Rhys Chatham is a composer, guitarist, trumpet player and flutist from Manhattan, currently living in Paris, who altered the DNA of rock and created a new type of urban music by fusing the overtone-drenched minimalism of the early 60s with the relentless, elemental fury of the Ramones — the textural intricacies of the avant-garde colliding with the visceral punch of electric guitar-slinging punk rock. He was introduced to electronic music and composition by Morton Subotnick in the late 60s, and in the early seventies he studied composition with La Monte Young and played in Tony Conrad’s early group. These composers are, along with Terry Riley, the founders of American minimalism and were a profound influence on Chatham’s work.
Starting with Guitar Trio in the 1970s and culminating with A Crimson Grail for 200 electric guitars in 2009, Chatham has been working for over 30 years to make use of armies of electric guitars in special tunings to merge the extended-time music of the sixties and seventies with serious hard rock. Parallel with his rock-influenced pieces, Chatham has been working with various brass configurations since 1982, and recently has developed a completely new approach to collaborations, improvised and compositional pieces involving trumpet through performances and recordings that started in 2009.
David Fenech is an active composer, performer, and improviser from Paris. His works include acoustic, electronic, tape, and digital media, including sound installations and film scores. After creating the musical collective Peu Importe in Grenoble in 1991 (free improvisation and songs – many gigs in Europe) his music has shifted to more personal and strange areas, mainly using voice as an instrument. He released his first solo cd called Grand Huit, in 2000. The record is like a long movie for the ears, with 8 different clips. This album is now re-released on Felix Kubin’s Gagarin label. As a soloist, David Fenech plays guitar and ukulele as well as small instruments such as melodica, cavaquinho, toy piano and xylophone. He played with musicians such as rhys chatham, berangere maximin, james plotkin (old, khanate), felix kubin, jad fair, tom cora, gino robair, ramona cordova, erikm + llog, sebastien roux, claude parle, christian rollet (a.r.f.i, workshop de lyon), andrea parkins, and with members of madrid, moka, les enfants des autres, x ray pop, art moulu, maisie, le club des chats, vincent epplay, sporto kantes and also with herve zenouda, mr quark, shugo tokumaru, anja kirschner, ghedalia tazartes + jac berrocal, digiki, toog, daniel palomo vinuesa, falter bramnk, imagho, dragibus and many others. https://davidfenech.fr
Martin Siewert ist ein deutscher Jazz- und Improvisationsmusiker (Gitarre, Elektronik) und Filmkomponist. Er lebt seit dem Alter von zehn Jahren in Wien. Er studierte Gitarre an der Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz. Als Gitarrist begann er um das Jahr 1995 öffentlich aufzutreten, zunächst mit Herwig Gradischnig, Freier Fall, Franz Hautzinger und seiner eigenen Band Duckbilled Platypus. Mit dieser Band veröffentlichte er zwei Alben auf Extraplatte. Ungefähr zur gleichen Zeit wie andere Wiener Musiker auch (etwa Boris Hauf, Dieb13, Hautzinger, Werner Dafeldecker oder Helge Hinteregger) begann er sich vom Jazzidiom zu lösen und entwickelte einen abstrakten Sound auf der Gitarre. Bald gehörte er zu den Gruppen Efzeg (mit Burkhard Stangl und Hauf) und Komfort, in die er Dafeldecker, Hinteregger, Wayne Horvitz und Tony Buck einlud. In der Gruppe Trapist spielte er mit Joe Williamson und Martin Brandlmayr zusammen. Mit Christian Reiner erscheint im Mai das Album Erstens, das an diesem Abend zum ersten Mal live präsentiert wird.
Christian Reiner ist Sprecher von Gedichten, Prosa und experimentellen Texten.Solo und in unterschiedlichen Formationen arbeitet er an Hörstücken, Theaterprojekten, Lesungen, Konzerten und CD-Einspielungen. Seine Arbeiten sind meist im Zwischenbereich von Sprache und Musik zu finden. Mit improvisierenden Musikern und Tänzern kooperiert er seit Mitte der 90er Jahre und entwickelte seine ihm eigene Art und Weise, mit gesprochenem Wort und den Möglichkeiten der menschlichen Stimme zu improvisieren. In unterschiedlichen Formationen und Ensembles, präsentiert er seine Arbeiten auf Festivals, bei Gastspielen und Konzerten.Doors: 20.00
More concerts got cancelled due to Covid and related uncertainty. Happily, I’m doing a collaboration with composer/guitarist David Fenech, which we decided to schedule for next May in hopes that the pandemic restrictions will have eased by then.
The concert will be on May 12th in May, I’ll release the details soon.
In the meantime, a beautiful video of the concert we did at the BBMix Festival at Carré Bell-Feuille in Boulogne-Billancourt, was made by Bruno Gestin and Ben Lx. Boulogne-Billancourt is a close suburb of paris, on the métro line, with a great theatre and performance space, which you will see in the video.
