Upping the voltage.

flyer - Sonic Circuits 2014

I’m thrilled to be playing with the inimitable Keith Sinzinger once again, this time as a participant in the Sonic Circuits Festival 2014, a three-day assortment of aural delights held from 3-5 October 2014 at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, 8230 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910. We’re on during the final evening of the festival, on Sunday, 5 October, performing under our collective monicker, Fast Against The Wall, in a playful set of peculiar noises, particular grooves, and happy accidents. We’ll be in good company, and the folks behind Sonic Circuits bring together the best audiences for new and experimental music in the area and the best performers. I’m always delighted by the variety and quality of the music Sonic Circuits puts on, and I am happy as a dang lark to be playing.

Come on out and listen!

Bedtime stories for electric children.

Here’s a recording of my first reading of five little stories about falling in love with noise and electricity, to the accompaniment of digital sound and signal processing. I performed the pieces on Friday, 5 Sep 2014, as part of the Electro-Music 2014 Conference and Festival in Huguenot NY.

Working summer becomes performing fall.

I’ve got a lot going on in the next four months—gigs booked in September, October, and November!

I’ll be playing at the super-amazing Electro-Music Festival 2014 in Huguenot, NY, a three day campout of unbelievable musicians performing, connecting, and collaborating up in the woods in NY state. It’s an immersive experience for musicians that’s just lovely and embracing and full of all sorts of electric music, played out in a great setting.

Electro-Music 2014

 

Last year was my first, and I just enjoyed the company and camraderie, but this year, on Friday, September 5th at 5:30PM, I’m premiering a little work in progress, All Night Radio, a short cycle of spoken word storytelling on my love of noise set to the tune of digital modular synthesis.

I’ll be performing the work again in November, as part of the terrific Electromusic Festival at the National Electronics Museum in Linthicum, Maryland.


On Sunday, October 5th, I’m privileged to share the stage with the thoroughly distinct and delightful Keith Sinzinger (aka Fast Forty) for the second round of our collaboration, Fast Against The Wall, as part of the Sonic Circuits Festival 2014, taking place from October 3-5, 2014 at Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring Maryland.

I’m playing live in DC on 28 Feb 2014!

Winterfest flyer 001

For those of you living in the DC orbit, I’ll be performing with chaotic synthesist extraordinaire, Keith Sinzinger, as “Fast Against The Wall” on Friday, 28 February 2014, in the second slot of the first day of the two-day Baltimore SDIY Group‘s Electronic Music Winterfest at Electric Maid, 268 Carroll Street, Washington DC 20012 (Across from the Takoma Metro Station).

The event opens at 7:45 each night, and tickets are just $10, with five diverse and electrifying musical acts in each. Fast Against The Wall is scheduled for the second set of Friday night, and there’s always amazing talent on stage for these events. The music ranges from noisy experimental to smooth dance grooves and whole worlds in-between.

I’ve been largely concentrating on beatless, long-form drone and atmosphere music for a while, but this is set to be a playful departure into herky-jerky grooveland and I’m really enthusiastic about the weird, alien energy we’re conjuring up.

Be there if you can!

I’ll sign your cast and punch your ticket!

For more info about the venue:

http://electricmaid.org/

2014: The big push.

Howdy, my lovelies!

I’m making a point to get myself out there in 2014, and to that end, I’m starting a pledge drive of a sort. I’ve been writing since…well, since always, almost, but I’ve been doing spoken word/storytelling performances, with and without music, for twenty years, keeping a regular online journal for thirteen years, making slow, quiet music, exploring strange new worlds, making silly videos, and otherwise sharing the things I love about being a citizen of reality, but I have to admit I’ve not done it in an organized, comprehensible way.

I’m knuckling down.

I’m consolidating and streamlining, trying out some new outlets, and working to make it easy for you, the folks who’ve encouraged my raconteurship over the years, and new friends who’ve just come aboard for the ride. I cut my teeth online at Livejournal, but unfortunately, Livejournal’s not what it used to be, so I’m going to be primarily posting new material on a few sites and making my LJ a private space for my friends and family. I’d also made a stab at using the blogger platform, under the monicker “bluestarlounge,” but I had a hard time getting traction there, so I’m concentrating on new modes.

