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Joe Monteiro Video Tapes, 2000-2005

Identifier: 098

Collection Overview

This collection contains 204 video tapes recorded by Joe Monteiro between 2000-2005. The majority of the tapes were recorded on Digital-8 format. (Tapes #13-29 were recorded in Hi-8 format.) All the tapes have been converted to digital and exist on 78 DVDs, located in Series 4.

Joe Monteiro created a detailed catalog of each performance. This catalog is located in Series 5: Ephemera. Each tape has been described using Monteiro's catalog, which includes venue, location, performers, instruments, and date of performance.

The collection contains recordings of two improvisational music festivals: Autumn Uprising and June. The Autumn Uprising Festival of New Improvised Music includes recordings from the fifth (October 11-14, 2001) and sixth annual (October 4-6, 2002) festivals. The venue for both years was the ICA Theater at 955 Boylston Street in Boston, Mass.

June is Boston Area Women of Electronic, Experimental, and Improvisatory Music that took place at the Tremont Theater in Boston, Mass. on June 22, 2003.

The collection also contains a catalog description of each recording (compiled by Joe Monteiro), concert flyers, and newspaper clippings of concert reviews.


  • 2000-2005


Access to Collection

This collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

The material in this collection is subject to copyright and intellectual property restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to understand and observe copyright law and to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyright. Researchers must obtain written permission from the copyright holder(s) if they wish to publish materials from this collection. Questions concerning copyright and permission to publish should be directed to the Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections.


Joe Monteiro discovered the local improvisational music scene in late 2000 at a festival in Providence, Rhode Island. There, he learned about Autumn Uprising, a yearly festival of improvisational music, and a weekly Friday night music series at the Zeitgeist Gallery, both in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Monteiro began video recording the shows to capture both the new music as well as they unusual ways the musicians played their instruments. He gave copies of the tapes to the musicians in exchange for allowing him record their shows.

Monteiro recorded concerts between 2000 and 2005, becoming the unofficial documentarian of the Cambridge area creative music scene. The Zeitgeist Gallery in Cambridge, Mass. was the catalyst for the scene. Owned by Alan Nidle, the Zeitgeist Gallery was originally located on the corner of Broadway and Norfolk Streets. Friday night concerts called the Playground Series began in 1997. Subconscious Cafe, also held at the Zeitgeist Gallery, were curated by Cambridge resident Rob Chalfen.

On April 26, 2002, the Zeitgeist Gallery was destroyed by fire. The Playground and Subconscious Cafe Series moved to various locations, including the Shadow Box Underground in Roxbury and the Boston Dance Company in Cambridge. The Playground series ended on February 21, 2003 at the Laboratory. The Subconscious Cafe continued at the newly opened Zeitgeist in July 2002.

In 2005, the improvisational music scene in Cambridge began to slow down. The small art galleries and venues were forced to close due to raising rents.

Cambridge area musicians that typically appeared at the Zeitgeist Cafe in both the Playground and Subconscious series were James Coleman (theremin), Dave Gross (saxophone), Mike Bullock (bass and electronics), Vic Rawlings (cello and electronics), Bhob Rainey (saxophone), Greg Kelley (trumpet), Liz Tonne (voice), Howard Stelzer (tapes and electronics), Jason Talbot (turntables and electronics), Katt Hernandez (violin), Brendan Murray (electronics), and Linda Gale Aubry (electric harp and electronics).

In addition, there were dozens of musicians and groups from all over the United States and the world who played in this music scene. (A detailed list of the regular groupings and visiting musicians and where they lived at the time is located in Joe Monteiro's catalog in Series 5.)

Joe Monteiro, an amateur percussionist, played in a few shows that he recorded. He plays flea market percussion, the metal tree, and roto-toms.


6.6 Linear Feet

2.3 Cubic Feet

9 boxes (1 half Hollinger and 8 oversize)

400 Items

Language of Materials


Organization of Collection

Approximately 400 items grouped into the following series:

Series 1: Catalog, 2000-2005

Series 2: Autumn Uprising, 2000-2005

Series 3: June, 2003

Series 4: DVD Recordings of Catalog, 2000-2005

Series 5: Ephemera, 2000-2005

Series 1 through 4 are organized in numerical order by tape number. Series 5 is organized alphabetically by folder title.

Custodial History

Donated by Joe Monteiro in August, 2015.

Processing Information

Processed and encoded by Alyssa Pacy from November 2015 to April 2016.



Finding aid to the Joe Monteiro Video Tapes, 2000-2005 098
Alyssa Pacy
13 April 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway
Cambridge MA 02138 USA