Minneapolis, January 30, 2012—The Walker Art Center presents the second season of the free, in-gallery music series Sound Horizon, in the Perlman Gallery on select Target Free Thursday Nights March-May, 2012. Exploring the interstitial spaces of live sound and visual art, the series continues this spring with three of the country’s most respected composers and solo sonic adventurers. Sound Horizon features free performances by Brooklyn-based vocal artist Julianna Barwick (Thursday, March 8), multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp (Thursday, April 5), and Bon Iver saxophonist Colin Stetson (Thursday, May 10).
Target Free Thursday Nights Performances at 6, 7, and 8 pm, Free Perlman Gallery Admission to the Walker galleries is free from 5–9 pm
Thursday, March 8
“Her ethereal multi-tracked harmonies have the devotional quality of gospel choirs, and the oddball allure of Björk or Yoko Ono.” —New York Times
Brooklyn-based experimental looper Julianna Barwick turns the Perlman Gallery into a sonic sanctuary with her soaringly beautiful vocal soundscapes. Her postmillennial ambient, an alternately ethereal and ecstatic one-woman choir, layers voice and technology with rapturous results. As Pitchfork raved “We may not need Barwick to go deep into darkness or to write words that mean something, because she has tapped a vein of expression that is rich and powerful and affecting and even useful. And for the time being, the vein seems to be hers alone, though we can visit any time we like.”
Barwick credits a rural, church choir upbringing for her unique sound. She begins most tracks with a single phrase or refrain and then uses a loop station and the occasional piano or percussive instrument to build the song into a swirling mass of lush, ambient folk. She released her first two collections of songs, the full-length Sanguine and the EP Florine, in 2009 and 2010 respectively before issuing her Asthmatic Kitty debut, The Magic Place, in 2011. Her song Anjos is used as the background score for the recent Levis “Go Forth” ad campaign.
Thursday, April 5
“Whether he plays jazz, rock or free improvisation, Elliott Sharp’s guitar can rip flesh, thanks to his astounding fretwork skills and an inventive musical vocabulary.” —JazzTimes
Equal parts multi-instrumentalist, extended guitar hero, and mad scientist, Elliott Sharp has been a pivotal experimenter in the downtown New York music scene for more than 30 years. This sure-to-be jaw-dropping performance of acrobatic dexterity and visceral composition will feature his Octal etudes for 8-string guitar/bass.
A multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer, Sharp has released over 85 recordings ranging from orchestral music to blues, jazz, noise, no wave rock, and techno. He leads the projects Carbon and Orchestra Carbon, Tectonics, and Terraplane and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition and interaction.
His collaborators have included Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt; pop singer Debbie Harry; Ensemble Modern; Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Kronos String Quartet; Ensemble Resonanz; cello innovator Frances Marie Uitti; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; pipa virtuoso Min-Xiao Feng; jazz greats Jack deJohnette, Oliver Lake, and Sonny Sharrock; multimedia artists Christian Marclay and Pierre Huyghe; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka.
Sharp is the subject of the documentary Doing The Don’t by filmmaker Bert Shapiro.
Thursday, May 10
“Colin Stetson is one of our greatest living saxophone players. There are so many crushingly beautiful sounds coming out of one person, at once, that it makes your skin tremble, your mind go blank, and your eyes close.” —Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)
Exploring the outer limits of saxophone range and technique, Montreal-based Colin Stetson (Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Laurie Anderson) unorthodoxically pushes together drone-rock, minimalism, and out jazz in a simultaneously artistic and physical feat.
Stetson was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI and earned a degree in music from the University of Michigan in 1997. Six years in San Francisco followed, then another four in Brooklyn, NY. During this time he developed his unique solo voice on saxophones and clarinets, culminating in the release of the album New History Warfare Vol. 1 on Agoo Records in 2008.
Stetson’s latest solo record New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges was released in 2011 on Constellation.
Aside from his work as a soloist, Stetson has brought his talents to the stage and studio with dozens of artists over the past decade, including Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, Feist, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, David Byrne, Jolie Holland, Sinead O’Connor, LCD Soundsystem, The National, Angelique Kidjo, and Anthony Braxton.
Stetson is a current member of the band Bon Iver.
This series is presented in association with the American Composers Forum.