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SCHED* SXSW 2011 has ended
Saturday, March 19 • 10:30pm - 11:30pm
The Sway Machinery

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Following their critically acclaimed debut Hidden Melodies Revealed, the Sway Machinery accepted a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to travel to Timbuktu and perform in Mali’s world-renowned Festival of the Desert. In Mali they found inspiration in the form of Khaira Arby, a legendary Malian singer, and out of their epic journey the new album House of Friendly Ghosts was born. Collaborating with Arby and Super 11, the Sway Machinery have exceeded all expectations and returned home with a new brand of cross-cultural music epic in its scope and depth. The Sway Machinery's sound stems from Lockwood's rich musical relationships with his grandfather Cantor Jacob Konigsberg and his mentor Carolina Slim, the renowned blues player who fondly guided Lockwood's musical development. Lockwood's deeply personal bond to these two musical traditions was brought to life in the band’s debut album, Hidden Melodies Revealed. Mixed with the sounds of afro-beat horns, hard-hitting drums and the blues, the album re-contextualized the Cantorial tradition into the broader spectrum of world music to critical acclaim. "Lockwood's arrangements of Jewish cantorial songs whip up a frenzy wherein all the world's music can do that which music does best: celebrate. Such joyful synthesis is what music is all about,” wrote The Village Voice. House of Friendly Ghosts may be less overt in its connection to traditional Jewish music, but the road to its conception followed a similar pilgrimage into the mythic past. In January 2010, the Sway Machinery became the first-ever Jewish band to perform at the legendary Festival of the Desert in Mali, a traditional Muslim country. During an impromptu performance with Khaira Arby, legendary songstress from Timbuktu, Lockwood had “a moment of musical clarity.” When introducing one song as being by his grandfather, Cantor Jacob Konigsberg, the audience erupted into applause. “They did not need to have any notion of what a cantor is to feel the value of a young man carrying on family tradition,” recalls Lockwood, “Seeing turbaned men pumping their fists in the air along with my grandfather’s ‘Aveinu Malkeinu Z’khor’ [was] certainly one of the most memorable and inspiring images from our journey.” The band’s experience in the festival tents brought them to Bamako, the capital of Mali, where they recorded House of Friendly Ghosts. While the new album has the same basic building blocks as Hidden Melodies Revealed (drums, guitar, bass sax and horns), “the sonic picture is radically different. Traditional African instruments have been introduced into the mix, along with guest lead guitar players and Khaira's distinctive vocals,” voicing the multiple tribal languages of her region. Combined with Lockwood’s lyrics, which remain rich in Jewish associations and memory reservoirs, House of Friendly Ghosts bridges its own path through religion, culture and tradition to once again connect seemingly disparate musical worlds in a way that never before seemed possible.
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The Sway Machinery

Following their critically acclaimed debut Hidden Melodies Revealed, the Sway Machinery accepted a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to travel to Timbuktu and perform in Mali’s world-renowned Festival of the Desert. In Mali they found inspiration in the form of Khaira Arby, a legendary... Read More →


Saturday March 19, 2011 10:30pm - 11:30pm
Habana Bar Backyard 708 E 6th St

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