Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Sunday, March 24, 2013
7:30 p.m.
Admission: $10
FrenetiCore Dance Theater
5102 Navigation Blvd
Houston, TX 77011
(832) 877-7838
Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) by Maya Deren
Chumlum (1964)
Original music realized and performed by:
Chris Becker – Laptop, Kaoss Pad
Richard Cholakian – Drums, Percussion
SPIKE the Percussionist – Drums, Percussion, and Electronics

In this special edition of Music For Silent Films, laptop musician Chris Becker teams up with percussionist, electronic and noiz artist SPIKE the Percussionist and jazz/blues/free improv drummer extraordinaire Richard Cholakian. The trio will perform LIVE to two groundbreaking films of the avant-garde, Maya Deren's surreal and violent Meshes of the Afternoon and Ron Rice's orgiastic homage to the late great Jack Smith Chumlum. Both films will be screened in 16mm format.

The music will blend improvisatory with composed elements, as Becker and SPIKE have both chosen to create templates that will guide the sonics accompanying each film. The instrumentation will include drums, more drums, and still more drums, tabletop electronics, laptop computer, and two Kaoss pads.


The music of composer Chris Becker is equally inspired by rock and roll language, avant-garde jazz, dub compositional strategies, and musique concrète. His body of work includes compositions for dance, film, chamber ensembles, and mixed-media installations. He has received grants and awards from The Louisiana Division of the Arts, Meet The Composer, and the American Music Center.

Becker performs frequently in Houston on laptop computer (running Ableton Live) and Kaoss pad. He's performed at 14 Pews, FrenetiCore Dance Theater, Avant Garden, and Discovery Green, and collaborated with some of Houston's finest improvising musicians, including vocalist Alexandra Marculewic Adshead, pianist Hsin-Jung Tsai, bassist Thomas Helton, saxophonist Seth Paynter, drummer Richard Cholakian, and drummer and electronic musician SPIKE the Percussionist.

In September 2012, at the request of the Houston ensemble Liminal Space, Becker created a realization of John Cage's Imaginary Landscape No. 5 for 42 vinyl records sampling records from his own collection and editing the samples to 1/5 of a second as directed in Cage's score. Becker's realization of the piece was presented at Avant Garden and SuperHappyFunLand. Upcoming performances include the premier of a suite for laptop and saxophones co-composed with Houston saxophonist Woody Witt.

Richard Cholakian is one of Houston's most dynamic, creative, and in-demand drummers. He plays and records regularly in countless jazz, Latin, blues, pop, and rock bands, as well as experimental and free improving ensembles, including The Core Trio, with bassist Thomas Helton and saxophonist Seth Paynter. The Core Trio's latest self-titled CD with guest pianist Robert Boston is receiving rave reviews. Pianist Matthew Shipp writes, "The configuration of musicians on this disc is engaging in an improvisational dialogue of high level interplay, high concept, intense musicality, and exquisite taste." Cholakian attended the University of Houston and studied with the Percussion Department from 1993 to 1995 and was also a member of the Houston Community College Jazz Band from 1992 to 1996.

SPIKE the Percussionist is a classically trained performer and composer as well as an expert programmer with a degree in audio engineering. He studied under master of percussion Dr. Norman Weinberg, author of Guide to Standardized Drumset Notation and The Electronic Drummer. Since 1980, SPIKE focused his formidable abilities on ambient noiz and electro-industrial, both burgeoning but until recently obscure, genres of music. His extensive resume includes music director for the world-renowned flesh suspension group Constructs of Ritual Evolution (CoRE). He's also played drums with Jandek, pianist Johnnie Johnson (while campaigning to Johnson get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame), the Houston dark rock band Morgue City, and flute player Michelle Yom in their improvising duo Doggebi. SPIKE also performs as ASTROGENIC HALLUCINAUTING, using complex circuits of unique, tabletop electronic instruments, many of which are handmade. He also collaborates with members of Houston's experimental, improvising, and noise music scenes.

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