I have but one question for the inimitable Rhys Chatham: “Mr. Chatham, just where did you get all of those guitars?” For years, Chatham has hidden behind layers of press handlers, interviewers too starstruck to ask the tough questions, and his status as master composer and probable father of noise rock (imagine that episode of Maury), but no longer. The people demand to know, and I won’t write this news post about your new Northern Spy release Harmonie du soir until you answer us!
Okay, so it’s 30 minutes later now, and I just got off the horn with Squeo, the news editor over here. He says we’re “not in the business of holding the news hostage,” which I think is bullshit and makes me wonder exactly what business we are in. I’m up for my pension soon, though, and I don’t want to rock the boat. Harmonie du soir is out November 12 from Northern Spy on both CD and LP. The release features three pieces, the first of which, “Harmonie du soir,” is Chatham’s first recorded composition for six guitars, bass, and drums since 1986’s Die Donnergötter. The second is another new composition for 70-piece brass band entitled “Harmonie de Pontarlier: The Dream of Rhonabwy,” and the final is a “burning re-imagination” of 1982’s “Drastic Classicism” (this final track is only available on the CD version and the bonus download with the vinyl edition). You can preorder the record from Northern Spy right now.
What’s more, in what feels like a targeted attack against those of us brave enough to ask the real questions, Chatham is also planning the first West Coast performance of “A Secret Rose,” a piece written for an orchestra of 100 electric guitars. The performance is on November 17 at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California. You can grab tickets right now if you’re the type of nerd who “plans ahead for events.” He’s also got a few other dates coming up, including a solo trumpet performance at the Hunters Moon festival in Ireland, and a collaboration with Charlemagne Palestine in the United Kingdom.
Harmonie du soir tracklisting:
01. Harmonie du soir
02. Harmonie de Pontarlier: The Dream of Rhonabwy
03. Drastic Classicism Revisited
10.27.13 - Carrick on Shannon, Ireland - Hunters Moon Festival
11.02.13 - Birmington, UK - Library of Birmingham *
11.17.13 - Richmond, CA - Craneway Pavilion
* Charlemagne Palestine