Frederick Abrams

The Underground Cathedral


Solo Performances: Krakow & Wroclaw

These shows evolved from the first solo installation of THE UNDERGROUND CATHEDRAL in 1986 when a recorded soundtrack of a subway ride became the background to recorded musical compositions which was played as an ongoing sound element of the exhibition. In a sense, both ideas merged later on in the form of a solo performance presented in Krakow and Wroclaw, involving a single synthesizer improvisation.


Each key of the synthesizer was simultaneously programmed via a sampler to contain a sound from one of various undergrounds. As these programmed sound samples were played simultaneously with a chosen digitized or analog
instrumental sound, unlike the previous shows comprising numerous musicians, the performance occurred in conjunction with projected video but without any formal structural compliment to it.


Thus, improvisation occurred at once on three levels: in the actual musical performance, the simultaneous playing of sampled sounds programmed into the keyboard and with reference to the background video projection.



Whereas both in the recorded music soundtrack and original live performance the sound samples were utilized as precise compositional instrumental components, in this case they were spontaneously played largely as
a case of accident. This as well has liberated the sound and music performance to coincide either with new video presentations, the actual film itself minus its original soundtrack, or strictly on its own, be it in the intimate space
of an art gallery or concert hall.

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