“Cyber Guitarist” and crew to rock Great Hall

Three cities concert with “cyber-guitarist” and Wits music lecturer to rock the Great Hall on 28 April.

HACKED EQUIPMENT: The “cyber-guitarist” Jonathan Crossley stands with his heavily modified Ibanez guitar that he will play at the 3 cities concert in the Great Hall on 28 April. Photo: Reuven Blignault.

HACKED EQUIPMENT: The “cyber-guitarist” Jonathan Crossley stands with his heavily modified Ibanez guitar that he will play at the 3 cities concert in the Great Hall on 28 April. Photo: Reuven Blignault.

Three cities, three musicians, one Great Hall.

Wits music lecturer and “cyber guitarist” Jonathan Crossley will unite with New York based drummer, Lukas Ligeti and Capetonian drummer, Jonno Sweetman for a performance of epic proportions in the Great Hall on Tuesday, 28 April.

In the hopes of duplicating the success of last year’s show, the trio will come together again in the hopes of making an even more successful performance.

Crossley will be performing on his unique cyber guitar system, a hardware “hacked” Suzuki Omnichord, as well as playing an array of other unique instruments.

Jonno Sweetman, a musician and avid surfer, will be packing his surfboard away and bringing his drumsticks on his way from Cape Town.

With 32 years of study, Crossley is a classically trained guitarist, but on stage he appears to be something of a combination of man, robot, and guitar.

Crossley put on a world-first musical performance a few months ago, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for his doctorate in music.

It took Crossley three years to create what he calls his “hardware hacked electric jazz guitar”. Crossley describes himself as a guitarist, technologist, cyber-protagonist and composer.

When asked about his “unique” instrument, Crossley describes “the instrument system itself is completely software free… no PCs or laptops are engaged actively whatsoever in the performance and further no music is pre-prepared in a recorded audio format. All music is improvised wholly live”.

“The performance will be completely unlike traditional music, which is either pre-prepared or improvised over a predesigned set of constraints”, Crossley said illustrating further on the upcoming performance.

Lukas Ligeti will be jetting in from New York where John Zorn’s Stone Club where they have recently presented a week-long retrospective of his work. Ligeti lives in Joburg and New York and is currently completing his PhD at Wits.

Ligeti often leads or co-leads several bands such as Burkina Electric (the first electronic band from Burkina Faso), Sonic Youth and the Grateful Dead. Ligeti has collaborated with musicians across Africa, and in 2010 he received the Alpert Award in Music.

Jonno Sweetman is much in demand as a drummer and has played with the Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner, Kyle Shepherd, and has travelled beyond his borders to perform in Europe and Asia.

The trio will be performing improvisations between each other, playing original works and rock classics from bands such as Nirvana.