Sunday, July 24
Ars Nova Workshop is thrilled to present the long-awaited return of experimental music mindbenders Peeesseye, the unclassifiable trio of Chris Forsyth, Jaime Fennelly, and Fritz Welch, in a live performance Sunday, July 24 at Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia.
As one of only two scheduled performances this year celebrating the trio’s 20th anniversary, this is a not-to-be-missed show, featuring an opening set by Chicago’s TALsounds (Natalie Chami).
Peeesseye was formed in 2002 in Brooklyn by Chris Forsyth, Jaime Fennelly, and Fritz Welch. Though their instrumentation changed as often as their sound, the core elements were always Fennelly’s combination of harmoniums, oscillators and feedback, Forsyth’s alternately spacious and cutthroat guitar playing, and Welch’s hyper-mutated vocals and possessed percussion.
They persistently kept listeners off balance over the course of the ensuing decade, both through chameleonic stylistic shifts from one release to the next as well as with the unpredictable eclecticism of the music itself. Gestural lowercase formalism might explode into blaring noise, sprawling psychedelia shatter into raucous free improv, back porch minimalism mutate into avant-trickster performance art—all engaged with a sense of emotionally engaged intensity that forged a unity in their often evolving sound.
“Over the past decade, few experimental groups have been as intriguing and unclassifiable as Peeesseye.”
— Marc Masters, Pitchfork (2010)
The group splintered geographically and musically after a final show in Antwerp in 2011, with Fennelly pursuing theatrically Kosmiche synth gleam as Mind Over Mirrors from bases in Washington State, Chicago, Maine, and North Carolina; Forsyth carving out his own territory as a bandleader and lyrical guitar anti-hero upon relocating to Philadelphia in 2009, most notably with his Solar Motel Band; and Welch shifting from music/noise/sound to various performance scenarios to visual art extrusion in his adopted hometown of Glasgow, Scotland.
After more than a decade apart, Peeesseye is reconvening for two performances to mark the 20 years since they first made noise together.
Natalie Chami is a Canadian-born Lebanese American who adopted the TALsounds moniker in 2009 for her explorations in the drone, ambient, and improvisational disciplines. Through her masterful synth work, operatic vocals, and nuanced sculpting of mood and atmosphere, Chami’s music strikes a balance between the extremely personal and the selflessly transportive.
With over a decade performing as a solo and collaborative artist based in Chicago, including collaborations with Haley Fohr (Circuit Des Yeux), Whitney Johnson (Matchess), and as a member of free music trio Good Willsmith, Chami has emerged as a crucial contributor and one of the faces of the city’s contemporary avant-garde electronic scene.
$20 General Admission
21 & Over
Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue
Proof of Covid-19 vaccination required for entry and attendees are encouraged to wear masks while indoors.
For more information, please consult our health and safety protocols.
Pestilence & Joy, by Peeesseye.
Released July 5, 2010, Evolving Ear. (Bandcamp)
Acquiesce, by TALsounds.
Released May 22, 2020, NNA Tapes. (Bandcamp)