Just a few short years ago, it was really difficult to find experimental programming in Nashville. But now our city has one of the most active experimental scenes in the country, thanks to the hard work and passion of people like Chris Davis, Leslie Keffer, Brady Sharp, Greg Bryant, Cody Bottoms, and Crom Giguere.
Take for example the evening of Friday, July 25th. Nashville hosts two must-see experimental lineups. At the new Wedgewood/Houston arts venue abrasiveMedia (I wrote about the space in Nashville Arts here), we have the duo Suzanne Thorpeand Bonnie Jones. Thorpe performs on flute, electronics, and laptop, and Jones performs on circuit-bent electronics and spoken word. They’re in town for an electronics workshop at Southern Girls Rock Camp, which I think is fantastic.
Stephen Trageser did a wonderful job of describing the event over at the Nashville Scene. Here’s an excerpt:
If you’ve ever been interested in experimental or improvisational music but found yourself intimidated by technology, jargon, or the prospect of successfully navigating a male-dominated field as a woman, don’t miss this show featuring cutting-edge female performers. Besides having several shelves of awards and advanced music degrees between them, Suzanne Thorpe and Bonnie Jones founded Techne, an organization that offers young women workshops in DIY electronics and instrument design.
The Voight-Kampff Duo (Brady Sharp on prepared guitar and Stephen Seifert on synthesizers) will open. The event, which begins at 8:30 p.m., is organized by Brady Sharp.
On the same evening at Emma Bistro, Chris Davis and Tate Eskew’s experimental art company FMRL is presenting Jeremy Bible, Derek Schartung, Coupler, and Tate Eskew. Bible is an Ohio sound artist and founder of the label Experimedia. Here’s what Aquarius Records had to say about him:
Bible’s jittery splutter of tone into jagged sawtooth patterns and erratic squiggle recalls some of the polydactyl, generative work from Keith Fullerton Whitman or the scabrous digital errata of Florian Hecker. At times, it’s a frenzied, furious work; and at others, it can be austerely designed in the vein of Tietchens.
Derek Schartung, Coupler, and Tate Eskew are all amazing local musicians. Dig Deep Light Show will provide the visuals. The FMRL show begins at 9 p.m. I recommend starting the evening at abrasiveMedia and then high-tailing it over to Emma to catch as much of this as you can.
Over at Cult Fiction Underground, they’re screening the silent film The Temptress, starring Greta Garbo, Antonio Moreno, and Lionel Barrymore. What makes this a must-see is the live hammered-dulcimer score by Ricko Donovan. The Temptress is playing at 8p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Of course, I recommend seeing the abrasiveMedia and Emma shows on Friday and catching this Saturday night.