Pioneer Sessions

Pioneer Sessions is a series of intimate performances, filmed onsite in our recording studio, garden or exhibition space. The series highlights performances from artists in our creative community by capturing a unique dialogue between their music and the environment in which it's performed.

Sid Sriram | Pioneer Sessions
Singer/songwriter/producer Sid Sriram is a true hybridist, representing the collision point of radically different worlds. Born in Chennai, India, Sriram's family moved to the Bay Area suburbs when he was one. This duality of cultural roots is integral to the musician's identity. He graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Production and Engineering. A singular force in the world of Indian film music, carnatic music is his foundation and fountainhead.
Gelsey Bell | Pioneer Sessions
On February 17th, 2023 Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and scholar Gelsey Bell recorded "Ubasute" at Pioneer Works. Watch an intimate performance from the PW Music Alum now.
Sir Chloe | Pioneer Sessions
In January 2021, during the moratorium on live performances, Dana Foote of Sir Chloe performed a rare, intimate solo set in the empty warehouse space at Pioneer Works for an audience of two videographers and an audio engineer; the resulting video was originally live streamed on Bandsintown Plus.
Parquet Courts: North Dakota | Pioneer Sessions
Exclusive outtakes from On Time! with Parquet Courts, shot live at Pioneer Works on Dec 10th, 2020. Ten years ago, Parquet Courts adventure began by playing their first show to virtually no one, and to celebrate they decided to play a show to everyone, virtually. On Time! Featured live performance, rare archival footage, new interviews and exclusive merch.
Parquet Courts: Before the Water Gets Too High | Pioneer Sessions
Exclusive outtakes from On Time! with Parquet Courts, shot live at Pioneer Works on Dec 10th. Ten years ago, Parquet Courts adventure began by playing their first show to virtually no one, and to celebrate they decided to play a show to everyone, virtually. On Time! Featured live performance, rare archival footage, new interviews and exclusive merch.
Tashi Dorji | Pioneer Sessions
Tashi Dorji grew up in Bhutan, on the eastern side of the Himalayas. He has been residing in Asheville since 2000 and soaking up a vast array of music. Along the way, Dorji developed a playing style with a direct line to intuitive artistry yet unbound by tradition. His recordings feature improvisations that spasmodically grow along tangential, surprising paths. All references break loose during a composition, as Dorji keys into his own inner world. His compositions drag the listener into a labyrinth of warbling tones, where each sound seems to jump out and replace the eerie silence that would otherwise occupy the atmosphere. The textures remain sustained in the reverberation as the vibration of the strings dwindle and ascend. The experience is one equally disorienting and reflective, in which Dorji’s musicianship brings haunting beauty and mindfulness to the listener. After a handful of releases on various labels since 2009, Dorji presented his debut LP on Hermit Hut, the label created by Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) in 2014. Since then, Tashi has released music in various formats on labels like Bathetic Records, Cabin Floor Esoterica, Blue Tapes, Marmara Records, Feeding Tubes,VDSQ & MIE.
Simon Hanes | Pioneer Sessions
Simon Hanes is a California born, Brooklyn-based composer, performer, and arranger, or “compformanger” for short. His work revolves around bridging his main influences; soundtrack music from 1960s/70s Italian films, contemporary classical music, and non-idiomatic improvisation. Hanes composes for and performs extensively with his 13-piece Italian Soundtrack-Pop ensemble, Tredici Bacci, and has collaborated with such musicians as Elysian Fields, Ryan Power, Ruth Garbus, JG Thirlwell, Charlie Looker, Vincenzo Vasi, and underground legend Gary Wilson.
Arian Shafiee | Pioneer Sessions
Arian Shafiee is a Brooklyn-based Middle Eastern guitarist and improviser known for his work in the off-kilter dance-punk band Guerilla Toss. Inspired by aspects of non-western tuning and extended techniques, he crafts moments of dense, shimmering harmony and aggressive gesture through a unique approach, hinging classical impressionism to no-wave and early minimal music. Growing up with Iranian/Turkish parents, he peripherally absorbed various middle eastern music styles, blurring their lyrical and harmonic mainstays into his writing and improvising. His current trajectory of work focuses on the deconstruction of middle eastern pop music, using technology as a means of producing episodic compositions which verge between synthetic and natural sound worlds.
