Listen: Stephan Thelen Releases New Solo Album, Fractal Guitar

We’re loving Fractal Guitar, the new solo album by Stephan Thelen, the dazzling guitarist for prog group Sonar. Fractal guitar, if you’re wondering, is a system of delays and feedback Thelen devised so as to produce uncanny rhythmic patterns and atmospheres with his guitar. He invited a handful of great drummers and guitarists—including Henry Kaiser and Big Ears 2019 performer David Torn—to join him for these sprawling pieces. On “Urban Nightscape,” Torn, Thelen, and Markus Reuter gild a relentless rhythm section in diamonds and shadow, an interplay of darkness and light suggesting a sinister sense of possibility. Though the record isn’t out until late January, you can hear it now at Bandcamp. Listen for Torn on the first and last tracks.

Knoxville, TN · USA



Explore the lineup of upcoming Big Ears performances.


Discover travel, lodging, & dining options to enhance your festival experience.


Big Ears is made possible by the passion & generosity of our supporters.


Learn more about what The New York Times calls “one of the world’s greatest music bashes.”