New Works Salon XXXIV: Jakobson, Bellouin & Bracken, Clipson & Johnson


The Echo Park Film Center presents an evening of visiting Bay Area artists working with sound and light. Marielle V. Jakobsons presents new work composed with her “Macro-Cymatic” visual music instrument, Ashley Bellouin and Ben Bracken perform a new percussive piece for hand made string instruments and strobes, and Paul Clipson and Chuck Johnson collaborate with vivid celluloid projections and luminous pedal steel with electronics.

Marielle V. Jakobsons is a composer and intermedia artist based in Oakland, CA. Her compositions evoke minimalism with melodic drone and enveloping polyrhythmic soundscapes of synthesizers, voice, and strings. She builds installations and instruments which bring focus to visceral experience of sound and light, most recently with her “Macro-Cymatic” visual music instrument. Her photographs, installations, and videos have been exhibited across the US, and she has published recordings and toured internationally on Thrill Jockey, Mexican Summer, Digitalis, Students of Decay, Important Records, among others. Her latest solo album is due out mid-2016.

Ashley Bellouin and Ben Bracken make music with both traditional and hand made instruments that exploit the natural overtones and sympathetic vibrations generated by highly redundant tuning systems. Minimal structures and simple harmonic relationships give rise to meditative washes of sound. Each composition is constructed by considering the personal experience of a physical site, the materials used in the construction of the instruments, and the interplay between the two. Their performances are a mixture of the imagined and real, of natural phenomena, and direct action. Ashley and Ben have been awarded collaborative residencies at the Paul Dresher Ensemble Artist Residency Center, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and EMS in Stockholm, Sweden.

Chuck Johnson is a composer and musician who approaches his work with an ear towards finding faults and instabilities that might reveal latent beauty, with a focus on guitar, experimental electronics, and Kosmische Americana. Recordings of his work have been published by Three Lobed, Merge, Trouble in Mind, Strange Attractors Audio House, Communion, and Amish, among others. Between 2011 and 2015 Johnson released a triptych of solo acoustic guitar LP’s – “A Struggle Not A Thought,” “Crows in the Basilica,” and “Blood Moon Boulder” that have become touchstones of the American Primitive genre. His work has been acclaimed for a compositional style rooted in both a haunting melodic sensibility and a minimalist penchant for pure sonics. In early 2017 he will release a new LP of ambient works for pedal steel guitar and electronics for VDSQ.

Paul Clipson is a San Francisco-based filmmaker who often collaborates with sound artists and musicians on films, live performances, and installations. His Super 8 and 16mm films aim to bring to light visual preoccupations that reveal themselves while working in a stream of consciousness manner, combining densely layered, in-camera edited studies of figurative and abstract environments, in a process that encourages unplanned-for results, responding to and conversing with the temporal qualities of musical composition and live performance. His work has screened around the world in festivals and at sound and film events such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam, The New York Film Festival, and the Cinémathèque Française.

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