Podcast

Sound Observations on Afrofuturism: Building Communities

We are ending 2018 on a very inspiring note. We hosted our final Sound Observation series by inviting Chicago-based composer Nicole Mitchell to Memphis.

In this episode, we present Afrofuturism: Building Communities, a panel that explored beyond the concept of Afrofuturism. Memphis based Publisher and Author Sheree Renee Thomas led the discussion featuring Nicole Mitchell, and a few Memphians, including Producer/Performer and CEO of James Dukes aka “IMAKEMADBEATS,” Author/ Publisher Troy Wiggins, and Emcee, Teacher, and Author Danian Jerry.

IMG_7139They went beyond explaining afrofuturism and talked about how afrofuturism exists as much in the present as in the past and future. They also discussed how it can be used as a tool to help the community and build worlds that fit a black narrative.

Stay tuned to the next episode featuring Nicole Mitchell’s performance at Crosstown Arts.

Thank you for a wonderful year. Sit back and enjoy this fulfilling conversation. 

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Unapologetic: A Conversation at Dirty Socks Studios

This episode Sonosphere visits Dirty Socks Studios, which is the base camp for Unapologetic. The studio is a sanctuary for those who dare to commit to their craft. The theme is dedication to yourself and your mission. unapologeticV5-copy-300x295

Unapologetic is a collective that looks to push Memphis forward. The collective is a cast of characters that are as odd as their aliases. Lead by IMAKEMADBEATS, Unapologetic has put the city on notice. Memphis has the reputation that you have to leave to make it in most industries especially music. Non-Memphians tend to capitalize on the “Memphis Sound,”

Unapologetic is changing that notion. This starts in Dirty Socks Studios where we will pick up our conversation.

okkyung lee

Korean cellist, composer, and improviser, Okkyung Lee talks with Sonosphere about her time at this year’s Big Ears festival in Knoxville, TN, working with Evan Parker, learning to love the cello, and what’s in store for her this year.

 

 

Join us!

 

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Okkyung Lee performing at Big Ears Knoxville 2018

Remix Memphis: The Sounds around the City

This episode Sonosphere dives into Remix Memphis with Alex Greene and Luis Seixas, two Memphis musicians that make the duo The E.G.G.G.

Remix Memphis grew out of a partnership with the Urban Arts Commission and the city of Memphis’ 3.0 comprehensive planning initiative that worked to solicit participation from community leaders, residents and planners to inform future land use and neighborhood plans for the city.

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Alex Greene demonstrating the sounds of Memphis at the Carpenter Art Garden.

Art was an important piece. As a musician Alex was interested in the sounds of the city. He talks with us about the process and how The E.G.G.G. and other local musicians are using the field recordings from Remix Memphis.

Enjoy the episode and if your interested in learning more about the recordings email: remix.memphis@gmail.com

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The E.G.G.G. performing at the Cove in May 2018

Sound Observations with Maria Chavez & Christina Carter

In this month’s episode we highlight Sonosphere’s Sound Observations series. Sound Observations is a quarterly performance and lecture series featuring experimental artists from around the nation.

We were honored to host turntablist and DJ Maria Chavez, and vocalist and musician  Christina Carter of The Charalambides on May 11, 2018.

Maria and Christina’s site specific works took place in the atrium of the Crosstown Concourse building, an old Sears Roebuck building retrofitted for art galleries, residential and commercial spaces. The result is echoing vocals and scratchy, vinyl sounds that swirl up a red staircase to the entrance of the stage.

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Enjoy this Sound Observations performance in this month’s episode below.

 

To hear about Maria’s performance in Marfa, TX a few years ago, tune into an earlier episode on the Marfa Myths festival! 

 

Kai Riedl: Moogfest Continued…

“….the synthesis of music, art and technology.”

Moogfest continued… brings you a brief interview with Kai Riedl, Operations Director at Moogfest. He says this festival seeks to bring new forms of creativity, form communities around art and technology, and create spaces for artists of all inclinations, genres, subcultures and movements.

Although it seems timely to showcase female and non-binary artists this year, according to Kai, Moogfest has had a history of being an inclusive festival.

Check out the interview below!

 

Tracks in the episode:

Smerz – Worth It

Caterina Barbieri – Information Needed to Create

Mouse on Mars – Dimensional People I

Jon Hopkins – Singularity

Michael Stipe – Everything’s Coming Undone

And don’t miss the past episodes we posted on this year’s Moogfest participants Tess Roby and Delta Sound Labs.

 

Vorticity: Delta Sound Labs at MoogFest

Sonosphere ventured out to North Carolina for MoogFest this year and we caught up with Memphis-based Delta Sound Labs.

Their audiovisual installation called Vorticity was a collaboration between Delta Sound Labs + Nokia Bell Labs at American Underground in Durham, NC. This interactive, data-art set brought science and art together. Of the free programming, this fun, collaborative piece showcased what Delta Sound Labs can create with innovative, high-speed Schlieren imaging equipment and two sonified datasets. Colorful bubbles sliding around the screen were generated and distorted with every new person walking through the scene.

