Location: Floor Three, Susan and John Hess Family Theater
Henry and Lukas were originally introduced to each other in 1986, when Lukas’s father, György Ligeti, received the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition in Louisville, Kentucky. At that time, the thirty-four-year-old Kaiser told the eighteen-year-old Ligeti that they would make a record together someday. This prediction has come true many times; Henry and Lukas have recorded together on a dozen occasions and have frequently performed live together in many different contexts. Something that the two share is a great love for the music of Conlon Nancarrow, whom they both knew personally. Henry was the production assistant for the WERGO recordings of Nancarrow’s complete works and thus heard all of Nancarrow’s rolls played on his Ampico pianos in his Mexico City studio. Lukas was the fly on the wall for many interactions between his father and Conlon. Both Henry and Lukas have been greatly influenced by Nancarrow in their own musical compositions and improvisations. For this special lecture-performance, they will discuss and illuminate this influence, illustrating it with concrete recorded examples as well as live demonstrations with their instruments. You will probably never find another guitarist and drummer who list Nancarrow as one of their primary inspirations.
Part of Anywhere in Time: A Conlon Nancarrow Festival, co-curated by Dominic Murcott and Jay Sanders, Curator and Curator of Performance.
Tickets for this program are required, and include the cost of admission ($22 adults, $18 seniors, free for members). Due to limited capacity, visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets may be purchased online until midnight the night before your visit, and in person the day of the event.
Henry Kaiser is widely recognized as one of the most creative and innovative guitarists, improvisers, and producers in the fields of rock, jazz, world, and contemporary experimental musics. The California-based musician is one of the most extensively recorded as well, having appeared on more than two hundred fifty albums and contributed to countless television and film soundtracks. Kaiser also produces and contributes to a staggering number of recorded projects, and performs frequently throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan, in several regular groupings as well as in solo guitar concerts and concerts of freely improvised music with a host of diverse instrumentalists. Evidence of his exceptional musical breadth and versatility can also be found in the extraordinary range of artists with whom he has recorded and/or performed. Kaiser has had a parallel career in the film and television industry since 1972, working as a producer, director, and soundtrack composer. He received an Academy Award nomination for his work as the producer for Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World (2007); he was the underwater camera operator and soundtrack composer for the film as well. Kaiser is also a scientific diver in the US Antarctic Program. He has more Antarctic under-the-ice footage in films and TV shows than any other underwater cameraman.
Composer-percussionist Lukas Ligeti has developed a highly individual musical style drawing on downtown New York experimentalism, contemporary classical music, jazz, electronica, and world music, particularly from Africa. His music ranges from the through-composed to the free-improvised and often explores polyrhythmic/polytempo structures. Born in Vienna, Lukas has lived in New York since 1998 (dividing his time between here and Johannesburg in the last few years). Tonight’s concert, however, is probably his final one as a New York City resident: this fall, he will join the faculty in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology at the University of California, Irvine. As a composer, Lukas has been commissioned by Bang on a Can, the Vienna Festwochen, American Composers Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, choreographer Karole Armitage, and many others. As a drummer, he co-leads several bands including Burkina Electric and Hypercolor and has performed with luminaries such as Marilyn Crispell, Elliott Sharp, and John Zorn. He is a pioneer of experimental intercultural collaboration in Africa, having worked with musicians in a dozen countries across the continent during the last twenty-two years. Lukas received the 2010 Alpert Award in the Arts for Music.