Welcome to electro-music 2008
The electro-music festival is now in it's fourth year – having moved from the Cheltenham Art Center in Philadelphia to the Renaissance Center here in Kingsport, Tennessee. We have seen an increase in participation each year, until electro-music has become the premiere event of its kind in the world. This year we have many old friends returning, and even more new artists appearing for the first time. The diversity of talent and expertise is outstanding. We have high expectations for three days of innovative music, fascinating seminars, demonstrations and rousing jam sessions.
In organizing this event, we have tried to give opportunities to participate and perform to as many people as we can. In order to accomplish this, music and seminars will run almost continuously without breaks. Several events have been scheduled to run simultaneously. It will be impossible for anyone to see and hear everything. A primary purpose of this meeting is to renew old friendships and make new ones, to share ideas and experiences - to network. We expect that people may not attend all of the sessions as they take opportunities to participate in jam sessions, or just to schmooze.
The musicians presenting at electro-music 2008 are generously sharing the gift of their music. But live music involves both the performers and the audience, and there is generosity in being a listener too, especially when the music is experimental and not mainstream. Most of the music presented in these three days is not a commercial product to be purchased and consumed, but rather a personal expression done strictly for the joy of it. At this event, all of the performers are also listeners, and listening is just as important as performing.
The electro-music festival is an outgrowth of the electro-music.com internet community, which has grown in five years to more than 9000 members. This event provides a unique opportunity for the community to support and nurture each other as we explore new ideas and develop our music. We hope that electro-music 2008 will be a positive and fulfilling experience for all who attend. Everyone working on this event is a volunteer. All of the performers, speakers, the graphic artists, and the event staff are contributing their time, skills and resources because they believe in our community and they want to be a part of it. Every piece of equipment we use is loaned as well. We can't possibly thank you enough. This is indeed a community event. Thanks to everyone, we will all be stronger for it.
- Howard and Greg
Dr. Dale E. Parson, a.k.a. Acoustic Interloper, has been writing music for his finger-picked banjos and guitars for the last 37 years, and has been troubleshooting circuits and programming computers for almost that long. About four years ago he finally decided to unite his interests in music composition and software architecture in exploration of algorithmic composition and electro-acoustic instrumental techniques.
Aligning Minds is the unique and captivating collaboration of two producers (Daniel Merrill and Michael Folk) using sound to achieve a mutual vision. Ethereal and dubby, uplifting and haunting, their music winds its way through the imaginative souls of its listeners. offering a deep exploration of subsonic mood and emotional atmosphere. Focused on unifying electronic music through diverse influence, their sound fuses elements of many genres like downtempo, dubstep, breakbeat and idm, but without the need for formulaic restrictions. The Aligning Minds sound is melodic and bass heavy. It's emotionally charged future music that rides on hypnotic breakbeats, infectious basslines, dubby soundscapes, and idm experimentation for one to dance or lounge to.
Azimuth Visuals is the artistic partnership of Greg and Hong Waltzer. They create video performance art to accompany musical events. Using a combination of computer-generated abstract images, animations, Greg's artwork, Hong's nature photography and video clips, these images are processed and mixed in real time by various effects software and video hardware. The intent is to provide a colorful and dynamic visual experience that is inspired by and complements the music.
Jeremy Bible and Jason
Ohio based sound artists Jeremy Bible & Jason Henry collaborate to fuse elements of musique concrete, acoustic, avant-garde, and electronic music. By means of conceptual, experimental, modern, and algorithmic recording and processing techniques the duo seek to expose a synergistic relationship between real world found sounds, acoustic instrumentation, and electronic sound design. The end result has been described as "paintings of sound", "the aural equivalent of abstract expressionist and minimalist painting", "music with depth and soft command", and "a consolidation of sound that creates an intimate experience transporting the listener to newly fabricated yet oddly nostalgic destinations." By merging the aesthetics of art and science through modern recording technology the duo examine the relationships between sound, ourselves, and the environment. Through research and experimentation into bioacoustics and the utilization of field recordings alongside traditional instruments and sound design a re-contextualization of everyday sound occurs. The duo's creative amalgamation of these elements have caught the attention of recording labels in Russia, Germany, and the United States with a growing number of albums slated for release. Each of the duo's improvisational live performances bring forth new perspectives on their sound and are complemented by an equally significant visual element of large scale projections in a lights out performance environment described as "subtle patterns of breathing white light."
Bicameral Mind is Bryce Eiman and Shaun Sandor. We formed in 2007 in North Carolina. Bryce brings much experience to this project as his career in tape treatments, electro-acoustics, ambient, and noise music spans over 20 years in a wide variety of projects. I have been performing ambient and electro pieces since 2006 as Promute, using field recordings, homemade junk, homemade gadgets, and somple signal processors. We appropriately borrowed from Jaynes the idea of the left-brain and right-brain working together to form a single output. We will be featuring a piece that consists of feedback mixing through contact mics, light signal processing, acoustic instruments, homemade gadgets, tape treatment, and sampling.
