Multi-instrumentalist Klimchak is known for his compositions and performances for dance, theater and live solo performances. These usually incorporate improvisation & playing of over 100 instruments in a single show. He’s received many awards & honors for his work, including the 2009 Loridans Artist Award, often called “Atlanta’s MacArthur Genius Award.”
Recently, Klimchak has been performing solo shows featuring a unique percussion instrument called the Marimba Lumina. Only about 100 of this very rare instrument were made. The Lumina was created by legendary synth inventor Don Buchla. As he described the instrument:
Modeled somewhat after its acoustic namesake, Marimba Lumina is an electronic MIDI controller that brings an extended vocabulary and range of expression to the mallet instrument family. Marimba Lumina’s playing surface includes a traditionally arrayed set of electronic bars and some (not so traditional) trigger pads and strips (reminiscent of those early ribbon controllers). The instrument is played with special foam covered mallets… Marimba Lumina can identify which of 4 color-coded mallets has struck a bar. This allows one to program different instrumental responses for each mallet, or to implement musical structures in which one mallet selects a course of action while others modify or implement it.
With the Marimba Lumina Klimchak is able to perform live music that would normally take at least 4 musicians. His multi-instrumental compositions are played with 4 separate mallets, six foot pedals and a breath controller. As added touches, his sets usually include 4 or 5 small percussion instruments, some chanting or tuvan throat singing and at least one solo on the theremin. Klimchak has recently performed Lumina shows at the Different Skies Festival in Arcosanti, AZ, the Electromusic Festival in Bloomingdale, NJ, the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville, GA, the City Skies Festival in Atlanta, the planetarium at the Bradley Observatory at Agnes Scott College in Decatur and for the Emory Visual Arts Dept in Atlanta. He also maintains a busy club schedule, regularly performing at such places as Eyedrum, and Kavarna in Atlanta, the Earth House in Indianapolis, the Acoustic Coffeehouse in Johnson City, Tn, Reverb in Greenville, SC and Marsh Woodwinds in Raleigh, NC.
Klimchak has composed scores for over 50 different theater productions around the world. In Atlanta, he is an Artistic Associate at Georgia Shakespeare, where he has been working since 1997. His score for their 2009 production of Titus Andronicus won a 2009 Suzi Award for best sound design. His work at Ga Shakespeare was also nominated for Suzis in 2007 for Pericles and 2009 for Midsummer Nights Dream. Other recent theater works include live scores for Tales of Edgar Allan Poe at the Center for Puppetry Arts, Coriolanus at Shakespeare Santa Cruz in California, and No Exit at Le Neon Theater in Washington, DC, which was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for best sound design.
Recent work for dance includes Klimchak’s live score for the dance/theater piece Malinche, performed at the Bovenzaal Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam. He has composed numerous scores for the Emory Dance Department, including works for choreographers Anna Leo, Sally Radell, Tara Shepard Myers, Lori Teague and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women. Klimchak composed a sound score for the dance Three Bagatelles for the Righteous: 2004 Update, which was performed at NYC’s Joyce Theater by Jane Comfort and Co.
Klimchak also designs and builds percussion instruments. In 2010, five of the instruments he created were displayed, along with performance videos, in the visual arts show Limitless at the Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College. In January 2011, Klimchak was given a grant by Idea Capital to design & make some new percussion instruments & compose music for them. These will be performed in 2011-2012 by a group of 4 musicians as flash percussion performances, in a series titled Klimchak’s Lebeato Lounge.
For those who still can’t get enough, here’s a listing of all major performances from 1994 (the year I started keeping track) through last year.