Country:   Canada
URL:   http://www.gordonmonahan.com/
25 nodes
Gordon Monahan's works for piano, loudspeakers, video, kinetic sculpture, and computer-controlled sound environments span various genres from avant-garde concert music to multi-media installation and sound art. As a composer and sound artist, he juxtaposes the quantitative and qualitative aspects of natural acoustical phenomena with elements of media technology, environment, architecture, popular culture, and live performance. Monahan began performing in public as a member of various rock bands in Ottawa, Canada (1968-73). Since 1978, he has performed and exhibited at numerous performance spaces, galleries, and festivals. Early in his career, he specialized as a pianist, performing John Cage's Etudes Australes, premiering pieces by James Tenney and Udo Kasemets, and composing extended works for acoustic piano (Piano Mechanics, 1981) and amplified prepared piano (This Piano Thing, 1989). The renowned composer John Cage once said, At the piano, Gordon Monahan produces sounds we haven't heard before. Beginning in the late 1970's, he created sound works using elements of natural forces and the environment, eventually constructing long string installations activated by wind (Long Aeolian Piano, 1984-88), by water vortices (Aquaeolian Whirlpool, 1990) and by indoor air draughts (Spontaneously Harmonious in Certain Kinds of Weather, 1996). His work for electronic tone generators and human speaker swingers (Speaker Swinging, 1982), is a hybrid of science, music, and performance art, where minimalistic trance music based on the Doppler Effect contrasts with issues central to performance art such as physical struggle and 'implied threat'. Viewing the loudspeaker as a discrete instrument for generating or 'representing' music, Monahan has constructed a loudspeaker catapult (A Magnet That Speaks Also Attracts, 1986) and a series of 'imitation' loudspeaker installations (Music From Nowhere, 1989). During the 1990's he developed an ensemble of multi-functional computer-controlled sound-machines which undergo various transformations as performance and installation environments. In Machine Matrix (1994-96) a programmable MIDI computer controls the actions of a network of machine sculptures built from electronic surplus and industrial trash, which generate complex layers of acoustically produced sounds. A remote-controlled robot enters this environment and pretends to learn how to perform and behave on a public stage. He created an interactive mechanical sound installation for the Sony Center in Berlin (2000), and has recently developed new installations using computer-controlled water drops falling upon amplified objects (When it Rains, 2000/2002). Monahan's interest in 'hi- and low-tech' and 'high and low culture' led him to collaborate with Laura Kikauka and Bastiaan Maris in establishing The Glowing Pickle (Berlin, 1993-95), an electronic surplus store using 20 tons of discarded East German scientific equipment, parodying both communist and capitalist cultures. He also collaborated with Laura Kikauka to produce the infamous Berlin underground club Schmalzwald (1996-2000). He is electric organist with the lounge band Fuzzy Love, who released their first CD Pagan Schmalz and Other Sacrifices in 2000. Fuzzy Love has performed at such venues as Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Festival of Vision, Hong Kong, and the 2001 Venice Biennale. Gordon Monahan won First Prize at the 1984 CBC National Radio Competition for Young Composers, as well as commissions from the Vancouver New Music Society; CBC Radio; Dade County Art in Public Places, Miami; The Kitchen, New York; the DAAD Inventionen Festival, Berlin, the Donaueschingen Musiktage and the Sony Center, Berlin. His controversial commission for the Dade County MetroRail transit system was banned during the 1988 New Music America festival in Miami. That same year, Monahan was chosen as CBC Radio's entry to the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. Monahan has been Artist-in-Residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts (1990), the Exploratorium in San Francisco (1991), D.A.A.D., Berlin (1992-93), the Western Front, Vancouver (1999), Podewil, Berlin (2002)and a fellow with the New York Foundation