Normal (Fred Frith and Sudhu Tewari) — Mills Music Now

Music Event

Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 8 – 10:30pm PST
Jeannik Méquet Littlefield Concert Hall, Music Building

Normal (Fred Frith and Sudhu Tewari) — Mills Music Now

Presented by the Center for Contemporary Music, Mills College at Northeastern University

This event is free and open to the public.
Registration requested.

Join Fred Frith and Sudhu Tewari in celebrating the new recording Moving Parts, released by fo'c's'le.

Normal is Fred Frith and Sudhu Tewari, playing manually & electronically manipulated home-made instruments. Not really instruments in the sense of beautifully crafted art objects requiring Extended Techniques, so much as de-constructions and re- constructions using the simplest of means, and requiring only minimal exertion to produce sound. Fred's "planks of wood with strings" were almost all built in the early 1980s, when for a period of several years he abandoned the guitar as his primary vehicle for improvising. The birth of this duo in 2001 marked the first time he had performed with them in many years. The fact that he is doing so again is the responsibility of Sudhu, a tinkerer of genius who plunders garages and junkshops and the street outside for the sources of his sound world, turning the smallest spring into a potential orchestra. In 202o Sudhu and Fred were invited to present their work in a virtual exhibition at the Center for New Music in San Francisco. This gave rise to a number of new creations including the Portable Street Piano, the Post Hole Tone Music Box, the No Strings Guitar, Sudhu’s Infernal Spring Thing and the Superstrut Bandsaw Bass. The first Normal CD—Moving Parts—was released on the Foc’s’le label in May 2023. 

Fred Frith is a pioneer of the extended electric guitar. He learned to compose in Henry Cow, developed his song-writing skills in Art Bears, explored his multi- instrumentalism in Skeleton Crew, rocked the house with Massacre and is still doing all of those things, having been in one band or another continuously since 1964! Meanwhile his work has been performed by ensembles, string quartets, chamber orchestras, and a whole range of groups and artists in the ever-expanding field of semi-popular music. Fred also composes extensively for film and dance, and taught improvisation for years at Mills College in Oakland, California and the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland. His passion for improvising, evident from the beginning, has increasingly led him to work with artists who don’t necessarily define themselves as improvisers. 

Sudhu Tewari has been described as “bricoleur”, “junkyard maven”, and “audio-gadgeteer”. He invents, designs and builds musical instruments from whatever materials are to hand—kinetic and sound sculptures, interactive installations, audio electronics, and wearable sound art. He has performed with Normal and in other configurations in Europe, Japan and the USA. His visual and interactive art has been exhibited in spaces large and small, including the Exploratorium and the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, the Tech Museum in San Jose, the Oakland Museum of California, and PROGR and the Laboratoire Village Nomade in Switzerland. Sudhu teaches electronics and sound art, and continues to build and perform with self- governing musical systems and self-built musical instruments. Relentless curiosity and delight in unlikely solutions to intractable problems are manifest in all of his work. 

More information on Mills Music Now.