Thanks to being invited to the Eruption festival at The Golden Püdel Club in Hamburg, Germany celebrating the music of pioneer home taper Conrad Schnitzler I got to take a short excursion to Berlin, the capitol of Germany and the home of Electronic Cottage veteran Lord Litter.
I was traveling with my Generations Unlimited partner Crystal Penalosa and we were excited to return to Lord Litter’s studio for more conversations about music, art and life. As soon as we sat down we began talking about the Eruption festival in Hamburg but we were stopped by Lord Litter who said we should wait and talk about that when he turns on the red light and interviews us. So we ate cookies and drank bubbly water as we talked about other things, but it seemed like whatever we talked about led to an interesting and relevant topic that Lord Litter wanted to “save” for the interview. After this happened several times we laughed and decided to talk about the weather. This conversation inevitably brought up a discussions on how erratic the weather has been and that took us to climate change, difference between the US and EU, Trump in Europe, the disintegration of democracy, differences between Berlin and New York, the eighties and now etc.
We abruptly stopped all this chatter and sat together in front of microphones connected to a Lord Litter’s retro-looking desktop computer running Sonic Foundry which miraculously still does everything that is needed to make a radio show now as it did in the nineties. Then we continued our conversation with microphones on.
I’m still unpacking my bags from this trip but I hear Lord Litter has already nearly finished a radio program from our conversation. Lord Litter is a radio manufacturing machine! Always a pleasure to be in the same room with him and also a pleasure to know his active ears have been there on the other side of our mailboxes receiving and sending sounds and songs since the eighties. You can always expect another great radio show from Lord Litter because his passion and commitment to DIY sound and music is as solid as ever. Viva La Difference!
4th / 5th July 2018 - Golden Pudel Club
A two-day happening freely based on Conrad Schnitzler.
The self-proclaimed "Intermedialist" and pioneer of electronic avant-garde music worked on a marathon performance practice in the early years of his artistic career: in his short-lived but legendary Zodiac Free Arts Lab in Berlin in the late Sixties, he led his audience into a whirlwind of sensory experiences: Concerts, installations, videos, and performances interacted with each other and turned into events that still conjure a sparkle in the eyes of their visitors today.
For two days, the Golden Pudel Club will open its doors already in the afternoon and continues to transform into the night. At times it will be a sound and video gallery, a concert space, a tape pop-up store, of course a club, and maybe even a hair salon.
more information and 2-day tickets here
I will also be in Berlin - will meet with my friend Lord Litter and revisit the meeting that founded Generations Unlimited with myself, Conrad Schnitzler and David Prescott 1987 ( or was it 86?) can’t remember!
I thought people might enjoy seeing this sign which was on the velcro wall at Generator in 1989. The velcro wall was a wall filled with cassettes attached to the wall with velcro. There was a Walkman in the middle of the wall and a laminated sign typeset on my Mac Plus. I still have the original sign because it was laminated. I had a laminator at Generator and I love it because it transformed pieces of paper or ephemeral items that would have gotten lost in a short amount of time to permanent official documents that last… almost forever. So because of the technology of lamination I had this original sign at the 2012 re-creation of Generator at AVA in New York. Notice how pixelated the original photo is from 1989 compared to the one from 2012. As time moves on documentation gets better. Not sure if the quality of life is better but at least it is better documented.
Generator was in residence at Sediment Arts in Richmond Virginia October 6-29, 2017. For the opening we occupied the store front to create a Generator RVA POPUP store featuring cassettes by anyone who sent us a cassette plus some selections from the Generator Archive.
There was an octophonic sound system modeled after the one at Generator from 1989-1992. Four cassette players were output to 8 speakers - so 4 stereo pairs. This was the preferred way Conrad Schnitzler liked to have his Cassette CONcerts performed. A six hour recording of Conrad Schnitzler’s first visit to Generator in October of 1989 also played continuously in the background.
Generator was re-incarnated at AVA in 2012 and Generations Unlimited was re-launched in 2015 with encouragement and support of Sean Julian and Crystal Penalosa and with the blessings of David Prescott. We produced a C-110 cassette called Generator Twenty-Seven Years Later, a C-110 cassette was released for the Generator RVA show at Sediment Arts in 2016. It features current voices and sounds from nearly 50 artists who were at Generator or involved with Generator through the post 27 years ago.
Generator Twenty-Seven Years Later is available at Generation Unlimited.
In addition to showcasing and playing tapes from the International Cassette Network, Generator was a hub for the local creative community to perform and hang out reading zines and listening to sounds and music. In that spirit Generator RVA invited performances by local Richmond artists and international artists calling in remotely using the incoming phone line which was connected to speakers in the space. There were performances by Sean Julian, Chris Penalosa, Tommy Birchett, Will O’Donavan, Ben Scott, Fred McGann, Elizabeth Nall and Stephen Vitiello; multi-channel channel sound works by Conrad Schnitzler, Gen Ken Montgomery, Rod Summers, Nigel Ayers and DJ Olive; live remote audio-only phone-in performances by Gregory Whitehead, Rod Summers, Dylan Nyoukis, Sam Ashley, Anna Homler, GX Jupiter Larsen, Steve Dalachinsky, BLACKHUMOUR, small cruel party and Cm von Hausswolff & Leif Elggren.
The audio from this month of great listening experiences has been meticulously documented by Sediment Arts at the Bandcamp link below.
A special thanks to Claire Zitrow for inviting me to Richmond. And a heartfelt thanks to Dana Ollestad for recording, assembling and posting this wonderful audio document of Generator RVA @ Sediment Arts.
Gen Ken Montgomery