Thollem McDonas: "Electric Confluence" and solo piano, Dec 6 at Barking Legs Theater
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Thollem McDonas (Photo: Bob Aron)
Thollem's "Electric Confluence"
Thollem McDonas: "Electric Confluence" and solo piano
Thursday, Dec. 6, 7:30 pm
Barking Legs Theater (barkinglegs.org)
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
One of the most fiercely original keyboard performers on the planet, Thollem McDonas has been called "an intense and virtuosic keyboardist" by TimeOut New York and "an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument" by the celebrated composer Terry Riley.
Returning to Barking Legs Theater, Thollem's performance will feature two sets of music and an artist talkback for one admission price. The first set features "Electric Confluence," which is inspired by both naturally occurring sounds as well as the myriad cultures that exist on this continent. Integrating the eclectic sonic experiences from his life long travels, Thollem's comprovisations explore an infinite palette of sounds and possibilities. His electric set will be accompanied by ACVilla's creative video documentation of art in public spaces around this country. The evening will also feature a second set of solo piano improvisations, on the theater's beautiful Steinway grand piano.
Thollem is a perpetually traveling pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher who delves into the furthest reaches and sub-genres of post-classical, free jazz, noise, punk, dance and film. He's spent his life skirting and erasing the edges of boundaries musically, culturally, geographically. His work is ever-changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. Thollem's known internationally as an acoustic piano player in the free jazz and post-classical worlds, as a soloist as well as the lead vocalist for the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti and as an electronic keyboardist through a multitude of projects including Technicolor Grey Zone with a series of international filmmakers.
Thollem was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, studying the standard classical piano repertoire, composing and improvising since he was a child, absorbing the myriad of sounds of his culturally diverse upbringing. After dedicating his 20s to grassroots political activism, he refocused his attention on a breadth of musics that incorporate his myriad experiences and curiosities. In this last decade alone, he has played well over 1,000 concerts throughout N. America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with other musicians, dancers, and filmmakers. As leader or co-leader, he has released over 60 albums in that span on 21 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim.
A brief cross section of Thollem's many collaborators include William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Yuka C Honda and Rob Mazurek. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange as well as a published author about art, politics and his travels in The Anthology of Essays On Deep Listening, Full Moon Magazine (Prague) and First American Art Magazine.
The Shaking Ray Levi Society (shakingray.com) is an ArtsBuild (artsbuild.com) Community Arts Partner.
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