Friday, January 23, 2009

Kosmos (For Karlheinz Stockhausen)

T. Renner, "Kosmos (For Karlheinz Stockhausen) #1," 2009, acrylic on coated card stock, 6" x 5".

T. Renner, "Kosmos (For Karlheinz Stockhausen) #2," 2009, acrylic on coated card stock, 6" x 5".

Speaking of Stockhausen, here's some exciting news:
The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts will host a program of chamber music by Anton Webern, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Morton Feldman, and David Lang on Tuesday, November 1st at 7:30pm (doors open at 7:00pm). The concert is part of an ongoing collaboration with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

This series explores with musical means the unique possibilities the Pulitzer building provides: an intimate setting to experience music, art and architecture. Chamber works are selected by David Robertson, SLSO Music Director, and relate to installations on view at the Pulitzer.

The works to be performed include Concerto for Nine Instruments, op. 24 by Webern; Kreuzspiel (or Crossplay), by Stockhausen; The Viola in My Life, by Feldman; and Cheating Lying, Stealing, by Lang. They coincide with the Pulitzer’s newly opened installation, Minimalism and Beyond, which focuses on artists working in the 1960s, as well as those of a younger generation who have both redefined and continued the legacy of Minimalism.

Webern’s Concerto is a work of sparse, angular textures, reductive in method, which is constructed of variations on a 12-note theme. Although pre-minimalist, Webern’s concerns parallel those of the artistic generation to come. Stockhausen, who has influenced popular artists such at Brian Eno and Björk, is an explorer of musical space and his piece, Kreuzspiel, calls for an unusual arrangement of instruments along with amplified sound. Feldman’s The Viola in My Life investigates soft dynamics, blurred colors and soft textures. Finally, Lang’s provocatively titled Cheating, Lying, Stealing makes use of small amounts of musical material, which are varied on an intricate scale.

Tickets are available through the Powell Symphony Hall box office at 314-534-1700 or through their website, Tickets for the event are $20.00. Availability is limited due to venue size (100 tickets). Visit for more information on the exhibition and concert series.

Chamber Music Program

David Robertson, conductor

Karlheinz STOCKHAUSEN Kreuzspiel

Barbara Orland, oboe
Jim Meyer, bass clarinet
Molly Morkoski, piano
John Kasica, Tom Stubbs, Henry Claude, percussion

Monday, January 12, 2009

Four More Improvisations for Derek Bailey

T. Renner, "Improvisations for Derek Bailey #'s 5-8," 2008, acrylic on coated card stock, 7" x 5".

"Irk Bee Delay," a track from my musical homage to Derek Bailey [ANAGRAMS, 2008, Echolocation Recordings] has been included on a massive net-only compilation recently released on Clinical Archives. Excerpts from a review from Free Albums Galore follow:
One of the most exciting net labels to show up recently is Clinical Archives. There is a huge amount of music on this label which is described as the "independent netlabel for eclectic and illogical music". Their release Clinical Jazz may be of some help in defining the music of this label but it may not be too helpful because the anthology album itself is so huge! It has over 10 hours of music and is the equivalent of 9 CDs. Once you get past the size of this collection, you will find an exceptionally consistent quality of music that is either in the jazz genre or outside the genre of jazz but beholden to the the influence of this improvisatory music. Not everything here fits my definition of jazz but that is not the point. Clinical Archives is about expanding the definition of music and that is certainly the intent in these 94 tracks from all over the globe.

There ’s just too much to go through on each CD but the variety of music as well as the high quality of the artists is extremely impressive. [...] Much of CD 5 is also avant-garde improvisation but sounding more post classical than jazz. Check out guitarist Tony Renner’s "Irk Bee Delay" which is a nice Derek Bailey styled improv.

You can download the entire compilation or listen to selected tracks here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Works on Paper (Posters) at City Art Supply

I've got a show of works on paper hanging at City Art Supply, 3215 Cherokee, St. Louis, Missouri, from now through the end of January.

T. Renner, "Composition for Cecil Taylor (Larger)", 2008-2009, acrylic on paper, 10" x 16".

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"Buzzards and Dreadful Crows": Re-post

NOTE: This is a re-post of one of my favorite pieces of last year that got absolutely zero attention. Color me crying.

T. Renner, "Buzzards and Dreadful Crows (for Bob Pollard)," 2008, watercolor, gouache, ink on paper, 8" x 11".

Yet another work that has its genesis in the St. Louis Art Museum's "The Immediate Touch" exhibition, which closed on Sunday, September 7.

The background watercolor was inspired by Anselm Kiefer, the vertical and horizontal lines by Gunter Forg, and the window box with flowers by Rudi Troger. The marks in the windows were probably inspired by Helmet Dorner.

"Buzzards and Dreadful Crows" was completed over the course of several weeks, with a new element being added as I felt they were needed to complete the picture. I only decided on adding the birds of prey on Sunday night and added them this morning. My first attempts -- on a separate piece of paper -- with ink and brush yielded entirely too friendly looking birds. A quick image search on-line provided the necessary brain-jog, and, after a few practice sketches with pen and ink, I finished the job.

The title, "Buzzards and Dreadful Crows," comes from the great Guided By Voices song of the same name from the classic album "Bee Thousand:"

"The lifeblood -- the lighthouse flashing
16 chicks remain on watch
For the wheels to come rolling in
And they do...
Yes they always do
I’d be bored and disappointed if they didn’t

Buzzards and dreadful crows
Right on the tip of my nose
They wait like cats and fly out
For the light in my eyes to die out
And it does...
Yes it always does
I’d be shocked and removed if it didn’t

Buzzards and dreadful crows
A necessary evil, I suppose
There’s something in this deal for everyone
Did you really think that you were the only one?

Buzzards and dreadful crows
A necessary evil, I suppose
There’s something in this deal for everyone
Did you really think that you were the only one?
You were the only one"

Music and lyrics by Robert Pollard and Jim Pollard.

Friday, January 2, 2009

In Memorium: Black Artists Group II

T. Renner, "In Memoriam: Bag II [detail], 2008, acrylic on plywood.