C. Spencer Yeh modestly describes himself as an “uncoordinated and tone-deaf” musician, but that hasn’t lessened the demand for his performances at high-profile art venues. Over the next few weeks, he will present vocal abstractions, violin improvisations, and video art at the School of Visual Arts and the Kitchen–both in New York–and at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Yeh’s sound draws inspiration from the late drone music pioneer Tony Conrad, and his videos reflect a prevailing fascination with experimental film. He edits both with equal precision, lending his work an approachability that invites the audience to bridge any gaps between these disciplines.
Ross Simonini, who interviewed Yeh in his Brooklyn studio for our April issue, notes that “Yeh’s videos are intimately tied to his music, and they underscore the playful, [Bruce] Nauman-like approach to the body that is evident in his live performances.” His expanded range of instrumental techniques and multimedia exploration continues the tradition of Charlotte Moorman, whose work is also featured in the April issue.
To indicate the scope of Yeh’s work, we’ve put together a playlist of clips that range from a performance of the ten-part Solo Voice (2015) to walkthrough footage of his 2009 exhibition “Standard Definition” at the Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati.