todd merrell ex uno plures


Prime Time One


Prime Time One (2008) is a work for single sideband shortwave receiver, field recording and processing, designed to produce an evolving music with thousands of years of continual variation from a very limited source: exactly one minute of recorded audio. The first in a projected series, this piece develops my work with non-referential radio sounds and repeating simultaneous phrases based on prime number ratios. It is also a celebration of the tactile beauty of our immediate, natural world, and of the electromagnetic ether: a cerebral, invisible world that is both natural and artificial, made partly perceptible by the human technologies that have helped to create it. The accompanying film of my natural environment along the Housatonic River in Massachusetts and Connecticut reinforces the themes explored in the work, captured in the saturated, nostalgic analog distortion of super8 film, altered by editing, and presented as a series of moving paintings in arch form.


from Every Single Day (2009)

Rose is an homage to Joseph Cornell and his film, Rose Hobart, a masterpiece of appropriation, mediation, and recontextualization. I reappropriated and edited the soundtrack, doubled the result to make a canon, and added cavernous reverberation to the first part. The video was shot behind Connecticut's Old State House and processed to resemble very early film, a visual analog to the patina and history of the music, creating an eerily plausible yet impossible, artificial artifact: FedEx trucks and a motorized wheelchair dance in a 1918 film clip in a TV documentary. This piece is about piecing together possible meanings from objects that have been worn and altered from their original contexts.


Amen, indeed. A frenetic, wild ride through our hectic, urban, technological days and nights, made from a mediated appropriation of an appropriation, the famous 'Amen' drum break, sampled from a YouTube video, then copied against itself at different start points and truncated to different lengths, and processed. From my recent full length video, Every Single Day, premiered at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY on May 21, 2009. All music, footage and editing is by me. The footage alone has stories behind the stories...

The Big Tease

Speaks for itself.

A romp. Guilty, naughty pleasures...

Sixty Second Serenade: Friday #43

60X60 Dance @ The Winter Garden (2008)

Sixty Second Serenade was written in response to the call for the 60x60 project, and performed in real-time, using only one measure of a recorded guitar ostinato altered with granular synthesis software. The pattern is multiplied, permuted and transformed into diminished, augmented and chordal figures, but in a very emotional, longing way. This piece represents my continued fascination with discovering the soul that humans design into their machinery, and coaxing humanity from technology. It is a love song to those who have remained so devoted and sympathetic to me over the years: my beautiful machines.

60x60 Dance (2008 International Mix) performed at the World Financial Center Winter Garden in New York City on Friday, November 14, 2008.

Music: Todd Merrell
Dance: Kate Patchett and Melina Gac-Artigas

Sixty Second Serenade: Saturday #19

60X60 Dance @ Galapagos (2008)

An intimate, alternate performance at Galapagos.

60x60 Dance Evolution Mix performed at Galapagos in New York City on Saturday, September 6, 2008.

Music: Todd Merrell
Dance: Adrianna Pegorer


H*E*R (plus size) @ The Stone (2008)

A live performance with H*E*R (plus size) @ The Stone, August 28, 2008. Yvette Perez, Peter Zummo, Danny Tunick, Stephen Haynes, Todd Merrell. Filmed by Amy Jones.

first collaboration.1

Merrell / Cienniwa

Sound artist Todd Merrell and harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa experiment with improvised sound. This is a first collaboration, exploring possibilities for later live and recorded performances.

The harpsichord is amplified via piezoelectric pickups, but the instrument had to be closed due to monitor feedback.

The audio is from the video camera picking up monitor sound, so it is not optimal.

Ascending Into Chaos

20th Anniversary Bunnybrains Concert at Knitting Factory

Bunny Brains 20th anniversary at The Knitting Factory. Ascent into chaos!