Photo by Grace Villamil
Tyondai Braxton, former frontman of Battles, has announced his first new release in six years, HIVE1. Due out May 12th via his new label home Nonesuch, the album is the culmination of his work on the live performance piece HIVE.
HIVE was first realized as “a live multimedia work that was part architectural installation and part ensemble performance” featuring five musicians sitting on oval pods that emitted shifting LED lights to match the sonic mood of their music. The work was originally premiered at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 2013, and went on to be performed at the Sydney Opera House, Tasmania’s MONA FOMA f, and Nonesuch’s 50th anniversary celebration at the London’s Barbican Centre.
As HIVE1, the piece has evolved into an eight-track effort that marks Braxton’s first release since departing Battles in 2010. Without the futuristic elements of the pods and their light show, the new album lets the sonic elements of the work shine. As a first taste, Braxton has shared the nine-and-a-half minute long track “Scout1”, which you can experience below.
Braxton will support the release with a residency at Knoxville Museum of Art for the Big Ears Festival; he’ll perform the live piece once during every day of the festival.
04. Studio Mariacha