Z’EV bio 1978

— this page is in progress and will evolve, albeit as in nature, quite slowly —

                                          for a somewhat more up-to-date exposure to Z’EV thoughts you can check the following 
I particularly enjoyed your interview on the Thelema Now! podcast. [friday feb 13 2010]
One of the best summations of recent cultural, social and political developments that I’ve heard.
tnconsultant@—.com 2014

in 1978 i got back together with mark and chris who were now working, along with videographer ed williams – who i also knew from calarts, under the name rhythm and noise, and i continued to work with them until 1988

at this time I also first began to perform outside of the Fine Art context initially at the mabuhay gardens in san francisco
and again i can’t stress enough that the support I received from Dirk Dirksen was crucial to my artistic development

In ’78 i began to be employed as a researcher by the Society for the Preservation of Occult Consciousness based in san francisco and continued there through 
in 1979and studied with Rabbi J. Winston, founder of the Jewish Meditation Society.
I met Haitian Hougun Rico Joves and was initiated into Vou-Dun drumming

In the fall of 1979 I began performing under the name Z’EV, which comes from the traditional name one getsat birth (Sh’aul Z’ev bn Yakov bn Moshe bn Sha’ul)

in 1978 i began developing an idiosyncratic performance technique utilizing self-developed instruments formed from industrial materials such as stainless steel, titanium, and PVC plastics. Initially these instruments were assemblages of these materials, used with a movement-based performance style that was a form of marionette, although with the performer visible.i have since come to refer to this performance mode as ‘wild-style’, a term originally related to graffiti
critic John Buckley described his performances in this era:

” the instruments are collections of objects … strung together with ropes and swung at varying
speeds and directions to produce a fairly astonishing range of pitches and timbres. and the moves
the guy goes through to manipulate these instruments are, for grace and athleticism, strong stuff.
Z’EV is also interesting for the close correlation of visual and musical aspects, since the physical
vibrations of the objects you see are the same as those picked up by the ears as sound.
also, since the rhythms of the work are dictated by the performer’s every and any movement, an
inevitable integrity unifies the act.”

since 1984 i have been concentrating on performing in a more traditional mallet-percussion style, albeit with highly idiosyncratic and “extended” mallet percussion techniques and self-made or adapted instruments

both performance modes, (wild-style and mallet percussion), have been described as cacophonous when considered in traditional Western musical terms,
because of the dense elemental acoustic phenomena these instruments produce

in fact, and most importantly, i don’t consider my performances as solos at all
in practice i’m up there as part of a sextet embodying the unique inter-reactions between:
the instruments
the physical space
the particular time
the geographic location
and the energies of the audience

most importantly,
I don’t actually consider the majority of my performances as “music” per se,
but more as orchestrations of:
rhythmic acoustic phenomena [instruments and physical space] + elemental [time and location] + biological [audience] energies

so taking me as the constant then, a change in any of the other five aspects will result in a totally different performance
to maybe make it a little clearer
in a performance i am listening to each of the five other aspects in the exact same way as i would listening if i was playing with five other people
and in the past I have referred to this listening as ‘telempathy’ – a cross between telepathy and empathizing
if i was playing with five other people, i would most decidedly be playing music
which i am most decidedly not, when its just me and the five aspects

and another way of looking at this process is that i use the same techniques of accompaniment that i have honed over the last 45+ years in this process
that is, i am using the instruments to accompany the physical space, time, location and audience energies

[the following list – to 1984 – are topics to be expanded]

in the fall of 1979 i made my first trip to new york city

jim fouratt, christian marclay

winter 1980 in los angeles begin the uns project

return spring 1980 to east coast with boyd rice and johanna went

fall 1980 tour with bauhaus and first european tour

meet konrad becker and eugene rochas in vienna

leave some instruments in rotterdam to await my return in march 1981

january 1981 i begin sharing a loft space at 237 center street with the artist mere stier

march 1981 return to apollo huis

summer 1981 meet van lagestien and begin working with him

fall 1981 meet doro franck at apollo huis begin our 20+ year relationship

in 1984 merle died in a car accident outside of paris — and at that point i was either going to have to make a larger commitment to the space or give it up
so as my relationship with doro was quite serious i decided to commit rather to living with her in amsterdam — and so began the process of becoming a legal resident there — and in 1989 the five year process was complete and i remained a resident until i lost my residency in 1996 because by that point i had spent the past two years in los angeles caring for my mother, and the law is that if one is away from amsterdam for more than one year, one looses their residency

From 1986-90 I was a Guest Teacher in Composition and Improvisation at the Theater School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam
Together with dancer Ria Higler I mentored a year group through their entire four year course of study.

1986 i begin working with the bow gamelan — replacing richard wilson for their european tour that summer — and continued to work with them on shows in the uk, europe and mexico city until 1990
in june perform on same bill with la fura dels baus at the Mythen Monster Mutationen festival in berlin — on their netherlands shows in july i performed as part of the ensemble in accions in rotterdam, and suz/O/suz in amsterdam

1990 i meet dano leeflang [dj dano] and sandra dames [dj dames] at a groove yard show at the melkweg — i introduced them to konrad becker which culminated in the eventual release of trance-former – the piece had a bpm of 150 — at that time 138 bmp was considered very fast — so this release totally changed house music and directly spawned the genre known as gabber [although it seems that rotterdam dj’s claim to have started it]