The performance was of G3, here is a list of the players:
Live at Carré Belle-Feuille, Festival BBmix, Boulogne-Billancourt, France. 11/27/2021. L’ orchestre de guitares de Rhys Chatham :
Le 9 février 2021 Ghédalia Tazartès nous quittait. Dans le cadre de la Semaine du Bizarre, où il avait joué en décembre 2019 son dernier concert en duo avec Rhys Chatham, quinze musiciennes et musiciens qui ont tous collaboré avec Ghédalia proposeront un Concert pour Ghédalia. Avec Rhys Chatham, Maya Dunietz & Elie Tazartes, Parrenin/Weinrich/Rollet, Quentin Rollet/Jérôme Lorichon/Cosmic Neman, Opéra Mort, Super Stoned, Low Jack, Gwen Jamois.9 décembre 2021, 19hdans le cadre de La Semaine du Bizarre #10en partenariat avec Julie Tippex & Les Instants Chavirés Théâtre Municipal Berthelot Jean-Guerrin6, rue Marcellin-Berthelot93100 – Montreuil, FR prix – 12€
On February 9, 2021 Ghédalia Tazartès left us. As part of La Semaine du Bizarre, where he played his last concert in December 2019 as a duo with Rhys Chatham, fifteen musicians who all collaborated with Ghédalia will propose a Concert for Ghédalia, with Rhys Chatham, Maya Dunietz & Elie Tazartes, Parrenin/Weinrich/Rollet, Quentin Rollet/Jérôme Lorichon/Cosmic Neman, Opéra Mort, Super Stoned, Low Jack, Gwen Jamois.
December 9, 2021, 7pm as part of La Semaine du Bizarre #10 in partnership with Julie Tippex & Les Instants Chavirés – Théâtre Municipal Berthelot – Jean-Guerrin 6, rue Marcellin-Berthelot 93100 – Montreuil, FR price 12 euros.
G3 at RISK on Saturday 11 December 2021 – Stavanger, Norway
If you find yourself in the vicinity of Stavanger, Norway, we will be mounting a performance of G3 this week on Saturday, 11 December. For further info, click below.
Here is the lineup: Electric Guitar: Rhys, Gaute Granli, Jan Christian Lauritzen, Peter Larsen, Anders Mosnes, & Kristoffer Riis. Electric Bass: Markus Hagen Drums: Thore Warland
Rhys Chatham guitar orchestra at BBMix Festival on 27, 28 November in Paris!
I’ve been busy working on a new solo, which is why I’m a little late posting this. The main event for this month is the presentation of one of my guitar orchestras here in Paris, for the first time in quite a while.
The occasion will be the BBmix Festival, held on Saturday 27 November which will be the only appearance of the electric guitar orchestra, with the festival continuing on sunday with other amazing events.
After a yearlong pause, the BBMix Festival continues its musical explorations of its latest 16th edition at the Carré Bellefeuille at Boulogne Billancourt (easily accessible on the Paris Métro!)
Here’s the link to buy tickets, which are quite reasonably priced:
SAMEDI 27 NOVEMBRE ● L’ORCHESTRE DE GUITARES ÉLECTRIQUES DE RHYS CHATHAM (USA/FR) ● IN C POUR 11 OSCILLATEURS ET 53 FORMES (FR) ● ENSEMBLE NIST-NAH (AUS/FR/GB) ● VALENTINA MAGALETTI PLAYS THE BATTERIE FRAGILE (IT/FR)
DIMANCHE 28 NOVEMBRE ● CHOCOLAT BILLY (FR) ● AKSAK MABOUL (BE/FR) ● FAUST IV LIVE! (DE)
For the guitar orchestra, we have quite a lineup: Rhys Chatham, guitare Maxime Delpierre, guitare Lou Garcia, guitare Nico Guerrero, guitare Valentina Magaletti, batterie Tatiana Paris, guitare Jean-François Pauvros, guitare Myriam Stamoulis, basse
I’ll be participating in another cool event in November in the context of a screening of films by the No Wave filmmaker Vivienne Dick, who is having a retrospective of her work at Jeu de Paume Paris 18 – 28 November. Composer Martin Wheeler and I will be playing a live set in this context on the Friday 19 April. Go to this link for details:
I’ll be posting some snippets from my new solo in the coming days. A final bit of news, we were supposed to mount G3 in Saint Petersburg, Russia in November, but the show got pushed to next year due to Covid. Alas, we are not done with Covid, folks. so be safe, exercise prudence in your social contacts, and stay healthy!
At the end of June we in Paris were unconfined by order of our president.
