Moogfest organizers have said from the beginning that they have worked hard to make Moogfest 2014 much more than just a music festival. A new round of announced speakers just adds to the long list of top-notch talent they’ve already got lined up. The speakers include representatives from Google, folks who geek out on the popular Futurama and performer Janelle Monae.
And that’s in addition to the music talent that will be performing.
Moogfest, set for five days in April, took a break last year after the company putting on the festival, Asheville’s Moog Music Inc., broke up with the event promoter, AC Entertainment. Now it’s back with an expanded focus that includes a tech expo, an interactive job fair, new media art installations, educational exhibits and other daytime programming that will be free and open to the public.
Other speakers for Moogfest: Jerome C. Glenn, co-founder of the Millenium Project and an expert on future studies; Joseph Paradiso, associate Professor at MIT Media Lab’s Media Arts and Sciences program; and Mark Frauenfelder, founding Editor-In-Chief of MAKE magazine and founder and Co-Editor of the weblog/print zine Boing Boing. And that’s only scratching the surface.
From Mashable.com, the list of daytime programming:
A Talk with The Electric Lady: The ArchAndroid herself, Janelle Monae, takes us on journey through her sci-fi universe, filled with psychedelic soul music and a dystopian futurism, along with her fellow voyagers Nate Rocket Wonder and Chuck Lightning.
The Math and Science of The Simpsons and Futurama: Simon Singh, author ofThe Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, leads the creator of Futurama David X. Cohen, plus Futurama/The Simpsons writers Stewart Burns, Jeff Westbrook and Ken Keeler (who happens to have a PhD in applied math from Harvard and holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford), through the mysterious math and science riddles weaved into to countless episodes of two of the greatest TV shows ever, with screenings of key scenes.
Google and the Future of Audio: Come hear firsthand accounts of Google’s foray into the intersection of music and technology from members of the Android, Creative Lab, Data Arts, and Doodle teams. Witness and engage in a dialogue about the challenges, triumphs, adventures, and aspirations of mixing sounds and code. With Ryan Germick, Leon Hong, Joey Hurst, Aaron Koblin, Raph Levien, and Alexander Chen.
Dance, Dance, Dance to Let’s Dance: A Masterclass by Nile Rodgers: For the first time ever, one of music’s greatest producers will reveal the intimate details behind all of his biggest recordings. We’ll listen to a selection of his classics from beginning to end, and after each Nile Rodgers will tell us the stories behind each one, from inspiration to songwriting to collaboration to recording, pulling back the curtain on what goes into making timeless hits with David Bowie, Daft Punk, Diana Ross, Madonna, Chic and more.
The Future of Creativity: World-renowned futurists, philosophers and artists tackle the big questions: What will art look like and sound like 20, 50, 100 years from now? How will it be made and how will it be consumed? What will be the tools of creative expression in the future? Three keynote addresses by Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrom; Jerome C. Glenn, CEO of the Millennium Project; and bioethicist, transhumanist, and futurist George Dvorsky.
The Pioneers of Electronic Music Instruments: Don Buchla invented one of the first modular synthesizers. Roger Linn invented the drum machine. Tom Oberheim founded four electronic instrument companies. Dave Smith is the “Father of MIDI”. David Borden is one of the earliest composers of electronic music. All will be sharing their histories and discussing the inspirations for the inventions that changed the course of music.
Innovators In Electronic Music: In-depth discussions with four geniuses who forever changed the sound of music. Herb Deutsch, an early collaborator with Bob Moog, performs a musical talk “From Moog to Mac”. Malcolm Cecil built synthesizers for Stevie Wonder and invented T.O.N.T.O., the first multitimbral polyphonic synthesizer. Electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder brought the synthesizer into film music. Plus Dave Tompkins, author of How To Wreck a Nice Beach, surveys the history of the vocoder, from World War II espionage to the auto-tuning of pop music.
Sounds of Space: Astrophysicists, scientists and artists discuss the important research on sound in space. Questions about art and music for this world and beyond with University of Iowa’s Department of Physics and Astronomy’s William Kurth; the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)’s Artist In Residence Charles Lindsay, more.
New Forms presented by MIT Media Lab: The MIT Media Lab is an interdisciplinary research laboratory devoted to projects at the convergence of technology, multimedia and design. Professors and students will present their new research, observations and innovations, hosted by Professor Joseph Paradiso, director of the Things That Think Consortium.
