Friday, on the 25th of July at 18:00, the third part of the “Riga 2014” sound art exhibition “SKAN II” will open its doors at the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia (Kandavas Street 2) and the Kalnciems Quarter art gallery (Kalnciema street 35). The opening of the exhibition will feature performances by improvising percussionist Eli Keszler, composer Michael J. Schumacher and the duo of Edgars Rubenis and Edgars Eihmanis – core members of the Latvian drone rock group Mona De Bo. Artists, represented in the third and final part of “SKAN II” are: Voldemārs Johansons, Max Eastley, Michael J. Schumacher, Edwin van der Heide & Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag, Christian Skjodt, Eli Keszler, David Helbich, Evelīna Deičmane, Anke Eckardt, Heimo Lattner and Judith Laub.
„SKAN II”, organized by the Skanu Mezs Association for Adventurous Music and Related Arts, focuses on presenting latest developments in sound art as well as directly and indirectly linking this form of art to the wooden architecture of Riga. This third and closing part of “SKAN II” will run from July, the 25th, till August, the 24th, and its main venue, apart from the Kalnciems Quarter gallery, is the the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia, therefore presenting an exciting collision of sound art, architecture, urban environment and nature – works will be exhibited throughout the whole territory of the garden. Artists, such as Voldemārs Johansons, Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag, Edwin van der Heide, Max Eastley, and others, will have created new works for „SKAN II”.
The opening of the exhibition will happen in two parts: the first part, taking place at the Kalnciems Quarter art gallery, will start at 18:00 and will consist of Eli Keszler presenting his latest installation „Truss” in a concert format, whereas the second part will start at 19:30, and will happen at the cafe of the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia – it will consist of performances by composer Michael J. Schumacher (also featured as an artist in the exhibition) and the duo of Edgars Rubenis and Edgars Eihmanis – key members of the latvian drone rock group Mona De Bo.
Born in Massachusetts and currently based in New York City, Eli Keszler began playing drums at eight, and composing at twelve. He played in rock and hardcore bands, and his work retains an intense physicality and churning, often ferocious energy. Keszler’s installations and visual work employ piano wires of varying lengths which are struck, scraped, and vibrated by microprocessor-controlled motors. These installations are heard on their own and with accompanying ensemble scores, or solo performance, with Keszler’s aggressive jarringly rhythmic and propulsive drumming. In a NPR All Songs Considered interview he said, “I like to work with raw material, simple sounds, primitive or very old sounds; sounds that won’t get dated in any way.” „Truss”, his latest installation, acts as well as a format for performance, where a performer has to play with this large sonic and visual presence, bringing about a clash between the social and intuitive musical structures with the formalized and physical presence of the installation.
Michael J. Schumacher is a composer, performer and installation artist based in Brooklyn. Schumacher is the founder and director of Diapason gallery, and is also music director of the Liz Gerring Dance Company. His latest project is diNMachine, an electro-acoustic rock band. Schumacher has received awards and residencies from NYFA, Harvestworks, Rennsellaer, DAAD and others. He’s an adjunct professor at NYU/Poly and has guest-lectured at Bard and RPI as well as having recently been the Varèse Professor at Berlin’s TU. His sound installations have been heard at festivals and venues in North America, Europe and Asia. “Room Pieces”, presented as part of SKAN II, is a multi-channel extended duration sound installation that uses a modular compositional approach characterized by a wide variety of sonic material. Each manifestation of Room Pieces takes on a unique identity based on the nature of the space in which it is installed. It defines points in space and coordinates these points by the juxtaposition of related sounds, weaving a spatial geometry, a continuously shifting grid of multi-point relations with the listener as axis.
The exhibition’s main supporters are: the Foundation Riga 2014, EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) Global, the British Council, the Danish Cultural Institute, the French Institute, the Goethe Institute in Riga and the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Riga, Latvian State Endowment for Culture, Austrian Embassy, Mondriaan Fonds and EU programme “Culture”.
The exhibition at the Botanical garden is open to visitors from Wednesday to Sunday between the hours of 13.00 and 18.00 (entrance for adults – 3 EUR). The exhibition at the Kalnciems Quarter is open to visitors from Monday to Saturday between the hours of 13.00 and 18.00 (entrance – free of charge).