Part 2: 15 August 2009
Indian Jewelry I John Webster Johns I Julia Holter I Im Kino
TRAUERMUSIK is a three-part concert series curated by Los Angeles neo-nonprofits eighteen-thirty eighteen-thirty and HumanEar. It is an extended meditation on the purpose, function and power of sorrow in music. The curators selected three historical texts to convey three profound notions of melancholy. But the kinds of sadness represented here are far from the dreary monochrome that might come to mind. The project sets aim for an understanding of sadness as colorful and paradoxically complex as rain on a sunny day. By challenging their artists to create original works outside their comfort range and by pairing artists from genres as diverse as experimental classical, ambient electronica and avant-pop, it would seem they are attempting to break the uniform gray into a dizzying spectrum of subtleties.
Its title – borrowed from German romantic composers' favorite term for "Mourning Music" – is a clue to the overarching plan. Three concerts, devoted to the melancholy of longing, the melancholy of excess and the melancholy of contentment, respectively, are titled only by the historical quotations used as "instruction sheets" to the artists involved. Ultimately, it may be Friedrich Nietzsche, Georges Bataille and Claude Baudelaire, who with their inscrutable notions of pain and suffering guide the course of these starry nights.
INDIAN JEWELRY are legendary performers and songwriters whose intense live performances straddle the divide between droning vision music and seizure-inducing stage show.
JOHN WEBSTER JOHNS is a remarkable and rare example of the uncompromising artist. His work traverses emotional songwriting and classical orchestration, precision and chaos, dissonance and consonance in a way that only truly visionary art can: by retaining what satisfies the purpose, and discarding the rest.
JULIA HOLTER, composer, songwriter, polymath and student of medieval psychology, is largely responsible for creating HumanEar. As comfortable composing delicately scored ensemble pieces as she is pop anthems, she possesses a graceful understanding of the unities underpinning orchestration and emotion in music.
IM KINO is a mysterious band of classically trained musicians currently residing in Berlin.