This weekend (April 25-26), the University of Southern California’s Visions and Voices initiative welcomes Single Wing Turquoise Bird (SWTB) for two performances and a workshop. The pioneering multimedia ensemble, which was active from 1967 to 1973 and became active again in 2009, was an important component of concerts by such legendary acts as Grateful Dead, The Velvet Underground and Pink Floyd.
In an SWTB performance, three sections project movie sequences, slides, liquids and transparencies to create a spontaneous psychedelic light show accompanied by music. From the program notes:
The structure of an SWTB performance relies upon ensemble improvisation within a common screen space. Each performer controls the mix of the individual images they are working with into that of the whole. The resulting synergy made possible through this process has the potential to yield continuously shifting poetic meaning entrained by the psychic substrate of the moment.
For this weekend’s performances, SWTB will be accompanied by CalArts faculty Miroslav Tadic on guitar, Caroline Cirone (Music BFA 14) on electric bass, Evan Jiroudek (Music BFA 14) on drums and percussion, Julian Beutel (Music MFA 14) on trumpet, samples and live processing and Gregory Uhlmann (Music BFA 14) on guitar.
Other CalArtians in Single Wing Turquoise Bird are Shayne Hood (Film/Video BFA 91, MFA 97) and CalArts School of Film/Video faculty Michael Scroggins on liquids, and Larry Janss (Film/Video 73) on slides.