Welcome to electro-music 2014
The electro-music festival is now in it's tenth year – having moved from the Cheltenham Art Center in Philadelphia, the Renaissance Center in Kingsport, Tennessee, and the Star Lake Camp in Bloomingdale, New Jersey to Huguenot, New York at the Greenkill Retreat Center. 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 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 2014 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 eleven years to more than 20000 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 2014 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
Acoustic Interloper (Dr. Dale Parson) is an Associate Professor at Kutztown University of PA with a doctorate in computer science from Lehigh University and over 30 years of computing experience in Bell Labs and related companies. Starting in 2005 with the encouragement of the Electro-Music.com community, he began to integrate his musical and computing activities. He has fused the harmonic perspectives of modal Appalachian folk music and modal jazz, the finger picking approaches of bluegrass modulated with Latin American rhythms, and the pointillistic sensibilities of Minimalism into his music. He considers his music to be "electro jug band," using the everyday sounds of stringed instruments and software patches in his compositions.
Collaboration led by Jez Creek
”From the barren nanoscapes inside our personal devices come furtive anthems hummed by those digital servants who will one day be our overlords...". A.I. Winter is a self-appointed harbinger of the progress of Artificial Intelligence toward world domination. It imposes its musical interpretations of cosmic machine consciousness on the world at large.
Michael O’Bannon (Atlanta, GA) and Mark Mosher (Boulder, CO) first met at Electro-Music 2010. Throughout the years they’ve collaborated loosely with Mark on the music side and Michael on visuals. For the first time, Michael and Mark will be joining forces as a musical duo to offer the soundtrack of a cautionary tale considering the risks of super-human artificial intelligence. Michael is a psychologist who explores sound design, the interplay of visual and sound stimuli in performance, and multimedia programming with Max6. Mark, who’s been going deep with Octatrack and Absynth, will be exploring sonic expression via dynamic sampling, real-time morphing and complex granular manipulations.
Neil Alexander is a classically trained jazz pianist who fell in love with synthesis & electronic music at an early age. His set will integrate minimalist composition techniques, raw syntheses, atmospheric treatments, looping and processing in the hopes of creating something unique - a blending of ideas; a story; a painting made of sound. This is Neil's 3rd EMF.
Howard G. Mangrum is a keyboard and synthesizer player. Howard's been interested in electronic music since he bought Kraftwerk's Autobahn, at a local grocery store in 1975, age 14. He has been playing and buying synthesizers ever since. He runs a small project studio in California, Bay Area.
Scott Patire Aka Atonal
Pre midi, analog and tape ...My beginnings!
Atonality, Dissonance, Counterpoint and Repetition ...My mindset!!
Effected and Synthesized Guitar, Analog and VA Synths, Ableton, Push and Logic!! ...Some of my tools
Audio Mace is Chris Wikman and Al Baldwin from Maryland. Audio Mace was formed to provide a vehicle for exploring music with a more “industrial” and “experimental” style. Born out of recognition of the power and force of sound in our lives, Audio Mace combines electronic instrumentation with exotic instruments (including several unique and “home-made” ones), sound textures, rhythmic elements, and percussion as it seeks to explore new themes and sonic textures.
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.
Boombeest is Kyle Palmer, a graphic designer and illustrator, part-time art museum security officer, and full-time daydreamer. His music can be inspired by anything and everything, particularly video games and movies, science fiction and fantasy, nature and design, beauty and strangeness, and is likely to include progressive, electronica, world, industrial, and classical flavors. He plays with Animoog on an iPad, Korg DS-10 on a Nintendo DS, and any other synthy things and noise-makers he may have on hand.
For over 17 years they've recorded many albums of strange music, but Brainstatik is best known for their improvised live concerts. They perform long-form jams combining ambient, world, progressive rock and space music, liberally shifting and mixing genres within each piece. Every member of Brainstatik is a certified electronic gear junkie, so when choosing noisemakers from their diverse musical toy box, guitars can sound like drums, keyboards can make guitar sounds and drums can play keyboard sounds. These eclectic combinations often can confound audience members (and sound engineers) who can’t always tell who is playing what. During their live shows, songs constantly morph and evolve. Within a single piece, Brainstatik's music can sound ethereal and quiet, majestic and orchestral, or experimental and edgy.
