24 11 2015

SUNN O))) Australia tour 2016





SUNN O))) are pleased to be working together with David Sefton from Adelaide Festival and Dave Cutbush and the Life is Noise team on an Australian tour. We now have the following dates confirmed and on sale:

MARCH 12 2016 Adelaide Festival (with the godly MAGMA, tickets TICKETMASTER)
MARCH 15 2016 Manning Bar, Sydney (tickets lifeisnoise.com)
MARCH 16 2016 Max Watts, Melbourne (tickets lifeisnoise.com)

We spend a lot of time and care putting this together... looking forward to quake Oz again!

Lineup: Attila, TOS, Stebmo, Lord, SOMA, FOH: Fullard

24 11 2015

SUNN O))) Paris cancellation words

Thanks for your understanding everyone as we sorted through this in the intense aftermath of the terrible events in Paris, earlier this month.
SUNN O))) will be playing Hellfest 2016 and we are looking at making the Paris show happen around that time (possible along with a few other special shows in europe).
More soon on all of that.
For posterity's sake here are the original announcements from us on the situation.



Second announcement, words from Stephen O'Malley on the cancellation 19 Nov 2015

Yeah. Just off to Utrecht for SUNN O))) concert @LEGUESSWHO . Will be good to dive in to the music/medicine right now see friends and all.

Yes we had to drop the SUNN O))) show in Paris because increased security and bureaucratic measures wouldnt permit a band to play 125db in a fog entrenched room underground in the dark, in a major museum, right now.

The band was ready to move forward but its better to wait later rather than compromise on the full experience... This was a difficult decision.

I live in Paris and went through this weekend along with my friends and fellow Parisians. I'm exhausted, nerves fried and know and praise the medicinal power of music ... I personally apologize to any SUNN O))) fans here who are disappointed.

But I disagree with any criticism charging us with fear. This is simply not the case. This was an artistic decision. We cannot compromise artistically. We'll present an unforgettable concert in the future, hopefully spring, in Paris.

- Stephen O'Malley/SUNN O)))


Original announcement 18 Nov 2015


As a result of the aftermath of the horrendous events in Paris last friday, SUNN O))) & promoters SUPER! & RBMA have come to a mutual conclusion to postpone our 23 November concert.

The necessary increased security and bureaucratic requirements demand artistic compromises which would regrettably prevent SUNN O))) from evoking our concert properly for our fans, to create the atmosphere and immersion that is the very essence of the live aspect.

We apologise to our fans and supporters and we promise to return in the near future.

We love you all and wish a great healing.


05 11 2015

SUNN O))) shares artwork and preorders for "Kannon"




Outdoor color bandphoto via Peter Beste, August 2015

Indoor color band photo by Estelle Hanania (Detail from mural "Vita" at the Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum, Oslo © Emanuel Vigeland Museum / ARS 2015)



Preparations continue for the release of SUNN O)))’s upcoming LP, Kannon, to be released this December via Southern Lord, and this week the album’s cover art and pre-order options have been released.

Consisting of three self-titled pieces of a triadic whole, the roots to SUNN O)))’s new album trace deeply into the sessions of their 2009-released Monoliths & Dimensions LP and very recent collaborative recordings with Ulver (Terrestrials, 2014) and Scott Walker (Soused, 2015), culminated and fully realized this year. Recorded and mixed with SUNN O)))’s close colleague and co-producer Randall Dunn at Studio Litho, Aleph and Avast!, Kannon is as always composed around the immense guitar and bass interplay of founders Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, and includes performances by long term allies and collaborators Attila Csihar, Oren Ambarchi, Rex Ritter, Steve Moore and others.

The literal representation of Kannon is as an aspect of Buddha: commonly known as the Guanyin Bodhisattva (Chinese: 觀音菩薩) amongst a plurality of other forms. There is a rich lineage behind this idea tracing back through many Asian belief systems, with as many names and cultural personifications of the idea.

We are pleased to share some new insight from artist Angela Lafont Bolliger on her inspiration for the creation of the sculpture for Kannon’s cover artwork, which closely relates to this representation of Kannon:

“I was working on a visual concept inspired by Gian Lorenzo Berninis “Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” (a life-sized Italian baroque sculpture in white marble) and had shared a short description about this project. I took a great interest in the conceptual thought behind the album…

…SUNN O)))’s compositions are minimal but intensely sculptural in depth and detail. This was my inspiration and it was important to me to transcend that idea into the sculpture I would create for the album artwork. Stephen and I both loved the idea that this sculpture could be something really ancient, like a comet — yet also indefinable and timeless…


…I started with an intense research of Guanyin, the imagery, the history, and immersed myself completely into the subject. I then put together a very detailed presentation of ideas… we came to a unanimous decision and went for an idea of “the abstraction of the God of Mercy”. It started by sculpting different black reflective materials, which I then combined with ancient rocks and crystals allowing the surface to be rich and to be viewed as something unseen – an undulating form representing Guanyin’s many hands and heads… 

…Highlights were the creation of the sculpture, different materials with versatile textures and creating a tactile object, a sensuous, meditative process. During the photographic shoot of the sculpture, every glossy highlight and detail was amplified. Rotating the sculpture a completely different form would emerge through the lens. This is what fascinates me in art – creation can surprise and transform.”

