Pidgin Culture Concert Series Presents Debut of Intercultural FOUR OCEANS
Pidgin Culture presents the debut of Four Oceans, a trio exploring ritualistic forms of interplay in an improvised context on Thursday, March 30th at 7pm at National Sawdust. A New Group, it combines the talents of Old Time Relijun frontman Arrington De Dionyso, Rupert Huber of the famous Viennese trip-hop duo Tosca, and globetrotting drummer/composer Lukas Ligeti. De Dionyso, who is also a painter, performs on bass clarinet and various Indonesian traditional instruments; Huber, on piano and electronics, and Ligeti, on drums. Together, they explore new sonic spaces, evoking distant or nonexistent traditions, references to forgotten or freely invented cultures, and sounds that transport the listener to fantastic worlds the rest of us will never see. It is a music of sparse determination and internal revolution.
Pidgin Culture, founded by Lukas Ligeti and Matt Mottel, is an organization for experimental intercultural collaboration. Experimental: the conscious effort to explore and innovate. Intercultural: combining different backgrounds, ways of thinking, creative approaches. Collaboration: two or more people working together as equals.
Composer-drummer-improvisor Lukas Ligeti is a member of the curatorial team at National Sawdust. In addition to his own work, he has dedicated his concert series to Pidgin Culture and the presentation of this organization's projects. His National Sawdust series opened on August 14, 2016 with a composer portrait of his music, co-presented by the Balassi Institute (Hungarian Cultural Institute) NYC in response to an exhibition of works by painter/sculptor La?szlo? Moholy-Nagy at the Guggenheim Museum. The concert on March 30th is the second in Ligeti's series and takes place within National Sawdust's March programming with the theme "Ritual and Revolution."
While the word intercultural might conjure up the idea of artists from different parts of the world, Pidgin Culture holds a broader view: artists whose creative processes and styles of presentation are vastly different from each other can be regarded as representing different aesthetic or methodological cultures; hence, a collaboration between them is, in a sense, intercultural.
And that is exactly the case with Four Oceans. While they do come from two different countries and continents, their main difference is in the way they illuminate the phenomenon of creative, risk-taking, but nonetheless popular music.
Hailing from Olympia, WA, Arrington de Dionyso's musical journey has led him far and wide, but his home base remains the DIY world of punk and free-jazz. Well known as a member of the band Old Time Relijun, he has earned a secure place in the American rock underground but has since branched out to embrace collaborations in Indonesia and reflections thereupon, as exemplified by his project Malaikat dan Singa. Rupert Huber, from Vienna, Austria, is one of the best-known representatives of that city's electronic music scene; his duo Tosca, with the DJ Richard Dorfmeister of Kruder & Dorfmeister fame, is the quintessential band of Viennese trip-hop. But Rupert is also a sound artist and an active and in-demand composer of sound pieces for radio. Lukas Ligeti, as the evening's host, can be regarded as a mediator between the two: originally from Vienna, then a long time resident of NYC before moving to California in 2015, his approach combines elements of both hardcore and sound art, along with jazz and classical music. And he is also an active creator of pop music, but on the African continent, having co-founded the Burkina Faso-based band Burkina Electric.
But this isn't only a meeting of different cultures of experimental rock or pop. Arrington is also a painter whose work is represented in a diverse array of environments from bags by Yves St.-Laurent to a mural on the wall of a Washington, DC pizzeria that recently made him the target of conspiracy theorists aligned with the US's dubious new president, Donald Trump. And Rupert and Lukas both count the visual arts among their primary influences and have created visual works as well, and all of these will also be brought into the trio's mix as another plane of inspiration for musicians and audience alike.
Furthermore, all three musicians have deep and contrasting connections with ritual. Arrington's hyper- physical and intense throat singing and playing on bass clarinet, jaw harp, and Indonesian instruments evokes the primal atmosphere of the rituals of an unknown tribe. Rupert's restrained piano and electronic effects represent the ritual of stripping music and message down to its bare essentials. Lukas' polymetric drumming is an experimental expansion on the musical concepts and rituals of the court of the ancient Ugandan kingdom of Buganda. And in an age where multicultural, cosmopolitan approaches are increasingly attacked by reactionary political forces, the forging-ahead into unknown intercultural territory is perhaps even more revolutionary than it was before the recent darkening of times, with a political aspect added to the artistic one.
This concert marks the first ever meeting of these three musicians (though Huber and Ligeti have collaborated before on several occasions), and in their communication, they will explore the ritualistic interplay of the rough and the smooth; the loud and the soft; high energy and pensive silence. Expect anything but the expected: these are adaptable musicians, and part of their ritual is putting on each other's hats. It is the ritual of the interaction between different worlds, and of the gradual carving-out of a common language far from the conventions and cliche?s of improvised music.
Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 7pm NATIONAL SAWDUST
80 North 6th Street,
Tickets: $29 in advance; $34 at the door
Arrington de Dionyso is an uncompromising force in contemporary music as a vocalist, bass clarinetist, and more recently adding tenor and baritone saxophones to his arsenal. He was the leader of Old Time Relijun which released 8 albums on K Records and toured constantly from 1995 until 2008. In 2009 he founded the "trance punk" group Malaikat dan Singa as a way to translate kabbalistic poetry into Bahasa Indonesia with dancehall rhythms and an angular "post-punk" approach to trance music. He toured throughout Java, Lombok, Sulawesi and Borneo and in 2016 released the documentary film "Reak: Trance Music and Possession in West Java." His most recent project is called "This Saxophone Kills Fascists."
Music by Rupert Huber is organized structures, sounds and tones for multiple known and unknown real and electronic spaces: Dimensional Music. His project TOSCA - Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber - has released 14 albums over the last 20 years, has performed live with worldwide success at events such as the Coachella Festival and has won Austria's Amadeus Music Award. Rupert Huber ?s spatial and installation work focuses on the interaction between a given soundspace, the people there and the very site itself. His music integrates the sonification of data and includes telematic performances, events and concerts as well as combined live/radio/webprojects. Huber's written music (primarily for piano) explores the architecture of sound by describing process and space. Rupert Huber is an alumnus of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin residency (1997), was a member of the jury of the Prix Ars Electronica (2007,2009) and nominated for the World Technology Award in 2010.
Lukas Ligeti was born in Austria and studied composition at the Vienna Music Academy. He lived in New York from 1998 until 2015, when he joined the faculty of UC Irvine's program in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology, and now divides his time between Irvine, CA and Johannesburg, South Africa. His compositions have been commissioned by Bang On A Can, the Kronos Quartet, Ensemble Modern, the American Composers Orchestra, the Central German Radio Symphony Orchestra and many others; he is currently working on a piece for the joint forces of Chicago-based eighth blackbird and the Amadinda Percussion Group from Hungary. Commissioned by the Goethe Institute, he created a multi-channel sound piece for the 2014 soccer World Cup in Brazil; in 2015, he was artist-in-residence at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. As a drummer, Lukas has worked with artists such as John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Marilyn Crispell, John Tchicai, Gary Lucas, Henry Kaiser, Bill Laswell, Tarek Atoui, etc., and co-leads Hypercolor, a trio with NYC-based guitarist Eyal Maoz and bassist James Ilgenfritz. Besides the drum set, he performs on marimba lumina, an electronic instrument designed by synthesizer pioneer Don Buchla. Active in intercultural collaboration in Africa for over two decades, Lukas co-leads Burkina Electric, an experimental electronic pop band based in Burkina Faso. He has received various awards including the prestigious CalArts Alpert Award. www.lukasligeti.com