Jane Benson: The Splits I by Richard J. Goldstein

Listen to “The Splits I” from The Splits, composed by Matt Schickele for Jane Benson’s splits dectet.

Benson 1 Body

Jane Benson, Split Violin, 2010.

In her latest project, Jane Benson finds herself moving from sculpture to performance. But she’s not going at it alone. She’s bringing along 10 musicians and composer Matthew Schickle on what is her foray into classical music. She’s been busy applying her carefully considered destructive nature to mass produced, yet ever-elegant, stringed instruments. Cutting right up their middles, Benson fillets two violins, viola, cello, and double bass—what she calls The Splits—to be shared between musicians. Each instrument takes two musicians to play, so the traditional quintet becomes a dectet. Her intent was to bring people together, not only through collaboration, but in making the instruments whole again. Though performative in nature, the concept had its origins with a sculptural curiosity…to open the interior space of the instruments’ bodies.

This podcast was recorded live April 27, 2011 at the Abrons Underground Theater, New York City.

The Splits by Richard J. Goldstein
Thesplits1 Body
Anything But Traditional: Marc Ribot’s Unstrung: Rants and Stories of a Noise Guitarist by Kurt Hollander
Black-and-white portrait of Marc Ribot, an older white man with white, wispy hair. He is wearing a leather jacket and has his elbows on the table in front of him.

“My relation with the guitar is one of struggle—I’m constantly forcing it to be something else: a saxophone, a scream, a cart rolling down a hill…”

Les Filles de Illighadad’s At Pioneer Works by Nina Katchadourian
Three women (two carrying guitars) and one man walking through an empty square

Les Filles de Illighadad’s music is driven by three guitars but remains free from the “tyranny of the solo.”

Spinning and Daydreaming: Kristin Oppenheim Interviewed by Vijay Masharani
A close up, low-angle, black-and-white portrait of Kristin Oppenheim's face. She shields her eyes from the sun with her hand and looks to one side.

On her newly released collection of circuitous sound works created in the early ’90s.