This monthly music series occurs in partnership with the UVA McIntire Department of Music, and features UVA faculty, students, locals, and renown experimental performers. They push boundaries of musicianship by offering a unique laboratory to engage new methods of composition and instrumentation. Unlike anything else in the city, Charlottesville artists and audiences connect with new concepts and are continuously inspired towards ingenuity through unique sound experiences.
Ben Luca Robertson is a composer, experimental luthier, and co-founder of the independent record label, Aphonia Recordings. His work addresses an interest in autonomous processes and biological systems—often by supplanting narrative structure with an emphasis on the physicality of sound, spectral tuning systems, and microtonality. Illustrating the complex interactions and materials of our surroundings is an essential component of Ben’s work and his compositions often reflect themes associated with his upbringing in the Inland Pacific Northwest. As such, recent projects have included collaboration with the University of Idaho Water Resources Department to sonify the migratory patterns of Chinook Salmon. Another important component of this practice includes the construction of new instruments that utilize re-purposed objects, electro-magnetism, and sympathetic resonance as a means for actualizing the complex tuning systems he envisions for his pieces. Ben holds a B.A. from the Evergreen State College and a M.A. in Music Composition from Eastern Washington University. His work has been featured throughout the region and abroad, including performances at the Sound and Music Computing Conference in Ireland and a guest research appointment with the Tampere Unit for Computer-Human Interaction in Finland.
Unicorns in the Snow (Julia Vering) and minthill (Angela Saylor) reunite to collaborate on a tour of their experimental works across the US. Unicorns in the Snow is Vering’s 15 year multimedia performance project that incorporates minimal dark sounds, affected accordion, interactive projections of stop motion animation and cryptic impressions inspired by hospice social work.
Saylor’s Mint Hill utilizes samples, drum machines, tapes, keys and singing to create sparse electronic paintings of memories of a place imagined as it would like to be remembered. Founded in 2003 within an attic on yew st in olympia, wa, minthill grew from a nostalgia for a home away from home.