Issue #5 imminence and updates

Hey there,

This month I have mostly been preoccupied with various family matters, including a divorce (funtimes!), being kicked out of my home (my landlord decided to sell up) and watching the spellbinding glory of the Tour de France.

I’m moving very soon, and after that full service will resume, I promise.

In the meantime, here is a sneaky-peaky of what’s coming up in issue #5 of (what is possibly) your most favouritest, esoteric viola-related zine:

Billy Bang— Sexy interviews, tbc
— RIP Billy Bang, pictured, & Kenny Baker
— Punk rock viola outreach: a self-help guide for when you are musically lost, alone and have no-one to turn to
— Scratch orchestras and their importance in fucking up the noise-sound-music hierarchy
— Fun art/music happenings and musical mischief that you can try at home!
— Experimental viola technique field notes: what does happen if you use a piece of metal instead of a bow and other irresponsible tales
— A *full colour* cover (ooooh! aaaaaah!)

That’s all from me folks. In the meantime, my Etsy store remains fully stocked and fully functional: every time someone buys a zine, what little remains of Rupert Murdoch’s soul dies a little bit more. So keep supporting independent media, it’s needed now more than ever.

‘Violagate’: viola performance ends in fear and loathing in San Francisco

News from the outer reaches of experimental viola technique:

A performance by electronics musician and violist JNHO (also known as John Eichenseer) went pear-shaped at an ‘evening of celebration for violas’ at the Royce Gallery in San Francisco on 6th June.

During the performance an ear-splittingly loud tape loop of electronic sound was played in a relatively small room. Audience members began to complain about their suffering at the hands of electronica, fearing permanent hearing damage due to the piece’s volume.

One audience member stood up and delivered the time-honoured sarcastic, slow handclap. Another screamed “stop! STOP!” whilst one other pompously announced:

“This is a DESECRATION! I am a REAL violist and I can tell you THIS IS NOT MUSIC!”.

Other audience members remonstrated with these demonstrators. Cacophony ensued, beyond that being emitted by the amps.

Facing increasing hostility, Mr Eichenseer, who has also recorded under the newly ironic name ‘delicate ear’, allegedly flung down his instrument and fled the scene. Sadly, his viola, the innocent victim in all of this, was severely damaged and, even more sadly, was unplayed in throughout whole debacle.

Now THAT’S what I call a happening.

The classical/experimental world has since seen a lot of hand-wringing and sermonizing about the whole event, now being referred to as ‘violagate’ and churning up those latent, old discussions about contemporary classical music not really being music at all, etc, etc, etc.

You can see the sparks fly for yourself on the Yahoo Viola discussion list or on the Music Vs. Theatre blog posting about the affair (particularly in the user comments).

the Royce Gallery, scene of 'Violagate'

Angry Violist at the Women’s Library zine fair – and SEXY BADGES

Hey all,

I am happy to say that I’ve been confirmed as a stall-holder in the Women’s Library zine fair on Saturday 25th June from 12pm-4pm! Come and say hello, bring me a cup of coffee (blacktwosugars, please) and, more importantly, take part in some of the awesome events that’ll be going on.

More info about the zine fair can be found at this site which has the best description of zines I’ve read in a while:

Zines are hand-made magazines made for love not money. Requiring few resources to self-publish – just a pen, a piece of paper, access to a photocopier – zines are made on the fringes of journalism, art systems, activist scenes, and bedroom cultures, and showcase culturally innovative writing and art. Basically, they rock.


Not only that, but I have some new badges made up that I’m putting in all my out-going Etsy orders and for sale in my revamped Etsy shop.

Hey, good lookin’:

(Thanks to Mr T of Lights Go Out for the pics and for making the badges.)