Ken Butler’s Voices of Anxious Objects The artist-musician performs mesmerizing world textures and driving melodic grooves with passion and purpose on an amazing arsenal of amplified hybrid string instruments made from household objects and tools. Duchampian Dada meets Hybrid Hindu Hendrix as function and form collide in an environment of hyperactive hardware.
Butler blends Indian, Mid-Eastern, Flamenco, and Roma modes with jazz, rock, funk, and blues, all held together by an open, edgy "downtown" improv aesthetic. Virtually indescribable and unclassifiable, Butler mixes high and low technology and audio-visual antics to create an ancient/future music that forms a provoking cultural portrait of human / machine adaptation and transformation and spiritual transcendence.
Assemblages of hammers, hockey sticks, tennis rackets, golf clubs, and brooms become (when amplified) violin, guitar, and cello-like instruments with multiple playing surfaces and a diverse range of percussive (and assorted odd) sounds as well as those produced by the strings. A performance may also include interactive hybrid audio-visual keyboards powered by motorized strummers which control lights, animation, motion, and video projections.
KB LIVE VIDEO (selected excerpts)
“Instrumental Axioms”, final mix, recorded 1992, edited 2019
'Lost & Sound', live excerpts, Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn, 2000
Ken Butler - Short Live Excerpts (1991-96)
Hybrid Antics (1983) .... with music by Ken Butler, Steve Koski, and Stan Wood, engineered by Bruce McKay.
‘TORSO’, 4:29, 2016, music by Ken Butler
Ken Butler 'Junkpile' (screen test) 2:14, 1973, music by Hanes/Butler/Treut/Vasi 2018
‘Hybrid Antics’, produced by a grant from Roger’s Cablesystems, 19:23, 1983, music by Ken Butler and Steve Koski