The Grindermen

To the devoted skateboarder, the sound of trucks grinding is already music to the ears. Canadian sound sculptors Christian Nicolay and Sam McKinlay wish to prove it to the rest of us. By mic-ing a live skateboarder on a custom-built railing wired for sound, breath, metal, and wheels are captured and manipulated, transforming urban dalliance into sonic dissonance. Pedestrians may operate distortion and delay effects, but the artists’ improvisation should be worth the price of earplugs. Nicolay has already made a name for himself by wiring a dilapidated tank and fragmenting a sneeze into a startling inhuman orchestra; McKinlay is the man behind the harsh-noise project named the Rita. Both artists appear as part of EnviroSonic, the season opener of the biennial Soundwave>Series. This show also features fellow Canadian Diana Burgoyne, creator of the haunting Audio Quilt, a physical tapestry of 10-second recordings culled from each town where it is hung. Tonight, Burgoyne will literally draw sound across 10 amplified canvases, revealing an elemental reaction between graphite and copper that can only be silenced through erasure. Lyrical beauty will be brought to this cacophony by the Bay Area’s own Beno + Minnie, who speak in a postmillennial language using flickering images, tree boughs, hollow-body guitar, and lingering vocalizations. Audience members will be asked to sign a waiver of liability to enter.
Fri., June 27, 8 p.m., 2008

 
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