Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 7:30pm
Eye and Ear Control: ESP-DISK' on Film
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn
Curated by Brian Belovarac
New York Eye and Ear Control, Michael Snow, 1964, 16mm, 34 mins
The Fugs, Edward English, 1966, 16mm, 13 mins
Giuseppi Logan, Edward English, 1966, 16mm, 5 mins
The Godz, Jud Yalkut, 1966, 16mm, 9 mins
Spaceways, Edward English, digital projection, 1968, 18 mins
Atlantic Records may have introduced the wider marketplace to “Free Jazz” via Ornette Coleman, but it was the small, New York-based ESP-DISK’ label that documented the subsequent reshaping of the form as it developed throughout the 1960s. Founded in 1963 by Bernard Stollman, ESP released groundbreaking records by artists like Albert Ayler, Milford Graves, Pharaoh Sanders, Patty Waters, and Sun Ra, eventually extending its reach into rock and psychedelia before ceasing operations in the early 1970s. (Stollman resuscitated the label in the 2000s at espdisk.com, making reissues available and even signing new acts.)
Revered by musical seekers across the globe—and resented by performers who typically received little to no royalties—ESP is now regarded as one of the most influential record labels of all time. Its artists were fortunately captured on film in a number of short experimental works that bridged multiple undergrounds then flourishing in New York. Tonight’s program brings together all of the ESP-associated films produced in the 1960s: portraits of Giuseppi Logan, The Fugs, The Godz, and Sun Ra, as well as Michael Snow’s New York Eye and Ear Control, whose brain-bending soundtrack was improvised by an all-star team of ESP artists led by Ayler. To paraphrase the label's slogan, you’ve never seen such sounds in your life. - BB
Brian Belovarac works in repertory film distribution and has presented programs at venues such as the George Eastman Museum, Anthology Film Archives, and the Wisconsin Film Festival.
Tickets - $8, available at door.
Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 7pm.