Shirtfamous at Northeastern Electro-Music 2017

Performed a couple stories last weekend with live electronic accompaniment (using the smallest rig I’ve used to date for a minimalist invocation of mood) at the Center For The Arts in Homer, New York, as a participant in a two-day festival of electronic, electro-acoustic, and experimental music. I’m always honored to share a bill with so many amazing artists, and this year’s festival was my first outside of the previous venue in Huguenot, NY.

Listen:

[music and story © 2017 Joe Belknap Wall]

Electro-Music Northeast 2017

I’ll be performing as a part of the wonderful Electro-Music Northeast Festival in Homer, NY, on 9 September 2017 (I’m in the 4:20 PM slot on the second stage). The festival is a two-day coming-together of fantastic players, composers, video artists, experimentalists, and other electro-acoustic explorers, and I’m honored to be participating for my fifth year with the group. It’s an absolute bargain for the diversity and density of work on tap, and there are seminars and a synthesizer petting zoo to get your hands on the greatest and latest gear in the field.


September 9-10, 2017
ABOUT THE NORTHEASTERN ELECTRO-MUSIC FESTIVAL:

For years, the Electro-Music festival was held in the Catskill region of Upstate, NY.

For the first ever Northeastern Electro-Music Festival, a new location has been discovered at the Center for the Arts in Homer, NY. This year’s gathering features two full days of innovative electronic music concerts, seminars, workshops, demonstrations, jam sessions, video artists, and a mini swap-meet.

There will be a hands-on “Synthesizer Petting Zoo,” with various rare and odd synthesizers, drum machines, and other pieces of electronic music gear you hadn’t known existed.
 
Please bring your own headphones for the Petting Zoo, otherwise a community set of headphones will be made available; iPhone/iPod headsets work well, too.
 
The NorthEast Electro-Music Festival 2017 is being hosted at the The Center for the Arts of Homer, in Homer, New York.  SCHEDULE


Where:  Center for the Arts of Homer, in Homer, NY (near Rt. 81 Exit 12)

When:  Saturday, September 9,   1:00PM – 11:30PM
Sunday, September 10, 12:00PM – 10:00PM

Tickets:  $10 for a One-Day Pass
$15 for a Two-Day Pass
$5 Suggested Donation for Center Members
$5 Suggested Donation for Students

More information, including a complete schedule of events and information on performers can be found on the web site at: electromusicfestivals.org.
You may also contact us at andrew@electromusicfestivals.org.

Facebook event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1917847358492754/

Some stories from outside.

Joe Belknap Wall telling stories

I’ve been experimenting with ways of telling stories on stage. I’m drifting away from the scripted, the cut-and-dried, and the composed in favor of the kind of stories you tell around the campfire or in a bar, surrounded by new friends and old. I’m using improvisational electronics to score these stories and stepping up on stage with just a single index card with a collection of waypoints to remind myself where I am in case I drift off the subject, and I’m increasingly happy to work in this loose and natural mode. Stories come in and out of focus, I find the point, lose it again, and work my way back. It feels like the kind of thing I’ve been trying to do ever since the first time I set foot on a stage with a synthesizer and a microphone, nearly thirty years ago.

This time around, I was thinking about stories from outside, from just off the beaten path, just beyond the edge of the highway, where we find meaning in unexpected places.

This is the live-from-the-mixing-board recording from my performance on Sunday, August 6, 2017 as part of the 13th Annual Electro-Music Festival, at the Irving Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Listen:

[photo © 2017 Elaine Marschik]

Twelve years ago, I got inspired by the potential of podcasting and started two podcast series, Last Night I Dreamed I Was You, a spoken-word podcast for storytelling, philosophical explorations, and rambling narratives inspired by my greatest inspiration, radio novelist, Jean Shepherd, and 12 Minute Travelogues, a series of ambient music experiments. For more focused podcasters with the drive and skill to get their work out there, those were good times, but I never managed to cultivate an audience and social media was then still pretty much just freestanding blogs and Livejournal. I changed careers, got on a busy track, and drifted away from my podcasts, but 2017 is a different climate, and the collective interest in word-of-mouth storytelling is at new heights, so I’m going to try it again.

