Lapping it up
There are no high heels and seductive stage-wear for the Lappetites. Spawned instead from an improvised music/art event in New York’s avant-garde Tonic club in 2001, their work consists of an ever-shifting miasma of formless noise, mysterious voices, found sound, ambiguous electronics, dark ambience and unrelated sound-events. Neither does their collaborative method follow the traditional real-time, same-place model. Their joint work is done separately via the Internet. They send each other new pieces, making alterations and additions and passing the result along to the next member in the chain.
Led by Kaffe Matthews with three other females in tow, the four ladies span three generations and four continents. Their latest work "Fathers" premieres at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in November 2009 and is performed by seven laptops, three opera singers and a choir, all delivered in surround sound. The severe-looking ladies sit behind their laptops as video rolls and events unfold. The environment is solemn – here, there is no boogie for it to be blamed on.
Clearly, the Lappetites present an alternative world-view. In their own words, they note that the Lappetites "is a forum, a meeting place, a concept within which to make and exchange new music via digital and sonic linking games in remote and local places within a multispeaker playground". Referring to the genesis of the combo, founder Matthews notes it was clear that "the Lappetites would be a forum within which to explore … ways of playing, and that members would come and go over time." Indeed she is the only person from those heady early days still in today’s line-up.
Their first work was a collection entitled "Before the Libretto" (2005). In their latest, "Fathers", the Lappetites document the lives of their own fathers - a high-ranking East German military officer, an English farmer and a Korean businessman. Their own description of "Fathers" is a "21st century opera from different perspectives of different lives through individual styles – an acousmatic composition."
With echoes of artists as disparate as the Aphex Twin and Laurie Anderson, Jan Jelinek, John Cage and Romanian art-malingerer/remixer Mandruleanu, the Lappetites create a unique artistic voice that defies actual comparison with previously existing work.
Currently appearing alongside Kaffe Matthews (UK) are Antye Greie aka AGF (Germany), Blanca Regina Perez-Bustamante (Spain), and Ryoko Akama (Japan).
This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.
Festival of Electronic Music
(25 November 09 - 28 November 11)