In the spirit of the theme for this year’s Festival—Untapped Capital—the New Museum has invited five staffers (each with a unique background in music) to co-curate “New Museum Untapped,” the music program for the StreetFest. “New Museum Untapped” is an afternoon of electronic music featuring artists that demonstrate a shared affirmation of experimentation and collaboration, an openness to sound sources and media, and an interest in reinterpreting genres. The program will unfold as a seamless experience through overlapping sets and collaborations, providing new artistic opportunities and a respite en plein air from typical rock club formats. Performances will take place from noon–4 p.m. at a bandstand located on the basketball courts in Sara D. Roosevelt Park (Houston between Chrystie and Forsyth).
Artist and musician Michael Alan’s ongoing project The Living Installation is a raucous, riotous celebration of the body, music, art, and healing. Working with live models, paint, props, and costumes over the course of several hours, The Living Installation is a site-specific performance, a sculpture come to life, and a happening-turned-noise concert. Alan’s performances influence his drawing practice, which becomes part of the environment in his next performance or song, creating a continuous feedback loop among his various modes of expression. For “New Museum Untapped,” Alan will move The Living Installation out onto the streets of New York City, inviting everyone to be a part of his glorious, gloppy, mutating mass of positivity. He will be joined by musician and DJ Tim “Love” Lee, a frequent collaborator and founder of Tummy Touch Records. michaelalanart.com/art
La Big Vic is the culmination of a multitalented trio hailing from Brooklyn, each bringing their own influences and sonic acumen into the equation. Lead vocalist and violin impressaria Emilie Friedlander is a classically trained violinist and opera singer, founder of the underground music publication Ad Hoc, and Senior Editor for the FADER. Keyboardist Peter Pearson played bass in legendary Milwaukee punk band Mystery Girls, was in Love Like Deloreans with Lorna “Dune” Krier, and now builds and repairs synthesizers for Analog Lab. Before moving from his native Japan to America, guitarist/producer Toshio Masuda had produced hip hop, commercials, and soundtracks for film and television. The resulting sum is an experimental canon of work that is at times haunting, at times dubby, yet sweetly melancholic, a lush, psychedelic tapestry of gorgeous textures—swirling guitars, synths, and deep, reverberating beats.
La Big Vic’s latest album, Cold War was released in January on Underwater Peoples. underwaterpeoples.com/2011/07/04/la-big-vic
Lorna Dune is the solo project of experimental musician Lorna Krier, a versatile and prolific composer/performer based in Brooklyn. Classically trained, she is a skilled keyboardist and synthesizer player who is a founding member of the chamber-rock ensemble Victoire, as well as the synthesizer trio Love Like Deloreans, which included Peter Pearson (La Big Vic). Solo, Lorna Dune showcases her expertise on keys to create layered music that is at times gentle and lulling, but at quick turns can be woozy and discordant—all held together with deft control. For “New Museum Untapped,” Lorna Dune will perform in a new collaboration with Erica Spring (Au Revoir Simone). lornakrier.com
Maria Minerva, aka Maria Juur, was born in Estonia at the twilight of the Cold War, and studied art history in her native country and visual culture theory in London. A self-taught musician and producer currently based in Brooklyn, Minerva is an aspiring global citizen professing to possess only distances—her displacement is often echoed in the sounds of her tracks. Citing a range of influences from Brian Eno, Throbbing Gristle, a minor obsession with ABBA, as well as a range of prominent culture theorists, she produces eclectic soundscapes that could be qualified as “experimental pop music” where restlessness and anxiety hold dominion. Releasing music under the LA label Not Not Fun since 2010, recent works include The Integration LP with LA Vampires and Will Happiness Find Me? maria-minerva.com
Pearl Necklace is a Brooklyn-based duo comprised of musicians Bryce Hackford and Frank Gilbert Lyon II, who met one another on an NYC sidewalk in 2009 over a discussion about poetry. A mutual admiration for the pliability of language is evidenced in their project’s name and with their first studio album Soft Opening. Pearl Necklace creates textured sound collages composed of stretched, opaque samples that, at times, obfuscate hooks by analog synthesizers (and vice versa). Openness is apparent in the duo’s unbiased array of “found” and field recordings as material, and in their propensity for collaboration—Andrew VanWyngarden (MGMT) and Alexis Georgopoulos (Arp) played on the last album, while David MacNutt and others will join on an imminent release. For “New Museum Untapped,” the duo will work with artist Michael Alan. Former collaborators include Rhys Chatham, Christopher Cerrone, Emilie Friedlander, and Toshio Masuda—the latter two being members of La Big Vic. pitchperfectpr.com/a_pn.html
As front-woman of Brooklyn-based all-girl synth-pop trio Au Revoir Simone, Erika Forster aka Erika Spring, is well known for her bright Casiotone melodies and honey-sweet voice. Drawn to the atmospheric, the Colorado native’s solo work is more evocative, blending experimental nuances, effects, and techniques with strong pop sensibilities. Citing Philip Glass, Broadcast, Stereolab, and Phil Collins as influences, she strives to replicate the texture of memories through sound, connecting to emotional places and experiences both introspective and communal. No stranger to collaboration (most recently lending her voice to label mate Selebrities’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic “Everywhere”), she will be performing live for “New Museum Untapped” with fellow electronic virtuosa Lorna “Dune” Krier. Her self-titled solo EP was released in 2012 on Cascine Records. cascine.us/erika-spring-ep.php