Tuesday, November 4, 2014
International House – Assembly Hall
Global Voices is excited to co-sponsor WHPK’s perennial Pictures and Sounds concert on Nov. 4th, featuring some of the world’s most innovative experimental sound artists. More than just a concert, Pictures and Sounds will be a multimedia experience. These artists have picked interactive electronic videos specifically to accompany their music. Our program includes Rashad Becker of Berlin, Eli Keszler of New York City, and Josh Abrams’ Natural Information Society of Chicago. Their performances will be to the backdrop of videos by St-Louis based artists Kevin Harris and Jeremy Kannapell.
After years of performing, Becker’s sole release came out on PAN in 2013, aptly titled “Traditional Musics of Notional Species”. Pitchfork described Becker’s LP as an album that “breathes in pointed, often hilarious detail. [Becker’s] sounds actually sound like things.” This Berlin electronic musician utilizes real-time synthesis and sampling techniques that set into motion intricate sonic worlds: oscillating pitches conjoin, multiply, and dissolve in unpredictable configurations, creating a complex ecosystem of sound. Becker’s style warrants comparisons to pioneers like Tod Dockstader and the GRM school of electronic music. Becker has a unique insider’s perspective on the practice and aesthetics of modern day electronic music and production. work as a vinyl cutting and mastering engineer at Berlin’s Dubplates Mastering Studio, where he has overseen thousands of mastering jobs.
Keszler’s releases have received “album of the year” awards from the Boston Globe and Wire Magazine, with full length albums on the vinyl-art label PAN and the legendary avant-garde jazz label ESP-Disk. This NYC based drummer and sound artist engages in a frictional push-and-pull of percussive sound through instrumental means which are both traditional and experimental. His oeuvre is multi-faceted, consisting of musical scores informed by his print making/drawing practices as well as his construction of resonating piano wire installations, most recently an installation on the Manhattan Bridge commissioned by NPR Radio. His hyper-percussive improvisations are ripe with detailed and pointillistic attacks that build momentum to form frenzied sonic clusters, drawing inspiration from the spontaneity of Han Bennik’s percussion work as well as the harmonic density of Colin Nancorrow’s compositions. After studying composition with Anthony Coleman and Ran Blake, Eli Keslzer toured extensively, performing both solo as well as in collaboration with such diverse artists as Christian Wolff, Phill Niblock, Tony Conrad, Joe McPhee, Jandek, Roscoe Mitchell and Keith Fullerton Whitman.
Bassist, composer, and collaborator Joshua Abrams has been an essential voice of Chicago’s vibrant music scene for the past fifteen years, playing and recording as leader and sideman in a wide range of projects and spanning all genres (Hamid Drake, Tortoise, Tony Conrad, Sam Prekop, Jandek, Craig Taborn, Bill Dixon, Kevin Drumm, Bonny “Prince” Billy). Abrams’s most recent project, Natural Information, represents yet another fascinating entry in his composing oeuvre, gathering aesthetic input from all over the globe and melding these influences into his own vivid personal statements. At the heart of Abrams’s sound here is the guimbri, a three-stringed animal hide bass. Combining quintet formats with adroit use of sampling techniques, Abrams creates intricate psychedelic environments that join the hypnotic character of traditional music with more contemporary methodologies, drawing comparisons to “Brown Rice” era Don Cherry, Sandy Bull’s “Blend” recordings, and Can’s “Magic” albums.
Sponsored by WHPK and the International House Global Voices Program.
Free and open to the public.