Get fully immersed in Austin’s most alternative summer music festival
Church of the Friendly Ghost is bidding adieu to its current East Austin home base with a bang.
The volunteer arts organization that celebrates counter culture through concerts, art exhibitions, workshops, film screenings, and other adventurous activities is moving with Salvage Vanguard Theater from its home at 2803 Manor Rd. due to increasing rents, but before it goes, it’s presenting the seventh annual New Media Art and Sound Summit (NMASS).
From June 22-26, local, national, and global performers are converging to offer new collaborations and encourage audiences to think about sound, art, and the various methods of composing and improvising. The idea is to stimulate conversation and contemplation between sets and exhibits, rather than passively watch or listen to a project and then go about your day.
“One of the things that makes NMASS so special is the dialogue that occurs between artists and attendees,” says COTFG creative director George Pasterk.
As if NMASS weren’t already an alternative to the typical summer music festivals, this year’s lineup is more than 60 percent female. Norwegian-born, Berlin-based experimental vocalist and composer Stine Janvin Motland is slated for Friday evening; ex-Austinite Sarah Hennies performs her immersive percussion on Saturday night. Dallas’ Lady Brain Studios will even do a workshop on basic circuit board building.
Other performers on tap include New York Indian beats group Tarana; the analog synth and film project I Speak Machine; sound artist Graham Lambkin; composer GABI; and Seattle-based Bardo:Basho, who creates hypnotic loops using software synths, drum samples, field recordings, and her own voice to create pastoral and medieval sounding textures.
There are also a number of interesting collaborations that run the gamut from noise artists to local chamber ensembles, as well as installations such as Star Cycle by Vivian Hua with sound artists Aux Aux + Mediums and the large-scale, outdoor installation by Sonya Gonzales with Meason Wiley called Concord.
If you really want to be a part of NMASS, hop on a bike and join Sound Cycle. Interested cyclists will follow a planned route through Austin, playing one of four prepared tracks via bike speakers, boom boxes, or mobile devices and portable speakers. The shifting position of each rider/performer within the group creates an ever-changing rotational aural effect.
Want to participate without breaking a sweat? Join in Dusking, a sound event led by R. Lee Dockery, which turns everyday people going about their evening commute into a symphony of sound celebrating that violet hour.