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Mission Creek Festival: SOUND FOR ANDY WARHOL’S KISS

with OHMME, Shabaka & the Ancestors

 $15 – $25

  Englert Theatre

Event Description

Ticket Information:

Included with festival pass
Individual tickets: 1/24 $15 – $25 plus fees

Box Office Info:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
12:30pm - 5:30pm
Closed Monday & Thursday
(319) 688-2653

In the 1980s, Kim Gordon founded the experimental post-punk band Sonic Youth out of an early interest in art, aesthetics, and performance. Gordon cites Warhol as one of her artistic influences, particularly the lo-fi aesthetic of Warhol’s studio, as well as his involvement with the Velvet Underground, and his multi-disciplinary practice in fashion, painting, music, publishing, and performance.

In 2018, The Andy Warhol Museum challenged Gordon to reimagine Warhol’s 1963 silent film Kiss by creating an original score to accompany the film. Gordon will be accompanied by Body/Head bandmate Bill Nace and fellow experimentalists Steve Gunn and John Truscinski in performing the new score live. Sound for Andy Warhol’s Kiss celebrates two wonderfully intertwined legacies, while affirming the one constant throughout Gordon’s comprehensive career: an ambitious quest to fuse her sonic and visual foundations through fearless creative experimentation.

Mission Creek Festival is honored to host Sound for Andy Warhol’s Kiss in its limited tour and midwest premier.

Sound for Andy Warhol’s Kiss was commissioned by The Andy Warhol Museum, in connection with the exhibition Kim Gordon: Lo-Fi Glamour, May 17 – September 1, 2019, and curated by Ben Harrison, curator of performing arts & special projects and Jessica Beck, Milton Fine curator of art and at The Warhol.

Over the last half decade, Shabaka Hutchings has established himself as a central figure in the London jazz scene, which is enjoying its greatest creative renaissance since the breakthroughs of Joe Harriott and Evan Parker in the 1960s. Hutchings has a restlessly creative and refreshingly open-minded spirit, playing in a variety of groups, including the uniquely spiritual and powerful Shabaka & the Ancestors.

The project was formed in early 2016, leading to their debit album later that year Wisdom of Elders; a document of sessions combining Hutchings with a group of South African jazz musicians he’d long admired. His connection to the group was Mandla Mlangeni (bandleader of the Amandla Freedom Ensemble), whom he’d flown there to play with over the past few years. Recorded across just one day, the group drew on their South African lineage – heroes like Zim Ngquwana and Bheki Mseleku – to bring their own slant to the American jazz lineage being reconfigured in Hutchings’ compositions themselves.

In early 2020, the group will return with their hotly anticipated second album, released on the iconic Impulse! Label, home to the spiritual jazz legend John Coltrane.

Hutchings has three primary projects – Shabaka and the Ancestors, Sons of Kemet and Comet is Coming. Between them, Hutchings has gathered a substantial number of awards and nominations, including winning the 2013 MOBO ‘Jazz Act of the Year’, winner of the 2014 Paul Hamlyn Composer Award, 2015 Jazz FM Awards ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’, 2016 Mercury Music Prize nomination, 2017 Jazz FM Awards ‘UK Jazz Act of the Year’, 2018 Jazz FM Awards ‘Jazz Innovation of the Year’ and a 2018 Mercury Music Prize nomination.

Already celebrated as the “Heart of Chicago’s Music Community” (Noisey) by both fans and tastemakers alike, OHMME (aka the duo of Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart) amalgamate the aggressive and the meditative on their bold debut full-length album, Parts.

Still in their 20s, Stewart and Cunningham are both classically trained musicians and are established players within the Chicago music scene. They are especially involved in performing and working for venues within the local experimental music scene. They’re constant collaborators and have recorded and toured with homegrown acts as varied as Tweedy, Whitney, Chance The Rapper and Twin Peaks.

Cunningham and Stewart are multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriters with a penchant for two instruments in particular. “The band started because we knew we could sing well together and we wanted to make some noise with the guitar,” says Cunningham. Stewart elaborates, “Sima and I are both trained classical pianists and we know many of the sonic spaces keyboards have to offer. Since we were interested in experimenting and creating something different from what we had both done in the past, we chose guitar as our outlet for this band. We wanted to create both new and uncomfortable parameters for ourselves to force us into a different creative space.” These guitar-heavy experiments are sometimes earthy and resounding, at other times shimmering and buzzing—swirling around the duo’s expertly crafted vocals while creating a chaotic bed of harmony. Cunningham’s smoky alto complements Stewart’s higher-register croon, all underpinned by the restrained yet highly inventive polyrhythmic percussion of drummer Matt Carroll. Think Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian-era Dirty Projectors.

Enlisting fellow Chicago cohorts Doug McCombs (Tortoise), Ken Vandermark and cellist Tomeka Reid, OHMME recorded and self-produced Parts from Cunningham’s Logan Square home studio, Fox Hall. With Parts, OHMME “wanted to capture a moment in time instead of something perfect.” The results are thrilling: from the pure pop opening track “Icon” to the candied sludge of “Peach” to the skipping rhythms of “Parts” and the dusky closer “Walk Me,” Parts draws from influences as diverse as Kate Bush and Brian Eno’s Here Come the Warm Jets to jazz and improvisational music, making for an electric debut listening experience.

This range from sweetly shiny 2-minute hypnotic bangers to woozy and sprawling 7-minute long tracks boasting moodily atmospheric wafting guitars and piercing feedback shows a band colliding thoughtfulness and creative ingenuity to produce music as unique as it is earworm-worthy. With Parts, OHMME manage to organically marry a breadth of divergent styles into an album that is cohesive, daring, and distinctly their own.

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