Cypress Rosewood in Second Life (SL) is Tony Gerber in “real life”, a space music artist with over 30 recordings available and various music scores for documentary films, most recently the planetarium show, "Nine Planets and Counting" in RL and a soundtrack to the SL science exhibit on "Nanotubes" at Nanotechnology Island. His group, Spacecraft has scored music for films including "Vanilla Sky" starring Tom Cruise. They have performed live concerts in planetariums around the United States. In Second Life Cypress has been a pioneer of live space and ambient music. He has performed nearly 300 concerts of his special brand of music. His performances create aural vibrations that can aid healing and relaxation. Cypress has also developed a Space Music Museum alongside working on many groundbreaking performance projects in SL. He is also one of the primary designers for the first major music manufacturer on the SL grid, Gibson Music Instruments, building their "Gibson Island" opened July 16th, 2008. He will talk about making music in the virtual world at his workshop presentation here at Electro Music 2008. He will also perform his magical music solo as he does in the virtual world with Cypress Rosewood and as a Spacecraft member.
Destroyifyer is a musician from Illinois who stresses absolute creative freedom. His music often sounds distant and sublime. Among the list of Destroyifyer's odd musical influences are architecture, industrial plant noise, dreams, occultism, warfare and geometry. Honoring music as a divine art form as opposed to a means for success, Destroyifyer crafted his sound with hundreds upon hundreds of songs before deciding to release music for the first time in 2006.
dRachEmUsiK is the most recent project by international, award winning electronic musician, sound designer and producer Charles Shriner. The current sound of dRachEmUsiK has been described as Glitch-Groove Elektronique with a touch of Ambient and Strong Modal Jazz Influence. Simple melodies swirling in mixed tempos, and undulating textures. Dense, erotic, evocative, emotional, spontaneous and sometimes noisy. dRachEmUsiK blends improvisation with structure and is performed in real-time. The music is fresh, innovative and eclectic while maintaining enough familiar elements to remain accessible without compromising creative integrity. Instruments used in performance: Akai EWI 4000s, MacBook Pro, Ableton Live, Reaktor, Kontakt, Reason, Cube, Terra, Peavy 1600, Behringer and Yamaha Foot Controllers.
Earthgirl is the musical persona of Jeannie Allen, an experimental electronic soundscaper based in Indianapolis, Indiana. She combines analog synthesizers, digital analog modeling, found sounds and field recordings to create a sense of traveling through space and time. Jeannie has always been inspired by musicians who use sound waves to evoke inner feelings and thoughts, and she continues to be inspired by all genres of electronic music. Jeannie is currently working on several ambient and electronica projects, with a focus on raising awareness for the needs of the earth and our fellow travelers here.
Electric Bird Noise started in 1997 as Brian McKenzie’s experiment with loops & effect pedals. Electric Bird Noise has become more refined over ten years of live shows & three albums (Unleashing the Inner Robot (1998), The Pace (2001), & fragile hearts… fragile minds (2007)) & become guitar & drum machine driven music. The guitar work is often multi-layered & incredibly dense, but not afraid to simultaneously go the minimal route of single notes. While it is music difficult to pigeonhole, the term “cinematic instrumental guitar music” is one that McKenzie has embraced. The music is not exclusively post rock, darkwave, shoegazer, or space rock; but involves elements of all four. Perhaps part of not being so simply defined is the geographic isolation of the deep south from any experimental or art rock scene; allowing the music to be more focused on personal expression than emulating anyone else’s sound. That said, clear nods are made within the music to Kraftwerk, the Cure, Depeche Mode, & Brian Eno. Recorded at his own studio, McKenzie showcases different elements of his music on fragile hearts...fragile minds. “Vestibule Transitoire” showcases a single guitar with loop & reverb in a twenty-six minute long ambient piece built for late night car rides. “We Share More Than My Father’s Last Name” is the first EBN song with vocals (sampled from Michael Wood of Something About Vampires And Sluts) & probably as close to a proper single as EBN will ever come. “Fall of The World Trade Center” on the other hand is minimalist piano & electronics with no guitar at all. Electric Bird Noise has played with bands like Attrition, System of a Down, Fear Factory, Hed Pe, Human Drama, Aarktica, Clang Quartet, Remora, Plumerai, & Bardo Pond giving crowds walls of light & smoke while delivering a larger than life sound from one guitar.
Fringe Element is a quartet of electronic musicians: Michael Victor, Greg Waltzer, Jose Murcia and James Lacey. Their goal is to explore the use of electronics to create organic, expressive music. All of their music is created in the moment, often boisterous and unrestrained. The spontaneous and interactive nature of their collaboration creates a style that is uniquely vibrant, diverse, and evolving. The chemistry between these four musicians is evident as they travel through unpredictable transitions and flowing soundscapes. Although they touch on conventional themes, they are continually drawn back to the fringe. In various combinations the members of Fringe Element have performed at many concerts and festivals in the Philadelphia area and other locations around the U.S. They have released four CDs, which are available at electro-music.com. This will be Fringe Element's fourth appearance at the electro-music festival.