for the Arts (1991). He has independently released several LPs ,CDs, and videotapes of his work. He also appears on the Electra/Nonesuch CD compilation Imaginary Landscapes: New Electronic Music. His first solo CD was released on Swerve Editions (Zone Books) in 1992. His videotapes are distributed through V-Tape (Toronto), The Kitchen (NY), and Verge (Peterborough, Canada). Monahan's written texts have been published in Musicworks (Toronto), Ear Magazine (New York), and Zeitschrift für Neue Musik (Frankfurt-Main). Interviews with the artist have appeared in MusikTexte (Cologne) and Be Magazine (Berlin). Accessed 14.06.2007 from http://www.gordonmonahan.com/gord_bio.html
33 Selected Statements
      Worktype Info Year Country Admin
Gerry Lucas - Winner! Performance/installation 1st performance: Brunton Auditorium, Mount Allison University, Sackville, N.B. 1978 Canada Edit
Hear and There - 1978-79 1978 Canada Edit
Magnetic Hill Exposed Performance/installation 1st performance: Windsor Theatre, Mount Allison University, Sackville, N.B. 1979 Canada Edit
Tidal Resonance at 45N 64W - - 1979 Canada Edit
Piano Mechanics - 1981-86 1981 USA Edit
Five Silent Studies - 1st performance: Artculture Resource Centre, Toronto 1981 Canada Edit
The Tidal Bore of the Maccan River - - 1981 Canada Edit
Speaker Swinging Performance 1st performance: Mercer Union, Toronto 1982 Canada Edit
Tape Pulling Performance/installation 1st performance: Artculture Resource Centre, Toronto 1983 Canada Edit
Guitaring Performance/installation 1st performance: Artculture Resource Centre, Toronto, 1983. 1983 Canada Edit
Long Aeolian Piano Performance/installation 1st installation: Holownia-Hansen Farm, Jolicure, N.B., 1984 1984 Canada Edit
Large Piano Magnified Performance 1st broadcast: CBC Radio Two New Hours 1985 Canada Edit
A Magnet That Speaks Also Attracts Performance/installation 1st exhibition: Eye Revue Gallery, Union Station, Toronto 1986 Canada Edit
Come On Baby Ride With Me... Installation 1st exhibition: Miami-Dade Transit System, New Music America, Miami 1988 USA Edit
This Piano Thing Work for solo, amplified, prepared piano in four movements 1st performance: New Music Vancouver 1989 Canada Edit
Music From Nowhere Installation 1st exhibition: Generator Sound Art, New York 1990 USA Edit
Aquaeolian Whirlpool Installation 1st exhibition: New York Hall of Science, Queens, N.Y 1990 USA Edit
Aeolian Silo Installation permanent installation: Funny Farm, Meaford, Ont, 1990 to present 1990 Canada Edit
Aquaeolian Music Room Installation 1st exhibition: Bauhutte Klangzeit Symposium, Wuppertal 1991 Germany Edit
KB Zed Exotic Trilogy Performance 1st performance: Cinecycle, Toronto 1991 Canada Edit
The Glowing Pickle Junked Social Environment Brunnenstr. 192, Berlin 1993 Germany Edit
Multiple Machine Matrix Installation 1st performance: D.A.A.D. Inventionen Festival, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin 1994 Germany Edit
Spontaneously Harmonious in Certain Kinds of Weather Installation 1st exhibition: Sonambiente Festival, Singuhr Hoergalerie, Berlin 1996 Germany Edit
Fuzzy Love Performing Ensemble 1st performance: Schmalzwald, Berlin 1999 Germany Edit
Silicon Lagoon Installation 1st exhibition: Sony Center, Berlin 2000 Germany Edit
Etheric Theremin Harmonic Performance/installation 1st exhibition: DAAD Galerie, Berlin 2002 Germany Edit
When It Rains interactive sound installation Open Ears, Kitchener, Ontario, 2003 Audio Art 2005, Cracow 2003 Canada Edit
New and Used Furniture Music Performance/installation 1st performance: Open Ears Festival, Kitchener, Ont. 2003 Canada Edit
Music for Grasslands Dance performance by Coleman-Lemieux Dance Company Grasslands National Park, Val Marie, Saskatchewan, August 14 2004 Canada Edit
Theremin in the Rain Performance/installation 1st Performance: Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Dec 2005 Germany Edit
Music for Gros Morne Project Installation Green Point and Cow Head, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland July 8 2006 Canada Edit
Aeolian Chimney Site specific installation Claybank Brick Factory, Claybank, Saskatchewan 2006 Canada Edit
Piano Airlift Installation for midi piano and video projection 1st exhibition: Kunsthalle Krems Factory, Krems, Austria, Oct 2006 Austria Edit