Marina Rosenfeld

I thought of GREATEST HITS initially as a way of “playing” my archive— the first performance was subtitled “GREATEST HITS : A Reproduction”. I was trying to get at something fundamental about playback, or “playing back” —which is a kind of central gesture of turntablism— where it is both creative and fundamentally re-productive, recursive. There’s always an ‘again’.  - Marina Rosenfeld

Since the early 1990’s, Marina Rosenfeld has produced a substantial archive of acetate test-pressing records, or dubplates, which track across her practice— forming the basis for both improvised music, installations, and scores structured by the politics and aesthetics of turntablism and the material distortions of mechanical sound reproduction. Rosenfeld’s works thread into each other and unfold gradually in various musical forms and sites through their reproduction and interpretation. 

GREATEST HITS is a project expressly about performing an archive and begins in 2015 at Carnegie Mellon University. Over the course of a three month exhibition, Rosenfeld generated a daily schedule of plays of her entire collection of dubplates, which she exhibited along the walls of a gallery. Written in such a way as to be legible to both SuperCollider and human readers, an accompanying playlist was read daily by people tasked with playing the dubplates and by a computer tasked with anticipating, recording and logging these plays in a software environment.  Each full entry in the playlist had three elements listed after the name of the plate (a date // a side (a or b) // and a time of day) separated, in the notation, by double front-slashes //. (An excerpt of the notation and instructions can be found on the printed inner sleeve of the LP).

The following year, this playlist served as the score for GREATEST HITS: a reproduction, which premiered as a duo between Rosenfeld and percussionist Greg Fox in the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and again in 2019 at MoMA PS1 accompanied by Fox and percussionist Eli Keszler — the live recordings of which serve as the primary materials of this LP and the album cover is a photograph from this concert. Rosenfeld translated the listed date, side, and time of the playlist notation into explicit directions for Fox and Keszler to repeat, pause, introduce dynamics into, or simultaneously integrate aspects of the score. The players’ percussive movements are directed to feature “spirals” - circular patterns from high to low frequencies; “slopes” - oscillating patterns at high to low velocities; “vectors” - expanding or contracting patterns rolls, double rolls and hits; and, “lines” -  fluid or stochastic patterns wavering in frequency across a line drawn on a surface. 

Together, the dubplates, playlist, score, performance, and the resulting INFO release all form a cascading palimpsest of Rosenfeld’s dubplate archive. The dubplates—themselves timeworn and deteriorated acetate recordings that Marina has been producing and collecting since the early 1990’s—are surfaces that have been exhibited, transcribed, written upon, scored, notated, reproduced, and performed. As these surfaces interact with Fox and Keszler impacting the taught surfaces of drumkits, we hear the complex performance of an archive, and on this LP the archive of a performance. 

Text arranged by Reece Cox from fragments and reflections by Nick Scavo and Marina Rosenfeld. 

Marina Rosenfeld is a composer and artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Working across the disciplinary boundaries of music and visual art, she has created a groundbreaking body of work spanning sound, music and performance, sculpture and installation. Since her landmark composition the Sheer Frost Orchestra in 1994, Rosenfeld has created works for the Museum of Modern Art, the Park Avenue Armory, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the Dia Foundation, and the Fondacion Serralves, among many, many others, and participated in surveys of contemporary art and music including the Whitney Biennial (in 2002 and 2008), the Aurora, Montréal and Liverpool biennials, the inaugural Biennale Son in 2024, the PERFORMA Biennial of Performance, and ‘Every Time A Ear di Soun,’ the radio program of Documenta14. Her work has been featured in recent solo exhibitions by institutions including Museum Art.Plus (2023), Kunsthaus Baselland (2021), The Artist’s Institute (2019), Portikus Frankfurt (2017), and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (2016), and in festivals including the Holland Festival, Borealis, Ultima, Wien Modern, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Musica Strasbourg, Borderlines, and Tectonics, among many others. As a turntablist, Rosenfeld has performed and recorded improvised music for three decades, including for the Merce Cunningham Company between 2004 and 2008 and with collaborators including George Lewis, Ikue Mori, Ben Vida, and choreographers Maria Hassabi and Ralph Lemon.  Her recordings are also on Room40, Shelter Press and 901Editions among others. 

Eli Keszler is an artist, composer, and percussionist based in New York. He has garnered critical acclaim for his solo records released through labels such as LuckyMe, Shelter Press, Empty Editions, ESP-DISK', PAN, and REL Records. He has received commissions from esteemed institutions and ensembles, including the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, ICE Ensemble, Brooklyn String Orchestra, and So Percussion. He has collaborated with notable artists such as Oneohtrix Point Never, Skrillex, Laurel Halo, Jordan Wolfson, Kevin Beasley, Rashad Becker, Laure Prouvost, and David Grubbs. Keszler's artistic reach extends internationally, with his music, installations, and visual works showcased in venues like the Whitney Museum, Cologne Philharmonie, Lincoln Center, MIT List Center, Victoria & Albert Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Sculpture Center, The Kitchen, Hessel Museum, Harvard's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Barbican-St. Luke's, Walker Art Center, LAX Art, and MoMA PS1.

Greg Fox is a percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, interdisciplinary artist, and teacher born and based in New York City. A versatile and prolific creative, Fox has toured, recorded and released numerous records with Liturgy, Guardian Alien, ZS, Ex Eye, Skeletons, Teeth Mountain, Dan Deacon, Colin Stetson, Ben Frost, and many more. He has worked with drummers like Thurman Barker (Mighty Joe Young, Marvin Gaye, Cecil Taylor), Guy Licata (Drummers Collective, Jojo Mayer, Jim Chapin), Marvin “Bugalu” Smith (James Brown, Sun Ra, Chet Baker, Charles Mingus) and Milford Graves (Milford Graves).