In its third year, electronic-music epicenter the Decibel Festival is holding an exhibition of internationally respected experimental composers who are transforming the vestiges of conventional music.
The festival's Experimental Showcase features Washington, D.C., composer Richard Chartier, who conveys digital minimalism and sound installation like a humming substation transforms electricity. His microscopic masterpieces feature hairline-fractured silence and barely registered signals that ring endlessly, mimicking electromagnetic fields or the diffusion of airborne particles.
Luminary of lowercase sound Taylor Deupree and his Brooklyn-based 12k label have been a motivating force for electronic music since its inception almost a decade ago. Branching further into conceptual realms, Deupree cofounded the LINE sublabel with Chartier in 2000, ushering plenitudes by the likes of Alva Noto and Steve Roden.
Chartier and Deupree recently composed a sound installation to accompany the black-and-white Seascapes series by Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. The collaborative effort led to their June release, Specification.Fifteen, evoking the constant fluctuation between mass air circuitry and the sea.
Decibel's Experimental Showcase, cocurated this year by local artist nonprofit, Nonsequitur, will also present Dragon's Eye Recordings' Yann Novak and Kamran Sadeghi's sound project, Son of Rose.
Last spring Novak released Meadowsweet, a heartbreaking tincture of ghostly field recordings and haunted herringbone drones. Sadeghi's "Reunion," from the DER compilation, Paper, is the algorithmic epitome of bundled nerves ignited in tidal hissing, rapid bolts of chemical voltage, and other visceral intonations.
The Ambient Showcase features Mexican producer Murcof. If ice caps melted, flooding the earth's desert landscapes, Murcof's music would glide through the depths in stealthy, submariner style. His 2005 CD, Remembranza, fathoms the relics of memory with subliminal string arrangements and thwack-sizzle-pinging sonar.
Japanese audio-visual engineer Ryoichi Kurokawa could take the Optical Showcase by storm with a typhoon of varying forms and colors, enhanced by rhythms that forecast cyclonic catastrophe.