Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
La Sala Rossa
Pacha is the work of Pierre-Guy Blanchard, a multi-instrumentalist and composer who resides in Charlo, New Brunswick. After completing a major in percussion performance at the University of Moncton in 2003, Pierre-Guy spent five years immersed in various and diverse Montreal musical communities, with frequent international voyages enriching his sonic palette and rhythmic skill. He has performed with such experimental and folk music projects as Ensemble Thalassa (Greek Rembetiko), Djoumbush (Turkish Gypsy), Qurna (Iraqi Maqam), L’ici-bas (Bulgarian folk music) and Radwan Moumneh’s Jerusalem in My Heart, and participated in recordings of Black Ox Orkestar and Sam Shalabi’s Land of Kush, as well as composing numerous theatre and film scores. His travels abroad during this time included a period of study under darbuka master Misirli Ahmet in Istanbul, curation and performances at the Sanayeh art house in Beirut, and an appearance with the Pancevo folk music ensemble in Serbia.
Through this continual collaboration with musicians from various musical backgrounds and geographic origins, Pierre-Guy has developed a unique percussive style deeply influenced by Middle Eastern, Turkish and Balkan modes. 2009 found Pierre-Guy back on the waterfront of Charlo in a house converted into a home studio. At a distance from the distractions of Montreal he has worked to develop a new sonic language, fusing an eminently metropolitan sensibility with the quiet stillness of the countryside of his origins. With Affaires Étrangères, the first recording to emerge from this studio, he distills this broad and sometimes far-flung swath of influences into a confident, astute and passionate statement that is both worldly and deeply idiosyncratic.
Pierre Guy Blanchard , percussion , drums , MPC
Thierry Amar , double bass
Julie Houle , tuba
Xarah Dion , synth
Jessica Moss , violin
Radwan Ghazi Moumneh , zurna , bouzouk
Sam Shalabi , guitar , oud
Jeremi Roy , saz , guitar , bass
Joshua Abrams – guimbri
Lisa Alvarado – harmonium, gong
Emmett Kelly (Cairo Gang, Bonnie “Prince” Billy) – guitar
Frank Rosaly (Cicada Music, Milkwork, the Rempis Percussion Quartet) – drums
The music centers around the sound of the guimbri (a Moroccan lute) integrating composition and improvisation to create hypnotic, highly rhythmic , psychedelic environments with an orientation towards uplift.
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Joshua Abrams has been in the thick of Chicago’s vibrant music scene for over fifteen years, playing & recording as leader & sideman in projects across the genres. In 2010 he released “Natural Information” on Eremite which the New York Times called “one of the rough gems of the post-everything musical era” and the Wire picked as one of the top 50 records of 2010. Primarily known as a acoustic bassist his earliest work was with the original version of the Roots while growing up in the Philadelphia area. In 2011 he created the score to “The Interrupters”, an award winning documentary by Steve James and in 2013 the score to Bill Siegel’s “The Trials of Muhammad Ali”. “Represencing”, Joshua’s 2nd album for Eremite organizes small group statements around the resonant grooves of the north african ceremonial instrument the guimbri with a unique & broadly assimilative compositional voice. Sources from traditional musics to minimalism, jazz to krautrock, animate represencing, but Abrams is always grounded in the solidity of true working musicianship & he proves himself an artist fluent not just in styles but traditions. The New York Times describes “Represencing” as “music that hints at the ceremonial without losing its modern bearings”. Along with the sounds of the guimbri this incarnation of Natural Information Society will feature Lisa Alvarado on harmonium and gong, Emmett Kelly (Cairo Gang, Bonnie “Prince” Billy) on guitar, and Frank Rosaly (Cicada Music, Milkwork, the Rempis Percussion Quartet) on drums. Live the music centers around the sound of the guimbri integrating composition and improvisation to create hypnotic, highly rhythmic, psychedelic environments with an orientation towards uplift.
Joshua co-founded the “back porch minimalist” band Town & Country (Thrill Jockey/Box Media) & with Matana Roberts & Chad Taylor the trio Sticks & Stones (Thrill Jockey/482 Music). He has appeared on over 80 records including work with Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake, Bonny “Prince” Billy, Nicole Mitchell, David Boykin, Sam Prekop, The Roots, Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly, Prefuse 73, Savath and Savalis, The Cairo Gang, and Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra. His performances also include work with Roscoe Mitchell, the Fred Anderson trio, Toumani Diabate, Bill Dixon, Peter Brotzman, Tony Conrad, John Tchicai, Theaster Gates and the Black Monks of Mississippi, Joe McPhee, Rhys Chatham, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Axel Dorner, Fredrik Ljungkvist, Damo Suzuki, Bobby Broom, Neil Michael Hagerty, Jandek, Earle Brown, Henry Grimes, Benoit Delbecq, and Craig Taborn. Joshua has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, Japan as well as Brazil and Russia.
Nouveau Zodiaque is the work of Xarah Dion, composer and multi-instrumentist based in Montreal, rooted in a deep interest towards folk and urban music from around the world. Beyond an identification to the exotic, she celebrates a unique sensuality, lyrical, danceable and strange. After studying organ in Quebec City, Xarah comes back to Montreal and co-founds the artistic loft La brique. She is part of Léopard et moi and Les momies de Palerme. In 2010 she puts together a band of 9 musicians to play the music of Zhenos, an afghan singer from the 80s. She also contributed to numerous projets including Land Of Kush and Matana Robert’s Gens de couleurs libres orchestra. Morever, she dj’s (DJK7K8) pan-world folk and urban music.