Charlemagne Palestine

Charlemagne Palestine AARNew York underground’s notorious piano-destroying, soft-toy loving, composer, musician, shaman and artist, Charlemagne Palestine will deliver a powerful performance for organ and voice at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Williamstown on Saturday 23 June 2018.

Palestine’s work with organ specifically has created some of the most harmonically rich and intense explorations for that instrument. For this concert, Palestine will perform on the Holy Trinity Anglican Church organ, working with the architecture of the space to explore harmony, overtones and the very resonance of music itself.

An icon of the New York Avant Garde music scene in the 60s and 70s, Palestine is often touted as a contemporary of minimalists such as La Monte Young, Terry Riley and Philip Glass. In reality Palestine says his work is anything but minimalist and lays claim to the invention of ‘maximalism’ or ‘spontanimalism’.

His works for piano, organ, carillon and voice explore the transcendent potentials of music, working across questions of resonance and duration, to create defining moments of trance music for the 20th and 21st centuries.

Born to Russian-Jewish parents in Brooklyn, New York in 1945, Palestine grew up immersed in the sounds of klezmer bands and Russian folk songs. His experience singing in Synagogue as a boy treble helped shape his concept of music as an endurance event. Palestine studied at New York University, Columbia University, Mannes College of Music and California Institute of the Arts.

While in Manhattan he fell in with a bohemian crowd, providing bongo accompaniment to beat poet Allen Ginsberg in coffee stores and dating the writer Shere Hite. His early musical explorations stemmed around the carillon bells at St Thomas’s Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue, attracting the cream of the local Avant Garde scene including La Monte Young and the Velvet Underground’s John Cale.

Decades later, artists such as Nick Cave and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth cite Palestine as an early influence.His resurgence on the international festival circuit has prompted the reissue of long out-of-print recordings of his seminal works including Timbral Assault, the Lower Depths and Strumming Music. In 2010, Palestine’s video works were featured in the solo exhibition ‘VooDoo’ at Wiels in Brussels and he was selected to participate in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

He has also been exhibited internationally, at festivals and institutions including the Venice Biennale, Italy; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland; Long Beach Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Documenta 8, Kassel; Walker Art center, Minneapolis; Art Institute of Chicago; Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; and Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal.

Charlemagne Palestine
Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 2 Pasco Street, Williamstown
Performance: Saturday 23 June 2018 – 7.00pm
Information and Bookings:

Charlemagne Palestine will also perform in Hobart as part of Dark MOFO on Friday 22 June and Sydney’s Carriageworks on Thursday 28 & Friday 29 June 2018.

Image: Charlemagne Palestine – photo by Agnès Gania