Amos works for Moog Music. He will be playing music that falls into a sort of "ambient experimental acid" vein, using a PC running Audiomulch to do granular resynthesis of nature sounds (cicadas, flowing water, birdsong) mixed with drones and sequences on the x0xb0x and Moog Little Phatty.
Trapped somewhere between the deep south and an orbital station high above an alternate Earth, Harmaline has been broadcasting on all wavelengths since 2007. A chance meeting brought together Nashvillian Jeremy Dickens with Atlanta's Matt Simpson and Ryan Dempsey where they found a shared background in a stream of influences from all manner of music, from dub to disco and every point in between. Trading musical ideas across state lines via the Internet, the trio was able to build up a collection of pieces they would later disassemble via their shared love for improvisation and live performance. A Harmaline performance is known to free-wheel down many of the paths that electronic music winds across as the trio builds the music by hand on their laptops: stark drones slowly evolve into patterns, skittering beats accent a pulsing kick, all providing fodder for the ear and the dancefloor, building up to a shattering climax as the machines break down, bits reduced to iridescent rubble. Meanwhile, the artists at the controls can be just as surprised as the audience at the end result, making the excitement of the performance something that is shared between them and the listeners - a collaborative musical highwire act.
"The Baroque Theremin" - This solo Theremin program is an exploration of arranging and performing classical music in an all electronic environment. Invented by Lev Termen (aka Leon Theremin) in Russia c.1920, the Theremin was one of the first electric instruments, and is played without touching it. The expressive potential of the Theremin, Hammond Organ, analog and digital synthesizers, as well as processed acoustic recordings are brought together to realize each composer's musical intent. Pieces include works by Byrd, Purcell, Mendelssohn and Bach. John Hoge is a professional thereminist living in New York City. John is a performing member of the New York Theremin Society, editor of ThereminWorld (www.ThereminWorld.com) and a regular contributor to Spellbound (www.Spellbound.com) the internet theremin radio show.
IMPRESSION: Illusion Of Safety intrepidly charts the terra incognita where sound, silence, noise and music intersect. Using conventional instruments, sound generating devices and random objects, IOS hews sonic sculptures that deliberately provoke, mesmerize and even affront listeners. OVERVIEW: Illusion Of Safety has been the ongoing project of Dan Burke since 1983, working with numerous individuals in various combinations of one to 10 members. Their work has been continually evolving, never settling into an easy niche. Each collaborator has brought their own unique perspective to the project. Since 1991 IOS have released 20 CDs on labels such as Die Stadt, Silent, OddSize, Staalplaat, Soleilmoon, Manifold, Tesco, Ossosnossos, and Complacency. At times their work has been called ambient, post-industrial, electro-acoustic, electronica, noise, sound collage, improvisation, and power electronics. Unable to categorize their work into one style, each release, live performance, and sometimes individual piece often shifts abruptly from one atmosphere to another. CURRENT POSITION: Dan Burke is currently working with electronic synthesis, computer composition, and manipulation of historical musical references and highly amplified handled objects. Burke uses semi-recognizable preexisting structural elements and rearrangements of the “language of error” to convey external stimuli and personal internal context. The results are destroyed music, broken sound, disturbed ambience and the quest for the sublime. DAN BURKE'S ARTIST STATEMENT: The work represents not only my internal world but the world as I perceive it. I work toward truth and often use brutal honesty in mirroring my own state of mind and what I experience of society & civilization. The work represents my interest in the duality, contradictions, and ironies of the world we live in, the human condition and my own state of mind. I explore my fascination with the necessities of balance and the nature of dichotomy: chaos vs. tranquility, sacred vs. profane, subtleties vs. obviousness, and the ugly vs. an all pervasive beauty. My hope is that other people can relate to the work on an emotional, and intuitive level, while appreciating my aesthetic interest in exploring the ineffable. To illustrate & illuminate psychological processes and personal/interpersonal relationships. To activate modes of perception to facilitate direct access of the psyche, emotion, and the infinite. Transcendence.
Kevin Kissinger utilizes Theremin, software and hardware live-looping techniques, and synthesizers to create musical compositions. Kevin's equipment includes the remarkable Kurzweil K2600 synthesizer, Etherwave Pro Theremin, and modern recording facilities. Kevin's current interest is to create music in surround sound and to incorporate live looping techniques. Kevin's set includes two works which were premiered at the Electro-music Festival in 2007 and two additional works that are new since then: "Rotations" and "The Sad Little Ghost". "Rotations" is a substantial live-looping composition and "The Sad Little Ghost" is a composition that showcases the expressiveness of the theremin. Over the years, Kevin has created classical transcriptions, original compositions, and experimental/aleatoric soundscapes. Kevin's latest works are his attempts to merge traditional and experimental techniques and to create challenging works for live performance. Kevin is a precision Thereminist and a member of the "Spellbound" artist list. Kevin's "Meteor Mallets" received recognition as Spellbound's "Best Neo-Classical Composition of 2006" and "Three-Legged Race" was selected as Spellbound's "Best Avante-Garde Composition of 2007." In 1982, Kevin earned his Bachelor of Music Degree with a major in Pipe Organ Performance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music. Besides his electronic music work, Kevin holds the AAGO (professional organist) certificate and continues to be in high demand as a professional organist.
