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Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society
“it’s patient, layered music that’s always heading somewhere, sometimes spare and sometimes complex and shimmering.” -Ben Ratliff, New York Times
“Abrams discovers new levels of mood and tone; his pieces seem to escape time completely. “ -Marc Masters, Pitchfork
“It feels startlingly new, in terms of how the music is extrapolated, how the players relate, even as it feels like an ur-music, primal, body-centered, essential.” -David Keenan, The Wire
On the closing day of ICA's exhibitions The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now and Endless Shout, ICA and Ars Nova Workshop co-present a performance by Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society. CASH BAR OPENS AT 4PM - COME EARLY!
Joshua Abrams developed his voice in the rich ferment of the 1990s Chicago music world, participating heavily across the city’s jazz, experimental, and rock scenes. He co-founded the “back-porch minimalist” band Town & Country and, with Matana Roberts and Chad Taylor, the trio Sticks & Stones. In a very busy two decades, Abrams recorded and toured with a remarkable range of artists, including extended engagements with Fred Anderson, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Hamid Drake, Theaster Gates, Neil Michael Hagerty, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, Mike Reed, Matana Roberts, and The Roots. Abrams appears on over 100 recordings. A film composer, Abrams has scored the music for five feature-length films including the award-winning films “Life Itself,” “The Interrupters” and “The Trials of Muhammad Ali.”
Since 2010, Abrams has toured North America and Europe with a shifting lineup of musicians under the rubric Natural Information Society. The group uses traditional and electric instrumentation to build long-form, intricately psychedelic environments, composed and improvised, joining the hypnotic qualities of the Gnawan guimbri to a wide range of contemporary musics and methodologies including jazz, minimalism, and "krautrock." The band's album, Magnetoception (eremite), was selected by Wire magazine as the #3 record of 2015 and by Pitchfork as the #2 experimental record of the year. Current and former band members include Lisa Alvarado, Jason Adasiewicz, Mikel Avery, Ben Boye, Hamid Drake, Ben Lamar Gay, Emmett Kelly, Artur Majewski, Nick Mazzarella, Jeff Parker, Frank Rosaly, Jason Stein, Kuba Suchar, Nori Tanaka and Chad Taylor. In 2015, Natural Information Society and Bitchin Bajas collaborated on Automaginary (Drag City).
Ars Nova Workshop is a Philadelphia nonprofit jazz and experimental music presenting organization. ANW informs, inspires, and challenges listeners to elevate the role of jazz, improvisation, and experimental music in contemporary culture. ANW events provide a forum for discourse, emergent trends in contemporary music, and unique forms of cultural exchange, while nurturing a diverse community for innovative music.