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Kronos Quartet — Derek Charke: Tundra Songs

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Derek Charke: Tundra Songs is a trip that plays like Volume Two of Bjork's Medulla.

 

Which will be a warning to some and very good news to others. Weirdest musical journey of the year so far.

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Thanks for giving me an excuse to make my annual mention of Knoxville's Big Ears Festival. Kronos Quartet is the artist in residence this year, and they'll be performing six times in three days. It is, as usual, a ridiculous schedule in which every single block of time reaches Sophie's Choice proportions.

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I wasn't able to attend the performance of "Tundra Songs," but I saw Tanya Tagaq perform with her trio on Saturday and it was, no kidding, one of the greatest things I've ever seen. Absolutely otherworldly. It was 45 minutes, totally improvised. YouTube clips don't in any way do her justice -- in fact, she asked before the show to not film her because "those clips, without any context, make people send me really hateful comments" -- so set aside 65 minutes and watch all of this:

 

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