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 Forum index » Artists » Amy X Neuburg
Amy X Neuburg Is Brilliant at the Roulette
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 8:11 am    Post subject: Amy X Neuburg Is Brilliant at the Roulette Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Amy X Neuburg
Amy X Neuberg is a star - a brilliant one. I saw her perform for the first time last night at the Roulette in New York City. She was stunning.

I first heard of Amy from Tim Thompson, a member of the electro-music.com forums, via email. He said, "Great/catchy/accessible/deep composition, stunning vocals, terrific use of technology (but all serving the music). A 1-woman show, complex compositions are constructed completely live (she loops/layers her voice and plays/triggers things with drum pads)." Tim is sometimes prone to understatement.

Amy X Neuburg is a classically trained vocalist (Oberlin Conservatory), a composer, an electronic musician, a poet, and an entertainer. Her music covers a tremendous range of styles, from medieval religious chant through Kurt Weil cabaret singing, pop, rock, avant garde, sound text poetry, opera, African tribal singing, and electronic ambient. Her music is very experimental, but always under total control. The result is, like Tim said, accessible. She is satirical, profound, humorous and sexy too. Oh yes, Amy's voice is magnificent, a full-range masterfully controlled musical instrument.

During the performance, she took questions from the audience. This was a very nice touch I appreciate especially, since so many contemporary musicians seem to totally ignore their audiences, acting aloof and mysterious. One of the questions was something like, "what musical influences are important to you?" She seemed thrown by the question, and finally said it would take too long to get through that one. I speculate here, but I'd bet Laurie Anderson and Robert Ashley would be in the included in her long answer. She was also asked, "where did you get your glasses?" This one got a much more definitive answer. And, of course, there was the inevitable question, "what kind of equipment do you use?"

Amy has a relatively small but sophisticated setup. She has a digital mixer with effects, a looper, a sample-based synthesizer, some drum controllers, some foot switches, and a few other miscellaneous gadgets. There is no external computer. Somehow the entire performance is stored as a series of presets which control all the equipment. As she goes through each piece, the drum controller changes function, sometimes as a loop controller - sometimes as a sample trigger - sometimes it even changes reverb parameters. Everything is very tightly planned, down to the beat. She performs by hitting the percussion controller with drum sticks and singing into a boom mic. (Sometimes she takes the mic off the boom and sings like a popular vocalist.) Her music is very tightly structured and the electronics change function instantly for whatever musical purpose she wants; sometimes several times in rapid succession during a piece - sometimes on every beat.

Generally, I don't like loopers, and I've been known to make some pretty caustic remarks on the subject. Too often, loopers are serve as musical crutches or gimmicks. They can make the music very repetitive; boring in fact. Not so here. Amy uses the looper in the most skillful and artistic manner I've yet seen. Her loops are all created live, in real time. She uses the device to create textures and harmonies, often quite complex and always interesting, to support her virtuoso singing and poetry. But she rarely lets the loops run long enough for the music to become predictable. The looper parameters are changed frequently. The artistic effect is that of composed music, complex and structured, stylistically unified but not predictable.

Amy's performance was not without technical problems. Whenever she hit a glitch between pieces, she would comment to the audience and fool around with the equipment until she either got it fixed or skipped that piece and moved on to the next one. The manner in which she dealt with the flakey equipment was very charming. She commented that someone once said that they liked best the pieces with which she was having technical problems because it "made her seem more human". Amy miffed, "Oh, I didn't realize that my being human was ever a question."

I think just about everyone would like Amy's performance. She should be playing for huge houses, not just a small venue of about 70 like the Roulette. She deserves to be at Carnagie Hall. The kids should see and hear her on MTV.

If you are a musician and you haven't heard her music yet, then make that a priority; you have something worthwhile and important to learn about. If you ever get a chance to see her perform, go.

Amy X Neuburg makes her home in Oakland, California. You can visit her web site here: http://www.isproductions.com/amy

Photographs by Rob Thomas and Yolanda Accinelli

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Last edited by mosc on Fri May 09, 2003 7:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Norm Vogel



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2003 1:43 pm    Post subject: COOL! Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

She sounds interesting! Does she have any cd's out?


Norm

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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2003 2:03 pm    Post subject: Re: COOL! Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Norm Vogel wrote:
She sounds interesting! Does she have any cd's out?


See here: http://www.isproductions.com/amy/biog.html

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jbenzola



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I met Amy this year at the Woodstockhausen festival in Santa Cruz and she was indeed amazing. Her music contains so many components and her "lyrics" are touching and funny. Plus her voice is an incredible instrument. She should be more well known but such is the way of the "modern avant-garde"
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Glad to see you digging deep into the archives here. Smile

Amy is probably the most accessable avant-garde artist I've seen. If anyone can open the eyes of the public to this music, she can. I'd like to see Amy on SNL.
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jbenzola



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm a real digger Cool Cool I see Amy in the same lineage that contains Cage (with his text only pieces), Ashley, Meredtih Monk, Laurie Anderson. She has taken these influenecs and has forged a new, personel language which is all encompassing. There is also another vocalist by the name of Pamela Zero who can also play in this league. She sings with Discord Aggregate www.discord-aggregate.com and she also does amazing solo, accapela singing http://www.discord-aggregate.com/pamela/ She is another amazing talent. Many are called and few are choosen....
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Amy X Neuburg wrote:

Amy rambles about her technology


Much of my music is loop-based; single vocal lines are "overdubbed" to build up a chorus of harmonies. In performance I use twelve touch-sensitive drum pads, both to bang out rhythmic accompaniment and to send instructions to my equipment -- to start and stop recording a loop, for instance, or to control effects on my digital mixer. The foot pedals can function similarly or can change instrument set-ups between songs or sections.


My current live equipment includes a DrumKat drum controller, an Echoplex Loop IV, a Yamaha Pro-1 digital mixer, an Emu Proteus synth/sample unit, an Alesis DM-Pro drum synth, and occasionally the ancient but inimitable Roland VP-70 harmonizer/pitch follower.


I'm often asked about my composition process and to what extent the technology dictates the music. I always keep in mind the capabilities of my instruments while composing, but before even entering the studio I'll usually formulate an entire song in my head -- lyrics, melody, accompanying vocal or instrumental texture, and the function of each drum pad and pedal. I may then spend hours, days or weeks creating samples, programming synth sounds, programming each pad in one or more drum "kits," and choreographing the performance actions (when to hit what pad, etc.). While I'm fascinated by the ever-growing possibilities of music technology and am not indifferent to its coolness factor, my attraction lies primarily in its expressive potential; "Here is what I'd like to say" is more important than "Look what my gadgets can do." In keeping with this more intimate approach, it is important that on stage I "perform" the technology and let the audience see the process, rather than rely on pre-recorded sequences.


Why do I not use a laptop? 1) Because they crash; 2) because I like the look of my big stack of gear and all the wires lying around; singing is such an elegant art form, and I enjoy this decidedly inelegant contrast; 3) I feel a laptop gets in the way of a connection with the audience; we see computers as super-smart, inhuman tools with "minds" of their own, so the correlation between my actions and the resulting sounds would seem more cerebral and less organic with a computer intervening; 4) it's much easier for me to see the big lighted displays on my gear than to stare into a busy computer screen. On the other hand, if the perfect interface comes along I may come to my senses; it'd certainly be easier than schlepping all this crap around.

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Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex - Frank Zappa
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

if you go to her review page you will see the link to Howard's article
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
I found this picture called "The Lee Harvey Band" inside her web site: impressive Exclamation

check this link too: The Last Words Of Lee Harvey Oswald

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