An “experiomentary” short by Jeff Mellin of the living installation for Joel Mellin’s “Compositions for Computer,” at National Mechanics in Philadelphia. Features Joel Mellin, choreographer Jodi Melnick, performance artists Faurot & Paulson, installed photographs by John Soares and graphic art by Jeff Mellin.
SUNDAY, JUNE 7, OLD CITY, PHILADELPHIA: Can language be evolved from randomness? Can fire listen and respond to melody? Do you need a surf band to make surf music? Avant-garde composer Joel Mellin explores questions like these. “Think of a sound you haven’t heard before. Now, how do you create it?” he wonders. “I’m fascinated with this idea.” A former NASA satellite engineer, Mellin uses computers to create innovative digital music systems with Genetic Algorithms and sonar-based instrument controllers, taking computer music beyond simple loop-making. His works have been heard at Dublin Dance Festival and notable NYC venues such as the Kitchen and the Feldman Gallery. The public got a chance to experience his unique music Sunday, June 7 at National Mechanics in Old City, where Mellin and his collaborators presented a A View From A Window. From The Outside. This “living installation” showcased works such as “Must Pass,”a thunderstorm scored in real time whose evolving melody is controlled by rocks thrown into water and “Watch What You Say,” a self-generating, self-educating language, along with performances, photographs, video and graphic art. Bessie award-winning dancer and choreographer Jodi Melnick (whom TimeOut has called “extraordinary”) interpreted “Keys to the Crumbling City,” a piece that synthesizes an autonomous Balinese Gamelan orchestra. The last time she performed with one of Mellin’s compositions, Claudia La Rocco of the The New York Times called it “one of the most satisfying dances Ive seen.” Brooklyn-based Holly Faurot & Sarah H. Paulson, whose endurance-oriented works exist somewhere between performance art and dance, were also on hand to present one of the many works they’ve created to compliment Mellin’s compositions combining human movement and video, specially adapted for this event. All of this was set within a collaborative installation featuring the dream-like images of award-winning photographer John Soares and dada-esque instructional posters and video by Philadelphia-based artist Jeff Mellin All of this was to celebrate the publication of Mellin’s “Compositions for Computer, Vol. 1.” Released by Oakland-based Kolourmeim Press, the full-color book with companion CD is more a chronicle of a dream than an academic tome, pairing stream-of-conscious abstracts with the images of John Soares and graphic art of Jeff Mellin. Copies of the limited-edition book and CD are available at http://www.joelmellin.com Large-format art printing has been generously provided by The UPS Store at 211 South Street Presented in association with Waxfruit Arts Media, Stereorrific Recordings and Kolourmeim Press. For audio and video samples as well as notes on the compositions, visit http://www.joelmellin.com