Room 101 Presents
*** What Is Cobra?
The rules of Cobra are ornate, with cue cards, hand signals, and even headbands and hats, all used to indicate structural changes of sound and arrangement. Cobra has traditionally been shrouded in a fair amount of mystery. When the game is performed, the rules are not explained, and they've never been published.
*** What Is Open Cobra?
It takes place in a single evening, divided into two parts:
*** Do I have to participate?
Part One of the evening is a performance and explanation of the game for spectators. You can come and watch, learn about the game, and ask questions if you like. Nothing more will be asked of you.
Part Two of the evening is a fully participatory event. To attend Part Two, you must take part. No spectators.
Admission to the event entitles you to attend both events, but does
not oblige you to. You are welcome to attend just Part One, which will
be entirely interesting on its own, and leave at the intermission. You
can decide when you're there.
*** Do I need to know about music? Do I have to sing?
Of course, musicians are welcome, too. But no instruments will be involved. The participatory segment of this evening will be entirely vocal.
*** Why are you doing this?
As a performer, I'm endlessly fascinated by the idea that it might at times be more useful to give people something to do rather than something to watch. And it's often said that experimental improvised music is more fun for the people playing it than for its audience. Because of all this, I'm really interested in the idea of treating improvised experimental music as a participatory form. If you think of this music as an activity rather than as a product, it makes sense in a very different way. Music that had previously seemed very opaque or academic when viewed from outside can suddenly become very beautiful when you step inside of it.
I've done a lot of work playing improvised sound games with people who aren't musicians. Carl Wilson, a participant in past events, is a music critic for the Globe and Mail. He's also a good friend of mine, so you may want to take that into account when he says nice things like this:
When we presented Open Cobra in June, we got a tremendously varied
audience, many of whom were in no way fans of this sort of music. By the
end of the evening all these people, musicians and nonmusicians, were
gleefully playing skilled rounds of this "difficult" piece for
each other. This made me very happy, and I want to do it again.
*** How much does it cost?
- Admission at the door is $12. Students, unemployed, and poor people pay $6.
- A limited number of spaces are available, for $5 each, to people who email in advance and register to come to the whole event, including participating in Part Two. To get on this "Special People" list, write to email@example.com
- There's also always plenty of work to be done helping out with Room 101. See http://room101games.com/help.html for info on volunteering. Volunteers get to attend events for free.
*** When? How Long?
*** Anything else?
Note that this is renegade Cobra, unauthorized by John Zorn.
If you’d like to read more about Cobra, try these links: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/experimental/reviews/zorn_cobra.shtml
*** Where ***
Open Cobra takes place, like all Room 101 events,
Room 101 is brought to you by Misha Glouberman and the Drake Hotel +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++