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.

 

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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.

Tess perform

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!

Memphis Concrete: Experimental Electronic Music Festival

This week’s Press Play features On Trianges – Sound in Geometry Series Volume 1 the playlist affiliated with this year’s Memphis Concrète experimental electronic music festival. It will be held at Crosstown Arts and will feature new musicians from the Memphis region and across the country.

This recording of electronic music presents the works of local and regional artists that will be featured at the festival.

Enjoy!

 

Get your tickets to the festival, June 22-24 in Memphis, TN: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/memphis-concrete-2018-tickets-45151261639?aff=efbeventtix

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

 

5 Happenings at Moogfest 2018

 

Moogfest is almost here! Moogfest is an annual multi-day festival that is located at the intersection of music, technology, art and human interaction in “The Research Triangle.” Started in 2004 in NYC the festival is now in its 12th year. Moving from NYC, to Asheville, then Durham Moogfest curates and hosts those at the forefront of music, art, and the science of sound. Moogfest is May 17-20 spread through venues in downtown Durham, North Carolina.

“By day, Moogfest is a platform for conversation and experimentation, attracting creative and tech enthusiasts for four days of participatory programming in Durham, North Carolina. By night, Moogfest presents cutting-edge performances by early pioneers in electronic music, contemporary pop innovators, and avant-garde experimentalists in venues throughout the city.

Moogfest is a tribute to analog synthesizer pioneer Dr. Robert Moog and the profound influence his inventions have had on how we hear the world over the last 60 years. The exchange between engineer and musician that he fostered is celebrated with a unique festival format where the creative process is understood as collaboration among many people, across time and space, in commerce and culture.”

Here are 5 things not to miss:

Chelsea Manning

National security expert Chelsea Manning’s keynote will explore how tools and enhancements in technology will be influencing our future and are/will tamper with our private life, our society and explore what we think are acceptable or unreasonable evolutions.

With Jennifer’s work with IBM Watson, her Keynote will come from both a philosophical and practical standpoint. While Chelsea’s Keynote is focused on disruption within technology, and how that is a tool for destruction and creativity.

Sonic Robots

Moritz Simon Geist aka Sonic Robots is a performer, musicologist, and robotics engineer. His robotic instruments and performances have been shown in numerous European festivals and exhibitions throughout the last year. His whole concept revolves around Robotic Electronic Music (R.E.M). He uses futuristic DIY mechanic instruments and small robots to create robotic techno and will be performing on stage with Mouse on Mars in the A3 Spatial Sound environment within The Armory. Later this year he’s debuting his first album, the first techno record recorded entirely with robots produced by Mouse On Mars. He teaches on the progression of technology and society at the NYU Berlin and will be presenting various workshops at Moogfest.

Check out a sampler here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVSP4XCOu18

Girls Who Code Engineer Scholars

Moogfest has partnered with Girls Who Code for an Engineer Scholarship giving 4 young female students the opportunity to build their own Subharmonicon synthesizer at this year’s festival. Read about it on FACT Mag. This program is a continuation of Moogfest’s dedication to STEAM, an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

ALEX ZHANG HUNGTAI

Beyond the personal consciousness, there is the familial consciousness, above the familial there is the cultural, above the cultural, the historical, and so on ascending into the vast cosmical or spiritual consciousness. The conception of Divine Weight derives from Zhang’s “failed” attempts of saxophone compositions and recordings accumulated over the last 3 years, from there it became the actual stem tracks that were heavily digitally disfigured until it no longer resembled the sound of saxophones. Like dreams, visions often come to us without us having the capability to measure or understand fully what they mean. Similar to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Psychomagic, dreams and visions take on the roles of witnesses inside the uncharted labyrinth of the personal subconscious. To witness, is to believe. To believe, is to project a certain reality onto the external world. The projection then, has nothing to do with reality. Perhaps it’s where dreams go, after it dies.

Nicole Mitchell  

This jazz enthusiast and avant-garde artist who’s part of the association of Advancement of Creative Musicians will be performing a 4 hour durational on her flute immersed with a plethora of moog synths. This is a completely different genre for her, and promises to be extraordinary.

Check out the 2018 SCHEDULE

Buy your tickets HERE.

See you there!

Press Play: Analog Tara

This month the Press Play mixtape features Tara Rodgers, aka Analog Tara. Tara is a multi-instrumentalist composer and historian of electronic music and sound who produces techno tracks using analog sound sources.

This is a mix of Analog Tara tracks from the album At the Switch Hotel from 2003, written, performed, and produced by Analog Tara on synths, drum machines & more.

Tara Rodgers is a former Sonosphere podcast guest, and we are big fans of her book, Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound. The book features 24 interviews with 24 women from the electronic music genre.

