Upset The Rhythm Presents | Alan Licht


Date: March 11, 2018
Time: 6:00pm

ALAN LICHT is an American guitarist, composer and writer, revered for his work in the Blue Humans and Text of Light, and a key figure in the pantheon of experimental solo guitar players (such as Jim O’Rourke, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Bill Orcutt and Oren Ambarchi). Licht was born in New Jersey in 1968, began taking guitar lessons at the age of ten and went on to enrol at Vassar College, where he studied electronic music with Linda Fisher and composition with Annea Lockwood and Richard Wilson. By the time he graduated in 1990, Licht had already published articles on Minimalist composers La Monte Young, Tony Conrad, Rhys Chatham, and Charlemagne Palestine, and had recorded with former John Coltrane drummer Rashied Ali (on Rudolph Grey’s Mask of Light LP). Licht then relocated to New York City, focusing on pursuing free improvisation (with Rudolph Grey’s group the Blue Humans and guitarist Loren Mazzacane Connors) as well as indie rock (the bands Love Child and Run On), as well as a brief stint with legendary 60’s psychedelic rock band Arthur Lee & Love.

Licht then began developing a repertoire of structured improvisation pieces for solo electric guitar, documented on a series of albums starting with 1994’s ‘Sink the Aging Process’. These brought together his interests in re-harmonisation, process, repetition, extended duration and the textural vocabularies of rock and noise music. The albums also include tape pieces and organ works. In 2001 Licht co-founded the ensemble Text of Light with Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, a project that brought together free improvisation with screenings of historic examples of experimental cinema. Some of Licht’s most recent activities include recording and touring with Lee Ranaldo & the Dust, an improv trio with Aki Onda and artist/filmmaker Michael Snow, a duo with Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase, and a book-length interview with Will Oldham, ‘Will Oldham on Bonnie “Prince” Billy’. For this performance Licht will be performing a set similar in style to his Editions Mego album ‘Four Years Older’, a set of compelling guitar pieces that mine the rich seams of minimalism, noise and avant-garde, equal parts lyrical and corrosive.

JAMES SEDWARDS / STEVE NOBLE DUO will present a special improvised set of guitar and drums. James Sedwards is known for his work in the avant-rock scene. He leads his own band Nøught and has collaborated on projects including Guapo, The Devil, Zodiac Youth, Alex Ward & The Dead Ends and Chrome Hoof. He currently plays guitar in the Thurston Moore band. Steve Noble is London’s leading drummer, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser whose super-precise, ultra-propulsive and hyper-detailed playing has galvanized encounters with Derek Bailey, Matthew Shipp, Stephen O’Malley, Joe McPhee, Alex Ward, Rhodri Davies and countless more.