Ken Winokur Brings Vintage ‘Psychedelic Cinema’ to MASS MoCA

psychedelic-cinema-edit-scr(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Alloy Orchestra mastermind Ken Winokur brings his new film and live music project Psychedelic Cinema, which revitalizes cult filmmaker Ken Brown’s Super 8 films from the late 1960s (once used as light shows for Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, and Sly Stone), to Club B10 at MASS MoCA on Saturday, March 5, at 8pm. Winokur and his accomplices overlay his signature junk percussion, melodic clarinets and keyboards, and recorded speeches and audio artifacts over the video projections to dazzling effect.

In 1967 at the age of 23, Ken Brown was hired by Boston’s premier rock club, the Boston Tea Party, to work as the house filmmaker and projectionist. His assignment was to shoot footage to accompany the light shows of legendary acts — not just Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, and Sly and the Family Stone, but also the Who, the Velvet Underground, and Santana.

What Brown eventually created were elaborately montaged 8mm movies, reflecting the trippy, psychedelic music and imagery of the time. He created a new universe by filming, rewinding, and then filming again to create double and triple exposures, which he interlaced with clip art animations, nature footage, human portraiture, and kaleidoscopic pools of color.

Brown eventually left the position as psychedelic culture became absorbed by mainstream culture, and his tapes gathered dust on his shelves at home until he attended “The Summer of Love and The Art of the Psychedelic Era” at the Whitney Museum in 2007, where he recognized the significance of his films as valuable cultural relics of the times. Brown condensed two-and-a-half years of film, creating this historical montage of far-out footage.

At MASS MoCA, this silent film is paired with a live musical performance featuring Ken Winokur, a Cambridge-based percussionist with Alloy Orchestra, a musical ensemble known for its unusual accompaniment to silent and classic films. For Psychedelic Cinema, Winokur’s eclectic style matches the unpredictable nature of Brown’s footage, as he and his accomplices introduce samples of speeches and audio artifacts from the era, celebrating the legacy of psychedelia in the late 1960s. Winokur states, “I love the fact that it’s a silent film that mutates to the music, or the music mutates to it.”

Psych Cinema h. jpgFlash back to the 1960s with Ken Winokur’s Psychedelic Cinema on Saturday, March 5, at 8pm in MASS MoCA’s Club B10. Dinner is available from Lickety Split before and during the show. A full bar serves Berkshire Brewing Company beers and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Tickets are $5 for members, $10 for students, $16 in advance, $22 day of, and $28 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays through spring 2016. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at MASS MoCA. All events are held rain or shine.



MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.

MASS MoCA’s galleries are open from 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays through spring 2016. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is seasonal and reopens April 30, 2016. Gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round.

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