On May 11th, Red Bull Music Festival New York and Pioneer Works present Dream Machine–an extended immersive concert experience of state of the art concert design, ceiling-projected film, and live musical alchemy–resulting in a dazzling collision of mesmeric light, color and sound. Originally a stroboscopic flicker sculpture created by Brion Gysin and William Burroughs in the late 60s (see more here), the historic Dream Machine has been reimagined by Australian/New York interdisciplinary performer, chanteuse and musical director Sophia Brous, Darkside’s Dave Harrington and light, sound and projection designers Wild Dogs International. With the audience lying on the floor with eyes open and closed beneath a canopy of brilliant immersive film and color,Dream Machine weaves together an intensely mesmeric hallucinatory journey within a live musical ‘dream soundtrack’ taking concertgoers through the chapters of a night’s sleep in an extended hallucinatory experience. Tickets for both the 7:30pm and 10:30pm shows are on sale via nyc.redbullmusicfestival.com.
A global creative collaboration, the reimagining of Dream Machine was conceptualized and musically directed by David Harrington (USA) and Sophia Brous (AUS). Harrington is a renowned NYC-based bass player with jazz roots and most widely known as half of Darkside with Nicolas Jaar, and Brous is a cross-disciplinary musician, vocalist and performance-maker based in New York and Melbourne, Australia who is current artist-in-resident of National Sawdust and director of the Supersense Festival, and collaborates with the likes of Kimbra, David Byrne, Marc Ribot, Colin Stetson and Caroline Polachek, . The installation was designed by Brooklyn-based Wild Dogs International, who first worked on Red Bull Music Academy’s inaugural NYC event series in 2013, and served as the visual designer of numerous Red Bull Music Festival performances including Hardcore Activity in Progress (2014), Bounce Ballroom (2014) and Electronic Africa (2015), as well as the Kairos exhibition which launched the Red Bull Arts NYC space (2013). Performers include the legendary Moroccan Sufi trance ensembleThe Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar, industrial pioneer Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, British cellist and electronic producer Oliver Coates, harpistZeena Parkins, drummer Greg Fox, bassist Trevor Dunn.
The Dream Machine’s above-head immersive cinema experience features the work of notable filmmakers Ben Russell (USA), an artist and filmmaker whose work lies at the intersection of ethnography and psychedelia; Japanese expanded cinema artist Makino Takeshi (JPN), whose work has recently been shown at Tate Modern, BFI London, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Documenta 14; and recent Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Peter Burr (USA)–a master of computer animation that hovers on the boundary between abstraction and figuration,presented internationally by various institutions including Documenta 14, Athens; MoMA PS1, New York; and The Barbican Centre and Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The Dream Machine is soundtracked by Harrington and Brous’ ‘Dream Score’ framework, a mesmeric chapter-by-chapter performance composition cuing an ensemble of extraordinary musicians to weave a dream soundtrack through different scenes of audio-visual immersion. Players performing the Dream Machine soundtrack along with the Dave Harrington Group and the vocal stylings of Sophia Brous include boundary pushing icon Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (UK) ofThrobbing Gristle and Psychic TV — a cult musician, poet, performance artist and occultist who held a close relationship with both Gysin and Burroughs (read morehere) who greatly influenced h/er work. Similarly, the legendary, ancient Sufi Trance ensemble the Master Musicians of Jajouka: Bachir Attar and Mustapha Attar (Morocco) have a long history with Gysin, Burroughs and the early days of Dream Machine through their historic collaborations with the Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones, Ornette Coleman and Bill Laswell. The multi-instrumentalist/composer/improviser and Bjork-collaborator, Zeena Parkins (USA) is a pioneer of contemporary harp practice and performance, who reimagines the instrument as a “sound machine of limitless capacity.” Electronic producer Oliver Coates (UK) known as Radiohead’s “secret weapon” and for his work with Mica Levi and Jonny Greenwood, who he most recently worked with on the Oscar-nominated score for Phantom Thread. Rounding out the rhythm section are legendary bassistTrevor Dunn (USA), who has worked with Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, Fantômas), the Melvins and John Zorn, as well as black metal (Liturgy), electronic and jazz drummer Greg Fox (USA), violinist and composer C Spencer and saxophonists Arrington De Dionyso and Stuart Bogie (Arcade Fire, Antibalas).