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An uncompromising voice in contemporary music, Arrington de Dionyso (b. 1975 Chicago USA) integrates ancient soundmaking techniques with trans-modernist inquiries into the nature of consciousness. His propulsive improvisations utilize kargyraa voice combined with reed instruments (primarily bass clarinet, saxophone, and his invention the Bromiophone) as multiphonic tools in the navigation of liminal spaces between shamanic seance and rock and roll ecstasy.

While deeply rooted in the punk inclination to tear down musical standards in an effort for liberation, Arrington’s music weds the iconoclasm of No-Wave Punk to the spiritual searching of Albert Ayler era Free Jazz along with more indigenous approaches to improvisation, reaching for an unveiling of primordially potent universalities. His compositions embrace sounds as colors, placing emphasis on the complimentary spectrums- from circular overtones whispered through bamboo flutes to the penetrating deep and guttural howls of amplified throatsinging- all with the lungs of an athlete.

Over the last 25 years he has founded many important experimental rock groups such as Old Time Relijun, Malaikat dan Singa, and This Saxophone Kills Fascists. He has also performed alongside many great icons of contemporary music including collaborations with members of Deerhoof, the Master Musicians of Jajouka, Senyawa, Fugazi, and The Violent Femmes.

As a kind of “punk ethnomusicologist” Arrington circumvents academic approaches in favor of building direct relationships with the musical cultures he wishes to engage with, not as an “anthropologist” studying an “exotic other” but as an invited participant and active collaborator. His investigations of Jathilan trance music in Java, and collaborations with groups such as Senyawa, Karinding Attack, and HMM have brought him to the forefront of the Indonesian experimental music scene, and he has recently traveled to Morocco (Master Musicians of Jajouka) and Peru (instrument builder Dmitri Manga) to build similar connections between the indigenous and the avant garde. This August will be his first travel to the Republic of Tuva where he looks forward to collaborations with throat-singers and shamans. He will teach workshops about free improvisation and experimentation with ancient forms.

Whether as a band leader, solo performer, or in collaborative settings, Arrington’s music evokes an “Ancient Future”, sometimes shocking and hallucinatory, always aiming to channel Spirit.

Arrington de Dionyso

Musician