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Composer and multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarchi performs with percussionist Joe Talia, with transcendent duo Eyvind Kang and Jessika Kenney sharing this very special bill.

Oren Ambarchi is a composer and multi-instrumentalist with longstanding interests in transcending conventional instrumental approaches. His work focuses mainly on the exploration of the guitar, “re-routing the instrument into a zone of alien abstraction where it’s no longer easily identifiable as itself. Instead, it’s a laboratory for extended sonic investigation”. (The Wire). Ambarchi’s works are hesitant and tense extended songforms located in the cracks between several schools: modern electronics and processing; laminal improvisation and minimalism; hushed, pensive songwriting; the deceptive simplicity and temporal suspensions of composers such as Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier; and the physicality of rock music, slowed down and stripped back to its bare bones, abstracted and replaced with pure signal. The astoundingly prolific Ambarchi has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists such as Fennesz, Otomo Yoshihide, John Zorn, Jim O’Rourke, Keith Rowe, Phill Niblock, Dave Grohl, Gunter Muller, Evan Parker, z’ev, Toshimaru Nakamura, Peter Rehberg, Merzbow and many more. Since 2004 Ambarchi has worked with American avant metal outfit Sunn 0))) contributing to many of their releases and side-projects including their Black One album from 2005 and the recent Monoliths & Dimensions release. He plays drums in the power trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Ambarchi, and in Nazoranai with Stephen O’ Malley and Keiji Haino. Ambarchi has released numerous recordings for key international labels such as Touch, Southern Lord, Table Of The Elements and Tzadik. Interview here.

Joe Talia is a drummer, percussionist and electro-acoustic performer based in Melbourne, Australia. He first established his reputation as a drummer in contemporary jazz and improvised music fields. Talia also works in the realm of electro-acoustic composition and performance, working with reel -to-reel tape machines and other analogue devices. 

Jessika Kenney is a vocalist known for her haunting sense of timbre and ornamentation, dedication to vocal traditions and poetry, and wide range of collaborations.  Her initial performances took place within the Spokane punk scene of the early 90s. She began formal vocal studies in jazz and improvisation at Cornish College and continued in sindhenan (Javanese Classical singing) with Gamelan Pacifica and with many great teachers in Central Java.  Since 2004 she has studied Classical Persian vocal repertoire, including radif and poetry, with renowned ney and vocal master Ostad Hossein Omoumi. She has performed the music of composers including Morton Feldman, John Cage, Lou Harrison, Jarrad Powell, Rahayu Supanggah, Eyvind Kang, and Tadao Sawai, as well as contibuted to the recordings of Wolves in the Throne Room, ASVA and Sunn O))). She is a frequent participant in new and traditional music for Javanese Gamelan with may gamelan ensembles in the US, Canada, and Indonesia. She has performed regularly with Ostad Hossein Omoumi’s ensemble, appearing on the album Voices of Spring (Haft Dastgah 2008). In 2013 she sang for H.H. the Dalai Lama of Tibet with Ostad Omoumi and scholar and writer Dr. Fatemeh Keshavars as part of a Dialogue on Sufism and Buddhism. Her compositions Samsu Tabarit (2013) and Atria (2007) are large scale pieces for Gamelan ensemble with Persian instruments which focus on Persian poetry and combinatory tuning theories. 

Eyvind Kang is a composer and violist for whom the act of music and learning is a spiritual discipline. He has released many acclaimed albums, including The Narrow Garden (2012, Ipecac), Visible Breath (2012, Ideologic Organ) and The Yelm Sessions (2008, Tzadik), as well as performed/recorded with Jessika Kenney, Bill Frisell, Laurie Anderson, and many others. His compositions have been performed by the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, UC Irvine Orchestra with soloist Ostad Hossein Omoumi, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Israel Chamber Players, and numerous independent ensembles around the world.  He was honored to receive the Jack Smith Award from the Hips Road Foundation in 2000, and the Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award in 2011.

Together, they produce “work of delicate beauty, as pristine as the surface of a lake at dawn on a summer’s morning,” (The Quietus) releasing deep, elemental records which invoke the spirits, and carefully studied scales and techniques, of multiple musical traditions – most recently the wonderful LP The Face of the Earth – on the Stephen O’Malley-curated Editions Mego imprint, Ideologic Organ. Their 2005 piece Aestuarium was also re-released in 2011 by Ideological Organ.

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