ISSUE Project Room's Fall 2015 season opens at the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn Heights with Bill Orcutt and Circuit Des Yeux duo, as well as a solo set by Loren Connors. Known for his frenetic style crossing blues, punk, and free improvisation, Bill Orcutt is hailed as a master guitarist and has been a central driver of experimentalism since his days with 90s punk/noise duo Harry Pussy. This evening Orcutt appears for the first time duo with Circuit Des Yeux, alias of Chicago’s Haley Fohr. Celebrated for her brooding, raw songwriting and singular four-octave voice, Fohr shared bills with Orcutt numerous times before the pair came together for the recent release All That's Real, a collaborative 7” on Orcutt’s Palilalia label. Legendary improvising guitarist Loren Connors performs a solo set. Connors’ solo compositions have evolved continuously over three decades, moving between bare and soaring textures, yet always articulate with a deeply expressive core.
Bill Orcutt’s sound is a hiccup-stuttered reimagining of blues guitar. One can hear familiar Southern folk scales between Orcutt’s jagged solo acoustic phrases, pulling and pushing melodies into unresolved fragments that eventually come unmoored in vast and satisfying note-torrents. Former guitarist and founder of the noise/punk rock duo Harry Pussy, Orcutt was already a significant name in experimental noise circles when he released his solo debut in '96, and has published a string of releases since confirming his essential role in the contemporary experimental scene. Long interested in cutting-edge art, Orcutt had a Master's in English and had made several experimental short films, one of which sold to MTV in 1990. He also played in several local punk bands, most notably the Trash Monkeys, before forming Harry Pussy in 1992 with his wife, drummer Adris Hoyos. They worked together for the next five years, releasing a series of uncompromising and confrontational recordings on small labels and gaining acclaim from the likes of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Sebadoh's Lou Barlow.
Circuit des Yeux is the solo project of Chicago-based artist Haley Fohr. Named for the nerve in the eye that supplies power to the act of seeing, Circuit des Yeux launched in 2008 following a stint with the autodidactic duo Cromagnon. A combination of folk chanteuse and noise maven, Fohr’s sound vacillates seamlessly between lo-fi and effortless-sounding songwriting sophistication. Says Pitchfork, “the emotional depths can be intoxicating, and even life-affirming”. Between 2009-11 Fohr released three solo records and a series of EP’s and 7-inches with De Stijl, gaining international momentum with literally hundreds of live appearances around the world. Fohr’s highly anticipated 4th LP under the name Circuit des Yeux, Overdue (Ba Da Bing!, 2013), recorded over two months in a custom-built Chicago studio, is her most sophisticated to date. This most-recent work weaves a sonic bildungsroman, documenting the transition from collegiate cloister in pastoral Bloomington, Indiana to the noisy, haggard Chicago South Side.
Brooklyn-based guitarist Loren Connors was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1949. Best known as a composer and improviser, Connors has issued over 50 guitar records on his own imprints (Daggett, St. Joan, Black Label) since the late 1970s and over two dozen on other labels across the globe. He has recorded under the names Guitar Roberts, Loren Mattei, Loren MazzaCane Connors and other variations. Connors' singular adaptation of the blues is a distinct personal vision combining the Delta bottleneck sound and the ancestral blues voice (appearing as distortion, baying hounds or multi-tracked guitar), with hauntingly unexpected sounds. Outside of Connors' three decades of solo work, he has collaborated with Suzanne Langille, Jim O'Rourke, Darin Gray, Alan Licht, Christina Carter, Keiji Haino, San Agustin, Jandek and many others, as well as leading the group Haunted House.