tylerkafkaKafka, 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.

Tyler is currently involved in extended duo exhibitions with guitarist Tashi Dorji and bassist Darin Gray (as Duo Oninbo) and is engaged with John Dawson in the shape-shifting outfit Thee Open Sex. He also regularly performs as a soloist.

Other collaborators have included Dave Rempis, 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), Ross Hammond, Ed Ricart, Jon Lorenz, Chris Trull (of Grand Ulena, Yowie), Brian Sandstrom, Ben Lumsdaine, Landon Caldwell (of Creeping Pink, Burnt Ones), Mark Tester (of Burnt Ones), Steve Marquette, Kevin Harris, Mark Hosler (of Negativland), Matthew Setzler, Keith Jost, Thom Nguyen (as Manas trio), Sarah Louise, Michael Zerang, Matt Shuff (as Vulgar Mudflaps), 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), Haley Fohr (Circuit Des Yeux), 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, namely at The Artifex Guild and the now-defunct House at the Bottom of the Hill. He has been described by Darin Gray as “the up-and-coming young drummer in the Midwest and a voice that will be active for years to come,” while Chicago-based critic Bill Meyer has noted that “…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.” Tyler’s recorded output has been primarily offered by the labels Magnetic South, Family Vineyard, Auris Apothecary, Astral Spirits & Yoke.

Photo071 copyPhoto by Mink Oil.

2tylerelasticnov2016Elastic Arts, Chicago, November 4th, 2016. Photo by Piotr Lewandowski.


unspecifiedTyler Damon / Tashi Dorji w/ Mette Rasmussen (not pictured), live at the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre, Hamilton, ON. Photo by Mark Molnar.

“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. Dorji & Damon released their debut studio LP, Both Will Escape, and a cassette of live recordings, Live At The Spot +1, in 2016 on the Family Vineyard and Astral Spirits labels.”

“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

img_3911Elastic Arts, Chicago, November 4th, 2016. Photo by Julia Dratel.


rooftopbellsTyler 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.”

opensexkafkaOpen Sex duo at Kafka, Hồ Chí Minh City, Việt Nam, January 4th, 2017. Photo by Nguyễn Minh Hoàng.


marswilliamsquartetessdanmohrThe 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)