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    Dream Sculptor Tony Conrad Builds a Prison for Art

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    Michael Byrne

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    Have I ever told you that the best show I've ever been to was Tony Conrad performing on violin and guitar at the High Zero improv music festival in Baltimore? No? It was amazing, and eventually led to me buying a viola and a bunch of pedals, and plugging them all in in different combinations over the course of a series of experiments to determine the precise correct frequency for making neck hair stand straight up. The project is, as yet, ongoing. 

    Wait. I might have to explain who Tony Conrad is. He was a member of the Dream Syndicate with La Monte Young, John Cale, and a bunch of other '60s out-music thinkers, and he did some music with Faust, and Wikipedia says he's played the Animal Collective-curated All Tomorrow's Parties, FWIW. And then he makes dream music by himself, with an amplified violin. He's also a filmmaker, and an artist with an interest in how light interacts with shapes and forms. In my experience, this can be highly disorienting in a perfect, sublime way. 
     
    Conrad has a show at New York's Greene Naftali Gallery going on right now and, here, he talks to the FADER camera about the project.

    Reach this writer at michaelb@motherboard.tv.

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