Rodgers originally hails from upstate New York and is now based in the Washington, DC area. She earned an MFA in Electronic Music & Recording Media at Mills College and a PhD in Communication Studies at McGill University.

SoundObservations_Poster_TaraRodgers

She’ll be presenting a free, open to the public artist talk at noon on the Crosstown Concourse Theater Stair on March 31. Later that night at 8 pm (doors at 7:30 pm), she’ll perform original compositions in Crosstown Arts’ East Atrium, including tracks from her new Fundamentals EP, out this spring on the DC label 1432R.

The performance is a ticketed event with a cash bar. Tickets are $12 and available on
Eventbrite: https://tinyurl.com/y82m3v7e

This is the first performance in Sonosphere’s Sound Observations series. This four-part series will highlight new explorations in sound through lectures and performances by musicians, composers, and scholars from across the country. Join us as we explore the sounds all around us.

Enjoy the mix:

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

Press Play: A N Y W A V E

Welcome to Press Play, the monthly playlist curated by labels and artists from around the world. Today Sonosphere highlights the French label, A N Y W A V E. We had the pleasure to correspond with Aurel Delamour, artist and co-creator of the label.

Check out the interview, mixtape and track list below. Subscribe to us at SoundCloud, itunes, and GooglePlay.

 

anywave logo

Tell me about Anywave, how did it begin?

I created the label with my friend Stephanie 15 years ago – mainly because we wanted to release our own work. But we quickly took a break… that lasted over 10 years! As for the name, it was her idea, IIRC she thought about no wave and I was very much into new wave, so that’s what “Anywave” is supposed to mean: the synthesis of different types of wave music – hopefully it’s still relevant, now that we’ve been releasing music for real.

How do you find and work with your artists? 

We dig through Internet every day with my buddies in the label. But we also receive many submissions from artists.

It has happened many times that we worked with other labels. Sometimes, because we need extra money to achieve a budget, sometimes just because we want to have a release in common with people we like, like with Lentonia or Montagne Sacrée for instance.

What do you look for in an artist/band? How do you shape or “feel out” the “sound of Anywave”?

“Singularity” is a word I much enjoy to use when I speak about our artists, singularity can take different shapes, I’m fully aware that it’s very difficult to be purely innovative, you always take from what has been done before. For instance, Heather Celeste’s work gathers dark techno codes, it also includes minimal wave, but she doesn’t simply put all this together, she really does something special, with a lot of improvisation, a rather lo-fi production – at least on the material she’s released on Anywave. It’s her personal balance that makes her music unique to our ears. It’s true for most of the artists we’ve produced, they do their stuff in a very particular way.

When we decide to work with a band, we try to include their project into our own story. As we seek total freedom in our artistic choices (no boundaries of style, no strategic plan), we give the artists the same freedom. So we have to find a way to make their project a part of our own without betraying their intentions. Sometimes enthusiasm and mutual love just do the job! But I think the visual work we do might be the cement that makes the label understandable at first.

What is your preferred “genre” or sound to represent on the label? Is it mostly personal taste or does some consumer demand play in?

I don’t know. « Bedroom-pop », or « bedroom-something ». As for A V G V S T, which is my own band, I once wrote “postwave”, and then “pornwave”, though it has nothing really [to do with] porn. My friend Zane O’Brien who rules escc9 and Lux Era found an excellent genre designation: “post-whatever”, I’m a bit upset I couldn’t come up with that myself!

Who was the first Anywave artist/band signed?

A V G V S T, obviously. Then, we really started the current version of Anywave with two Egyptian bands, PanSTARRS and Gast, by the way, the two most opposite sides of our catalogue, one a pure lo-fi post-punk band, and the other an IDM project, sounding a bit like the early Warp Records’ productions.

Who is the newest addition to the label?

Patrick Wiklacz, a French ambient / experimental electronic composer and sound designer, who never released his work on a label before. An album will be be out in April or May.

And Laura Gozlan : we’ve published Physical Self, her exhibition soundtrack. The format of this project is a bit unusual for a music label because it is an artist book by Myriam Barchechat and Laura Gozlan with a download code for the music, a 10 minutes track of abstract darkwave composed by Laura. The book reinterprets her video installation, it is meant to be an adaptation of the original artwork.

Wavecore5Has the label evolved since the beginning? If so, how?

A lot!! We went through v1, v2, v3, and we’re heading to v4. It fits better to our current frame of mind , I guess our scheme wasn’t very clear, and rather clumsy, at the beginning. At some point, I got a bit pissed with mimicry. The fact is we didn’t plan to make things grow, but when you’re releasing 5 to 7 records in one year, I guess you can say you are actually developing the label. So you try to make something that works, and as you have no idea how things work, you look at what other labels do… and then you realise after a while you’ve just been in someone else’s shoes. Still, I’ve got many references, and there are many inspiring labels, but as far as we’re concerned inspiration should stay on an artistic level, we have to find our own way to make things work.

atelier_09_rcd cassetteWho presses your vinyl records/cassettes? How important is physical copies of music? 

