photos by Ariella Stok
On one hand, the Silver Apples’ revival this week of “Moontune,” debuted in Central Park for the 1969 moon landing, didn’t feature City of New York funding, founding drummer Danny Taylor, the weight of a cosmic historic event, or hippies rutting in the bushes. It was also about eight hours shorter. On the other hand, its first performance since 1969 was good lunar fun on a random Tuesday at the Kitchen.
Presented by Farimani magazine, in celebration of their debut issue, the evening began with a performance by Stefan Tcherepnin and Amir Mogharabi (Farimani‘s editor) featuring low humming electronics, echoed-out spoken word, op-art projections, and a guy stringing pages on a clothesline. Between the arrival of the dude with the didgeridoo and the moment when Page Guy lugged out two stacks of paper and turned a fan on, Silver Apples’ leader (and sole current member) Simeon Coxe III emerged. Firing up his eponymous instrument–which looks like vintage, circuit-bent NASA gear–the Simeon’s lush tones gradually took over the jam, and the Silver Apples’ set began amid an 8.5 x 11 blizzard.
The Simeon, on the right, and an Akai sampler on the left
Encouraged, much of the audience–the 20something bearded/scarved variety–spilled into the performance area from the stadium seating. A few inspected the Simeon up close while its creator twisted its knobs. Somebody made a snow angel in the sheets. Others threw more paper in the air. The audience continued to mingle during the nearly half-hour “Moontune,” a proto-electronic epic. Following the original aleatoric score (written out to appease the City organizers, and on sale at the merch table for $40), Simeon blurred from anthemic rumbles and static clouds into silvery oscillations. It totally could’ve gone on until sunrise. But, like moon landings, that doesn’t happen much these days, either. — Jesse Jarnow