Stefan Joel Weisser aka Z'EV (Sh'aul Z'ev bn Yakov bn Moshe bn Sha'ul) composer, performer, percussionist, poet, b. 8 february 1951, Los Angeles, California - lives and works in London.
The Physical Vibrations of the Objects
His work with both text and sound has been influenced by the Middle Eastern mystical system best known as Kabbalah, as well as - but not limited to - African, Afro-Caribbean and Indonesian rhythms, musics and cultures. He has studied Ewe music, Balinese gamelan, and Indian tala. From 1959-65 he studied drumming with Arnie Frank, then Chuck Flores and then Art Anton at Drum City in Van Nuys CA. In 1963 he abandoned Judaism and began his life-long relationship with World religions and esoteric systems. 1964 saw the beginning of his initial attempts at writing Poetry and explorations of both Two and Three dimensional Artforms. After studying at CalArts from 1969-70 with poets Emmett Williams and Michael S. Bell and writer/critic Sue-Ellen Case, he began producing works using the name S. Weisser, primarily concentrating on visual and sound poetries. In 1975, he was included in the 'Second Generation' show at the Museum of Conceptual Art in San Francisco. In 1976 he moved from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, ending up with a storefront studio on MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland, pretty much midway between the headquarters of the Black Panther Party, (who dissolved that year), and the Hells Angels (still extant). A primary reason for this move was his association with the San Francisco Alternative exhibition space La Mamelle (run by Carl Loeffler and Nancy Evans. In 1977 he presented his first solo percussion performance under the project title 'Sound of Wind and Limb'. In 1978 he began developing an idiosyncratic performance technique utilizing self-developed instruments formed from industrial materials such as stainless steel, titanium, and PVC plastics.
Critic John Buckley described his performances in this era: the instruments are collections of objects ... strung together with ropes and swung at varying speeds and directions to produce a fairly astonishing range of pitches and timbres. And the moves the guy goes through to manipulate these instruments are, for grace and athleticism, strong stuff. Z'EV is also interesting for the close correlation of visual and musical aspects, since the physical vibrations of the objects you see are the same as those picked up by the ears as sound. Also, since the rhythms of the work are dictated by the performer's every and any movement, an inevitable integrity unifies the act.
Recently, he has collaborated with John Duncan, Boyd Rice , Johanna Went, Oren Ambarchi, Genesis P-Orridge, Hans Joachim Irmler / Faust, David Jackman / Organum, Francisco López, Stephen O'Malley, Charlemagne Palestine, Chris Watson, John Zorn, Konrad Becker, Lydia Lunch...
01 As - 18 feb 1978
recorded at radio station KPFK, Los Angeles by Carl Stone
02 If - 12 feb 1982
recorded at Savoy Tivoli, San Francisco by Paul Young