Guitarist Thurston Moore, more widely known as the co-founder, guitarist and vocalist of rock band Sonic Youth, and multi-intrumentalist Mats Gustafsson, known for such projects as The Thing, Fire! And various free improvisation groups, will play a duo show at the 16th edition of Skaņu Mežs festival in Riga, Latvia. The central dates of Skaņu Mežs are October 12 – 13, and the duo will play on the first evening.
Thurston Moore and Mats Gustafsson have so far released 4 recordings as a duo.
Thurston Moore moved to NYC at eighteen in 1976 to play punk. He started Sonic Youth in 1980. Since then Thurston Moore has been at the forefront of the alternative rock scene since that particular sobriquet was first used to signify any music that challenged and defied the mainstream standard. With Sonic Youth, Moore turned on an entire generation to the value of experimentation in rock n roll – from its inspiration on a nascent Nirvana, to Sonic Youth’s own Daydream Nationalbum being chosen by the US Library of Congress for historical preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2006.
Thurston Moore records and performs in a cavalcade of disciplines ranging from free improvisation to acoustic composition to black/white metal/noise disruption. He has worked with Yoko Ono, John Zorn, David Toop, Cecil Taylor, Faust, Glenn Branca and many others. His residency at the Louvre in Paris included collaborations with Irmin Schmidt of CAN. Alongside his various activities in the musical world, he is involved with publishing and poetry, and teaches writing at Naropa University, Boulder CO, a school founded by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman in 1974. Thurston also teaches music at The Rhythmic Music Conservatory (Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium) in Copenhagen.
Presently he performs and records solo, with various ensembles and in his own band, The Thurston Moore Group (with My Bloody Valentine’s Deb Googe, Steve Shelley & James Sedwards). In 2014, the band released The Best Day which critics described as “optimistic and sun-drenched in beauty” and “[has] experimental attitude dovetailed with instantly accessible pop melodies.” The Best Day was a record defined by positivity and radical love.
Moore was ranked 34th in Rolling Stone’s 2004 edition of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” In May 2012, Spin published a staff-selected top 100 ranking Moore and his Sonic Youth bandmate Lee Ranaldo together on number 1.
Saxophone player, improviser and composer Mats Gustafsson was born 1964 in Umeå, Northern Sweden, and he currently lives in Nickelsdorf, Austria. Joslyn Lane of AllMusic hailed Gustafsson as „one of the most prominent and unique European free-jazz saxophonists of the early 21st century”.
Gustafsson performs both as a solo artist and in projects with members of Sonic Youth, Merzbow, Jim O´Rourke, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Yoshimi, Peter Brötzmann and Ken Vandermark as well as working groups The Thing, FIRE!, THE END, LUFT and Gush. Large ensemble work with FIRE! Orchestra, Klangforum Wien and the NU – ensemble. Gustafsson can boast over 1800 concerts and over 200 record productions in Europe, Australia, Africa, North & South America and Asia.
He participates in projects from the fields of contemporary dance, theatre, art, poetry as well as projects with noise, electronica, contemporary rock and free jazz.
Gustafsson is a self confessed discaholic and he is running the Discaholic Corner website. He also works with his own record labels Slottet, OlofBright Editions and Blue Tower Records.
Somewhat recently, Gustafsson was named by Burning Ambulance as one of „50 best saxophonists ever”.
He also possesses a special talent of wearing cowboy boots under jeans, no matter how tight the jeans.
Stay tuned for further announcements of Skaņu Mežs 2018. Tickets to the festival can be purchased here: ticketservice.lv. Advance sales ticket for a single concert night costs 15 EUR. Meanwhile, the first 100 two-day passes are currently available for 20 EUR.
Skaņu Mežs festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Latvia, State Culture Capital Foundation, the Municipality of Riga, Trust for Mutual Understanding as well as iRobot, Valmiermuiža and Red Bull Music Academy. Skaņu Mežs is also a member of the SHAPE platform for innovative music and audiovisual art, supported by the „Creative Europe” program of the European Union, and I.C.A.S., an international network of festivals, devoted to adventurous sound.