Moogfest Unveils Performer Lineup, Program Highlights

This morning Moogfest made their biggest announcement to date about the performers and presenters participating in their annual festival, its 11th iteration honoring the spirit of inventor Bob Moog, which is coming up May 18 – 21, in Durham, North Carolina.

Over 150 artists were announced today, including Flying Lotus, Animal Collective, Gotye, Suzanne Ciani, Derrick May, 808 State, Jessy Lanza, Simian Mobile Disco, Moor Mother, Syrinx, Visible Cloaks, Princess Nokia, and Function.

For the 2017 Moogfest program, daytime “Future Thought” presentations are paired with evening “Future Sound” performances, and span a range eight programming themes:  Black Quantum Futurism (a new programmatic theme for 2017), The Future of Creativity, Hacking Systems, Instrument Design, The Joyful Noise of STEAM, Protest, Sci-Fi Wishes & Utopian Dreams, Spatial Sound, Transhumanism and Technoshamanism.

Moogfest participants include:

Flying Lotus, Animal Collective, Suzanne Ciani, Gotye, Derrick May, 808 State, Jessy Lanza, Simian Mobile Disco, Moor Mother, Syrinx, Princess Nokia, Function.

Avalon Emerson, Colleen, Container, DJ Lance Rock, Dave Harrington, Deantoni Parks, Driftless Recordings, Elon Katz, Elysia Crampton, Flatsitter, Gaika, Greg Belson, JDH & DAVE P, Jon Gibson, Jubilee, K-Hand, KING, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Kill Alters, Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein of S U R V I V E, Lafawndah, Laraaji, Laurie Spiegel, Lena Willikens, London O’Connor, MNDSGN, Marisa Anderson, Mary Lattimore, Michael Winslow, Moor Mother, Mumdance, Nick Zinner, Nona Hendryx, Not Waving, Noveller, Octo Octa, Pharmakon, Pye Corner Audio, Visible Cloaks, Riddim Macka Sound System, RBTS WIN, Russell E L Butler, Ry X, Silent Servant, MNDSGN, Peanut Butter Wolf, Sudan Archives, Suzi Analogue, Tasha The Amazon, The Afrofuturist Affair and Metropolarity, The Haxan Cloak, VHVL, Visible Cloaks, Wolf Eyes. More artists will be announced in the coming weeks.

Program highlights include:

Experiments in dance music. Berlin’s underground ambassador, Ostgut Ton associate, and former Berghain resident Function; California-based Buchla pioneer Suzanne Ciani (pictured); Toronto nu-disco sensation and Junior Boys collaborator Jessy Lanza. Avalon Emerson, Gaika, JDH & DAVE P, Jubilee, Lafawndah, Lena Willikens, London O’Connor, Mumdance, Not Waving, Octo Octa, Pye Corner Audio, Silent Servant, and Tasha The Amazon.

Intimate and celestial. Performances from Sudan Archives, Ry X, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Mary Lattimore, Marisa Anderson, and Colleen join a lineup that includes Visible Cloaks, and Syrinx with a live orchestral ensemble from Durham’s Mallarmé Chamber Players that has been assembled specifically for this Moogfest presentation.

Black Quantum Futurism. Philadelphia’s multidisciplinary artist Moor Mother, along with The Afrofuturist Affair and Metropolarity, lead a program on Moogfest 2017 theme Black Quantum Futurism with an array of workshops, readings, and conversations. Black Quantum Futurism uses a Sci-Fi lens to examine issues of representation, consciousness, and an understanding of self. Afro-Nuyorican Princess Nokia will host a workshop while Paris Strother of R&B sensation KING will share some of her expertise, insights, and approaches in a class on analog synthesis.

Tributes. Moogfest honors some of the innovative musicians who passed away in 2016, including Jean-Jacques Perrey, Pauline Oliveros, Bernie Worrell (pictured, right, at Moogfest 2014), and Keith Emerson. Gotye will present a tribute to the French electronic music pioneer Perrey, with an intimate in-the-round performance and Ondeline Orchestra musical workshop. The Center for Deep Listening will present daily workshops in tribute to Oliveros (who, prior to her sudden passing, had been scheduled to appear at this year’s Moogfest). Peanut Butter Wolf will perform an open and free-to-the public DJ set, with a special section dedicated to late synth pioneers including Bernie Worrell and Keith Emerson.

