Today, Moogfest reveals its lineup of musical performers, led by Flying Lotus, Animal Collective, Suzanne Ciani, Derrick May, 808 State, Simian Mobile Disco, Syrinx, Jessy Lanza, and Function. Building on the experimental format of previous years, Moogfest continues to integrate Future Sound (performances) and Future Thought (conference) programming, with many of these artists also leading sessions during the daytime conference program.
Moogfest’s trademark mix of intimate venues and masterful collaborations creates an unforgettable experience festival-goers will not find anywhere else. Experimental electronic and avant-garde dance music is complemented by thematic programming like BLACK QUANTUM FUTURISM, Protest, and Techno-Shamanism that span day into night. This year returns with adventurous formats such as live film scores, an overnight live music sleep concert, prelude to sleep listening parties, long-form durational performances, and presentations by leading instrument designers.
Moogfest has also invited artists like Gotye and Peanut Butter Wolf to help honor some of the innovative musicians we lost in 2016, including Jean-Jacques Perrey, Pauline Oliveros, Bernie Worrell and Keith Emerson.
This 2017 lineup reinforces Moogfest’s commitment to bold experimentation, with some of the most important musicians and thinkers of our day helping to blur the lines between audience and artist, conversation and collaboration, technology and creativity.
Future thought + future sound
Over 40 nighttime performing artists will also participate in the daytime conference program at Moogfest this year, including Flying Lotus and Animal Collective, who will both headline a conversation, and Detroit’s godfather of techno, Derrick May, who will hold forth with his own masterclass. The formats for these different sessions are varied, but all put a premium on experimentation and collaboration. Ultimately, they reflect each artist’s interests, skills and their genuine desire to explore new ways of co-creating the future.
Stones Throw/Leaving Records will co-present masterclasses and workshops with label-head Peanut Butter Wolf; former New Jersey b-boy MNDSGN; experimental drummer, songwriter and director Deantoni Parks; and autodidactic violinist/vocalist Sudan Archives. Legendary DJ Greg Belson will join Peanut Butter Wolf to drop crate-digging knowledge in a masterclass of encyclopedic storytelling that only DJs of this musical caliber can pull off. Nona Hendryx, “Queen of Transformation” and co-founder of pioneering Afrofuturist 80’s funk group LaBelle, will demo and host a conversation on her trend-setting wearable tech instruments and, as ambassador of artistry at Berklee College of Music, will also support with their workshop program. Paris Strother of Grammy-nominated breakthrough R&B group KING will present an exploratory workshop on analog instruments.
New York’s boutique imprint RVNG Intl. will co-present two workshops helmed by critically-acclaimed Visible Cloaks and 1970s Canadian prog veterans Syrinx. Manchester, England’s acid house pioneers 808 State will spread the electronic gospel in a masterclass as unique as their approach to rave culture, and Detroit’s godfather of techno Derrick May will hold forth with his own masterclass. Other talent doing multiple programs at this year’s Moogfest include Princess Nokia, Russell E.L. Butler, Elysia Crampton, K-Hand, Colleen, Elon Katz, Greg Belson, Marisa Anderson, Mary Lattimore, Pharmakon, Noveller, Container, S U R V I V E, and Wolf Eyes.
Experiments in dance music: Holding things down on the sonic end: Berlin’s underground ambassador, Ostgut Ton associate, and former Berghain resident Function; California-based Buchla pioneer Suzanne Ciani; 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: Intimate and bordering on celestial, performances from Sudan Archives, Ry X, 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. This theme joins the eight other themes guiding this year’s programming: The Future of Creativity, Hacking Systems, Instrument Design, The Joyful Noise of STEAM, Protest, Sci-Fi Wishes & Utopian Dreams, Spatial Sound, Transhumanism and Technoshamanism. Black Quantum Futurism uses a Sci-Fi lens to examine issues of representation, consciousness, and an understanding of self. Unapologetic 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 we lost in 2016, including Jean-Jacques Perrey, Pauline Oliveros, Bernie Worrell, and Keith Emerson. Gotye will present a tribute to the late French electronic music pioneer Jean-Jacques 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 the late Pauline Oliveros, who prior to her sudden passing had been scheduled to appear at Moogfest 2017. Peanut Butter Wolf will perform an open and free-to-the public DJ set honoring those we have lost over the years, with a special section dedicated to late synth pioneers including Bernie Worrell and Keith Emerson.
Experimental film and live scores: This year, Moogfest’s Experimental Films and Live Scores 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.
Joyful noise: Surreal comedian McQueen Adams, sonic manipulator DJ Nanny Cantaloupe, and DJ Lance Rock (of Yo Gabba Gabba!) 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. As part of the free outdoor stage, Moogfest will pay very special tribute to Those We Lost with an exclusive DJ set by Peanut Butter Wolf, honoring Bernie Worrell and Keith Emerson among other influencers who paved the way for the next generation of innovators. Closing the stage and transitioning audiences from day to night, Michael Winslow of Police Academy fame presents Noise Activity.
Additional outdoor programming includes the Riddim Macka Sound System, a reggae inspired, self-built sound system local to Durham, which will be spinning tunes with DJs Selector B Steady and DJ Algoriddim.
Durationals: Moogfest’s durational sound installation series continues with three days of sonic immersion. 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. This debut 8-hour sleep concert by Laraaji is co-presented by Stones Throw/Leaving Records.
Prelude to sleep: These 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.
For tickets and more information regarding the line-up and programs, visit moogfest.com.
All images provided by Magnum PR.