Ambient Pancakes

January 26th, 2008
(letterpress flyer created by John Bylander @ Virginia Art of the Book Center)

Ambient Pancakes was an all night sleep over of ambient music and noise that culminated in vegan pancakes. It was the closing event of Audio January, a month long series of performances, workshops and installations at the Bridge Performing Arts Initiative in Charlottesville, VA.

The night included performances by Monolith Zero (8pm RVA), Marty McCavitt (9pm RVA), Zach Mason (10pm MD), Myo (10pm BLT) aka Dang (11pm BLT ), Caustic Castle and Eric Eaton (12am RVA ), Jonathan Zorn (2am CVL ), SARS (3am RVA), Pinko Communoids (4am CVL), Kevin Parks and Jonathan Zorn (5am CVL), (6am Tokyo/Oakland) Cutest Puppy in the World (7am DC)

The audience included fellow performers and the curious bundled cozily in sleeping bags and coats in the simple building with concrete floors that used to house a convenience store. The sonic landscape began with waves of sound punctuated by outbursts of harsher noise created by Monolith Zero. McCavitt gave a brilliant and jubilant performance on prepared keyboard that included a rattling, crackling version of Old McDonald Had A Farm. Zach Mason was perhaps the first performance of the night to settle us down into ambient sounds as he transformed subtle landscapes of sound into an ethereal organ-like chorale. aka Dang offered densely textured loops of sitar sounds through a broken pickup and layered her voice over top of it as the sounds grew. Caustic Castle and Eric Eaton followed with a duet that combined rumbling low frequency sounds with samples of film dialogue.

The night unfolded. Bars let out and more curious folks stumbled in, some staying a while and others moving quickly on. At dawn, revelers from deeplyrooted gathering, an ongoing neo-rave party, joined the event at the encouragement of the party organizers – this was to be the “chill out room.” While some were too tired or in too distant a world to stay, others broke out sleeping bags, and dug in to the pancakes and coffee and other breakfast items contributed by deeplyrooted gathering and Hz Collective.

Cutest Puppy in the world, a duo with drums, keyboards and guitars provided an appropriate wake up call with ambient sounds punctured by low frequencies, drums and guitars.

This event, which gathered experimental musicians from the east coast and beyond as well as the musically curious in Charlottesville, was the result of collaboration between several grassroots organizations that are community-minded, focusing on their local community as a basis for solid connections with other localities. The event was organized by Kenneth Yates of Richmond and Hz Collective, an organization that seeks to build support for experimental, improvised music and noise between Charlottesville and Richmond. Space and publicity was provided by the Bridge PAI and its team of event organizers. Food and publicity was provided by Hz Collective and deeplyrooted gathering.