Improvisation workshop with Thollem McDonas


26/02/2011 - 27/02/2011    
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm


High Mayhem Studio
2811 Siler Ln, Santa Fe
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The workshop will take place Saturday, February 26 from 1-5pm and Sunday, February 27 from 1-5pm.
The performance is Sunday, February 27 from 7-8pm.

Workshop Cost: donation to support High Mayhem
Performance Cost: $10 suggested donation at the door

This is a workshop for all levels of musicians.

Spaces are limited. To sign up, please email

Workshop details
From his work with Estamos Ensemble in the U.S./Mexico and his workshops on listening and large ensemble improvisation, Thollem McDonas continues with Fronteras Assembled: structured improvisations based on the social/political dynamics that all the various situations of geo-political borders create. These are musical meditations on real-life situations that are constantly effecting the way we perceive and interact with our fellow human beings within and across the borders of the world. They are also structures that create unique musical challenges for large ensembles especially in an improvised setting that can potentially lead to fresh discoveries of music-making and relationships among individuals in an ensemble.

For further information regarding workshops:

About Thollem McDonas
Thollem’s extensive travels as a performer have covered much of the North American continent
and Europe. In the past 6 years he has added 20 albums to his discography on 9 different vanguard 
labels in 4 different countries. His music is diverse, approaching each album and concert uniquely,
 often resulting in dramatically new and different outcomes.
Not long after birth Thollem began studying the keyboard repertoire from the medieval to the 20th 
century. After graduating with degrees in both piano performance and composition he dedicated his 
time for years in grassroots political and environmental movements before returning to his own
 music with his full focus. He is currently touring perpetually as a soloist, in collaboration with many 
other individuals and groups as well as leading large ensemble free improvisation workshops.
Thollem has performed in theaters, art galleries, universities, elementary schools, concert halls, 
jazz clubs, rock clubs, festivals, warehouses, house concerts, streets, forests, riots and on television, 
radio and the internet. He has performed piano concertos with symphonies, played in West African
 drumming troupes, Javanese gamelan ensembles, punk bands, with hundreds of free improv groups, 
and as an accompanist and a composer for opera and modern dance.

“Thollem’s keyboard flights unleash cascades of notes of seemingly impossible velocity and no matter where he goes tonally, it always seems right, fresh and satisfying.” – Terry Riley, 2010

Recent Awards:
Meet the Composer: Creative Connections, 2007
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation: USArtists, 2009 – Estamos Ensemble, Director
American Music Center: CAP, 2010 – ‘Stirring Awake’ debuted at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Duo partners from last couple of years not in order of importance:
 Stefano Scodanibbio, Rent Romus, Alex Cline, Amy Denio, Faruq Z. Bey, Arrington deDionyso, John Dieterich,
 LaDonna Smith, Vinny Golia, Ava Mendoza, Eduardo Ricci, Tatsuya Nakatani, Jacopo Andreini, Gino Robair,
 Joel Peterson, Ben Wright, Nicola Guazzaloca, Rick Rivera, Marco Eneidi, Tim DuRoche, João
 Castro Pinto, Bruce Ackley, Theresa Wong, Greg Saunier, Jad Fair.

Film makers he’s worked with:
 Martha Colburn, Matthew Barney, Peter Sparling, Tuia Cherici, Carlos Sandoval, David Latreille.

Dancers (dance companies) he’s worked with:
 Germaul Barnes (Bitahkiz Ayeli), Gary Masters, Limón West Dance Company, James
 Brenneman, Viewsic Expressions, Black Bones Dance, Katja Irvin, San José Cleveland Ballet

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