Loren Connors has improvised and composed original guitar music for over four decades. His music – which embraces the aesthetics of blues, Irish airs, blues-based rock and other genres while letting go of rigid forms – has been recorded on Family Vineyard, Northern Spy, Drag City, Recital, and other labels. Connors names abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko his most important influence, and has honed his aesthetic not only through music but also through experimentations in haiku and visual art. He has performed with Kim Gordon, Daniel Carter, Keiji Haino, John Fahey, Alan Licht, Tom Carter, Jandek, and others. Connors also has performed with an avant blues band called Haunted House, together with vocalist Suzanne Langille, guitarist Andrew Burnes and percussionist Neel Murgai. Masters of Cinema released the Carl Dreyer film, The Passion of Joan of Arc, featuring a soundtrack composed and performed by Loren Connors. In recent years, Connors has focused mostly on live recordings of extended blues abstractions, with occasional performances in a more avant blues rock vein from time to time through the Haunted House band and collaborations with other artists.
Over the past two decades, guitarist Alan Licht has worked with a veritable who’s who of the experimental world, from Rashied Ali and Derek Bailey to Fennesz to Christian Marclay to Rhys Chatham and Phill Niblock. Licht is also renown in the indie rock scene as a bandleader (Run On, Love Child) and supporting player to cult legends like Yoko Ono, Tom Verlaine, Arthur Lee, Arto Lindsay, and Jandek. With Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, he founded Text of Light, an ongoing ensemble which performs freely improvised concerts alongside screenings of classic avantgarde cinema.
Licht was curator at the famed New York experimental music venue Tonic from 2000 until its closing in 2007, and has written extensively about the arts for the WIRE, Modern Painters, Premiere, Village Voice, New York Sun, and other publications. His books include Common Tones: Selected interviews with artists and musicians 1995-2020 (Blank Forms, 2021), Sound Art Revisited (Bloomsbury, 2019), and Will Oldham on Bonnie Prince Billy (Faber & Faber/W.W. Norton, 2012).
Connors and Licht released together several album, starting with “Live in NYC” in 1996, followed by “Two Night” (1996), “Mercury” (1997), “Hoffman Estates” (1998), “In France” (2003), “Into The Night Sky” (2010) and “Lost City” with Aki Onda (2015).
In 2023, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of Hoffman Estates, a large ensemble improv album conceptualized and produced by Jim O’Rourke, featuring Ken Vandermark, Joshua Abrams, Rob Mazurek, Chad Taylor, Kevin Drumm, Rick Rizzo, Darin Gray, Jeb Bishop, among others, Loren and Alan will perform a special improv set with selected guest musicians in the free jazz spirit of the original Hoffman Estates session.
“Licht and Connors know all the arguments, have heard all the theories. They’re just choosing to do something else” – Freq