Thollem McDonas – piano
Recorded by Omar Hamza. Live in Detroit at the Bohemian National Home. Mastered by Andrew Scott at Studio 401.
Tracklist: 1. From empty came 2. Consumption runs rampant when 3. something else again 4. sleeping with the puritan guard 5. Relax into the wander 6. Rich eat the free lunch 7. all is in 8. and mass murder starving children 9. the bitter and beauty 10. Terror incorporated 11. Now will never leave now 12. the clown of war 13. Was always is and never 14. we are witness to the collapse… 15. To empty went…
This live album delivers more pearls of wisdom
by that magnificent lone wolf specimen named Thollem Mcdonas. This man’s ardent playing seems to be modeled after centuries of musical knowledge; helped by the peculiar resonance of Detroit’s Bohemian National Home, Thollem wanders helplessly in search of lost recollections, which he finally finds only to immediately neglect them to turn his attention towards the end of another rainbow. Mcdonas has a gift, the same that ancient bluesmen and griots had: he carries the past within himself, even the events that he didn’t live, and lets us feel them through chordal successions that fuse Stravinsky, silent movie soundtracks and what Zappa called “bionic ragtime” referring to Conlon Nancarrow; we can find Charlie Chaplin, Friedrich Murnau, our grandma’s photo and an ectoplasmic Charlemagne Palestine in the space of a single track. – Massimo Ricci
Thollem McDonas | Photo by Angela C Villa ©2012
Thollem tours perpetually as a solo pianist
vocalist and collaborator regularly covering much of North America and Europe playing his unique brand of composed and spontaneous post-classical and hyphenated music. In the past 6 years, he has added 23 albums to his discography on 10 different vanguard record labels in 4 different countries. His musical experiences are extremely diverse and his ever expanding variety of approaches to making music result in dramatically new and different outcomes. He plays in punk clubs, museums, concert halls and riots. He works regularly with film makers, dancers, poets and painters as well as a wide array of divergent musicians. He has won numerous awards and is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange.
Not long after birth, Thollem began studying the keyboard repertoire from the medieval tothe 20th century. After graduating with degrees in both piano performance and composition, he dedicated his time for years in grassroots political and ecological movements before returning to his own music with his full focus in 2006. He is currently touring perpetually as a soloist, in collaboration with many other individuals and groups, as well as leading large ensemble free improvisation workshops.
Thollem performs in theaters, art galleries, universities, elementary schools, concert halls, jazz clubs, rock clubs, festivals, warehouses, house concerts, streets, forests, riots and on television, radio and the internet. He has performed piano concertos with symphonies, played in West African drumming troupes, Javanese gamelan ensembles, punk bands, free improv ensembles, and regularly collaborates as a comproviser for film and modern dance. He participates in communities as he travels, collaborating with individuals and organizations, helping to connect artistic communities and artists.
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)