Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings: 10/28/2011

This ticket was for admission to an art installation by Brian Eno which was part of MoogFest in Asheville, NC. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Eno, he “is an English musician, record producer, visual artist, and theorist best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to rock, pop and electronica. A self-described “non-musician”, Eno has helped introduce unique conceptual approaches and recording techniques to contemporary music. He has been described as one of popular music’s most influential and innovative figures.” (Source: Wikipedia)

The concept of the art installation is a combination of visual images and ambient music generated through software to create a continually morphing experience. “The title is derived from the possible number of combinations of video and music which can be generated by the software, effectively ensuring that the same image/soundscape is never played twice.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Anyway, MoogFest was a weekend-long electronic music festival, and this year I was doing the full festival (more on that soon). I decided to check out the art installation, to get myself in the proper mental-state-of-being for three days of mind-expanding music. And this definitely did that. I spent a fair amount of time basking in the sights and sounds that can only be described as consciousness-altering. After that, I was primed and ready to indulge myself into the rest of the festival.

This is one of those things that needs to be experienced. Words fail to adequately convey what it was like. As such, here is a link to a 7-minute sliver of Eno’s multimedia masterpiece on YouTube. Check it out. Headphones recommended.

MoogFest: 10/26 – 27/2012

This was the final MoogFest held in Asheville, which is sad because Asheville was home to the late music innovator, Bob Moog, inventor of the famous Moog Synthesizer. The Moog factory is still here, and every Moog instrument—synthesizer, theremin, and effects pedal—is designed and manufactured right here. So even though this lineup was weak compared to the previous festivals, I went anyway, and did get to see some cool performances that I would never have seen otherwise.

MoogFest is a showcase of electronic music, and has performers from many genres, everything from prog to rap to new wave to DJs. It is really a big celebration of creativity and technology in music. In addition to performances, there were workshops and discussions and exhibits, everything to make a music-nerd’s heart skip beats.

So here are the acts that I recall seeing:

  • Santigold
  • Thomas Dolby
  • Primus (in 3-D)
  • Miike Snow
  • Morton Subotnick
  • Squarepusher
  • Divine Fits
  • Orbital
  • Four Tet

Primus was disappointing. I’m not a Primus fan, but had hoped for a cool show based upon all the hype, but they were barely mediocre. The high points were definitely Santigold, Thomas Dolby, Divine Fits, Miike Snow, and Morton Subotnick. They were all excellent.

I was only able to find a few setlists online, so here they are.

Santigold:

  • GO!
  • L.E.S. Artistes
  • Lights Out
  • Say Aha
  • Get It Up
  • Disparate Youth
  • Anne
  • The Keepers
  • Creator
  • Fame
  • Shove It
  • Freak Like Me
  • Big Mouth

Primus:

  • Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers
  • Prelude to a Crawl
  • Last Salmon Man
  • Southbound Pachyderm
  • Eternal Consumption Engine
  • Jilly’s on Smack
  • Over the Falls
  • Hello Skinny
  • Lee Van Cleef
  • Eyes of the Squirrel
  • Groundhog’s Day
  • American Life
  • Hamburger Train
  • Tommy the Cat

Orbital:

  • One Big Moment
  • Halcyon + On + On
  • Beelzedub
  • Never
  • Wonky
  • Where Is It Going?
  • Impact (The Earth Is Burning)
  • Lush 3