Lunar Moon Patrol is a collaborative project from Tim Lofgren (of Velva) and Kevin Kissinger. Some other electro-music participants may also get involved.
The progressive ambient duo of Mark Mahoney and Michael Peck started their collaboration in 2005. Since that time the east Tennesseans have performed in all electro-music festivals, the MEMS festival in Indianapolis, and twice on Chuck van Zyl’s Stars End radio show. They have organized numerous electronic music events in their area, and each has developed their own solo projects. Mahoney and Peck are frequent live performers on the internet radio station, Stillstream.com. Their hard work and creative spirit will culminate with a live performance at the prestigious The Gathering concert in Philadelphia on September 20. A Mahoney and Peck performance takes the listener on a fantastic journey. They describe their brand of ambient music as “progressive,” because it often breaks away from traditional ambient stylizations. Often their music will carry an unusual melodic theme and form variations on it. They also utilize captivating and imaginative percussive lines which contribute to a unique statement. In keeping with traditional ambient music, Mahoney and Peck will incorporate abstract, atmospheric passages in their seamless continuous set. The two musicians weave a tapestry of contrasting moods: from dark and mysterious to bright and enlightening.
Chicago based guitarist & composer Kurt Michaels brings his brand of electro-music to E-M 2008 fresh on the heels of the release of his second cd "Outer Worlds" on Umbrello Records. Unlike his first CD from 2003, a solo ambient/electronic effort, created in his home-based studio and dominated by synthesizer playing and programming skills, "Outer Worlds" is a compilation of live recordings archived from shows played during 2004-06 and featuring Michaels' dreamlike "fourth dimensional" guitar playing in an atmospheric electronic setting. Appearing with Michaels at E-M 2008 will be keyboardist Jim Gully, providing his much valued clairvoyant accompaniment. Discovering music during his childhood, the die was cast for Michaels to become a musician when the Beatles first came to the United States. After thirty-five years in the business he can boast sharing the stage with the likes of Wolfman Jack, Badfinger, Spencer Davis, Fabian, Bobby Vinton, the Marvelletes, and the Chiffons amongst others. In 2003, in what seemed to be an unlikely career shift, Michaels with all of all his relatively conventional mainstream experiences independently released his debut experimental/electronic effort, "Inner Worlds, Part One". That disc, described as "Olias of Sunhillow meets The Prisoner," earned rave reviews and got him named as U-Magazine's 2004 Ambient Artist of the Year.
Synthesist, percussionist, and composer, Shane Morris creates ethereal, poly-rhythmic soundscapes in the vein of tribal, ambient, and atmospheric genres. Sonically, Morris' music is characterized by syncopated arpeggios and pulsating motifs, coupled with deep harmonic layers of sound, and dream-like field recordings that reflect historic and contemporary events. Drawing inspiration from nature, evolution, and isolation, Morris' music has an introspective, yet organic electronic quality. Each composition blends together in a continual live experience using live looping and sequencing. Structured around thematic ideas, harmony, improvisation, and trance-inducing rhythms, Morris' compositions glide from driving, elevated peaks to tranquil, melodic valleys.
Murphy & Murphy is a father-son duo of ambient/space texturists, Cary and Robert Murphy. The central instrument for this performance is Chair, a patent-pending controller built from a standard office desk chair and a box of computer joysticks. Conceived and built by the duo, Chair is a product of their experiments in total immersion, a project aimed at erasing the boundary between thought and sound. Robert is a Washington DC-based bass player who toured nationally for 3 years as bassist and music director. Two of Cary's great musical loves since the 70's have been fingerstyle guitar and synth, and he is thrilled that the technology exists to unite them. The duo improvise atmospheric soundscapes playing soft synths with Chair, layered with guitar synth and an e-bowed fretless bass.
MyOwnYoKo is an exploration of electro inspired improvisation. Influenced by Dub Reggae, techno, and gadgetry of all sizes and shapes. A member of the Philadelphia based music and performance art troupe, “Tribal Knowledge.” MyOwnYoKo is pleased to be performing at the 2008 Electro-Music Festival.
O.V.O. have been known to describe themselves as "Fairport Convention meets King Crimson on an absinthe bender," which may be as good a summary as any of their sound. Pressed for more details, they might describe it further as an alchemical chimera stitched together from the leftover parts of progressive rock, electric folk, apocalyptic folk, and post-rock, with stolen bits of aesthetic from psychedelica, Eastern, medieval, and industrial wired on around the edges. Drawing inspiration from science fiction, New Weird, Old Weird, occult esoterica, myth, magick, and life, O.V.O. can also be thought of as a magicians' jam band, creating art at the intersection of song and soundscape, performance and invocation. They have had the privilege in the past of sharing a stage with such cutting-edge experimental folk luminaries as ilyAIMY and Crow Tongue, and will be returning to Washington DC on Halloween weekend for their second appearance at the Pagan Band Jam in College Park. Electro-Music 2008 marks their first major festival.