ANEWAL | Pioneer Sessions
ANEWAL is the new trio of songs by Alhousseini Anivolla, the lead guitarist and singer of internationally renowned desert blues band Etran Finatawa. Anivolla, a child of the Sahara, made ANEWAL a Desert Blues album inspired by his life in Niger. Formed in 2014, the songs showcase traditional North African songs into new and personalized acoustic soundscapes.
Angus Tarnawsky | Pioneer Sessions
Angus Tarnawsky is a Tasmanian sound-artist and experimental musician. A dynamic percussionist, his work explores the interactions between acoustic and electronic elements. Through constant improvisation, precise yet unconventional rhythms overlap with heavy bass and ambient, glass-like textures. Each and every performance is unique and the outcome from one day to the next is hypnotic and unpredictable. His debut solo release Pitched is out now on Inner Surface Music. In addition to leading and collaborating within a variety of performance based projects, he curates In Context Music, a record label exploring the notion of context in electronic and electro-acoustic music.
Marijuana Deathsquads | Pioneer Sessions
Watch the jam with Marijuana Deathsquads, the ever-evolving, experimental project lead by Ryan Olson, (producer/writer of POLIÇA and GAYNGS) and Isaac Gale. With multiple drummers, a slew of electronic instruments, and highly effected vocals, their live shows are a violent onslaught of improvised yet tightly woven, jagged, intricate experimental sound.
James Tillman | Pioneer Sessions
Hailing from Washington, D.C., multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter James Tillman fell in love with music early on. A student of tradition, but also inspired by contemporary producers, Tillman’s sound is soulful R&B with a modern twist. Tillman’s new album, Silk Noise Reflex, introduces a new sound to today’s R&B and soul lexicon: Silk Noise. It’s sleek and polished, but human and feeling. A meeting of jazz, hip-hop, soul, R&B, psychedelia, and so much more, its cohesiveness is a testament to Tillman’s songwriting prowess and his vocal skill. Rooted in earnest artistry and love, Tillman’s timeless sound promises a brilliant future ahead.​
Senyawa | Pioneer Sessions
Jogjakarta’s Senyawa embodies the aural elements of traditional Indonesian music while exploring the framework of experimental music practice, pushing the boundaries of both traditions. Their music strikes a perfect balance between their avant-garde influences and cultural heritage to create truly contemporary Indonesian music. Suryadi’s inventions include the handcrafted ‘Bamboo Spear’, a thick stem of bamboo strung up with percussive strips of the animal skin alongside steel strings; when amplified, it fuses elements of traditional Indonesian instrumentation with garage guitar distortion. The sonically dynamic instrument can be at times rhythmically percussive and at other times melodically bowed and plucked.
Reeps One | Pioneer Sessions
Reeps One, the moniker of London-born musician and artist Harry Yeff, makes work that is the product of a highly intimate, lifelong relationship with the human voice. He has been experimenting with innovative vocal practices alongside the creative representation of physics and sound from a young age, expanding his phonetic vocabulary to new boundaries. Yeff’s specialization in oral percussion and performance has established a reputation as a key pioneer in the field of experimental vocalism.
Susana Baca | Pioneer Sessions
Pioneer Works is pleased to present two-time Grammy award winning singer-songwriter, ethnomusicologist, folklorist, and teacher Susana Baca. With a powerful, smoky, and ethereal voice and equally impressive interpretive storytelling abilities, Baca is a leading figure in the revival of the Afro-Peruvian music tradition. Baca has contributed greatly to the international popularity of Afro-Peruvian music, particularly when she came to worldwide attention in 1995 with her rendition of “Maria Lando,” released by David Byrne on the Luaka Bop record label. With her husband, Ricardo Pereira, she founded the Instituto Negrocontinuo (Black Continuum) in Lima, which is dedicated to preserving Afro-Peruvian culture. In November 2011 she was elected to the Organization of American States (OAS) as the President of the Commission of Culture (2011-2013).