Amanda Chaudhary Solo Set at Second Act, San Francisco

We pick up our reports from the epic musical month that was June.

Amanda Chaudhary at Second Act

On June 15, I performed a brand new solo set at Second Act in San Francisco, part of a monthly evening of experimental electronic music. It was a bringing together of my more experimental electronic work with the jazz and funk direction my music. The modular and Moog Theremini were featured heavily, but so were the Moog Sub Phatty as my “left hand” bass, and of course the Nord Stage, aka “The Big Red Keyboard”. I also used a Casio SK-1 extensively. You can hear the entire set in this video.

Amanda at Second Act June 2016 from CatSynth on Vimeo.

I thought it went quite well musically. I like how the funk bass worked with the Sub Phatty and Phonogene on the modular. The venue was full, and I got an enthusiastic response from the audience. I don’t think they were expecting this level of jazz and funk, but seemed to really appreciate it. I will definitely continue working in this direction in future solo sets.


The concert began with a noise set by Passions Nouveau, who performed with synthesizers and sundry electronics.

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The set unfolded as a single continuous soundscape, with noise pads and drones, but occasional loud swells and complex details.

I was followed by bran(…)pos. It had been a few years since I shared a bill with him, but has excited to hear what he had come up with recently. As per his pervious appearances, he performed inside a tent onto which a mixture of live and processed video was projected.

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And once again the performance centered around the use of his face and voice visually and sonically. But the instrumental accompaniment was a new direction, mixing sounds from the turn of the 20th century with pitched synthesizers and beats. It was a very polished and complex sound overall, bringing a tightness to his unique style of performance and presentation.

Overall, it was a great performance, and I was happy to be a part of it. Performing at Second Act is always a great time, and I would like extend my thanks to the folks who continue to make this venue and series work for the musical community.

SF Trans March 2016

It is pride weekend in San Francisco, and it is a particularly poignant one after the shootings in Orlando only two weeks ago. It is an extra mission for many of us to show up this year and be present, and be defiant. Before the main parade and event today, I wanted to share a report from the annual Trans March that opened up pride on Friday evening.

I met up with the march on Market Street in downtown San Francisco, not far from CatSynth HQ.

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Here are some scenes moving forward with the march.

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I particularly liked this moment with both the transgender pride flag and the kitty cat.

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The march turned from Market onto Taylor Street and stopped at the corner of Turk and Taylor in the Tenderloin.

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I have written about walking the entire length of Taylor in a previous article, including passing through this stretch. But it turns out to also be a very important spot in LGBTQ history, in particular for the history of transgender identity and rights. The corner of Turk and Taylor is the site of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riots in 1966 – three years before Stonewall. Compton’s Cafeteria at 101 Taylor Street was one of the few “safe” gathering places for transgender people in the city in the 1960s. You can read a brief account of the riot here. The history is not as well known as Stonewall, but this 50th anniversary commemoration was a step towards correcting that. The ceremony included veterans of the riots, and the unveiling of a new street name.

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Immersing myself in this history is a relatively new things for me, as I have been mostly involved in my own process and in the larger LGBTQ community. But I am happy to be getting deeper into it, and to participate in events like this.

KrOB, bran(pos), Amanda Chaudhary, Passions Nouveau at Second Act (SF)

KrOB, bran(pos), Amanda Chaudhary, Passions Nouveau at Second Act (SF)

Another week, another show, or so it has seemed since late May. This one will be a solo set, combining my jazz and funk keyboards with experimental electronics on an analog modular synth; and of course the Theremini. Plus, hopefully, a mix of music and fashion if a recently acquired dress gets back from the dry cleaner in time. If you are in the Bay Area tomorrow, details are below.


Wednesday, June 15. 7:45PM
Second Act, 1727 Haight St, San Francisco

KrOB
Subholy priest of the subgenius, KrOB knows that sight and sound are united most when most they are exploding. Heads seem always to blossom in gore, pants burst timely into flame, and each babystroller leaps from its screaming caregiver right on cue. Come get your sweet spot pummeled by the best of the very best, the lowest of the unfathomable.

Podcasts

bran(…)pos
Diehard fans have seen every interior of the bran(…)pos writhe into view via handbuilt multimodal apparatii of self-extrusion. From costumed dissimulations and facial piezoelectrics, to Great Oz-headed video, circuit-bent stiletto, mic swallowing and pharyngeal-cello right between the knees. But until now, the engine at the center of it all has remained hidden: the bubblegum. Keep your eye on the event horizon as the first wad hoves into view at this tape release show for The Bubblegum Forgeries, first in a four volume series.
https://branpos.bandcamp.com/album/the-bubblegum-forgeries-vol-1

Amanda Chaudhary
Modular synthesizers, kids’ toys, and all manner of folk instruments combine to confound and awaken heretofore undiscovered sensibilities of her audiences. Chaudhary is also a photographer, fashion model, designs technology for creativity, and operates the foremost blog on cats and synthesizers, CatSynth.
http://www.amandachaudhary.com/

Passions Nouveau
Glen Park sound artist and Ka coach repurposing homemade electronic instruments as accompaniment to raw field recordings of degenerate ultra underground sex culture.
TorLink to dark stream available on request.

Trimpin, Center for New Music, San Francisco

The Window Gallery at the Center For New Music in San Francisco currently features a sound sculpture installation by the artist Trimpin. We at CatSynth were on hand for the opening.

Trimpin Kraut Kontrol

The installation called Kraut Kontrol featured several custom made guitars in resplendent purple hues and outfitted with a variety of actuators. All the elements are controlled by a computer which conducts the instruments as an ensemble. You can here a bit of installation in action in this video.

Trimpin installation in action!

A video posted by CatSynth / Amanda C (@catsynth) on

Jimi Hendrix is of course fun to hear on this automated guitars, but it really only scratches the surface of what one can do with such instruments. I hope to hear some more abstract sounds that focus on the interplay between the different guitars.

As part of the opening reception, we were treated to a Q&A session with Trimpin himself. A fascinating but humble character who shuns some of the flair of the art world, he mostly delved into the details of the installation, its original version at the Orange County Museum of Art. He also spoke extensively about the larger automated-guitar installation he created for the Experience Music Project in Seattle, including a bit of behind-the-scenes of working with Paul Allen.

Trimpin’s Kraut Kontrol will be on display in the window gallery of the Center For New Music (55 Taylor Street, San Francisco) through June 30. I strongly recommend checking it out.