  Live performances in conjunction with the release of Kannon include SUNN O))) presents at Le Guess Who? Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands, running from November 19th through 22nd. The festival will feature sets from Southern Lord labelmates Goatsnake, Martyrdöd, The Secret, Today Is The Day and BIG|BRAVE, as well as Chelsea Wolfe, Om, Annette Peacock, Benny Maupin, Grumbling Fur, Keiji Haino, Charlemagne Palestine, Marissa Nadler; Demdike Stare, Circuit des Yeux, Bölzer and many more. Just two days after their set at Le Guess Who?, SUNN O))) will perform in Paris, France on November 23rd.

SUNN O))) Live Shows:
11/21/2015 Le Guess Who? Festival – Utrecht, NL [info]
11/23/2015 Yoyo (palais De Tokyo) – Paris, FR

Kannon will see release through Southern Lord on gatefold LP, CD and digital formats worldwide on December 4th. 

Pre-orders are today available via the SUNN O))) store, the Southern Lord store, including the European store and via bandcamp.

A limited number of white vinyl LPs will also be available at participating Record Store Day outlets Black Friday, November 27th.


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03 11 2015

Just Alap Raga Ensemble Concert, November 6th, 14th, 20th, 9pm, 275 Church Street


The Just Alap Raga Ensemble
Pandit Pran Nath 97th Birthday Memorial Tribute 
Three Evening Concerts of Raga Darbari in the MELA Dream House
Friday, November 6, Saturday, November 14 and Friday, November 20, 2015, 9 pm
La Monte Young, voice
Marian Zazeela, voice
Jung Hee Choi, voice
Naren Budhkar, tabla
The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath from the Just Dreams CD
MELA Foundation Dream House
275 Church Street, 3rd Floor, between Franklin & White Streets in Tribeca
Admission $36.  MELA Members, Seniors, Student ID, $28.
Limited seating.  Advance reservations recommended.  
Info and reservations:  mail@melafoundation.org (or 212-219-3019)
Three Evening Concerts of Raga Darbari in the contemporary Kirana gharana (style) of North Indian Classical Music will be performed by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela with The Just Alap Raga Ensemble in a memorial tribute in honor of Pandit Pran Nath's 97th birthday, Friday, November 6, Saturday, November 14 and Friday, November 20, 2015 at 9 pm in the MELA Foundation Dream House light environment, 275 Church Street, 3rd Floor.  PLEASE NOTE: To prepare for the scheduled concerts the Dream House will be closed from October 29; we will reopen Friday, November 27, 2014.  
La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi, voices; with Naren Budhkar, tabla; will be accompanied by The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath from the Just Dreams CD.  The Just Alap Raga Ensemble will perform Pandit Pran Nath's special arrangement of "Hazrat Turkaman", a traditional vilampit khayal composition set in Raga Darbari. 
Young considers The Just Alap Raga Ensemble to be one of the most significant creations in the development of his compositional process in that it organically merges the traditions of Western and Hindustani classical musics with the knowledge of acoustical science to embody complementary forms in an encompassing evolutionary statement.  Pandit Pran Nath has said, "Alap is the essence of Raga.  When the drut [faster tempo] begins, the Raga is finished."  With The Just Alap Raga Ensemble, Young applies his own compositional approach to traditional raga performance, form and technique: a pranam (bow) of gratitude in reciprocation for the influence on his music since the mid-fifties of the unique, slow, unmetered, timeless alap, and for one of the most ancient and evolved vocal traditions extant today.  The Ensemble features extended alap sections, sustained vocal and instrumental drones, two- and three-part harmony and counterpoint in just intonation over tamburas.  Young, Zazeela and Choi premiered The Just Alap Raga Ensemble on August 22, 2002 in a memorial tribute to Ustad Hafizullah Khan, the Khalifa of the Kirana Gharana and son of Pandit Pran Nath’s teacher, Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan Sahib. 
In 2009, with deep respect for Pandit Pran Nath’s arrangement of this great composition, "Hazrat Turkaman", Young composed two-part harmony for the ‘sthayi and for the antara. As in his 2003 composition “Raga Sundara” set in Raga Yaman Kalyan, the harmony line for these compositions in Raga Darbari continues the introduction of two-part harmony into Indian classical khayal composition, reinforcing the contribution of this new element into Indian classical music.  The harmony for the ‘sthayi of "Hazrat Turkaman" is dedicated to Jung Hee Choi and was composed as a present on her birthday, November 1, 2009; the harmony for the antara is dedicated to Pandit Pran Nath and was composed on his 91st birthday, November 3, 2009. 
