Big Ears Festival 2010 expands its lineup

Music News | Feb 18th, 2010

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The second Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee during the weekend of March 26 – 28, 2010 continues to expand with Sufjan Stevens, Adrian Belew, William Basinski, Liturgy, Konk Pack, Abe Vigoda, and Ches Smith now slated to join the lineup.

In addition the festival has unveiled some of the unique and rare performances to be experienced this year.

* Sufjan Stevens along with Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner of The National and Shara Warden (My Brightest Diamond) will be joining Clogs in their performance of the new song cycle ‘The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton.’ Big Ears 2010 will feature the only live performance of the piece currently scheduled with all of the guest vocalists from the recording, which is slated to be released in early March.

* Electronic ambient composer Tim Hecker will be collaborating for the first time with composer/ performer Ben Frost, each of whom will also be performing separately during the weekend.

* The Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform a program of pieces written for them by the Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth and Thurston Moore as well as Michael Gordon and Evan Ziporyn.

* In addition, Bang on a Can will perform Brian Eno’s ‘Music for Airports’ in a special show with the Books and Tim Hecker.

* Rock guitar legend Adrian Belew (Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads, King Crimson) will introduce his new solo work during the festival.

* Aritst-in-residence Terry Riley’s series of programs during the festival weekend will also feature some rarely heard work. Riley will perform a concert on the extraordinary new pipe organ at the University of Tennessee’s Cox Auditorium, presenting music commissioned in 2008 by the LA Philharmonic to christen the pipe organ at Disney Hall. This will mark the first time that the program has been presented outside of Los Angeles. Riley will also perform his rarely heard recent work, Autodreamographical Tales, with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, prior to a performance of his legendary masterwork, In C, with an all-star cast of festival performers. In addition, Riley will perform other solo work as well as with his quartet, featuring electric violin virtuoso Tracy Silverman, guitarist Gyan Riley, and drummer Ches Smith (of Secret Chiefs 3 and Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog). The Calder Quartet will also present a program of Riley’s string quartets as well.

The Big Ears Festival also marks a couple of other exciting “firsts”:

* It will be the first time the Dutch punk anarchists The Ex have ever performed south of the Mason Dixon line in their 30 year history…and the festival finale will feature the long-awaited return of the National, who will debut new material from their much anticipated new album to be released in May.

The full schedule of concerts will be announced today, Wednesday, February 17th, and tickets for the new shows will go on sale Friday, February 19th at 10:00 am. Tickets are already on sale for many of the major concert events of the weekend, and a limited number of “Inner Ear” all access weekend festival passes are still available as well.

Tickets are available through or by calling 865.684.1200 ext. 2 between the hours of 10:00am and 5:00pm eastern.

Additional elements of the Big Ears Festival weekend will be revealed in the coming weeks, including surprise collaborations, art installations, a film program, workshops, lectures, interactive experiences, and more.

BIG EARS 2010 is celebrating the 75th birthday year of the legendary American minimalist composer, Terry Riley. The National’s Bryce Dessner is co-curating the weekend.

Artists performing include Vampire Weekend, the National, Joanna Newsom, Andrew W.K., St. Vincent, The xx, the Calder Quartet, Iva Bittova, Tim Hecker, Nico Muhly, Ben Frost, Sam Amidon, Doveman, jj, and more. For a complete listing and for more information, visit

More festival details, including travel and hotel information and up-to-the-minute news and additions to the schedule and line-up, are available at


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