by Leah Sottile
Sometimes it's called sound sculpture. Electronic improvisation. But most commonly, it's just called noise music. It's a genre completely built around feedback, improvised sound manipulation, cacophony and dissonance. Noise certainly isn't mainstream — in fact, it probably never will be ... and that's kind of the beauty of it.
Nationally, noise music is celebrated each year with the International Noise Conference — a roving exhibition of noise artists that stops in Spokane this Saturday. In the days leading up to it, we'll highlight a few of the artists who'll play INC — starting today.
Marlo Eggplant is an Olympia-based noise musician — a gal who rocked the male-dominated noise world with her curation of the 2008 all-female noise album, Ladyz in Noyz. Eggplant told online webzine foxy digitalis last year that after playing punk and lo-fi for years, she got bored with the traditional structure and parameters of her instruments. That's when she discovered noise music.
"The sounds alone really tickled my interest. I also got really sick of the confined nature of traditionally structured music. I myself was bored with instruments (cello, voice, and piano) with which I had formal training. I felt that I was getting trapped into rehearsed schticks when improvising."
Now she's splitting eardrums with the best of them. Check out the video below of her performing at San Francisco's Luggage Gallery. It's good prep for Saturday's show.
The International Noise Conference takes place at Object Space (1818 1/2 E. Sprague), on Saturday, April 11, at 4 pm. Tickets: $8. See the full lineup at www.myspace.com/incspokane. Call 340-3934.