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This year, the organizers set out to only invite bands who had never played the fest previously, which resulted in the most exciting lineup to date. Highlights include Nashville’s own The Cherry Blossoms, NYC abstract turntablist Maria Chavez, extended-technique percussionist Tim Feeney, Los Angeles composer and Merzbow collaborator John Wiese, Arizona sound artist and “natural found object” instrumentalist Jeph Jerman, experimental percussionist and Sonic Youth collaborator Tim Barnes, NYC composer and field recording artist Anne Guthrie, cassette tape manipulator Jason Zeh, and so much more. On top of all that, Michael Esposito will demonstrate “electronic voice phenomena,” a technique used by paranormal researchers that basically looks for hidden spirit speech in audio recordings made in spooky places. However, you don’t have to believe in ghosts to enjoy Esposito’s layering of EVP recordings into sound art.
This is a perfect excuse to road trip to one of the best cities in the country. Here’s the full schedule and media streams from a few of the artists.
Louisville Experimental Festival
June 27th – 29th, 2014
810 E. Market Street, in the alley behind Decca Restaurant
Jack Wright is the legendary underground experimental saxophonist whom Davey Williams called “the Johnny Appleseed of Free Improvisation.” (Yes, I’ve used the word “legendary” three times so far. It’s the right word in all cases.) To see a force of nature like Jack Wright engulf the tiny room at Betty’s, well that’s just an experience you can’t afford to miss. The saxophone/percussion duo of Craig Schenker and Tommy Stangroom open the show.
Lakha Khan, 63 is a sarangi player and vocalist, and perhaps the greatest exponent of the sindhi sarangi. He was born in the village of Raneri in Jodhpur district, Rajasthan, India into a family of traditional musicians from the Manganiyar community. He was trained at an early age by his father Tharu Khan and later, by his uncle Mohammad Khan, in rendering the compositions of the Multan school of Manganiyars. His first public performances were in the late 60’s and 70’s under the guidance of the late Komal Kothari, a highly regarded Indian historian and ethnomusicologist. Today, Lakha Khan is one of the last remaining Manganiyars to have mastered this complex instrument and to carry forward the centuries-old musical tradition of Rajasthani folk and Sufi music. He has performed extensively across Rajasthan and India, and internationally in the U.S. and Europe. — Amarrass Records
Nashville’s Kirby Shelstad opens the show on tabla and vocal. Chris Davis organized.
Leslie Keffer is an internationally-known noise artist who currently calls Nashville home. The Cherry Blossoms describe themselves as “Middle Tennessee’s finest anarchic post neo-skiffle collective specializing in kazoo-exotica.” Keffer and Chris Davis organized this show.
In addition to all of that, we at Noa Noa are hosting an Electro-Dance party featuring Nudity, Scale Model, and The Prime Ordeal on Friday, April 19th. Nashville Film Festival pass-holders get in free. This show isn’t experimental per-se, but it does feature three great acts incorporating electronics into their sound. This will be the first public performance by The Prime Ordeal, an electronic duo comprised of Robert Amsbary and Shawn Jenkins who “explore exotic and subconscious soundscapes through an improvised medium of rhythmic sample looping, steeped in elektronische musik and pseudo-musique concrète.” For those of you in Huntsville, Alabama, catch rising stars Nudity the very next day at Happenin Fest 2013 at Lowe Mill.