The band's current lineup includes founding member Ken Palmer, along with Mike Hunter, Glenn Robitaille and Jim Silvestri. Together, their live creations often sound rehearsed and composed, but in reality, the band has no real explanation for where the music takes them. There is always the risk of a creative ‘train wreck,” but the members of Brainstatik thrive on taking their music to the edge every time they perform.
Julius Bucsis is an award winning composer, guitarist, and music technologist. His compositions have been included in many juried concerts, conferences and festivals worldwide. He also frequently performs a set of original compositions featuring electric guitar and computer generated sounds. His artistic interests include using computer technology in music composition, developing musical forms that incorporate improvisation, and composing music for traditional orchestral instruments.
Todd received his training in classical percussion at West Virginia University, studying with Phil Faini and Dave Satterfield. While at WVU in the mid 90’s, Todd took lessons in electronic music and FM synthesis with Gil Trythall – lessons and experiences that still inform his music today. In 2008, Todd embarked on a quest to release ten solo album-length recordings in ten years. Six years and six releases later, Todd is finding an innovative and critically-acclaimed compositional voice utilizing electro-acoustic percussion, guitar, and hardware synths and effects, combined with many years spent as a touring rock drummer. Todd’s solo performances invite you to experience a predictably unpredictable foray into a sonic bricolage, incorporating masterful drumming and avant-whacked synth wizardry that holds a curious treat somewhere in the depths. Currently, Todd is assistant professor of music at Bloomsburg University, and is completing his dissertation.
For over 20 years Chvad SB has been performing & recording music, playing with a wide range of innovative & envelope-pushing bands like Things Outside The Skin (Invisible Records, Facility Records), Tongue Muzzle (Facility Records), The Qualia (WTII Records), & recently, experimental music pioneers Controlled Bleeding (Wax Trax, Soleil Moon, others). In addition he’s been doing film soundtracks that the folks at Fangoria find “discordant & discomforting.”
Chvad SB’s sonic experiments focus on finding new sounds & textures, but always with a human edge. Using a wide variety of instruments including modular synthesizers, found objects, hand-built instruments, guitars, & voice, Chvad SB builds soundscapes that are as unsettling as they are familiar. Many compositions & performances are entirely improvisational in nature while others are arranged & developed over the course of years.
Cranial Mythos is the solo project of musician, composer, producer, and event organizer Greg Waltzer. He has recorded and performed with Waveformation, AfterMyth, xeroid entity, Technicolor Travel Agency, Fringe Element, Holosphere, and Mutation Vector. The music of Cranial Mythos ranges from dark, ambient, and spacey to upbeat and melodious, with some strange trips in between.
Daughter Vision is a synth pop duo from Asbury Park, NJ. Consisting of multi-instrumentalist Steve Honoshowsky and performance artist and writer Brian Powell, Daughter Vision was formed in 2012 shortly before the world quietly ended. Stuck in a purgatory of boring rock music and live performances that do very little to entertain, Daughter Vision has been slowly resurrecting a future that never was through multimedia performance and electronic music.
Robert Dorschel is a multi-instrumentalist from Syracuse, NY. He has been diddling in sound for better than three decades, with the intention to produce various incantations of noise and music. His style focuses on ambient pieces with arpeggiation, rhythm, and some melody while incorporating some organic dirt and grit. Little-known fact: Robert failed “Piano for Non-Majors” in college… ask him why.
Dorschel + Alexander is Robert Dorschel and Neil Nail Alexander. This is their second year throwing something together live here at the EM festival.
dRachEmUsiK is the solo project of musician, sound designer and producer Charles Shriner. Charles’ music combines a plethora of nuanced techniques in order to create groovy and meditative soundscapes; giving structure to improvisation. This style manifests itself into an organic and natural composition of a free flowing design resulting in improvisations and structured pieces that incorporate ambient, noise, drone, glitch-groove and modal jazz. In addition to being a full-time musician for over 40 years, Charles is a curator, community & event organizer, Jungian facilitator and Secular Buddhist. All of which have a strong influence on the music.
