The Universal Thump
Freedy Johnston, Sonja Van Hamel
635 Sackett St
Brooklyn, NY, 11217
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
The Universal Thump
The Universal Thump is an ambitious banquet of musical styles and instrumentation, with influences ranging from deep psychedelia to prog at its most evolved, convoluted and unapologetic. Such is the peculiar and exciting alchemy of The Universal Thump's accessible but avant-guarde pop. - Elizabeth Nelson, NPR
The Universal Thump is a Brooklyn-based (1/2 Australian) whale-watching inspired band led by singer-songwriter-producer Greta Gertler & drummer-producer Adam D Gold. Independent Music Awards nominees for Best Music Producers & Best Concept Album, producers of the George Harrison "All Things Must Pass" 40th Anniversary tribute concert at The Bell House. They have collaborated live and on their recordings with a truly astonishing and large group of musicians in the pop, jazz & classical worlds including Jonathan Maron (Groove Collective), Roy Nathanson (Jazz Passengers), Tanya Donelly (Belly, Throwing Muses), Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), John Wesley Harding and Clare Muldaur Manchon (Clare & The Reasons). At LITTLEFIELD on September 18 they will be debuting their 'Whale of Sound' mini-orchestra, featuring Barney McAll (keyboards), Ben Gallina (bass), Kyle Sanna (guitar) and other very special guests TBA soon. Please visit TheUniversalThump.com - Listen to their album here: http://theuniversalthumpmaster.bandcamp.com/
Johnston's songs are often praised for their literary quality – and deservedly so – but they also hit you on a gut level. Splitting his time between New York City and Madison, WI, Johnston is currently writing and recording songs for his next album, tentatively titled Neon Repairman. In an age where the internet has greatly diminished the power of radio to dictate artistic success, Johnston is poised for perhaps the most exciting stage of his career.
At this point, though, it isn't about destiny. Johnston fulfilled that a long time ago. Now, it's about joy – both for Johnston and his fans.
Sonja Van Hamel
Sonja van Hamel: multitalent -singer, songwriter, illustrator, graphic designer- an artist with many avenues of expression, all of which reflect her playful, adventurous spirit and contemporary design aesthetics. Sonja's current musical presentation is a concept she calls "Draw Clips"--which are her drawings illustrating her songs, that move and travel in time with the music, thanks also to ingenious mechanical inventions by renowned photographer Eddo Hartmann. Her drawings have different forms: a freeway taped to the floor, a cardboard pop-book or animated loops in hand-made zoetroop, etc. All is filmed and projected LIVE by Hartmann, so the result is a real time, live videoshow accompanying Sonja's live music. You can see some examples here: http://www.sonjavanhamel.nl/page/draw-clips
Sonja graduated in 1999 from the prestigious Gerrit Rietveld Acadamie with a Bachelor in Graphic Design degree, and at this time was visual editor for the renowned art collective "P.A.R.K. 4DTV". She has twice received grants from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture to support and continue her work, including a new grant in 2010 to develop the Draw Clips concept. For many years she has collaborated as a designers duo with Piet Schreuders, one of the most respected members of the Dutch design community.
Sonja formed the group BAUER (www.myspace.com/popduobauer) in 1999 with musician Berend Dubbe (Bettie Serveert), going on to release 4 acclaimed albums, including 2000's "Can't Stop Singing", which won the Silver Harp prize in the Netherlands. Bauer mixed 1960s influences like the Beach Boys and Free Design with contemporary influences such as Stereolab and the High Llamas, to form a sound with lush melodies, modern samples and electronic beats, and vintage electric piano, mellotron and analogue synths. The group's final album "The Bauer Melody of 2006" was a live performance with the Metropole Orchestra, the most experimental and cutting edge radio and TV orchestra in Europe.
Sonja's first solo project was "Winterland", composed as the soundtrack for a film, and released as an album in 2009. It's here that the Draw Clips concept made its first appearance, as a way of bringing images from the film to life. Sonja started to compose songs that will make up her 2nd album, and developing Draw Clips for many of the songs that now make up her current live show. She has recorded and mixed her new album "Transcendental Man" with producers Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, R.E.M., Big Star) and JB Meijers (De Dijk, Solomon Burke). “Transcendental Man” was released October 17th 2011 in Benelux by Basta Records. The album got some excellent reviews in the Benelux, she played on dutch TV, and had interviews in The Netherlands, Germany and England.
Sonja’s live band contains some talented musicians: Annie Tangberg (Metropole Orchestra) on cello and Tessa Douwstra (Wooden Saints, Orlando) on guitar, keys and vocals. Sonja sings and plays her beloved Wurlitzer piano, more keys, including an exclusive instrument called “Guitaret”.
The band has played numerous shows with Draw Clips in The Netherlands, Germany and Spain. Sonja was invited by The Dutch Foundation for Literature to perform her Draw Clips live, as part of the Beijing International Book Fair in China (September 2011) and again this fall 1-4 oct 2012) on the Istanbul Tanpınar Literature Festival in Turkey.
On October 13th 2012 Sonja and her band will be performing Draw Clips at the closing night of Anim‘est 2012 in Bucharest, Romania.
You can see more of Sonja's art and performances at http://www.sonjavanhamel.nl/