When: Nov. 18-20, 7:30 p.m. 2016
Tony Conrad was present at seminal moments in music history. He helped shape drone-cloud soundscapes with La Monte Young and a young John Cale in the early '60s in the Theatre of Eternal Music. A few years later he was in the band the Primitives with Lou Reed and Cale; Reed and Cale's next band the Velvet Underground was formed in Conrad's living room. Conrad also recorded a much-sought-after minimalist album with krautrockers Faust. He has an equally impressive track record in film, stripping the medium down to its essence in projects including The Flicker. Comprising frames of black and white arranged in a specific pattern intended to induce hallucinations, The Flicker allowed each individual viewer to see their own unique film. In between all these achievements Conrad made field recordings of New York City, television broadcasts, his musician friends and whatever caught his fancy. And yet the artist is little-known outside the world of avant-garde music or high-art filmmaking. Director Tyler Hubby wants to rectify that with his documentary Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present. Utilizing archival footage and films made by Conrad and his friends, the documentary seeks to explain the creative genius of an artist who never stopped working. Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present screens at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday (November 18 to 20) at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; www.webster.edu/film-series). Tickets are $4 to $6.