Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band Residency Show
Mind Over Mirrors, Christopher Powell
847 N Third Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19123
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band
Guitarist Chris Forsyth's hypnotic compositions assimilate art rock textures with folk, blues, and experimental influences. Long active in the underground/experimental scene, he's released a series of acclaimed records over the past few years, including his 2011 LP Paranoid Cat on Family Vineyard and Early Astral, a 2012 duo LP with Mountains' Koen Holtkamp on Blackest Rainbow.His 2012 Kenzo Deluxe LP/CD on Northern Spy has been described as "resonant [and] incisive... a cosmic abstraction of the American guitar tradition, reducing blues, rock, folk and improvisation into their spare, hypnotic base elements." (Philadelphis City Paper). Forsyth has toured throughout Europe and the US, sharing stages with such like-minded artists as Steve Gunn, Bill Orcutt, Rhys Chatham, Sic Alps, Grouper, Loren Connors, Mind Over Mirrors, PG Six, and Träd Gräs och Stenar, and, from 2002 to 2011, as a member of Peeesseye. He has also collaborated with artists including Meg Baird, Tetuzi Akiyama, Mike Pride, and Nate Wooley. Forsyth was awarded a 2011 Pew Fellowship in the Arts and resides in the City of Philadelphia, USA.
In Fall 2013, Paradise of Bachelors will release Forsyth's next record, Solar Motel. According to critic Tony Rettman, "sneak listens to his upcoming LP hint that the best has yet to be heard. Solar Motel is broken up into four parts, each one of them escalating in sequence with head-swelling psychedelic bliss while showcasing Forsyth's equal admiration for the guitar interplay of both Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd from Television and Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. It serves as a perfect example for what Forsyth calls his music: cosmic Americana."
For this show, Forsyth will be debuting the new Solar Motel Band featuring bassist Peter Kerlin, guitarist Paul Sukeena (Spacin') and drummer Steven Urgo (ex-The War on Drugs).
Mind Over Mirrors
MIND OVER MIRRORS, the evolving project of Jaime Fennelly and more recently, Haley Fohr of Circuit des Yeux, deploys modest acoustic constituent materials—an Indian pedal harmonium and the human voice—to produce roiling, meditative music that both simulates the swells and troughs of synthesized electronics and conjures the ceaseless rhythms of tidal surges. While we can point out referential sonic compass points—G.I. Gurdjieff's harmonium improvisations; certain particularly harmonically viscous recordings of Sacred Harp singers; Edward Artemiev's soundtracks to Tarkovsky films—in its prayerful patience, its simultaneously formal and folk aspects, and its unabashed (if intermittently anxious) beauty, it doesn't sound much like anything else being made today. There is an easy, and unusual, confluence of praise and play at work in Jaime's music that catalyzes heady reverie.
Fennelly buttresses his simple harmonium foundation with an assortment of oscillators, tape delays, and synthesizing processors that belong to the world of classic analog electronic composition. The choice of the harmonium—a 19th-century pump and pedal-operated reed keyboard instrument that once featured prominently in North Indian and European classical and religious canons as well as the vernacular music of Scandinavia, the American South, and seagoing vessels—is significant for its historical, cultural, and folkloric associations as much the self-imposed compositional or technological limitations. But make no mistake—despite the academic and abstract valences, Mind Over Mirrors is body music. In live performance, Jaime's feet are constantly pumping the harmonium's pedals, and the music's essential corporeality (in the sense of Harry Partch's designation of "corporeal music") has fostered a close collaborative relationship with acclaimed choreographer and dancer Miguel Gutierrez since 2001.
Though Fennelly now resides in Chicago, Mind Over Mirrors emerged during a three-year period from 2007-2010 while he was living on a remote island in the Salish Sea of Washington State. Since then, he has released recordings on Immune as well as Digitalis, Hands In the Dark, and Aguirre/Gift Tapes. In the early 2000's, Fennelly co-founded the iconoclastic group Peeesseye (with guitarist Chris Forsyth and drummer/visual artist Fritz Welch) in Brooklyn, and he remains a member/collaborator of Wrekmeister Harmonies, Zelienople, Scott Tuma, and Jon Mueller's Death Blues Ensemble. While Mind Over Mirrors emerged along a decidedly solo axis, Fennelly's friend Haley Fohr joined in late 2014, supplementing his solitary reeling with her incantatory singing and contributing a new textual dimension with her occasional, elliptical lyrics.
- Brendan Greaves, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Dec. 2014
"What makes Fennelly's work rise above homage is his use of Indian pedal harmonium, which cuts through his web of tape delays and synths and gives "Storing the Winter" a singular timbre." - Marc Masters, Pitchfork
"the whole point of Mind Over Mirrors seems to be taking old-standby components of Minimalism-- harmonium, oscillators, a hoard of delay-- and reconfiguring them for something fresh, perhaps as a kind of soundtrack for the first day after the New Age." - Ad Hoc
"...advanced-state sonic sorcery at its finest." - Decoder Magazine
Mind Over Mirrors streaming/download track - https://soundcloud.com/immune-recordings/mind-over-mirrors-storing-the
Christopher Powell (aka Pow Pow, aka PayPow, aka Powserati) is a self-taught rhythm scholar, producer, and beat-maker living in Philadelphia, PA. As a main contributor in the Philadelphia art and sound collective Need New Body, which fused improvisation with popular song structures, Powell began a career of international recording and performance, creating music at the nexus of art and entertainment. Since 1999, he has collaborated, recorded, and toured worldwide with a diverse spectrum of artists and musicians, including the Sun Ra Arkestra, Yoko Ono, and the Boredoms. Powell’s work in the eclectic and high energy Philadelphia band Man Man (ANTI- Records) has helped focus his talent as a leader in the live performance context. Together with Griffin Rodriguez, Powell explores popular music based on jazz and non-Western rhythms as the Los Angeles production duo Icy Demons. His latest projects include Adventuredrum, a conceptually-based performance Powell composes for an ensemble of drummers, Spaceship Aloha, a solo project mixing improvised electronics, beats, acoustic percussion and synthesizers, GRANT$, a hip hop duo with artist Tim Fite, and Mash Up Body, a collaboration with avant-garde choreographer Kate Watson-Wallace.