Judy Dunaway

Unreleased Balloon Tracks

1. For Chorus with Balloons (2000) (6:06)

A composition by Judy Dunaway, performed by the Wesleyan Singers at Wesleyan University, May 2000. Conducted by Judy Dunaway. Live recording.

2. 40 Days and 40 Nights (1999) (9:59)

A composition by Judy Dunaway that juxtaposes both live and recorded balloon sounds. From a live performance at the Logos Foundation, Gent, Belgium in May 1999. Performed by Judy Dunaway.

3. Surabaya (6:07)

An arrangement of Kurt Weill’s “Surabaya Johnny” performed by Judy Dunaway (balloons as reeds) and David Hanson (balloon sample keyboard) in 1999. The balloon sample keyboard was created by Judy Dunaway. Recorded at Wesleyan University electronic music studios in 1999.

Shar: Pop Music

1. Chromotom (2:05)

2. Sex Between Consenting Donkeys (2:18)

3. Feel Better, Doctor! (1:48)

4. Miguel I. (2:28)

5. Vibratoria (3:41)

"Shar" is an avant-noise-rock trio with Judy Dunaway (balloons, vibrator), Ilja Komarov (bass, egyptian violin), and Trixa Arnold (drums, percussion). Ilja Komarov is best-known as the bassist for the Estonian band "Ne Zhdali." Trixa Arnold is the drummer for the Swiss band "Les Halmas." These tracks are from the CD “Pop Music” released in 2002 by Outer Realm Records. All compositions written by Judy Dunaway and Ilja Komarov. (Note: “Shar” is an anglicized version of the Russian word for “balloon.”)

Duo for Radio Stations (1992) (excerpts)

1. Introduction (2:08)

2. Commercial Set 1 (3:30)

3. Interview with Tamio Shiraishi (3:29)

4. Commercial Set 2 (4:01)

5. Commercial Set 3 (3:45)

6. Everything Good (studio remix of original broadcast) (7:10)

“Duo for Radio Stations” is a surrealist version of a half-hour live radio show. The form follows a typical format for local small-town commercial radio prior to the Reagan-era corporate takeovers of the 1980s, featuring a live talk show (with hosts Judy Dunaway and Chris Nelson), music, commercials, and finally making a segueway into the next faux-program, “The Gospel Show.” The piece was performed live on WFMU (New Jersey) and WKCR (New York City) in March of 1992.

The composition exists both as two separate pieces, one broadcast on WFMU and the other broadcast on WKCR, and as a single work which can be experienced by listening to both stations at the same time. The reception of the two stations at the listener’s location provides a unique experience for each listener. Additionally, the listeners were instructed beforehand to freely manipulate their radio dials during the piece, providing an audience-participation aspect to the work (Paula Gordon, who documented the piece from her apartment in lower Manhattan, manipulates her radio dials near the end of the recording).

The piece involved 14 live musicians ( including contributions from Tamio Shiraishi via telephone from Japan) and over 20 tape creations. The overall structure, radio jingles, commercial “soundtracks,” pre-recorded noises, improvisational instructions (both live and on tape), and the song “Everything Good”, were created by Judy Dunaway. The musicians involved with the project provided substantial improvisational contributions. The piece also features a wide variety of electronic transmissions. In addition to the actual broadcasts, there are recordings of various noises and types of static from radio and television signals (FM, AM, UHF, VHF and short-wave), a telephone beeper, and recorded phone-in contributions by Anna Homler.

Improvisational forms are always connected to a broadcast signal of some sort. Julie Nichols and Fred Lonberg-Holm listened to taped radio commercials trying to imitate them and/or accompany them spontaneously for their taped “commercial” contributions. Anna Homler used her memory of various television and radio commercials to create her nonsense-language versions of them. Charles Rogers was instructed to imitate pitches derived from various FM-classical music broadcast snippets (heard on the tape) in order to create improvisational music for Judy Dunaway’s poem “Taxi Driver.” Most live improvisations during the piece are created while one or more of the participating musicians are hearing the broadcast from the opposite station live through headphones.

