So yesterday we shared our picks for the first half of the Big Ears Festival. It was pretty hectic with as many as 20 events vying for our attention. The next two days of the festival are less jam-packed for us, but there are some programs like Tim Story’s The Roedelius Cells that will figure again, allowing us to attend the showing that works best for us.
Mr. Chang has embraced an expansive network of sensors controlling percussive samples beyond his normal kit. The performance is also linked to his lighting rig making this a visual as well as rhythmic experience.
Vocalist Goese hailed from Hugo Largo; the intriguing NYC art rockers whoo eventually ended up on Eno’s label. Ben Neill developed an electronic trumpet with Bob Moog called the mutantrumpet. Their performance is informed by data from the Hudson River environment that has been interpolated into their music.
I first became aware of jazz pianist Carla Bley in 1981 when she wrote the music and performed keyboards [along with Steve Swallow on bass] on the first Nick Mason album “Fictitious Sports.” At 82, Ms. Bley is neck-and-neck with Harold Budd and still proffering her classic jazz piano.
This is a live score to the Yasujirō Ozu silent film “Dragnet Girl.” Coupler have steeped themselves in Krautrock so this should be a fascinating experience to encounter. It’s been too many years since I have seen a live score to a silent movie as well.
I remember reading reviews of This Heat’s “Deceit” in the pages of Trouser Press, in 1981 or so. They are the POst-Punk royalty for this Big Ears and this date will be among their last. Their final show is scheduled for London in May and after that it’s all nostalgia for this boundary-pressing project.
Harold Budd + ACME
ACME is a string ensemble that will be joining Budd for a two hour set at the St. Johns Episcopal Cathedral. I suspect that this will be new music premiered for the festival event. So Saturday night goes out on a wave of Budd’s splendid piano.
Hard to believe that I have never heard the guitar of Richard Thompson but he’s not my usual cup of drink. But this is a case of hearing about an artist for the bulk of my life and taking the time to see what the hubbub is all about. Thompson’s program is a fascinating recent show funded in part by the World War I Centenary Art Commission. The songs take their grist from actual communications from the time of the war as reportage and history more than song. This is the second performance of this show.
Electronic trance-jazz-funk from the Swiss keyboardist Bärtsch. He’s just another of the ECM Records family of artists who are always near the bulls-eye for the programmers of this festival.
This 35-strong ensemble are playing the works of women composers at Big Ears.
This time Frisell’s guitar finds a home backing vocalist Petra Hayden along with cellist Roberts and baritone guitarist Bergman in a program of pop-leaning material.
For his final performance that closes Big Ears 2019, Budd will be performing a two hour expansion of “As Long As I Can Hold My Breath” from Avalon Sutra with Tim Story on keys + electronics. His son Terrence Budd on guitars and keyboards. With further accompaniment by Sean Connors on percussion) and the piano of Trenton Takaki.
Check this space next week to see reports back on what we actually got to see and word on Budd’s performances. Seeing him in 2012 was a rare experience, and this festival will be a feast of his sound.
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