Moogfest organizers have made the first round of announcements for Moogfest 2017 in Durham, NC.
In 2016, Moogfest welcomed 40,000 attendees from 22 countries and 41 states (with 5.6 million livestream viewers), and did not shy away from dealing with controversy, like North Carolina’a HB2. The 2017 event will build on this, with programs that focus on musicians’ & makers’ roles in creating a better future.
“We think a little differently about what it means to be a festival,” says Moogfest Creative Director Emmy Parker. “Rather than growing year after year, we’re more concerned with how we can make a bigger impact with everything we do. Our community of makers has the power to design a beautifully innovative and equitable future. It’s our responsibility to provide a platform that encourages them to create this change.”
By day, the festival will explore Future Thought, a series of presentations, conversations, workshops and installations. By night, Moogfest will explore Future Sound, with performances by early pioneers in electronic music, alongside pop and avant garde experimentalists.
The initial programming announcement focuses on the daytime “Future Thought” programming. Later announcements will focus on keynotes, headliners and “Future Sound” acts.
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, 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.
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 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.
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
Organizers shared these summaries of the themes/tracks for the 2017 event:
- 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?
- Hacking Systems – 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.
- Instrument Design – 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.
- Protest – 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.
- Spatial Sound – 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.
- Transhumanism – 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.
- Techno-Shamanism – 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?
Festival Pass – $249 – General Admission for the duration of the event. Access to all festival venues for performances and conference programming: conversations, workshops, and installations. Workshops are available via RSVP. VIP Festival Pass holders will receive first priority on a limited basis.
VIP Festival Pass – $499 – VIP access for the duration of the event. Priority access to all festival venues for performances and conference programming: conversations, workshops, and installations. Access to exclusive VIP viewing areas and events and gift bag. Complimentary food and drink in select locations. Workshops are available via RSVP. VIP Festival Pass holders will receive first priority on a limited basis.”
Engineer Festival Pass (limited quantity) – $1500 – This two-day synth-building workshop, led by Moog engineers, invites a select group of enthusiasts to build their very own unreleased Moog analog synthesizer and sequencer. The hands-on workshop is conducted in two, three-hour sessions within the Pop-up Moog production facility. No experience necessary, but basic soldering knowledge is recommended. Participants in the Engineering workshop also have VIP access for the duration of the event. Priority access to all festival venues for performances and conference programming: conversations, workshops, and installations. Access to exclusive VIP viewing areas and events and gift bag. Complimentary food and drink in select locations. Workshops are available via RSVP. Engineer Festival Pass holders will receive first priority on a limited basis. Pre-Sale Engineer Festival Passes available for a limited time, while supplies last.
See the Moogfest site for details.