Visual artist Brian Dunn of Velva.
This collaboration, conducted by Andrew Koenig, will present an orchestrated group improvisation.
Finite Element is a synth-based solo electronic music project created by Rich Kennicutt from Binghamton, NY. Finite Element blends dark ambient, lush soundscapes, and multi-layered sequences, as well as classical, minimalist, and rock elements. Rich’s influences include Klause Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Michael Hoenig, and Brian Eno. In addition to Finite Element, Rich is currently playing keyboards in the Binghamton based original rock band, Grace's Ghost.
The Dual Looping Soundscape Guitars and electronics of Mike Hunter (Ombient, Mayakara, Brainstatik) & Harrison McKay (Tangent Project). Impromptu collision of otherworldly tones mixes with repetitive shapes, shimmering slabs of sound and unexpected dissonance.
Aaron Todd is from the Philadelphia area and has been composing electronic music for five years under the name Genetique. Recently, he has performed at Electro-Music and Event Horizon. A major part of Aaron's music is live manipulation and deformation of rhythmic elements. Many of his themes evoke the feeling of travel by the use of textures that slowly evolve throughout the song. Aaron utilizes both hardware and software instruments, and tends to write music in a minor key that does not conform to a particular genre. His influences include Aphex Twin, Autechre, Tipper, Cex, and Com Truise.
Collaboration of Brian Good and Neil Alexander.
Hylantown is the VJ project of multimedia artist Leo Hylan (Sight of Sound).
Andrew Koenig is a computer scientist and (originally) acoustic musician who has come to electro-music through the classical, rock, and folk worlds. He started playing recorder as a child and guitar and bass as a teenager, and studied music theory in college. He is a member of an early-music ensemble (www.earlymusicplayers.org) and a folk/country band(www.storynsong.com/musictown). His music often starts with traditional melodies and musical forms, which he then twists around, such as by using a looper to help sing an Elizabethan round, writing what sounds like a polka in 7/8 time, or using a sampler to build a drum kit from the sounds of doors closing and flatware jangling.
Robogonzi (Chris Korda and Kevin Roche) is a cybernetic jazz ensemble, playing swing, Latin, and ballads, with expert assistance from a custom real-time artificial intelligence software called ChordEase. We let the computer sweat the music theory, so we can concentrate on the groove.
Chris Korda is the developer of the Whorld geometric visualizer and the FFRend FreeFrame renderer, as well as numerous FreeFrame plugins. The present visuals are created using digital emulations of multi-path video feedback applied to slowly changing graphical elements, and take advantage of FFRend's ability to run plugins in parallel on multiple cores with load balancing. Chris also founded the Church of Euthanasia and released electronic music primarily on Gigolo Records.
Legoland Empire is an internet-based collaboration of musicians from around the country. Here represented by Neil Alexander.
I have been an electronic artist for a number of years now. This is my third year appearing at Electro Music. My music is experimental in nature. I have used a range of diverse instruments focusing on either processed natural instruments, experimental instruments like the Moog Guitar or Haken Continuum. I have an album in progress "Fire Giver" based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
"MAGNUS OPUS" is an experiment in harmonics and nostalgia spearheaded by Ken Palmer, driven by the memories many of us have of playing with a Magnus electric organ during our childhood. For anyone who played one at a young age, the biggest thrill was to press all the chord keys down at the same time to listen to the swell of many multiple notes. Surely this was the first journey into experimental music for many of us budding musicians... an experience likely not appreciated by our parents at the time! Magnus Opus will be an attempt to gather as many of these old air-driven organs as possible in one place, in an attempt to recapture the magic of those innocent times. As adults, we hope to add a measure of refinement and self-control to the performance, and are anticipating many wonderful moments of swirling harmonics and evolving drones among the players, but perhaps we've already become our parents and it's too late to go back to that fleeting period of raw experimental bliss. It should be worth trying though!
Harrison McKay (guitar) of The Tangent Project.
