Kafka, Hồ Chí Minh City, Việt Nam, January 4th, 2017. Photo by Nguyễn Minh Hoàng.
TYLER DAMON (b. 1987, Cincinnati, OH USA) is a Bloomington, Indiana based artist whose work aims to reveal obscured and untold narratives via drums/percussion & free improvisation.
In addition to solo work, Tyler is involved in extended duo exhibitions with guitarist Tashi Dorji, saxophonist Dave Rempis & bassist Darin Gray (as Duo Oninbo). He is presently drumming for Chicago’s Circuit des Yeux and is also regularly engaged with John Dawson as the shape-shifting outfit Thee Open Sex.
Other collaborators have included Mars Williams, Mette Rasmussen (as a trio w/ Tashi Dorji), Nguyễn Hương (as No Sorry duo), Daniel Carter, Peter Maunu, Ken Vandermark, Little Howlin’ Wolf, Kent Kessler, Albert Wildeman, Jason Adasiewicz, Jason Stein, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Robert Beatty, Muyassar Kurdi, Pham Tam (of Dom Dom), Hải Duy (of Dom Dom), Crazy Doberman, Ed Ricart, Jon Lorenz, Chris Trull (of Grand Ulena, Yowie), Eddie Flowers (of Gizmos, Crawlspace), Brian Sandstrom (of NRG Ensemble), Ben Lumsdaine, Landon Caldwell, Mark Tester, Ross Hammond, Steve Marquette, Kevin Harris, Mark Hosler (of Negativland), Matthew Setzler, Keith Jost, Thom Nguyen (as Manas trio), Andrew Scott Young, Sarah Louise, Michael Zerang, Matt Shuff (as Vulgar Mudflaps), Ian McColm, Luke Stewart, Jarret Gilgore, Curt Oren, Matthew Schneider (Moon Bros), John Morton (of X_X), Craig Bell (of X_X, Rocket From The Tombs), Nathan Warrick (as Canned Hamms Blues Band), Feedtime, Sima Cunningham & Macie Stewart (Ohmme), Lech, Sir Deja Doog’s Love Coffin and Sitar Outreach Ministry, among others.
Tyler has toured extensively in North America and Việt Nam and is also regularly engaged with other artists, musicians and heads of various sorts across the American Midwest. From his home base of Bloomington he operates his own label, Yoke, and hosts the long-running free-form/experimental radio program Melody Unasked For on Bloomington, IN community radio station WFHB. From 2010-2015, he was a principal curator of “out” music in the Bloomington area at several now-defunct DIY venues. Tyler’s recorded output has been offered by a myriad of labels including Family Vineyard, Magnetic South, Auris Apothecary, Astral Spirits, Trost, Feeding Tube & Yoke.
“[Tyler is] the up-and-coming young drummer in the Midwest and a voice that will be active for years to come.” – Darin Gray
“[…] his solo showcase […] shows that he can play dynamically, fading up from near nothingness to passages where his surging attack fills all available space like a deploying airbag.” – Bill Meyer, Wire Magazine #363
“[…] his blending of scrape disciplines, stream-of-conscious phrasings and subtle tribal rolls is beatifically disorienting and hypnotic and evocative of animal rutting and fighting and writhing…” – Jacob An Kittenplan, Cassette Gods
Photo by Mink Oil.
Elastic Arts, Chicago, November 4th, 2016. Photo by Piotr Lewandowski.
Tashi Dorji & Tyler Damon @ The Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL, April 9th, 2017. Photo by Julia Dratel.
“Tashi Dorji (electric guitar) & Tyler Damon (drums/percussion) reside in separate locales but have come together from a place of mutual admiration. The pair has scarcely spoken of intention regarding their music yet conjure a sound which suggests the familiar and the non-idiomatic at once. Flashes of ecstatic intensity, blurred timbral lines, fractal repetition, noir-ish, cinematic mystery and inclinations toward free play hint that the two are pleased to follow a winding path to destinations yet unknown.”
“Although the duo are playing in real time, they manage to embed action within action […] The music is a bit like a set of Russian nesting dolls that aspires to challenge succession rather than confirm it.” – Bill Meyer on Both Will Escape & Live At The Spot+1, Wire Magazine #393
“Together, the combination of Dorji’s high-end metallic power-tool skree and Damon’s manic-but-earthy hippie clomping are a perfect pairing. Each has a musical spoon in the other guy’s soup to begin with, resulting in a collaboration that seems almost brotherly. […] I’d say expect great things, but they’re already happening.” – Tom Burris on Both Will Escape, The Free Jazz Collective
Tyler Damon / Tashi Dorji w/ Mette Rasmussen (not pictured), live at the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre, Hamilton, ON, June 9th, 2016. Photo by Mark Molnar.
Tyler Damon / Darin Gray duo, live at the Kerr Foundation, St. Louis, MO. Photo by Mabel Suen.
“Duo Oninbo (Tyler Damon and Darin Gray) had their first earthly encounter in early 2012 and patiently began to develop a rapport over several live dates in the American Midwest, eventually culminating in their first recording session in Darin’s hometown of Edwardsville, IL in the Autumn of 2014. The result was “Oninbo,” a recording that has, perhaps unintentionally, evoked an abstract narrative of the ‘Implacable Man’ trope, conjuring feelings of foreboding doom, exhausting, cathartic intensity and eerie calm via electro-acoustic free-improvisation and an aggregate of disparate personal influences. This drums/percussion and electric bass/percussion duo is the latest of several such collaborations for Darin, having performed for many years as On Fillmore (with Glenn Kotche) and Chikamorachi (with Chris Corsano); However, Damon and Gray confidently stand apart in the present with a nod toward the future. Their second release, “For Four,” premiered in mid-November, 2015. A third release of live recordings is slated for release in 2017.”
“The apparent incongruities of the Open Sex controversy have been accounted for by a purely transcendental explanation. There is evidence that early writers were acquainted with such a supposition – which, however, was popularized and espoused by later adherents. This theory asserts that Open Sex actually possessed all the supernatural powers with which they were credited; that they were in reality citizens of two worlds: that, while they had physical bodies for expression on the material plane, they were capable, through the instructions they received through their union, of functioning in a mysterious ethereal body not subject to the limitations of time or distance.”
Open Sex duo at Kafka, Hồ Chí Minh City, Việt Nam, January 4th, 2017. Photo by Nguyễn Minh Hoàng.
The Mars Williams Quartet, Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago, IL. Photo by Dan Mohr.
The Mars Williams Quartet: Mars Williams (reeds), Peter Maunu (guitar, violin, mandolin), Kent Kessler (double bass), Tyler Damon (drums/percussion)