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May 082013
Thomas Lehn & John Butcher, St. Louis, 06-08-2012. Photo by Joseph Raglani

Thomas Lehn & John Butcher, St. Louis, 06-08-2012. Photo by Joseph Raglani

For the 100th Theatre Intangible podcast, we’ve been saving a very special performance: the Thomas Lehn and John Butcher artist showcase.

This is a recording of their spectacular June 7th, 2012 performance at Downtown Presbyterian Church. Thomas and John very graciously allowed me to release the recording as a  podcast.

This rare event was organized by Brady Sharp, Chris Davis, and David Maddox.

Here’s an excerpt from my Nashville Scene Critic’s Pick:

“Thomas Lehn and John Butcher are two of the most important players in the European free improv scene. Lehn plays unearthly sounds out of an EMS Synthi A, a unique 1970s analog synthesizer that supplants the Moog-style patch bay for a matrix of Battleship-like resistor pegs. His sputtering, crackling, and at times combative timbres are just as unique as the instrument he plays, and a far cry from the soothing tones of ambient electronic music.

If Evan Parker is the pioneer of extended saxophone technique, John Butcher is the lab scientist. Formerly a theoretical physicist, Butcher meticulously catalogs every sound he discovers on the sax — and I do mean every sound. Where most musical adventurers remain content mapping out the big spaces in the middle, Butcher charts every crack, crevice and blind alley. He’s famous for treating the room as an extension of the instrument (having recorded in caves, oil tanks and underground reservoirs), and you can be sure the amazing acoustics of the chapel at DPC will play a big part in both players’ performances.”

The acoustics of the space did play a big part of the performance. The reverb you hear on the recording is in fact the chapel’s natural room reverb.

This was a very special performance, and I’m indebted to Brady, Chris, and Dave for putting the show together and to Thomas and John for bringing their talents to Nashville.

Also, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the talented performers who have ever appeared on Theatre Intangible. 100 episodes down. Here’s to 100 more.

As always, thanks for listening.