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  • Tuesday, October 8, 2019
    Big Ears Festival to Feature Devendra Banhart, Kronos Quartet, Terry Riley, Caroline Shaw

    The line-up for the 2020 Big Ears Festival has been announced, and as usual, featured among the performers are several artists familiar to readers of the Nonesuch Journal: Devendra Banhart, Kronos Quartet, Terry Riley, and Caroline Shaw. Big Ears will be held at venues throughout downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, March 26–29, 2020.

    Devendra Banhart's third Nonesuch album, Ma, was released last month. The album bursts with tender, autobiographical vignettes, displaying a shift from the sonic experimentation of his previous albums to an intricate, captivating story-telling and emotional intimacy. Ma was produced by his longtime musical compadre Noah Georgeson and includes a background vocal from Cate Le Bon and a duet with Banhart's mentor, muse, and dear friend Vashti Bunyan. This is "sublimely understated, border-blurring folk rock," says the Los Angeles Times. "Banhart's singular world remains as intoxicating as ever," says Q. "It feels as if all of human life is here."

    Kronos Quartet’s groundbreaking 2002 collaboration with composer Terry Riley, Sun Rings, was released in full for the first time on Nonesuch in August. Riley incorporates into his composition "space sounds" (plasma waves) that NASA had collected from the Voyager probes, as well as a choir that represents, in his words, "the voice of humanity in its struggle to understand the meaning of our place in this unfathomable universe." Musical America calls it "a spaceship that faces ahead into the planets but also looks back toward its starting point on Earth." Big Ears marks Riley's 85th birthday by inviting the composer to perform a duo with Gyan Riley and give a solo organ performance on the new St. John’s Cathedral pipe organ.

    On Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Caroline Shaw's album Orange, which was released on New Amsterdam and Nonesuch Records earlier this year, Attacca Quartet performs six of her pieces for string quartet. "Completely gorgeous in so many ways," exclaims BBC Radio 3. "It hits you everywhere, all at once." "A love letter to the string quartet," says NPR. "[W]hen you hear all the imaginative sounds on Orange, you know you're listening to the voice of a strong composer." At Big Ears, she will present some of her work, including a collaboration with Sō Percussion.

    Weekend passes for the 2020 Big Ears Festival go on sale this Thursday at bigearsfestival.org; information on daily tickets will be available in the near future.

    Journal Articles:Artist NewsOn Tour

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Big Ears Festival to Feature Devendra Banhart, Kronos Quartet, Terry Riley, Caroline Shaw

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on October 8, 2019 - 10:30am
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Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 10:30
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The line-up for the 2020 Big Ears Festival has been announced, and as usual, featured among the performers are several artists familiar to readers of the Nonesuch Journal: Devendra Banhart, Kronos Quartet, Terry Riley, and Caroline Shaw. Big Ears will be held at venues throughout downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, March 26–29, 2020. Weekend passes go on sale this Thursday.

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The line-up for the 2020 Big Ears Festival has been announced, and as usual, featured among the performers are several artists familiar to readers of the Nonesuch Journal: Devendra Banhart, Kronos Quartet, Terry Riley, and Caroline Shaw. Big Ears will be held at venues throughout downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, March 26–29, 2020.

Devendra Banhart's third Nonesuch album, Ma, was released last month. The album bursts with tender, autobiographical vignettes, displaying a shift from the sonic experimentation of his previous albums to an intricate, captivating story-telling and emotional intimacy. Ma was produced by his longtime musical compadre Noah Georgeson and includes a background vocal from Cate Le Bon and a duet with Banhart's mentor, muse, and dear friend Vashti Bunyan. This is "sublimely understated, border-blurring folk rock," says the Los Angeles Times. "Banhart's singular world remains as intoxicating as ever," says Q. "It feels as if all of human life is here."

Kronos Quartet’s groundbreaking 2002 collaboration with composer Terry Riley, Sun Rings, was released in full for the first time on Nonesuch in August. Riley incorporates into his composition "space sounds" (plasma waves) that NASA had collected from the Voyager probes, as well as a choir that represents, in his words, "the voice of humanity in its struggle to understand the meaning of our place in this unfathomable universe." Musical America calls it "a spaceship that faces ahead into the planets but also looks back toward its starting point on Earth." Big Ears marks Riley's 85th birthday by inviting the composer to perform a duo with Gyan Riley and give a solo organ performance on the new St. John’s Cathedral pipe organ.

On Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Caroline Shaw's album Orange, which was released on New Amsterdam and Nonesuch Records earlier this year, Attacca Quartet performs six of her pieces for string quartet. "Completely gorgeous in so many ways," exclaims BBC Radio 3. "It hits you everywhere, all at once." "A love letter to the string quartet," says NPR. "[W]hen you hear all the imaginative sounds on Orange, you know you're listening to the voice of a strong composer." At Big Ears, she will present some of her work, including a collaboration with Sō Percussion.

Weekend passes for the 2020 Big Ears Festival go on sale this Thursday at bigearsfestival.org; information on daily tickets will be available in the near future.

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Big Ears Festival 2020: Banhart, Kronos, Riley, Shaw

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