Ars Nova Workshop presents
Susanna / Charles Cohen / Chris Forsyth
Oslo-based artist Susanna is best known for her duo Susanna And The Magical Orchestra (with keyboardist Morten Qvenild) as well as her unique and striking interpretations of iconic songs such as ”Jolene”, ”Hallelujah” and ”Love Will Tear Us Apart,” among her covers that re-interpret everyone from AC/DC to ABBA to Lou Reed. Bonnie ”Prince” Billy has performed and recorded her songs and Mojo named her song ”Believer” as ”one of the greatest break-up songs ever.” She visits Philadelphia for the first time in celebration of “Wild Dog," her eighth album (which features Emmett Kelly and Arcade Fire’s Jeremy Gara), and her recent ECM album with harpist Giovanna Pessi. Susanna has written music to poems by the Norwegian modernist Gunvor Hofmo, collaborated with Ensemble Neon, Jenny Hval, Tord Gustavsen, and Ståle Storløkken (Supersilent, elephant9). Her trio includes Helge Sten, known for his work as Deathprod and in Supersilent.
Philadelphia-based Charles Cohen has been recognized internationally for his pioneering work in synthesizer-centered improvisational electronic music. Influenced by free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor, Cohen's focus has been on improvisation in the live performance space, currently performing as half of the ensemble Color is Luxury. A 2011 recipient of the Pew Fellowship in the Arts grant, Cohen is one of the few musicians in the world who have mastered the Buchla Music Easel, which has been his primary instrument since the early 1970s. A retrospective of his earlier works was released on Morphine Records in late 2013.
Chris Forsyth, guitar
Philadelphia's Chris Forsyth has long been active in underground circles composing his own particular brand of guitar driven, textural art rock, rich with influences of the psychedelic. With 2013's Solar Motel, he has drawn comparisons to the Grateful Dead, John Fahey, and Glenn Branca, among others, producing rock music that challenges the conventions of the genre. That record was brought to life by a month-long residency at Philadelphia's Ortliebs, a series of performances that generated significant praise. Aquarium Drunkard called the release “a four-part suite of ecstatic, spiritual psychedelia that splits the difference between unabashed classic rock thrills and a spikey avant-garde sense of adventure.”