Durham, NC (April, 2017)—Festivals are all about having a good time, but each one has its own approach to achieving that. For Moogfest in Durham, NC, that means not merely moving your feet to the more than 300 musical performances offered, but also expanding your knowledge—and often skillset as well—in 100 workshops and masterclasses offered during the four-day festival running Thursday, May 18 – Sunday, May 21.
Workshop and masterclass sign-up opens Friday, April 7, at 12:00 noon ET for Engineer ticket holders; Tuesday, April 11, at 12:00 noon ET for VIP ticket holders; and Tuesday, April 18, at 12:00 noon ET for all ticket holders.
This year’s program will feature over 260 innovators in music, art, and technology — from Flying Lotus, Animal Collective, Suzanne Ciani, Gotye and Princess Nokia to Dr. Kate Shaw, an experimental particle physicist working on the ATLAS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, and Joe Davis, a pioneer in creating art with genes and bacteria at MIT Media Lab.
Here’s a rundown of some of the offerings this year, direct from Moogfest itself:
Masterclasses with Moogfest Artists & Makers
Masterclasses shared by Moogfest artists allow festival-goers and performers to work collaboratively in intimate environments that promote inclusion and involvement.
Legendary DJs Greg Belson and Peanut Butter Wolf will impart wisdom and musical storytelling learned through a life digging through record crates.
Artist Gotye will lead an intimate masterclass in the round on recently deceased electronic music pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey’s life, musical genius, and signature electronic instrument the Ondioline.
Video synthesizer designer and founder of LZX Industries Lars Larsen takes a moment to step away from the workbench and discuss the potential of modular analog video synthesis tools and workflow for the modern day video artist.
Ableton Live founder and electronic musician Gerhard Behles discusses the democratization of access to tools to create music and illuminate new ideas.
Reflect on how the last decade has been transformed by a host of arts-engineering software toolkits and engage with artists in the art of open-sorcery. In these workshops you’ll learn to breadboard a square wave oscillator from a single integrated circuit while revealing the electric DNA of the modular synth genome with Elliot Inman; spontaneously compose a radio piece with non-profit online radio station Dublab, Container and Elon Katz; learn to use affordable, off-the-shelf hardware and free open-source software to design real-time musical devices to dynamically generate music to foster mindfulness with Ico Bukvic, founder and director of Virginia Tech’s Digital Interactive Sound and Intermedia Studio.
Black Quantum Futurism
Moor Mother and Afrofuturist Affair guide workshops in this intersectional theory and practice that combines quantum physics, futurist traditions, and Black and African diasporic cultural traditions of consciousness, time, and space. Workshop participants will build future maps and quantum time capsules, shift cause and effect, and better understand the interaction between timescapes and soundscapes; use a DIY sci-fi lens to explore and reclaim mindspaces; create a sound space to combat oppression; and develop their own unique superhero identities.
Sound lives in more spaces than stereo. Experiments with “Spatial Music” have informed composition since the early 1900s. 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. In these workshops experience spatial audio in a 3D audio Space Jam under the guidance of Virginia Tech’s ICAT faculty; learn ways to control spatial audio in a high-density loudspeaker array; learn how to code spatial effects using the free, open-source program SuperCollider; and hear how the power of immersive audio can become a compositional and audio-engineering tool to create new musical experiences.
In a very special happening, synth design titan Dave Smith will lead a masterclass on one of his most iconic synths, The Prophet. Instrument tech pioneer Dave Rossum will host an intimate conversation that illuminates his unique path and designs. Moog engineer Michael Ashton will show his workshop participants how to build their own synthesizers, from concept to circuit board to chassis. The Engineer VIP Workshop consists of two three-hour sessions (held over two days) led by Moog engineers, where participants learn the foundations of analog synthesis and are guided through the process of building their own unreleased Moog synthesizer/sequencers. The synthesizers built in the workshop will be part of a limited run of 100 units.
Where meditation meets mechanization, Techno-Shamanism merges technology with something more cosmic, ancient traditions with cutting-edge innovations, to tap into etheric energy and bring next-wave ideas into physical existence. Related workshops include a sleep concert/laughter meditation session with famous yogi, musician, and mystic Laraaji; a family-friendly exercise in yoga and waveform mandala art; and a conversation from Moog engineer Amos Gaynes about the connection between music, dance, and shamanic ritual.
Exploration of the universal resonance of music and the astounding resource of modern technology as tools for resistance and designing a positive future–advances in science and society don’t have to spell dystopia. Educator, humanitarian, and UNC Music and Technology Professor Dr. Mark Katz conducts a conversation with acclaimed musicians and scholars on using music to advance social and political causes; Dr. Will Boone leads a presentation on the efficacy of blues and gospel music as a counter-resistance force; EDM/social justice nonprofit Give a Beat opens up a discussion on how dance music and tech can be utilized for addressing and recovering from the effects of mass incarceration. Artist and educator Taeyoon Choi leads a workshop on how to make compelling signage that effectively starts a dialogue, and Protest Stage performer Mykki Blanco leads a masterclass.
The Joyful Noise of STEAM
Recognizing that children are the architects of our future, The Joyful Noise of STEAM offers kid-centric opportunities for exploring the exhilarating intersection of technology and the arts. Renowned techno producer DJ K-HAND will guide kids (and anyone else who’s interested) through the basics of DJing; Lile Stephens will lead students ages 10-18 in building a working light theremin; Philadelphia-based collective Metropolarity will help workshop participants identify their unique superhero identities then come together to create narrative art that tackles an issue of their collective choosing.
The Future of Creativity
Moogfest aims to illustrate the nature of our future ideas and creative industries.
World-renowned figures in futurism, philosophy, and visionary art present daily keynotes on what art, creative expression, and the tools involved will look like in twenty, fifty, and one-hundred years. Armida Ascano of Trend Hunter delves into the possibilities and influence of the post-Internet generation; MIT’s artist-scientist Joe Davis will lead an exploration of interstellar communication; [descriptor] Dr. Steven Goldfarb, Duke professor Mark Kruse, and CERN scientist Dr. Kate Shaw will participate in a broadly-accessible discussion on the Large Hadron Collider and physics and math in developing countries.