Dance party

1 May

Electronic musician and performer Todd Merrell has been living and working in Connecticut for a bit of time, and its really great having him present some newer works on the festival. His set will include a recent piece “Earth: Summer 2011” (which can be heard here) and a new work that will be given its first performance at the festival. When Todd and I were talking about what new work he’d present, he offered me two choices out of the things he was working on: something more ambient that took its inspiration from Cage (in his words, “something pretty”), or “a very rhythmic, electronic dance piece” he was concerned would be “overwhelming”. I obviously opted for the latter, figuring we’d need to have some dance music about two hours into the festival.

For this post, Todd wrote some words about “Earth: Summer 2011”. I’m also going to include a link to a video/sound piece that he made in 2008. Enjoy!

‘Earth: Summer, 2011’ is a new work commissioned by the NOW! Concerts series for software instruments, field recordings, shortwave radio, and processing. Inspired by the idea of reconstructing the present in the future, it is a kind of musical archaeology, describing what it felt like to be alive during Summer of 2011 on this planet, but from the perspective of the future. A series of vignettes, it is a nostalgic look at something very recent, as if it had been put back together many years hence, with the inevitable errors of anachronism, and hypotheses filling in missing information. Stylistically, the piece is an amalgam of many recent and contemporary electronic music styles, including Jamaican dub, downtempo, ambient, drone, glitch, and microsound. This work is a paean to our world, now, and a celebration of being in it.

— Todd Merrell


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