Cellist/composer Helen Money will be joining French prog/rock legends Magma on a tour of North America, beginning March 15 in San Diego, CA. “Magma is happy to return to the United States to play for Americans,” states Magma founder/composer Christian Vander, “It will be a joy for us to see you this year.” Helen Money – a.k.a. Allison Chesley – states, “Their music froms from such a pure, inspired place and their audience is so open-minded and willing to listen. To do this tour with them is a once in a lifetime thing and I can’t wait.” The tour will include dates in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, with the final show being on April 1 in New York City.
Magma was founded in 1969 by Vander, creating a form of jazz/fusion and sci-fi influenced prog/rock with what he describes as a disturbing “vision of humanity’s spiritual and ecological future.” Most of the band’s lyrics are sung in a mixture of French and Kobaïan, a constructed langauge related to the sci-fi themes that began on Magma’s first album. The late Swiss artist H.R. Giger, who had created the cover image to the band’s 1978 Attahk album, recommended Magma to filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky to compose music for his legendary aborted adaptation of Frank Herbert’s DUNE; Jodorowsky described Magma’s music as “military” and “terrible” in the documentary Jodorowsky’s DUNE, making them an ideal choice to score the villainous Harkonnens. The band has been cited as an influence by Ulver’s Kristoffer Rygg, Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt, and punk legend John Lydon – a.k.a. Johnny Rotten. Christian Vander and his wife, co-vocalist Stella Vander, remain the only consistent members since the group’s inception.
Helen Money is a renowned session musician, having directed string arrangements and recording for metal acts like Anthrax and Disturbed, as well as industrial/experimental artist Chris Connelly (Cocksure, ex-MINISTRY), and Morrissey; she performs regularly around the Chicago area and has shared the stage with the likes of Shellac, Mono, Bob Mould, and Joe Lally (Fugazi). She collaborataes regularly with Steve Albini, who recorded and mixed her latest album, Arriving Angels; the album also features Neurosis drummer Jason Roeder. In addition to Helen Money, Chesley is a well reputed composer for film, theatre, and dance. Of Helen Money, Magma states, “Her playing is genuine and intense,” going so far as to compare her to former Magma bass player Jannick Top.
Tour dates can be found via both artists’ websites.