John Paul Jones at Big Ears Festival 22-24 March

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Mar 182024
 

“I used to have 30 guys helping me do this,” quips Jones as he adjusts a mic stand. “…but here I am.”

And indeed, there he was, all alone on the stage, performing a dizzying variety of instruments, from lap steel, to mandolin, to triple-neck guitar, grand piano, pipe organ, Kyma electronics, and of course his signature bass. Winning the prize for the festival’s most audacious entrance, Jones rose from the orchestra pit playing “Your Time Is Gonna Come” on a bright red-painted theater organ, to delighted squeals of recognition, masterfully tweaking his audience’s collective memories and, alternately coaxing them along with him into the future with live electro-acoustic performances like this one:


Bassist, keyboardist, mandolinist, composer (and much more), John Paul Jones – once in a little band called Led Zeppelin — has more recently toured as Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and Joshua Homme, appeared in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera ‘Anna Nicole,’ toured the US with Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch, released Cloud to Ground (debut album of Minibus Pimps), and made several guest appearances with acclaimed Norwegian avant-garde group Supersilent.

John was also one of the first adopters of Kyma (on the original Capybara), and he continues to expand the frontiers of live interactive electronics performance today using the newest incarnation of the APU hardware — the Pacamara Ristretto — in conjunction with his bass, piano, and a menagerie of tiny controllers and other instruments (expect the unexpected).

At the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville 22, 23, 24 March, Jones is presenting not one, not two, but three performances:

John Paul Jones playing a grand piano in an orchestra rehearsal room

John Paul Jones Solo Concert at Big Ears 2024

Sons of Chipotle: Anssi Karttunen & J P Jones

Thurston Moore & John Paul Jones

1. John Paul Jones solo concert on Friday, March 22

2. Sons of Chipotle, with cellist Anssi Kartunnen on Saturday March 23

3. John Paul Jones with Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) on Sunday March 24

Other festival headliners and events include Herbie Hancock, Jon Batiste, André 3000: New Blue Sun Live, Rhiannon Giddens, Adrianne Lenker, Laurie Anderson, a Blacktronika workshop exploring how Detroit Techno, Chicago House and Jamaican Dub contributed to the advancement of electronic music, and a film festival including Ancient Voices: a film for George Crumb, Sisters with Transistors, and more!

“One of the world’s biggest music bashes” (NYT), the Big Ears Festival features visionary composers and musicians on concerts that transcend genre — bringing together trailblazers and iconoclasts, blending classical and contemporary composition, jazz, rock, world music, pop, avant-garde, ambient, experimental, and beyond.

Big Ears offers 200 performances during the festival situated in historic downtown Knoxville — at restored historic theaters, churches, refurbished warehouse spaces, museums, galleries, and clubs — with pop-up events and performances, exhibitions, films, literary readings, workshops, markets and talks taking place in cafes, bars, hotels, restaurants, all within walking distance or dedicated trolley service to nearby hotels.

Live Kyma electronics at MOXsonic

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Mar 072024
 

The 2024 MOXsonic (Missouri Experimental Sonic Arts Festival) March 14-16, 2024 is an exploration of sonic possibilities and includes several opportunities to hear live Kyma electronic performances:

  • Mei-ling Lee’s “Summoner” is a mythical narrative that evokes the nocturnal summoning of peacocks and owls.
  • Mark Zaki’s “Masks” explores identity in the digital age, using violin, Kyma, and live video to delve into themes of self-curation and virtual anonymity.
  • In Mark Phillips’ “Dream Dance”, dreamy vocoders give way to an algorithmic synth groove, but only partially … and not for long.
  • Chi Wang will perform AEON on a new instrument she designed — the Yuan, a bamboo round-shaped interactive, data-driven controller and connected the sensors

Experience innovative music and engage with the creative minds shaping the future of sound! Tickets to all events are FREE and OPEN to the general public.

Live electronic music performers on stage with projection of computer screen behind them

Photo by Jeff Kaiser, courtesy of MOXsonic.org

 

A Plague of Doves

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Mar 072024
 

Tom Baker performing guitar and Anne LaBerge performing flute in front of a close microphoneAnne LaBerge (flute & text) joins forces with guitarist and electronic musician Tom Baker (guitar & Theremin) on a concert tour exploring themes of racism and resilience. Their improvised performances, enhanced by Kyma electronics, will take place in Brussels (March 13), Rotterdam (March 17), and Amsterdam (March 18).

LaBerge and Baker draw inspiration from Louise Erdrich’s The Plague of Doves, a novel exploring the enduring impact of a racist act committed against four Ojibwe people in North Dakota in 1896.

Anne La Berge’s passion for the extremes in both composed and improvised music has led her to the fringes of storytelling and sound art as her sources of musical inspiration. Tom Baker is a composer, guitarist, improviser, and electronic musician, active in the Seattle new-music scene.

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