The internationally acclaimed Big Ears Festival – declared “one of the most quietly earth-shattering, subtly luminous festivals the world over” by Oxford American – is proud to return once more to downtown Knoxville for the weekend of March 23-26, 2017, bringing together musical leaders and innovators from the worlds of classical, jazz, electronic, folk, hip-hop and beyond.
2017 tickets and the lineup will be released the morning of Wednesday, October 5, and to celebrate that night, the Big Ears Festival will be hosting a free Preview of Big Ears 2017 event at 7 p.m. featuring the wonderful singer and composer Julianna Barwick and harpist Mary Lattimore (who was a special guest with Yo La Tengo at the 2016 Big Ears iteration). The concert will take place at Knoxville’s fabulous new music hall, The Mill & Mine, at 227 West Depot Avenue. The evening will also include a word from festival film partners at the Public Cinema, along with exciting peeks into the Big Ears documentary, still very much a work in progress by the amazing team at Rock Fish Stew.
Julianna Barwick has been a mainstay of the Brooklyn indie music scene since her praised 2006 self-release, Sanguine. Crediting a rural church choir upbringing for her unique sound, Barwick begins most tracks with a single phrase or refrain, then uses a loop station and the occasional piano or percussive instrument to build the song into a swirling mass of lush ambient folk. Having since toured the world and released her third album this year to rave reviews, The New York Times writes, “Julianna Barwick’s music belongs to the oceanic category. Her songs are built of short-cycle vocal lines, singing for the feeling, singing for the sound. They’re echoed and stacked, with indistinct words, and the instrumental aspects of the music sound like voices, too: continuous tones in repeating patterns. The effect is churchly and vaguely Renaissance, but also very now.” She has worked with Radiohead, Diplo, and Sharon Van Etten, among many others.
Harpist Mary Lattimore doesn’t let the physical breadth of her instrument of choice confine her. Her latest release, At The Dam, found her hauling her 47-string Lyon and Healy harp in a station wagon out West, following the call of nature to create a deeply evocative album of found sounds and experimental plucking. Awarded the Pew Fellowship in 2014, her work has included the film score for Marina Abramovic: the Artist is Present, accompaniment for Nick Cave’s beautiful horse “soundsuits” for the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Station in New York City, and collaborations with Arcade Fire, Thurston Moore, and others.
Between now and October 5, Big Ears plans to start spilling the beans about some of the amazing programs in store for 2017. So … stay in touch for all the latest information on this upcoming event, as well as a few lineup clues, by following Big Ears on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
AC Entertainment is the force behind internationally renowned events including Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival® and Forecastle Festival. For more information on AC Entertainment, visit ACEntertainment.com.