Fire Museum Presents:
Space Whale Orchestra
Thollem was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, rigorously studying the standard classical piano repertoire, composing and improvising since he was a young child and absorbing the myriad of sounds of his culturally diverse upbringing. After dedicating his 20s and 30s to grassroots political activism, he’s refocused his attention on a breadth of musics that incorporate his experiences and curiosities. In this last decade alone, he has played well over 1,000 concerts throughout N. America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers. As leader or co-leader, he has released over 50 albums in that span on 22 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim. “Thollem is an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument” (Terry Riley); who continues to delve into the furthest reaches and sub-genres of Post-Classical, Free Jazz, Noise, Punk, dance and film. A brief cross section of his many recent collaborators include: William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Stefano Scodanibbio, Nels Cline, Mike Watt and Martha Colburn. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange as well as the lead singer of the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti. He’s also a published author about art, politics and his travels in The Anthology of Essays On Deep Listening, Full Moon Magazine (Prague) and First American Art Magazine (New Mexico). In collaboration with videographer ACVilla, Thollem is presently working on two distinct documentaries about America as they travel throughout the States.
Space Whale Orchestra (Philadelphia):
The Space Whale Orchestra is an improvisational chamber music ensemble sown and grown in Philadelphia, PA. Drawn together over a love of collective improvisation and sonic experimentation, the group continues to explore the borders of music and the meaning of freedom, always striving to keep their sound new and evolving.
For this performance Space Whale Orchestra will be Ted Schneider (alto sax, piano), Erica Corbo (piano, keyboard, flute & voice) & Connor Przybyszewski (Trombone, Duck Caller, Percussion)