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Soundworks Gathering #8

Wayne Smith | Arctic Moth

Arctic Moth represents the collaborative work of cellist Wayne Smith and sound artist/musician Lysha Smith.  The pair seeks to explore new sonic territories that emerge from the synergy of classical cello and modern electronic sound design techniques.  Improvisation is essential to the duo's current explorations--each session or performance is unique unto itself.  The soundscapes that unfold vacillate between claustrophobic drones and soaring, sweet melodic bliss and originate almost entirely from the cello itself as it's vibrations ooze through analogue circuits and digital wizardry.

Arctic Moth began improvising together in 2015 and the following year teamed up with violinist Patrick Doane to compose an original score for Dziga Vertov's 1929 silent film Man with a Movie Camera.  The group performed the score live summer of 2016.  Since, they have established a studio in Shelburne Falls, MA where they continue to explore the possibilities of merging the sweet musicality of classical strings and the latent possibilities of modern electronic music technology.  

Wayne Smith | Lysha Smith
Cellist, Wayne Smith, gave his recital debut at the Kennedy Center in 1996, and has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Italy, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Poland, and China. He has played with the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, the National Chamber Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonic of New Jersey, the Princeton Chamber Symphony, and the Heidelberg Castle Festival Orchestra in Heidelberg, Germany, among other groups, and was a featured soloist on the PBS Series “Musical Encounters”.  He has recorded and performed with such artists as Joe, Richard Smallwood, and the Spin Doctors’ Anthony Krizan, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the Moody Blues.  He has also enjoyed an active teaching career and has taught lessons and master classes at Amherst College, Salisbury State University in Maryland, and the University of Massachusetts. He did his undergraduate studies at the Eastman School of Music with Steven Doane and his graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with Astrid Schween.

Lysha Smith is a sound artist, producer and musician from Shelburne Falls, MA.  He works with machines/electronics to create a palette of morphing organic soundscapes, in an effort to paint the air with sound.  Improvisation and spontaneity are key elements in all of Lysha's work, this most apparent in his work with cellist Wayne Smith and their Arctic Moth project.  Lysha graduated from Marlboro (VT) College in 2018 with a degree in Sound Studies, where his work was centered around finding a synergy between sound art and meditation via studio recordings, live performance and sound art installations.

Stephen Katz piece:  What Goes Around? Featuring Wayne Smith (cello), Bob Weiner (percussion)

How will our live/ambient/realtime/found sounds get caught up in electronic loops to become trancelike, repeating patterns that become mending, meditative music via improvised responses?

Cellist, teacher, and award-winning composer Stephen Katz has charted new territory for the rhythmic potential of the cello with the groundbreaking strumming approach he calls Flying Pizzicato. He has performed his compositions at Carnegie Recital Hall and toured internationally as a soloist, and with the Paul Winter Consort, Rachael Sage, and the Essex String Quartet. Stephen is also an improviser and composer in the Dance world, having made music for hundreds of “movement jams” using digital looping hardware to weave dynamic tapestries of sound. As a co-founder of the movement/theater company Seen & Heard with the late dancer and monologist BJ Goodwin, he literally danced with the cello while accompanying the dramas they played out on stage. Stephen has been featured on national radio broadcasts in the USA and is a NEA grant recipient. As a film composer he won a Jury Prize Gold Medal at the Park City Film Music Festival and has scored films broadcast nationally on PBS/Independent Lens. He is composer/music director for IMBOLC RIVERFIRE, an epic, festival celebration of fire, light, pageantry, song, dance, spectacle held in Hudson, NY on 2/2/19. A native of San Francisco, Stephen received a Master of Music degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and lives in Western Massachusetts. See for recordings and publications.


Earlier Event: October 4
Soundworks Gathering #7
Later Event: December 13
Soundworks Gathering #9