8–9 July 2019

Photo by Ike Day

Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Two-Day Residency

“Abrams discovers new levels of mood and tone; his pieces seem to escape time completely.” – Marc Masters, Pitchfork

“It feels startlingly new, in terms of how the music is extrapolated, how the players relate, even as it feels like an ur-music, primal, body-centered, essential.” – David Keenan, The Wire

Joshua Abrams developed his voice in the rich ferment of the 1990s Chicago music world, participating heavily across the city’s jazz, experimental & rock scenes. He co-founded the ‘back porch minimalist’ band Town & Country &, with Matana Roberts & Chad Taylor, the trio Sticks & Stones. In a very busy two decades Abrams recorded & toured with a remarkable range of artists including extended engagements with Fred Anderson, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Hamid Drake, Theaster Gates, Neil Michael Hagerty, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, Mike Reed, Matana Roberts, & The Roots. Abrams appears on over one hundred recordings. A film composer, Abrams has scored the music for five feature length films including the award-winning films Life Itself, The Interrupters and The Trials of Muhammad Ali.

Since 2011 Abrams has toured North America & Europe with a shifting-line up of musicians as ‘Natural Information Society’. The band's most recent album, Magnetoception, was selected by The Wire Magazine as the #3 record of 2015 & by Pitchfork as the #2 experimental record of 2015.  Abrams assembled Natural Information Society around his interests in the Moroccan instrument the guimbri. The band uses traditional & conventional instrumentation to create long-form intricately psychedelic environments, composed & improvised, which join the hypnotic qualities of Gnawa guimbri music to a wide range of contemporary musics & methodologies including jazz, minimalism & krautrock. Current & former band members include Lisa Alvarado, Jason Adasiewicz, Mikel Avery, Ben Boye, Hamid Drake, Emmett Kelly, Jeff Parker, Frank Rosaly & Chad Taylor. Natural Information Society teamed up with Bitchin Bajas on the collaborative album ‘Automaginary,’ released by drag city in 2015. 

Joshua Abrams / guimbri and double bass
Lisa Alvarado / harmonium and gong
Jason Stein / bass clarinet
Mikel Avery / drums