Moogfest 2017: initial lineup & tickets
Moogfest has announced its initial 2017 lineup and slate of programming, set to go down May 18 – 21 in Durham, NC. Among the “special performances”: Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of S U R V I V E performing selections from their Stranger Things score; ambient pioneer Laraaji will perform a 13-hour “Sleep Concert”; Nona Hendryx will demonstrate her wearable tech instruments; Wolf Eyes will host a workshop and conversation; Moor Mother (aka Camae Ayewa) will host a “durational” (a three-to four hour performance where “anything can happen:); as will Simian Mobile Disco with Jas Shaw; and The Haxan Cloak and Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner will host a collaborative performance
On the talks, demonstrations, and workshops end Moogfest 2017 programming includes such subjects as “Hacking Systems,” “Instrument Design,” “The Joyful Noise of STEAM,” “Protest,” “Transhumanism” and more.
Festival passes and VIP passes are on sale now. Detailed descriptions of announced Moogfest performances and programming are below.
Moogfest 2017 Lineup Announcement, Volume One:
Following up with her Re-Wired series where she collaborates with electronic production and design students at Berklee College of Music, the legendary Nona Hendryx will present a performance and demonstration of her wearable tech instruments. Her career has spanned decades and put her at the forefront of funk, soul, R&B, pop, hard-rock, new-wave, and new-age music. From being a member of the iconic trio ‘Labelle’ famous for their hit ‘Lady Marmalade’ to an 8 studio-album solo career to translating her passion for tech into a full-on 2nd career as a Visual Artist — Hendryx is a constantly evolving creator and visionary.
Grammy Award Nominated Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of S U R V I V E, Austin’s retro-leaning synth act will present music from their original nostalgia-flickering score to Netflix’s ‘acclaimed series ‘Stranger Things’ ahead of the slated release of the popular show’s second season in 2017. Audiences will be fueled with nuances of forbidding eerie and sparse droning analog synths tinged with noirish ambient flourishes and menacing atonal extraterrestrial compositions.
A veritable spearhead of the US noise scene for nearly two decades, known for their claustrophobic atmospheres, Wolf Eyes co-presented by Trip Metal Fest will host a workshop and conversation. Through their own use of technology with sonic protest, Detroit’s notorious noise band recently allowed fans to download their back catalogue from their bandcamp for a donation going towards various marginalised charities representing reproductive rights, LGBT causes and pro-immigrant foundations.
RVNG Intl., the Brooklyn-based record label known for numerous experimental dance and electronic artists, will host its own program at Moogfest this year co-presenting two workshops with Portland’s Visible Cloaks who explore “fourth-world undercurrents in modest Japanese ambient synth and pop music” and Canada’s 1970s synth pop pioneers Syrinx.
Durationals – Moogfest continues its durational sound installation series. Pure sonic immersion will take place over three days of Moogfest. Each performance will unfold over a span of three to four hours, where anything can happen. This year’s highlights feature artists who will host the audience in intimate spaces while creating never-before-seen personalized sensory experiences.
Known for her documentarian approach, soundscape designer, poet, and activist Moor Mother aka Camae Ayewa will host a durational plus time travel sound workshop with Portland based Synth Library, who offer modular synthesizer workshops to female and non-binary music enthusiasts.
A collaboration between cavernous sound designer/producer The Haxan Cloak aka Bobby Krlic and Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner who makes his return to Moogfest for his second play.
Synth experimentalist, esteemed UK producer of celebrated electronic duo Simian Mobile Disco, Jas Shaw will perform a 4 hour durational.
