Joseph Hammer

The Graham Foundation

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610

When Joseph Hammer last appeared at Lampo, his performance brought some to tears. The concert was “astounding, touching, and quite possibly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen,” wrote one critic.

Now, he returns to premiere Dynasty III, the third installment in his Dynasty Suites. For tonight’s concert, the Los Angeles-based artist draws his source material from songs that make him cry, promising both gorgeous plunderphonics and a megadose of the lachrymose.

Hammer uses computerized sources, abstracted by hand, playing tape loops on vintage magnetic audio gear. His instrument is a high fidelity, full track mono analog tape recorder. He uses a series of real-time mechanical interventions to transform and layer the source material. By physically manipulating the degree of exposure the tape has to an erase head, he varies the layers of old and new information on the loop of magnetic tape. He also manipulates the surface region used for the recording to create a discrete multi-track composition. Because he is accessing the very guts of the machine, its moving parts are also fair game for his record/playback permutations.

In various collaborations, solo, and as a founding member of Points of Friction, Dinosaurs with Horns and the trio Solid Eye, Joseph Hammer (b.1959, Hollywood, Calif.) has performed widely and been an influential contributor to the Los Angeles underground music scene since the early 1980s, including as part of LAFMS (Los Angeles Free Music Society), the fringe collective of the mid 70s-80s. His practice draws on the complexities of the process of listening and playing, using music as it influences our notion of time, memory and intimacy as the basis for improvisation and abstraction.

Joseph Hammer performed at Lampo in April 2007, when he premiered Road Less Traveled.

Presented in partnership with the Graham Foundation