I live in the 6th arrondissement, and on my way to the studio , which is also in the 6th, I must say that it was a pleasure to see everybody outdoors at the cafés on rue Bucci hanging out and enjoying themselves!
The only problem is that everybody was packed together like sardines, and of course no one was wearing masks because, hoorah hoorah, the confinement had been lifted!
I wish people would exercise a little prudence, the pandemic isn’t over. It’s possible to carry COVID without showing symptoms and give it to other people, which is another good reason for continuing to wear masks.
While it is great that we musicians are starting to play again, I only hope it lasts. The choice today isn’t to get vaccinated or not get vaccinated, the choice is either everyone gets vaccinated or we go into confinement again, back and forth…endlessly!
Anyway, all that to say I finally have some concerts coming up in September! I only hope that they don’t get canceled due to COVID, but we’ll hope for the best…
The Farniente Festival – Saturday, 4 September 2021 – Saint Nazaire, France.
I’ve been working since early July at my studio in the south of France, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, near Céret. I have a solo performance coming up at the Farniente Festival on Saturday, 4th September in Saint Nazaire.
Evidently, the festival will be on the beach! Here are some photos:
Over the last few years, my solo has consisted of me playing Pythagorean Dream, a piece I had been developing since 2007 that was released on Foom Records about five years ago.
Since last July, I’ve been working on a new solo for me on alto and C flute, voice and (of course) electric guitar.
Instead of continuing to work with my analog setup of loops and other devices, I’m doing this piece completely live in Ableton, working with the Push 2 interface. I’m excited about the new sounds I’ve been getting and plan to present an early version of the new piece at the Farniente Festival.
Fields Festival – Saint Petersburg, Russia:
I’m please to be returning to Russia, this time to play at the Fields Festival in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, 19 September 2021.
We’ll be playing G3 with guitarists from the region of Saint Petersburg.
I don’t have the website yet but in the meantime I’ll post a picture from their FB page announcing the concert. As soon as I have the names of the musicians and other details, I’ll post them.
We’re still confined, so my projects have consisted of things one can do online.
I’ve been working with electronic image artist Angie Eng doing music for her a multisensory installation entitled Kosmorganic Art. We hope to have documentation on that in the coming weeks.
Another new project is with choreographer Yves Musard, who is currently based in Marseilles. We’ve been working together virtually on a film featuring Yves and my music.
I’ve also been working on a series of short videos with installation artist Raphaele Shirley, here’s a short video of a piece she mounted that I added music to:
There is discussion of possible performances for the late spring and summer, but of course nothing is firm due to Covid.
I’m looking forward to performing live again. In that spirit, here is an excerpt of a performance I did in Paris, pre-Covid:
Other spring news:
There is a vinyl record in the works with the label SubRosa, it is a duo with me and the dearly recent departed Ghédalia Tazartès, scheduled to be released over the summer. I’ll announce the precise date as the time approaches.
I’m interested in doing sound tracks for films during these Covid times, so if you have a project the would benefit from a soundtrack by us, by all means let us know. I’m currently working with electronic sound, transverse flutes and of course electric guitar. Trumpet is on hold at present due to dental work.
Things are already looking up in the States with the change in administration. In Europe the Covid-19 vaccine is being distributed slowly. Hopefully by the springtime we’ll be able to start thinking about live concerts again.
I’m currently working on various collaborations that I can do over the internet. I’m also developing a new solo that involves electronics with flute and electric guitar. I hope to be posting some samples and snippets of this work on this page and elsewhere on the internet in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, below you will find an excerpt from a reading from Howl that I will soon be releasing.
The second short video, “3by3by3 (revisited”), draws from an ongoing collaboration between Rhys Chatham, Gh Hovagimyan and Raphaele Shirley.
We started the season off with the presentation of a dance theater piece by Pascal Gravat. I worked on the music all summer and we put the finishing touches on the piece at Théâtre Galpon in Geneva, rehearsing every day there the first two weeks of September.
The performances were on 15-20 September, which we were able to do despite Covid-19 by practicing strict social distancing and everybody wearing masks.
I was lucky, I arrived in Geneva from Pars just before the quarantine on people living in France, so I didn’t have to isolate during the rehearsals, although I wear a mask.
Here was the lineup:
Chorégraphie Pascal Gravat
Danse Pascal Merighi
Musique Rhys Chatham
Lumière Loïc Rivoalan
Collaboration à la chorégraphie Mélissa Cascarino
Costumes Toni Teixeira Administration Anaïde Ohannessian Image Pascal Gravat
Here is a link to a film excerpt of the piece:
And here are some photos:
I am back in Paris, where we are largely in quarantine. I recently did some music for a sound sculpture by the visual artist Angie Eng, which is now finished. All my tours and concerts have been canceled, so I am actively looking for work.
If you have a project that needs music, this would be a good time to ask me. For enquiries, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org