Baltimore duo Matmos performs in the lecture hall at SFAI’s Chestnut Street Campus.
Matmos is M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel, aided and abetted by many others. Currently based in Baltimore, the duo formed in San Francisco in the mid 1990s, and self-released their debut album in 1997. Marrying the conceptual tactics and noisy textures of object-based musique concrete to a rhythmic matrix rooted in electronic pop music, the two quickly became known for their highly unusual sound sources: amplified crayfish nerve tissue, the pages of bibles turning, water hitting copper plates, liposuction surgery, cameras and VCRs, chin implant surgery, contact microphones on human hair, rat cages, tanks of helium, a cow uterus, human skulls, snails, cigarettes, cards shuffling, laser eye surgery, whoopee cushions, balloons, latex fetish clothing, rhinestones, Polish trains, insects, life support systems, inflatable blankets, rock salt, solid gold coins, the sound of a frozen stream thawing in the sun, a five gallon bucket of oatmeal. These raw materials are manipulated into surprisingly accessible forms, and often supplemented by traditional musical instruments played by them and their large circle of friends and collaborators. The result is a model of electronic composition as a relational network that connects sources and outcomes together; information about the process of creation activates the listening experience, providing the listener with entry points into sometimes densely allusive, baroque recordings.
Since their debut, Matmos have released over nine albums, including: Quasi-Objects (1998) , The West (1998), A Chance to Cut Is A Chance to Cure (2001), The Civil War (2003) , The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of A Beast (2006), Supreme Balloon (2008) and The Marriage of True Minds(2014). In 2001 they were asked to collaborate with the Icelandic singer Bjork on her “Vespertine” album, and subsequently embarked on two world tours as part of her band. In addition to musical collaborations with Antony/Anohni, So Percussion, Terry Riley, The Kronos Quartet, David Tibet, the Rachel’s, Lesser, Wobbly, Zeena Parkins, and the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, Matmos have also collaborated with a wide range of artists across disciplines, from the visual artist Daria Martin (on the soundtrack to her film “Minotaur”) to the playwright Young Jean Lee (for her play “The Appeal”) to Berlin-based choreographer Ayman Harper. From 2011-2013 they were part of the ensemble for the Robert Wilson production “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic”, featuring Marina Abramovic, Antony and Willem Dafoe. Their most recent album “Ultimate Care II” was released in 2016 on Thrill Jockey records and was made entirely out of a washing machine; with Nico Muhly they have created the score for the film “How To Talk to Girls At Parties”, directed by John Cameron Mitchell and starring Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp and Nicole Kidman.
Opening for Matmos will be…
Noise music of Japanese poetry. IMA is the sound project of Nava Dunkelman x Amma Ateria, marching forth with fearless percussion, stark electronics, and filmic poetic vocals. Deconstructing and dissolving heavy music through restraint and release, IMA strives for a balance between meticulous detailed precision of instrumentation, and chaos of densities driven to brinks of breakage, situated by beautification in between. IMA has been presented in residency at The Stone, New York City (2016) and San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, SF (2016). Performed and collaborated with avant-garde pioneers Ikue Mori, Pauchi Sasaki, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Zeena Parkins, Erik Friedlander, and many others.
This event is free for SFAI students with valid ID, $8 online, and $10 at the door.