I maintain an info site at joebelknapwall.com. You may notice that I now have a middle name, and I’m using it because it makes it easier to find me on Google and other search engines, for which “joe” and “wall” are awfully vague search terms. It’s all part of the whole “branding” thing, which make me scowl at myself, but if I can’t be found, I can’t get my work to new audiences. The site will continue to be a general news and biographical info site, with archives of some of my favorite material for various media, announcements of events, projects, and other useful data. My previous info site, joewall.com, now links into this site, with all of the original material, as well as new material.

To make it easier to keep up in the Facebook age, I’ve created a special Facebook page linked to my info site and my twitter account, at https://www.facebook.com/joebelknapwall, which is a simple one-stop-shop to get updates on all my projects, events, and twitter updates.

To find my day-to-day writings, stories, music, and other updates, I’m using several outlets, which I’ll list here:

• Twitter — https://twitter.com/joebelknapwall

I resisted Twitter for a long time and for the usual reasons, in large part because I’m fairly described as “verbose,” but it is a splendid platform for linking one’s work, sharing one’s favorite things, and otherwise honing the fine art of the perfect Dorothy Parkeresque one-line party zinger. My Twitter feed tends to be a bit surreal, often amusing, and it’s a great clearinghouse for letting people know what I’m up to right now. I promise it isn’t all just announcements of what I’m eating, wearing, or am mad about (well, there’s some of that).

• Tumblr — http://www.tumblr.com/blog/joebelknapwall

Tumblr is an excellent resource for sharing all sorts of things, from stories to news to photos to videos to music. It’s visually spare and simple, and a nice outlet for storytelling

• Medium — https://medium.com/@joebelknapwall

I’m a fan of what the developers of Medium are doing, which is to set up an adjunct to Twitter for more detailed writing, with a nice clean design and the additions of a system for collective curation of topics and a helpful tag on each post with an approximate time it’ll take you to read the posting. I’ll probably be simultaneously posting to both Tumblr and Medium, with Medium more focused on the shorter stories.

I’ve embarked on a new project, dubbed “Nowhere Joe,” which combines the pitch I made to a travel network for a travel program about going nowhere, or otherwise using the idea of travel to make everyday life more interesting, and a sort of household-hints journal loosely organized around the idea of living well on little money. It’s a bit different from some of the excellent sites out there on simple living in that it’s not a compendium of tips and tricks as much as it is a means of sharing the why of a humble, adventurous life. I’ll definitely share my own little methodologies, recipes, and shortcuts, but more than that, I want to cover the rewards of making the best with what you have on hand.

• Nowhere Joe — http://www.nowherejoe.com

I’ve also created a corresponding Facebook page specifically for the Nowhere Joe project, and you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/nowherejoe. Like my professional page listed above, it’ll pass along my updates, links to new stories on nowherejoe.com, and relevant info. In addition, there’s a nice mechanism built into the site that will help you to share any post you found entertaining or informative—just scroll to the bottom of the post, and there’s little set of icons to share the post with your friends on a number of outlets. The green icon at the end offers an even more fully expanded listing of ways to share, so if you like something, pass it around!

The easiest way to keep up, if you’re on Facebook, is to “like” my professional Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/joebelknapwall, which will get you notifications of things I’m doing, my Twitter updates, links to new material posted online, and listings of upcoming events and appearances, as well as updates on Nowhere Joe, my videos, and my musical projects. If you prefer to primarily engage with my Nowhere Joe blog project, “like” that Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/nowherejoe, which will be more specific, though there will be some cross-posting between the two.

There’s a mechanism on Nowhere Joe to collect email addresses (a bar at the bottom when you visit the site), and I will never sell or otherwise misuse your email, but if you sign up, I can email very occasional updates and announcements directly to you (and you can easily unsubscribe using the links in the email, should you decide to). I will probably be adding a similar email list to my professional site, and the two will be essentially connected.

Here’s my pitch—If you like what I do, and enjoy my stories, music, and other things, please “like” me on Facebook, “follow” me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Medium, sign up for my email list, and otherwise share share share anything of mine that you enjoy with anyone you know who might like it. It’s easy, it helps me to build an audience so I can eventually spend less time in my so-called “day job” and more time writing and performing and telling you stories.

