Robert Rauschenberg

For over 20 years, musician Kat Epple was a friend of legendary visual artist Bob Rauschenberg. Rauschenberg invited Kat to perform music for his art openings and events around the world, including The Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, Spain,  Palazzo dei Diamanti, Italy, NY Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gagosian Gallery NY, for his ROCI opening at the National Gallery, Washington DC, and for private parties at his homes in Manhattan and Captiva Island.

 

Kat describes her connection with Bob.

 

"We would often talk about art and music, and sometimes play music together, until late into the night. Bob always had great stories about where his inspiration came from. I described to him that art looks like music to me, and he enjoyed hearing me talk about that perspective. It was fun to watch him cook, have dinner with him, dance with him, see him create art, play music with him, and travel with him, and I did those things with him many times during our long friendship. I feel fortunate to have had such an inspiring person as my friend."

 -include: fun times they spent together at the Guggenheim Museums, traveling in Europe, sitting around the kitchen table at his homes in Captiva and Manhattan, music collaborations, recording an album together, and talking about how music and art are related.

Kat Epple recorded an album with Bob Rauschenberg and Bob Stohl (Kat’s now deceased husband and co-member of the band Emerald Web) in 1989 titled Strategic Structures.

Powerful electronic instrumental music performed by Robert Rauschenberg, Kat Epple, and Bob Stohl on a series of musical metal sculptures called "Strategic Structures" which are collaborative artworks created by the three performers, and highly acclaimed metal sculptor/designer, Lawrence Voytek.  The twenty nine minute spontaneous composition features other-worldly, resonant tones, ranging from foreboding to angelic, and  was created and  performed live, late one night in 1989 at Rauschenberg's Beach House on Captiva Island, Florida. This is a digital recording of the music exactly as it happened live. It was a magical night, an inspired collaboration, in an exhilarating setting. 

The "Strategic Structures" were a collaborative artwork created by the three performers, and highly acclaimed metal sculptor/designer, Lawrence Voytek. The structures are constructed utilizing a variety of metals, including aluminum, bell grade brass, steel, and both elemental and Alpha/Beta weapons-grade titanium, using an 8000 degree arc welding torch with high frequency current at 440 volts and 310 amps.  In physical form and appearance, each of these sound structures has the qualities of integral strength and beauty, and are stripped bare of superfluities. Electronic audio processors are incorporated into each structure to shape, color, finely tune, and amplify the rich timbres generated by these exotic metals as they are bowed, plucked, struck, and stroked.  Each instrument has its own musical personality, name, and unique set of performance parameters. This intimate concert was performed and recorded at Rauschenberg's Beach House on Captiva in 1989.

 

Robert Rauschenberg - Strategic Structures

Kat Epple - Strategic Structures, synthesizer, and electronic flute

Bob Stohl - Strategic Structures and Lyricon

Lawrence Voytek - Strategic Structures co-creator

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Emmy & Peabody Award-Winning Composer