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Sonic Youth - SYR6 & Lee Ranaldo DVD released this year.


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Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo Collaborates on DVD

David Nadelle reports:

Sonic Youth's longevity can be partially attributed to its members' enthusiasm for a variety of art forms, from painting to sculpture to photography to fashion. Lee Ranaldo has had fingers in every imaginable pie for as long as Pitchfork can remember; guitar guru status aside, he's experienced in poetry, fiction and non-fiction writing, visual and video art, printmaking and painting. He can probably even whip up a mean origami crane if you ask really nicely.

On November 29, Ranaldo will add another piece of art to his long list of accomplishments, when Plexifilm releases the DVD version of Drift, an ongoing collaborative project between Ranaldo and his wife, visual artist Leah Singer. The pair have been working together under the Drift blanket since 1991, performing largely improvisational events in which Ranaldo soundtracks Singer's manipulated images.

By using two modified projectors, Singer can mess with speed, stop images, and adjust material as she sees fit, very similar to what DJs do with turntables. So it's basically an exercise in mixing up film on the reels of steel (sorry...) while Ranaldo provides the soundtrack in his incomparable style. The pair have performed throughout the globe whenever their respective busy schedules permit.

Drift the DVD is accompanied by a 112-page full-color art book of images and words, featuring a conversation with Ranaldo and Singer and texts by filmmaker Jonas Mekas, writer/musician Alan Licht, artists Sam Durant and Tom Leeser, and curators Roland Spekle and Lea Rekow. Your film school friends will love this.

Gigantic ArtSpace in New York City will host a Drift installation from November 4 through January 14, displaying prints, lightboxes and drawings as well as the film itself. Ranaldo and Singer will perform live at GAS on November 16.

In other Sonic Youth news, the sixth volume in their SYR series, titled Koncertas Stan Brakhage Prisiminimui, will be released on December 6 on SYR Records (a division of drummer Steve Shelley's Smells Like Records). As previously reported, SYR 6 is a live recording of a Sonic Youth performance with percussionist Tim Barnes that took place in April 2003 at Anthology Film Archives in New York City. Portions of the disc's proceeds will benefit Anthology Film Archives.

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