Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lukas Ligeti plays Eyedrum on Wed., Oct. 1

Posted By on Sun, Sep 28, 2008 at 11:08 PM

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On Wed., Oct. 1 Lukas Ligeti returns to Atlanta to play Eyedrum in support of his latest CD, Afrikan Machinery (Tzadik). Lukas is the son of renowned 20th Century avant-garde composer György Ligeti. Much like his father, the younger, Brooklyn-based Ligeti thrives on the fringes of experimental musical ideas and practices, but his compositions focus on percussive experimentation and crafting rhythms and drones that land in the realm of post-minimalism. Electronica, jazz and indie rock in some form or another have fallen into his repertoire from time to time as well, but his work has very little to do with Western pop music by any means.

Afrikan Machinery is a swirling collection of polyrhythms and ethnic sounds that are mashed, chopped and screwed into varying tempos and sensory slurring constructs that on the surface defy a sense of order. But there is an underlying structure that weaves in and out of each number.

An array of plinks and plunks bounce off of each other as lines of minimal rhythms that are pieced together by a barrage of sounds intertwine to form something that is much greater than the sum of it’s parts.

It's a hypnotic balance of chaos and design, improvisation and focused ideas that are as blissful as they are world-weary and anxiety inducing; and capture Ligeti at his finest musical moments. This show marks Ligeti's first stop in Atlanta since playing Eyedrum with Raoul Björkenheim back in June of 2004. I had a chance to catch up with Lukas shortly before he left for the current tour.

Chad Radford: What you will be playing at your show in Atlanta, and will this be a solo performance?

Lukas Ligeti: I'll be playing solo on an instrument called marimba lumina. It's a kind of electronic marimba, a very sophisticated midi controller, built by Don Buchla from California, and you can get information on it at www.buchla.com. The sounds I play come mostly from my laptop - samples for the most part, recorded during my travels, often in Africa. The music is part composed / part improvised, and made to be played live on electronic percussion.

Local percussionist / composer Klimchak opens the show with an aural collage of clashing electronic and acoustic beats and textures. $8. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655.www.eyedrum.org

(Photo by Chris Woltmann)

…here’s what the rest of the world has to say about the CD.

"Ligeti's...sensitivity to specific properties and qualities of sound is brilliantly displayed on Afrikan Machinery. Ligeti...really knows sound and how it lives in the mind." -- The Wire

“...a grandiose, cosmopolitan choreography of samples which inhabits the no-man's land between Steve Reich's phase shifting, John Oswald's rock / hip-hop imitations and authentic folklore, and truly forges new territory. Highly innovative music which never loses interest, as new colors, movements, and sounds emerge behind every curve and break in the path." -- DeBug

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