Aug 122016
 
Justice Yeldham

Justice Yeldham

Nashville’s vital experimental curators FMRL Arts is presenting Ditch Fest, a three-day festival of music and visual art.

The fest takes place at Betty’s Grill on August 14 through 16. FMRL Arts is taking the unique approach of time-releasing the lineup, one festival-day at a time. Thus far, all we have is the lineup for day one, which is subtitled “Time Fades Away.” Keep checking the FMRL Arts site for updates on days two and three.

But the day one lineup? It’s spectacular.

First off, we have Sidney, Australia based audiovisual artist Justice Yeldham who is one of the most creative people alive. At the fest, he’ll be performing with broken pieces of glass and contact mics. He also creates pinball machines where the ball strikes guitar strings, piano strings, and tuning forks and remote-control car races where the cars “play” records doubling as the racetrack. The drivers sit in repurposed racecar game cabinets. They control the rc car through the game cabinet steering wheel and view the track through the monitor, which broadcasts the rc car front camera. It’s a brilliant idea, and I won’t be surprised if this type of racing becomes a phenomenon around the world.

Next up, we have Bryan Lewis Saunders of Johnson City, TN. Update: Saunders had to cancel. In his place is the artist Depths & Chained. Of him, FMRL states:

Inspired by the music of Henryk Gorecki and Gyorgy Ligeti, the regal melancholy of seminal second-wave of black metal records, the work of ambient composers Eliane Radigue and William Basinski, kosmiche music, classic harsh noise and the churning, pulsing fervor of Brighter Death Now, Depths & Chained serves as an exploration of the space in which these influences can co-exist.

Then there’s Pico Dorado, Scott Bazar‘s method for musical improvisation where each performer is assigned a color.

Finally, we have Cleveland, TN solo artist TORSCHLUSSPANIK, which is a German word that has no English counterpart. It literally translates to “gate shut panic” and speaks to the fear that time is running out. Her music incorporates heavily-distorted found sounds cut up into audio assemblages. Check out the stream below.

Admission for Ditch Fest day one is a $10 to $15 sliding scale. Show starts at 9 p.m.

FMRL Arts presents Ditch Fest
Day One: Time Fades Away
Featuring Justice Yeldham, Bryan Lewis Saunders, Pico Dorado, and TORSCHLUSSPANIK
August 14, 9 p.m., $10 to $15
@ Betty’s Grill, 407 49th Ave N, Nashville, Tennessee 37209

Apr 132016
 

CBBLanyard

Circuit Benders’ Ball is a biennial celebration of hardware hacking, free culture, art, and the creative spirit. I’ve been running the show since the festival’s inception in 2010. The three-day event at Fort Houston in 2014 was our biggest and best yet. We have a venue lined up for September 2016, and we’re preparing to send out calls for participants. There’s just one thing we need:

A new producer.

I’ve reached the unfortunate conclusion that with all the other things on my plate, most notably Modular Art Pods @ OZ, I won’t be able to devote the time necessary to put on CBB. I’d still like to pitch in, perhaps even finally perform at the fest, but I’m looking for someone else to take the reins. So, what would this involve?

The 2016 CBB producer would be responsible for:

  • Assembling the lineup of performers, visual artists, workshop teachers, and presenters.
  • Fundraising. Seeking money through sponsorships, funding drives, pre-sales, etc.
  • Building a team of volunteers to help with all aspects of the show.
  • Negotiating and fulfilling payment/travel expenses with the venue and artists.
  • Finding places for the touring artists to stay.
  • Promotion.

I won’t lie. The hardest part is the money. The organizing side of CBB has always been all-volunteer, from the producer to the visual art directors to the sound engineers to the ticket takers. After expenses, all of the funds have gone to the touring performers, although never as much as they deserve … and never enough to properly compensate the local performers. We’d love for that to change this year.

This would also mean that you, the incoming producer, would also be volunteering your time. You may be able to strategize ways to increase revenue and allow enough for a producer’s salary. If you can make that happen and still fairly compensate the performers, more power to you.

