Sound Forum

join our mailing list:

<--back to concert schedule

Thursday, May 14, 2009 @ International House Philadelphia:
International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA, $5-10, 8pm. (map)

Sons of God
noise and performance
PIMA Group
movement and music
Ghost Ship
harp, guitar, and vocals
Ian Fraser

It's hard for us to talk about Sons of God (Leif Elggren and Kent Tankred) because we don't really know what they'll do.  Without getting too theoretical or attempting a treatise on semiotics. . . well. . . sure, we can tell you we've seen a video of the Sons "performing a miracle," but we aren't sure what it would have felt like in person.  We'll give you some videos of their performances to watch, but will you have really experienced their "investigation of a mental airspace, undertaken with the aid of unconventional tools"?  Our favorite kind of art is that which raises questions, and Sons of God certainly do that.  Perhaps it would be instructive to relate some of the Sons' past work (together and individually): the Royal Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland, "the largest – and most populous realm on Earth, incorporating all boundaries between other nations as well as Digital Territory and other states of existence"; the amazing, must be seen to be understood letter series "Experiments with dreams"; performances of snoring or laughter; recordings made in the mother's womb; attempts to fly a carpet; amplified washing machines; and much more.  For this evening's performance, the Sons of God will bring one of their unique miracles to Philadelphia, using sound, bodies, props, and projected images.

PIMA Group has been a key and stalwart connection between the Philadelphia experimental dance and music scenes for years, plying their unique trade in galleries, houses, historic buildings, warehouses, basements, roofs, record stores, and probably outdoors somewhere when we weren't paying attention.  While too many dance and music groups seem to excel at one discipline over the other, PIMA brings an unusual focus to not just both but to their union, to using music to teach us something about movement and to using movement to teach us something about music.   PIMA uses pianos, percussion, radio, and electronics to create a noisy bed of sound while dancers seemingly enter trance states to enact obscure rituals and/or secret narratives.  While PIMA often employs myriad musicians and dancers, tonight it will be stripped to its core of Melisa Putz and Thomas Clark.

Ghost Ship is a new and ever-changing improvised music group focused around the harp stylings of Mary Lattimore (veteran of the Valerie Project).  Dark improvised string tangles.

All this takes place at a new venue we are really and truly excited about: the Ibrahim Theater at International House Philadelphia, a gorgeous theater featuring newly refurbished comfortable seats and a truly killer sound system (two sub-woofers!).

Sons of God

PIMA Group

more PIMA video here


Guds söner´s (Sons of God) field of activity can be described as an investigation of a mental airspace, undertaken with the aid of unconventional tools. The aural aspect is important, but equal care is devoted to the visual.

Guds söner is often augmented with supplementary performers who then also influence the ideas and their expression.

Guds söner put themselves at the disposal of civil defence and strive to imbue fortitude and courage.

Leif Elggren (born 1950, Linköping, Sweden), is a Swedish artist who lives and works in Stockholm.

Active since the late 1970s, Leif Elggren has become one of the most constantly surprising conceptual artists to work in the combined worlds of audio and visual. A writer, visual artist, stage performer and composer, he has many albums to his credits, solo and with the Sons of God, on labels such as Ash International, Touch, Radium and his own Firework Edition. His music, often conceived as the soundtrack to a visual installation or experimental stage performance, usually presents carefully selected sound sources over a long stretch of time and can range from mesmerizingly quiet electronics to harsh noise. His wide-ranging and prolific body of art often involves dreams and subtle absurdities, social hierarchies turned upside-down, hidden actions and events taking on the quality of icons.

Together with artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff, he is a founder of the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland (KREV) where he enjoys the title of King.

Elggren spent five years at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm, specializing in drawing, design and bookprinting. In the late ‘70s he began to associate with performance groups, meeting people like Hausswolff and Thomas Liljenberg. With the latter he formed Firework in 1978, a duo that put up exhibitions and performances. Around the same time he purchased a press and started to publish art books.

In 1988 he formed the duo Guds Söner (The Sons of God) with Kent Tankred, whom he had met four years earlier. The duo excels in creating long, puzzling stage performances that give equal roles to physical action (or inaction) and soundtrack (live or taped) with themes such as violence, love, the quotidian, food and royalty.

Elggren released his first 7" records in 1982 and 1984 on Hausswolff's label Radium. A first solo LP, Flown Over by an Old King, came out in 1988. The inception of Firework Edition in 1996 allowed Elggren to release more of his music and the growing popularity of installation art in avant-garde music circles (thanks to its ties with experimental electronica) has given his work more international exposure since the late ‘90s. Other key solo works include Talking to a Dead Queen (1996) and Pluralis Majestatis (2000).

Together with Hausswolff, Elggren represented Sweden in the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2001 (with Tommi Grönlund and Petteri Nisunen from Finland and Anders Tomren from Norway).

In 2007 he appeared (with John Duncan) at the Netmage festival in Bologna organized by xing and executed "Something Like Seeing in the Dark".

Leif Elggen is also a member of Guds Soner (or The Sons of God) with Kent Tankred.

PIMA Group, co-founded by dancer and choreographer Melisa Putz and musicians Michael Barker and Thomas Clark, is interested in developing new processes and approaches to the integration of dance, music and visual art. The works range from improvisational performance art work to more formal choreographed and composed pieces. PIMA Group has performed at venues in Baltimore, Boston, New York City and Philadelphia including the Painted Bride Art Center, The Community Education Center, Mobius, The Construction Company, Joyce SOHO, 92nd St. Y, Williamsburg Art Nexus and The Red Room.

PIMA Group has also performed at dance festivals including the Improvised and Otherwise Festival in Brooklyn, NY, the 2003 Philadelphia Fringe Festival at the Table Space Gallery, the Dance On Earth Festival at University Settlement's Beacon, NY campus and the Goose Route Dance Festival in Shepherdstown, WV. As well as for the Bread and Roses Community Fund at Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia. PIMA Group has received Temple University Space Grants to assist in the development of new work. PIMA Group gratefully acknowledges support from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and Fractured Atlas. PIMA Group is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.