(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — After a weeklong residency at the cultural laboratory, Daniel Wohl presents a work-in-progress performance of Holographic, a “multi-sensory audience experience” featuring a blend of acoustic instruments and rich electronic creations, accompanied by artist Daniel Schwarz’s lush visuals, in the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA on Saturday, January 16, at 8pm.
Presented in North Adams before its premiere in New York City on January 21 and in Saint Paul on February 11, Holographic is a full-length album (and featuring Roomful of Teeth’s Caroline Shaw and the Bang on A Can All-Stars) and performance commissioned by MASS MoCA with Liquid Music, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Created by Paris-born and Brooklyn-based Wohl, who “blurs the line between electronic and acoustic instrumentation and seemingly melts both elements into a greater organic whole” (WNYC), the music incorporates an improbable combination of sounds, inspired by new ideas in modern science and humanity’s symbiotic relationship with technological creations.
“Holographic is about exploring different worlds — improbable combinations of sounds — hidden and imaginary sonic landscapes — both acoustic and electronic,” explains Wohl.
In 2013, Pitchfork praised Wohl’s Corps Exquis, a multimedia, chamber, and electronics project, stating that to listen to the musician’s debut record was to be “mowed over by a tiny army’s worth of interesting sounds… There are an abundance of other noises here, too, all of them of hazy origin — some percussive clicks, some radiant, soft-edged keyboard arpeggios, a shimmer effect that resembles locusts or a lawn sprinkler. There is some groaning, burping electronic noise in the music’s low end that could be a groaning double bass or electronics. This zone of confusion, between the digital glitch and bow-on-string screech, is where Wohl lives, and Corps Exquis gets more interesting the more confused you get.”
Included in NPR Music’s Top 100 songs of 2013, the album was created in conjunction with the new music ensemble Transit, and featured musicians Julia Holter, Aaron Roche, and S? Percussion.
For Wohl’s residency at MASS MoCA, he is accompanied by A/V wizard Daniel Schwarz, who provides a mesmerizing visual component to Wohl’s sonic landscape. The German-born, Los Angeles-based Schwarz, whose own work often examines current crises in politics and social life through the lens of social media, explains that Wohl’s “visceral and powerful compositions evoke vivid imagery and feelings for me and it is a fantastic challenge to develop interactive software and visuals that go hand in hand with it. All instruments and electronic sounds are translated into an abstract meta language, which, in combination with the live audio feed from each musician during the concerts, will allow us to synchronize audio and visuals thoroughly in real-time and bring them into one multi-sensory experience.”
Educated at the Yale School of Music, Bard College, and the University of Michigan, Wohl is a frequent collaborator with music ensembles, orchestras, visual artists, and filmmakers, and has worked with Caroline Shaw, Olga Bell of the Dirty Projectors, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars through their People’s Commissioning Fund; composed Cycles, a full-length ballet score commissioned by Georgia Tech’s Sonic Generator ensemble and the GLO ATL dance company; and created the film score for The Color of Time, featuring James Franco, Jessica Chastain, and Mila Kunis. Wohl is also co-founder and co-curator of Sound / Source, an electroacoustic music festival held annually at MoMA PS1.
Schwarz currently lives and works in Los Angeles and teaches at Loyola Marymount University. In 2011-12 he held an artist residency at Fabrica in Italy and has performed and exhibited worldwide at the Sónar Festival Barcelona, the 70th Venice Film Festival, Plums Fest during Moscow’s Museum Night, NODE – Forum for Digital Arts Frankfurt, Mapping Festival Geneva, WRO Biennale Wroclaw, FILE – Electronic Language International Festival São Paulo, roBOt Festival, and Fach & Asendorf Gallery.
Holographic, Wohl’s sophomore album, will be released on January 29, 2016, on New Amsterdam Records.
Witness Daniel Wohl’s enveloping audiovisual work-in-progress in MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center on Saturday, January 16, at 8pm. Dinner will be available from Lickety Split before and during the show. A full bar serves Berkshire Brewing Company beers and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Tickets are $8 for students, $12 in advance, $18 day of, and $22 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays through spring 2016. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 x1 during box office hours or purchased online at MASS MoCA. All events are held rain or shine.