Adam Torres / Thor & Friends
Friday, October 21
Doors at 8pm / Show at 9pm
$13 / $10 Members
Adam Torres is a songwriter living in Austin, Texas.
At the age of twenty, Torres wrote and recorded Nostra Nova, an album greatly inspired by the visual art of Adolf Wolfli and the writing of Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung. Torres developed these inspirations from summer visits to his parents’ home in Switzerland, where they lived from Torres’ late teens through his mid-twenties. A long-time member of Ohio folk-rock band Southeast Engine, Torres originally recorded and released Nostra Nova in a very DIY fashion in 2006, with the album amassing a strongly devoted cult following over the years.
THOR & FRIENDS
Polymath percussionist Thor Harris inaugurated “Thor & Friends” in the autumn of 2015 after five years of touring as the percussionist of iconic avant-rock ensemble Swans. The project was intended as a vehicle for experimentation with the conceptual vocabulary of American Minimalism collaborating with a rotating cast of Austin-based musicians.
A crafter of musical instruments and stylistic polyglot Harris is returning home with Thor & Friends and the resultant music is an elongated greeting and ode to his community, woodworking shop and the instruments his hands shape and bring to life.
The ensemble has three core members, Thor, Peggy Ghorbani and Sarah “Goat” Gautier, with its line-up
expanding and contracting with the flux of compositional and improvisational contexts. The range of tonal color depends on what instrumentalists are present or absent from the process at any given time. They can perform purely acoustic or shaded with hues of electronic instrumentation, as a stripped-down trio or a large ensemble.
Thor & Friends draws on the classic Minimalist composers including Terry Riley and Steve Reich, but also amalgamate such diverse influences as Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Moondog and The Necks around a polyrhythmic core of mallet-struck instruments, primarily marimba, xylophone and vibraphone. Circling these core motifs are shifting streams of everything from processed pedal steel and analog synthesizer to violin, viola, stand-up bass, clarinet, duduk and oboe.
The group also builds upon similarities and contrasts with Harris’ past projects and continuing collaborations; these include Swans, Ben Frost, Bill Callahan, Hospital Ships, Shearwater and John Congelton. They embody utopian optimism by rooting their art and operation in both improvisation and the involvement of neighbors and friends in their process, making use of what and who is around at any given moment to make music with.
Thor & Friends debut LP will be out on LM Dupli-cation in autumn 2016 — recorded with A Hawk & A Hacksaw’s Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost and Deerhoof’s John Dieterich in Albuquerque, New Mexico — at which point the transcendent live performance that’s drifted across Central Texas over the last year will continue its crescendo across North America and Europe.