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The Plunderful World of Oswald

A Canadian avant garde icon comes to Hallwalls


March 12

John Oswald

8 p.m. at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center

hallwalls.org, 854-1694



After you’ve pioneered a wildly influential subgenre of experimental electronic music, been sued by Michael Jackson and commissioned by the Grateful Dead and the Kronos Quartet, what do you do for an encore? If you are Canadian composer and audio/installation artist John Oswald, the answer is: Plenty. In the half century since Oswald created “Plunderphonics,” brilliantly subverting and reinventing well-known pop song recordings through meticulous pre-digital editing techniques, he’s been at the forefront of copyright debates; inspired generations of sonic pranksters, mash-up DJs, and hip hop producers; assembled thousand-member choirs; and continued to offer new ways to see and hear the world of “information” that bombards us daily. In a rare and thrilling residency at Hallwalls this month, he’ll be presenting a live performance on Thursday, March 12 that employs a large chorus of local singers and members of Toronto’s experimental vocal group the Element Choir and an improvising organist, “taking advantage of aspects of the Asbury Hall space that haven’t been seen or heard since it was last used as a church,” according to Hallwalls’s Bill Sack. The following day sees the opening of “Stillnessence,” a gallery installation featuring gradually changing life-sized projections depicting hundreds of people photographed both clothed and naked—"stills which are not quite still and movies which never move.” Don’t miss a second of any of it.



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