Will Guthrie is an Australian drummer / percussionist living in France. He plays solo using different combinations of drums, percussion, amplification and electronics, and leads the contemporary percussion / gamelan group ENSEMBLE NIST-NAH. His music has been released on labels such as Black Truffle, Editions Mego, Ipecac, Erstwhile, Clean Feed, Gaffer Records, Hasana Editions, 23five, iDEAL and his own label Antboy Music.
Guthrie first made a name for himself within the Australian jazz scene, establishing himself at a young age as a major presence by winning the Wangaratta National Jazz Awards for drums in 1997 and going on to perform with many of Australia’s most celebrated jazz musicians. In the new millennium, his work took a long detour away from the drum kit through junk electronics, extreme amplification and electro-acoustic techniques, documented on a series of solo and collaborative recordings from these years.
Alongside continuing his electro-acoustic work, in the last decade, Guthrie has returned to the drums with a vengeance, developing a series of solo works marked by a radical single-mindedness, from relentless rhythmic workouts to earth-quaking explorations of the bass frequencies of gongs and other metal percussion instruments. In the crowded world of free jazz/improv percussion, Guthrie’s work is distinguished from the delicately pointillist approach of much European improvisation by its rhythmic sophistication, unashamed virtuosity and undeniable physicality, touching on aspects of world musics from Javanese gamelan to South Indian Carnatic music.
As a dedicated grassroots and DIY concert organiser, while still a student in Melbourne Guthrie (alongside Ren Walters) established the weekly concert series ‘Improvised Tuesdays’, now known as the Make It Up Club, Australia’s longest running performance series for improvised and experimental music. On moving to Nantes, Guthrie joined the collective CABLE#, curating and organising regular concerts and an annual festival.
Guthrie has released over 50 Albums, as both soloist and in collaboration, on labels such as his own Antboy Music, and also Black Truffle, Editions Mego, Gaffer Records, Ideal, Ipacac and Clean Feed. He has performed at countless venues and festivals all over the world including Lieu Unique (Nantes), Cafe Oto (London), Berghain (Berlin), Super Deluxe (Tokyo), SPRING Performing Arts Festival (Utrecht), Meta House (Phnom Penh), MONA FONA (Hobart), Suoni Per Il Popolo (Montreal), Lampo (Chicago), Oct Loft Jazz Happening (Shenzhen) and the Geometry Of Now (Moscow).
Regular collaborators past and present include Oren Ambarchi, James Rushford, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Mark Fell, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Pateras, Chulki Hong, Jérôme Noetinger, Keith Rowe, David Maranha, Ava Mendoza, the film maker Hangjun Lee and choreographer/dancer Mette Ingvartsen.