Entries tagged with: Stephen O'Malley
words and photos by Joshua Ford
Upon his return home to Paris after the 2014 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN (and after touching down on four continents in just four weeks, a NYC show at Baby's All Right included), Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O))), Nazoranai and countless other projects, graciously took some time to discuss his three performances at this exceptional U.S. festival with Joshua Ford.
Friday's lineup at Big Ears had O'Malley performing a solo set, focused on the volume/tone/drone aspects of his body of work most commonly associated with Sunn O))). On Saturday the festival reached critical mass at one o'clock am with O'Malley, Oren Ambarchi and Keiji Haino performing a smoldering improvisational set as Nazoranai (who play the Wick in Brooklyn on May 21). A scant nine hours later, at noon on Sunday, O'Malley and Ambarchi switched gears and performed two written compositions by modern composers Alvin Lucier and Iancu Dumitrescu.
FORD: How did your involvement with Big Ears come about? Was it the plan from square one to have you be involved in that capacity, on multiple days, and have you play three sets?
SOMA: We got an offer for Nazoranai to play, but at the time we didn't have any other things going on in the states, so it would have been very expensive to fly everyone over. I'm American but I live in Paris; flying myself from Europe, Mr. Haino from Japan and Oren from Australia to play one show is pretty expensive. You know, it's to the advantage of the festival to try and get more out of it. We all play in different formations, we're up for that, and it gives a chance to stay for the weekend. It kind of blossomed from there, and I'm really glad that happened.
Jonny Greenwood w/ Radiohead @ Prudential Center 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Knoxville, TN's Big Ears Festival goes down March 28 - 30, mixing modern composers and adventurous rock acts. The fest has expanded its programming since we last posted. Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, already slated to perform Steve Reich's "Electric Counterpoint" on March 30, will now also play the day before (3/29), performing selections from his scores to There Will Be Blood, The Master, and Norwegian Wood, accompanied by Wordless Music Orchestra.
So Percussion will perform all three days of the festival: collaborating with Buke & Gase and Wilco's Glenn Kotche on 3/28; performing Steve Reich's "Drumming" with guests on 3/29; and on 3/30 will perform Bryce Dessner's "Music for Wood and Strings" with Dessner as part.
The other new addition is pianist/composer Rachel Grimes who will perform with her ensemble on 3/30. These are in addition to previously announced acts John Cale, Body/Head, Television, Colin Stetson, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog, Dean Wareham, Low, Oneohtrix Point Never, Julia Holter, not to mention composer Steve Reich who is "Artist-in-Residence" for the fest, and many more. Single day tickets to Big Ears go on sale Friday (2/7) at noon EST and the daily line-ups have been released and are listed below.
Low at The Concert Hall in 2013 (more by PSquared)
As discussed, the Big Ears Festival is returning to various Knoxville, TN venues from March 28-30, and since we last spoke, more artists were added. The lineup now includes Low, Kim Gordon's Body/Head, Earth, Lonnie Holley, Buke and Gase, Hailu Mergia and Low Mentality, Davd Greenberger and Prime Lens, Jenny Hval, Keiji Haino, Stephen O'Malley & Orech Ambarchi (duo), and Stephen O'Malley solo. The new additions join previously announced artists like Steve Reich, Johnny Greenwood, John Cale, Television, Julia Holter, Oneohtrix Point Never, and others.
Tickets are still available. Updated lineup below...
photos by PSquared Photography, words and additional photos by Fred Pessaro
Pharmakon / Prurient / Kid Millions / Kim Gordon
Sixteen bands that deal in ambient, drone, noise and power electronics converged on Knockdown Center in Queens last night (5/2) as part of the Drone Activity in Progress show. The multi-stage event, part of a massive May NYC takeover by Red Bull Music Academy, was housed in a giant warehouse/factory building somewhat-shaped like an "F," with three stages (Red Room, Grand Hall, and West Wing) located in separate areas. Most of the sets had minimal crossover to the other stages, set time staggering was well executed, but those that did overlap were obvious in reasons why: guitar drones vs thumping bass lines, etc. Soundbleed was shockingly minimal in each individual room.
That many bands is a lot to take in general, but personal highlights all seemed to come from the "Red Room" where I caught sets by Prurient, Pharmakon, Alberich and others, who each used keys, effects pedals, vocals, patch bays, and samples to create their versions of industrial-noise terror. Other highlights from the other stages (Grand Hall and West Wing) included guitar-noise from Body/Head (with Kim Gordon), guitar/ambient from KTL (with Stephen O'Malley), guitar qizardry from Mick Barr, Noveller and the spazzy/jawdropping Jim Sauter/Kid Millions.
