S-I-C02 Photo: Michael Cina
“Bhatia’s music signals freedom…the sounds Bhatia makes with his Telecaster feel profuse, immersive, and immense.”- Washington Post
Marrying emotional intensity with musical virtuosity, guitarist, composer, and electronic music artist Rafiq Bhatia mixes contemporary sound art with high-energy improvisation. Breaking English, his latest work for his electroacoustic ensemble, is transformed into an immersive multimedia experience by Minneapolis-based visual artist Michael Cina and video artist Hal Lovemelt. Bhatia is joined by fellow Son Lux member Ian Chang (percussion), along with Jackson Hill (bass, synthesizers) and Nina Moffitt (vocals). The evening opens with Spiritual Leader, Chang’s exacting and propulsive set of solo works for electronic percussion. Breaking English will be performed Saturday, October 21, at 8 pm, in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater.
Copresented with the SPCO’s Liquid Music Series.
About Rafiq Bhatia
A first-generation American of East African Indian descent, Bhatia was born and raised in North Carolina and grew up on sounds of hip-hop. As a composer, guitarist and producer, he and drummer Ian Chang joined composer and pianist Ryan Lott in the band Son Lux in 2014. The trio was praised by NPR as “the world’s most lethal band”, having given over 300 performances in America, Europe and Asia. Bhatia has produced some solo works as well, such as his highly-praised debut album Yes It Will (2012). At Oberlin College in Ohio, he studied neuroscience and economics. During his college career, he spent several hours shadowing Billy Hart, who has drummed for Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. Soon after graduating, he moved to New York City to focus on his own compositions and musical style. The JazzTimes described Bhatia’s music as hip-hop fused with electronic, accompanied with subtle sounds of classic soul.
About Michael Cina
World renowned Creative Director Michael Cina currently leads his Minneapolis based, multi-disciplinary design studio Michael Cina Associates. Commended for his innovative work and sought after around the world, Cina is known for starting up graphic design company YouWorkForThem and award-winning studio WeWorkForThem. Apple, Wired magazine and American Express are among many of his current clients.
About Hal Lovemelt
Minneapolis based visual artist and entrepreneur Hal Lovemelt is the designer and founder of Playatta, an art and design production company that is known for its interactive video playgrounds. He uses video technician and motion graphics design skills to freelance visual artistry for the likes of Marijuana Deathsquads, Ryhmesayers and Eaux Claires Festival.
About Ian Chang
Set to release his debut EP with Kowloon Records Spiritual Leader this fall, New York based, genre-bending drummer Ian Chang is known for his seamless sound design as a drummer for bands Son Lux and Landlady. He has been described as “gigantically talented” and his drumming style a “four out of five” for difficulty by NPR and the Vice channel Creators.
About Jackson Hill
A freelance musician and instructor based in New York, Jackson Hill composes for his jazz band TUTU. Hill is an active performer on double bass, electric bass guitar and synthesizer, often performing with Bhatia, Xenia Rubinos, Leverage Models, and Mixtape: A Cover Band for Hipsters. He has also recorded alongside pianist Vijay Iyer and drummer Billy Hart on Bhatia’s debut LP Yes It Will (2012).
About Nina Moffitt
Native to and based in Brooklyn, NY, vocalist Nina Moffitt performs along with Hill in the alternative R&B jazz septet TUTU and performs in The Will Mason Ensemble. She also collaborates with Bhatia and occasionally sings backup vocals for Son Lux. The daughter of a pianist composer, Moffitt’s roots in music surrounded her throughout her childhood, beginning her singing career as a leader of a church congregation at the age of 12. She earned a B.A. at Oberlin College in cultural anthropology while still spending time studying jazz and classical technique.
ABOUT LIQUID MUSIC:
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series, named “Best of Classical” by The New York Times, develops innovative new projects with iconoclastic artists in unique presentation formats. Liquid Music performances invite adventurous audiences to discover the new and the fascinating within the flourishing landscape of contemporary chamber music.
ABOUT THE SAINT PAUL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA:
Renowned for its artistic excellence, remarkable versatility of musical styles and adventurous programming, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is widely regarded as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. Entering its 59th season in September 2017, the SPCO has recently undergone transformational change with the opening of its new home, the Ordway Concert Hall, the addition of a new generation of players, and significant changes in its artistic vision. The SPCO is primarily an unconducted ensemble that performs a broad range of repertoire from Baroque to new music and works in close collaboration with a diverse series of artistic partners. The virtuoso musicians of the SPCO present more than 130 concerts and educational programs each year, and are regularly heard on public radio programs that reach more than 2 million listeners each week on over 300 stations. Additionally, the SPCO reaches more than 200,000 listeners annually through its free online Listening Library. The SPCO is nationally recognized for its commitment to broad community accessibility, its innovative audience outreach efforts, its pioneering Liquid Music Series and its educational and family programming. The SPCO offers the most affordable tickets of any major orchestra in the United States, with over 50 percent of tickets available for $12 or less, and has expanded accessibility even further by offering free tickets for children and students starting in the 2016.17 season as a part of the New Generation Initiative. For more information, visit thespco.org.
Tickets to Rafiq Bhatia’s Breaking English are $20 ($16 Walker members and SPCO subscribers) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Date: Saturday, October 21
Time: 8 pm
Price: $20 ($16 Walker members)