Project Ruori is a multimedia art collective responsible for transgressions including 3 (three) previous incidents of electro-music havoc, the butchering (via DVD) of a well-known fairy-tale, the death by handsaw of a perfectly good violin, the heinous abuse of thousands of metres of 16mm film, spontaneous acts of photon-related vandalism, and the premeditated kidnapping of countless obscure and pointless themes and motifs from unsuspecting victims such as Bertolt Brecht, Franz Kafka, Laurie Anderson, and Paula Abdul. Served on a light, fluffy bed of tangy despair.
Remnants of Dissonance was conceived and constructed by Brock Hughston and Jeb Carter. One of the biggest things that sets us apart from other bands is the admission and embrace of our musical influences. An avid music listener will hear hints of Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains, A Perfect Circle, Vast, and Tool just to name a few. While we embrace these artists and their affect on our music, we retain the ability to step back and look at our songs from an outsider perspective. This process keeps us both fresh and familiar simultaneously.
Remora makes post-apocalyptic-pop music. Remora began in 1996 with a web of cassette releases that utilized the guitar to create ambient walls of sound, rather than melodic passages. These releases were recorded at home during time off from work & other responsibilities. In recent years, Remora has shifted from pure guitar noise into songs incorporating the sounds discovered over the time spent exploiting the use of effect pedals. Slowcore atmospheric noise based around a guitar. Sculpted feedback & simple guitar loops brought into a popular culture context. What makes Remora stand apart from other guitar terrorists is a lack of pretense & a live show based on giving the audience a fun show regardless of the type of music they like without any pre-recordings or back-up. Just one effect laden guitar making a wall of sound.
The 'band' consists of three members: Paul Agemian, Justin Strollo, and Ted Gorzinsky. Ted provides strategic-riffery on the bass. Paul brings the soundscape, the foundation, and the didj. Justin is responsible for the axe wielding/wailing. Established in or around September of 2007, and ever since then re-establishing itself. Aside from being very fond of a variety of cheeses, this trio aims to bring everything to the table... or to a live venue for that matter. One of a smaller number of acts combining psychedelic trance and electronica with some good ol' strummin' or whatever else may come out in the wash. Proud to stand out from the crowd in most parts of town.
Kip Rosser has been performing on the theremin for over eight years. His full-length production, Unholy Secrets of the Theremin in Manhattan’s 2005 New York International Fringe Festival received overwhelming critical acclaim. In 2006, Rosser received Moog Music’s artist endorsement, demonstrating their theremins at the annual AMTA convention. Appearances at places like New York City’s famed Cornelia Street Cafe, and the exclusive Coffee House are earning him a reputation as one of the most accomplished thereminists in the country.
"safe 2" is the solo project of David Vosh (Maryland / Washington, D.C.). My primary interests are modular synthesizers, random processes, radio and improvisation. My usual approach blends processed radio and self-generating modular synth sounds with improvised manual interaction via gestural controllers. Exploration of random, pseudo-random and eccentric control voltage generators is central to my approach to electro-noise creation. I have been involved in electronic music since the early `70's. Primary influences include Stockhausen, Subotnick, Douglas Leedy and all those great `60's e.m. records by folks like Varese, Mimralogu and the like. While "surfacing" briefly during the early `80's cassette tape / newsletter scene, i have mostly just created music for my own enjoyment in isolation until discovering a vibrant local scene in Washington, D.C. After attending a couple of events, i found myself thinking, “I can do that, too" and I inquired and found myself playing live and before people for the first time in 25+ years 2 months later. since then, I have played in a duo, "safe" (now on hiatus), several solo efforts and with the s.d.i.y. / balto. variable ensemble.
Sensitive Chaos, a solo project of Atlanta-based producer and electronic musician Jim Combs, was voted Atlanta’s "Best Local Electronic Act" 2007-2008 by readers of Creative Loafing. Leak is the first album from Sensitive Chaos. The CD was selected as a "Top Visionary Music of 2007" by KKUP 91.5 FM in Cupertino, CA, and as one of New Age Reporter’s "Top 12 Best Ambient/Spacemusic/Electronica Recordings of 2006". Sensitive Chaos music has been described as layered, dark, moody, beat-driven, beautiful, and delicate. Bill Binkelman reviewing for New Age Reporter, writes "Leak is a thoroughly enjoyable album. Combs consistently impresses with how he blends his melodic and rhythmic synths, always maintaining a coherent vision and never allowing the improvisatory nature of his music to overwhelm its sense of purpose. I highly recommend Leak for its inventiveness, its beat-happy effervescence, and its thorough lack of pretension, not to mention it’s just a flat out fun album from start to finish." Mike Clark, writing in Stomp & Stammer Magazine, called Leak "a six-cut CD of somnambulant ambient pieces that kinda creep me out a bit, if you wanna know the truth. I suppose that means they’re pretty good."
