Billy Corgan Plans 8-Hour Live Modular Synth Interpretation Of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

bill-corgan-ambient-jamSmashing Pumpkin’s Billy Corgan has announced plans for an 8-hour modular synth ambient interpretation of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha:

On 2//28 I’ll be doing a show at Madame ZuZu’s Teahouse (Chicago); start time noon, and due to nature of performance it’ll last 8-9 hours. So see in coming days for details on seating and admissions. As with all our events there is no charge.

Performance will be centered around an ambient/musical interpretation of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha; built by modular synthesis, on the fly.

Readings of the text to go hand in hand with whatever is created; + the first @Hexistential poster, and event t-shirts too. Hope to see you there.

via Chris Stack

48 thoughts on “Billy Corgan Plans 8-Hour Live Modular Synth Interpretation Of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

  1. In the spirit of John Cage and the great Hesse! Oh, and as for the callow snark above, there actually was great writing before Twitter, albeit a tad bit longer,

  2. What’s interesting to me is not so much how or why someone decides to interpret a fairly slim novel with 8+ hours of modular synthesis, but that this person is a former massive celebrity/rock star and is putting on interesting events for free, hoping people will come check it out.
    I’d go if I was anywhere nearby! Probably not for 8 hours though.

      1. I always felt like Demian is better…but it has too much freaky Freudian, Jungian and pagan shit in it for American kids to read it in school.

          1. Over the years I have found it to be the favourite book of a lot of people,
            the latest of which was a Himalayan yogi of the Juna Akhara !
            I’m always giving copies away to people who I think might need a little
            ‘lifting’ 😉

          2. oh yeah, Narcissus and Goldmund is great too. I don’t know why someone doesn’t make a Collected Works of Hermann Hesse set, all his stuff could probably fit in two big volumes.

            1. Narziss and Goldmund is sublime, yes,
              the ascetic/scholar path vs. Dyonisian/Bachanal,
              they reach the same place, but one is more fun 😉
              There probably is a collected works somewhere,
              but it’s kinda nice to make discoveries !

  3. Whoever he is, and whatever people think of him and his voice, (and I quite like some of Smashing Pumpkins’ music), if it’s eight hours of *free* improvised modular synth ambiance, I’ll be checking it out on YouTube. Good luck to him.

  4. For those who are unable to attend, here are the Cliff Notes:

    “He had started to suspect that his venerable father and his other teachers…”

    blippidy boo. snap.

    “…had already revealed to him the most and best of their wisdom…”

    zonk! ker-ching! pong!

    “…that they had already filled his expecting vessel with their richness…”

    belch. beep. blurt.

    “…and the vessel was not full, the spirit was not content, the soul was not calm, the heart was not satisfied.”

    lub dub. lub dub. lub.dub.

  5. woah, even washed up alt rock radio rockers are trying to hitch a ride on the analog synth wave!

    It was before my time but is this like when KISS put out a disco record or something?

      1. Really? Because in the 90s, when Corgan was actually relevant the only way you could hear a synthesizer on the radio was a NIN song or a west coast rapper sampling Funky Worm. Even worse in the 90s it wasn’t like you could go on the internet and watch a bunch of synth jams on youtube…so if Corgan was “doing the electronic thing for 20 years” his music sure didn’t reflect it, Sorry, but this sounds just like all those washed up pop acts that try to get gigs at “jazz festivals” claiming they were “always into jazz”, let me guess he wants to play Moogfest or something?

        1. He absolutely has been doing the electronic thing for 20 years. And has a synth collection that would make vince clarke jealous. And he knows how to use them. As for Moogfest, he is one of the main contributors to the bob moog foundation. just because his rise to prominence was playing guitar, certainly does not sandbox him. He is a genius writer, and decides not to pander to the masses, and goes where his whim takes him. Troll elsewhere…

          1. Well, I listened to some of his so-called “solo synth album” from 2005 or whatever and uh, if this is suppose to show his love of synths…the synths serve as pads behind guitars and maybe the occasional bloopy arpeggio before a fadeout…if you enjoy that ok but when i think of someone with a “passion of synths” i would expect something a little more…but whatever, you’re probably his publicist or some shit anyways.

