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April 2010

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Venue:
The Rotunda4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: Free Admission
Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 8:00pm

KONK PACK

Thomas Lehn, analogue synthesizer
Tim Hodgkinson, deconstructed tabletop guitar + electronics + clarinet
Roger Turner, drums + percussion

Konk Pack is a trio of exceptional improvisers whose music is often dense, propulsive, and highly dynamic. At times the band may operate at the threshold of silence, but such moments are usually interrupted by sound barrages of volcanic intensity. Analog synth player Thomas Lehn, drummer Roger Turner, and multi-instrumentalist Tim Hodgkinson first performed together as Konk Pack at the Szuenetjel Festival in Budapest in May 1997, and from the outset discovered that they possessed both the technical skills and natural empathy required to produce compelling sonic adventures. The trio's freeform improvised music is noisy and filled with constantly changing details.

Lehn, from Cologne, Germany, has studied both classical and jazz piano, and much of his work from the early '80s to the early '90s focused on classical music, including composed music of the Romantic period as well as the contemporary avant-garde. He was increasingly drawn to the electronic music world, however, in part for the practical reason that he could bring his Minimoog to perform at venues without pianos. As an electronic improviser, Lehn has since concentrated almost exclusively on the vintage late-'60s analog synthesizer as his instrument of choice, and in addition to playing with Konk Pack has performed regularly with avant-gardists like John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, Paul Lovens, and Gerry Hemingway. In live performance and on CD, British drummer Turner creates much of Konk Pack's energy, explosiveness, and sense of momentum. Turner has perhaps the strongest "jazz" background among the three Konk Packers, growing up amidst the '60s Canterbury scene and later working in the ensembles of Elton Dean, Alan Silva, and Lol Coxhill as well as with creative improvisers such as Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor, Derek Bailey, and Johannes Bauer. In addition to Konk Pack, his ongoing musical associations include the Phil Minton Quartet, the Recedents, and the Gustafsson/Munthe/Strid/Turner Quartet. Given his ten-year association with British band Henry Cow during the late '60s through much of the '70s, Hodgkinson might be the best-known member of Konk Pack, particularly to European and North American avant-prog audiences. Ever the musical provocateur, Hodgkinson has over a 30-year history encompassing avant-prog, electro-acoustic improvisation, contemporary classical composition, and even abrasive post-punk, sometimes shot through with a hefty dose of leftist politics. While often known as a saxophonist and clarinetist, Konk Pack finds Hodgkinson focusing much of his energies on tabletop guitar, à la fellow Henry Cow member Fred Frith in Skeleton Crew.

“Although we itched to interrupt with applause, Konk Pack played an unbroken 45 minute set: fun debris, rollicking freakouts … and one magical section of scrape and pling where the music seemed to play itself.” Ben Watson, Wire Magazine