Shuffle: Akron DIY Venue Showcases A Blend Of Experimental Music And Art

May 25, 2017

Experimental artist NRML GRL of Youngstown creates custom songs for show-goers using her "sound machine"
Credit NRML GRL

A performance tonight at one of Akron’s underground venues blends experimental music and visual art.

For this week’s Shuffle, The Devil Strip magazine’s music editor Brittany Nader says the show is organized by Hive Mind, which is one of Akron’s do-it-yourself spaces that showcases independent artists.

“The whole point of this show is to blend visual art, performance art, experimental music and noise -- and encourage the audience to participate and create this sensory experience,” Nader says. 

Boaz Bair, one of the founders of Hive Mind, is bringing in Chicago-based Mako Sica. The band uses guitar, drums and percussion to create to ambient songs that are 10-to-20 minutes long, often meant to be listened to while viewing specific paintings and other artwork. 

Local experimental artists
Youngstown's NRML GRL is also on the bill. She brings her installation “sound machine” to Hive Mind.

“She creates custom songs on the spot. You tell the machine how you’re feeling in that moment and she creates a song. So it’s improvisational and it’s totally personalized for each specific member of the audience that wants to participate."

The show also features Akron's Gov Niam, which incorporates video and audio elements from TV and movies into their performance, as well as pop-alternative trio Glenn Lazear. 

“It's these video collages. Instead of looking at a still painting or a sculpture, this will be animation with sounds and colors and noise with this ambient, loud music in the background."

Does Akron have an experimental music scene?
“There is a noise scene in Akron and people who like experimental music. But there are performance artists around here who like to see what other people are doing and musicians who would like to see what kind noise others are making that have never tried before.

"This is really going to be niche thing, but it’s also something that if you’ve never experienced it before, you’re for an interesting experience," Nader says. 

"Hive Mind is a great space --  if you have a new project or an art project -- to introduce it to the local community. So that’s why it’s fun to go to the show because you’re just hearing the music, you’re also seeing this entire performance. "