Holly Herndon debuted ‘PROTO’ live show at Pioneer Works (pics, setlist)
Electronic/art pop musician Holly Herndon released her new album PROTO last week, and on Thursday night (5/16) she debuted its live show at a Red Bull Music Festival show at Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works. Accompanied by her partner Mat Dryhurst and six singers, Holly’s set focused on her new material, the unique construction of which we discussed in our review:
The album was made with an A.I. entity named Spawn that Holly has been “raising” for about two years with programmer Jules LaPlace. Holly and her collaborators have been training Spawn to sing, to interpret or reinterpret music, and to improvise, and some of the sounds you hear on this album come from those training sessions. Spawn is as much a part of the album as Holly and her human collaborators, and PROTO is an album that shows how inhuman sounds and voices can come together with (a full choir of) human voices to create something new and exciting. There’s a common fear that robots will replace people, but with this album Holly wanted to prove how they could work together in harmony.
Footwork producer Jlin also worked on Spawn as the entity’s “godmother,” and after the main set at Pioneer Works, she came out to perform herself. Dancing singers came out to join her, and eventually Holly and Mat joined them as well. Then Jlin left for the encore song, “Fade,” from Holly’s 2012 album Movement.
Ian Isiah opened Thursday night’s show, and you can see pictures of the whole night in the gallery above. A shot of Holly’s setlist is below.
photos by Ellen Qbertplaya