Bob McNally is maker and designer of instruments, and a musician, from Rockaway, NJ. He is most well known for designing the Backpacker Guitar (licensed to Martin Guitar) and the Strumstick, made by McNally Instruments. While primarily an acoustic musician, he has explored synthesizers and electronic music since the 80's, from Poly 800 to Dx7 to JP8000. Synthesizers offer an extraordinary palette of sounds that is fascinating for an instrument designer, and that expand and inform how a maker hears acoustic sounds. The Strumstick is an instrument Bob designed for beginners, and he enjoys taking it "beyond the edge" with loops and electronic augmentation. Bob feels that the nature of sounds strongly influences music, but what ultimately makes music moving, enjoyable and interesting is not determined buy how sounds are made.
Modulator ESP: Improvised looped electronic dronescapes, ambient noise voids that occasionally lapse into strange melodies...
Cinematic Electronica + Invader Cam
Mark is excited to be flying in from Boulder, CO for his 4th Electro-Music NY. He will be performing original cinematic electronica from his alien invasion concept albums including tracks from his new album Fear Cannot Save Us on Ableton Push, Nord Lead 4, Tenori-On, and AudioCubes. Since his last appearance at Electro-Music NY in 2012, Mark has incorporated and refined a visual synthesis component into his set using interactive projections based on live camera input. In addition to organizing and performing in award winning concerts in Boulder and performing at other festivals, Mark runs the ModulateThis.com blog (which turns 9 in October) and organizes the Boulder Synthesizer Meetup (now in its 2nd year with over 170 members). He’ll also be performing a second set as A.I. Winter – a duo with Michael O’Bannon.
Mutant Walker is a collaboration between Laura Woodswalker and Greg Waltzer. Greg will be channeling his old duo with James Lacey, Mutation Vector.
Michael O'Bannon is a visual artist, programmer, and psychologist based in Atlanta, Georgia. He specializes in improvised mixes of video imagery in concert with live electronic music performers. He has collaborated on visuals for electro-music festivals and other music events in the southeast and midwest. His work pursues the ephemeral phantasms lurking in transition zones between abstraction and representational experience.
Collaboration featurign members of onewayness, Audio Mace, and Symmetry.
onewayness is Adam Holquist, an experimental electronic musician from Erie, Pennsylvania. He uses hardware and software synths, spoken word and field recordings, and a variety of acoustic and electric instruments to create atmospheric compositions which draw influence from vintage Berlin-school electronic music, minimalism, post-rock, and contemporary electronic 'listening music'.
Collaboration between Adam Holquist and Charles Shriner.
Banjo-playing duo of Dale Parson (Acoustic Interloper) and Howard Moscovitz.
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. In 2003 Howard founded electro-music.com as an interactive web site dedicated to furthering the art of electronic music.
Project ruori is an art-automation coalescence superimposing structure upon interstellar dust densely connected to the post-communist groove. We steal holiday favorites, beepy-beepy noises, surreal visuals, NO RICHARD WAGNER WHATSOEVER, and, here and there, a few cordless green ideas, to harass observers with an electrifying sensory trauma. (It's easier than it looks.)
Ron "Pyrosonic" Slabe has been playing music since the late 70's and has been crafting electronic soundtracks for multimedia and fire performance since 1990. Using an extensive arsenal of electronic equipment, he weaves a dense web of sound designed to evoke a variety of emotional states. Pyrosonic is the outlet for his Tribal Ambient work which makes extensive use of ethnic instrument samples, synths and world music influences to create a "Whirled Music Fusion"
Ken Palmer uses the name PYXL8R for his solo musical projects when not performing with his band, Brainstatik. Each song begins life as a spontaneous burst of synthesizer-based long-form improvisation, which is slowly morphed and massaged into a full piece. For his Electro-Music performance, Ken will be accompanied by his son Kyle on synths and iPad. Atmospheric, otherworldly, and always dense with unusual sonic textures, all PYXL8R compositions are performed live with no backing tracks. A collection of more than 50 PYXL8R songs can be listened to and downloaded for free at:
Questio Pacem means “Seeking Peace” in Latin. This duo combines John Morley (Lux Seeker) and Scott Patire (Atonal).
redgreenblue is music that evokes the romance of travel and wanderlust of living. Using keyboards and drum controllers, redgreenblue's performances are sonically rich and visually absorbing, engaging the eyes, the ears and the imagination. Think of a meat eating Moby. This is not musical wallpaper nor is it for 2 a.m. head-pounding at a club.
