|NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS:|
CoPAC and the Shaking Ray Levi Society present
Thollem McDonas: "Electric Confluence" and solo piano
Thursday, December 6, 2018, 7:30 pm
Barking Legs Theater
1307 Dodds Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
$10 at the door
One of the most fiercely original keyboard performers on the planet, Thollem McDonas has been called “an intense and virtuosic keyboardist” by TimeOut New York and "an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument” by the celebrated composer Terry Riley.
Returning to Barking Legs Theater, Thollem's performance will feature two sets of music and an artist talkback for one admission price. The first set features “Electric Confluence,” which is inspired by both naturally occurring sounds as well as the myriad cultures that exist on this continent. Integrating the eclectic sonic experiences from his life long travels, Thollem’s comprovisations explore an infinite palette of sounds and possibilities. His electric set will be accompanied by ACVilla’s creative video documentation of art in public spaces around this country. The evening will also feature a second set of solo piano improvisations, on the theater's beautiful Steinway grand piano.
Thollem is a perpetually traveling pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher who delves into the furthest reaches and sub-genres of post-classical, free jazz, noise, punk, dance and film. He's spent his life skirting and erasing the edges of boundaries musically, culturally, geographically. His work is ever-changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. Thollem's known internationally as an acoustic piano player in the free jazz and post-classical worlds, as a soloist as well as the lead vocalist for the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti and as an electronic keyboardist through a multitude of projects including Technicolor Grey Zone with a series of international filmmakers.
Thollem was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, studying the standard classical piano repertoire, composing and improvising since he was a child, absorbing the myriad of sounds of his culturally diverse upbringing. After dedicating his 20s to grassroots political activism, he refocused his attention on a breadth of musics that incorporate his myriad experiences and curiosities. In this last decade alone, he has played well over 1,000 concerts throughout N. America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with other musicians, dancers, and filmmakers. As leader or co-leader, he has released over 60 albums in that span on 21 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim.
A brief cross section of Thollem's many collaborators include William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Yuka C Honda and Rob Mazurek. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange as well as a published author about art, politics and his travels in The Anthology of Essays On Deep Listening, Full Moon Magazine (Prague) and First American Art Magazine.
“Thollem's keyboard flights unleash cascades of notes of seemingly impossible velocity and no matter where he goes tonally, it always seems right, fresh and satisfying. He should be on everyone's listening list who appreciates great piano music. As an improviser, he inhabits a world uniquely his own, rhythmically, harmonically and formally.”
- Terry Riley
Thollem on Bandcamp
The Shaking Ray Levi Society celebrates thirty years of extraordinary and challenging music and art in Chattanooga and beyond.
It is with our deepest sorrow at the Shaking Ray Levi Society that we have learned of the passing of Rev. Terry Fugate on February 13, 2015, who was the first treasurer of the Shaking Ray Levi Society and a co-founder.
We will have strong memories of Terry's infinite kindness, great musical talents, intelligence and rare insight. Terry is a former pastor of St. James Lutheran Church in Brunswick, Georgia and an early member of the Shaking Ray Levis performing group.
Shaking Ray Levi
Society is greatly
saddened by the
loss of Julian Ray
February 16, 2014,
who was a
co-founder and the
first president of
The Shaking Ray
Service for Julian
The work of the Shaking Ray Levi Society was praised in the latest VSA TN (Very Special Arts) newsletter:
"VSA Tennessee teaching artist, Bob Stagner, recently completed an artist residency at the Dawn School in Chattanooga involving studying the relationship between music and architecture. In this residency, the students first had to comprehend two art forms, then begin to understand advanced concepts for sound formation and structures, and build a vocabulary with a variety of percussion instruments. The students worked in groups with electronic devises and building models as well as with a variety of percussion instruments. The stories below are shared by the teaching artist with the permission of the students and their families:
Adeline is a 6th grader at Dawn School with severe depression and learning disabilities. She’s a delicate, soft spoken young lady who rarely talks above a whisper and remains part of the woodwork in most classes. Our workshop included architectural city shapes and their sound wave counterparts. Adeline created wave forms using two Moog devices, one for constant sound, the other for tone manipulation: vibrato, tempo, rate, pitch, and frequency. The result was a dynamic shift in her mood as she turned each dial to a new setting to match our cityscape of over 15 models. Her smile showed pure joy as she retained the concept and gained control of understanding wave/sound shape and an architectural shape.
Victor is 6th grader at Dawn School with Autism. His speech therapist felt our project would be ideal to encourage speech. After our 1st week, it was clear he would retain the exercises and gain confidence. Victor’s mother has remarked how excited her son was to be a valued group member. He has also shown more focus with tasks/lessons at home. Victor seemed very proud of new skills and has proved to be a strong class leader.
Funding provided by a grant through the VSA offices of the John F Kennedy Center for the Arts and the Tennessee Department of Education."
at the Shaking Ray
Levi Society are
deeply saddened by
the passing of
director for over
26 years, on
February 15, 2013.
Chattanooga native Dennis Palmer, 55, was a beloved musician, visual artist, storyteller, educator, mentor, and devoted friend of many.
A singular vocalist and nontraditional musician, called "the world's most colorfully inventive synthesizer player" by Creative Loafing, he co-founded the acclaimed free improvisation group The Shaking Ray Levis with drummer Bob Stagner in 1986, which was the first American band to record an album for the legendary British label Incus Records. Palmer has performed internationally with collaborators including Derek Bailey, Steve Beresford, Reverend Howard Finster, David Greenberger, Col. Bruce Hampton, Shelley Hirsch, Frank Pahl, Roger Turner, and Davey Williams.
As a visual artist, Palmer has exhibited his paintings, silk-screened prints, and other unconventional artwork both locally and internationally in cities including London and Los Angeles, and he has designed many CD and record covers.
A leader in the arts community, Palmer promoted the ideas of improvisation and creativity in thought, performance, and visual art to students of all ages through his work with the Shaking Ray Levi Society and developed outreach programs for under-served populations including students with developmental, emotional, or physical disabilities. Palmer served as President of The Association for Visual Arts (AVA) and on the board of directors for Mark Making, and he taught art in Hamilton County schools.
When teaching children, Dennis would ask them about the last time they had a good feeling. In his own words: "Clap your hands once and put your hands over your heart and give that good feeling to yourself. Next is to clap your hands again and sound off and give that feeling to everybody within the room. The third thing is to clap your hands, sound off and give that feeling out off to the whole universe."
Dennis was an inspiration for many and a strong advocate of "living in the moment" and "doing the highest good for all" in the community and beyond.
Chattanooga Pulse tributes: one, two
Creative Loafing tribute
Times Free Press tribute
Memorial Service for Dennis Palmer
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Visitation: 2 to 4 PM
Service: 4 PM
Chattanooga Funeral Home, East Brainerd Chapel
8214 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421
|p.o. box 21534 chattanooga, tn 37424 - phone: 423.910.9729|