Gift Tapes/DRAFT presents a night of experimental electronic music featuring Seth Nehil, RM Francis and Cameron Shafii – for the third installment of its 2017 program at the Chapel Performance Space, in association with the Wayward Music Series. Each set will be presented in 4-channel quad surround sound.
Seth Nehil has released over 15 albums of experimental music and has performed internationally. In the last decade, he has produced sound for dance and theater, has written and directed original multimedia performance works and has created multichannel sound and video installations. Among other things, he is currently creating music for a retrospective exhibition by sculptor Bill Wills (August 2017), designing sound for the Hand2Mouth Theater production Psychic Utopia (November 2017) and composing for Linda Austin’s dance piece A World, A World (December 2017). Seth teaches courses in sound and video at the Pacific NW College of Art in Portland, OR. http://www.sethnehil.artdocuments.org/
RM Francis is a Seattle-based musician working with computer-generated sound in performance, installation and recordings. Drawing on a panoply of digital synthesis techniques, his work interrogates the boundaries of musical form and performance. Francis is also a member of the networked computer music ensemble Mesh Collaborative. His spring 2017 release, Hyperplastic Other, is published by Nada. http://rmfrancis.net/
Cameron Shafii is a San Francisco-based Iranian composer practicing generative and electroacoustic music. His compositions are inflected with a host of digital synthesis processes and are informed by aspects of acousmatic theory, particularly spectromorphology. His works do not impose any temporal scheme upon the listener – rejecting the semiotic operation of ‘engagement/disengagement’ in the discourse of A.J. Greimas. Rather, he presents an asymmetrical narrative that features hyperkinetic movement, tensions and complex sonorities. His works aim to explore a functional range of sounds from microscopic and minimal, to macro and maximal. Shafii has remixed, reprocessed and produced compositions for Anòmia and Farmacia901. Currently, he is working in conjunction with Chris Douglas (Scald Rougish, Dalglish) on a forthcoming collaborative release. He runs the Ge-stell label. http://ge-stell.net/
Please note that this show was originally announced in mid-February.
Gift Tapes /presents: Matt Carlson, Jeff Witscher, Jason E Anderson
Our second show of 2017 could prove to be one of this series’ least ‘accessible’ presentations, but that didn’t seem to deter people; there were many new faces and really large turnout! I was extremely happy about this, as the quad setup and video projection made this one of my more complex setups at the Chapel.
Jason E Anderson. Video: Emily Pothast
After announcing the performance, I began my set (Jason E Anderson), mostly hidden behind a ridiculous amount of hardware hear, which was driven by a computer running Supercollider programmed to generate control voltages to automate a modular synth and send MIDI notes to Roland MKS-70 (which is the Twin Peaks synth in a box). I won’t speak to how this was received, but it wasn’t as much of a train wreck as I thought it’d be!
Jeff Witscher’s performance probably hit the hardest, pushing the volume to the limits of what the space will allow. His set contained both 100% synthetic tones and enhanced field recordings/foley sounds edging towards the artificial, played back via computer. What struck me the most was his use of space–dynamic gestures made of noisy textures and clean tones, but punctuated with varying moments of silence. His accompanying video was very much coming out of Witscher’s visual repertoire: a sort of autobiographical view into his world through a collage of symbols captured to video from a phone… an odd blend of comedic and beautiful.
Matt Carlson. Video: Emily Pothast
Matt Carlson’s performance was a bewildering assault of a seemingly unlimited set of modular synth patches, punctuated by word fragments and presented in 4-channel quad surround sound. This was synthetic maximalism taken to the next level. Carlson performed his piece using a mic and a sampling keyboard setup (NI Kontakt, computer, midi keyboard), mapping each key to a massive array of custom modular synth patches and voice recordings. Each of these sounds were then assigned to different locations throughout the speaker array. Sounds glided and jumped from one place to the next, occasionally colliding in such a way that sentences seemed to form around you. It was impressive to listen to such large assortment of sounds and witness how they could form a specific logic together.
A special shoutout to: James Watkins for again running video and lights, to Robert (RM) Francis for managing the door and merch, to Steve Peters/Wayward Music Series for making the show possible, and to audience for pitching in on the cleanup!