RoDoArTo is Robert Dorschel and Aaron Todd (aka Genetique). This is their first collaboration at EM.
Shivasongster is Jeremy dePrisco’s electro project under which he explores sound generation and audio oddities. Large influences on Jeremy’s work include Echoes & Hearts of Space, and the signals beaming from his father’s attic ham radio bench. Since 2010, Jeremy has attended, presented and performed at EM offering performances as a solo singer-songwriter, duo performances with Robert Dorschel (as RoDoJede), Soto Zen commentaries, and Percussa Audiocubes / Ableton sample collages. At last year’s EM, Jeremy joined Dale Parson, Adam Holquist, Joo Won Park, and Bill Manganaro in a Zero Input Mixer (ZIM) collaboration. Since then, Jeremy has continued to experiment with this fun and unpredictable sound source. This year Shivasongster will include a composite of techniques including field recording, sample manipulation, Ableton Live, ZIM, SparkPunk oscillators, noise and more. Back in bluegrass territory in Millville, PA, Jeremy runs a project studio and performs with the Americana/novelty duo Fricknadorable (yes, that’s the way we spell it). When he is not making strange noises that drive his wife and friends crazy, Jeremy enjoys reading Sufi poetry, Stephen Colbert, biking and growing hot peppers.
Sight of Sound is Leo Hylan. Leo Hylan is a Multimedia Artist, Photographer, Filmmaker, Video Artist (Installation and VJ), and Electronic Musician from the Baltimore / Washington area. He received his B.F.A. in New Media from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a Master's in Art Education and is pursuing a second Masters in Digital Arts from Goucher College. Sight of Sound is simply put- Electronic Music. The music is influenced from artists that vary from Boards of Canada to Nine Inch Nails. The visual experience is influenced by artists that vary from Stan Brahkage to David Lynch. The music is highly influenced by the moving image and his performances incorporate video as a key element.
“You are close to silence, Silence with a capital S. You are in tune with silence, the deepest sound of them all. Every sound, therefore, that you make, (…) has a meaning, an ineffability, a significance. You are listening, Listening with a capital L. You hear what everyone else is doing; you do whatever is necessary, which is usually as little as possible. It has nothing to do with self-expression: it has to do with a group mind.” – R. Fripp
‘Sound of Listening’ is an annual exercise in minimalist spontaneity, led and curated by Adam Holquist (onewayness &c). This year’s edition is scheduled to include John Morley (Lux Seeker), Aaron Todd (Genetique), and Joe Wall (Joe Wall).
Mark D Hoffman - Fort Wayne, IN
Presenter, performer, composer, teacher, and circuit bending artist. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, IL where I grew up and performed in over a dozen rock and blues bands during my early years. Now, I combine my background in song writing and singing with new sounds formed by circuit bending kid's toys and interjecting the bleeps, glitches, buzzes and drones into my melodic music. Each song is composed around a concept in life or a strong feeling. The songs cover a wide range from soft, slow and peaceful to harder faster up-beat techno.
Brian Good has played various woodwinds since the fourth grade. After winning "Superior" ratings at various solo and ensemble contests in high school, he spent his college years playing with the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble under Herb Pomeroy. He was awarded "Outstanding Soloist" awards at a number of college jazz festivals, and has performed at venues across the country and abroad, notably the Montreux Jazz Festival. He currently performs with the North Coast Jazz Collective, as well as with a variety of jazz and avant garde ensembles. He also participates in occasional collaborations with musicians from the Detroit Symphony and the Detroit Chamber Winds.His current arsenal includes soprano and tenor saxophones (often processed), clarinet, the Electronic Wind Instrument, and whatever interesting electronic contraptions his brother Gordon concocts. He has a day job working as a physicist at the NASA Glenn Research Center.
