Lukas Ligeti

1961
New York City, Usa

Transcending the boundaries of genre, the Austrian, New-York-City-based composer-percussionist Lukas Ligeti has developed a musical style of his own that draws upon downtown New York experimentalism, contemporary classical music, jazz, electronica, as well as world music, particularly from Africa.  Known for his non-conformity and diverse interests, Lukas creates music ranging from the through-composed to the free-improvised, often exploring polyrhythmic/polytempo structures, non-tempered tunings, and non-western elements. Other major sources of inspiration include experimental mathematics, computer technology, architecture and visual art, sociology and politics, and travel. He has also been participating in cultural exchange projects in Africa for the past 15 years.

Born in Vienna, Austria into a family from which several important artists have come including his father, composer György Ligeti, Lukas started his musical adventures after finishing high school. He studied composition and percussion at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and then moved to the U.S. and spent two years at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University before settling in New York in 1998.

His commissions include Bang on a Can, the Vienna Festwochen, Ensemble Modern, Kronos Quartet, Colin Currie and Håkan Hardenberger, the American Composers Forum, New York University, ORF Austrian Broadcasting Company, Radio France, and more; he also regularly collaborates with choreographer Karole Armitage.

As a drummer, he co-leads several bands and has performed and/or recorded with John Zorn, Henry Kaiser, Raoul Björkenheim, Gary Lucas, Michael Manring, Marilyn Crispell, Benoit Delbecq, Jim O’Rourke, Daniel Carter, John Tchicai, Eugene Chadbourne, and many others. He performs frequently on electronic percussion often using the marimba lumina, a rare instrument invented by California engineer Don Buchla.

His first trip to Africa, a commission in 1994 by the Goethe Institute to work with musicians in Côte d’Ivoire, embarked him on an exploration of cross-cultural collaboration that continues to this day. In Abidjan he co-founded the experimental, intercultural group Beta Foly which led to the release of his first CD as a bandleader, Lukas Ligeti & Beta Foly in 1997. He has worked with Batonka musicians in Zimbabwe; collaborated with Nubian musicians in Egypt which culminated in a concert at the Cairo Opera; and composed a piece for musicians from various Caribbean cultures which premiered in Miami Beach. In 2005, Lukas was featured at the Unyazi festival in Johannesburg, the first electronic experimental music festival in Africa, and in 2006, he was composer-in-residence at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Lukas traveled to Uganda in 2007 to collaborate with the music/dance/theater group, the Ndere Troupe. In 2008, he taught composition at the University of Ghana at Legon (Accra), and in 2010 he collaborated with musicians in Lesotho, focusing on the lesiba, a rare traditional instrument that is in danger of extinction.

Lukas’ band Burkina Electric, based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, combines African traditions with electronic dance music and has been touring internationally, with recent performances at the BAM Next Wave Festival and central Park Summerstage in New York, the Luminato Festival in Toronto and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Burkina Electric’s debut CD, Paspanga, was released in 2010 on Cantaloupe Records.

Lukas most recently toured in the midwestern U.S. and Canada in support of his electronic percussion solo CD Afrikan Machinery (Tzadik Records), performing at venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, and the Music Gallery in Toronto. Prior to that tour, he gave solo concerts in the UK, performing at the London Jazz Festival. He also completed a month-long curatorial project at The Stone in NYC and an American Composers Orchestra commission and world premiere of “Labyrinth of Clouds” at Carnegie Hall with Lukas on solo marimba lumina. Lukas also recently received the 2010 Alpert Award in the Arts for Music.

Phonometak Series #9

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Phonometak Series 9
November, 2011
10inch LP
5 tracks
25 minutes

Walter Prati & Evan Parker

Evan Parker (born 5 April 1944 in Bristol) is a British free-improvising saxophone player from the Europeanfree jazz scene. Recording and performing prolifically with many collaborators, Parker was a pivotal figure in the development of European free jazz and free improvisation, and has pioneered or substantially expanded an array of extended techniques. Critic Ron Wynn describes Parker as “among Europe’s most innovative and intriguing saxophonists … his solo sax work isn’t for the squeamish.”

