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Lukas Ligeti & Beta Foly
The son of influential modern composer György Ligeti, Lukas Ligeti shares his father's love of music, but in a drumming capacity. Often considered an Afro-pop/world fusion drummer, Ligeti is also adept at a variety of other musical styles, including jazz, pop, electronic/experimental, and even heavy metal, and has a knack for effortlessly playing complex polymetric rhythms. Born in Vienna, Austria, Ligeti learned his tools of the trade by studying both composition and drumming at the esteemed Vienna Music Academy. During the late '80s, Ligeti was a co-founder, composer, and performer for the Viennese improv outfit Things of NowNow, before joining up with the experimental rock outfit Kombinat M (and appearing on their one and only album, 1991's Hybrid Beat). In 1994, Ligeti was commissioned by the Goethe Institute to lead a workshop focusing on African traditional musicians in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; and from 1994 through 1996, he served as a composer at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, in Stanford University.
The same year Ligeti left Stanford, the drummer assembled a new group, Beta Foly, which led to their live debut at the Wien Modern Festival in Europe during 1996, and a debut album a year later, Lukas Ligeti & Beta Foly. Ligeti has also performed solo shows over the years (including a tour of such exotic locales as Zimbabwe and South Africa), and is involved in developing new forms of drum notation and developments in computer technology for drummers. Ligeti's musical resumé continues to grow (although he's now based in New York City, he spends most of his time touring), as he has either performed or recorded with Henry Kaiser, Elliott Sharp, Michael Manring, Pamela Z, Mari Kimura, Pyrolator Kurt Dahlke, Steve Adams, George Lewis, Mark Dresser, Anthony Coleman, Roy Nathanson, and ex-Grateful Dead keyboarder Tom Constanten, among others. Ligeti also continues to steadily receive composition commissions from ensembles and institutions (including Vienna Konzerthaus, the Kronos Quartet, and Vienna Saxophone Quartet, to name a few). In 2000, Ligeti contributed a track (the album-opening "Balarma") to volume ten of the ongoing Leonardo Music Journal CD series, titled Southern Cones: Music Out of Africa and South America. ~ Greg Prato