Music » Music Features

Unique improv concert series brings together atypical instruments



No instrument or device is off limits to "sound artist" Jon Mooneyham, the one-time KGOU-FM DJ and Flaming Lips drummer who began organizing the abnormal "White Walls" concert series last year.

Disenchanted with the rock club scene, he contacted Norman's Mainsite Contemporary Art gallery and proposed a regular improvisational music series utilizing a rotating collective of musicians. Mooneyham will again narrate the latest installment at 7 p.m. Saturday.

"I'm the curator and want this to be taken seriously, which is one reason we're having it in an art gallery," Mooneyham said. "But the rule is, the White Walls series doesn't have rules."

Mooneyham admitted that someone used to structured song formats might be jarred by the White Walls series, which he said can be an acquired appeal.

"It's somewhat of a tightwire act: Sometimes you fall off. But when it works, it's awesome," he said. "It's definitely not a jam-band aesthetic. I don't mind being dictatorial about that. If you want a drum circle, get a bag of pot and go somewhere else."

Each show is a unique arrangement and doesn't center around a specific tempo, melody or groove, Mooneyham said. Saturday's performance will feature an interesting mix of instruments, including:
" turntables,
" a trombone and
" an Electronic Valve Instrument, an analog synthesizer from the Seventies which is played like a trumpet.

"It's more about communication or telepathy between the musicians, and it's tricky," he said. "Much harder than it appears, and everything is unique to that moment." "Doug Hill

Latest in Music Features

Readers also liked…

Add a comment