Accidentally on purpose
The accidental music festival brings out the best in Orlando's new music scene
Published: September 1, 2011
During this rehearsal of the piece, the audience can get a feel for what goes into creating and perfecting a modern composition. The formal debut of “In the Beginning” will take place at Timucua on Sept. 11.
Tuesday, Sept. 6
Jason Kahn and Bryan Eubanks
Urban ReThink 8 p.m.
Jason Kahn is a composer/sound installationist/electronic musician living in Zurich, Switzerland. His earliest musical inspiration was experimental as well: punk rock, which was an experimental and pioneering form of music in its time.
Kahn, who began his musical career as a drummer in a punk band called the Leaving Trains, told Paris Transatlantic magazine in 2004 that the first time he heard the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” he was driving along Mulholland Drive in the 1970s, and “I was so thunderstruck that I had to pull over and park the car.”
“Maybe it wasn’t the music as much as the energy that attracted me,” he said, “and the whole idea behind the punk scene at that time which was that anyone could make music. You didn’t have to have two semi-trailer trucks, a dozen roadies, a private jet, a multi-million dollar record deal or a stadium to play in. So about 1978 I started going to Los Angeles punk clubs like the Whiskey, the Starwood and the Hong Kong Cafe. The scene was really vibrant and creative – there was everything going on from the Screamers to the Germs. It was a real revelation to me, seeing all these people on stage who looked just like me! The barrier between performer and audience completely disappeared.”
Eventually Kahn began incorporating live electronics into his music, and today he uses all manner of instruments – a laptop, analogue synthesizers, ambient sound, radio transmitters – to create improvised soundscapes and environments full of noise, rhythm, static and feedback.
He’ll be playing with Bryan Eubanks, who began his musical career playing the saxophone. Today he specializes in electronic music and creates instruments of his own design that incorporate open circuits, radio transmission, feedback and other electronics. “It is electronic, but it’s not the typical electronic music,” says the Civic Minded 5’s Ivy. “You’re not going to hear sounds that you’ve heard before on dance records. … This will take you on a journey that you haven’t been on before.”
Belt says that Kahn and Eubanks will improvise their entire set on analogue synthesizers that they’ve built themselves and the performance can be “very long and free form.”
“What I like about Jason Kahn’s music is that he has a really strong grasp of musical form. So there will be times where he’s just kind of noodling around with a sound machine, but he creates this drama without any of the standard techniques of classical music,” Belt says. “Just one person with a strange little box that he makes sounds with.”