Altmusic presents Susan Alcorn (USA) – Lyttelton Coffee Company (Lyttelton) – 12/11/15


One of the world’s greatest pedal steel guitarists visits New Zealand!

Playing at the Lyttelton Coffee Company

Thursday 12 November

Susan Alcorn takes the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country and western swing music. The Baltimore based musician has ripped the instrument from its typical genre and cast it in a whole new light. From comfortable country glissandos to deep surges and theremin-like science fiction noir, the shimmering earnestness of the instrument is used to full effect in her arrangements that probe the depths and textures of her songs.

Known among steel guitarists for her virtuosity and authenticity in a traditional context, Alcorn first paid her dues in Texas country and western bands. Soon she began to expand the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of modern classical music, free jazz, and world musics. Her pieces reveal the complexity of her instrument and her musical experience while never straying from a very direct, intense, and personal musical expression.

“Alcorn’s pedal steel tones, stretch, float, and dance in the air, and on the ears, expressing something that’s worlds beyond words, yet able to communicate on the deepest level.” – Signal to Noise

“Susan Alcorn is a great player who has mastered and redefined an unlikely instrument. With an exquisite touch she invoked it’s history, extended its emotional and ethereal strengths and explored its microtonal possibilities, drawing it out of the contexts that traditionally render it invisible, or generic, and into its own mature discourse, reminding improvisers that ‘free’ includes the right to be romantic, melodic and four to the bar.” – The Wire (UK)

“beautiful, glassy and liquid, however far she strays from the pulse and conventional harmony.” – The Guardian

Susan Alcorn plays solo and with Reuben Derrick and Daniel Beban (Orchestra of Spheres)
Lyttelton Coffee Company
Thursday 12 November
$18.50 presales at
$20 door sales

free bus leaves from The Auricle, New Regent St. 7.30pm