With 5 days to go until SFTOC, we’ve got an announcement to make – joining The Beauty Witch’s stage at The Crescent will be THOR & FRIENDS, the project of former Swans drummer Thor Harris. Having been due to play across the border at Deaf Institute, we’ve instead brought them across to Salford to join in the party.
Unfortunately, Thor & Friends are replacing Sex Swing, who have had to withdraw from the festival due to an injury. Get better soon, Sex Swing!
Listen to Medival by Thor & Friends, and find out more about them below.
You can get one of the final SFTOC tickets here: http://www.soundsfromtheothercity.com/tickets/
After five years of touring as the percussionist of Swans, Thor Harris began Thor & Friends in the autumn of 2015 as a vehicle to experiment with a cast of rotating Austin based musicians in the vein of American minimalism. As an instrument carpenter and acoustic polyglot, Thor & Friends is the sound of Harris’ return home — an elongated greeting and ode to his community, woodworking shop and the instruments his hands bring texture too.
With the three core members of Harris, Peggy Ghorbani and Sarah “Goat” Gautier, the expanding and contracting ensemble works within the flux of compositional and improvisational contexts, where the range of tonal color depends on what instrumentalists are joining or absent from the process. They can perform acoustically or with hues of electronic instrumentation, as a stripped down trio or a large ensemble. In addition to drawing on minimalist composers such as Terry Riley and Steve Reich, Thor & Friends amalgamate the diverse influences of Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Moondog and The Necks through a polyrhythmic center of mallet instruments, primarily marimba, xylophone and vibraphone. Around the core motifs of the aforementioned mallet timbres are shifting streams of everything from processed pedal steel and analog synthesizer to violin, viola, stand up bass, clarinet, duduk and oboe.
The group builds off of the similarities and contrasts of Harris’ past projects and continuing collaborations, which includee Swans, Ben Frost, Bill Callahan, Hospital Ships, Shearwater and John Congelton. The result ushers in a utopian optimism contemporized through 20th century predecessors via the promise of improvising with neighbors and friends and utilizing what and who is around at any given moment.
Thor & Friends debut LP came out on LM Dupli-cation in autumn 2016 — recorded with A Hawk & A Hacksaw’s Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost and Deerhoof’s John Dieterich in Albuquerque, New Mexico.