In January 2014 on their first trip as a group to Australia, MURAL performed with videoartist Kjell Bjørgeengen at the Theatre Royale for Mona Foma, Hobart. The event was Two Hundred and Fourty minutes long. They feel that this duration suits the material they are individually and collectively interested in — there is time to dwell and expand on relationships between the visuals, the music and the time/space. In September 2014 they performed their 240 minute event at Punkt Festival, Norway and Cave 12, Geneva.
Listening back to MURALs eartlier work, and considering some of the titles of the tracks on their first CD — luminous continuum, flash expansion, saturated field — there was always an interest in immersive and saturated fields of sound behaving more like natural systems — evolving processes, rather than compositions. Within the fields each player operates with autonomy — there is no attempt at unison — you have to think of this music as having intentional polyphony.
They were back in Houston Texas, April 2013, to play a four hour daytime concert in the Rothko Chapel – the expansive duration attempting to mirror the scale of Rothko’s vision. There was a massive storm and light became a powerful, spectacular force in the event.
Listening back to the recording (they are currently working at this being released as a 3CD set) they felt that the charged atmosphere produced something electric — the world was woven into the music. This experience inspired the group to focus on immersive events with the visual artist Kjell Bjørgeengen’s for 2014.
When MURAL performs their 4-hour set, the idea is that the audience can come and go as they like.
About Kjell Bjørgeengen
Kjell Bjørgeengen is among Norway’s pioneer in video performance, and he has been active since the 70s. He has worked with numerous installation projects, and has exhibited around the whole world. Recently Kjell has put an emphasis on working live with a wide range of musicians, notably Keith Rowe, Evan Parker, MIMEO and Marc Ribot. The live works feature the production of flicker videos, which have also been presented in various exhibitions since 2002. The flicker is sound given video sync, thus becoming video and revealing the self-identity of the two. The flicker image is perhaps the most simple and fundamental image we can think of, the oscillation between shades of light and darkness, given from the outside as a simple binary pairing of the visual experience. The flicker videos came about as a counteraction to an easy intellectual approach to art viewing. The flicker works can be harsh to watch, as they are perceived on a physical level. The black and white works are often perceived in colours. There is a threshold that needs to be overcome. A still image from the video reads like a minimal work; set in motion the work turns into its opposite. The art work, having all the traditional marks of the art-making process, turns into a phenomenon and touches the demarcation line between art and non-art.