Hailing from 3 different continents, the female music trio Mooncake consists of Swedish-based saxophonist/flutist BIGGI VINKELOE, flutist/vocalist EMILY HAY from Los Angeles and Japanese born pianist/sound artist MOTOKO HONDA who now lives in Oakland. Hay and Honda have collaborated for many years together as “Polarity Taskmasters” and at the the suggestion of bay area booker/promoter Rent Romus, first met Vinkeloe in San Francisco in 2014 to collaborate, scheme and explore unchartered sonic worlds through improvisation and immediate compositions which span the scope of free jazz, electronic forays with complex classical inuendo and primal searching.
THE HAPPY VALLEY BAND is the Great American Songbook heard through the ear of a machine. It is a cover band led by a computer, futilely attempting to notate every sound it hears in classic pop songs. Through a process of machine listening, original recordings are unmixed into their individual instruments, interpreted into musical notation, and performed live. The result is a hypercomplex and microtonal deconstruction of the song, with the machinemediated score accompanying the original voices of popular music icons such as Elvis, James Brown, and Patsy Cline. Taking after pioneering audio plunderer John Oswald, the Happy Valley Band recontextualizes the voices of popular music through modern digital sound analysis. Making a Happy Valley Band arrangement is a process of translation between machine analysis and human performance. Artifacts of the process of audio separation and transcription produce complex and overly specific notation, and the ensemble has developed a unique performance practice in response to the idiosyncratic scores.
Directed by bandleader / composer David Kant, the Happy Valley Band is a sevenpiece band with Alexander Dupuis (guitar), Beau Sievers (drums), Andrew Smith (piano), Mustafa Walker (bass), Conrad Harris (violin), Pauline Kim Harris (violin), and David Kant (saxophone), plus frequent special guests. The Happy Valley Band is performing west coast concert dates this spring, and will release a debut album this fall, The World Does Not Need More Songs, on Indexical.
Bandleader DAVID KANT is a composer and performer based in Santa Cruz, CA. His work is interested in the intersection of art, music, and computation, and explores the music of chaotic circuit networks, the soundscapes of bioluminescent phytoplankton, and machine deconstructions of his favorite pop songs. He is a coorganizer of Indexical, a composerrun record label and producing organization dedicated to supporting work outside of mainstream contemporary music institutions.