Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Crossovers » Dieter Moebius, Negativwobblyland, J Lesser & Tom Erbe

Space 4 Art
325 15th between J and K
San Diego
$15.00 and $10.00 students
Parking is easy - on the street and at $3.00 parking lots very nearby.

Four sets with three generations of electronic music

There are small-world connections among these performers (and me). Wobbly and Lesser performed and recorded with Matmos which is how I met them when Matmos performed at Spruce Street Forum in 2002. Matmos, Lesser, Conheim and Wobbly all lived in San Francisco and knew each other there. Moebius has been a hero to Wobbly for the twenty-five years he has been listening to his music. After this tour they will record together in Montana.

Tom Erbe will present his current project, a new performance version of John Cage's "Williams Mix" (1952). He received the score from the John Cage Trust and is carefully recording all the tape edits from the 192 page score. Tom has asked many of his friends (including J. Lesser and Wobbly) to contribute sounds for this new version, the first to follow the score since Cage's original performance. We will hear this special performance on Sept. 5th, which is John Cage's 100th birthday. We will also celebrate with cake.

Dieter Moebius

Dieter Moebius, born 1944 in Switzerland, is one of the most important protagonists of avant-garde electronic music in Germany. He was founder member of Kluster/Cluster (with Conrad Schnitzer and Hans-Joachim Roedelius) and Harmonia (with Michael Rother and Hans-Joachim Roedelius) and worked together with several artists such as Brian Eno, Conny Plank, Mayo Thompson, Hellmut Hattler, Asmus Tietchens, Gerd Beerbohm, Karl Renziehausen, Mani Neumeier, Arno Steffen, Jürgen Engler, Jean Hervé Peron, Zappi Diermaier, and Chris Karrer. In 2011 he recorded an album with Asmus Tietchens which will be released on Bureau B June 29th, 2012.


Negativwobblyland is a collaboration between Peter Conheim of the sampling art collective Negativland and Jon Leidecker of Wobbly. The duo eschews the cut-and-paste mass media collage of their previous work to celebrate the unpredictable magic of the Booper, an instrument invented by Negativland's The Weatherman in 1975. Boopers are 100% analog feedback instruments, created entirely from salvaged radio and amplifier parts, which recycle their outputs back upon themselves to generate an endlessly changing stream of living electronic sound, seeking connections back to the earliest years of the medium. Further captured and transformed by live sampling (itself a form of feedback), the duo's music is inherently improvisatory.


Music has the power to demonstrate that all individuals who have yet to meet are already singing in tune. A DJ with access to the equivalent of thousands of turntables is no longer strictly a disc jockey, or an air traffic controller, or a fascist. Since the early 90's, Jon Leidecker has been performing appropriative collage music under the unintentional pseudonym Wobbly, aiming for extended psychedelic narratives improvised from spontaneous yet coherent multi-sample polyphony. Albums released on the Tigerbeat6, Alku & Illegal Art labels are now joined by selected recent works freely available online, but live concerts are still the only way to really hear a certain kind of music. Previous and ongoing collaborators include People Like Us, Matmos, Anne McGuire, Negativland, Thomas Dimuzio, Tim Perkis, Evolution Control Committee, Blevin Blectum, Lesser, Otomo Yoshihide, Zeena Parkins & MaryClare Brzytwa. Performances are still laptop free.

J Lesser

Being of sturdy German stock, J Lesser has oft been mistaken as a techno producer, a metal guitarist, an olde-timey photographer and a drive-thru tree; with unfortunate results. His 2001 album, Gearhound, won an honorable mention for Digital Musics in the Prix Ars Electronica and subsequently went out of print. When not manning the modular synth alongside his compatriots in Matmos or blipping with members of Aspects of Physics, he dreams of executive producing something for television or film (an animated romantic comedy - imagine "When Harry Met Sally"... IN SPACE). His new album, "Elder Bits" (2012), is a self-produced cassette chronicling 2 years of modular synth exploration.

Tom Erbe

Tom Erbe has had an important role in American experimental and electronic music of the last 20 years. In addition to his pioneering and widely used program SoundHack, he has become one of the most sought after and respected sound engineers for contemporary music.

He studied computer science and music at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and got his initial audio engineering experiences by volunteering at WEFT, WPGU, and Faithful Sound Studios.

After graduating Tom became the Technical Manager of the Computer Audio Research Laboratory at the University of California, San Diego. There he was involved in the development of an electronic violin, a DSP based sound processor and an early computer music production workstation.

In 1987 Tom became the Technical Director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College. At CCM he worked with composers Robert Ashley, David Rosenboom, Larry Polansky, James Tenney and Alvin Curran, as computer music and recording engineer. His research work at CCM included the program SoundHack, and the design of a DSP based sound processor for use with the language HMSL. During this time he also developed a 4-channel spatial audio processor for the NASA Ames Research Center.

In 1993 Tom joined the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts as Technical Director of the computer music studios. Here he continued his work with SoundHack and spectral techniques, teaching courses in computer music, programming and audio engineering. Tom also directed the design and construction of CalArts' Dizzy Gillespie Recording Studios.

In 2004 he rejoined the faculty of UCSD in the Department of Music and serves as Studio Director. Most recently Tom has released SoundHack Pvoc Kit, the second of a planned set of three plugin bundles to bring extreme spectral processing to the VST, AU and RTAS formats.