Music Makers, presented by MAKE Magazine: In the spirit of Bob Moog, music lovers and crazed inventors have created new instruments from the oddest materials, and MAKE Magazine invites everyone to tweak, hack, and bend technology to their own will. Presentations and performances, hosted by MAKE‘s editor Mark Frauenfelder, with Forrest Mims, author of Getting Started in Electronics; composer Nicolas Collins, author of Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking; Drew Blanke aka Dr. Blankenstein, mad scientist of analog synthesizers and atari punks; Jay Silver, founder of Makey Makey; and hacker/inventor Tom Zimmerman.
Science Fiction & the Synthesized Sound, presented by OMNI Reboot: Turn on the radio in the year 3000, and what will you hear? When we make first contact with an alien race, will we—as in Close Encounters of the Third Kind—communicate through melody? If the future has a sound, what can it possibly be? OMNI Reboot has assembled a crack team of future dreamers to answer these, and many more, questions. We will picture the mundane realities of the future, provide a soundtrack to science-fiction landscapes, ponder what science fiction film music tells us about our expectations for tomorrow, and hazard some guesses at the musical aesthetics of extraterrestrials. With writer Martine Syms, artist Neal Reinhalda, musician King Britt, astronomer Doug Vakoch, and OMNI Reboot editor Claire Evans.
The Nature of Creativity, presented by Afropunk: Where do artistic notions begin — and where do they end? What are the tools of creativity, and who are its models? A frank discussion about what it means to be a creative being in a modern world amongst three AFROPUNK originals, artist Sanford Biggers, writer/critic Greg Tate and poet/performer Saul Williams. Plus a screening of Sanford Biggers’ groundbreaking The Triptych documentary series.
Design Makes Music Come Alive: A new generation of visual artists and designers are using innovative technological tools to create immersive, interactive narratives unlike any ever experienced before. The brains behind visionary visuals and immersive interactions for Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Nine Inch Nails, Arcade Fire, Flying Lotus and Skrillex share their secrets. With Willo Perron, Aaron Koblin, Alex Leiu, and David Wexler.
Sonification and Cybernetics: Can you visualize music as data? Professor Bruce Walker of Georgia Institute of Technology’s Sonification Lab discusses new technologies that illustrate information with sound. Can you see colors as sounds? Contemporary artist Neil Harbisson was born with the inability to see color. With a prosthetic device called an “eyeborg,” he can now hear the spectrum and create symphonies out of everything he sees, and has become the planet’s first human cyborg. Harbisson will perform live and talk about the launch of the Cyborg Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to help people become cyborgs and promote cybernetics in the arts.
What Does Play Sound Like? Presented by Kill Screen: From the wakka wakka of Pac-Man to the immersive soundscapes of Grand Theft Auto, sound design has been one of the unsung heroes of games. Videogame arts and culture company Kill Screen is bringing together some of the best minds inside and outside games including Daedalus, Matthew Lee Johnston, Matt Bock, Robin Arnott, Karla Zimonja and Gretta Cohn, to talk about creating interactivity with sound.
Transformations: Visualization, Sonification, & Alternative Interfaces presented by the Eyeo Festival: An afternoon exploring the art of visualizing sound data, sonifying soundless data and creating alternative interfaces for sound generation and manipulation with Scott Snibbe and Yuri Suzuk.
Sound Installations and Performances
- Immersive, Improvisatory, Durational Performances: Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner and Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox on Moog pedals. LCD Soundsystem’s Gavin Russom on Moog synths. Dan Deacon on Moogs across all platforms, from hardware to software, pedals to apps. Each performance lasting up to four hours. Anything can happen. Plus an immersive visual installation with films, projections and art by Hisham Bharoocha.
- Odd Harmonics, Theremins by François Chambard of UM Project: Custom made sculptural Theremins, designed and built by François Chambard, at once sculptures, instruments and design objects, available for the public to play. With daily performances by Dorit Chrysler.
How to Hear: Immersive, participatory exercises with Lucky Dragons focused on “engaged” or “active” listening. Building on techniques used by environmentalists, artists and composers, takeaways include new strategies for music making, a better understanding of our sonic environment, and an open perspective on the feedback loop between listening, attention, and action.
Creative Code presented by Gray Area Art & Technology Center: Gray Area’s renowned education program and faculty are dedicated to teaching code to create art & music. As a leader in computational art and design, Gray Area offers focused, hands-on classes around the newest, open-source software on the leading edge of creative coding and for Moogfest presents daily 3-hour courses with both beginner and intermediate levels over four days with Barry Threw and Mat Ganucheau.