, but in a multi-layered fashion. The collage like approach works quite well here. Part noise, totally culled from improvisations.

Very nice release.

[CD-R by Bourbaki Records]

Frans de Waard / Vital Weekly
Photo: Bourbaki Records