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Pidgin Culture

Pidgin Culture is an organization dedicated to intercultural experimentation, creation, and research, founded in 2014 by Lukas Ligeti and Matt Mottel. We live today in a world in which cultures come together, mix, and sometimes clash. Pidgin Culture brings together artists from different and diverse cultural backgrounds and aesthetic directions and challenges them to produce innovative, original work that could only come about through the combination of these particular cultures or individuals. By emphasizing experimentation and giving arts practitioners the opportunity to engage deeply and over long periods of time, we hope to inspire the emergence of new ideas that could have indirect effects far beyond the arts. Public presentations, workshops, and discussions, both in-person and online, will enable a wide range of audiences to participate both actively and passively in these exchanges; educational outreach activities will widen the horizons of all participants and will bring people together by reducing prejudices and preconceived notions. Every project leads to new questions; the result is a sustained discourse on how intercultural experimentation can lead to a new creativity and help tap into new ways of perceiving and understanding art and the world. - See more at:

Transcending the boundaries of genre, the globetrotting composer/drummer Lukas Ligeti has developed a musical style of his own that draws upon downtown New York experimentalism, contemporary classical music, jazz, electronica, and world music, particularly from Africa. His music ranges from the through-composed to the free-improvised, often exploring non-Western concepts, and he is a pioneer in the field of experimental intercultural collaboration.


Lukas studied composition and jazz drums at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria, the city of his birth, and spent two years working at CCRMA, the computer music research center at Stanford University, before settling in New York City in 1998.


Lukas has been commissioned by Bang on a Can, Kronos Quartet, Ensemble Modern, the American Composers Orchestra, the Vienna Festwochen, Austrian Radio, Radio France, Colin Currie and Håkan Hardenberger, and Armitage Gone! Dance, to name a few; his music has also been performed by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, the London Sinfonietta, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and the Amadinda Percussion Group, among many others. He also works with recorded and new media and recently completed a major sound installation for the Goethe Institute’s cultural programs relating to the upcoming Soccer World Cup in Brazil.


As a drummer, he co-leads several bands including Burkina Electric, the first electronica band from Burkina Faso in West Africa, touring recently in East Africa and Europe. He has also worked with John Zorn, Henry Kaiser, Raoul Björkenheim, Elliott Sharp, Gary Lucas, Marilyn Crispell, John Tchicai, Benoît Delbecq, Gianni Gebbia, Tarek Atoui, Thollem McDonas, Jim O’Rourke, Eugene Chadbourne, Michael Manring, Jonas Hellborg, Paul Dutton, Steuart Liebig, Wu Fei, Rupert Huber, members of Sonic Youth and the Grateful Dead, and many others. Besides drums, he plays the marimba lumina, an electronic marimba designed by Don Buchla, and has given concerts on this instrument in countries from Mexico to India to Ethiopia.


He has led or co-led experimental intercultural projects in Florida, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho, among other places, has taught at the University of Ghana, and was composer-in-residence at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he is currently completing a PhD.


Lukas’ music is has been released to high acclaim on two CDs on the Tzadik label as well several more on the Cantaloupe, Intuition, TUM, Wallace, and Innova labels, among others.


Among other awards, Lukas received (in 2010) the Alpert Award in the Arts in Music.


For more information, please see

Lukas Ligeti

Matt Mottel

Matthew Mottel, is an artist and performer who has worked extensively in the International Arts Community since 1999. He co-founded his performance duo Talibam! with Kevin Shea in 2003. They have released 26 albums and completed over 20 international tours.  He has also performed in collective ensembles; CSC Funk Band, Alien Whale, Nymph and is a band-leader in his own unit Platinum Vision.  


He has collaborated with his father, photographer Syeus Mottel, choreographer Karole Armitage, Fluxist artist Yasunao Tone, Instrument inventor Cooper-Moore, Visual Artist Peter Coffin and many others. He was an Artist In Residence At Issue Project Room in 2010, an LMCC Swing Space Recipient in 2011 and continues to expand his practice searching for both unique opportunities and collaborations. He has performed at such acclaimed venues as MoMa, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Victoria & Albert Museum London, The Kitchen NYC, All Tomorrow's Parties Festival and more.



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