Alan Licht, Brian Chase & Okkyung Lee

Sunday, October 4, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

A second-time meeting of three electrifying improvisors/composers who have worked extensively within downtown rock and experimental music circles. Drummer Brian Chase, cellist Okkyung Lee, and guitarist Alan Licht will each present a solo piece, then perform a trio improvisation.

Over the past two decades, guitarist Alan Licht has worked with a veritable who’s who of the experimental world, from free jazz legends (Rashied Ali, Derek Bailey) and electronica wizards (Fennesz, Jim O’Rourke) to turntable masters (DJ Spooky, Christian Marclay) and veteran Downtown New York composers (John Zorn, Rhys Chatham). Licht is also renown in the indie rock scene as a bandleader (Run On, Love Child) and supporting player to cult legends like Tom Verlaine, Arthur Lee, Arto Lindsay, and Jandek. He has released five albums of compositions for tape and solo guitar, and his sound and video installations have been exhibited in the U.S. and Europe. With Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, he founded Text of Light, an ongoing ensemble which performs freely improvised concerts alongside screenings of classic avant garde cinema. Licht was curator at the famed New York experimental music venue Tonic from 2000 until its closing in 2007, and has written extensively about the arts for the WIRE, Artforum, Modern Painters, Art Review, Film Coment, Sight & Sound, Purple, Village Voice, Time Out New York, and other publications. His first book, An Emotional Memoir of Martha Quinn, was published by Drag City Press in 2003. A new book, Sound Art: Beyond Music, Between Media, the first extensive survey of the genre in English, was published by Rizzoli in fall 2007.

Brian Chase is a drummer and composer living in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up on Long Island, he started taking private drum lessons when he was five which lead to earning a Bachelors of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio. Though he works in a variety of contexts, Brian is probably best known as a member of the rock group Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a band that has toured extensively throughout the world and has been nominated for two Grammys. Other recorded projects include the Seconds, a minimalist punk rock band that has two albums on the 5rc label, a duo ensemble with saxophonist Seth Misterka that has a record on the Heathen Skulls label, and Jeremiah Lockwood’s Sway Machinery with a record on JDub. Performance collaborations have included Matt Welch, Jessica Pavone, Mary Halvorson, Stefan Tcherepnin, Alan Licht and Okkyung Lee. Brian is also interested in the Just Intonation tuning theory and, heavily influenced by the work of La Monte Young introduced to him by guitarist Jon Catler, has begun an ongoing recording project in which the principles of Just Intonation are applied to drums and percussion. This project, called “Drums and Drones,” has seen live performances at the Stone and the Abrons Arts Center. His most influential drum and percussion teachers are and have been Susie Ibarra, Greg Bandy, and Michael Rosen. Away from the drums, Brian is a regular practitioner of Ashtanga yoga.

After being in music schools from age of 3 to 25, Korean cellist/improviser/composer Okkyung Lee finally found her artistic freedom in New York’s Lower East Side where she moved in 2000. Since then, she has performed and recorded with numerous artists such as Laurie Anderson, Derek Bailey, Carla Bozulich, Nels Cline, Chris Corsano, Mark Dresser, Vijay Iyer, Miya Masaoka, Min Xiao-Fen, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Larry Ochs, Jim o’Rourke, Zeena Parkins, Marc Ribot, Wadada Leo Smith, C. Spencer Yeh and John Zorn to name a few. Okkyung has released the following albums: her debut album as a leader, Nihm on Tzadik; a duo recording with Christian Marclay, Rubbings on My Cat is an Alien/Silnet Place; a solo cello album I saw the Ghost of an Unknown Soul and it Said… on Ecstatic Peace! Check for Monsters, live recordings from a mini tour with Steve Beresford and Peter Evans, is out on Emanem and currently working on her follow up album on Tzadik.