Johanna Went in Performance circa 1982 (photo by Lynda Burdick)
I began working with Performance Artist Johanna Went in 1979 performing freeform syntheziser on stage with her wild messy and visually stunning shows that attracted large crowds to LA area clubs throughout the early and mid 80’s. Originally the Johanna Went band was a loose collection of LA rock musicians performing completely improvised unrehearsed noisescapes years before this was defined into a category. The band included my brother Brock on Drums, Greg Burk on Sax and at various times, Karl Precoda on Bass, Kerry McBride on guitar, Don Preston and many others. Eventually, when Johanna began traveling, Johanna and I created a way to improvise sound using multiple tape loops manipulated at the mixing board. We toured to New York, San Diego, Phoenix, San Francisco and to Rotterdam where we performed in an international performance festival.
backstage at the Whisky 1981 or 82
In 1985 when I bought my first computer, I began using samplers and sequencers to augment and eventually replace the cassette loops. In 1985 Johanna, myself and a group of live musicians collaborated on a piece for New Music America.
We presented on of our last major performances in 1991 at the Serious Fun Festival at Alice Tully Hall in New York.
Johanna Went has done several film and video projects over the years including two projects with the late Shirley Clarke. We recorded a single on Boyd Rice’s label Graybeat in 1981 In 1982 we produced and released a mini LP entitled Hyena on Posh Boy Records Johanna and I contunue to collaborate to this day…
My work with Johanna led to invitations to work with other performance artists including The SHRIMPS…