Moogfest, a festival revolving just as much around workshops, panels and discussions as it does around musical concerts, will take place this weekend, starting Thursday in downtown Durham, NC. The festival’s mission of achieving a “synthesis of music, art and technology” is executed through a collaboration of designers, musicians, scientists and more, in honor of Bob Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer. While the weekend opens up endless opportunities of shows, talks and installations, here are a few unique programs you will definitely want to take advantage of.
Hitting the main stage, Motorco Park, Thursday evening is Syrian hypeman Omar Souleyman. Souleyman, who began his musical vocation as a wedding singer, has released over 500 albums and worked with artists such as Björk, Caribou and Four Tet. Grab an energy boost by attending this Arabic dance concert extravaganza.
Sleep Concert: 8-Hour Dream Vision
Experience a concert like no other by partaking in this all-night performance by composer Laraaji in the 21C Hotel Main Ballroom Thursday evening. Unlike your normal show, guests are actually encouraged to sleep and encounter the ambient, new age music through lucid dreaming, meditation and various expansions of the mind. The night is certain to bring an assortment of experiments as Laraaji, who is widely known for his laughter meditation workshops, guides audience members through this eight-hour hypnotic journey.
First Presbyterian Church
Enjoy a show in this historic venue located on East Main Street of downtown Durham. Adorned with stained glass and wooden pews, this space provides an atmosphere of tranquility and harmony. The acoustics will certainly enhance the performances of harpist Marry Lattimore, the western, dreamy blues of Marisa Anderson and many more artists throughout the weekend.
Moogfest alumni RBTS WIN will bring their heartfelt vocals and R&B to Motorco Park on Friday afternoon. The duo, based out of Asheville, North Carolina, is composed of Javier Bolea and Cliff B. Worsham and perhaps one of the more underexposed acts on the lineup. Their tunes bring diversity to the majority of the experimental music of the weekend as the emotions of the lyrics can bring a connection to almost anyone listening, and their beats provide a platform for dancing in the audience.
Even if you haven’t purchased a ticket for Moogfest, there are still plenty of free events to attend throughout the weekend such as a concert led by DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba! and build-your-own synthesizer workshops. Many of these free programs are designed as STEAM learning opportunities geared more toward kids and younger attendees, but experimental adults and all are welcomed to attend.
Most of these events can be viewed live, free-of-cost, at moogfest.com
Written and photographed by Olivia Wilkes