The KBD Sonic Cooperative

Est. 2006

9/27/2023: Westward Triptych.

The last run went great, so we're headed back out to play some more shows. This time, we go west.  Three shows, three states, three nights:

10/3: Lafayette, IN @ Spot Tavern

10/4: Chicago, IL @ Tritriangle

10/5: Kalamazoo, MI @ Lightbox

It's been a while since we've been to these cities, so it will be interesting to see what has changed and what remains.  We're looking forward to it. If you're around, please consider coming out for the shows, and supporting the scene where you live.  

09/13/2023: Hold Position.

It's hard to stay focused.  We're constantly surrounded by distractions, and we're constantly hearing that whatever else is going on is more interesting than what we're doing.  

This is especially true for experimental/improvisational music.  We're so often setting up the next sound, that we forget to focus on the sound we're currently making.  While that sonic exploration is often a necessary aspect of creativity, it's also important to listen to what's happening in the moment, and stop for a while to let it breathe.

We stayed focused this time.  Rather than chasing what was next, we stayed content with what he had.  As a result, new sounds came on their own, intrinsically rather than externally.  There's probably a life lesson in there, but in the meantime, here's the track. 

06/30/2023: Road Trip.

We're hitting the road for four shows in July: 

July 12: Cleveland, OH @ No Class

July 13: Buffalo, NY @ Hostel Buffalo-Niagara

July 15: Erie, PA @ Feed Media Arts Center

July 16: Cincinnati, OH @ DSGNCLLCTV 

It's been a while since we played out of town (since before the plague came, actually), so we're looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones along the way.  If you're around, come by to support these venues and the experimental music scene in your city.  

06/01/2023: Remote.

Distance renders sound in significant ways.  Depending on the spatial configuration, acoustic properties change with the dynamics of the area the listener hears sound in.  Time also renders sound in significant ways.  The way you heard something the first time is different than the next time you hear it.  Both circumstances are situational: where you hear something and when you hear it affect the experience.  

For this recording, Ryan sent us prepared audio, and we played along with it.  While this simulated a live performance, the experience was something other than that.  The recording was made elsewhere, and played in a different place and time while we played as if it were live.  This is at best a simulacrum of a live performance, because the interactions were directional in nature and limited in scope.

Maybe this is representative of the ways we actually interact through modern technology.  Futurists predicted the obliteration of time and space with the advent of digital communication, but the reality is more akin to a fracturing or reconfiguration of it.  We send a signal, and it's received elsewhere at another time, with variables that the sender cannot account for or adjust to as a shared experience.  The resulting communication (or miscommunication) is dependent on the receiver to recognize the intent of the message, listen, and respond.  Results may vary.

11/11/2022: Cool Night.

Over the past year and a half, we've been adding a second set to our sessions.  After we finish in the attic, we come downstairs and hit the turntables, chopping and screwing records and running the signal through an effects chain before it hits the speakers.  This is a recording of one of those second sets.

Chopping and screwing records started in the early 1990's with DJ Screw in Houston, as a response to the faster beats coming out at the time.  The effect, intended or coincidental, is to essentially slow time down, and expose the intricacies of the rhythms, instrumentation, and vocals that might otherwise go unnoticed at normal speed.  

Once the listener adjusts their ears and expectations, they can hear familiar songs in a new way, and hear new songs in a different way.  Time slows down for a while, and we can appreciate things that we often take for granted.  Dig it.

8/13/2021: Waves and Currents.

In 1975, the psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi applied the term "flow" to a the concept of a mental state in which a person or group of people are immersed in an activity so completely that it transforms one's sense of time and even reality.  Many of Csíkszentmihályi's subjects used the metaphor of a water current carrying them along to describe their experience, as if they were being moved by a greater force.  

It's always a goal when we sit down to find the current.  Sometimes, waves push us away, sometimes they pull us in.  When we find it, it's transformative on a technical and perceptual level; we get somewhere we haven't before and we percieve the music and its purpose a little differently.   While we wish we could be back to sharing these experiences in performance settings with an audience of both new and familiar ears, this will have to suffice in the meantime.  Push past the waves, and find the currents...

2/8/2021: A Collaboration.

A few weeks ago our comrade, Matt Bahnsen, asked us to collaborate with him on a track for his ever shapeshifting project, Sacred Canopy.   This was a no-brainer, and we immediately set to the task.  Normally, we're a one take "whatever happens, happens" organization, allowing for all the variables to manifest in ways that challenge and ultimately undo any expectations of the piece that we may have had upon setting off.

Not this time.  We did take after take, trying to complement the sense of space and openness of the track.  Upon finally getting a take that did justice to the concept, we passed it back to Matt, who was kind enough to post it as part of his collaborative series here.  

Thanks, Matt.  It was an honor.  

12/18/2020: Immersion/Escape

Another post, another new track.  

So much of our playing after nearly fifteen years (!) moves between the poles of tension and release.  We often end where we wish we had started, because it’s at the conclusion that we find balance and focus through the catharsis of playing.  To start off a piece like this is difficult; the energy of the day and/or the week needs an outlet, and our instruments are such effective tools of liberation.  It’s exhilarating to make sound, but to quiet ourselves is sometimes the better option, as difficult as it might be.  This way, when it comes time to fill out the spaces in between the sounds, there’s a purpose to everything that happens.

9/25/2020: Alloys No. 6 [Metallurgy].

We've uploaded a new 30+ minute track from a particularly satisfying attic session last night.  While our get togethers have been irregular since March (as with everything else, for that matter), we were happy with the playback and thought it worth sharing.  

The session was all flow; we fell right into sonic conversation almost as if we were in the middle of a tour. From there, as is usual, things progress, regress, and digress before coming to a conclusion.  The dynamics are particularly pronounced, and the course of sonic events unfolds pretty naturally.  

In the absence of shows at present, click this link, sit down in front of your system, turn it up, and take a ride.

8/10/2020: Pandemic Overhaul.

Seeing as to how we aren't going on tour any time soon, it seemed a good time to get this site updated.  Honestly, there were no plans to do this, but a notice from Google that our comfortable old site design was getting kicked to the curb in November prompted a revision.  So, here it is.  Essentially the same, but different.

We'll make some changes, adjustments, and improvements as we figure out the new options, but in the meantime this is a pretty good representation of our past and present.  We're still at it, playing when the need to push sound through air overtakes our fear of the plague, and we look forward to a return to regularity, the road, seeing old friends and making new ones along the way.

In the meantime, stay healthy and look after each other.  Thanks for stopping by.