Arlo Tomeček + Grace Dashnaw


soundscapes On-site June 1st and online June 9th

Blight investigates the integration of organic and digital materials through working with cello, granular synthesis in Maxmsp, live looping in Maxmsp, and vocal layering. It is an ambient piece that serves to examine digitizing memory and the preservation of sentimentality. The piece begins with an ambient vocal loop in Maxmsp performed by the cellist (Grace Dashnaw) and the music technologist (Arlo Tomeček). The looped musical material is enhanced with complexity of digital and organic elements, and over time, the loops begin to disintegrate and degrade as a nod to William Basinski’s “Disintegration Loops”. The disintegration, facilitated through granular synthesis, adds another layer to the piece, pointing to the fragility of our own memory. This piece invites the audience to consider our relationship with memory and machine as poetics are woven into the decay of the piece. In a world increasingly reliant on technology, we question whether these tools preserve or permanently alter our memories. Can digital elements serve as a vessel for the preservation of emotions, or do they change the essence of the original experience? We invite the audience to consider natural processes that replicate preservation and alteration, such as molding and blights. As Queer, AFAB people, we question who has control over preservation when using digital tools, and how this control affects our memory. “Blight” is a durational piece. This iteration runs for 13 minutes and 36 seconds. Listen contemplatively and quietly as what once was musical begins to mold into sonic landscape and inquiry.

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Arlo Tomeček, a transdisciplinary artist, weaves creative expression with activism, spanning music technology, generative artificial intelligence, dance, choreography, and poetics. With a global showcase of work, including “Controlling the UNcontrollable,” Arlo is pursuing a Master’s in Music Technology at the California Institute of the Arts. Their approach seeks to reimagine possibilities in the face of obstacles, inspiring individuals to find power in the powerless, control in the uncontrollable.

Artist Location: Berlin, Germany + Los Angeles, CA

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Grace Dashnaw‘s practice navigates the intangible of lived experience. The expression of my humanness is at the forefront of their artistry. Grace utilizes Western and graphic notation, cello performance training, looping, synthesizer, DAWs, and found objects to create their sound world. In addition to music, animation, poetry, fiber arts, photography, sculpture, and visual programming are part of their practice as well. Exploring other mediums heightens their artistry, and allows for smoother communication in collaborations. The emotive qualities of music are not limited to pleasantries. Grace is concerned with how and why we empathize, and what arises internally when we decide to. Together, Arlo and Grace seek to imagine ways of memory keeping through sonic representation, poetics, programming, and live looping (both cello, the voice, and objects).

Artist Location: Los Angeles, CA

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Posted in Artists 2024.