Ars Nova Workshop is honored to present the return of legendary Australian trio The Necks, following one of 2016’s most compelling and captivating concerts.
The Los Angeles Times writes, “A magic act masquerading as a piano trio, this Australian group delivers long-form improvisations that shift with such patient beauty that it casts a bit of a trance.”
The Necks convened in the mid-80s as a joint endeavor between three first-class improvisers from the Sydney scene—pianist Chris Abrahams, drummer Tony Buck, and bassist Lloyd Swanton. The project’s methodology could be compared to that of op artists like Bridget Riley or Richard Anuszkiewicz, whose paintings arrange static shapes and contours into illusory patterns that seem to defy the laws of physics. Over the course of eighteen albums, the Necks’ glacial meditations on deceptively simple musical themes reveal more on closer inspection. The Guardian writes, "Like seeing a world in a grain of sand, The Necks permit us to hear a whole new world of music in a sliver of sound.”
Chris Abrahams (B. 1961, Sydney) made a name for himself in Australia as part of Mark Simmonds’ Freeboppers in the 80s and as a close collaborator of Melanie Oxley’s in the 90s. Abrahams can currently be found in close playing partnerships with Australian composer Anthony Pateras, German percussionist Burkhard Beins, and Italian laptop composer/linguistic deconstructionist Alessandro Bosetti.
Apart from the Necks, Lloyd Swanton (B. 1960) is best known in Australia as the leader of the long running, hard-flowing collective the Catholics, which has received multiple ARIA Award nominations (Australian Grammys). For fourteen years, Lloyd Swanton hosted Mixed Marriage, a popular program on Eastside Radio in Sydney that examined cross-sections of jazz and other musical styles.
Tony Buck (B. 1962, Sydney) is regarded as one of Australia's most creative and adventurous exports, having been involved in a diverse array of projects including Japanese trio PERIL with Otomo Yoshihide and Kato Hideki. Tony has played, toured or recorded with, among others, John Zorn, Tom Cora, Phil Minton, The EX, Peter Brotzmann, Hans Reichel, The Little Red Spiders, Clifford Jordan, Kletka Red, Han Bennink, Shelley Hirsch, Wayne Horvitz, and Ground Zero.
Ars Nova Workshop is a Philadelphia nonprofit jazz and experimental music presenting organization. ANW informs, inspires, and challenges listeners to elevate the role of jazz, improvisation, and experimental music in contemporary culture. ANW events provide a forum for discourse, emergent trends in contemporary music, and unique forms of cultural exchange, while nurturing a diverse community for innovative music.