February “sound.” features three artists whose intersecting paths have resulted in 20 years of enigmatic music. Joseph Hammer and Spencer Savage have been collaborating since the early 80’s when Savage performed with Dinosaurs With Horns, Hammer’s duo with Rick Potts. Potts and Hammer went on to perform with William Leavitt (Provisional Riviera) in an early version of Solid Eye (c. 93-94). After leaving Solid Eye, Leavitt formed the Subtones (c. 97-98) with Savage.


Joseph Hammer blurs the boundaries between digital and analog; his live “phonomontage” uses CD source abstracted by hand with vintage magnetic audio gear. He has performed with Points of Friction, Blue Daisies, Steaming Coils, Debt of Nature and Vector 3Niner as well as collaborated with Eugene Chadbourne, Otomo Yoshiheda, Susan James and Thomas DiMuzio. Joseph manipulates audio tape with his bare hands as a member of Solid Eye and can be found behind a wall of audio testing equipment and short wave radio in Kitten Sparkles.

Spencer Savage has been playing music locally in clubs, theaters, galleries and the like since 1983 in various ensembles, participating in series for Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), New Music America, the Independent Composers Association (ICA) and the Foundation for Art Resources (FAR). In 1997, he joined the group Subtones as drummer, and more recently has appeared as a guest performer with Dinosaurs With Horns and the People’s Orchestra of Anaphoria. He enjoys mixing it up with the crowd, playing back the vibratory properties and stonewalling afterwards; in other words, tapping the gross public for their net worth.


Provisional Riviera’s music could be described as ‘noise bop’ – a mix of electronic noise and percussion with jazz bass cello. It is concerned with the shifting interplay of random sounds and set rhythms. Provisional Riviera is Bill Leavitt on cello working with guest collaborators. “Autumn Leaves”, Provisional Riviera’s new cd, is available on Transparency.