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Jessie Marino: The Ideal Hour/Collages with Tom


Layering, juxtaposition, audio-visual free association, and most importantly, listening & response became the focal points of this piece for Pony Says and Jessie Marino. Jessie and Pony were strangers, familiar only in the way that the internet and a few after concert drinks can foster. At the onset of their collaboration, Jessie asked Pony to come together and listen to the 33 minute record ‘Pieces for Kohn’ by the experimental composer and sound engineer Tom Hamilton (1976 on Sonmath Records). These pieces are electronic compositions »generated conceptually from graphic paintings by Bill Kohn.« The tapes were performed at the opening of Kohn’s exhibition at the Terry Moore Gallery in St. Louis, one of which is featured on the album cover for Pieces for Kohn. The intention of beginning with a listening session was to build a small worldone simply based in the experience of listening to the same record. From this mutual exposure to Tom Hamilton’s fantastic pieces, came sonic associations which paved a mutual ground for us to lay our ears. We shared our impressions of the sounds themselves, and these insights provided us a tiny keyhole into the ears and minds of one another. How do we listen? What do we notice about the music when we listen together? What do we notice about ourselves when we share and compare our experience with one another? From our mutual listening space, we began to playbeginning with an approximation of the sounds, rhythmic patterns, timbers, scenes, and characters which we were drawn to in Pieces for Kohn, but then moving quickly and purposefully beyond the simulacrum and into a space that is a confluence of played experiences both on and off our respective sound making tools. The playground of Tom Hamilton provided us a foundation and a meeting pointthe musical relationship we built through listening, gave us a playground all our own.
Jessie Marino