Using no prerecorded samples, slicnaton improvises layers of electronically generated sounds which are looped forming the basis of each piece. The glitches of equipment misuse are sampled and manipulated into musical content evolving into improvised composition. Each performance is a one of a kind music event. The listener should feel free to pay attention to each detail or relax and enjoy the performance as ambiance. Nicholas Slaton (slicnaton) is an electronic musician and acoustic bassist from Raleigh, NC. In addition to playing bass professionally for over ten years he has created a label and is releasing his own music brand. slicnaton Publishing is an independent electro-acoustic label from Raleigh, NC focusing on the compositions and improvisation of Nicholas Slaton and his collaborators. slicnaton Publishing has recorded and released electronic music albums for Mahlon Hoard, Ian Davis and Mietek Glinkowski.
The musical project "Spacecraft" was born in 1996 after a listening session of NASA image and sound mappings from the Voyager space probe and various other documents and recordings from a NASA scientist who sent a package to John Rose and Tony Gerber. They were so inspired by these recordings, they programmed a new palette of sounds for their synthesizers, triggered from these listening sessions. Then they asked Diane Timmons to join them for recording with her ethereal vocals and synthesizer work. Spacecraft's music is improvisational in nature. Each concert they do is different. Gerber, Rose and Timmons are the core members of the project. However, they have been joined by Giles Reaves for live planetarium shows and several of their nine CD releases. They continue to create music for live performance and have recently been performing in the virtual world of Second Life. This trio of synthesizers, ethereal vocals, and guitar recalls early - '70s Tangerine Dream, when that group was still using live performances as free-form explorations rather than pre-programmed computations. Befitting the planetarium environment, this is music more of design than melody, and it has a pulse more than a rhythm. From the amorphous textures of "Explorations In Space" to the tugging sequencer patterns of their song, "Hummel", sounds and forms shift and morph through each other, gradually revealing broad chordal structures, gentle pulses, and the interlocking patterns that have long been the hallmark of space music. Spacecraft does it better than many contemporary practitioneers, and Tony Gerber's sinuous guitar leads add another dimension to this sound. (John Diliberto, Echoes, talking about their classic release, Hummel)
Kevin Spears is a mesmerizing kalimba player who utilizes modern electronics with outstanding musical abilties to create a unique mix of Rhythmic, Experimental and Jazzy music, all on this seemingly simple musical instrument. Witnessing Kevin create his music reminds you that music truly originates from a deeper place. Kevin has performed with the following artists: William Green (Susan Tedeschi), 2-Grammy Award winning group Arrested Developement, Bill Summers (Herbie Hancock), Yonrico Scott Band (Derek Trucks, Earl Klugh), Jeff Moser (Aquarian Rescue Unit).
SPITZNAGEL has been spending years (and dollars) trying to make his performance gear more and more compact. This year, at Electro-Music 2008, SPITZNAGEL will debut his latest set-up: Laptop (of course), a Nintendo DS, and the new Tenori-on from Yamaha. The music will be a combination of over-the-top glitch-tech rhythms, galactican ambience and improvised melodies. SPITZNAGEL's music ranges from acid-jazz to retro-electro to techno-dub to laptop-blip'n'glitch. With 30 years of experience in the music business and 15 of those as a professional musician, SPITZNAGEL brings a broad perspective to the worlds of electronic, experimental and sample based music. CADENCE, the world-renowned jazz magazine, has stated: "SPITZNAGEL negotiates a unique solo performance using electronics as his paintbrush and an extra-wide soundstage on which to splatter his creation".
Over the last 10 years, art director & multimedia producer, Timothy Lofgren has composed and produced 10 LPs and 4 EPs as well as numerous singles and remixes exploring alternative fiction themes while creating new sub-genres of electronic music with his band of experimental electronic music artists known as VELVA. Velva's team of audio artists perform live with an ever changing selection of: synthesizers, custom synth guitars, circuit bent instruments, electronic wind instruments, experimental midi controllers, vintage guitar pedals, circuit bent toys, boutique effects pedals, theremins, light sensitive synth modules, video game counsels and laptops. You don't want to miss it.
Per Wikstrom travels all the way from Sweden to share his expertise on Modular synthesizers. He will also perform a set of the Semiconductor Archipelago.
xeroid entity is constantly exploring new musical territory by going beyond the barriers of standard conventions while still drawing upon classical influences. Their music ranges from light and whimsical to dark and aggressive, often within the same piece. Much of it is ambient in nature; without a discernible beat. When they do play rhythmically based music, there are often complex counter rhythms giving the music a poly-rhythmic flavor. The results can be subtle and spacey without being boring, noisy without being harsh, dynamic yet continuous. The members of xeroid entity are Howard Moscovitz, Bill Fox, and Greg Waltzer. Combined they have more than 80 years of experience making electronic music. They all program their own sounds, and refuse to be bound by conventional scales or rhythms. The parts are freely improvised, though they occasionally have structures based on the concerto forms of Mozart and Bach. This allows for maximum expressiveness and interaction between group members, while avoiding predictability.
