Category Archives: Field Recording

Full Tones @ BAMPFA: Gabie Strong and Robert Lowe

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I found myself at The Berkeley Museum once again, where I had recently experienced another experimental electronic woman artist Suzanne Ciani. My wife and I attended this most recent performance with anticipation and a sense of pride, as my wife has been friends with Gabie since high school, and here she is performing at BAMPFA! If that isn’t enough to get excited about, also on the bill was Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe.

Full Tones was part of a series of concerts held on the Full Moon curated by Land and Sea who operate out of Oakland Ca.

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Gabie has been deeply involved in the experimental music underground for many years. She has been operating the radio show Crystalline Morphologies on KCHUNG 1630 AM radio out of Chinatown in LA. There are show archives that go back to 2011.

She has performed in and curated many events over the years, often developing site specific experiments.

She has also recently added an independent record label (also called Crystalline Morphologies) to her list of accomplishments and her 2 solo releases on vinyl and cassette are excellent slabs of experimental drone/noise and field recording.

Her set was a wonderful wash of guitar drone with a bit of contact mic experimentation deeper into the set that really brought an interesting performance element into the experience.


We had been planning on going to this event for a few weeks before I looked it up online and saw that Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe was also performing! I’d been following him for some time and have enormous respect for him being one of the few people of color operating at that level in electronic music. With cutting edge modular technology and an intellectual as well as soulful approach to the medium, he brings a much needed flavor to that scene. He incorporates his voice in wonderful ways as well as other acoustic elements fed into the modular for an otherworldly effect almost church-like. While I’m at it, I really recommend the stuff he did with experimental electronic legend Ariel Kalma. It was an honor to meet Robert and I do hope our paths cross again!

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Alphastare @ Luggage Store SF

 

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I believe this was the 4th time I’ve performed at The Luggage Store Gallery at the 3rd different space they have operated out of in the last few years. The current space is in the same building as the old but one immediate positive is that there are a few less stairs to climb as it’s located on the floor beneath the old one. By far my favorite location was the street level space they had across Market St. where the Financial District dovetails with The Tenderloin, there is footage from that in an older post . That space was on a corner and had huge windows, so as you were performing there was still that sense of the hustle of city life going on all around you, cars, busses, vintage SF cable cars…briefcases and pantsuits, street people peering into the windows, a real sense of being submerged in a major city…

This space seemed a bit smaller than the one upstairs but had a nice layout and plenty of local art hanging, creating a vibrant atmosphere.

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Tonight I had Rose Cherami with me operating visuals. This added immensely to the set and I look forward to working with this artist more in the future.  Rose also hosts a night at The Honey Hive Gallery where I recently performed also with his contribution on visuals.

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Alphastare @ The Honey Hive SF

Luggage Store Pics 

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For my first number I had to perform surgery on my SQ-1 which decided to die about 30 seconds into my set as I forgot to put in fresh batteries. The SQ was syncing all of my other gear aside from my ipad which had a drone texture playing from the Animoog synth. I had not brought extra batteries but realised I had borrowed a tape player from a friend (event host Matt Davignon). I flipped over the SQ-1 and realized the battery compartment cover is secured with phillips head screws! Hahaha! luckily I had my trusty knife on me and whipped that out like a back alley hood and went to work swapping out the batteries. If it weren’t for the Animoog Drone and the fact that I randomly borrowed that tape player and had something to remove the plate with, the beginning of my set would have been really rough. I took it as it came and soldiered on and had a great set.

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The first half consisted of some work on The Mother 32 synced up with 2 Volcas (Sample and Bass) as well as the aforementioned Animoog for drones and texture.  Then I switched the focus to a 4 track cassette I had prepared with 4 tracks of loops, which I live mixed and layered other various samples over from another source.

I had to watch it back to appreciate the visual element and I knew it would add a lot to the experience, Rose did a great job and I hope to keep this as a regular element in my sets anytime possible!

Kataryna Kopelevich also performed, you can find her work HERE


Slide show pics by Monica Berini

Ghost Ship Love Letters

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I recently contributed a track to this benefit compilation for the victims of the warehouse fire in Oakland. I didn’t personally know anyone lost in the tragedy though I did meet on a few occasions Ara Jo who worked at Rock Paper Scissors  collective. I was involved in a couple of the Oakland Art Murmur events a few years back with MAP a mobile arts group who I helped with some installations. Ara helped us out with a power source and also hosted a drag show during one of the events. MAP also just recently had a memorial for the fire victims as well.

You can grab a download or a hand made 3cdr bundled edition limited to 30. All proceeds go to the victims of the fire relief fund being run by Grayarea.org and you can visit their site to see other ways to contribute as well.

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Ara Jo hosting a drag show (Oakland Art Murmur)

For the benefit compilation I chose to work up a piece around some sounds I obtained from David Sanchez Burr who was the guy behind an interactive sound installation called ‘Nowhere Radio’. David erected a ‘sound wall’ that had all of these various items attached to it, pieces of metal and sculpture and faux instruments to beat on and it was all contact mic’ed with the sound running through a system that had effects and also broadcast the signal within a half mile radius. There were mics for people to talk/sing into also. We encouraged people to make noise and to walk around with handheld radios provided for listening to the sounds coming from whatever was being played on the sculpture, kids really dug it and I got some of the sounds recorded from David with his permission to do whatever with, so I thought it apropos to contribute a piece utilising some of this stuff. I chopped it up and arranged it and also added some synth textures for mood. It seemed an apropos contribution since the sounds originated in Oakland at an arts event and this is for Oakland artists. Check out the entire release below and dig the slide show of pics of the ‘Soundwall’ as well!

ALPHASTARE-GHOST SHIP TO SPACE:

“NOWHERE RADIO” SLIDESHOW:

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GHOST SHIP LOVE LETTERS

From Bandcamp:

“On December 2, 2016, a tragic fire struck the Ghost Ship, an artists’ collective and DIY music venue in Oakland, California. 36 people were killed that night, including performers and audience members alike.

‘Ghost Ship Love Letters’ is a message of sympathy and solidarity, from alumni and friends of the electroFLUX Experimental Music Series in Erie, Pennsylvania to the families affected by this event.

All proceeds from sales of this compilation will go to the Fire Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency Fund established by Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supporting the arts and technology in the Bay Area.

For more on how you can help, please visit grayarea.org
For more on what we do, please visit facebook.com/electroflux.music

FULL RELEASE:

Support the Arts!