Pandit Pran Nath virtually introduced the vocal tradition of North Indian classical music to the West in 1970.  His 1971 morning performance at Town Hall, New York City, was the first concert of morning ragas to be presented in the U.S.  Subsequently, he introduced and elaborated to Western audiences the concept of performing ragas at the proper time of day by scheduling entire series of concerts at special hours.  Many students and professional musicians came to him in America to learn about the vast system of raga and to improve their musicianship.  In 1972, Pran Nath established his own school in New York City under the direction of his disciples La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, the Kirana Center for Indian Classical Music, now a project of MELA Foundation.  Over the years Pran Nath performed hundreds of concerts in the West, scores of them in New York City, and in Fall 1993, he inaugurated the MELA Foundation Dream House with three Raga Cycle concerts.  He continued to perform here annually during his remaining years, and on May 12 and 17, 1996, his two concerts of Afternoon and Evening Ragas in the Dream House were his last public performances before he passed away on June 13, 1996. 
Pran Nath's majestic expositions of the slow alap sections of ragas combined with his emphasis on perfect intonation and the clear evocation of mood had a profound impact on Western contemporary composers and performers.  Following Young and Zazeela, minimalist composer Terry Riley became one of his first American disciples.  Fourth-world trumpeter Jon Hassell, jazz all‑stars Don Cherry and Lee Konitz, composers Jon Gibson, Yoshimasa Wada, Rhys Chatham, Michael Harrison and Allaudin Mathieu, Sufi Pir Shabda Kahn, mathematician and composer Christer Hennix, concept artist and violinist Henry Flynt, dancer Simone Forti, and many others took the opportunity to study with the master. 
In The Hindustan Times (2003), Shanta Serbjeet Singh wrote:
            “[Young and Zazeela] would create works like the “Just Alap Raga Ensemble” which would amaze musicians of the caliber of Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj or the Gundecha brothers were they to hear it.  In fact I wish they would hear it and savour their own legacy of Indian classical music in two new ways, one, by way of the Youngs’ immense sadhna and two, by way of the fact that today the great art of Hindustani Shastriya sangeet has actually become so much a part of the world of music.  Did not the ancients say: Vasudeva Kumutbhakam—the world is a family?  A work like “Just Alap Raga Ensemble” actually proves it.” 
The 2005 article, “Tales Of Exemplary Guru Bhakti / Pran Nath, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela,” in "The Eye," quarterly magazine of SPIC MACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth), notes that: 
            “He [Young] is a master of Hindustani classical music.  … La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, founders of the MELA Foundation Dream House in New York are responsible for having single-handedly introduced vocal Hindustani classical music to America.  In 1970 when they brought renowned master vocalist Pandit Pran Nath of the Kirana Gharana to the U.S. and became his first Western disciples, studying with him for twenty-six years in the traditional gurukula manner of living with the guru, Americans and Westerners only had a nodding acquaintance with Indian music, that too, only instrumental music through the performing tours of Pandit Ravi Shankar.  Also some introduction to Indian rhythm techniques through the charismatic playing of Pandit Chatur Lal, the tabla player who always accompanied Ravi Shankar through the sixties.  But the deep, unfathomable intricacies of Khayal Gayaki and of the whole cosmos of Alap were totally unknown to them.  Indeed, as his many American shishyas, most of them practicing musicians themselves, would say later, even unimaginable. … Young and Zazeela, who taught the Kirana style and performed with Pandit Pran Nath since 1970 in hundreds of concerts in India, Iran, Europe and the United States, have continued their Guru’s work in the most exemplary manner.  In June 2002, shortly before he died, Khalifa Hafizullah Khan Sahib, Ustad Wahid Khan Sahib’s son and a great sarangi master, conferred on Young the title of Khan Sahib.”    
American Music, Winter 2009, reviewed the Ensemble's March performance at the Guggenheim Museum:
            “After the introductory alap, the musicians initially presented the text of the composition proper in traditional monophonic fashion against the drone. Later on, however, the ensemble revealed its most striking innovation: in another bold deviation from traditional North Indian monophony, they rendered the composition in two-part harmony.  ...in the context of raga performance, this harmonization, combined with the ethereal polytonal quality of Raga Yaman, lent the ensemble a breathtakingly lush quality with each return of the refrain."
In his LA Times Blog, critic Mark Swed wrote of the Ensemble's performance of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra in Raga Sindh Bhairavi: 
            "Frankly, what made me drop everything and fly to New York at the last minute for the [Merce Cunningham] memorial was the announcement of the music lineup, which was a once-in-a-life-time gathering. La Monte Young, the otherworldly inventor of Minimalism, began the program singing a welcoming raga with Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi, which was pure vibratory magic."
Concert admission is $36 / $28 MELA members; seniors; students with ID.  Limited seating.  Advance reservations recommended.  For further information and reservations, email mail@melafoundation.org or visit www.melafoundation.org.
MELA's programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and generous contributions from individuals and MELA Members.  
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