Matmos in the studio.

Matmos in the studio.
Matmos in the studio. Matmos in the studio.
Matmos in the studio. Matmos in the studio.

I spent a pleasant afternoon in Matmos’ Baltimore City studio, photographing them for a recent XLR8R piece on their studio, their gear, and their new album. A really interesting pair of artists, they explained some of their process and a lot of their gear to me, and they even demonstrated the basic concept of how they came out with the concepts and raw material for their new album – having a friend of theirs undergo sensory deprivation and describing the music that he heard (pictured above). A really cool shoot.

XLR8R Matmos feature

Merzbow & Richard Pinhas @ the French Embassy in DC.

Merzbow / Richard Pinhas
Merzbow / Richard Pinhas

A couple of months ago, I attended a rare joint performance of Merzbow and Richard Pinhas at the French Embassy in DC. I posted a few pictures from this show, along with my coverage of Sonic Circuits Fest, but I just found out there is going to be a CD released by Cuneiform of the performance, and some of my photos may be included, so I decided to post some more.

Here is the whole Merzbos & Richard Pinhas @ the French Embassy set. Enjoy! (And look forward to the release of the performance.)

Christian Fennesz, Merzbow, Richard Pinhas @ Sonic Circuits

Christian Fennesz

I was lucky enough to cover Christian Fennesz’ performance at the Sonic Circuits festival… it was at the Strathmore Mansion, a very intimate (and classy!) location for a concert. Fennesz has only rarely played in the US and the small room was packed with very lucky people… I’m sure there must be footage of this somewhere on youtube, but it’s not a replacement for being in that room and hearing Fennesz perform. A great night.

Read the Washington Post review | See the rest of the Fennesz photos.

Merzbow & Richard Pinhas

I was also able, thanks to the awesome people at Wayside Music ( and Cuneiform Records (, attend a EXTREMELY rare collaborative performance of Merzbow and Richard Pinhas at the French Embassy in DC. This was by far the most SECURE show I’ve ever been too, and in fact when I tried to leave the show, was locked in the super luxurious grounds until an unseen person remotely opened the steel gate. So surreal. We also got to pal around with Richard and his son and discuss America, France, and all sorts of topics. Richard was really funny in person and his son was a trip!

Merzbow & Richard Pinhas     Merzbow & Richard Pinhas

The show itself was pretty great – Merzbow creating sonic textures on his laptop/electronic gear while Richard Pinhas played analog soundscapes with his guitar rig. Great stuff, and again, a packed theater. I’m not sure if this is the first Sonic Circuits festival, but this year was quite an accomplishment and I am already looking forward to 2011’s!

Big Ears Experimental Music Festival 2009, Knoxville.

michael gira @ big ears.   fennesz (with sparklehorse) @ big ears.
big ears.   matmos @ big ears.
matmos @ big ears.   DJ Dog Dick / Baltimore Round Robin @ big ears.

This weekend I went to the big ears music fest in knoxville. I saw so many artists, but the highlights were: philip glass, michael gira (swans, angels of light), christian fennesz (performing with a variety of collaborators), negativland (performing It’s All In Your Head FM), dan deacon and the baltimore round robin (ed schrader, cex, smart growth, adventure, dj dog dick, height)… It was a really great festival, small, low key, with the emphasis on the music and the artists and not a million sponsorships. Seriously, it was a great event and I really hope the organizers can keep it up with this level of quality in the future! Don’t miss out next year!

Oh yeah, and here is the full Big Ears set!