matmos
June 28, 2012

WHAT HAS MATMOS BEEN DOING?

Enjoying the silence is all very well, but sometimes you want to know what people are up to. In the spirit of oversharing, welcome to the newly updated Matmos website. (NEW URL, webbies, please take notice…)  What have we been doing, you ask? We’re happy to say that after four years of labor we’ve finally wrapped up some new recordings. This candid snapshot was taken during the mastering sessions for said recordings, which took place at the home of Thomas DiMuzio. That’s his four footed associate, Penny. We’re going to tell you more than you could ever want to know about these recordings (what label? What format? EP? Album? What’s the “big idea”?) in another announcement. In the fullness of time, all things are possible.

Speaking of finishing things, this might also be the place for us to announce that, after twelve long years of grinding intellectual labor, Drew has completed the manuscript of his academic tome. “The Melancholy Assemblage: Affect and Epistemology in the English Renaissance” now malingers in the galleys stage (not the kitchen of a ship). This scholarly missive is forthcoming in the spring of next year from Fordham University Press, a press which home to all sorts of estimable authors like Jacques Lezra, Simon During, Jonathan Goldberg, Jean-Luc Nancy and Jacques Derrida. Which is nice if you like that sort of thing (Drew will talk your head off about his book if you let him, so please invite him to your campus to do that). Speaking of academic writing and Matmos, please consult the Journal of Popular Music Studies for an extraordinary co-authored essay by Michael Snediker and Rick Moody. Tell us your thoughts once you’ve read it.

Having tied up many of the loose ends associated with the new Matmos recordings and Drew’s book, M. C. Schmidt and Drew re-joined “(theLID”, their ongoing collaborative sound/music/dance project initiated by the Germany-based choreographer Ayman Harper. Leaving our home safely in the hands of various house sitters from Baltimore’s best new band Horse Lords, we flew off to the lovely city of Dresden for the final installment of this project, which has already erupted in Frankfurt, Berlin and Houston. For the Dresden run we were joined by a new dancer, cute waiters at a nearby pasta restaurant, several miles of dayglo gaffer tape, vast acres of reflective mylar space blankets, and lots of post-show Q+A rap sessions. Here are some photos from the final blowout.

 

Wiping the tears from our eyes and recovering from the dark and noisy world of the lid, we skedaddled from Dresden to Amsterdam, to re-connect with another starstudded collaborative affair: the Robert Wilson directed multimedia colossus which is “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic”, an opera starring Marina Abramovic, Willem Dafoe, Antony and lots of other folks. Matmos is part of the musical ensemble for the production, alongside Gael Rakotondrabe (Piano), Doug Wieselman (Clarinet, Guitar), Oren Bloedow (Bass), many fine singers, and the sound art of William Basinski. This production is a globetrotting monster, and major hats off to Matmos webmistress J Lesser, who was Drew’s understudy for the Madrid production, and who singlehandedly replaced both M. C. and Drew for the Basel production. How he did it, we don’t know (by the way he has a rad new tape out of solo modular synthesizer music). As of this missive, M. C. and Drew are back in the saddle. Which mostly consists of hunching in a pitchblack orchestra pit and wait for the red cue light to go off. Then we play music, make noises, and then fret and freak out some more. The show is amazing, and there are all sorts of rumors about whether or not it might wind up in some other major cities of the world, so save your pennies.

 

Is there life after death? We don’t know. Is there life after “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic”? Yes, most assuredly. Having finally wrapped up the LADOMA affair in the fine Belgian city of Antwerp (home to avant garde high fashion, chocolates shaped like severed hands, and horse meat restaurants), Matmos is going to enjoy itself in Berlin for ten days. Then it’s off to Darmstadt, where, ahem, M. C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel will be “Electronic Music Tutors” as part of the legendary Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt. We’ll be hosting a kind of masterclass on “The Material Poetics of Electronic Music”, and doing personal conferences and studio visits with individuals. Having long prophesized that at some point somebody was bound to notice that we are kind of self-taught and making it all up as we go along, we kind of can’t believe that we’ve been invited to take part in something this legitimate. Stay tuned for more information about the official Matmos concert which will be a part of the proceedings.

 

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