List of performers

Chris Nelson - vocals, toys
Julie Nichols - vocals
Steve Waxman - electric bass
Evan Gallagher - electric keyboards and piano
Charles Lee - clarinet and alto sax
David Watson - electric guitar, ebow and vocals
Bob Lipman - electric guitar
Blaise Siwula - alto sax
Matt Ostrowski - engineer

Judy Dunaway - vocals, balloons
Steve Buchanan - electric guitar
Michelle Kinney - cello
George Cartwright - soprano sax
Mark Howell - electric guitar, ebow and vocals
Ronnie Butler and Tony Faulkner - engineers

Live via phone from Japan:
Tamio Shiraishi - vocals

Recorded contributions:
Anna Homler - vocals via phone from Los Angeles (“commercials”)
Ellen Christie - vocals (jingles)
Charles Rogers - vocals (jingles and “Taxi Driver”)
Fred Lonberg-Holm - cello and percussion (“commercials”)
Julie Nichols - vocals (“commercials”)

Judy Dunaway and the Evan Gallagher Little Band

1. Wrestling for Elvis (2:41)

2. PMSLSD (3:28)

3. Jane and Janet (3:04)

4. Giant (2:50)

5. Richard (2:48)

"...topics that would trouble any well-meaning psychoanalyst." Neil Strauss, New York Press, 11/27/91.

From 1990 to 1995, "Judy Dunaway and the Evan Gallagher Little Band" performed frequently in New York City at many venues including Performance Space 122, The Knitting Factory, ABC No Rio and CBGBs. They toured in the Southern and Eastern U.S. and throughout Europe. In 1993 AMF Records (Germany) released the self-titled "Judy Dunaway and the Evan Gallagher Little Band". The duo gave their last performance at the Knitting Factory in early 1995, and thereafter, Judy Dunaway decided that she would no longer sing or play the guitar, but would only make sounds with balloons. Judy Dunaway: vocals, guitar; Evan Gallagher: drums, percussion, keyboards, samples, backing vocals. The studio recording of “Richard” also features Dann Baker and Bruce Hathaway (backing vocals), Sue Garner (bass), Leslie Ross (bassoon) and Marc Dale (tambourine). All compositions by Judy Dunaway.

The Dead

The Dead (1990) (9:11)

The only existing recorded work from Judy Dunaway’s score for performance artist Diane Torr’s “Crossing the River Styx,” the final live performance produced at Franklin Furnace in New York City in 1990. The piece consists of live organ (played by Evan Gallagher) accompanied by 10 small cassette players playing the same material. The through-composed music drifts out of sync until the final hyper-extended phasing pulse. Inspired by John Huston’s 1987 film “The Dead,” which was based on a short story by James Joyce.

About Judy Dunaway

Judy Dunaway is a composer, improvisor and conceptual artist who is primarily known for her sound works for latex balloons. Since 1990 Judy Dunaway has composed over thirty works for balloons as instruments and has also made this her main instrument for improvisation.

Judy Dunaway has presented her compositions and improvisations for balloons throughout North America and Europe at many venues and festivals including Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, REDCAT, the SoHo Arts Festival, the Alternative Museum, the Knitting Factory, Performance Space 122, Roulette, Experimental Intermedia, Soundlab, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Bang on a Can Festival, the Guelph Jazz Festival, Podewil and ZKM. She has performed as a balloon player in compositions by John Zorn and Roscoe Mitchell, and in improvisations and/or collaborations with the FLUX Quartet, performance artist Annie Sprinkle, video artist Zev Robinson, visual artists Nancy Davidson and Ken Butler, percussionists John Hollenbeck and Matt Moran, the Illuminati big band, DJ Singe, Fluxus legend Yasunao Tone and numerous others. Her compositions for balloons include electronic and multi-media works, sound installations, and works that incorporate more traditional instrumentation such as st! ring quartet, chorus and Japanese koto. She has released full CDs of her work on the CRI and Innova labels.

Dunaway has also created other works, often to do with cultural critique or social activism. Most recently, Dunaway has founded a not-for-profit educational internet archive for audio art and activism concerning the rights of sex workers called “Sex Workers' Internet Radio Library.” Other works by Ms. Dunaway include Duo for Radio Stations, simulcast on WFMU (New Jersey) and WKCR (New York); the score for Diane Torr's performance art piece Crossing the River Styx, the "high decibel music” that instigated the closing of the Franklin Furnace performance space in 1990; and over 25 songs written between 1989-1995 for “Judy Dunaway and the Evan Gallagher Little Band.”