We like to work with small factories for vinyls and tapes. We’d like to be able to press the cassettes ourselves in the near future. That’s what we already do with CDs. For us physical copies are important for different reasons: first it gives the project some credibility in the eyes of the audience and of the media (it’s almost impossible to get any review with only a digital release). The second reason is that we love creating objects, touching them. Myriam, our art director, is a great designer, and I do share her concern about giving a physical shape to music, that can add a meaningful dimension to a record – not to mention the aesthetic dimension of course. Hence it’s a real pleasure to go on with physical copies, in particular when it’s handmade limited series.

Streaming services have been great for finding new music. How is it working through bandcamp/soundcloud? Does that drive the business?

It’s been a primary tool for us to get our name out there. Well, we’re not really famous of course, but we have a little audience we can reach through social networks and platforms like Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Changes in those platforms have huge consequences on the way we communicate and share music, so it means we might be too dependent on them.

Bad News from CosmosWhat are you excited about for the next year for your label? What do plan for future?

You may have noticed this last year was a rather quiet one. We’ve been focusing on other matters than music production, such as booking a tour for the Ukrainian duet Bad News from Cosmos, or questioning ourselves about the meaning of a label in 2017. By many aspects, a label is more or less comparable to a political party, especially when you rule it with three other persons, you have to make decisions but you also have to listen to what they have to say. I can be a bit authoritarian when I’m discussing our projects, but I’m also full of doubt. This year was a year of doubts, to be honest. Now, we’ve decided to rule Anywave in a different way: we’re gonna travel light. What I’m saying regarding the future is in total contradiction with our next release! Indeed Fléau’s second album is the most ambitious project we’ve ever made (thanks to the help of our friend label Atelier Ciseaux, who co-produced the record): a double vinyl and a collector edition with an artist booklet… But then, we plan to release mostly limited editions, screen printed CDs and tapes. What’s already on track is a split album with Bad News from Cosmos and Heima Matti, Patrick Wiklacz’s album «      » and the sixth volume of the Wavecore series.

Tracklist:

Side A selected by Bad News from Cosmos:
1 Vitamin Wig C – Why A Key Go (Wavecore 3, 2014)
2 Crystal Coast – DSTNT (Wavecore 4, 2015)
3 A V G V S T – The Hill (A Sorry Plain, 2005)
4 Verpackt – (Wavecore 4, 2015)
5 Seahorse Hunter – Disappear (Wavecore 1, 2013)
6 Tainsus – Computer Screen (Wavecore 4, 2015)
7 Jacqueline Sauvage – (Wavecore 2, 2013)
8 Ferdinand Carclash – Donde no Hay Despues (Wavecore 3, 2014)
Side B selected by Aurel:
9 Fléau – IV (intro) (Fléau II, 2018) premiere 
10 Sphyxion – Sphyxion 3 (Sphyxion, 2016)
11 Heather Celeste – Lemon Trade (Modern Death, 2015)
12 Bad News from Cosmos – Someday (Minn Sjo, 2016)
13 Gross Net – Spiralling Down (Wavecore 4, 2015)
14 Mareux – Cold Summer (Wavecore 2, 2013)
15 Patrick Wiklacz – N5 (N, 2018) premiere

Iceberg New Music Collective Visits Memphis

New York City-based composer collective ICEBERG New Music was in residence at Crosstown Arts here in Memphis for two weeks of concerts, workshops, and lectures back in June of 2017. 

IMG_3056

We spoke with composers from the second of the two concerts in the Crosstown Arts series, and attended their workshops and lectures that ranged from a “Sound Scavenger Hunt” to a lecture on “Popular and Classical Music in 1960s America.” Memphis-based contemporary chamber group Blueshift Ensemble collaborated with ICEBERG and performed the collective’s original compositions for the concert series.

I hope you enjoy our talk about Iceberg’s mission, the future of new music, collaboration, blending genre’s and more!

 

 

Special thanks to Iceberg New Music, Jenny Davis and the Blueshift Ensemble, and Justin Thompson and the whole Crosstown Arts Community.

Track listing:

Alex Burtzos – OMAHA (all the things you could be you are you were) for string quartet

Drake Andersen – Photons for flute and clarinet

Yu-Chun Chien – Co-Composition for a cellist

Jonathan Russ – Eat Your Vegetables for solo clarinet

Harry Stafylakis – Unrelent for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion