Albany Sonic Arts Presents Ben Miller/Doug Van Nort Duo, Barn Owl and Shape Shifting Shepherds
Saturday May 1 @ 8pm
Upstate Artists Guild
247 Lark St.
$5 suggested donation
More about the artists after the break.
Ben Miller was a member of legendary Michigan proto-punks Destroy All Monsters with ex-MC5 bassist Michael Davis and ex-Stooges guitarist
Ron Asheton. His intuitive approach to creating a multiphonic soundscapes features a deconstructed electric guitar modified with multiple pickups. First used in the Michigan art band GKW in 1982 and then with Chicago’s Dirty Old Man River in the mid-90‘s, Miller focuses on a textural, cacophonic amalgamation that defies standard guitar playing. With the addition of electronics and analog tape, it is difficult to discern where any one sound originates or where it is heading.
“If new expressionists closed their eyes and painted what they saw
then Ben Miller must be taping shut his ears and playing what he
hears…blood thrashing through arteries, nerves popping, synapses
burning,.. Formerly a part of the ‘anti-rock band’ Destroy All
Monsters, Miller takes the ‘anti’ idea a step further.” — Detroit
For this performance, Ben will be performing with Doug Van Nort, local sound artist and Pauline Oliveros collaborator.
Since their formation in 1999, Barn Owl has been one of Western Massachusetts’ most enduring and intriguing musical institutions.
Foxy Digitalis called them “fantastic. There’s all sorts of cut-up and manipulated electronic and synthesized sounds mixed in with the drums
and bass. It’s disorienting at times, like being totally smashed and hanging your head over the toilet waiting to puke.” Between them, the
three members of Barn Owl (guitarist Chris Cooper, bassist Andy Crespo, and percussionist Matt Weston) have played with such luminaries as Paul Flaherty, Smog, and Fat Worm of Error, among others.
Hailing from Saratoga Springs, Shape Shifting Shepherds have crossed many fields to bring you improvisational herds of sonic sounds. They
are a duo who wander through aural soundscapes seeking to share their discoveries through experimentation. Up their collective sleeve is a mixture of analog and digital crooks used for milking the bulbous teat of uncertainty.
Regrettably, I could only stay for Clarke and Elizabeth’s (Shape Shifting Shepherds) interesting and adventurous set, but wanted to commend Albany Sonic Arts and the UAG for providing a venue for these kinds of artists in such a friendly space.