Walter Prati: Composer, cello and electronics player. Improvised Music, Contemporary and electronic music from analog time to digital domain. Always involved in experimenta project with Giancarlo SchiaffiniThurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo. Founder member of Evan Parker Electroacoustic enesemble. Music performed at Teatro alla ScalaAkademie der Kunste – Berlin, CCA GlasgowHuddersfield Contemporary Music Festival; Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Bogotà, Melbourne.

Lukas Ligeti & Joao Orecchia

Lukas Ligeti: Born in Vienna, Austria into a Hungarian-Jewish family from which several important artists have come including his father, composer György Ligeti, Lukas started his musical adventures after finishing high school. He studied composition and percussion at theUniversity for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and then moved to the U.S. and spent two years at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University before settling in New York City in 1998. Transcending the boundaries of genre, composer-percussionist Lukas Ligeti has developed a musical style of his own that draws upon downtown New York experimentalismcontemporary classical musicjazzelectronica, as well as world music, particularly from Africa. Known for his non-conformity and diverse interests, Lukas creates music ranging from the through-composed to the free-improvised, often exploring polyrhythmic/polytempo structuresnon-tempered tunings, and non-western elements. Other major sources of inspiration include experimental mathematics, computer technology, architecture and visual art, sociology and politics, and travel. He has also been participating in cultural exchange projects in Africa for the past 15 years.

João Orecchia is an artist and musician based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Focusing on alternative sound approaches, he has been exploring ideas of randomness, composition based on source material from field recordings and the effect this can have on an audience’s perception of space or image. Prior to Johannesburg, João spent several years in Berlin, Germany, where he composed music for theatre, film and dance performance. He also collaborated with many musicians playing concerts all over Germany. João’s music has been released on several albums and compilations in Germany and New Zealand. His newest album, Hands and Feet will be released by Other Electricities in 2009 and features contributions from members of BLK JKS (Secretly Canadian), Serengeti (Anticon, Audio 8),Spoek Mathambo of Sweat.X and PlaydoeCarlo Mombelli, and Mario Marchisella. João is proud and pleased to call Mpumi Mcata and Tshepang Ramoba permanent band members. The 3 are hard at work on the next album and playing gigs around Johannesburg.

The Williamsburg Sonatas

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January, 2005
CD
8 tracks
41 minutes

Lukas Ligeti’s background encompasses jazz, avant-rock, and contemporary composition, and he eases that experience into his playing. Massimo Pupillo is an electric bassist with the Italian noise rock band Zu who has collaborated with everyone from avant folkie Eugene Chadbourne to former Can singer Damo Suzuki, not to mention Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark. Luckily his baggage here includes the rhythm, but not the stultifying beat of pop music. Meanwhile, Sicilian alto saxophonist Gianni Gebbia is a free jazz player who adapts the musical sounds of the Mediterranean to his work with his own bands and alliances advanced with fellow improvisers in locales such as California’s San Francisco Bay area. Working in a style that draws from Ornette Coleman as well as seaside balladeers, the alto saxophonist invests these tunes with techniques that range from tongue stops and altissimo smears to pitch-vibrated growls and smeared flutter tonguing. Ligeti’s accompaniment encompasses ruffs, bounces, strokes and drags. He can sound a backbeat as well as any rocker; introduce unique timbres from drum tops, claves and wood blocks that relate to the beats advanced from so-called primordial players; or alter stick-on-stick pulses and rim shots to resemble the inventions of musique concrète. And ranging from R&B-style thumb pops, claw-hammer frailing, rhythmic strums and jazzy fills, Pupillo’s electric bass style provides whatever pulse is necessary for each tune. Somehow he’s capable of producing arco-like wave forms, but as a rule he mostly confides himself to timekeeping, allowing the other two foreground freedom. Making the most of this, the saxophonist undulates straight lines, squeals with glottal punctuation, pushes almost-inaudible air through his bell, and negotiates unvarying tongue stops. Climax comes with the almost ten-minute “Some Disordered Interior Geometrics.” With the bassist holding straight to the center with ringing tones, the piece unrolls in a welter of surging sax lines and cross-patterning from the percussion. Briefly straying into ethnic music, Pupillo sounds timbres that could come from a lotar or Berber lute, and Gebbia completes the incursion in similar non-Western fashion. Expelling snaky obbligatos and tongue slaps at the same time, he manages to express the exposition and its development simultaneously. With more use of the location than the sonata’s classic form, the three have managed to produce a memorable recording.
Ken Waxman, All About Jazz