Tonight's Red Bull Music Academy events are: Brian Eno's "77 Million Paintings" at 45 W. 32nd (sold out); Masters At Work w/ special guest and vibraphone legend Roy Ayers at Le Bain (which is free); and Knox, QuietDust, August Rosenbaum, and Jimi Nxir at Le Poisson Rouge which is also free.
In addition to this set, check out another set of pictures at InvisibleOranges. More photos from Drone Activity are below.
Pharmakon at Saint Vitus earlier this year(more by Fred Pessaro)
Set times for the Red Bull Music Academy's noise/drone extravaganza tonight (May 2) at the Knockdown Center in Queens have been announced. Drone Activity in Progress, which will feature sets from KTL, Vatican Shadow, Body/Head (Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, who also performed last night), Prurient, Grassmas, Mick Barr, Pharmakon, Alberich and many others, will bring the noise to this show (which appears sold out). UPDATE: Tickets BACK on sale. You can snag a shuttle bus from the Jefferson L if you don't feel like making the walk, though it promises to be a lovely evening.
Flyer and set times are below.
Pharmakon will release Abandon, Margaret Chardiet's debut effort with Sacred Bones and first long-player overall. Look for it on May 14th via the label, but first check out the new track "Crawling On Bruised Knees" available for streaming below..
Chardiet's noisy, confrontational and abrasive live show is a must see, and you can catch her at a trio of upcoming NYC shows including, most imminently, the previously discussed April 7th date at 285 Kent with Jason Lescalleet and Spencer Yeh Trio (tickets) and at another show at 285 Kent on June 15th with Marshstepper, Body of Light, Lust For Youth and Foreplay as part of the Northside Festival. Ticketing info for that one is on the way, or get in with your Northside Festival badge.
Pharmakon also has one other NYC date, as part of the upcoming Red Bull Music Academy series of events, and it's a whopper:
On May 2, the Red Bull Music Academy will turn the spectacular Knockdown Center into a temple of thundering noise with some of today's most daring sound artists for Drone Activity In Progress. The night will see performances from sixteen solo artists and duos on three stages, where the sound bleed between stages is entirely intentional.Joining Chardiet will be performances from Stephen O'Malley, KTL (Stephen O'Malley & Peter Rehberg), Body/Head (Kim Gordon & Bill Nace), Prurient, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix of Liturgy, Oren Ambrachi, Alan Licht, Vatican Shadow, Pete Swanson, Mick Barr, Kid Millions/Jim Sauter Duo, Alberich, Noveller, grassmass and Hiram Martinez, and $8 tickets for the show, which is one night after the big "Round Robin Duet" show at Brooklyn Masonic Temple, are on sale and will include shuttle bus service from the Jefferson L train.
All other dates and that stream is below.
Lindstrom will be releasing a 12" of remixes from his Six Cups of Rebel LP on June 25 with remixes from Oneohtrix Point Never (who plays Ecstatic Summer), Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, and Mark McGuire (of Emeralds). Have a listen to Oneohtrix Point Never's take on "Call Me Anytime" below.
Lindstrom is currently on a tour which brings him to NYC on Friday (5/25) for the previously discussed Webster Hall show with Simian Mobile Disco (tickets). That tour will also bring him to Detroit's Movement Electronic Music Festival this weekend where he'll play alongside Public Enemy, Actress, SBTRKT, Major Lazer, Gold Panda, Nina Kraviz, Matias Aguayo, FaltyDL, AraabMUZIK and more. Tickets for the fest are on sale now. The full lineup is listed below.
Speaking of electronic music festivals, Mutek goes down in Montreal from May 30 - June 3. The Mutek lineup includes Kode9, Nicolas Jaar, Clark, Blondes, Apparat, Shlohmo, Shackleton, Stephen O'Malley & Tim Hecker, Biosphere & Lustmord, and more. The full lineup is listed below.
In related news, as mentioned, Apparat will come to NYC after Mutek for a show at Gramercy Theater on May 31. It's since been announced that Sleepyhead will open that show. Tickets for that show are still available and we're also giving away a pair. Contest details below, along with a list of all dates, song stream, and those festival lineups.