This article is a call for people to show up for the February event which is Saturday Feb 25 at Outer Space, where we’ll meet to plan out the specifics of what we’re going to do.  

This is an announcement for a planning meeting related to noise and experimental music in Phoenix at The Outer Space (the new spark of life where Firehouse was) on the 4th Saturday of February (2/25), to prepare for an event to be held at each 4th Saturday of the month thereafter.

If you’re still reading this, you should probably attend.  This was one of those deals where someone proposed an idea I already wanted to see happen, and that person (Glen Allan) happens to also be the proprietor of The Chaos System, which has the lowest bass response I’ve seen in Phoenix outside of test labs.  Also the only system I’ve personally seen cause a wood floor to produce sine waves.

Current placeholder name is “Noise Toaster” for these events, though a more permanent name will be discussed at the meeting.  It’s a nod to the Music From Outer Space synthesizer of the same name (get it?).   Fakebook event is here.

The broad strokes concept: part show, part jam, part meetup, part open mic. The goal is to set this up to provide both an open invitation to fans and musicians of experimental music to connect with this growing scene, for people already in the scene to trade notes, while somehow creating a framework that leads to as inviting of an atmosphere as you can with this sort of thing while avoiding pitfalls that would cause this to devolve into a series of self-indulgent presentations.  

So using metaphors: we’re looking for an actual meaningful conversation, not simply waiting for each other’s turns to talk.

How it’s like a noise show

Seems to be consensus on having acts play full sets at these events.  There’s a lot of good reasons, the main one is to draw a crowd, which exposes them to this event, and who knows maybe they’ll like it.

But lots of questions.  How many acts should play sets at each of these nights?  How long should these sets be?  Who decides?

How it’s like an open mic 

I hosted an open mic for a minute and they definitely have value.  They’re an open invitation to artists that don’t normally go on stage to participate, and those that already do to try something new.  

What should the time limit be for each act?  How long should the open mic part be?  The electronic music series BeatLab comes to mind: it’s sorta like an open mic as far as the audience is concerned, but each of the 10 minute sets are signed up and approved ahead of time.  It’s pretty annoying getting cut.  

Though maybe it doesn’t matter if you can walk on stage during the open jam which brings me to

WTF?  Open Jam?

This is the big question.  But the idea with the most potential.  Glen and I have discussed having mixers around, making having a dedicated midi-sync station, maybe have a common CV signal for modulars.  There’s so many technical things to discuss here.

There’s non-technical things too.  How to set this up for success?  My thoughts are going to go toward Militia Joan Hart for sure, where WOLFZiE provides beats and synths on an Ableton setup, while I’m playing on the modular, and Andy Warpigs shoegazing, and various vocalists (often DaDaDoh, but I recall Cptndv from Ichi Sound singing for MJH once).   This has worked well, and it went great with Gimpheart at NoN#3.  I think this could really work in general.  Phoenix has a ton of ableton musicians, modular synth nerds, retro synth aficionados, shoe gazers, and noise makers.  

But that’s not the point, we want to hear your ideas.   Send them to [email protected] or post them in the comments below.

This is where I think the meat of the meet is going to be.  This is how cities get scenes that have a sort of sound: talent from all over the metro area having conversations and inadvertently influencing each other by comparing notes and then going about their merry ways and performing after being influenced.

Very grass roots and bottom up.   Very DIY.  Very Phoenix.

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