McDonas brings ‘Elec­tric Con­flu­ence’ to Bark­ing Legs

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - MUSIC - STAFF RE­PORT

Creative key­board per­former Thollem McDonas re­turns to Bark­ing Legs Theater tonight, Dec. 6, for a per­for­mance that will in­clude two sets of mu­sic and an artist talk­back.

The first set fea­tures “Elec­tric Con­flu­ence,” which is in­spired by naturally oc­cur­ring sounds as well as the nu­mer­ous cul­tures that ex­ist on this con­ti­nent. In­te­grat­ing eclec­tic sonic ex­pe­ri­ences from his trav­els, McDonas’ work ex­plores the lim­it­less pal­ette of sounds and pos­si­bil­i­ties.

His set will be ac­com­pa­nied by ACVilla’s video doc­u­men­ta­tion of art in pub­lic spa­ces around the coun­try. The evening will also fea­ture a set of solo pi­ano im­pro­vi­sa­tions.

McDonas is a trav­el­ing pi­anist, com­poser, im­pro­viser, singer- song- writer, ac­tivist, au­thor and teacher who delves into the sub­gen­res of post­clas­si­cal, free jazz, noise, punk, dance and film. His work is al­ways chang­ing, evolv­ing and re­spond­ing to the times and his ex­pe­ri­ences, both as a soloist and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with hun­dreds of artists across dis­ci­plines.

He is known in­ter­na­tion­ally as an acous­tic pi­ano player in the free jazz and post- clas­si­cal worlds, as lead vo­cal­ist for the Ital­ian band Tsig­oti and as an elec­tronic key­boardist on nu­mer­ous projects in­clud­ing “Tech­ni­color Grey Zone” with a se­ries of in­ter­na­tional film­mak­ers.

Born and raised in the San Fran­cisco Bay area, he be­gan com­pos­ing and im­pro­vis­ing as a child, ab­sorb­ing the sounds of his cul­tur­ally di­verse up­bring­ing. Af­ter ded­i­cat­ing his 20s to grass­roots po­lit­i­cal activism, he fo­cused his at­ten­tion on mu­sic that in­cor­po­rates his ex­pe­ri­ences.

Dur­ing t he l ast 10 years, he has played more than 1,000 con­certs through­out North Amer­ica and Europe as a soloist and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with other mu­si­cians, dancers and film­mak­ers. As leader or co-leader, he has re­leased over 60 al­bums on 21 la­bels to in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cal ac­claim.

PHOTO BY JA­SON FINKELMAN

Thollen McDonas will play two sets of mu­sic in tonight’s pro­gram at Bark­ing Legs Theater.

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