Sakiko Mori & Luke Muldof, Henry Warwick performing InC, Mem1, and Alan Sondheim and Azure Carter

July 26, 2014 @ 9:00 pm – July 27, 2014 @ 1:00 am
115 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903
InC, a performance and interpretation of “In C” by Terry Riley
By Henry Warwick for AS220
This year is the 50th anniversary of the landmark composition, “In C”, by Terry Riley. To celebrate this event, with Terry Riley’s blessing, I designed software, InC, that allows me to play this ensemble work as a solo artist on an iPad mini. The software was written by Matt Ingalls, a well regarded musican and computer programmer. This software will be free to download from the iTunes Music App Store.
 “In C” has a few rules. With one player as a pulse, an ensemble plays 53 repeated musical phrases in order. Players play through the 53 phrases until they tire, or agree to stop. That’s it for rules.
This software allows one to control all “players” in the ensemble as a set of volume sliders, like a mixer. Each slider controls an internal voice or a MIDI channel triggering a synthesizer, and control the tempo.
This work brings In C into the 21st century. The wide open nature of this software’s capabilities, turns Riley’s composition into a tool for improvisation. The notes don’t change, but how they are expressed and understood and experienced, does.
25 years ago a recording I did of “In C” was used at AS220 for a dance troupe. This concert on 26 July will be a triumphant return for me, and a highlight of an important cultural moment in music. This is not to be missed.



Henry Warwick is an artist, composer, writer, and assistant professor in the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University in Toronto, and is a research fellow at the Infoscape Lab at Ryerson. He has a BFA in Visual Systems Studies from Rutgers University, an MFA from Goddard College in Interdisciplinary Art, and a PhD in Communications from the European Graduate School in Switzerland. Originally from Edison, New Jersey, he has lived in Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA. An active artist in a variety of media, his visual artwork is on display in a variety of locations in California and most of his music can be downloaded for free at his website, Since 2007, he has lived in Toronto with his wife, Beth, and their daughter, Elizabeth, and their kitty cats.


Alan Sondheim and Azure Carter


Azure Carter


Alan Sondheim

Alan Sondheim









“Listen to any track on this album. Have you ever heard someone
else who sings like Azure Carter? I sure haven’t. Have you heard
anyone who plays as a wide range of instruments, with such
gleeful abandon, as Alan Sondheim does? Me neither. Put them
together and this may be the most original and unique sound to
come along in years, even decades perhaps.

Carter’s lyrics are, I am told, related to and/or inspired by
Second Life, an online virtual world. That may have significance
for some, perhaps even great significance, but even a Luddite
such as myself can enjoy them and interpret them in the context
of meatbag life: longings for contact and connection,
deconstructions of our strategies for satisfying that longing,
self-analyses and reflection. Between the conundrums and quirks
of that search and the restless music underpinning them, this is
an album of unease, of a hypermodern sense of overwhelming
possibility, even though sometimes Carter’s cadences sound
eerily like Psalms or the Song of Solomon (you can hear this
right off the bat on “Among the Ferns”).

About that music. Alan Sondheim, an underground icon from the
’60s thanks to a 1967 debut album on Riverboat that made the
infamous Nurse With Wound list, followed up with two albums on
notorious outsider label ESP-Disk’, has made a 21st-century
comeback (in the interim, he established himself as an academic
pioneering cyberspace theory). His improvised music resists all
genre labels, though one can hear, in the sounds of the
instruments chosen if not always the non-traditional techniques
he uses to play them, so-called world music; on the tracks Ed
Schneider and Chris Diasparra play on, there are traces of jazz
in their contributions; and Sondheim’s early blues roots shine
through on “Credo.” It is music based on gesture and timbre
rather than harmony and/or melody, and rhythmically abjures
beats. “That ‘mama heartbeat,’ that ‘bom-bom-bom’ . it’s so
boring, it’s so banal,” Don Van Vliet AKA Captain Beefheart once
said. “I want things to change like the patterns and shadows
that fall from the sun.” Sondheim’s improvisations are like
that, except as though played by a metabolism operating at a
faster rate of speed, or filmed and fast-forwarded.” . Steve

Azure Carter is an artist, educator, and singer/songwriter. When
she isn’t collaborating on music, video, or performance with her
partner, Alan Sondheim, she is busy studying education theory or
working on an on-going performance/video piece, The Fairyland
Around Us, based on the writings of the early 20th century
naturalist, Opal Whitely. Before moving to Providence, Carter
lived in NYC and performed at numerous venues in the city and
elsewhere, including the 92nd Street Y, Dance New Amsterdam, The
Bowery Poetry Club, Eyebeam, Jack, and Highwire Gallery. In
2012, Fire Museum produced Cauldron, with Carter, Helena
Espvall, and Sondheim, an album of improvisations and song-

Alan Sondheim was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; he lives
with his partner, Azure Carter in Providence, RI. He holds a
B.A. and M.A. from Brown University. A new-media artist, writer,
and theorist, he has exhibited, performed and lectured widely.


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