Nate Wooley / Ivar Grydeland
Ben Hall / Chris Riggs
Bring It Inside with McOmber
@ the Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
Guitarist Ivar Grydeland (b.Trondheim 1976) started his music education degree in the mid-nineties. Having a base as a free jazz artist, Grydeland has continually expanded his experimental style to include new sounds. This unique style set it’s roots while Grydeland studied improvised chamber music at Norway’s College of Music (2001-2003), together with percussionist Ingar Zach. Since, the musical style of Grydeland has burst the improvisational traditions, whether it is called free jazz, or intuitive music. As a improvisational artist, Grydeland has had the change to play with countless groups, as well as being part of numerous recordings. This fluid approach to musical collaboration might be a condition for the boundary breaking genre this style of music represents.
As such, it is not surprising that Ivar Grydeland is a very adaptive musician: He takes pieces of his own surroundings and weaves them into his own unique style. This proves true, whether it be an adaptation to the sounds of Japanese artist Yumiko Tanaka with her traditional shamisen, or pianist Christian Wallumrøds sober, repetitive sounds. Like many musicians, improvisers, and composers, Grydeland has developed an artistic practice which results in hybrid musical forms, working styles, and genre stretching cooperation. There doesn’t appear to be a deliberate ideological drive behind this development, rather a continual search of music’s communicative possibilities.
One of Grydelands distinguishing features is his work with prepared string instruments. With the use of various metal, plastic, rubber and wooden objects, Grydeland manipulates the strings, sound board, and skin of his instrument (one of his instruments is also a guitar-banjo: a guitar neck with a banjo body). He experiments with various tuning of the instrument with the use of various sympathetic strings to give his instrument new sounds. Here one sees influence from John Cages work with the prepared piano during the 1940s. However, where Cages has a prosaic desire to create a percussion instrument using a piano, Grydeland transforms his instrument into something unknown. In this way, Grydeland is able to develop a hybrid style which also includes the string instrument he works with. Using an instrument whose sound is well known, he has mutated and transformed his guitars sound to something unknown.
The Rotunda is a West Philadelphia community-gathering place that is fueled by the belief that art is a catalyst for social change and that the arts can lead to the formation of meaningful partnerships between the University of Pennsylvania and surrounding neighborhoods. Over 300 events are offered every year, including live music, film, spoken word, theater, art, dance, education, youth programs, arts incubation, and various experimental genres. As an alcohol-free, smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides a critical social alternative for all ages. At its core, The Rotunda is a shared space fostering learning, enrichment, and community support while empowering the public to present, produce, and promote their work.