1 BINARY BEATS
Have you ever watched a video of Skrillex "performing"? Between the massive drops, the Duke of Dubstep will smoke a cigarette and spend a lot of time tucking his hair behind his ears. It makes you wonder what he's really doing behind that computer screen. Or any laptop DJ, for that matter. What do they got that an iPod shuffle doesn't?
It's unlikely that you'd ever see Carl Stone engaging in such tomfoolery. In fact, as one of the pioneers in computer music, it's probably a disservice to have his name even associated with a weirdo like Skrillex. For one thing, he performs.
"I use these programs that require certain mousepad and trackpad interfaces, and depending on which key you press at a certain time, [that] will determine the sound," he says.
"Let's say you're a traditional musician, playing from a score, and you play a wrong note: You move on. But hitting a wrong key [in computer music] will cause a different cascade of events. Sometimes it can lead to disaster; sometimes it can lead to something interesting."
Stone has been a leader and innovator in computer music since the days of Mac Plus (circa '85 for you MacBook babies). He's a grant recipient from the National Endowment for the Arts, he's been commissioned by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and he's been deemed "the king of sampling" by The Village Voice. He will appear at Space 4 Art (325 15th St. in East Village, sdspace4art.org) as part of the Fresh Sound Music Series on Thursday, March 14, at 8 p.m. in a show that should be hypnotic and immersive.
"You go to a computer-music concert, you get deep into the sound itself," Stone says. "Sound is the thing that defines the concert, in addition to comfy seating and nice lighting."
When asked if he's ever checked email during a performance, he laughs.
"That's what I tell people I'm doing," he says. "That or playing video games."
The event costs $15, $10 for students.
2 GIVE IT UP
Women, for the most part, are givers. They give us life, and they often give their time and effort for others—be they crying babies or needy husbands. The Feminist Image Group, a local art collective, will examine aspects of this complex role with Gift, an art exhibition that opens at the San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery (7250 Mesa College Drive, Room D101, in Clairemont, sdmesa.edu/art-gallery) at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 14. Running through April 18, the show features handicrafts and high-concept works alike. At the opening, members of FIG will do a performance presenting genuine gifts to the audience, and at 7 p.m. a panel of curators and art-history professors will discuss women's giverly roles in historical, cultural and political settings.
3 DANCING WITH THE STAIRS
The PGK Project prides itself on being unpredictable. The dance company continues that tradition with the return of its biannual series, San Diego Dances, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16. This time, PGK will hold the performance at 3rdSpace (4610 Park Blvd.), a two-story, loft-like creative workspace in University Heights. The setting will challenge dancers and choreographers to create and perform in a nontraditional space; as such, each dance will be a collaborative piece between the art and the environment. The concert will feature new choreography by PGK artistic director Peter G. Kalivas, Natasha Ridley and Viviana Alcazar, as well as a performance by California Rhythm Project. Tickets are $13 to $20. thepgkdanceproject.org/san-diego-dances