Lou Reed: Metal Machine Trio

January 27 – April 15, 2012

In 1975 RCA Records originally released Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music as a double album. It was seen as a radical departure from previous Reed recordings of the time as it had no songs or even recognizably structured compositions. Drawing more from minimalist American composer La Monte Young’s avant-garde compositions and drone music than from conventional rock and roll, Metal Machine Music is now seen, in retrospect, as a groundbreaking foray into industrial music and sound art. Metal Machine Trio, a 2009 live performance with John Zorn at the Blender Theatre in New York, was recorded by the sound engineers at Arup Engineering.

The University Art Museum, CSULB will present the world premiere audio installation of Metal Machine Trio as an ambisonic 3-D re-creation. In collaboration with the acoustic specialists at the Arup Engineering SoundLab in New York, Reed has been able to recreate, for museum visitors, this groundbreaking composition from exactly the same acoustic perspective he had while performing it onstage.

The installation in the Project Room at the UAM will use 12 loudspeakers in an ambisonic arrangement to create a fully immersive 3D sound lab. The complete Metal Machine Music in four parts with run continuously with each composition lasting around sixteen minutes in length. Each of the four parts are unrecognizable as structured compositions and include over an hour of over-modulated feedback and guitar effects, intricately mixed at varying speeds by Reed himself.

Curators

Co–curated by UAM, CSULB Director, Chris Scoates, and Martin Fleischmann of Rum & Humble, this exhibit is the first in the WIRE:t/a/p series that focuses on the frontier of new sonic creation. WIRE:t/a/p events explore the space in the musical spectrum where electronic melds with symphonic, synths meet timps, and digital interweaves with analog. This is territory where the division between popular and highbrow fades to gray and the line blurs between contemporary composers and popular songwriters. This series of concerts, lectures and exhibits taps into some of the most brilliant minds of the international artistic community, accessing their processes, gaining a cogent understanding of their motivations and experiencing first-hand their aural creations.

The exhibition is the second in the WIRE/t.a.p series that explores the frontier of new sound.

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