Prog Rock Video Seminar Series – Introduction & Index


I ran an informal seminar series on "edgy" prog rock at the MIT Media Lab during the spring term of 2011. To inform the students and attendees about the prog scene in various parts of the world, I wrote a "bloggish" summary for each week. These are linked below.


After chatting with a few of you around the building, I've decided to launch a concert video series here at the Media Lab.  We've converged on holding it Wednesday evenings, exploiting the large video wall in the third floor common area of E14 (I'll make sure that the audio system we use is similarly authoritative).  I've come up with a tentative program for the remainder of the spring term, which is included below.  We'll begin at 7:30, and run for, I suspect, circa 2 hours, depending on the particular program that evening.  This can adapt as we go through the term.  As seen below, the first band to be featured on March 1 will be the legendary French ensemble "Magma".  I'll give more detail on the music and musicians behind each show through email announcements each week, and give a quick introduction their music and relevance before each showing.


These sessions will center around the genre broadly termed "avant-progressive rock".  The musicians and bands I've selected hail from across the globe, and push their genre-crossing composition and performance to the edge in many ways.   You're all invited to come and unbind your minds while your ears (and eyes) are pushed into extreme and rewarding musical territory.


This idea resulted from several inspirations.   Perhaps the prime motivation is the spectacle of that video wall itself - it's just waiting for content that takes proper advantage of it.  I also hope that this activity spurs some strong ideas about rendering remote and online musical performance.  What is so special and memorable about being at a great concert?   What kind of attributes can we abstract from a performance space, and how can we represent this in a digital playback or recorded media?  Is there a way to make the remote or asynchronous site even more engaging than being there?  But most importantly, this is an opportunity for many of us just to get together and really enjoy some great shows.


The program I'm suggesting is below.  If this term goes well, perhaps this can continue into the summer or next term, ideally involving other people here who can feature music that they like or feel is important.


So let's start enjoying our new building even more - I look forward to seeing many of you there on Wednesdays.






Tentative Schedule (third floor E14 atrium, 7:30 PM):


March 1 - Magma (France)


March 9 - Koenjihyakkei and perhaps related Yoshida Tatsuya projects (Japan)


March 16 - Kenso (Japan)


March 23 - (no event - Spring Vacation)


March 30 - Alamaailman Vasarat (Finland)


April 6 - Supersister (Netherlands)


April 13 - (no event - Sponsor week)


April 20 - Arrigo Barnabe (Brazil) & Le Silo (Japan)


April 27 - Jaga Jazzist (Norway)


May 4 - Henry Cow (UK) and Soft Machine (UK)


May 11 - Deus Ex Machina (Italy) with some Banco (Italy) and possibly a bit of Area (Italy)


May 18 – Present (Belgium) & Rovo (Japan)


May 25 - Can (Germany)


October 10 - Magma (France), Porcupine Tree (UK), Mörglbl (France) and Minimum Vital (France)


June 29, 2012 - Hawkwind (UK)


July 13, 2012 - Kenso (Japan) Live at NearFest 2005


August 22, 2012 - miRthkon (Oakland, California)



Note: I gave a seminar on Extreme Rock From Japan for the Media Lab's IAP Festival of Learning on January 27, 2012. The notes are posted here.



Joe Paradiso (Spring 2011)