Kenny Wollesen’s Wolle-Sonic Massage

Kenny Wollesen’s Wolle-Sonic Massage

Fri   Mar   22   2024 - 10:00 AM Knoxville Museum of Art Sun   Mar   24   2024 - 10:30 AM Knoxville Museum of Art

The Wolle-Sonic Massage is a musical performance experience utilizing unique one-of-a-kind instruments built by drummer/percussionist Kenny Wollesen.

Wollesen has created hundreds of musical instruments since the beginning of the century ranging from simple one-sound foley-like instruments (“angelic grinder” & “rattlers”) to more complex multi-sound instruments (“arcade grip” & “sleep grinder”). Some instruments are percussion instruments that are hit, scraped, or rubbed. Some are stringed instruments that are plucked or bowed. Some are activated by wind or light (“whirly grinder” & “cat grip”). Many instruments are crank activated thus creating a continuous repetitious sonic groove (“bambingo” & “rain grinder”).  Traditional percussion instruments like bass drums & zithers are also a part of the massage but played in unconventional ways with extended techniques.

Typically during a Wolle-Sonic Massage performance the audience lays down on yoga mats and a gaggle of massage performers (usually around 10-12 performers) surround the audience while playing the instruments. the overall vibe of the Massage is quiet and relaxing and many instruments are ultra quiet and can only be heard very close to one’s ear. Performers move through the audience delivering the sonic treats directly to individual audience members. Each audience member is treated to an individual, completely unique, totally acoustic, musical performance where familiar & unfamiliar multi-directional sounds drift in & out, near & far.

Wollesen has been presenting the Wolle-Sonic Massage since 2007. The first one was at MASS MoCA in North Adams. In 2008/2009 a residency was held at the 151 Art Gallery on the Bowery in New York City presenting a Sonic Massage every Tuesday for free to the public. Since then, the Wolle-Sonic Massage has performed at the Bonn Art Museum, The New York Children’s Museum, the Queens Makers Faire, the Honk Marching Band Festival in Boston & New York, The Bulgi University in Istanbul and on the streets and in the parks of New York City.

Knoxville, TN · USA



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