Performance stills and videos
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, slide animation, motion, and video projections.
Hybrid Instruments Reel 2006 ..... (short segments)
'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.
'Hand Song", 16mm, soundtrack by Tom Grant, 1973