Thursday, January 27, 2022, 1–2 pm
Live on Zoom
Free. Register for the event here.
La Monte Young will discuss his composition Trio for Strings (1958) with his longtime collaborator Jung Hee Choi in a conversation moderated by ARTnews deputy editor and sound-art curator Andy Battaglia. This conversation is organized in conjunction with the first official release of Young’s Trio for Strings, which was recorded live from the Dream House, a legendary sound-and-light installation by Young, Marian Zazeela, and Choi at Dia Chelsea in 2015.
La Monte Young was born in Bern, Idaho, in 1935. He began playing saxophone at age seven and pursued music studies in the 1950s with such recognized figures as Richard Maxfield, Leonard Stein, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. At Yoko Ono’s studio, Young directed the first loft concert series from 1960 to 1961. As a founding member of the Fluxus movement, he edited An Anthology of Chance Operations in 1963 and orchestrated many of the movement’s key events during the 1960s. In 1962, Young began collaborating with artist Marian Zazeela, featuring her light installations, sculptures, and calligraphic creations in his durational sound environments. They became disciples of master Kirana singer Pandit Pran Nath in 1970 and their works have addressed both Western traditions and Indian classical music ever since. Young is credited to be the founder of Minimalist music and is a historical reference for sustained-tone and drone-based compositions, such as The Well-Tuned Piano that is widely regarded as one of the major piano works of the twentieth century. Artists and musicians including John Cale, Walter De Maria, Brian Eno, Yoko Ono, Lou Reed, Terry Riley, and Andy Warhol have acknowledged Young’s enormous impact. And together with his ensembles (from the Theater of Eternal Music to the Forever Bad Blues Band to the recent Just Alap Raga Ensemble), Young has influenced art-rock bands like the Velvet Underground, Faust, and many others. He lives and works in New York.
Jung Hee Choi was born in Seoul in 1969. She has collaborated with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela since 1999. Choi’s work has been presented in Asia, Europe, and North America, and Choi is also a founding producer and director of Mantra TV—a cable and webcast vehicle for advanced arts in New York and Korea—where she worked from 1998 to 2006. As disciples of the classical Kirana vocal tradition, Young, Zazeela, and Choi founded the Just Alap Raga Ensemble in 2002. Choi has performed as vocalist in every concert ever since, including those at the MELA Foundation Dream House; the five-concert Pandit Pran Nath Memorial Tribute Tour in Berlin, Karlsruhe, and Polling, Germany, in 2012; the Yoko Ono Courage Award ceremony; the Guggenheim’s The Third Mind Live concert series in 2009; and the Merce Cunningham Memorial celebration in 2009. Her work is in the collection of FRAC Franche-Comté. She lives and works in New York.
Andy Battaglia is deputy editor at ARTnews magazine in New York. From 2010 to 2016, he worked full-time as a freelance writer and editor at such outlets as the Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Frieze, Paris Review, Rolling Stone, NPR, New Yorker, Artforum, and McSweeney’s. From 2001 to 2010, he was an editor and staff writer for the A.V. Club, for which he wrote features and reviews and edited a section devoted to New York. He has also worked on three anthologies including The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present (2008). Since 2010, he has also worked as an organizer and curator for Unsound, a project devoted to music and sound-art that presents concerts, discussions, and presentations in New York as well as Krakow, Poland, and points beyond. He lives in New York.