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Guitarist/Composer Charlie Ballantine Sets 11/20 Live Performance of "Vonnegut" Music, Featuring String Quartet; Recent Interviews Explore the Thoughtful Genesis of New Sextet Album, which Draws Inspiration from the Writings of Kurt Vonnegut
(Published: November 11, 2020)

For Immediate Release
November, 2020


Guitarist/Composer Charlie Ballantine Sets 11/20 Live Performance of "Vonnegut" Music, Featuring String Quartet



Recent Interviews Explore the Thoughtful Genesis of New Sextet Album, which Draws Inspiration from the Writings of Kurt Vonnegut



"I really wanted to do my best to capture the voice of Kurt Vonnegut in a musical sense and just as each novel had a different overall feel, the music had to change composition to composition"




Indianapolis-based guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine has confirmed a live performance for November 20th as part of Indy Jazz Fest. The event, during which Ballantine will be joined by a string quartet, celebrates the music of his recently released ‘Vonnegut'. The new album conveys a sense of drama, distinct narrative threads and emotional depth, as Ballantine crafts an often disquieting, consistently resonant and thoughtful artistic tribute to seminal author Kurt Vonnegut.


Details of the 11/20 Indy Jazz Fest live performance are here: https://indyjazzfest.net/...


In recent interviews, jazz/rock/folk artist Ballantine has shared the genesis of his eclectic project, within which he channels characters and themes from Vonnegut's novels into his compositions. Finding the balance between the soulful and the literate, Ballantine and his sextet create a vibe that speaks volumes, without vocals.


Below are multiple interviews that explore the project, video premiere links, plus a national placement via Jazziz Magazine, as they debuted the album's first single "Sympathy For Malachi Constant".



EPONYMOUS REVIEW - Q&A Interview Feature and video premiere: Charlie Ballantine talks ‘Vonnegut' and shares ‘Eloise Metzger' by Laurie Fanelli

https://www.eponymousrevi...

Excerpt: Kurt Vonnegut is one of the most influential American authors. His works are beloved by many generations of readers and some of his novels have even been adapted into films.

Guitarist Charlie Ballantine has found inspiration in the works of Vonnegut for his new album, entitled Vonnegut, creating musical themes, melodies, and songs from some of the author's most famous books and characters.

We got the chance to ask Ballantine about Vonnegut - dropping digitally on Sept. 26 - and are honored to share the new video for the song "Eloise Metzger," which can be seen (in the story link).




VENTS MAGAZINE - INTERVIEW FEATURE: https://ventsmagazine.com...
"Song titles such as ‘Sympathy For Malachi Constant', ‘Kilgore in Timequake,' ‘Eloise Metzger' and ‘Mind Of Dwayne Hoover' let the listener know they're in for a richly eclectic ride, as jazz/rock/folk artist Ballantine channels characters and themes from Vonnegut's novels into his compositions."



Other recent coverage:


Jazziz Magazine Exclusive Premiered the album's first single "Sympathy For Malachi Constant":
New Music Monday -By Matt Micucci: https://www.jazziz.com/ne...

WFYI-FM's Cultural Manifesto podcast, syndicated via NPR: https://www.npr.org/podca...


NUVO interview here - https://nuvo.newsnirvana....



More about the ‘Vonnegut' album:

Video link to get a sense of the project: https://youtu.be/xAVSAYA3...



From the subtly unsettling album highlight ‘Eloise Metzger' to the distinctive vibe of ‘Unk', from focus track (and first single) ‘Sympathy For Malachi Constant' to the appropriately-toned coda, ‘So It Goes', ‘Vonnegut' is a rich collection and shows Ballantine to be an artist with a POV that is both expansive and entertaining.


The ‘Vonnegut' band was made up of Indianapolis musicians Rob Dixon on tenor and soprano saxophone (solos track 3,5,6,) Amanda Gardier on Alto sax and Bass Clarinet (solos track 1,2,5,8,) Charlie Ballantine on Guitar, Jesse Wittman on Bass, Mina Keohane on Piano, Cassius Goens on Drums and Rob Funkhouser, Music Box on track 3. ‘Vonnegut' was recorded at Postal Recording Indianapolis IN. It was released on Green Mind Records.


Ballantine shared these thoughts on the genesis of ‘Vonnegut': "Kurt Vonnegut has always been an inspiration to me long before I decided to do this project. Ever since I first read "Slaughter-House Five" in high school I have always felt a deep connection to his voice and personality. I think the connection can be attributed largely to the fact that we are both from Indianapolis, a city he mentions in almost every novel, and therefore share a similar sense of Midwestern cynicism and love of dark humor. It was when I was rereading "Sirens of Titan" for the first time since college that I decided to write a piece of music dedicated to the main character Malachi Constant. It's a story about a man who makes nothing but bad decisions his whole life only to find out at the end of his life that free will never truly existed and he never had any control over his actions. It moved me to write the first piece on the album "Sympathy for Malachi Constant" which started the whole process. Every couple of weeks I read a novel and then tried to immediately compose a piece of music that truly reflected what I was feeling in regard to the characters and themes in these stories. I really wanted to do my best to capture the voice of Kurt Vonnegut in a musical sense and just as each novel had a different overall feel, the music had to change composition to composition."


More about Charlie Ballantine:

Website biography excerpt below. Full bio here: https://www.charlieballan...

Born in the American heartland of Indianapolis, Indiana, Ballantine's quicksilver guitar is all Fender Telecaster flux and flow, Deluxe Reverb danger and drive. Ballantine has two current releases: Life Is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan and Where Is My Mind?, with two albums prior, all drawing from music and experiences documented long before he was born. Son of a blues guitarist who frequented "Indy's" club circuit in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Ballantine has inherited the sound of the wind roaring across the plains, the desert heat of Route 66 and the lush colors of the Appalachian mountains. Ballantine's guitar is spectral and haunting, his music an evolving tale of a young journeyman with big ears.
"I've always been attracted to the guys on the outskirts," Ballantine says from Indianapolis. "Like John Scofield, Bill Frisell, and Jeff Beck; you can call the first two jazz, but a purist might disagree. And I like using distortion and delay and [different] vocabulary, not necessarily playing straight bebop. That's what's I've always loved, guys who are unique in their approach and who have their own voice."
Ballantine's guitar sound and musical concept is majestic, sometimes as blinding as a setting sun yet hinting at the unknown, a dark Americana whose remnants remain if you know where to look. That Ballantine is exploring singular music is a given. Growing up in a musical household, Ballantine was exposed early on to the pop greats, but also the sounds of jazz, blues, pop and rock.
"My parents were born in the 50s," Ballantine explains. "So I grew up kind of listening to the Beatles, Beach Boys, the Band. I have Sergeant Pepper on one shoulder and Wes Montgomery on the other shoulder, and Hendrix too. So I have all these things, these influences I'm trying to make sense of and give a sense of continuity."

D'addario Sponsored Guitarist
Professor of Guitar at the University of Indianapolis
Professor of Guitar at Marian University

EPK: https://www.charlieballan...


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