In 2014, ISSUE Project Room, in collaboration with WSB100, presented a celebration of the legacy of William S. Burroughs during the 100th anniversary of the writer's birth. Actor, director, and writer Steve Buscemi and composer/multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp collaborated, creating a collage of sound and words from texts by William Burroughs. The performance was documented, and in September 2016, the album (titled "Rub Out the Word") will be released on Infrequent Seams.
In honor of this release, ISSUE has invited Buscemi & Sharp to return to present excerpts of the work. The evening will also feature a new collaboration between current ISSUE Artist-in-Residence, writer and performer Cecilia Corrigan and past AIR James Ilgenfritz’s The Anagram Ensemble. Their piece integrates music based on The Travel Agency Is On Fire (Alex Wermer Colan's recent chapbook of newly-published cut-ups by William Burroughs) with text from Corrigan’s books Titanic (2014) and her recent chapbook, Cream. The musicians intervene and interpret Corrigan’s text, which in turn provides a libretto of awkward comic sublimity.
THIS IS AN OFFICIAL 2016 BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL EVENT.
Steve Buscemi began his career in, and continues to support experimental theater, writing and performance. From lead roles in television series like Boardwalk Empire to films like Fargo, Reservoir Dogs, Living in Oblivion, Trees Lounge and Ghost World to supporting roles and cameos in films such as The Big Lebowski and Barton Fink, his presence breathes life into every corner of an artwork. Buscemi is a member of ISSUE Project Room's Board of Directors.
Elliott Sharp is a central figure in the avant-garde music scene in New York City for over thirty years, Elliott Sharp leads the projects Orchestra Carbon, SysOrk, Tectonics and Terraplane, and has pioneered the application of fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition. Winner of the 2015 Berlin Prize in Music and a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship, Sharp has has been featured in the Darmstadt and Donaueschingen festivals, New Music Stockholm, Au Printemps-Paris, Hessischer Rundfunk Klangbiennale, and the Venice Biennale. His Storm of the Eye, composed for Hilary Hahn, appeared on her Grammy-winning album In 27 Pieces. His opera Port Bou premiered in NYC in 2014 and in Berlin in 2015. Sharp's range of collaborators have included Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Ensemble Modern; Debbie Harry; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; RadioSinfonie Frankfurt; jazz greats Jack Dejohnette and Sonny Sharrock; JACK Quartet; turntable innovator Christian Marclay; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jahjouka, Morocco. His work is the subject of the documentary Doing The Don'tand he has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered. Installations include Foliage, Fluvial, Chromatine, and Tag. His Cryptid Fragments was included in the Bitstreams show at the Whitney Museum.
New York bassist/composer James Ilgenfritz leads the interdisciplinary experimental music group The Anagram Ensemble and co-leads Hypercolor (with Lukas Ligeti and Eyal Maoz). A Michigan native, James has lived in New York for over ten years. James has worked as a performer with Anthony Braxton, Pauline Oliveros, Roscoe Mitchell, Elliott Sharp, “Blue” Gene Tyranny, John Zorn, The SEM Ensemble, The Either/Or Ensemble, Ensemble Pamplemousse, and many other major figures in musical experimentation. In 2015, James presented a weeklong residency of his work at John Zorn’s venue The Stone, and released two CDs: The Ticket That Exploded (Con D’Or Records), his 2011 opera based on the novel by William S. Burroughs, and the debut CD by Hypercolor on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. Other labels on which James Ilgenfritz has appeared include Cuneiform, Clean Feed, OutNow, Important Records, and Innova. Ilgenfritz also runs the Infrequent Seams record label, which has released music by Philip White, Dan Blake, Devin Maxwell, and in Fall 2016 will be releasing CDs featuring Elliott Sharp and Steve Buscemi, as well as Ilgenfritz’s second solo CD, featuring works for solo contrabass commissioned from Elliott Sharp, Annie Gosfield, JG Thirlwell, and Miya Masaoka.
Cecilia Corrigan is a writer and actor based in New York. Her live performances blend poetry, monologue, and comedy. She has presented her work in New York, Los Angeles, and internationally, at spaces such as Swiss Institute, Artists Space, Company Gallery, LaMama Galleria, and at IMT Gallery in London. Her first book, Titanic (2013), won the Plonsker Prize. In 2015, she exhibited three new pieces commissioned by Samuel Draxler for NYPAC. Upcoming projects include a new book, Cream, for Capricious Press, illustrated by Jocelyn Spaar, and the short film Crush, co-created with Katherine Bernard.