All weekend, various times, American Underground Storefront
Michael Stipe was never just the singer and songwriter for R.E.M. The man has made films, voice-acted, photographed, and painted. He’s combining visual and aural sensibilities for an installation featuring video footage of Jeremy Ayers, an artist, writer, and friend of Stipe’s, with a soundtrack by Stipe. The score represents Stipe’s first-ever solo composition, promising to make Jeremy Dance something of a momentous event for R.E.M/Michael Stipe fans and a fascinating piece by an artistic polyglot for those unfamiliar with Stipe’s storied musical past.
POSSIBILITY/PROTEST IN AFRICAN AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC
Saturday, 2 p.m., The Bullpen
One of the most questionablebut also potentially constructivecomponents of Moogfest’s programming this year is the inclusion of protest as a theme. It’s felt as though the festival is attempting to use political activism as a marketing tool, but also reflects a genuine movement in contemporary music and culture toward deliberate engagement with political and social issues through art. N.C. State ethnographer Dr. Will Boone will lead a discussion about the possibilities of music as a tool of political change.
AN INTRODUCTION TO HARP FUNDAMENTALS AND EFFECTS FOR KIDS
Sunday, 3:30 p.m.The Art Institute Room 203
The harp is wildly underrated. Landing somewhere between a piano and guitar in terms of its ability to voice several notes at once, the harp makes ethereal sonic emissions like no other instrument. On Sunday afternoon, harpist Mary Lattimore leads a free workshop for children ages eight and up, teaching the basics of both traditional harp playing and the possibilities afforded by electronic manipulation. Kids will delight in the opportunity to explore a unique instrument and tinker with electronic effects.
SOUNDS FROM SCRATCH: BUILD A VIRTUAL SYNTH
Saturday, 11 a.m., Full Frame Theatre
In this free workshop you get to inhabit, on an amateur level, the role the late Robert Moog and build a virtual synthesizer. Unlike Mr. Moog, it won’t take a doctorate in engineering physics and a variety of expensive hardware for you to build a sweet synth. Bring your laptop, download some free software, and the folks at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute will guide you through the rest.
THE ART AND MUSIC OF LONNIE HOLLEY
Thursday, 8:30 p.m. (music) and Friday, 11 a.m. (discussion), The Bullpen
Lonnie Holley is an artist and a musician from Alabama who first gained recognition (and the nickname of “the Sandman”) creating sandstone sculpture of objects like tombs and miniature school buses. While the Sandman moniker stuck with him, Holley has never been stuck in any one creative mode. He’s worked with a stunning array of artistic mediums in his almost forty-year career, including sculptures of trash and textiles, oil paint abstractions, and wandering, drone-based songs. He performs on Thursday night, and on Friday, he discusses his work with his longtime friend Matt Arnett.
This article appeared in print with the headline “Fancy, Free.”