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September 2010

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Venue:
International House3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $20 General Admission
Sponsored by:
Sunday, September 5, 2010 - 8:00pm

Fennesz

Christian Fennesz, el. guitar + electronics + laptop

"I have a feeling that long after many of the experimental electronic records from the past ten years disappear we'll continue to reach for the works of Fennesz." Mark Richardson, Pitchfork

Ars Nova Workshop and R5 Productions invite you to a very rare performance by Austrian experimental musician Fennesz who, for over 25 years, has been creating category-blurring music that navigates the edges of ambient, noise, electronic, improvisation, pop, and minimalism.  This will be his first ever Philadelphia performance!

Born in 1962, Christian Fennesz began playing guitar when he was 8 years old and studied music while attending art school in his native country of Austria.  In the late-1980s, he briefly played with Maische, who explored the relationships between noise and pop while also taking a more free form improvisational approach.  In the 1990s, Fennesz became involved with the vibrant Austrian techno scene and quickly began to introduce synthesizers and various electronics to his sonic arsenal.  Since his first 7" release in 1995 on Syntactic, he has put out dozens of critically acclaimed albums on labels like Mego, Touch, FatCat, hatOLOGY, Table of Elements, and Erstwhile.  In addition to his massive solo discography, over the years he has recorded and performed with some of the most creative contemporary experimental artists such as David Sylvian, Jim O'Rourke, Keith Rowe, Sparklehorse, Ryuichi Sakomoto, Mike Patton, Toshimaru Nakamura, Oren Ambarchi, Mika Vainio, Otomo Yoshihide, and Kevin Drumm.

In a 1998 interview with e.x.p. magazine, Fennesz confessed: "I have a deep interest in both digital noise, and simple, touching melodies."  Created with laptop and guitar, Fennesz's sound fluctuates between ferocious blasts and glitches of white noise, bubbling and volcanic drones, smoothly finger-picked guitar phrases, and the most tranquil cloudlike atmospherics.  His releases have appeared on year-end lists and consistently receive critical praise from the likes of The New York Times, The Wire, Tiny Mix Tapes, Signal To Noise, and many more.  His 2001 Mego release, Endless Summer, ranked #26 on Pitchfork's Top 200 Albums of the 2000s list, where writer Marc Masters' wrote the following: "Noisy and bright, hot and dense, challenging and catchy, Endless Summer slices up sound the way we slice up experience, rescuing the remnants of sunny, sweaty seasons."

In 2009 he collaborated on a recording with Sparklehorse titled In The Fish Tank, and at the beginning of 2010 he released a limited edition cassette called Szampler, for which he compiled old ASR-10 samples used from 1989 to 1996, as well as samples taken from his vintage Ensoniq EPS-16 Plus synthesizer.  A new album by Fenn O'Berg, the all-star trio featuring Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke, and Peter Rehberg, was released in March 2010 titled In Stereo, and Fennesz also appears on the latest Food album, Quiet Inlet, recorded with Iain Bellamy, Thomas Stronen, and Nils Petter Molvaer.  John Fordham of Guardian claimed that the latter "vibrates with irresistibly fascinating detail and visceral excitement."  In August, Thrill Jockey will be releasing Knoxville, featuring a live performance by Fennesz, David Daniell, and Tony Buck from 2009's Big Ears Festival.

Jesse Kudler + Ian Fraser
Jesse Kudler, guitar + electronics + radios + tapes
Ian Fraser, laptop

Philadelphia-based improvisers Jesse Kudler and Ian Fraser have worked together in various groupings, including a trio with Tim Albro and the quintet Benito Cereno, but they have been intensely focusing on their duo project for the past year.  Combining Fraser's digital laptop programming and Kudler's analog, instrumental, and mechanical devices, their duo creates busy, detailed pieces that are informed by contemporary computer music aesthetics, electro-acoustic improvisation, noise, contemporary composed music, field recordings, and silence.  Kudler studied music at Wesleyan University and is the co-founder (with Fraser) of the Philadelphia Sound Forum.  He creates improvised music on guitar, synthesizer, electronics, radios and tapes, and has performed with Toshimaru Nakamura, Christine Sehnaoui, Jason Soliday, Jack Wright, and many others.  Recent projects include HZL, Tweeter, and duos with Chris Cogburn and Christian Weber.  Ian Fraser is a computer musician working in free improvisation, algorithmic based composition, stochastic processes and other real-time uses of classic synthesis techniques. His current projects include a computer music duo with Reed Evan Rosenberg, a trio with Jesse Kudler and Tim Albro, as well as his own solo material. He is the other co-founder of the Philadelphia Sound Forum.