Following up on their previous releases, Sod and Sodie Sock and Studio C, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy and Masaya Nakahara (aka Violent Onsen Geisha) team up again for Comp O.S.O., recorded live at the Vienna Secession in 1998. The CD features a live improvisation performed by the three artists on the opening night of the Kelley/McCarthy installation Sod and Sodie Sock – an immense faux military encampment made up of barrack tents, a shower room, a mess hall, and various other environments. For several weeks this structure was the site of numerous improvisations performed by Kelley and McCarthy aided by a cast of volunteers.
These actions are the basis for the second section of the CD, titled training exercises, and include: In the Mess Hall, an improvisational percussion workout with pots and pans; Wet Oatmeal and Three Voices; and Ramp Drag, which documents the tones produced by wooden table-like furniture pieces being slowly dragged over a stone floor to create an incredibly lush sound.
This CD also includes Duet for Two Organs Used by Hermann Nitsch in 1978. In April of 1978 Kelley and McCarthy each loaned Nitsch two, almost identical, plastic chord organs for his performance of the Orgies Mysteries Theatre in Venice CA. The organs were used to produce constant background drone. McCarthy’s organ was damaged so that it already produced a constant random drone, while Kelley’s organ had two keys taped down to create a similar effect. These organs have now been reunited – joined together again in an eternal duet.
Paul McCarthy at the Vienna Secession, 1998.