Ben Frost to Bring 'A U R O R A' to St. Paul's Amsterdam Bar & Hall, 10/30
"Best Independent Producer" Kate Nordstrum and "Best New Venue for Classical Music" Amsterdam Bar & Hall (Star Tribune, Best of Minnesota 2014) team to bring Reykjavík-based electronic musician and composer Ben Frost to Saint Paul on the heels of his recently released, acclaimed album A U R O R A, out now on Mute / Bedroom Community. Already a critics' favorite, A U R O R A has been featured heavily in the "Albums of the Year (So Far)" lists and is described by The Wire as "Frost's most fully realized work to date." Resident Advisor called A U R O R A "the darkest and most powerful recording of his career."
A U R O R A was created by Ben Frost with collaborators Greg Fox (former Liturgy), Shahzad Ismaily (Laurie Anderson) and Thor Harris (SWANS), largely written in Eastern DR Congo. Starved of all the adornments of its predecessor (2009's BY THE THROAT), A U R O R A is wholly absent of guitar, piano, string instruments and natural wooden intimacy. Instead, it offers a deant new world of fiercely synthetic shapes and galactic interference, pummeling skins and pure metals.
The October 30 Saint Paul engagement will feature Frost solo, a rare U.S. appearance by "one of the most interesting and groundbreaking producers in the world today... showing us the future of electronic music" (Boomkat).
Ben Frost's music is about contrast, influenced as much by classical minimalism as by punk rock and metal. It has a visceral presence, felt as much as heard. Muscular yet cerebral, ambient yet urgent, Frost's compositions merge guitar-based textures, musique concrète samples, and building-shaking amplified electronics into sweeping digital soundscapes. Increasingly in demand for his exorbitant electronic production work, Frost has collaborated with Björk, Brian Eno, and celebrated Bedroom Community label mates.
Born in 1980 in Melbourne, Australia, Frost relocated to Reykjavík Iceland in 2005 and working together with close friends Valgeir Sigurðsson and Nico Muhly, formed the Bedroom Community record label/collective. His albums, including Steel Wound (2003), Theory of Machines (2007) and BY THE THROAT (2009) fuse intensely structured sound art with militant post-classical electronic music, shape-shifting physical power with immersive melody, concentrated minimalism with ?erce, rupturing dark metal. In 2010 Frost was chosen by Brian Eno as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé program for a year of collaboration, one of the outcomes of which was Solaris; a re-scoring of the Tarkovsky classic for Poland's Sinfonietta Cracovia. The pair continue to work together on a range of projects.
Frost regularly collaborates with other musicians and artists; in the production of albums such as Tim Hecker's Ravedeath 1972 and Virgins, SWANS' The Seer, Colin Stetson's New History Warfare and on various Bedroom Community releases. On the stage Frost has produced scores for choreographers including Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, Akram Khan, Gideon Obarzanek/Chunky Move, and German Director Falk Richter. In film he composed the score for the Palme d'Or nominated Sleeping Beauty by Julia Leigh, and Djúpið by Icelandic Director Baltasar Kormákur (with Daníel Bjarnason). And in the visual arts, where, with artist Richard Mosse, Frost traveled deep beyond the front lines of war-torn Eastern Congo to produce The Enclave; a multi-channel video and sound installation that premiered at the Venice Biennale in 2013.
2013 also marked his debut as a director with the premiere of Frost's ?rst Opera, based on Iain Bank´s infamous 1984 novel The Wasp Factory. These various collaborations and alliances underline Frost's continuing fascination with finding ways of juxtaposing music, rhythm, technology, the body, performance, text, art -beauty and violence- combining and coalescing the roles and procedures of various artistic disciplines in one place.
The Amsterdam Bar and Hall is the new music venue and bar/restaurant owned by the Oulman family (331 Club). Much like the 331 was at the forefront of the arts boom in NE Minneapolis, the Oulmans are bringing that energy to downtown Saint Paul. In partnership with the Big Table Studio and Eclipse Records, Amsterdam focuses on making its stretch of Wabasha hopping with entertainment.
Kate Nordstrum is a special projects producer at The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, curator of SPCO's Liquid Music series (awarded "Best of Classical" by The New York Times) and director of Kate Nordstrum Projects, a Twin Cities based arts management agency specializing in independent music curation and communication strategies for adventurous artists, ensembles and institutions. Recently named "Best Independent Producer" by the Star Tribune (Best of Minnesota 2014), Nordstrum's current projects include co-presentations and partnerships with the Walker Art Center, American Composers Forum, New Amsterdam Records, Minnesota Public Radio, The Schubert Club, Minnesota Opera and Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati. Nordstrum's previous employers include Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City Center and the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. In 2007, Nordstrum created a robust music series at the Southern Theater that in just two seasons established the venue as a national hot spot for innovative new music programming. Through Liquid Music (est. 2012), Nordstrum has built a boundary-defying space in which artists can take creative risks and collaborate in exciting ways not possible elsewhere. Nordstrum has been widely praised for her programmatic vision and catholic tastes, with media outlets describing her as "the most adventurous music curator in town" (MinnPost), "a presenter of rare initiative" (Star Tribune), and "Twin Cities' curatorial powerhouse with international pull" (Minnesota Public Radio). Nordstrum collaborates regularly with choreographers, film makers and visual artists on cross-disciplinary programming initiatives; creates sustainable series and thematic festivals; and digs deep for the most virtuosic and visceral music in the world to bring to the theatrical stage. Her work in the field of performing arts planning and communications is extensive. Shellae Mueller, Director of Marketing at the Penumbra Theater, is assisting Nordstrum for this presentation.
Date: Thursday, October 30, 2014
Venue: Amsterdam Bar & Hall, 6th and Wabasha, Saint Paul 55102
www.amsterdambarandhall.com l 612.285.3112
Tickets: $15 available at www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/650263
Doors: 7pm; Shows: 8pm
Photo Credit: Börkur Sigthorsson