Thollem/Seetha Duo

This is a new project between pianist/keyboardist Thollem McDonas and flutist Seetha Shivaswamy. These two prolific musicians have created structured improvisations specifically for this performance that draws on their respective individual histories, studies and influences. Both are prodigious musicians who have ventured far from their classical training into a lifetime of extremely diverse musical experiences. This will be a concert with many surprises and challenges, through a complex and exciting array of twists and turns, as the duo dives deep into their Omni-Idiomatic worlds.

Seetha Shivaswamy, flutist, performs as a soloist and chamber musician in concerts throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. She has been a featured performer at South by Southwest Music Festival, Fusebox Festival, SAARANG at IIT Madras, and Austin Chamber Music Festival. Her flute playing can be heard on many movie soundtracks, PBS documentaries, TV commercials, and video games. Seetha holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor’s Degree from Ball State University, where she studied classical flute performance. She has a certificate in contemporary flute technique and improvisation from her studies in Europe with the Dutch Flute Virtuoso Wil Offermans.

Thollem McDonas is a perpetually traveling pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher. He is well known internationally as an acoustic piano player in the free jazz and post-classical worlds, as the lead vocalist for the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti and as an electronic keyboardist through a multitude of projects. Since 2005, he has played over 1,500 concerts throughout N. America and Europe and has released over 60 albums on 21 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim. A brief cross section of his many recent collaborators include William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Nels Cline, Rob Mazurek and Carmina Escobar. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange as well as a published author about art, politics and his travels in The Anthology of Essays On Deep Listening, Full Moon Magazine (Prague) and First American Art Magazine.