Symmetry has traversed the full gamut of electronic musical expression since it was founded 35 years ago by Jose Murcia (a.k.a. JEM) and John Rivera (a.k.a. J.R.). It began with experimental Musique Concrete using tape recorders, radios, found sounds, home-made and circuit-bent electronic gadgets, continued with 80's style Synth Pop using elements of Rock, Jazz, Classical and New Age via consumer electronic keyboards and synthesizers, and more recently doing live mixes of Ambient Electronica, EDM and World Music using loopers, sequencers, samplers and MP3s (no laptops or iPads). During Electro-Music 2011, they performed a tribute inspired by the music of Klaus Schulze, Jean-Michel Jarre, Pink Floyd and ELP. The band has three different permutations which consist either of a solo, duo or trio featuring guest musicians. In the past, Symmetry has been joined by Sisco Kid (from Beat Street), Tim Lofgren (from Velva), Daniel Vose (The Last to Sleep), James Lacey (of Mutation Vector), Charles Shriner (dRachEmUsiK), Ken Palmer (PYXL8R), Steve Mokris (of Project Ruori), Leo Hylan (Hylantown), and Greg Waltzer (of Azimuth Visuals).
Collaboration led by Jose Murcia of Symmetry and Fringe Element.
The title "Race Wars" is a reflection of present day American inner city violence. The concept was to design a composition dealing with the relationship between the forces of reality and the abstract in life and music. It is conceived as a free medium of static harmonic block structures that when set into motion form a tightly woven montage that creates a harmony charged with inner tensions. Each block represents a rich existence on its own and at the same time they participate in the existence of the whole on such a level that they attain a dramatic expression of an event that has dramatically changed the face of our cities.
The initial sound material is generated by a Nord G2,Nord Lead and a Roland JP 8000. All the sounds are transformed by altering the timbre, expanding spectral envelopes and by using a variety of additional on-board manipulation techniques until the desired combinations are obtained.
Before forming Xeroid Entity with Greg Waltzer, Howard Moscovitz and Bill Fox were already playing together under the name Subspace. The duo was put on hiatus since they were playing exclusively as Xeroid Entity. But in early 2010, Howard and Bill realized that they had made a resurgence as a duo. Meanwhile, the old band name had been plastered all over the internet by other acts. So using a new name, Howard and Bill returned to the spotlight with (mostly) weekly internet broadcasts called Chez Mosc, originating from Howard's living room. In Twyndyllyngs, Howard and Bill maintain their predilection for improvisation. One never knows in what direction the music will go. Ambient, noise, sequencer, looping, Classical, Moog Modular, Rock... These are just some of the tools and influences to be crafted into the emotion of the moment to create electronic chamber music.
VELVA is a blatant mis-use of technology.
VELVA is more than a band of synthesizer players who combine modern computer music production with classic analog, digital and video game synths, while adding layers of circuit bent glitch textures creating their own form of space rock.
VELVA's Lord Lofgren, a mad sound scientist, rotates custom synthesizer guitars laying down leads, glitch rhythms, lush arpeggiating analog synths and 8-bit chiptune sounds.
VELVA's Cybernaut, a robotic effectician and 70's avant garde specialist, plays melodic choruses, strings, ambient rhythms and obscure sci-fi movie sounds.
Joe Belknap Wall took piano lessons in youth, in which he was instructed by an unusually prescient teacher to slow down whenever he was having trouble keeping up, then embarked on a twenty-year career as a non-singing operatic supernumerary, becoming pen pal to Gian Carlo Menotti in the process. After becoming entranced by the possibilities of electronic music through his love of Holger Czukay, Eno, Cluster, Wendy Carlos, Laurie Anderson, and others, he began making music using reel-to-reel recordings of late-night sessions with a shortwave radio, slicing those tapes into a blizzard of polyester fragments and stringing together disjointed assemblages of noise with dime-store tape. In time, he got his hands on a synthesizer, which fueled a run of one-man shows for spoken word and electronics, including This Nonstop March Around The World, Uneasy Listening In Baltimore, A Troubled Sleep, The Laser Farm, The Trampoline Spectator, and My Fairy Godmothers Smoke Too Much, which earned a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in 2006. Between telling stories on stage with machines as his greek chorus, he built interactive sound installations for the American Visionary Art Museum and other spaces and finally took his piano teacher's advice to slow down, subsiding into the drift of drones and molecular atmospheres in hazy ambient pieces unfolding over hours.
