Sunday 20 May 2012 at 8:00pm
18-22 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL, United Kingdom
Second day of our Charalambides weekend with solo sets from Tom and Christina Carter and various collaborations. Dedicated to a vision of spiritual music (in all its forms) as transformative force, Charalambides sound is uniquely personal and consistent, even through some outwardly extreme shifts in tactics - song-as-mantra, interstellar voids full of silence, or howling, ecstatically-received gnosis.
Christina Carter was born in the bayou city of Houston, Texas in November of 1968, and co-founded the group Charalambides there in December of 1991. Ever since then, she has deeply mined her own vein of sound-as-music with voice, guitar (both electric and acoustic), piano, and keys. For the past several years, Christina has utilized extended improvisational guitar passages within and without song-medley structures; re-contextualized certain Charalambides songs within the spare single guitar/voice form that birthed much of the group's music; and recently, investigated 'the song' as a thing unto itself, specifically concentrating on 'the word'- both in her own lyric writing and her interpretions of the work of other lyricists.
In addition to performing extensively in the US, UK and Europe as a solo artist, Christina has played and recorded in various groups and duos with Black Forest/Black Sea, Maria Chavez (as Weird Cookie), Loren Connors, Chris Corsano, Dredd Foole, Sandy Ewen, Paul Flaherty, Gown (as The Bastard Wing), Shawn David McMillen, and Thurston Moore. She is also a permanent member of Scorces (with vocalist/pedal steel player Heather Leigh Murray).
Concurrent with her work as a musician, Christina has expanded her involvement in writing and visual art. Her poetry has been published by Digitalis Industries, The Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal, Glass Eye, and Slow Toe Press. In 2007, her art piece Forever 21 appeared at Salon Mijangos in San Antonio, Texas as part of a concert/exhibit featuring Tom Carter, Warmer Milks, and Tetuzi Akiyama. Forever 21 was a labor of love and destruction: six of her handwritten diaries cut up painstakingly with scissors into miniscule pieces, which then filled a large yellow plastic shopping bag.
Christina currently resides in Austin, Texas. Her latest albums are the Charalambides album Exile (Kranky), the double LP reissue Texas Blues Working (Blackest Rainbow), and two solo CDRs: Trickster Who Is Like God (Many Breaths) and a reissue of Future In Past (Many Breaths), originally released on the Wholly Other imprint in 2002.
Tom Carter's solo electric guitar work sculpts a richly varied landscape of immensely-stacked grit and beauty, weaving interlocking strands of visceral melody into towering (and often high-volume) long-form drones.
Born barely south of the Mason-Dixon line, and just in time for the Summer of Love, Tom Carter led a decidedly non-hippy existence being shuffled around various farm and mining towns in Maryland and Ohio by his newspaperman father, before finally making his way to Texas in 1985, just in time to watch all the good hardcore bands die. Already obsessed with American pre-punk and British post-punk, Carter dove into the lysergically spiked musical waters of Texas with both feet, augmenting his guitar skills with unreliable instruments, cranky analog electronics, and disintegrating practice amps. Over the ensuing decades, he managed to forge his evolving ideas of complete tonal immersion (and the quest for the perfect fuzz tone) into a layered sonic toolkit of rough beauty and unrefined proficiency.
Best known for his work with acclaimed iconoclasts Charalambides, which he co-founded with Christina Carter in 1991, he has branched out into other collaborations since 2001, playing and recording with long-term projects Zaika (with Marcia Bassett) and Badgerlore (with Rob Fisk, Ben Chasny, Liz Harris, and Peter Swanson), as well as in frequent collaborations with Bay Area sound artist Robert Horton. Other fellow travelers have included Christian Kiefer, Paul Flaherty, Tetuzi Akiyama, Shawn David McMillen, Thurston Moore, Dredd Foole, Loren Connors, Pip Proud, Inca Ore, Jandek, Bardo Pond, Starving Weirdos, Ensemble Economique, Steve Gunn, Robert Millis, and Matt Valentine, among many others.
Recently, Carter has focused on his work with free-rock improvisers Eleven Twenty-Nine (Carter, Marc Orleans, and Michael Evans) as well as his solo performances and recordings, which have increasingly featured visual components- including collaborations with filmmakers Martha Colburn and Margarida Garcia. He currently lives in New York City.
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