Maggie Nicols/Fred Frith/Susan Alcorn - February 15, 2009

topic posted Tue, January 27, 2009 - 7:51 AM by  YET
Nameless Sound presents
a rare opportunity to hear three individualists of creative music
share their visions in a first-time collaboration.

Maggie Nicols (UK) – voice
Fred Frith (UK/San Francisco) - guitar
Susan Alcorn (Baltimore) – pedal steel guitar

Sunday, February 15 2009
at Diverse Works
1117 East Freeway

$13 admission
$10 students
Everyone under 18 gets in for free.

For information, call 713-928-5653
or go to

With a background in jazz, dance, and theater, Maggie Nicols became an early pioneer in the European free improvisation scene when she joined John Stevens’ Spontaneous Music Ensemble in the late 1960’s. The Scottish-born performer would soon develop into one of the most unique and innovative vocalists in avant-garde music. Nicols is an artist of distinct individuality. Her agile and wordless improvisations are countered by the devilish sense of humor that she displays when she ad-libs speech into her pieces. Maggie Nicols is an active teacher and leader of workshops that fuse her experiences in music, improvisation, theater, yoga, and activism. Though she is a veteran (she began her career in the early 60’s) and is recognized as the pioneer in her field, Nicols has only ever performed a few times in the United States. For more information on Maggie Nicols, go to

A wide ranging talent and prolific artist, Fred Frith first gained attention in the early 1970’s as guitarist for the pioneering English avant-garde rock band Henry Cow. Frith has distinguished himself as a guitar player, composer, improvisor, and collaborator. His versatility brings different approaches to his instrument depending on a particular playing situation (i.e., the prepared ‘table-top’ approach or the conventional guitar approach). The range of his collaborators gives an indication as to the scope of his talent and style. A short list of Frith’s partners includes: Derek Bailey, Lol Coxhill, Robert Wyatt, Brian Eno, Zeena Parkins, Tom Cora and John Zorn (Frith was the bass player in Naked City). Fred Frith is currently a professor of composition, contemporary performance, and improvisation at Mills College in Oakland. For more information on Fred Frith, go to

Perhaps the world’s premiere avant-gardist on her instrument, Susan Alcorn has taken the steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country and western swing music. Well-known among steel players for her virtuosity and authenticity in a traditional context, Susan Alcorn first paid her dues in Texas country & western bands. Soon she began to expand the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of modern classical music (Olivier Messiaen and Krystof Penderecki), avant-garde jazz (John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman), and world music (Indian rags, South American songs, and gamelan orchestra). As a composer, Alcorn has proven to be visionary. Her pieces reveal the complexity of her instrument and her musical experience, while never straying from a very direct, intense, and personal musical expression. Alcorn recently moved to Baltimore from Houston. For more information on Susan Alcorn, go to
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offline YET

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