Artist and musician Lonnie Holley recorded his first album in 2012 when he was 62-years-old after making home recordings for more than two decades. Holley’s music, like his art, defies classification — haunting vocals, keyboards, and new renditions of songs with every performance. He has collaborated with musicians such as Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, Bill Callahan, and Bon Iver. Holley’s medium is the moment. He’s here with a new band, playing new arrangements and new songs: you’ll only hear it once.
Paul Rucker, a visual artist, composer, and musician, who often combines media, integrating live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art, will open the evening. His work is the product of a rich interactive process, through which he investigates community impacts, human rights issues, historical research, and basic human emotions surrounding particular subject matter. In 2017, Paul was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 2018 he received a coveted TED Fellowship. During his performances, Paul uses cello and electronics to create powerful, nimble, musical experiences. Paul is currently a resident artist at Creative Alliance.
Lonnie Holley was born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama. From the age of five, Holley worked various jobs: picking up trash at a drive-in movie theatre, washing dishes, and cooking. He lived in a whiskey house, on the state fairgrounds, and in several foster homes. His early life was chaotic and Holley was never afforded the pleasure of a real childhood.
Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. Holley’s sculptures are constructed from found materials in the oldest tradition of African American sculpture. Objects, already imbued with cultural and artistic metaphor, are combined into narrative sculptures that commemorate places, people, and events. His work is now in major museum collections throughout the country, on permanent display in the United Nations, and been exhibited in the White House Rose Garden. In January of 2014, Holley completed a one-month artist-in-residence with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva Island, Florida, site of the acclaimed artist’s studio.
Holley did not start making and performing music in a studio nor does his creative process mirror that of the typical musician. His music and lyrics are improvised on the spot and morph and evolve with every event, concert, and recording. In Holley’s original art environment, he would construct and deconstruct his visual works, repurposing their elements for new pieces. This often led to the transfer of individual narratives into the new work creating a cumulative composite image that has depth and purpose beyond its original singular meaning. The layers of sound in Holley’s music, likewise, are the result of decades of evolving experimentation.
FRI MAR 9 | 8PM | $18, $15 Members (+$3 at the door)