“Exploring the brighter side of dark music”
An accomplished writer, producer, performer, and recording artist, native-Philadelphian George Wallace creates music which speaks of enlightenment and positivity in a world that could really use it. Over the course of a decades-long career, his creative output has spanned multiple genres, ranging from power-pop to soaring, progressive rock and on into the world of magical, ambient soundscapes. His soundstages often take on expansive and cinematic proportions. More than providing a musical backdrop to some ‘event’, George tends to make music which is the event itself. Using a generous palette of real and virtual instruments both Western and exotic, Wallace skillfully combines elements of melody, percussion, and soaring, complex harmony in ever-varying proportions, designed for inducing altered states of awareness. In places it is calming - even hypnotic; at other times we are spellbound by powerful ensembles of tribal drums and voices, simultaneously borrowing from the celestial future and the primal past. This is indeed wild, enriched sound, sometimes tender, always intense, of-and-for the spirit: quite literally soul music, offered as a bona-fide auditory happening, a wide-screen experience of exotic places and times well beyond this one.
Ron "Pyrosonic" Slabe has been playing music since the late 70's and has been crafting electronic soundtracks for multimedia and fire performance since 1990. Using an extensive arsenal of electronic equipment, he weaves a dense web of sound designed to evoke a variety of emotional states. Whorlweaver is his Dark Ambient Experimental project which primarily uses sampling and found sounds to evoke that creepy feeling that you're not quite alone when you're in the woods after dark.
Collaboration led by Chris Wikman of Audio Mace.
I'm primarily a composer; I like to take some interesting melodic riffs and build a composition around them. The pieces are usually rhythmic, yet with a mystical or contemplative mood. My sets often evolve through chord and key changes, and I also include samples from Nature and everyday objects. A walk in the woods provides physical exercise, emotional relaxation, sensory stimulation and spiritual attunement. Those are the qualities I would like to express in my creative endeavors, and that is why I use the artist name Woodswalker.
Visuals - I use Visual Jockey, a free video app from the 90s, to make my shows and clips. For source material, I use mostly my own abstract scribbles in eye-popping colors. My main influence is the "old school" psychedelic art and light shows of the '60s.
A collaboration of Laura Todd (Woodswalker) and Rich Kennicutt (Finite Element).
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 100 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.
This collaboration features music created by mixers with no audio inputs (other than feedback loops), combined with effects. Led by Dale Parson.
Workshop – Charles Shriner
As musicians we engage in intentional non-verbal communication on a regular basis. When performing a solo improvisation - while we may play off audience cues - we are, for all practical purposes, giving a musical monologue. In a collaborative free form improvisation we move into a direct, spontaneous dialog with other musicians. We are responsible for listening and responding in ways that communicate, engage and inspire each other and the audience. The intention of this workshop is to examine some of the ways we can carry on spontaneous, meaningful musical conversations with each other in the absence of traditional musical structures. During the workshop we will be doing exercises, making music and discussing various techniques to promote musical communication including: creating a cohesive ensemble, active listening and interpretation, identifying and using motifs, emotional intimacy, purpose of ego, opportunities from the unconscious. While it's not mandatory, participants are encouraged to bring a simple instrument - electronic or acoustic - on which they are reasonably proficient. If you are unable to bring an instrument, I invite you to consider the human body and voice as acoustic instruments ;-) . Most importantly, bring and an open heart and mind.
Charles Shriner currently lives in Indianapolis, IN and has been a full time musician for 37 years and trained facilitator of Jungian based experiential emotional work for 13 years.
Push – Aaron Todd
The Push offers very tight integration with the Live environment. It can be played as an instrument, used as a step sequencer for drums or notes, and has dedicated functions that enhance workflow. It has the potential to greatly improve idea generation phases of production by streamlining clip and scene management. In this seminar you'll learn how to use its many modes, and we'll have some fun by building a song as a group.
