Vertical Foliage Orchestra


Vertical Foliage Orchestra (Alejandro Antelo-Suarez, Anthony Kingsley [Tween], Aaron Moore [Volcano the Bear, Invisible Sports], and Gryphon Rue [El Tryptophan]) is an electro-acoustic group, employing percussive scrap materials borrowed from the studio of artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976). In performance, seven-year-old Antelo-Suarez intones a lyric sheet made up of Calder’s historical texts and interviews. Kingsley samples and transfigures Antelo-Suarez’s voice and the ambient and percussive sounds produced by Moore and Rue.


The improvisational approach of VFO is in the spirit of Calder’s application of sound with his “noise-mobiles,” comprised of brass gongs and other resonators. Calder’s statement in 1933 that “just as one can compose colors, or forms, so one can compose motions” anticipates the mobile’s influence on the development of Post-war classical and experimental music.


Texts and interviews used in Vertical Foliage Orchestra’s performance include Calder’s “Comment réaliser l’art?” in Abstraction-Création, Art Non Figuratif, no. 1 (1932), 6; “A Propos of Measuring a Mobile” (manuscript, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1943); “What Abstract Art Means to Me” in Museum of Modern Art Bulletin 18, no. 3 (Spring 1951), 8–9; and Jane Howard’s “Close Up-Mobile Maker’s Giddy Whirl,” Life, March 5, 1965, 47–48, 50, 52.