Frontiers – Getting in Touch with the World of Microtonality –
X. J. Scott
Tens of thousands of years ago, ancient man created flutes and whistles from animal bones. He also explored caves and marked out with paint resonant points deep within caves where his singing sounded especially good. He played hollow logs with sticks and built lithophones out of slate rock. It can not be determined which came first, pitch or rhythm, but the two have always been the foundation of music. Worldwide and throughout history, the exploration of each of these elements has been a richly rewarding endeavor. Some cultures, faced with the task of creating manageable sets of tones so that instruments could play together in tune, began to systematize the study of pitch. This ranged from the Greeks using math to measure and reason about pitch, the development of easy to tune but harmonically flexible meantone tuning in early Renaissance Europe, the subsequent use of the more flexible Well Temperaments that allowed free modulation, to the final standardization in the early 20th century on the use of the modern 12 tone equal temperament (12tET). 12tET is a tuning that is now the default and is often the only tuning available on almost all electronic musical instruments. However, it is not the best, the most useful, or the most interesting tuning, it is simply a compromise. The irony is that the reasons for this compromise are not even relevant with electronic instruments because they can be tuned and retuned to any tuning imaginable at a moment's notice. The difficulty of inventing and building new instruments for each tuning, which plagued early microtonal pioneers like Harry Partch is no longer a factor at this point in history. The 20th century saw much popular innovation and expansion in rhythm, such as exploring more sophisticated African meters and polyrhythms, but exploration of pitch has only recently hit the mainstream after remaining for some time within academia, early music buffs, ethnomusicologists, and the avant garde. Now we even can hear moviesoundtracks by Danny Elfman which are completely microtonal.
The electro-music seminar, Xenharmonic Frontiers, introduces these topics, then rapidly branches into several of the most interesting explorations of vast universes of sound possibilities. There will be live demonstrations of tuning and discussion and instruction. The first part covers some history and terminology like cents and ratios and explains that we will be focusing on xenharmonic music, which is that which does not sound like 12tET at all and is the most interesting galaxy to explore. I'll play in various tunings to demonstrate concepts and show some of the historical and cultural comparisons. The second part I will answer what dissonance and consonance really are, how they are perceived in the ear and brain, and what these concepts have to do with timbre, the spectrum of overtones of instruments. There will be an amazing technology demonstration of the interactions between scale and spectrum. The third part I will tackle one of the most challenging areas of tuning, the control and mastery of large sets of pitches, a task at which many historically have suffocated under the weight of the challenge with bizarre instruments or unmanageable and impossible to implement theories. I'll discuss and demonstrate various software and hardware answers in which unlimited pitch spaces such as that of Extended Just Intonation can be navigated without losing track of where one is. This will include demonstrations using an array keyboard, and of using a live dynamic modulation system with a standard keyboard. The entire seminar will focus on techniques which work in live performance, and not just theoretical or studio-only work involving late nights home alone with a test tube.
X. J. Scott is
a composer from Tennessee with a fondness for nonoctave tunings. He
has studied gamelan with master Balinese composer I. Made Lasmawan.
Goats and organic vegetables are raised on his farm, Red Barn Goat
Farm, which also sells microtonal software, and has at times
functioned as an acupuncture and herbal medicine
Building Large Analogue Modular Synthesizers – Per Wikstrom
Chess Game-to-Music Generator – Dale Parson
"Music for 32 Chess Pieces" is an interactive installation that lets players perform music by playing a game of chess. Players enter their moves via a graphical user interface, and a software plugin generates sounds from piece-to-piece relationships on the board. Players also have graphical access to configuration parameters in the game plugin for effects such as sustain, delay, echo, and phrase complexity. A networked Python program manages the human-to-human game, sending its music via the Open Sound Control protocol to a ChucK, Supercollider, or Max/ MSP patch for sound creation.
Random Sources in Composition – Per Wikstrom
Live Sound in
Large Venues – John Rose
Live sound is an extension of the performance itself, It can make or break a show. Everything from good EQ to make a vocal pop out to a good monitor mix that allows a comfortable listening experience for the performer are essential elements for good live sound Whether in an arena, or a living room, the rules remain the same. It's pretty much a listening game.
Programming the modern Moogs: Everything you always wanted to know (you get to ask) – Amos Gaynes
Physiological Rhythms into Music and Sound – Michael
In the past, physiological signals have occasionally been translated into soundscapes and musical pieces. The full range of possible mappings between body rhythms and musical expression is only beginning to be explored, however. Between the extremes of sonification and simple biofeedback-controlled auditory stimuli lies a vast terrain of intriguing musical possibilities. We will consider some of the interesting possibilities for future exploration by electronic music artists. Practical hardware and software available for use with EEG and heart rate signals will be emphasized.
Michael O'Bannon is an Atlanta-based psychologist who has worked with psychophysiological measures for 35 years, as a treatment provider, a researcher, and ardent basement experimenter. Lately, he has concentrated on brainwave biofeedback for treatment of central nervous system disorders and improvement of high-performing individuals. He has taught neurophysiology on a national scale. His latest research involves using realtime EEG responses of listeners to optimize musical compositions for individual listeners.