“The sets are converted to analog control voltage using Delta Sound Labs’ Control module and then mapped to determine the timbral structure of two voltage controlled oscillators through a form of distortion synthesis called wavefolding. Each data set forms two short sections, which are repeated continuously,” as explained by the guys themselves. Check out their Moogfest experience on their blog.

 

video from deltasoundlabs.com

For more on our trip to MoogFest – check out our podcast interview with Tess Roby!

 

Tess Roby at Moog Fest 2018

Hi guys, this month we highlight our conversation with Tess Roby from our Moog Fest visit back in May this year. She recently released her debut album Beacon on Italians Do It Better.

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Hailing from Montreal, Tess Roby brings dreamy synths and strong vocals on melodic tracks like “Given Signs” and “Catalyst.” She talks to us about her inspiration for Beacon, how her photography inspires songwriting and how growing up in a musical family lead her to collaborating with her brother on her debut.

Enjoy!

Rachel Grimes

Sonosphere spoke with Rachel Grimes about her score for the film The Doctor from India. Rachel talks about the composition and the ways this film has inspired her to pay closer attention to the way she lives her own life. The interview took place via telephone on April 4th, 2018 and Rachel talks about the importance of this date. Enjoy!

An ethereal and meditative soundtrack album from pianist and composer Rachel Grimes (Rachel’s, King’s Daughters & Sons), The Doctor from India features piano, Scott Moore on violin, Jacob Duncan on saxophone, interspersed with harp, strings, and ambient sound design. Created for a new documentary film by Jeremy Frindel, this score provides a thematically unified soundscape to support the inspiring story of Dr. Vasant Lad, a holistic health pioneer whose approach centers around the ancient practice of Ayurveda. The immersive, contemplative track “Moving Into Night” is streaming now on Bandcamp, and you can also pre-order the album.

The film had its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 2, 2018. Zeitgeist Films, in association with Kino Lorber, will be screening theatrically throughout the spring alongside a VOD release. The film tells fascinating story of one man’s mission to bring the ancient healthcare system of wellness called Ayurveda from India to the West in the late 1970s. In this meditative, immersive portrait, with interviewees including Ayurvedic practitioner Deepak Chopra, Frindel documents the life and work of Dr. Vasant Lad who, fulfilling his destiny as foretold by his family guru became a holistic health pioneer, helping to bring Ayurveda, which was almost unknown when he first arrived in the west, to become one of the most prominent alternative health systems in the world today. Check out the film site and watch the trailer.

Heralded as “one of American independent music’s few truly inspired technicians” by WIRE magazine, Rachel Grimes is a pianist, composer, and arranger based in Kentucky. Widely known for her role in the groundbreaking chamber ensemble Rachel’s, (six albums on Quarterstick/Touch and Go), she has since toured worldwide as a solo pianist, and as a collaborator with various artists.

Her work has been performed by ensembles such as the Louisville Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, A Far Cry, Longleash, Portland Cello Project, Amsterdam Sinfonietta Trio, Dublin Guitar Quartet, Borusan Quartet and Önder sisters. Releases include Through the Sparkle (with astrïd on Gizeh Records 2017), The Clearing (Temporary Residence Ltd. 2015), Book of Leaves, Marion County 1938, and Compound Leaves. Collaborators include Matthew Nolan, Erik Friedlander, Loscil, SITI Company, Joan Shelley, Nathan Salsburg, Jacob Duncan, Scott Moore, astrid, Chris Wells, and Julia Kent with the artist Peter Liversidge. She is also a member of Louisville band King’s Daughters & Sons (Chemikal Underground). She scores for film and multimedia installations (Donna Lawrence Productions) and has licensed music to numerous film and TV works internationally.

Tracks (The Doctor from India):

The Doctor Arrives

The Flowering of Arurveda

Sacred Knowledge

The Art of Listening

Quackery

I Do What I Love

 

Aukai

We spoke with Aukai about his upcoming release Branches of the Sun (March 9). Aukai is Markus Sieber — who spends time in Tulum, Mexico and Germany, in addition to Colorado — recorded the ambient-acoustic album in a small cabin high up in the mountains near the Old Spanish Trail in Colorado last winter, free of any outside human or technological influences.
The new record is darker and more layered than the last one — less thematic, more atmospheric this time– but it is richly produced with pieces that juxtapose the cold surroundings of their creation with a warmth of sound and spirit. Guests include Nils Frahm collaborator Anne Müller on cello, Berlin composer Alex Nickmann on synths, beats and mellotron, and was produced by Martyn Heyne (7K!, Dustin O’Halloran, etc).
Featured Tracks:
“Branches of the Sun”
“Iztac”
“Turning Days”
“Distracted by Clouds”
Colorado