“Swans wring out the beauty from each available moment” – The Skinny May 2017

“…as the audience tonight surely know, right now is the best – and possibly the last – time to experience this astonishing ensemble in all their living intensity.” – The Wee Review May 2017

"Swans live is performance art of the highest order" - LA Music Sep 2016

"…a mighty devotional racket" - The Scotsman Oct 2016


“The past seven years of my life have been the most productive and fulfilling of my career. It’s not my place to draw qualitative distinctions between the previous and current periods, and I wouldn’t presume any expertise in doing so, but from a personal perspective, this time period has been the most consistently engaging and even enthralling in my recollection. I thank here Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Thor Harris, Phil Puleo, Christopher Pravdica and our most recent convert, Paul Wallfisch, for their commitment to ecstasy and their sheer stamina in this marathon adventure. Much love to these intrepid explorers of sonic truth! May God snatch us all by his teeth and fling us out over his shoulder into the great black beyond, where we will spin slowly and infinitely through space with an ever-nascent smile emerging on our face.

… and what’s next? Musically, I have no clear idea, and don’t really want one at this juncture. I seem to have the sound of a sustained chord in my mind – not the striking of the chord, but what hangs in the air after as it dissipates, and what surrounds it, and I look forward to filling that out, traveling there. I will continue to use the name Swans, but will revert to a cast of revolving contributors, drawing on a pool of men and women I’ve worked with along the way (and new ones too)… In addition to new music, I’ll be working on making sure the Swans catalog is all reissued properly and stays in print in the best possible form and packaging (which is just as important to me as the music itself)”.

Okkyung Lee, a New York-based artist and South Korea native, has created a body of work blurring genre boundaries through collaborations and compositions while testing the limit of contemporary cello performance techniques. Her music draws inspirations from noise and extended techniques, jazz, Western classical, and Korean traditional and popular music.
Since moving to New York in 2000, Okkyung’s unique approach to her instrument and improvisation led to collaborations with numerous artists such as Laurie Anderson, David Behrman, John Butcher, Chris Corsano, Mark Fell, Douglas Gordon, Vijay Iyer, Christian Marclay, Lasse Marhaug, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Bill Orcutt, Marina Rosenfeld, Evan Parker, Wadada Leo Smith, Swans, Cecil Taylor and John Zorn to name just a few.
As a composer, her recent work include Cheol-Kkot-Sae (Steel Flower Bird) for 2 traditional Korean musicians and 5 improvisers, commissioned by SWR2 in Germany for Donaueschingen Music Festival in 2016, and still hoping for a miracle...? commissioned by Borealis Festival in Bergen, Norway in 2017.
Okkyung was recipient of Doris Duke Performing Artist Award in 2015 and Foundation For Contemporary Arts Grant in 2010.


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