This one’s the last of the original run of Last Night I Dreamed I Was You, a late-night reflection on endings and how we need them. I’m hoping to get the new series running within the month, working in the mode of telling small stories that add up to a larger narrative.

Listen:

If you like what you hear, watch this page. When the podcast is ready, I’ll post links to your favorite podcast index as well as embedded players in case you prefer to listen via joebelknapwall.com from your browser.

Electro-Music Festival 2017

13TH ANNUAL ELECTRO-MUSIC FESTIVAL poster

I’ll be performing a piece for spoken word and electronics on Sunday, 6 August 2017 at 2:30 PM as part of the 13th Annual Electro-Music Festival at the Irving Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana [directions]. The entire weekend is a long-form celebration of electronic, electro-acoustic, and experimental music that runs the alphabetic gamut from the abrasively new to the zestfully soothing, with a three-day bill jam-packed with amazing musicians I’ve had the pleasure to work with and otherwise revel in for several years now. I’m bringing my combination of left-field storytelling and digital atmospherics to the party, and I get to spend the rest of the time enjoying and educating myself in how it’s done.

All ages show – tickets at the door
Weekend pass $25, or by day: Friday $10, Saturday $15, Sunday $12

[Poster design by Jack Hertz]

QUEERING Sound 2017 // Spoken Word + Digital Media

I went acoustic for the first time ever for the 2017 Queering Sound spoken word show hosted by Sonic Circuits and Rhizome DC, performing a version of my story about a particularly awkward career move to the accompaniment of live banjo instead of my usual consort of digital instrumentation.

It was an interesting venture into more traditional storytelling for me and a big break from my usual obsessive need for control of every aspect of the sonic underpinning of my stories…and it went particularly well. Looking forward to more events of this type in the future, and am grateful to Sonic Circuits and Rhizome DC for hosting and inviting me to be a part of this show. If you’re unfamiliar with either of these organizations, I’d encourage you to check them out—good art comes from here!

The pay envelope.

The first purchase I ever made as a member of the working public was a cassette player.It was 1983, I was just about to turn fifteen, and I had a little brown envelope containing seventy-three dollars in cash that Carlo Petrucci handed me after my first week working at Pal Jack’s Pizza in Laurel. I was in Baltimore, visiting my grandmother, and we climbed into her turquoise Barracuda with sticky clear plastic seat covers embossed with little flowers that did absolutely nothing to stop those seat covers from clinging to your thighs like duct tape and headed up the street to Luskins.

 

Continue reading The pay envelope.

The Beastly Conveyance.

In 2010, I sold my Citroën. It’d taken me about eight years to come to grips with letting it ago, and if that says something about me, so be it. I’d put eighty thousand joyous, cantankerous miles on it, all up and down the eastern seaboard, from spending four hours stuck in a solid traffic jam on the Cross Bronx Expressway with the ARRET! light falsely warning me that the car was about to overheat to moments on Route 301 in South Carolina where I did the little mental arithmetic to translate kilometers to miles to confirm that I was indeed doing over a hundred on a lazy old trunk road. I’d lived out a French fever dream, but I went broke, the car developed a few faults beyond my means or technical ability to correct, and I fell into a premature middle age fugue state where I thought maybe, just maybe, I needed to grow up and stop living like a cantankerous continental eccentric.

I drove a practical four door economy sedan for eight years.

Continue reading The Beastly Conveyance.

Standing up at Stoop.

7 February 2017 – The Sex Show

Told a story as a part of the Stoop Storytelling Series – The Sex Show. The theme of the evening was sex, so I naturally shared a story of my own in which there was no sex at all, at least on my part, as I’m generally inclined to approach everything sideways, dealing reality a glancing blow.

I was honored to be invited to share the stage with nine amazing storytellers for an evening of lurid tales of the lascivious side of life, though my tale is less about actual sex and more about the tragic excesses of one’s early thirties, odd career choices, and the things you’ll do because of a crush.


You can listen to my story and the other wonderful tales from that night at The Stoop Storytelling Series – The Sex Show page, and you should do yourself a favor and subscribe to the Stoop’s fabulous and utterly free podcast via iTunes or your favorite podcast app. I can’t endorse Stoop enough—it’s just such a treasure for the Maryland region, and for storytelling wherever you are.