Yonatan Gat

Yonatan Gat

Innove Gnawa Band, Sunwatchers, Alan Licht

Sat, September 12, 2015

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Rough Trade NYC

Brooklyn, NY

This event is 21 and over

Yonatan Gat
Yonatan Gat
“Echoes of funk from Benin; Cuban son from Senegal; Chicano rock from Los Angeles; Afro-Brazilian soul from Rio de Janeiro; and the pentatonic and Arabic scales that connect much of the world - but there’s always a lilt and an invitation in it. He leaves a space for you to get in. They were playing for themselves and they were playing for you, but they weren’t playing for any static definition of a concert.” - NY Times

"Best Guitarist in New York, 2013" - Village Voice

“Psych-jazz improv fusion of late period Miles Davis, weirdo Middle Eastern surf-rawk and Western African complexities with raging punk rock intensity. A mind-blowingly prolific journey crossing vibes of DIY dives and avant-garde jazz spaces." - Vice

"Bring his part of Monotonix's furious energy into a much more improvised realm, his ecstatic guitar playing takes the tune from a bombastic romp into some kind of bizarre and heavenly celebration."
- All Music Guide

“A dizzying performance by a true master of his craft.” - Wondering Sound

"Yonatan Gat makes music that has no home. I say that because the guitarist and his band create a sound that is from seemingly everywhere and specifically nowhere at once, channeling everything from Afrobeat grooves to Middle Eastern folk melodies to straight up rock n’ roll noise, sometimes all within the span of one song – weaving the global smattering of styles seamlessly together like the great jazz musicians of the ‘60s" - The Bay Bridged

“One of the most enjoyable parts of a Yonatan Gat show, especially if you’ve seen the band before, is watching the new listeners, the unsuspecting folks who happen to be at the bar on a mid-week night, as the show unfolds. One guy in the front row stands with his hand on his jaw, staring, transfixed. Another rolls his head around his shoulders in synchronicity to the jolts of the song, occasionally rocking forward suddenly to accompany sudden musical shifts; with a shocked expression, his eyes look like they might burst from their sockets. Yonatan Gat is currently performing one of the most incredible sets in small to medium venues." - Pop Press International
Innove Gnawa Band
Innove Gnawa Band
Innove Gnawa Band is made of musicians from different parts of Morocco all the way to NYC gathering to innovate Gnawa Music.
Alan Licht
Alan Licht
Born in 1968 and raised in New Jersey, I took guitar lessons at the age of ten and went on to play in typical high school cover bands and to study jazz guitar privately with Buck Brown. In my late teens, as my interests expanded to the avant-garde, I attended a seminar on improvisation given by noted west coast guitarist Henry Kaiser. Enrolling at Vassar College, I studied electronic music with Linda Fisher and composition with Annea Lockwood and Richard Wilson. By the time I graduated in 1990, I had already published articles on Minimalist composers La Monte Young, Tony Conrad, Rhys Chatham, and Charlemagne Palestine, and had recorded with former John Coltrane drummer Rashied Ali (on Rudolph Grey's Mask of Light LP).


Relocating to New York City, I focused on pursuing free improvisation (with Rudolph Grey's group the Blue Humans and guitarist Loren Mazzacane Connors) as well as indie rock (the bands Love Child and Run On, as well as a brief stint with legendary 60s psychedelic rock band Arthur Lee & Love). I also began developing a repertoire of structured improvisation pieces for solo electric guitar, documented on a series of albums starting with 1994's Sink the Aging Process. These brought together my interests in reharmonization (from jazz and classical music), process, repetition, and extended duration (from Minimalism), and the textural vocabularies of rock and noise music. The albums also include tape pieces and organ works. In 1998 I began writing frequently for the British experimental music magazine The WIRE, doing several cover stories and other features. In 2000 I started handling bookings at Tonic, the estimable New York venue dedicated to showcasing a wide range of alternative music, from free improvisation to underground rock to electronica to the jazz and classical avant-gardes. This brought me into contact with numerous musicians, and I performed at Tonic myself countless times. In 2001 I co-founded the ensemble Text of Light with Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, a project that brings together free improvisation with screenings of historic examples of experimental cinema. Text of Light emphasizes the chance correspondences between what is happening onscreen and what is happening in the music, as a kind of live, real-time mixed-media collage. Subsequently I have made audiovisual collaborations with video artist and long-time Merce Cunningham associate Charles Atlas and Emmy-winning painter, designer and comics artist Gary Panter, which operated under similar principles. 2002 saw the publication of my first book, An Emotional Memoir of Martha Quinn, an extended personal essay about coming of age as a rock fan and musician. In 2007 my second book, Sound Art: Beyond Music, Between Categories was published - significant as the first full-length study of sound installations and sound sculpture to be published in English, and the first to examine the genre mainly from an art historical, rather than a quasi-philosophical, viewpoint.


Any free improviser is also an audience member, as he or she is hearing the music for the first time. I brought this idea to performances I organized under the name the Digger Choir at Issue Project Room in 2003-2004 that conflated the roles of audience member and performer. Everyone who attended was responsible for performing the music-singing John Stevens' Sustained Piece and Yoko Ono's John Let's Hope For Piece as well as my own pieces like Subway Piece, in which they were instructed to read a magazine or book they would ordinarily read to themselves in transit out loud. The idea of speaking texts aloud that are meant to be read silently also occurs in two of my recent sound installations: On Deaf Ears (2009), in which an article about the possible hearing loss incurred by listening to music on iPod earbuds at high volume was recorded being read aloud, and played as a loop on AVA Gallery's outdoor speakers; and Cross Promotion (2010), in which the proprietors of both AVA and Diapason read aloud their press releases for coming exhibitions, the recordings were then installed in each other's gallery space. These pieces play not only on sound art's investigations of latent sounds, but on my dual work practice as a musician and a writer.


In 2010 I started a project called Title TK with media artist Cory Archangel and curator Howie Chen. Cory, Howie and I are all guitarists. Considering ourselves a band, in live appearances we walk onstage with guitars but never plug them in or play; instead we simply talk to each other (mostly about music). These talks are improvised, and to me represent a negotiation between spoken and musical languages, underlining the linguistic implications of musical vocabularies and the conversational aspects of group improvisation. They also represent an application of "post- studio art" ideas to music, in removing what would be expected as essential content from the rock band format. Finally, they build upon my personal history, making a conceptual accommodation between my parallel existences in the 90s as a rock band member and free improviser. More recent activities include recording and touring with Lee Ranaldo & the Dust, an improv trio with Aki Onda and artist/filmmaker Michael Snow, a duo with Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase, and a book-length interview with Will Oldham, Will Oldham on Bonnie "Prince" Billy (Faber & Faber (UK), W.W. Norton (US), Contra (Spain), 2012).

"Licht composes like the writer that he is. Ideas - simply stated and highly effective - emerge from a collage of everything from loops of raw guitar to radio weather reports." -- Christian Marclay on AL's double CD A New York Minute in Best of 2003, ARTFORUM, December 2003.


"Be it in indie rock groups, improv ensembles, or his solo compositions, guitarist and writer Alan Licht has spent his career smuggling ideas across the obscured bridge between harmony and noise." -- Matthew Wuethrich, the WIRE, June 2008
Venue Information:
Rough Trade NYC
64 N 9th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249