Omar Souleyman at ISSUE Project Room, 2010
Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain, ISSUE Project Room’s two-month tenth anniversary festival, opens with Syrian musical legend Omar Souleyman at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The all day indoor/outdoor event includes psychedelia and space music from cult rock group Bobb Trimble's Flying Spiders, 75 Dollar Bill, a duo of Rick Brown on percussion and Che Chen on electric guitar, and discursive and distinctive blues from guitarist Steve Gunn with John Truscinski (drums) and Jason Meagher (bass).
Online sales are now over, tickets available at the door all day.
3:00 - DOORS
3:45 - $75 Bill
4:30 - Steve Gunn w/ John Truscinski & Jason Meagher
5:30 - $75 Bill
6:15 - Bobb Trimble
7:00 - $75 Bill
7:30 - Omar Souleyman
A free ferry from Manhattan to Red Hook stops a short walk from the venue.
Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain–a two-month festival celebrating ISSUE Project Room's 10th anniversary– revisits seminal past projects and initiates new relationships with over 60 artists working across disciplines of sound, dance, performance, and literature. Presented as a series of 24 evenings of provocative double billings, Ten Years Alive blurs the boundaries between divergent disciplines and practices and celebrating the vibrancy of the Brooklyn experimental arts community.
Omar Souleyman is a Syrian musical legend. Since 1994, he and his musicians have emerged as a staple of folk-pop throughout Syria, but until now they have remained little known outside of the country. To date, they have issued more than five-hundred studio- and live-recorded cassette albums which are easily spotted in the shops of any Syrian city. Born in rural Northeastern Syria, he began his musical career with a small group of local collaborators that remain with him today. The myriad of musical traditions of the region are evident in their music. Here, classical Arabic mawal-style vocalization gives way to high-octane Syrian Dabke (the regional folkloric dance and party music), Iraqi Choubi and a host of Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish styles, among others. This amalgamation is truly the sound of Syria. The music often has an overdriven sound consisting of phase-shifted Arabic keyboard solos and frantic rhythms. At breakneck speeds, these shrill Syrian electronics play out like forbidden morse-code, but the moods swing from coarse and urgent to dirgy and contemplative in the rugged anthems that comprise Souleyman’s repertoire. Oud, reeds, baglama saz, accompanying vocals and percussion fill out the sound. Souleyman last performed at ISSUE in 2010.
Bobb Trimble has created an utterly unique body of work that merges psychedelia, folk-rock, space music and sound effects into rock’s most convincing depiction of a disturbed mind. As with most tortured artistic souls, Trimble’s distinct vision is filled with much more than just fear and self-loathing. It drips with beauty and heartbreak, and his high, fragile voice bleeds with passion. Trimble has become a cult rock figure, with his impossibly rare albums changing hand via tape trades for decades until they were finally made widely available in a string of re-released classic albums over the past ten years. Trimble last performed at ISSUE in 2010.
75 Dollar Bill is a duo of Rick Brown and Che Chen. Brown was born in San Francisco, CA and is a clerical worker at a law school in NYC. Chen was born in New Haven, CT and works for a cancer diagnostics company in Stonybrook, NY. They met via myspace and started playing together as 75 Dollar Bill approximately eight years later. Brown plays percussion and homemade horns and Chen plays electric guitar. 75 Dollar Bill last performed at ISSUE in May 2013.
Steve Gunn with John Truscinski (drums) and Justin Tripp (bass). A New York-based guitarist and songwriter with a career spanning nearly 15 years, Steve Gunn has produced volumes of critically acclaimed solo, duo, and ensemble recordings, that represent milestones of contemporary guitar-driven, forward music. Close listening reveals the influence of Delta and Piedmont country blues, ecstatic free jazz, and psych, as well as Gnawa and Carnatic music, on the continually unfolding compositions. The trio will be performing songs from the latest album 'Time Off', which came out this summer. Gunn last performed at ISSUE in 2012
Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain is made possible, in part, by “Lead Presenter” support from Robert Bielecki and HBO; “Festival Sponsor” support from Robert Longo, Margo Somma & John Hamilton, and Sixpoint Brewery; with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; with the support of the Casement Fund, Ltd.; and with the support of ISSUE Project Room’s Members.