ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE:
Monday, October 27 | 9pm - 12am
Trumpet Blossom Cafe | 310 E Prentiss St, Iowa City, Iowa 52240
ABOUT THE COLLABORATION:
The Feed Me Weird Things collaboration is a series of online visual “mixtapes” created in response to a series of music performances. Each mixtape (or group of art) is culled from the permanent collections of the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art and paired with short essays. These essays and images provide an avenue for exploring overlaps between the aesthetic sensibilities of visual and sonic artforms.
A central endeavor of art exhibitions and concert series alike is to introduce audiences to new ideas, or novel combinations and juxtapositions of old ideas. Musical curator Chris Wiersema (Mission Creek Festival) and visual curator Vero Rose Smith (Stanley Museum of Art) are united in their effort to carve out cavities for interesting conversations and cross-disciplinary connections. What is music? What is art? Where are the spaces between, and the intersections? What does it mean to listen and see deeply? The curators hold in common a belief that learning to listen and see with depth and empathy should not be limited to those able to receive specialized training. Sharing time, and attention, and physical proximity with others can create a natural empathy despite differences in personal identities and cultures.
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS:
A master on a self-built 23 string banjo, Paul Metzger's Idiosyncratic & deeply original long form improvisations bring to mind American primitive guitar, the sarod of Hindustani music, or the Chinese Erhu. But fundamentally his music grows from a deep commitment to exploring every possible expressive sound that can be extracted from his instrument. His 'home-made' aesthetic has drawn comparisons to DIY mavericks like Charlie Nothing or Eugene Chadbourne with his electric rake, but the depth of Metzger's explorations led David Keenan to assert in Wire magazine that Metzger "reveal(s) the true meaning of virtuosity." A key voice in the world of avant-garde & experimental folk, he creates a music evocative of some magical forgotten age, but is simultaneously deeply rooted in the eternal present when fingers touch strings.
"…Metzger’s banjo and guitar contain multitudes. Suspended between past and future, honouring the tradition while hijacking it, listening for its voice while revelling in its inarticulacies; this is how the thing sings. And the song, in the obsessive extensions of Metzger’s instruments, truly has no ending." - The Wire.
JOHN SAINT PELVYN
Guitarist, thereminist, singer, and player of some species of dismantled electrified folk, John Saint Pelvyn is a musical enigma of the best kind. At the root of his playing is something akin to traditional stride, but rich with quivering whammy bar wobble and shimmering feedback. He often plays the tailfin strings of his archtop like one would play harmonics, or retunes seamlessly mid-stream to create a shifting temperament across the length of a piece. An affinity for the likes of John Fahey and Loren Mazzacane-Connors can be heard here, but the comparisons quickly fall away as one takes in this ambidextrous musical sensibility. He will sing otherworldly vocal duets with his theremin while simultaneously accompanying himself fingerpicking, or will throw modulated feedback tones across otherwise inviting harmonic landscapes based on blues & folk motifs, overshadowing them with clouds of squelch that loom like an approaching post-noise squall, but that ultimately swell and punctuate more like the tone clusters of Henry Cowell or the lyrical saxophone of Frank Lowe.
“When wandering the stage singing into the F-holes of his electric arch top bringing forth arpeggios of feedback, or waving the neck of his guitar in the vicinity of a howling theremin, indeed, he seems to be playing the very air itself.” - Electro Motive Records