Thanks for reading,
Love, your pal, Joe Belknap Wall

Fish Are Jumpin’, Club K, Baltimore.

JBW at Club K 2013.06.14

I played a quirky set of warped sounds and modulated atmospheres at Club K in Baltimore on Friday, 14 June 2013, using the small rig I’ve been calling the lotus toolbox. For your listening pleasure, it’s right here!

Live at the controls of the lotus toolbox, 14 June 2013.

I’m excited to be playing a live ambient set in Baltimore on Friday, 14 June 2013. It’s part of a two-day series of concerts curated by the Baltimore SDIY group, called the Baltimore Electronic Music 2013 Summerfest Concerts, on 14 & 15 June 2013 at Club K.

The line-ups for each day are available here:

Baltimore Electronic Music 2013 Summerfest Concert One [14 June 2013]
Baltimore Electronic Music 2013 Summerfest Concert Two [15 June 2013]

Club K is on 2101 Maryland Avenue Baltimore MD 21210, physically located at 2101 W. 21st Street, Baltimore MD 21210, two doors from the corner of Maryland Avenue & W. 21st Street. Admission is $5 per person per concert.

I’m in the line-up from 9:30-10:00 on Friday, but the events run from 8-11 each night, with an array of electronic musicians ranging from the experimental to the beatworthy. The SDIY group does a great job of mashing a lot of genres together in these events, so you’re almost certain to find something that stokes the fires.

I’ll be playing sort of cascading shambling digital slow music with electronics using the lotus toolbox, a stripped-down live rig I’ve been refining with the intention of getting my gear simplified to the point that I can fit all I need across the seat of a motorcycle.

C’mon down and see me!

a new blessing and upcoming notions

 

Performed my fifteenth psychotronic blessout of the holy rollers and their grimy feet at the American Visionary Art Museum‘s 15th annual Kinetic Sculpture Race in Baltimore last weekend and it was a blast. This is my best video yet, thanks to Will Wall‘s steady camera work, though with increased resolution comes a realization that I could stand to take an iron to my habit. I did double duty this year, being recruited to do announcements and color commentary at the water entry in the race, and it was a thoroughly fun and fantastically action-packed day, as usual.

A few old and new projects are in the works, and I’m gradually getting my old stale web presence dusted off for the year. I’ve written a script for a one act play, “Overdue,” based on a particularly aggravating phone conversation with a bill collector back in hairier days, I’m continuing to work on a new edition of my one man show, My Fairy Godmothers Smoke Too Much, with the intention of doing a little touring version sometime in the next year or so (drop me a line if you have a venue, please!). It’s expanded to the original script length, with new music and sound and the same old staging (me and a microphone). Will be posting some teasers as the completed version gets closer.

In the process of consolidating fifteen years of various web presences, I’m going to revive my stalled ambient music podcast, 12 Minute Travelogues, in order to get it back online and to finally air the final two episodes. It’s a nice, pastoral thing, consisting of twelve twelve-minute ambient experiments created between 2008 and 2013, so watch this page for an announcement of its reappearance. In a similar vein, I’m working on a new podcast of generative music pieces, to be described in more detail very soon.

The hum drift at Pyramid Atlantic.

I had the great pleasure to perform a short ambient set at Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring, Maryland as a part of the Sonic Circuits Broken Mic Night for July 30th, 2012. I’d just come in from a long road trip, got home in time for the derecho storms that knocked out power and generally tore up the area, and made my way south the very next day, which was no mean feat, given that every traffic light in the county was out and lines at the gas stations that still had power were up to an hour long. There was a full house, the audience were cool and properly into experimental sound, and I had a great time.

I was a bit tense, though, and there was a hum in my gear I couldn’t quite shake, so I went with it. Essence of the moment.

See an annotated photo of the rig I used here.

The Blessing of the Feet for 2012.

A brief and highly amateurish video in which I give the annual Blessing of the Feet to kick off the 2012 Kinetic Sculpture Race at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, in character as the noted Sister Euphonia O’Blivion of the Order of the Little Sisters of the Clockwork Tao.

For more information about the race, see kineticbaltimore.com.