Guitarist Alexander Turnquist Headlines Mini-Fest of Ambient Sounds at Helsinki Hudson

Julia Kent (photo Veronica Vracy Mariani)

Julia Kent (photo Veronica Vracy Mariani)

(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Hudson-based composer-guitarist Alexander Turnquist will be joined by Brooklyn piano trio Sontag Shogun and experimental cellist Julia Kent for a triple-bill of contemporary ambient music at Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, November 23, at 8pm. The mini-festival promises an evening of peaceful, calm, quiet listening and shimmering beauty.

Alexander Turnquist is a guitarist/composer who uses his 12-string acoustic finger-style approach in creating very dramatic and emotionally engaging music. His unique style of composition and performance connects the dots between players like Alex De Grassi and Kaki King, minimalist composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich, and fellow innovators like Rhys Chatham and Sonic Youth.

Turnquist’s compositions are both pastoral – reflecting his surroundings in the Hudson Valley – as well as urban and contemporary. He has one foot in the classical avant-garde, reminding listeners of Arvo Part and Henryk Gorecki, and another in progressive folk, amenable to fans of Leo Kottke or John Fahey. The end result is that in his hands, the guitar is utterly reinvented as an expressive, orchestral instrument.

Alexander Turnquist

Alexander Turnquist

Pooling their influences from modern classical, improvised and ambient musical spheres, the three keyboardists who comprise Sontag Shogun create long-form, shape-shifting compositions that are at times lush and melodic as well as textural and unpredictable. They make music to dream away to, or from. The band counts composers like Arvo Part, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Philip Glass, and Max Richter among their influences. Sontag Shogun, based in Brooklyn, are Ian Temple, piano; Jeremy Young, tapes, oscillators, piezo mics; and Jesse Perlstein, laptop, field recordings.

After years spent performing and recording with other artists and groups, including Antony and the Johnsons and cello-rock group Rasputina (founded by Hudson’s own Melora Creager), Vancouver-born, New York City-based Julia Kent found her own voice with her solo debut, “Delay,” an exploration of the private emotional worlds that exist within the disjunctions and disorientations of travel, hailed for its “lovely, melancholy” compositions, full of “aching romanticism…rich melodicism, and detailed arrangements.”

Kent uses looped and layered cello, electronics, and field recordings to explore the intersections between the human world and the natural world, the melding of the technological and the organic, the patterns and repetitions that exist in nature and are mirrored in human creations (at times recalling Philip Glass), and the complexity and fragility of our relationships with one another and with the world that surrounds us.

For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.

Club Helsinki Hudson
405 Columbia St.
Hudson, N.Y.


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