In Baobab, Phil Torres constructed elaborate pop songs that suggested both the chaos and rigid order of an active mind. With that project on hiatus, Torres has started a new, performance-oriented solo act. Now, as crowdsource, Torres manipulates audio and video streams, mixing between the two to create an experience specific to each event. July will see a crowdsource EP on Hush Hush Records; in the meantime, he opens for England’s NYPC—that’s the former New Young Pony Club—at Kings in Raleigh May 6.
“The video can respond in real-time to the audio, the audio to the video, and both to the audience,” he says. “There are so many audio-visual options here that it would be impossible to recreate any series of mixing events after they happen.”
Last summer, near Baobab’s end, crowdsource emerged as Torres’ focus shifted from traditional live music to “projection events.” Typically unannounced, these sets featured Torres setting up in a busy urban area and projecting his short films against abandoned buildings while playing his music. Torres would ask to borrow a business’ power, defusing some of the potential for guerrilla art controversy.
“I never had any issues with police or anyone else,” he says. Some officers asked what he was doing, watched for a while, and moved on, he says. Reactions from incidental spectators came split between apathy, he says, and excitement. Sometimes, his impromptu audiences even encouraged him to restart the show.
“My aim was explicitly not to cause any kind of disturbance of the peace,” Torres says. “I wanted these events to foster community rather than upset it.”
crowdsource plays Kings Tuesday, May 6.