Barnstorm
Sunday, Jun. 22 – 7 pm
Oxford American Annex (Little Rock, Ark.)
1300 Main Street – Little Rock, AR
Admission: $5 cover at the door

HEARding Cats Collective invades Little Rock, Arkansas for a special engagement in partnership with the Oxford American magazine! If you’re in the neighborhood, drop on by!

Join Southern improvisers Davey Williams of Birmingham and Chris Parker of Little Rock in collaboration with “strange and wonderful” HEARding Cats Collective musicians Rich O’Donnell and Doc Mabuse as they Barnstorm into the Oxford American Annex (located at (1300 Main Street in Little Rock, AR). This group of virtuosos will play a range of instruments varying from commercial to self-invented creations using unique languages and extended techniques created over a lifetime of experimentation.

The quartet will engage in a freely-improvised abstract dialogue of sonic ideas in solo, duo, and group formats over the course of 90 minutes.

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ABOUT THE MUSICIANS:

Davey Williams is an American free improvisation and avant-garde music guitarist. In addition to his solo work, he has been noted for his membership in Curlew and his collaborations with LaDonna Smith. In his early career, Williams played in various rock bands, including with Delta blues musician Johnny Shines. Williams co-founded The Improviser, a journal of experimental music, in 1981. He has also worked as a music critic for the Birmingham News and published freelance criticism elsewhere.

The multi facets of Rich O’Donnell span 60 years as percussionist, improvisor, composer, designer and builder of percussion and electronic instruments, teacher and writer. He studied at North Texas State University, and was a member of the One O’Clock Lab Band from 1957-59. He is director of the Electronic Music Studio at Washington University. O’Donnell has encouraged and facilitated the growth of independent contemporary music in the United States for more than 50 years, serving as music director of the St. Louis New Music Circle until 2009, and now HEARding Cats Collective (2009 – present). He served as principal percussionist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for 43 years. O’Donnell has invented a revolutionary percussion playing technique called SeeSaw Drumming. SeeSaw Drumming is based on reciprocal motion, which allows him to play twice as fast as his normal technique, but also the ability to create complex layers of polyrhythms providing him new insight into rhythmical structures. He no longer thinks in terms of downbeats and bars, but rather convergence and overlays and cycles of the various layers. This technique can be fast and dense, but it can also be elegant and in the pocket. He has published 3:4:5, a book on SeeSaw Drumming.

Chris Parker was born in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He first learned from local Arkansas musicians, most notably: Charles Thomas, Art Porter, Sr., Bob Steele, Lee Tomboulian, and Michael Bates. Parker moved to Memphis in 1991 and received his BA degree from the University of Memphis. Parker also spent several years in New York City where he learned from masters including: Benny Powell, Chris Anderson, and Walter Perkins. Parker has worked regionally all over the south in festivals and other performance settings, as well as internationally in Europe. He worked with George Cartwright for a time, and appeared on a track with Cartwright on the Oxford American’s Tennessee Music (2013).

Doc Mabuse is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, designer and builder of electronic instruments. He studied jazz bass at North Texas State University, and has played in various ensembles in and around St. Louis throughout the last 40 years. He’s currently co-artistic director of HEARding Cats Collective. Mabuse has a penchant for analog synthesizers, and enjoys creating his own unique instruments that are capable of producing expression impossible to create with commercially available equipment. A collection of information and pictures on these instruments is available at his website, www.theaartworks.org).