A series of commissions celebrating West Hollywood’s 25th Anniversary including work by Ted Byrnes and Ari Desano, Scott Benzel, and Wadada Leo Smith. Performances happen the last Saturday in June, July, and August.

Saturday, July 24, 2010 5pm Doors
Kings Road Park Pavilion 1000 N Kings Rd West Hollywood, CA



Two performances:
5:00pm (Doors open at 4:30)
6:45pm (Doors open at 6:30)

Join SASSAS for the premiere of  Music from the Trip (1967) in the style of a Schoenberg/Gershwin tennis match, observed in passing by Dr. Oskar Janiger, for String Quartet, Electric Bass, and Percussion by Los Angeles based artist and composer Scott Benzel, the second of three compositions commissioned to celebrate the long and fruitful relationship between SASSAS’s sound. concert series and the City of West Hollywood as well as 25th Anniversary of the City. These first time ever SASSAS commissions celebrate the coincidence of these two anniversaries with new works of experimental music designed to interact with and be performed in the acoustics of the Kings Road Park Pavilion in a series of afternoon concerts.

Benzel’s Music from the Trip (1967) in the style of a Schoenberg/Gershwin tennis match, observed in passing by Dr. Oskar Janiger, for String Quartet, Electric Bass, and Percussion features modal and chord structures symptomatic of Schoenberg’s and Gershwin’s work alternating and superimposed on an arrangement of music derived from the cult film “The Trip” starring Peter Fonda. The piece focuses on the avant-garde diaspora in Los Angeles’ influence on the psychedelic history of the Sunset Strip.

In addition to Music from the Trip (1967) Benzel will present two other works for string quartet: Inversions I-IV and two movements from Blak Bloc, named as one of the top 10 recordings of 2009 by Artforum magazine. Benzel’s recent soundtrack collaboration with the artist Mike Kelley can be heard in the Mike Kelley / Michael Smith Installation A Voyage of Growth and Discovery currently on view at the Farley Building in Eagle Rock.

The following musicians will be joining Scott for this performance:

Natalie Fender Brejcha: viola
Jessica Catron: cello
Jeremy Drake: guitar, bass
Laura Geier: violin
Orin Hildestad: violin
Matt Mayhall: drums, percussion
Clif Taylor: guitar


Scott Benzel

Scott Benzel

“When something like melody appears, an ascension counters an act of grounding in the bass to cleave a space down the center of this tenuous but ravishing body, making way for a wash of—a concerto for—feedback.” –Stephen Prina, Artforum, Best of 2009: Music

Scott Benzel is an artist and composer living and working in Los Angeles. Interested in the contradictions inherent within mythologized cultural histories, his work responds to an ongoing fascination with the disjuncture between icons of popular culture often built through fabrication, misinterpretation and story telling. Unpicking the structures of cultural production – from the classical music score to the vinyl record, his work often enacts restorative performative moments bringing together truths and fictions. Undertaking research into the genealogy of seminal pop music moments, Benzel’s interventions such as turning a musical score upside down to be played by a classically trained quartet explore the processes of mass media systems of production alongside the development of collective cultural imaginations and identification. Working across multiple forms and platforms, Benzel’s work maintains a deep respect for making, looking and listening to sound and image – he creates experiences that are aesthetically rich.

Scott Benzel’s visual and sound-based artwork has been shown at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (in collaboration with Sam Durant and Tom Recchion), Performa 09, New York (in collaboration with Mike Kelley) , Blum and Poe, Los Angeles, The Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA, The Western Front, Vancouver, BC, and Art Basel: Statements (in collaboration with Andrea Bowers). He has collaborated with Mike Kelley on the soundtracks to Kelley’s installations Day is Done at Gagosian, New York, Profondeurs Vertes at the Louvre, Paris, and Kelley’s and Michael Smith’s A Voyage of Growth and Discovery at the Sculpture Center, New York and West of Rome, Los Angeles.