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Colin Stetson 2011 Fall Tour + Video Release

To say Colin Stetson has come into his own in 2011 would be an understatement. February 2011 saw the release of Colin's highly acclaimed solo album New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges, broadly received as a sonic, conceptual, compositional and technical tour de force. Thanks to his trajectory as a session and guest player with a diverse crop of iconoclastic pop/rock practitioners ­– Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, TV On The Radio, Arcade Fire – as well as his own tenure in bands like Sway Machinery and Bell Orchestre, Stetson was poised to bridge the gap between contemporary rock and more rarified currents of avant jazz. With the Judges album, he did just that, garnering high praise from the both the jazz and pop/rock worlds.

Colin's astounding physical engagement with his instruments (chiefly bass and alto saxophones) produces emotionally rich and polyphonic compositions that transcend expectations of what solo horn playing can sound like. Stetson is equally at home in the avant jazz tradition of players who have pushed the boundaries of the instrument through circular breathing, embouchure, etc. (i.e. Evan Parker, Mats Gustafsson) and at the nexus of noise/drone/minimalist music that encompasses genres like dark metal, post-rock and contemporary electronics (i.e. Tim Hecker, Ben Frost – both of whom have mixed or remixed Stetson recordings).

Stetson's non-stop gigging at SXSW 2011 (on the NPR, Pitchfork and Pop Montreal stages) led to hundreds of dropped jaws and just as many superlatives about the man's mind-altering, heart-rending music: how it defies both genre boundaries and the physical boundaries of what one person can sonically generate in live performance with a single acoustic instrument, without recourse to looping pedals or other effects.

Through the 30-odd solo performances delivered in the wake of the Judges release in spring 2011, Colin continued delving into new compositions and especially more long-form trance/transcendental explorations. Having premiered a couple of these new songs at a small art gallery show in Montreal in May 2011, we were duly blown away (along with everyone else in the room) and encouraged Colin to record them while still in their raw, stamina-testing glory. He agreed and brought in good friend (and now Grammy-winning engineer) Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, Islands) to help capture the performances in Stetson's own basement rehearsal/studio space.

The two pieces on this new EP both clock in at 10 minutes and are documented in direct fashion, using a handful of mic positions and, as usual, no looping or overdubbing of any sort. They are brilliant single-take performances that showcase Stetson's love for minimalism, a subtle pop sensibility, and a mesmerising, mantric, time-warping technical ability.

Those Who Didn't Run EP is an amazing addition to what will no doubt be an expanding Colin Stetson discography in coming years; a wonderfully-realized portrait of Colin's solo playing before he embarks on a year's worth of touring as part of Bon Iver's live band.

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Tour Dates

8/12 - 92Y Tribeca - New York, NY *
8/23 - Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art - Hartford, CT *
8/24 - Delilah's - Ithaca, NY
8/25 - Casbah Lounge - Hamilton, CA
8/26 - The Drake Hotel - Toronto, ON
8/27 - Zaphod Beeblebrox - Ottawa, CA
8/28 - Le Cercle - Quebec, CA
9/2 - Il Motore - Montreal, QC *
10/1 - ATP Festival - Asbury Park, NJ
10/3 - Burlington City Arts Center - Burlington, VT

*8.12 – w/Callers
*8.23 – 8.28 – w/Emily Wells
*9.2 – w/Rebecca Foon

Émilie Simon Collaborates With Arcade Fire Director Vincent Morisset

For the launch of her forthcoming album, The Big Machine, Émilie Simon worked with Canadian director Vincent Morisset, whose pioneering work on cinematic interactivity with Arcade Fire earned praises worldwide. Vincent and Émilie were introduced by Jeremy  from Arcade Fire who also plays on The Big Machine. The two decided to collaborate on a series of interactive videos to illustrate four tracks from the album. With the help of photographer John Londono and illustrator Caroline Robert, they spent a day in Brooklyn capturing various moods of the city. The result is a series of interactive videos utilizing phenakistiscope, an old animation device that uses the persistence of retina to create images juxtaposition. Each of the four films is unique (“Chinatown” has an interactive sampler and octopus animation that are triggered when you click on the octopus, when you click on the wall in “Dreamland” it makes feathers fall etc). The videos premiered on InterviewMagazine.com today and can also be seen here.

One of France's most renowned artists, Émilie Simon, launched her career in 2003 and immediately captured the imagination of a large audience with her sprawling and elegant musical fantasies, earning three Victoires de la Musique (France’s Grammy equivalent) during the course of her first three albums. She gained international acclaim for scoring the smash documentary March of the Penguins and saw her first US release in 2006 with The Flower Book. In 2008, she relocated to Brooklyn where she recorded her new album The Big Machine surrounding herself with talented guests such as Kelly Pratt and Jeremy Gara (Arcade Fire) as well as Jon Natchez (Beirut) or Mark Plati (David Bowie, The Cure, Brazilian Girls).

Her iconic style has made her a respected voice in fashion. She is often seen donning dresses by Yeojin Bae, Jean-Paul Gauthier or Vivienne Westwood and collaborated with Paule Ka to design her stage attire. She blazes her own trail aesthetically, incorporating vintage clothing or up and coming designers to more established names, toying with fashion as she does with sounds.

Colin Stetson Announces US Dates w/ Arcade Fire

Colin Stetson has performed the solo saxophone music of New History Warfare in practically every type of venue that music inhabits, and although this music may seem challenging on it's surface, every audience in every room in every city has received it with a warm and energized embrace.

From chanting and clapping crowds of rock fans while opening up for the Arcade Fire in a string of Get out the Vote rallies for the Obama Campaign last summer to a captivated and curious standing room only in rural Germany. The monks at the National Shrine of St. Francis Assissi were so thrilled with an easter sunday performance that they had him back for two more in the years to come. It is a spectacle of physical extremes (Lexy Benaim of the Harlem Shakes likened it to watching the Olympics, and Alex Green at Caught in the Carousel calls him "the Roger Federer of avant-garde instrumental music") and an intense and cathartic experience of sound and lyricism.

Both sonically vast and melodically accessible. Allmusic.com's Sean Westergard had this to say: "Colin Stetson is an absolute master of the saxophone...New History Warfare, Vol. 1 is a truly impressive, fully formed, and highly individual musical statement... Stetson's compositions and ability to tell a musical story are what make this a great album. You haven't heard saxophone music quite like this".

Aside from his work as a soloist, Stetson has brought his unique voice on winds and brass to stage and studio with dozens of artists, including Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, Fiest, Bon Iver, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Marc Ribot, David Byrne, Jolie Holland, Sinead O'Connor, LCD Soundsystem, My Brightest Diamond, Angelique Kidjo, Anthony Braxton, and The National.

Tour Dates:

Tue Oct 5th - Big Sur CA Henry Miller Library

Thu Oct 7th - Los Angeles CA Shrine Auditorium

Fri Oct 8th - Los Angeles CA Shrine Auditorium

Sun Oct 10th - Mexico City Palacio de los Deportes

Tue Oct 12th - Monterrey Banamex Theater