Thor and Friends / Jessica Pavone String Ensemble / Hour

Wednesday, May 15, 8-11pm

Get Tickets HERE

The Avalon Lounge
29 Church St
Catskill, NY

Thor & Friends

Thor & Friends is an instrumental ensemble influenced by classic Minimalist composers like Terry Riley and Steve Reich while amalgamating diverse influences as Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Moondog, and The Necks around a polyrhythmic core of mallet-struck instruments -primarily marimba, xylophone, and vibraphone. Circling these core motifs are shifting streams of everything from processed pedal steel and analog synthesizer to violin, viola, stand-up bass, clarinet, duduk, and oboe.

Thor has performed in nearly every country and venue of all sizes, as well as most well-known fests. Specifically, Thor & Friends has toured with Deerhoof, Wye Oak, Xiu-Xiu, Adam Torres, and more. They’ve shared stages with AJJ, Faust, Beak>, Yonatan Gat, Amanda Palmer, Explosions in the Sky, Palm, Lomelda, and so on. They’ve played SXSW, Oblivion Access Fest, Saskatchewan Jazz Festival 2017, Sled Island, and others.

J Pavone String Ensemble

The music of the J. Pavone String Ensemble experiments with indeterminate techniques: alternating between metered and time-based scores, and improvisational and notated instructions. In this system, the players develop the skills of responding to a score and to each other, encouraging a model of connectivity within the group. During each performance, the musicians re-create the works together. A digital clock is often used as a conductor to mark sections, duration, and cues. The score includes time frames that direct musicians to move freely between sections, creating an overlap of sonic textures. The ensemble approach focuses on a vision of collective improvisation that prioritizes a collaboratively woven fabric, in contrast to the traditional improvisatory method that prizes the showmanship of the soloist.

Similarly, Pavone’s approach to composition expands the traditional purpose of music. Rather than just working with melody and harmony, she chooses ensemble sounds to provoke physical and cognitive effects on the audience. This reflects her interest in how the body plays a role in sound and intention. Thus, people–both players and listeners–play a huge role in the work’s development.

Four studio albums have been released to critical acclaim from The Wire, The New Yorker, Pitchfork, JazzTimes, and San Francisco Classical Voice. Brad Cohen of Jazz Times described her as “a free-thinker who can’t be pigeonholed.” In 2019, the string ensemble’s debut album, Brick and Mortar, was hailed by the Chicago Reader’s Peter Margasak as “the most assured, bracing work of Pavone’s career.” Astral Spirits Records released their second, Lost and Found, in 2020 to critical acclaim from publications such as; The Wire, The New Yorker, NYC Jazz Record, NPR, and Jazzwise. Bandcamp Daily named it a “Best Contemporary Albums of 2020”. Chris Ingalls from Pop Matters described their music as “too stunning to lump into genres.


Hour is an instrumental ensemble demonstrating a compositional ethos grounded in rote arrangement and group improvisation while aiming for breathy timbral intricacy and carefully balanced melodicism.
Formed in the flourishing underground of West Philadelphia in the latter half of the 2010s, Hour fluctuates in size and scope around composer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Cormier-O’Leary (Friendship, Dear Life Records) who provides a clear yet open-ended harmonic framework and an ambitious ear towards evoking atmosphere, both expansive and intimate.

Cormier-O’Leary has contributed notably across the landscape of independent music, and Hour clearly distills the versatile range and community-minded nature of his touch.

Ease The Work will be out in April 2024 on Dear Life Records. 


May 15 2024


8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
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