In the shimmering spectacle of modernity, where the play of simulacra masks the disintegration of the authentic, Rhys Chatham emerges not merely as a musician but as an architect of sound, crafting a sonic narrative from the shadows of late twentieth century Manhattan, now wandering the streets of the Latin Quarter of Paris. He stands as a testament to the metamorphosis of rock’s very essence, weaving the ethereal minimalism of a forgotten era with the raw, unrestrained rage epitomized by the Ramones. It is in this collision that one witnesses the avant-garde’s intricate dance with the primal scream of punk, electric guitar in hand.
In the decaying glow of the 60s, the electronic symphonies of Morton Subotnick whispered secrets of composition into Chatham’s eager ears. As the seventies dawned, La Monte Young’s teachings resonated with him, and soon, the Theater of Eternal Music echoed with Chatham’s presence, alongside figures like Jon Hassell and Terry Riley. In these corridors of sound, the minimalist maestros like Tony Conrad and Charlemagne Palestine played their role in molding Chatham’s ethos, with the spectral touch of the French virtuoso, Eliane Radigue, lingering on.
As the echoes of ‘Guitar Trio’ from the 1970s merged into the vast sonic horizon of ‘A Crimson Grail’ for 200 electric guitars in 2009, it became evident: Chatham had embarked on a transcendental journey, spanning decades, summoning electric guitar legions in mystical tunings to bridge the temporal vastness of the 60s and 70s with the pulsating heart of hard rock.
Now, as the holographic present unfolds, Chatham traverses the soundscape as a solitary figure, serenading with versions of ‘A Pythagorean Dream’, borne by the UK’s Foom Records. Yet, in his duality, he intertwines with guitarist David Fenech, their symphonies crystallized in a CD from the Austrian alcove of Klang Gallery Label. The simulation continues, the hyperreality intensifies.
The Fields Festival, formerly of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, had to move (for obvious reasons), and now they are in Belgrade.
I’ll be playing G3 there in June, this is an early announcement. I’ll update it soon with a link to their website.
Also in June, we’ll be mounting G3 at Art Basel 2023. We’ll be performing the piece with Robert Longo’s film, Pictures for Music, and Robert and I will be playing amoung the guitarists. We will be doing this within a huge outdoor Messeplatz installation by Latifa Echakhch. I’ll be posting more details on this and who the other players will be in the coming weeks.
In addition to G3, I have a new solo that I recently performed at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in the context of a No Wave show curated by Nicolas Ballet last February. I also did the solo concert in a more intimate setting at the Chair de Poule bar in Paris. Here is a short clip of the concert to give you an idea of its sound:
I’m available this summer to play this solo or to mount G3. To contact me for booking write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m totally psyched to play G3 at the Invisible Wind Factory in Liverpool!
(update: 15 March – Liverpool is having a Covid outbreak, unfortunately, the concert has been put on hold due to almost the entire staff of the the Invisible Wind Factory as well as some of the band members testing positive. )
It’s on Saturday, 18 March. Doors open at 7PM. For tickets and further information, click here. (Concert cancelled due to Covid).
Here is the lineup of who will be playing:
On electric guitar: – Michael Coates – Stephen Cole – Rhys Chatham – Rhys Davies – Anna Kunz – Luce Mawdsley – Sam Warren – Claire Welles
On electric bass: Clara Cicely
On drums: Joel Murray
On Friday 24 February, 9PMI’m scheduled to play the full solo in an intimate location in Paris, at the Chair de Poule bar. Details to be announced on this page soon. Also an upcoming concert in the UK in March, soon to be announced.
Chair De Poule 141 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris – Friday, 24 February 9 PM
Après sa belle performance au Centre Pompidou dans le cadre du vernissage de l’exposition ” Who You Staring At? Culture visuelle de la scène no wave des années 1970 et 1980 “, Rhys Chatham foulera avec majesté le sol brisé du Chair De Poule vendredi 24 février à 21h. Il nous plongera dans un espace immersif au moyen d’un tout nouveau solo pour guitare électrique avec accordage pythagoricien, trompette, flûtes et sons électroniques.
Jauge limitée à 45 personnes!! Entrée prix libre (prix conseillé 10 euros) Merci de réserver sur cette publication, sur la page de l’évènement facebook ou via la messagerie du Chair de Poule. photo: Sye Rynski
I seem to be making a habit of playing at art openings, this week I’ll be at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in the context of an exhibition on the No Wave scene in New York entitled ” Who are you staring at ? ” The opening is on Wednesday 01 February at 7pm. I go on around 8pm.
I’ll be presenting an excerpt from my new solo for transverse flutes (alto and C) and eletric guitar.
The exhibition will include art, posters, books and video by/on Kathy Acker, Ida Applebroog, Karole Armitage/me, Beth B and Scott B, Glenn Branca/Dan Graham, Vivienne Dick, Barbara Ess, Joseph Nechvatal, Raymond Pettibon and sound excerpts from Arto Lindsay, Live Skull, Sonic Youth and more.
There will be an excerpt playing continuously from XS, an opera by Joseph Nechvatal with music from yours truly.
Back in Paris, where I’ve been working on a new guitar piece; it’s a kind of “daughter of Guitar Trio”. When I played in Bourges last spring I remembered how much I enjoy playing with a rock drummer and electric guitarists, so we did some rehearsals here in Paris at Studios Campus (near La Bastille) and hope to have the new ensemble piece ready for the spring.
In the meantime, I’ve completed the initial work on my new solo and I plan to test it out at an opening of the artist Isabelle Forestier November in the context of an exhibition of her work, which will be open to the public from 25 October to 12 November.
There will be a closing party on Thursday, 10 November from 6 to 9pm. I’ll be playing my new solo at 7:30pm. If you are in the Paris area by all means drop by. The closing party is open to the public.
Here is the poster for the exhibition, with more details given below:
Heures d’ouverture :
En temps de vacances scolaire : mardi 25 octobre jusqu’à 19h30 Mercredi 26 octobre de 10h à 13h et de 15h30 à 19h30 Jeudi 27 et Vendredi 28 octobre de 10h à 19h30 Lundi 31 de 10h à 18h Du mercredi 2 novembre au vendredi 4 de 10h à 19h30 Fermé le samedi
En période scolaire : Lundi de 14h à 22h Du mardi au vendredi de 10h à 22h Samedi 12 novembre de 10h à 17h (jour du décrochage effectif) Fermé les jours fériés.
PARIS ANIM’ Centre Richard Wright 76 bis rue de Rennes 75006 Paris
As always, I am doing my yearly migration to the south of France in a little hamlet in the Pyrenees, not far from Perpignan. I have my music studio set up, where I work amoung the mountains, trees and dramatic sky!
I have been working on a new solo for live instruments and electronics. Here is a seven minute piece I made here recently for trumpet:
This new solo program can be anywhere from 20-minutes to an hour of music and optional visual elements, featuring me playing electric guitar, trumpet, flutes and live electronics..
Here is a quick sample of the guitar sound I’m currently working on in the context of the new solo:
If you are interested in booking the new solo (or any of my other projects), you can contact me directly here. Or at my booking agency, Julie Tippex Arts and Music.
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!