A founding partner of Sub Versive Media Arts, Zev’s first documentary, RAT ART: Croatian Independents (1997), explored the impact of the Yugoslav civil war on Croatian artists. Over the years he explored a variety of fascinating, subversive and challenging themes through films that include; What About Me: The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm Band (2000), Casuistry: The Art of Killing A Cat (2004), Mission Holiday (2006), Aqua Alta (2007), and a documentary on the noise band Torturing Nurse and changing mores in China, called Subcultural Revolution: Shanghai (2008/10).
In his parallel musical career, Zev collaborated with Tim Olive and Sam Lohman in the 1990s band Nimrod. He later went on to develop the pioneering noise and multimedia performance group Roughage that included collaborations with other artists including Willy Le Maitre and Eric Vasseur and toured worldwide. Zev / Roughage also collaborated with bands including Flying Testicle, Bustmonster, the Sleazy Listeners and Starlet Fever.
After his death, the Globe and Mail featured an obituary on Zev which commented “Countless tributes acknowledged him as a pioneer in the noise music scene, and as a unique documentary voice”.
Photo by Jen Morris
Photo by Robert Szkolnicki
His overall goal was to work collaboratively and to trespass conventional boundaries. He resented the idea of an isolated artistic genius and his entire production can be seen as a subsequent and vibrant example of praxis in a constant flux. He believed in the need to trespass conventional boundaries between artistic disciplines. This is visible from his engagement in Fluxus, over numerous collaborative performances to his position as a professor at the Art Academy in Hamburg (Hochschule für Bildende Künste – HfBK).
“You must listen to nature,” Henning Christiansen said and then painted his one ear green. He also painted stones and violins green amongst other things and invented the term “Musik als grün” (Music as green).
A similar spirit of this collision between the familiar and the uncanny informs Lambkin’s spoken word/text based performances and publications. The prosaic facets of life yield to mordant, dream-like reflections. A delivery of calm uninflected voicing contributes to this seamless passage between the banal and the bizarre that inhabit these spoken word events. Lambkin has performed these works internationally at such venues as The Kitchen, NYC, The Sibelius Museum, Finland, Issue Project Room, NYC, Fylkingen, Sweden, CALarts, CA, and Cafe OTO, London, and has seen three volumes of written work published to date.
Lambkin’s visual art explores the metamorphic properties of the watercolor/drawing medium in which the abstract and the figurative (or more precisely, the creaturely) are perpetually shape shifting, thereby undermining the expected categories of image content. Here the fantastical quality of his visual idiom, and the teeming quasi-abstract landscapes that emerge, strike a marvelous balance between the malevolent and the enticing. These works have been shown at AVA Gallery, NYC, 356 Mission Gallery, LA, and Kunstlerhaus, Stuttgart, and have been published in four hardback volumes via Penultimate Press, London.
Lambkin has collaborated regularly on releases with; Keith Rowe, Michael Pisaro, Jason Lescalleet and Joe McPhee and has also collaborated live with Moniek Darge, Françoise Vanhecke, Taku Unami, Vanessa Rossetto, C Spencer Yeh, Takahiro Kawaguchi, Mark Harwood, Gabi Losoncy, James Rushford and Áine O’Dwyer.
In 2001 Lambkin founded the Kye record label, which to date has published over 60 audio editions. The label has proven to be one of the most searching exponents of a wide range of experimental musical content over the last decade plus.
Photo by Áine O’Dwyer
“Every aspect of her playing feels spiritually possessed, intently zoomed in on a single emotional target that Leigh hits repeatedly, backing her dexterous vocals with simple instrumental figures. The way her patient songs sound like both far-reaching experiments and devout hymns has little parallel…Leigh’s music has a power all its own.” Pitchfork
“…she seems to be inventing new song forms, or perhaps it’s just that she’s unconcerned about loyalty to any song form.” The New York Times
Photo by Peter Brotzmann
Her sound installation, A Sound Map of the Danube, has been presented in Germany, Austria and the USA. This is a surround ‘sound map’ of the entire Danube River, incorporating a wide variety of water, animal and underwater insect sounds, rocks from the riverbed and the voices of those whose lives are intimately connected to the river. Other recent projects include Ceci n’est pas un piano, for piano, video and electronics commissioned by Jennifer Hymer; Jitterbug, commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, a six channel soundscape with two improvising musicians; and In Our Name, a collaboration with Thomas Buckner based on poems by prisoners in Guantánamo. She was a recipient of the 2007 Henry Cowell Award. Her music has been issued on CD and online on the Lovely Music, Ambitus, EM, XI, Rattle, Lorelt, and Pogus labels.
