EAR CAKE! Area performance artists celebrate Art’s Birthday

GigCity Edmonton Birthday CakeApparently we’re supposed to celebrate Art’s birthday this weekend. Happy birthday, Art!

Oh, we all know Art. Some know Art better than others, like the peculiar bunch of experimental musicians, including BEAMS (Boreal Electro Acoustic Music Society), playing a “happening” for Art’s Birthday party on Saturday night at Bohemia (10217 97 Street), a place known for peculiar and experimental live happenings in the service of Art. They will also be hosting the “Edmonton Non Music Awards,” where Art is expected to win every one. We dashed off a quick Q&A with event curator Philip Jagger, distant cousin to Mick:

Q: Who/what is Art?

A: Art is the inner idea made public. It can be everything from Bach to those little doilies made by your grandma. It can be made alone or in groups.

Q. Why are we celebrating Art’s birthday?

A: We are celebrating art just to wake people up once a year, to celebrate what gets forgotten, and to see what others create.

Q: Hold old is Art?

A: 1,000,050 years

Q: What would be a good gift for Art?

A: A good gift is something someone else created, or a hat. Art is big into hats.

Q: What is the purpose of your “non-music awards?”

GigCity Edmonton Arts BirthdayA: Non music awards was my way to poke at the music awards, no offense to the creators of the (Edmonton Music Awards). Because they had no category for experimental, jazz or world music. I created this as a way of recognizing artists who push to limits of sonic art, who would not get an award in normal music awards.

Q: Who/what will/won’t be nominated not to receive a non-music award?

A: Anyone can be nominated. As long as it’s not out of spite.

Q: Is there a non-trophy? What does it look like?

A: The trophies are made from an old keyboard I had that doesn’t work. I took it apart and made sculptures out of them. If this tradition continues, I plan to use old instruments I find to made the awards – if I’m not playing them, that is. I tend to play a lot of junk.

Q: What exactly will you be doing at this event?

A: Having bands experiment, showing videos, giving awards and showing and playing Art’s Birthday events from around the world. Maybe there will be cake and hats.

Q: I’ve never heard of most of these bands before. Why is that?

A: Because the bands don’t fit into more traditional rock and music venue places. Bohemia, Wunderbar, and Naked, when it was around, were the venues to play. However I have played Pawn Shop with my band AgaperayGunexperiment and the awesome guys from Pizzarrhea!, at the Artery as well. Some of these musicians have day jobs as classical musicians, and most of this lineup has played festivals like Sasquatch and The Works.

Q: Are you all part of a thriving local “noise” scene in the vein of the Nihilist Spasm Band?

A: Yes we are. Ramshackle Day Parade is the usual programmer for our events, and now has a record label as well.

Q: Is there more to “noise” than just noise?

A: There are so many approaches to noise out there. There is the chaos of Zebra Pulse, the quiet brooding of Pigeon Breeders, the pure fun improv of Pizzarrhea!, the sonic intelligence of Poiter. Noise is just a way of opening your head to new sound and ideas, of pushing yourself to the outer limits.

Q. Is it true you are Mick Jagger’s cousin? How do you think this has affected your music?

A: Mick Jagger is a distant relative. His father is my grandfather’s cousin. As an artist, I am a poet and the music is just a way of backing up the poetry. It’s a good gimmick to use the name, but I am a performance artist, not a rock star.