No, Really, It’s Not a Cult
In a cramped hotel parking lot, like any other you would find in the less seedy parts of Los Angeles, on January 29th was host to a very unique event. Or series of events, as it wouldbe. The Welcome Inn at Eagle Rock held a multitude of consecutive micro-concerts courtesy of SASSAS (Society for the Activation of Social Spaces through Art and Sound). The catch? If you call being open minded enough to see free applications of experimental forms of music a catch, then there it is.
Families, couples and dog walkers from all over turned up to see the concert series, which spanned across over a dozen hotel rooms and a small stage set up on the second floor balcony. Attendees wandered from room to room scoping out wild and inventive musical applications such as hard, gong, and dissonant violin solos, a microphone held next to several musical greeting cards, a nifty cactus which produced melodic feedback when stroked with a crystal, and plenty of other interactive aural artwork. Every hour a band played on the small stage set up on the second floor balcony, including the free jazz stylings of Something Else! and the Sheonberg string quartet. John Cage’s Variations IV provided listeners with a unique, interactive performance during the course of Welcome Inn Time Machine. Our favorite of these appealing oddities was the room belonging to the Los Angeles Free Music Society (Would you call us stupid if we said we didn’t know they existed? What? You haven’t heard of them either? Well, okay then.), hosted by Rick Potts, in which he recreated an experiment done in 1975 where he played back experimental music comprised of… well, all sorts of noises and samples, really. Listeners were invited in, sat themselves on one of two hotel beds, and placed a vintage pyramid headphone over their noggins. Although some speakers didn’t work, what could one expect from refurbished 37 year old headphone?
All sounds were recorded for a SASSAS compilation and are available on their website, www.SASSAS.org, for the support of future events like these. What exactly is the SASSAS? The name sounds like something from a Phil K Dick novel, but they are actually a charitable organization dedicated to the creation, presentation, and recognition of experimental art and sound. Now that you’ve read through this entire article, you may be asking yourself why a hedonist journalist is reporting on experimental art and music. Welcome Inn Time Machine is an event which can never be reproduced. This collection of creative minds will never again congregate and the music produced at this event cannot be imitated. With this in mind, we are excited to see what else SASSAS has in store for LA.
February 12th, Sunday
Ad Hoc #4 w/ Fred Frith. SASSAS and Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock have the honor of presenting an evening with Fred Frith.
Doors open at 7; concert begins at 7:30.
Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
2225 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Ticket price: $12 advance; $10 for SASSAS and CFAER members. $15 at the door.
February 26th, Sunday
SoundShoppe offers a means by which sound artists can hangout on a regular basis and informally explore their medium together. SoundShoppe offers experienced sound musicians an opportunity experiment with different instrumentations and approaches and play outside of their comfort zone. soundShoppe also presents the opportunity for novice sound artists to interact with more experienced ones.
SoundShoppe @ Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock is a monthly unstructured sound workshop/noise jam for experimental musicians and sound artists presented by SASSAS and Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock.
1–4pm (load in at 12:30pm)
Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
2225 Colorado Blvd.
Eagle Rock, CA 90041