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Satie’s Marathon ‘Vexations’ Piece Is Being Played at MoMA Right Now

Satie. (Courtesy Hulton Archive/Getty Image)

Today three brave pianists, taking turns, are making their way through Erik Satie’s gargantuan 1893 piece Vexations on a piano set up in the Museum of Modern Art’s Bauhaus staircase. The work’s score calls for it to be repeated 840 times. A performance organized by John Cage at an East Village theater in 1963 ran for more than 18 hours. This performance kicked off at 11 a.m. (MoMA’s education department is tweeting the action.) Read More

music

Jazzy Jay, Rich Medina, More Will Play Records From Afrika Bambaataa’s Collection at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise

The records. (Courtesy GBE)

It’s hard to measure this sort of thing, but from what I can tell, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise is certainly having more fun this summer than any other New York gallery that I’m aware of. They have “Made in Space,” a show of L.A. artists organized by Peter Harkawik and Laura Owens (a joint production with Venus Over Manhattan) in two of their large galleries, a handsome little Henry Codax show in their back room and, in another gallery, dozens of boxes filled with the record collection of Afrika Bambaataa, which is going to Cornell University Library and being archived in a joint project by GBE-Johan Kugelberg/Boo-Hooray Gallery. Read More

music

Walter De Maria on the Early Velvet Underground (for Which He Played Drums)

Walter De Maria, 'The Vertical Earth Kilometer,' 1977, in Kassel, Germany. (Photo by Nic Tenwiggenhorn/© Dia Art Foundation)

The Lightning Field, The New York Earth Room, The Broken Kilometer, The Vertical Earth Kilometer—pretty much enough to justify declaring Walter De Maria, who died last week at the age of 77, one of the most inventive, coolest artists of the past 50 years. But then you find out that he played drums in an early incarnation of the Velvet Underground, when the group was known as the Primitives? Crazy stuff. Read More

music

Jim Lambie Talks Music, DJing and His Glasgow Club

'Private Life (Grace Jones)' (2013) by Lambie. (Courtesy the artist)

Tonight in New York the Tate Americas Foundation (née American Patrons of Tate) will host a dinner at Moynihan Station to raise funds for the museum, and the Glasbow–based artist Jim Lambie has been tapped to DJ the after party. In his art, Mr. Lambie has an exuberant touch, carefully covering floors with patterns of Read More

music

Ground Control to Karlheinz Stockhausen: ‘Oktophonie’ Alights at Park Avenue Armory

'Oktophonie.' Visuals by Tiravanija, sound projection by Kathinka Pasveer, sound design by Igor Kavulek and 
lighting design by Brian Scoot. (©Stephanie Berger/Park Avenue Armory)

Karlheinz Stockhausen’s sound work Oktophonie (1990/91) is 70 minutes of unsettling drones and occasional violent bursts recorded by the German composer almost entirely with electronic equipment. Stockhausen, who died in 2007, intended for it to be played on eight speakers arrayed in a cube around the audience as part of his opera Dienstag (Tuesday) from his 29-hour series Licht. At the moment, it’s playing at the Park Avenue Armory through March 27. It’s perhaps worth mentioning that Stockhausen reportedly felt that the ideal location for it was outer space. Read More

music

A$AP Rocky Name-Checks Artists

Rocky in Paris. (Guillaume Baptiste/AFP/Getty Images)

Is there any greater pleasure than when art spills over into more mainstream culture? Think of Picasso popping up in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (2011) or in a Beastie Boys song (“I use the microphone like Picasso used clay” in “Alive”), or a prized van Gogh making an appearance at a charity auction on ABC’s Revenge. Now there’s another occurrence to add to that list. Read More

music

John Cale Will Tour in Support of New Album

Cale. (Courtesy bbc.co.uk)

The impressively consistent recording career of John Cale got a new addition this fall with the release of his new album, Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood. Today, Mr. Cale–musician, songwriter, producer, Velvet Underground co-founder and old time downtown hero–announced a brief West Coast tour with Cass McCombs, along with three shows at Brooklyn Academy of Music (at one of which, he’ll be paying tribute to Nico, and at the two other gigs, he’ll perform his 1973 album, Paris 1919). The dates are below. Read More

music

John Elderfield on Bob Dylan

tempest-bob-dylan

John Elderfield, chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art and a consultant for Gagosian Gallery, has written a review in Artforum of Bob Dylan’s new album, Tempest. Among the people and cultural touchstones Mr. Elderfield compares Mr. Dylan’s 35th album to are: Picasso, Coriolanus, Goya’s Disasters of War, “Carl Jung’s thoughts on James Joyce,” the Burial of the Dead in the Book of Common Prayer and William Blake. Oh boy! Read More