Experimental film and live scores. This program will  showcase perspectives from “an array of multi-talented artists.” Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein of S U R V I V E will present a live score from the Netflix phenomenon “Stranger Things.” Dave Harrington, acclaimed minimalist composer and one half of the duo Darkside, will world-premiere his live score to the iconic 1920s silent occult film Haxan. Neo-soul futurist Suzi Analogue and Harlem-based beatmaker VHVL will live score their self-directed horror film No Moon No Man. Flatsitter will animate Moogfest 2017 with his virtual reality bus, transporting audiences to the digital afterlife via the fascinating story of spiritualists in Lily Dale, New York. Using modular synthesizers and digitized 16mm film, Jon Gibson and his new ensemble will live score Visitations to his cinematic images of the 1960s Californian desert, guiding audiences on a ritualistic road trip. Both Suzi Analogue and Jon Gibson will also lead their own workshops.

Music for children and experimental adults. “Surreal” comedian McQueen Adams, sonic manipulator DJ Nanny Cantaloupe, and DJ Lance Rock (of Yo Gabba Gabba!, pictured, right) will be among the acts open to the public as part of an entire day of free music programming that celebrates electronic music for kids of all ages. Closing the stage and transitioning audiences from day to night, Michael Winslow of Police Academy fame presents Noise Activity.

Durationals.  Unfolding over several hours each day, artists create original improvised sensory experiences.
Synth experimentalist, esteemed UK producer, and one half of celebrated electronic duo Simian Mobile Disco, Jas Shaw will perform a 4-hour durational. Moor Mother, soundscape designer, poet, and activist known for her documentarian approach, will host a durational and time-travel sound workshop with Portland’s Synth Library. Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs returns to Moogfest to co-present a very special duo durational performance alongside soundscape artist The Haxan Cloak.

Sleep Concert. The ultimate durational at Moogfest will be this year’s all-night sleep concert led by new age musician, composer, and “laughter meditation” workshop leader Laraaji.

Prelude to Sleep. “Cosmic listening parties” combine playback of ambient recordings with projected visuals for audiences to wind down at the end of each night. Experimental film Maya Deren: Prelude to Generating a Dream Palette, with a score by pioneering composer Laurie Spiegel, set to late husband Peter Schmideg’s images and animations, will screen nightly as part of this special series. Other contributors include Gotye’s restored track of Jean Jacques Perrey’s Prélude au Sommeil, while Driftless Recordings and RVNG Intl both curate tracks from their catalogue of ambient artists and compilations.

Additional information, including complete program lineup, and explanations of different levels of festival tickets (including one which includes the hands-on Engineer synth-building workshop), are all on the Moogfest website.



10 thoughts on “Moogfest Unveils Performer Lineup, Program Highlights

  1. Navy blue text on black background. Brilliant. Check out Stephanie Dinkins. I guess hiring quality US based engineers comes at the cost of a competent graphic designer?

    1. I’ve been to three of them, including the last one in Asheville, and it never FELT like a cult at the time. There wasn’t a preponderance of Moog-related talk or merchandising, despite the company’s presence. HOWEVER, if you’ve paid close attention to this year’s “Future Thought” topics, it seems Moogfest has really decided to change direction and become some sort of alt-culture futurist movement. It may turn out incredible, but there’s nothing in the advertising to pique my interest. It feels like someone unrelated to Moog is running things in a completely new direction.

      1. I’ve been to 4 of them including last year. I have almost no interest in this one. The “alt-culture futurist movement” really does nothing for me. They no longer have many iconic panels and the musical acts are gradually going downhill.

        Plus, last year’s event was a bit of a disaster. The sign-ups for workshops filled up IMMEDIATELY. They oversold the event so badly that even though you’d wait hours outside a venue, you may not get in. The volunteers were poorly trained and they gave no prep time to presenters so they had to waste precious presentation time setting up. The organizers gave no indication how they would solve these problems. Instead they were pitching this years event to us as we were driving home from Durham.

        It’s not a cult atmosphere, far from it. But the niche they are now trying to carve out really doesn’t include me anymore.

  2. Cult? To me it seem like an interesting event. I guess there’s always something for miserable people to complain about…

  3. That’s right Flying Lotus should be right on the top. He’s the most forward thinking musician of this era. These techno dj/producers should learn a thing or 2 from him.

  4. I kind of like the “alt culture futurist movement” stuff in theory.

    In practice, this is pretty expensive including travel/hotel/etc. and I’m not going. I’ll stick with Knobcon which is closer and cheaper and will let me get my hands on more stuff that I might actually buy. 😀

  5. Personally I like quite a number of the artists and the futurist theme and would certainly be going if it were any closer to the west coast.

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