Book those flights to the sprawling musictropolis of Knoxville, TN…
Besides last week’s announcement of John Luther Adams as the Big Ears Festival 2016 Composer-in-Residence… well, as the organizers of the storied Knoxville, TN, forward-looking music event put it: “Wev’e got plenty more in store for you!”
Indeed. On March 31 – April 2 next spring, artists will include Big Ears alumni Laurie Anderson and Philip Glass will present the American debut of their unique collaboration, thus far heard only once this past summer in Italy. In addition, the legendary 1972 minimalist/industrial rock creation by violinist/filmmaker Tony Conrad with German “Krautrock” legends Faust, Outside the Dream Syndicate, will be heard live in its only concert performance in 2016.
The remainder of the weekend will see dozens of concerts by a virtual who’s who of the world’s most iconoclastic and visionary music artists. Composer / saxophonist Anthony Braxton will perform with two of his ensembles – a ten piece group and a trio; his former associate, composer/trumpet virtuoso Wadada Leo Smith will perform duos with leading jazz pianist, Vijay Iyer; while the wildly acclaimed young saxophonist Kamasi Washington – collaborator with Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus – will present his soulful, spiritual jazz.
The Irish supergroup, The Gloaming, will perform, along with young British folksinger, Olivia Chaney; leading American folk and alternative rock artists like Andrew Bird, Yo La Tengo, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Angel Olsen, Joe Henry, Lambchop, and Circuit des Yeux will be in attendance as well. Icelandic producer/composer Valgeir Sigur∂sson will be bringing his Bedroom Community compatriots Nico Muhly, Ben Frost, and Sam Amidon for a show commemorating their 10th Anniversary as a label and musician’s collective; and fellow Iceland native composer Ólafur Arnalds will present his electronica collaboration with Janus Rasmussen, Kiasmos. Widely acclaimed new music ensemble eighth blackbird will make their Big Ears debut, presenting Bryce Dessner’s new work Murder Ballades during their performance, and Australia’s musical shamans, the Necks, will return to lead Big Ears on another kaleidoscopic musical journey.
There will be groundbreaking electronics from Nicolas Jaar, Ikue Mori, and Andy Stott; maximum minimalism from drone legends Sunn O))); future thinking hip-hop and beyond with Shabazz Palaces and Hieroglyphic Being; Saharan Desert electric guitar jams from Bombino; and even more musical exploration with avant-garde sonic explorers Phantom Orchard and Wolf Eyes.
There’s more to come, including other special performances and details to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Tickets go on sale this Friday, Oct. 23 and details can be found here.
Go HERE to read contributing editor Steven Rosen’s coverage of the 2015 Big Ears event. It was seriously kickass…