Robert Rich made a stunning return with his first Sleep Concert in 13 years at Moogfest 2016. The ultimate durational at Moogfest will be this year’s all immersive all-night sleep concert led by new age musician, composer, and laughter meditation workshop leader Laraaji and co-presented by Stones Throw/Leaving Records, a hand-curated cassette driven label whose international reach belies its boutique status and DIY style. This will mark Laraaji’s debut 8 hour sleep concert in which he describes that “participants will imagine their self in the present time of a sincere desire, dream vision being fulfilled. Gentle ambient celestial sounds and tones unfold over an eight hour period with zither, and various instruments supporting rest and trance, in an extended yoga SAVASANA. Participants awake with a 15 minute guided laughter meditation.”
Program Highlights and 2017 Themes:
The Future of Creativity
World-renowned futurists, philosophers and visionary artists tackle the big questions with daily keynote presentations: What will creative work look like, and sound like, in twenty, fifty, and one-hundred years from now? How will art be made and how will it be consumed? What will be the tools for creative expression in the future?
The resurgence of a technological Maker Culture is undeniable, and Moogfest is a gathering for all those enthused by new tools for creative expression. Conversations, workshops, and installations will not only explore hardware and physical computing, but also reflect on how the last decade has been transformed by a host of arts-engineering software toolkits like Processing, Arduino, and openFrameworks.
Since the first humans stood upright, people have been compelled to make sounds and compose them into rhythm and song. Humanity progresses, societies evolve, and expressions, representations, and tastes shift wildly, but the drive to make tools that produce music will always permeate all cultures. Once instrument builders first began to harness electronic technologies into new possibilities for instrument design, the door opened to radical innovations in performance, creation, and control. These are boundless tools: from the first synthesizers to the ‘smart’ instruments of today that interpret and enhance the music played on them. Meet the instrument designers that create the aesthetics and customs of future music.
The Joyful Noise of STEAM
What we teach kids today inspires what they create tomorrow. Moogfest is dedicated to highlighting the joyful intersection of technology and the arts through experimentation, workshops, performance & conversation. We engage an all ages audience in hands-on programming designed to empower the next generation of inventors in the core disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math.
WE are the agents of change in this world. We are the artists, activists, and innovators who can raise consciousness and organize resistance to redesign our future. The forward movement of science and society doesn’t have to mean dystopia—it could mean more advanced problem-solving technology and increasingly innovative ways to use that technology for justice. So how can we use our resources to synthesize change? How do the musical and scientific instruments we dream of in our beds and tinker with in our homes light the way to future and better worlds?
Sci-Fi Wishes and Utopian Dreams
“Science Fiction” has long been a way for artists to explore unknown futures. Authors, musicians, philosophers and filmmakers use scientific discovery and technical insight as the springboard to create entertaining and provocative works, while the engineers and researchers of today are inspired by utopian visions and otherworldly inventions. This interplay between imagination and actual innovation, idealist dreams and dystopian visions, are increasingly tangled as space travel, cybernetics, super-computing, robotics, and automation become everyday realities.
The spatial location of sound is as important as pitch and rhythm. Experiments with “Spatial Music” have informed composition since the early nineteen-hundreds. But today, 21st century technologies for audio recording, production, and playback have revived an interest in surround sound and the three-dimensional potential of electronic music. Venues outfitted with surround sound environments prompt performances each night, with daily conversations about audio production and sound systems.
Evolution has been a slow natural process that we are externalizing and accelerating through technology and creativity. Humans have long sought to transform nature with agriculture and medicine, employing biotechnologies to manipulate living systems, and even our own bodies. Today, biotechnology has expanded to include cloning and genetic engineering, organ transplants and prosthetics, computer science and biorobotics… even bio-art. An exciting creative territory is revealing itself, along with new ethical, social, and aesthetic challenges.
In regards to where he pulled his innovative ideas from, Bob Moog said, “Everything has some consciousness, and we tap into that. It’s about energy at its most basic level.” But how do we tune into that noosphere and bring next wave ideas to the fore? Who are the seers today, and how are they integrating technology into new “shamanic” practices in art and science? How do we understand rituals of trance in the context of electronic music? How can ancient traditions and cutting-edge brain research inform our pursuit of ecstasy?