Orchestra of Dissonance

In 1913 Stravinsky débuted his masterpiece work The Rite of Spring for a Parisian audience. What happened next was pandemonium: Fists connected with jaws and knees jabbed into spinal cords, while insults were lobbed like racket balls across the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. This did not please Stravinsky; he fled the theater to escape the riot. Musicologists spent the following century determining what ignited the audience’s rage: Many believe it was a direct result of the introduction of completely new sound. When the brain can’t place patterns, levels, and pitches into a preexisting category, it triggers an anger response. We don’t feel that level of discomfort with most music we hear today – while we might dislike a song, our minds have the ability to process its structure because the blueprints of chord progressions have already been drawn. Long story short: That is why noise makes you angry, elated, or uncomfortable. You just don’t know what to do with it.

Musicians know this. That’s why noise is considered by many to be a final channel for experimentation. It’s the act of creating completely new sounds. Coffee grinders, rewired talking calculators from childhood, guitars that only feedback: all are fair game in this rarely-surfacing genre. Frank “Rat Bastard” Falestra has helped make Miami a power player in experimental noise through both his own involvement in groups like Scraping Teeth (which won the Spin magazine’s coveted Worst Band designation in America award in ´93), To Live and Shave in LA, and the Laundry Room Squelchers, and also by organizing an annual event called the International Noise Conference. The 2008 installation of INC begins with a mostly local line-up on Thursday at Churchill’s Pub (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami), then features national and international groups on both Friday and Saturday night. By limiting each participant to a 15 minute set, the three-day showcase is able to welcome 112 artists from as close as Broward to as far away as Australia. You’ll find links to every scheduled act as well as detailed information on the weekend’s events at www.squelchers.net. This event is completely free, neat, and mandatory.
Thu., Feb. 14, 2008

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