The Liquid Concrete Air Band is an interactive audio visual noise orchestra. Anyone in attendance at one of its rare and improvisational performances is a member of the group. Participants are encouraged to set up interactive installations for group experimentation. The first LCAB event was in 1993, and there have been six shows over a ten year span, including events on Leap Year Day in 1996 and 2000, with the 7th performance scheduled for Leap Year Day, February 29th, 2004.
Earplugs, drumsticks and a flashlight are good things to have at a Liquid Concrete Air Band show. Documentation of all kinds is encouraged. There is no centralized soundsystem, stage, schedule or song structure at the events; the performance slowly builds in waves over hours into a dense harmonic wall of sound that gradually dissipates as the performers eventually leave the venue. A good way to describe the less intense moments of audio would be the sound of a drum circle over feedback in a video game arcade. Recordings of peak moments tend to sound like hiss with no articulation.
story: At the very first Liquid Concrete Air Band event, one of the fifty or so assembled performers set up a microphone on a mic stand, with the microphone at the end of a long cardboard tube, and anyone and everyone was encouraged to walk up to it and have a go: people yelled, screamed, sang, talked, rapped, played instruments into it, whatever. Adjacent to them were some other folks with an old reel-to-reel tape deck set up to work as a tape delay; at one point during the night the tape loop for the effect was the length of the room, with the tape travelling over everyone's heads, spooled on pencils. The open mic was fed into that tape loop. Next to that setup, another group of folks- who had never met the people with the mic setup- had an analog synth with an audio in, and the tape loop output was plugged into that. Adjacent to the synth was a DJ mixer with turntables, which had a signal from the mic through the tape deck through the analog synth. The DJ setup had a small FM transmitter and was broadcasting to the neighborhood at large, and also to some portable stereos placed throughout the room. So, if you yelled into this one microphone, it was recorded onto tape, travelled the length of the room over everyone's heads, into a synth where it was filtered, into a DJ mixer where it was combined with other noises, and broadcast back into the room via the radio. And the din of the show was so loud you couldn't hear yourself scream at the top of your lungs. But it happened just the same.
An upside down airplane or flying object has traditionally served as a visual symbol for
Liquid Concrete Air Band Basics
BYO! DIY! If you're planning on setting up a performance installation- whether it's a single instrument or a complex haze of deconstructed electronics- there are some things to consider. There is no centralized PA to plug into, participants bring their own amplification. The chosen venue for a show will have some electrical outlets and tables to set up on, but it's good to bring as much of your own gear as possible, including stands, extension cords, power strips and cables as necessary. Delicate or quiet acoustic instruments will not be heard over the cascading din during a show's zenith unless amplified.
If you are planning and installation, you may discuss your plans or rsvp via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org