Sound – Howard Moscovitz
This talk explains the basics about a wonderful new system for playing back stereo recordings. Ambiophonics involves a novel placement of the two speakers (close together in the front) and a relatively simple signal processor that creates a wide spacial field with precise localization. Ambiophonic playback offers many advantages over the traditional 60 degree speaker separation now used almost universally for stereo. A new ambiophonic processor algorithm, called MAP, will be described and demonstrated with a small playback system. MAP has been implemented on the Clavia Nord Modular G2 and the ChucK programming language. A VST program is under development.
Howard Moscovitz has been involved in electronic music since 1967 when he started making tape music using a short wave radio as a sound source. Never satisfied with commercially available musical instruments, Howard began designing his own while studying with Robert Ashley at Mills College. After working with his mentor, Stanley Lunetta, designing some of the very first digital synthesizers, Howard worked with Donald Buchla on the infamous Electric Symphony Orchestra which gave its one and only performance in 1974 at Berkeley, California. He has designed several unique electronic instruments, including signal processors and sequencers. Some of these were manufactured by Electronic Music Associates in the 1970's, and are highly desired today among collectors. Howard was on the design team at Bell Laboratories which developed the first Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chip. These chips are now found at the heart of virtually every electronic musical instrument or signal processor in use today. He retired from corporate America in 2002 and is now devoting his time to composing and music performance. In 2003 he founded electro-music.com as an interactive web site dedicated to furthering the art of electronic music.
Visuals: An Overview of Apple's Quartz Composer – Christopher
Steve Mokris and Chris Wright of Project Ruori give a presentation/demonstration about their work on Apple's Quartz Composer.
Quantization – Howard Moscovitz
Time quantization has been used for many years in the preparation of MIDI sequencing. With a simple program in a DAW, it is possible to snap all the notes in a track to any quanta of time (16th, 8th, etc). In this talk, a unique system of time quantization in real time will be presented and demonstrated. It will be shown that time quantization is a very useful technique for live performance. The technique will be explained and demonstrated using a Clavia Nord Modular G2 patch. Attendees will be able to try it out at the end of the presentation.
Tenori-on Demonstration – James Spitznagel
Creating Music with Nintendo-DS – James Spitznagel
The class/lecture will consist of: 1. Displaying vintage Kalimbas/Mbiras from the private collection of Kevin Spears; 2. Origins and History of the Mbira/Kalimba; 3. Discussion of "How the Kalimba profoundly changed the direction of Jazz music;" 4. Discussion/Demonstration of my vision for Kalimba in the future; 5. Audience Q/A.
- Experiments in Total Sound Immersion
– Cary and Robert Murphy
Chair is an electro-music controller built from an office chair that attempts to erase some of the boundaries between thought and music.
in the Virtual World of Second Life – Tony Gerber (Cypress
"In no other time in my life, except for playing live with Spacecraft, have I ever been so musically inspired as I have the past 2 1/2 years creating new musical media performances in the virtual world platform of Second Life. I will attempt to give an overview of the vast music world being created on a global scale within the ever growing metaverse of SL."
Mooged Out with Amos: featuring the Moog Multipedal – Amos Gaynes
Those who have attended electro-music festivals in the past know that the jam sessions can be one of the highlights. This year we have a room dedicated to jam sessions, open for the entire event. All attendees are invited to participate in the jams - you don't have to be a performing artist. As you can see on the schedule, there are time slots for the jams (usually two hours), and they have "themes." The themes are not meant to restrict anyone from doing what they want, but only to serve as a guideline that might help bring like-minded participants together at the same time. Most of the themes are obvious, but here are some notes: Space Music - music that takes you on a journey into deep space Electro-Acoustic - processed acoustic instruments Melodic Ambient - tonal music, almost "new age." Can be rhythmic or "tribal." Analog Madness - vintage, modular, and other analog synths and noise machines DIY Instruments - home built and custom instruments Noise Jam - anything goes (try to keep it below the pain threshold) Drum Circle - traditional acoustic drum and percussion based improv Acoustic Jam - no amplification Berlin School - retro style electronic music patterned after Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze etc. Sequencer driven with ambient interludes. Abstract - sound collage, usually atonal Free Improv - jazz oriented improvisation with very little structure Rhythmic Jam - synchronized electronic instruments and drum machines In addition to the jams, this year we are trying something new - a Laptop Battle. This will be a judged competition, where anyone is invited to participate and play a short (10-15 minute) set. It's not restricted to laptops - you can play something else but it should be a single instrument and you should be able to set up and start playing in 5 minutes. The winner will be awarded a featured performance spot on Saturday night.
Special Thanks to:
Howard Moscovitz – organizer
Greg Waltzer – organizer
Mark Mahoney – publicity
Genevieve Moscovitz – staff coordinator
Kevin Kissinger – sound engineering
Dale and Jeremy Parson – sound engineering
Tim Lofgren – T-shirt and program graphics
Hong Waltzer – photography
Daniel Vose – jam recording
Project Ruori, Richard Mechling, David Vosh, Jim Combs, Jeremy Bible, Jeannie Allen, Patrick Greer, Shane Morris, Per Wikstrom - equipment and assistance
Martha Beverly – The Renaissance Center
and everyone who has volunteered their time, equipment, energy and talent to help make electro-music 2008 a success!