They, Who Sound
experimental sound-making, improvised music, noises, the sounding of art, the performance of art and . . .
Two distinct sets each night
Every Monday at Lawndale
Local/regional performers are presented on every program.
National and international artists are frequently featured.
For each Monday’s updated lineup, go to www.namelesssound.org.
Fall 2023 season starts September 18
Doors open at 7 PM
Donations to They, Who Sound welcome
Fourteen years running, They, Who Sound is Houston’s most consistent home for local, regional, national and experimental music. Beginning as a personal DIY project of Nameless Sound Founder David Dove in 2008, the weekly series of concerts was officially taken on as a project of Nameless Sound in partnership with Lawndale & Performance Art Center in 2018. Join us and experience Houston’s diverse and totally unique experimental music scene. And hear national and international artists sharing the stage with regional and local voices.
In 2008, trombone player David Dove organized a short series of concerts as a personal DIY project, independent from his work as Founding Director of Nameless Sound. Held at a mid-town Houston bar, Dove had minimal expectations for They, Who Sound. It was casually organized as an opportunity for friends, colleagues, and various Houston experimental musicians to perform with each other and for each other (and for who ever else happened to show up on a Sunday evening).
On the afternoon of the third concert, Dove and friends arrived to locked doors. The bar had cancelled They, Who Sound without notice.
Shortly after this auspicious beginning, the series was moved to Avant-Garden, a Montrose mainstay for diverse crowds and eclectic programming. Under the generous hospitality of owner Mariana Lemesoff (and key bar staff), the weekly series that was meant to last only a few months carried on for 9 years.
In those 9 years They, Who Sound not only became the sounding ground for a growing circle of local and regional experimental musicians. It also developed a reputation outside of Houston, as many well-known international artists would play They, Who Sound for their Houston tour stop, often collaborating with local artists. Sometimes They, Who Sound featured seasoned veterans, immediately following a young artist performing their first ever gig. Conversations after concerts were often as important as the performances themselves, and They, Who Sound became a place where new projects and collaborations were born. Though free improvisation might have been the most typical form of experimental music-making featured, there was plenty of space for jazz, noise, spoken-word, performance art, dance, film and sound art. It wouldn’t be fair to say that Houston didn’t have an active and creative scene of experimental musicians before They, Who Sound. But the scene in Houston does feel different than it did 10 years ago.
In 2018, Nameless Sound officially took on They, Who Sound as a weekly series of concerts in partnership with Lawndale Art Center. For Nameless Sound, it is an opportunity to provide a stage and shed light on Houston’s diverse, vibrant, and totally unique experimental music scene. We hope it will continue to be a meeting place for Houston listeners and experimental musicians, and we expect it to be a lab for new developments. You will continue to hear well-known national and international artists sharing the stage with vital regional and local talent. For Lawndale, it represents something of a return to roots. In the 1980’s, Lawndale’s original location was the site for some of the most memorable experimental music and underground rock events in Houston. Anthony Braxton, Pauline Oliveros, Cecil Taylor and the Art Ensemble of Chicago all performed there, as did Black Flag, The Minutemen and the Replacements.
So join us at Lawndale, where every Monday you’ll hear two distinct performances of experimental sound-making, improvised music, noises, the sounding of art, the performance of art and . . .