              1. well when i searched for “billy corgan synthesizers” all that come up was a bunch of press releases about his 8-hour synth jam all posted in the last 2 days or so… i know a marketing campaign and a “brand refresh” when i see it bro. not buying it.

                1. “i know a marketing campaign and a “brand refresh” when i see it bro”

                  Wow I did not one one could find this so irritating that he would come up with some conspiracy theory to explain it.

                  Yeah sure, we’re all paid shills, and Billy Corgan must’ve asked Synthtopia himself to publish this…. sure bro…

        1. Dude, please, modular synths are stupid. Look at that wall of crap and what sound does he get out of it? a couple barely music bleeps and bloops. In 2014 this is not interesting.

        2. the point is for a millionaire to drop a few grand on a decadent and useless modular does not show me a “commitment to synthesizers”, show me his studio filled with racks of vintage gear and maybe i would care, but probably not. there’s nothing in that video you can’t twiddle up in Thor in about ten minutes. even worse he’s not even playing it, some hired lackey is the one making the boring bleeps, not even corgan himself. this whole display is just bad, really. he should have hired a better image consultant to rebrand him for the “indie market” because no one but baby boomers and maybe aging gen-x-ers going to give a shit about this.

          1. ” there’s nothing in that video you can’t twiddle up in Thor in about ten minutes”

            And this demonstrates your knowledge of modulars. Just because of one video where a guy is doing very basic with it you dismiss the entire concept?

            You also seems to forget Thor is part modular and you can also do very basic things with it, hence why it must suck according to your logic?, especially as Thor requires costly hardware to run on?

            No seriously, there’s no other reason to badmouth this other than jealousy. You care so much about him that you just can’t stop talking about it. You might not be jealous of his gear, but you are jealous of his popularity and the fact they even here they mentionned him, and you will once more comment about it to prove it.

          2. I’m thirty years old, and was a SP fan in the 90s. I am happy this event is happening. Sorry if I’m too old for my opinion to matter, though.

            PS: I believe this was filmed before he even bought this synth. The “hired lackey” was among those selling it to him.

  6. Billy is an amazing musician. But eight hours is a long damn time to be making music …sober. Perhaps he has a carefully scheduled menu of psychotropic meals planned !

  7. I think it is very courageous from him to reinvent himself with a new project in another style ,
    only very creative and talented artists can do that , and there’s not a lot of them these days
    who a ready to risk themselves into a new challenge .
    And on top of that it is for free so everybody should be happy and thanks him .

    Patrick Mimran

  8. I must admit to being a bit puzzled at the point of an 8-hour modular event. I all but go unconscious after 2 hours of Klaus Schulze and I really LIKE his work! It may be “valid,” but I’m very curious as to what ANYone could do to keep me interested for that long. You’d need a lot more than just pads, sequences and a few BLORTS to convince me that it was the next Ring Cycle for synths. With both an instrument and a literary work that abstract as the base, the chances of Pretension seem a lot higher. Just an operational observation. Billy’s got talent; I’m just curious as to how it’ll shape itself from far left field.

  9. Billy’s so lame, overthought self image. I am jealous of his Synthi 100. Only 6 and HE has one?! He’s a guitarist. Jack Dangers earned his. Billy was late to all this bandwagon. Synthtopia is pretty lame too. Ipads are the most boring virtual synths ever. I don’t want to hear 1,000’s of self indulgent wankers make trance music because they bought a consumer tablet and some boring app. It’s about as creative and unique as ordering a big mac. If Billy wanted to be interesting again he’d get an ipad and make an interactive multimedia app album about how awesome big macs are. This though, more wankery garbage hoping on the wanky bandwagon of wank.

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