Shared System – Adam Holquist
Adam Holquist (onewayness &c) will demonstrate (some of) the components and capabilities of the Make Noise Shared System, a complete analog/digital hybrid modular system from Make Noise Music of Asheville, NC.
Zero Input Mixer workshop – Dale Parson
ChordEase alters notes in real time, in order to make them harmonically correct, while preserving their rhythm and dynamics, and makes playing music with complicated chords as easy as playing the white keys. Delegating complex music theory calculations to a computer unlocks creativity, by allowing the performers to focus on other aspects of improvisation, such as feel and aesthetics.
Haken Continuum – John
This seminar will provide an overview of the programming and features of the Haken Continuum and an opportunity to try one.
OP-1 demonstration –
Demonstration of the Teenage Engineering OP-1 portable synthesizer workstation.
Making Noise Online –
Tips and suggestions for developing a musical web presence.
Pros/cons of DIY
Domain reg and hosting
Social media integration
Music – Todd Campbell
In this workshop, I will demonstrate several ways that one might incorporate the technology of generative music and looping into a live performance using state-of-the-art percussion controllers. I will demonstrate how I integrate generative music and looping in my live performances and studio recordings by performing selected examples from my most recent release “Avenue Bruise.” “Avenue Bruise” is a recording project that incorporates generative ideas and concepts with live looping and traditional studio recording; it is a record that provides a roadmap for percussionists and others striving to incorporate new forms of expression into their composition and performance repertoire. I will discuss how I take generative ideas and weave them into the fabric of live percussion performance. In the performance, I will also perform a free improvisation that demonstrates the power and freedom that looping technology can provide when integrated into a live performance. The value of this presentation is unique in the sense that percussionists rarely interact with computer-mediated generative and live improvisatory tools as a creative tool. Furthermore, the visual novelty of seeing a percussionist interact with the performance gear in this way commands attention. There will be time at the end of the program for a brief question / answer period. At the conclusion of the session, participants will be provided with resources that include numerous handouts, descriptions of my setup as well as possible alternative setups, gear descriptions, and sample “play-along” tracks that the session attendees may improvise over. The instrumentation used will be the following: I will play electronic percussion via the Alesis DMPro, Ableton Live, LaunchPad, and the Digitech JamMan; loops will be constructed from live audience participation.
Circuit Bending workshop – Tim Lofgren
Evolving Pipe Dream Machine – Chris Wikman
Demonstration of an interesting new device.
Performance demo – Ron Slabe
Ron will demonstrate how he uses the iPad app Lemur to control various software instruments and plug ins in his laptop based live rig. His Lemur template currently consists of 13 tabs and well over 500 controls. (Please note:This is more of a show and tell than a class in Lemur programming. Ron makes no claim to being above "hack level" in using this phenomenally deep software)
Engineering 101 – Howard Mangrum
Audio Signals, Audio Connectors and cables, Audio Processing.
Jam SessionsThose of you that have attended electro-music festivals in the past know that the jam sessions can be one of the highlights. You don't need to sign up, or be a performing artist to participate in the jams - anyone can join! Just bring your instrument and cables to connect - there will be a PA system in the jam room. Jams can be downstairs in the rehearsal room at any time, or upstairs in the seminar room (lounge) after dinner. Jam sessions are unstructured - the music can be whatever the participants feel like playing.
The swap meet is a chance to buy, sell, or trade your musical gear. In the back of the lounge (seminar room), there will be an area (with tables) where people can set up. Everyone is invited to participate. Please label your items with your name and the price.
Special Thanks to:
Howard Moscovitz – organizer
Greg Waltzer – organizer
Hong Waltzer – coordinator, photography
Dale Parson, Project Ruori - equipment
Jack Hertz – T-shirt graphics
Howard Mangrum, Mark Mosher, Robert Dorschel, Ron Slabe, Adam Holquist, Jez Creek, Scott Patire, Charles Shriner, Brian Good, Neil Alexander, Rich Kennicutt, Jeremy dePrisco, Aaron Todd - assistance
Greenkill Retreat Center
and everyone who has volunteered their time, equipment, energy and talent to help make electro-music 2014 a success!