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Ars Nova Workshop presents the Philadelphia debut of Pretty Monsters, the new quartet led by the bassoonist Katherine Young.
Katherine Young’s dynamic and mercurial four-piece Pretty Monsters drifts and lurches between doomy songs, noisy improv, and eerie experimental chamber music. With influences as diverse as the Art Ensemble of Chicago, U.S. Maple, Giacinto Scelsi, and novelist Julio Cortazar—each Pretty Monsters piece carves out a unique sound world articulated by brilliant soloistic playing and explosive ensemble improvisation. Referencing the album Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins, The Wire called the Chicago-based composer and bassoonist Katherine Young a “bassoon colossus.” A former student of Anthony Braxton and Alvin Lucier, Young has worked with Peter Evans, Mary Halvorson, F.M. Einheit (Einsturzende Neubauten), Jessica Pavone and Weasel Walter. She is a member of the Architeuthis Walks On Land duo with the violist Amy Cimini, and the quartet Till By Turning with Cimini, the violinist Erica Dicker and the pianist Emily Manzo. Young also performs solo and, in 2009, released her debut solo album, Further Secret Origins, on Porter Records. Downbeat writes that the album makes “seriously bold leaps for the bassoon.”
Young's Pretty Monsters quartet brings together a powerful group of young musicians: the violinist Dicker, the concertmaster of Anthony Braxton's Trillium/Tri-Centric Orchestra, has premiered works by Olivia Block and Tim Daisy; the Brooklyn guitarist Owen Stewart-Robertson is a member of the groups Make A Circus, Old Salt and This Sporting Life; the drummer Mike Pride is a member of From Bacteria To Boys and has worked with Boredoms, Vijay Iyer, Matana Roberts and Nate Wooley. Pretty Monsters' debut album arrives this month on the Public Eyesore label.
Ars Nova Workshop is a Philadelphia nonprofit jazz and experimental music presenting organization. ANW informs, inspires, and challenges listeners to elevate the role of jazz, improvisation, and experimental music in contemporary culture. ANW events provide a forum for discourse, emergent trends in contemporary music, and unique forms of cultural exchange, while nurturing a diverse community for innovative music.