Ladies and Gentlemen is an improvisational performance duo featuring guitarist/composer Max Gualtieri and multimedia artist Matt Broach. The work explores the possibilities of performance as a mode of deconstruction and reconstruction, particularly through the use of video-as-instrument. By slicing up the film footage into tiny rhythmic and melodic loops, Ladies and Gentlemen aims to show how musical/visual performance can provide a unique look into the objects of our cultural heritage. Matt has devised a method to use video in a kind of sampler, allowing him to mix short loops of video into audio/visual rhythms, textures, and melodies in improvisational, live performances, using appropriated film footage ranging from the documentary Manufactured Landscapes to footage recorded from the experimental videogame Proteus. With this source material, Matt is able to construct a palette that ranges from minimal drones to dance-music-inspired rhythms to cacophonous architectures, depending on the dictates of the performance.

This video mixing is in conjunction with electro-acousto soundscapes by the other member of the duo, Max. Using prepared guitars and myriad devices, both analog and digital, for processing sound, he helps shape Ladies and Gentlemen’s ephemeral and complex sonic environments. Our musical dialog remains mostly unscripted, as we are interested in the ways in which two normally disparate fields can communicate live, in an improvisational manner. As such, we are constantly expanding our communicative process and improvisational language through experimentation and performance.

Ladies and Gentlemen is not merely concerned with redefining what an instrument or a musical conversation can be, however – we are concerned with the way in which musical/visual performance can be used to foster a new kind of looking at the world around us, particularly at the overwhelming large amount of cultural production. Our audio and visual space is filling up at an alarming rate, and we believe by looking at one thing, one movie, incredibly closely – chopped up, one second at a time, and reconfigured – we can prompt people to look more closely at the world beyond our performance. Every book, song, and video has its hidden rhythms – and we aim to start our audience on the process of their own discovery.


Matt is a multidisciplinary artist, performer, teacher, and researcher, originally from New York City, who currently resides in Los Angeles. His work covers a huge range, from the improvisational video performance of Ladies and Gentlemen to interactive installations involving electronics and live plants to social-based, dialogic art practices. His work has been shown in galleries and film festivals in New York City, Jersey City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and San Francisco.

Maxwell Gualtieri is a guitarist, composer, and educator based in Los Angeles, California. As a performer, Max has toured the West coast extensively and performs regularly with numerous ensembles in the Los Angeles area. He has scored two feature length films and several short films/videos and has been involved in many “live-scoring” performance projects. His work has been shown in film festivals in India and Los Angeles.