Photo by Nicole Tavenner
Junko has collaborated and performed with guitarist Michael Henritzi (FR), Lea Cummings (UK), power electronics group Sutcliffe Jugend (UK) and improvising Basque artist Mattin.
Photo by Loup Godé
In 1969, his first recordings as leader appeared on the CJR label, co-founded with painter Craig Johnson. These include the now legendary underground free jazz classic Nation Time, a tribute to poet/author Amiri Baraka and recorded at Vassar College, in concert at Chicago Hall. From 1969 to 1971 he was a member of the Vassar faculty in the Black Studies program, presenting a course titled Revolution in Sound.
Joe McPhee holds the distinction of having two record labels created specifically to document his music. Hat Hut Records of Switzerland, which began in 1975 with the release of Black Magicman, a follow up/continuation of the Chicago Hall concert. Today, Joe continues to follow his muse in concerts and recording internationally as well as here in the US.
Photo by Ziga Koritnik
The Nihilist Spasm Band
Throughout its long history the band has played regularly in various venues in Ontario and Quebec. Their recordings in the 1960’s, ’70’s and 80’s on Allied and Music Gallery, Toronto, Chimik, Montreal, and United Dairies, U.K., began to attract international attention, and in the 1990’s they began to play at various venues in the United States, including New York’s Knitting Factory, and they toured Japan twice. The international No Music Festival was formed around them in London, Ontario, and carried on for five outstanding editions. They produced three new cds on Japan’s Alchemy label, which also re-released all of their previous recordings. In 2004 the Spasm Band toured Europe for the first time since 1969, and since then, they have played in Leeds, Paris, Hasselt, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, the Hague, Cologne, Berlin, Krems, Wroclaw, Geneva, Mulhouse, Metz, Nancy, Montreuil, Prague, Brno, Angers, Le Havre, Metz, and Nice.
As of 2017 the Nihilist Spasm Band are:
John Boyle, electric kazoo, thumb piano, ring modulator, drums
John Clement, 3 1/2 string electric bass
Bill Exley, vocals, casserole
Murray Favro, guitar
Aya Onishi, electric kazoo, drums
Art Pratten, Pratt-a-various, waterpipe
Past members, Greg Curnoe, Hugh McIntyre, Archie Leitch
Photo by Bob Mackenzie
As a composer, James has been commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Glasgow), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Neon (Oslo), Speak Percussion (Melbourne), Ensemble Vortex (Geneva), Ensemble Offspring (Sydney), Decibel (Perth), Melbourne International Arts Festival (2006/2008), Norway Ultima Festival (2011), Unsound Festival (New York 2014) and Liquid Architecture Festival (2010).
As a performer, he has presented work at various esteemed venues around the world and at International festivals such as Only Connect (Oslo), Now Now (2011/2012), Adelaide Festival (2014), Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (2013/2014), Melbourne International Jazz Festival (2011) and the Tectonics Festival (Adelaide 2014, New York 2015, Tel Aviv 2015). He has performed live with the Krakow Sinfonietta, Australian Art Orchestra, Michel Pisaro, David Behrman and Jon Rose.
Rushford has collaborative projects with Joe Talia, Golden Fur (w/ Samuel Dunscombe & Judith Hamann), Ora Clementi (w/ crys cole), Oren Ambarchi, Klaus Lang, Kassel Jaeger, Graham Lambkin, Francis Plagne, Tashi Wada, visual artist Michael Salerno and writer Dennis Cooper. His music has been published by Pogus (US), Prisma (Norway), Bocian (Poland), Penultimate Press (UK), Black Truffle (AUS) and KYE (US). He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.
He has presented performances throughout Japan and Europe as well as in UK, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Australia, Iceland and the USA. He has exhibited his work widely with group exhibitions of note at the Moscow and Haifa Museum of Art, Israel (2012); Son et Lumière, et sagesse profonde, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2012-2013) and Simple Interactions. Sound Art from Japan, Roskilde Museum (2011). His recent solo exhibitions include SCIENCE DE LA SUPERSTITION, Les Instants Chavirés,Montreuil (2015); 0 sai (age 0), Breaker Project, Osaka (2014) and Hotel New Osorezan, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore (2013) and See, Look at Observed what Watching is, PICA/ Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, USA (2016).