CORNELIUS F. VAN STAFRIN III, TÄRR, GLENN WEYANT
SOLAR CULTURE GALLERY
Sunday, June 20
Three unique noise artists converged at Solar Culture, as Cornelius F. Van Stafrin III, from Los Angeles, and a noise artist operating under the name Tärr, from Chicago, were supported by Tucsonan Glenn Weyant.
Weyant opened the show with a performance that centered on what looked like guitar surgery, while his partner held down rhythms alternately on violin and piano. Weyant manipulated the music through a computer, but the analog element of the performance was most compelling. His arsenal of improv included an elaborate combination of tools, mechanical sculptures and traditional instruments. Sound bytes filtered in and out as the music engaged the audience at a variety of volume levels. The orchestration was seamless—at one point almost incorporating a passing train.
Tärr's entry was the most dependent on electronic procedure. I have to plead ignorance as to what was happening as he operated an intricate box of switches and wiring from a folding table and chair set to one side of the room; as for the sound, imagine being lost in a malfunctioning spaceship. While I thought of investigating the particulars of Tärr's command station, I decided the charm rested in just letting go. Sandwiched between two artists focusing on manipulating analog instruments, Tärr was a nice complement.
Headliner Cornelius F. Van Stafrin III's performance included a mix of analog-tape manipulation and unorthodox instrumentation. His contribution was the most meditative; sonically, the dynamic started low and built to a controlled burn of indistinguishable sound bytes and acoustic amplifications. He enhanced his sound with a singing bowl and what appeared to be a modified accordion that wheezed into a microphone, echoing through the venue.
The show, from start to finish, was just more than two hours; all three groups had efficiency on their side, since they were able to set up small command stations around the room. While the technical aspects of the performances were vexing, raw energy was undeniably created by these three entities engaged in an unorthodox craft. The show took me back to a time when discovering underground music seemed thoroughly dangerous.