WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Its component members have exploded the whole idea of live musical performance, through such ongoing projects as Third Eye Orchestra and Doctor Nerve.

They’ve been spotlighted at MoMa and the Whitney; received major commissions and fellowships from leading foundations.

They’ve authored and invented tools and software that allow audio and visual artists to unfetter their imaginations — and they’ve been known to play nicely with the toys of others, including the LEMUR Guitarbots and the formidable Blippoo Box.

So what exactly is Shadow Puppies? Not a “band” in any traditional sense, although the collaboration of guitarists Nick Didkovsky and Hans Tammen might seem at first to draw inspiration from the a “rock” template. Defined as “a cutting edge trio which conjures rich, complex, and entrancing worlds of electronic sound and vision in real-time,” it’s a trio completed not with the addition of a drummer but with video artist Kurt Ralske — the results triangulated as “an uninterrupted journey through sonic eruptions, video hallucinations, and aggressive, entrancing mediascapes.”

The members of Shadow Puppies convene infrequently, but on those rare occasions when their arsenal of electric guitars, “homebrew” tech and assorted objects is seen and heard in a live context, it’s a challenging, exhilarating, possibly transcendent experience that tramples all borders between improvisation and composition — and on the evening of Monday, February 7, it’s an experience that can be accessed by the Shore area audience for the first time, as the NYC-based trio visits Monmouth University for a performance of Electronic Sounds and Visions.


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The 7:00 p.m. event, presented inside the Plangere TV Studio on the West Long Branch campus and offered free of charge to students and the general public, is the latest in the ART NOW: Performance, Art & Technology visiting artist series at Monmouth — a slate of work that “transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries.” Here in its inaugural year, the series that kicked off last October with a visit from performance artist Terry Galloway has already transcended the boundaries of the University itself, with a November 2010 performance by video artists Hillerbrand + Magsamen that was hosted by Asbury Park’s neighborhood screening space The Showroom.

The cerebral yet muscular sonic sculptures of Didkovsky (a musician whose NoWave flavored technique begins twelve steps beyond “turn it up to 11” metal) and German-born Tannen (an explorer whose “Endangered Guitar” style has been branded “noisy and percussive” as well as “startlingly original”) operate in a delirious variation on “harmony” with Ralske’s pulsating, multitextured visuals — a cumulative effect that hails from a galaxy light years removed from the “psychedelic” laser light shows of collective memory.

No tickets are required for the February 7 free performance of Shadow Puppies: Electronic Sounds and Visions. For information on the ART NOW series (continuing in Spring 2011 with additional events to be announced), or to schedule an interview with the artists, please contact Professor Andrew Demirjian at [email protected].


Event: Shadow Puppies: Electronic Sounds and Visions

Date: Monday, February 7, 2011

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Where: Plangere TV Studio, Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Avenue, West Long Branch, NJ

Sponsored By: Monmouth University’s Center of Distinction for the Arts

Contact: Prof. Andrew Demirjian, [email protected]

Cost:                     Free

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Avatar of Allan Dean

Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...