I would make myself available to answer any of your questions and help out in any way I can.  You would have free rein to run the festival as you see fit, except for the following core rules:

  • Performances must involve circuit bending, creative coding, instrument building, or modular rigs (especially if the modules are homemade or heavily-modded). In the past, we’ve also included music made with Gameboys because of the homebrew cartridges.
  • Producers must be committed to inclusivity. Producers should seek out a diverse lineup of performers that include women, people of color, people with disabilities, and people in the LGBT communities.
  • The Code of Conduct should reflect that spirit of inclusivity by fostering a safe environment for all guests.

The new producer will be chosen by me and group of past CBB staff. A producer that lives in or near Nashville, TN is heavily preferred. If selected, you will produce the 2016 edition, and if all goes well, you’ll have the option to produce future editions. Interested parties should e-mail me at tonyyoungblood@gmail.com.

Mar 082016
 

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The Nashville Electronic Music & Synthesizer Group is a new meetup organized by Bill Vincent, Mike Hiegemann, and others. Basically, once a month we bring our favorite gear to SAE Nashville, talk about it, and play with it. The group has something very special planned for the next meeting on March 10th: a Skype Q&A with analog synthesizer pioneer Dave Smith.

Smith is the founder of Sequential Circuits and the inventor of the Prophet-5, which was, as his Wikipedia entry states, “the world’s first microprocessor-based musical instrument and also the first programmable polyphonic synth.” He’s a co-inventor of MIDI. While working at Korg, he led the team that produced the Wavestation synthesizer.

His company Dave Smith Instruments has released several successful products including the Prophet-6, the Tempest drum machine, and the OB-6.

So yeah. This is kind of a big deal.

If you’d like to attend, join the Nashville Electronic Music & Synthesizer Facebook group and RSVP here. Big thanks to Mike Hiegemann for organizing this event.

The general show & tell begins at 6 p.m. and the Dave Smith Q&A starts at 7.

While you’re whiling away the hours, listen to the Theatre Intangible episode Prong & Spittle featuring Bobobobobob on the Prophet-5.

Dave Smith Q&A presented by the Nashville Electronic Music & Synthesizer Group
Thursday, March 10th, 6 p.m., free show, all ages
@ SAE Nashville, 7 Music Cir N, Nashville, TN 37203

Jun 162014
 

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Along with Light & Sound Machine at Third Man Records, the Track 1 building in Wedgewood/Houston is becoming one of the best places to see underground and experimental video art. Case in point: this video art show Friday, June 20th at 8:oo p.m.

Details from the press release:

WHAT: “ATTENTION”

In an effort to combat culturally induced impatience and shortened attention spans, student art collective Co. H presents ATTENTION, a juried, hour-long screening of video art. Time-based art (in other words, work that is to be experienced in duration) suffers as a result of this condition. As such, the work here is presented in succession, as a screening, rather than installed in space to be addressed in passing. ATTENTION features 15 videos from both students and professors working regionally in Nashville and Chattanooga, as well as from artists based nationally in Pennsylvania and New York.

ARTISTS:
Benjamin Anderson
Sharyn Bachleda
Keren Beddoe
Kellie Bornhoft
Bradley Braunschweig
Ann Catherine Carter & Tyler Blankenship
Elisha Farahmand
Holden Head
Morgan Higby-Flowers
Ron Lambert
Casey Payne
Angel Renta
William Stewart
Hannah Taylor
Chelsea Velaga

They really hit the nail on the head about the difficulties showing time-based art. “Bring Your Own Beamers” and such are great for creating a massive sensory assault, but they’re not great for highlighting each artist’s individual piece. On Friday at Track 1, you’ll be able to give each piece your attention without distraction.

Most of the names on the list are new to me, but I do notice Kellie Bornhoft and Morgan Higby-Flowers, who participated in the 2014 Circuit Benders’ Ball; Ann Catherine Carter, an artist and musician who is taking over for Veronica Kavass as the gallery director at The Packing Plant; and Tyler Blankenship, filmmaker, musician, and chief archivist of the current Nashville art scenes.

More info on the Facebook event page.

“ATTENTION” Video Art Show
Friday, June 20, reception at 8 p.m., screening at 9 p.m.

@ Track One Building
(4th Avenue South and Chestnut)
1211 4th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37210