Pause: Billy Bultheel & James Richards
Workers in Song
Program notes



Der Leierman, 1828

Original music by Franz Schubert after a poem by Wilhelm Müller

Performed for the video by Sebastian de la Cour, 5 minute looped


Der Leiermann is the last song of Winterreise, a song cycle for voice and piano by Franz Schubert. Schubert wrote Winterreise towards the end of his life, aware that he was dying of Syphilis. The text consists of poems by Wilhelm Müller, a prussian poet, soldier and librarian, who died at the age of 33 and probably never heard the first setting of his poems.


  1. 2.

Les mains négatives (workers in song flicker remix), 2024

James Richards
Digital video, 13 min


A double evocation of absence and presence. English subtitles from Marguerite Duras, les mains négatives, 1979, are bootlegged over the first half of Conrad’s seminal flicker film. Originally made on 16mm with only five different frames, it is digitally re-imagined here as 4k-surrogate or animatronic prop. Sound design by Max Bloching.



Snows of Venice, 2019

Billy Bultheel

Suite for three strings


  1. 4.

Phrasing, 2004

Rae Armantrout

Published in UP TO SPEED, Wesleyan University Press

Reading by Liesl Lindeque


  1. 5.

Amphetamine, 1966

Warren Sonbert and Wendy Appel

16mm transfer to digital video, 10 min


Amphetamine focuses on a party—young men with deadpan expressions injecting amphetamines, making out, listening to music, smoking. The film portrays a forbidden paradise. The tone teeters between swooning romance and pallid morbidity. While presenting as a spontaneous documentary, Amphetamine is in fact a tribute to Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958). The film begins with a woman’s portrait echoing the painting of Carlotta in Hitchcock’s original museum scene. In another allusion, the camera moves in a circle around two men embracing, similar to the iconic kissing scene. With its spiral and circular motifs, the structure of Amphetamine is intentionally repetitive, strung out, insistent. The Kenneth Anger-like soul/pop soundtrack repeats over the images.


Sonbert subverts gender conventions of the time, showing a homosexual kiss three years before the Stonewall riots. In many ways the party in Sonbert’s film can be seen as a glimmer of a culture that would only come to establish itself in the 1970’s and continue into the 2000’s.



  1. Baby love, 2024

Billy Bultheel and James Richards



  1. Gated Drums, 2023

Billy Bultheel and James Richards

Performed for video by Sara Neidorf



  1. Der Leierman (Number 3 Floxstraße Reprise), 2023

Billy Bultheel and James Richards

Performed for video by Adam Sinclaire



  1. At Last I Am Free, 1987

Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards