Colliderfest at Emerald Lounge

Megan Mulhearn creating vocal loops through her violin.
Megan Mulhearn creating vocal loops through her violin.

One of many free events taking place as part of Moogfest, Colliderfest was held at Emerald Lounge from 3p.m. to midnight on Friday. It included music, installations and climate data from local groups.

Walking from the springlike outdoors into the cavelike interior of Emerald Lounge was like journeying into another world. And depending on what time you arrived, that world turned up any number of surprises. A homemade analog synthesizer produced random sounds — most of them seeming sourced from an industrial mishap. But those clangs and grumbles shared space with more ethereal soundscapes provided by local electronic musicians.

Among the installations, a large screen stretched across one wall produced scenes of animal migrations and weather patters while a mobile planetarium offered views of outter space. On stage, local artists — such as Megan Mulhearn — took turns performing experimental music.

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While I was at the venue, vocalist Linda Go and didgeridoo player John Vorus teamed up for one of three improvisational performances throughout the day. Vorus was, unfortunately, hidden near the back of the stage to make room for a screen to project visuals. He played a rack of didgeridoos, all of which made different tones, run through a sound board and various effects. If the didgeridoo is known as a sort of hippy instrument, Vorus took it in new directions. Earthy and resonant, the buzzing sounds and primal beats combined with Go’s ethereal vocal to create a soundtrack that would be right at home in a Jivamukti yoga studio. Or a dance floor.

So did house music originate with the didgeridoo? If Colliderfest didn’t answer that question, it certainly provided a good argument.


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