This is the ninth year of the annual Different Skies festival at Arcosanti’s Colly Soleri Amphitheater and as in previous years, the strength and excellence of the performances excelled.
Beautiful, heart-gripping, thoughtful, inspiring, more than words can describe about the pure vision of these musicians/magicians. Awesome!
The compositions performed this year were:
“A Quiet Recognition” composed by Dave Fulton,
“Vision Sequence” composed by Allen Goodman,
“Part-Time Gorilla” composed by Otso Pakarinen & Giles Reaves,
“Bigfoot” composed by John DuVal & Lauren Dunn,
“The Enemy Nest” composed by Otso Pakarinen,
“Undeciphered” composed by Tim Walters,
“Lifedrop composed by John Kricawa,
“Kiss Your Darlings” composed by Otso Pakarinen,
“A Separate Identity” composed by Russel Foster,
“Halley’s Comet” composed by Jonathan Mills,
“The Appointed Hour” composed by Tim Walters,
“The Birdman of Arcosanti” composed by Otso Pakarinen,
“Far from Home” composed by Giles Reaves,
“Stardust” composed by John DuVal,
“Cockroach Lipstick” composed by Tim Walters.
After a brief Intermission there were the excellent hours of “Improvisation”.[photo: Youngsoo Kim & text: differentskies.com, Sue]
JONATHAN MILLS is a repeat performer at Different Skies whose idea of music changed when he heard Terry Riley’s “A Rainbow in Curved Air.” It was 20 years before he began to compose and perform minimalist music as a shamanic practitioner using Tibetan singing bowls, logs, rocks and Native American flute.
In 2005 he bought a Roland Fantom-Xa and began a string of CDs that include ambient pieces in the Pompeii Trilogy, “21st Century Shaman,” “Trainspotting,” and “¿a la Frontera Sur?” among others. His most recent work, the four-disc Oncology Cycle, documents his encounter with cancer.
He has played at Bloomington’s Lotus Fest, the 2007 Lilly ArtsWeek Festival, and collaborates with Janiece Jaffe to create healing music. When not composing, Jonathan is a professor of computer science whose work with Rubel’s extended analog computer is internationally recognized.
He and his students are designing “Synthesizers in Speakers,” woven analog supercomputer fabrics that reproduce music holographically. Lear more about Jonathan Mills at shamaniaq.
TIM WALTERS is a San Francisco experimental musician whose many projects are brought together under the realm of the Doubtful Palace.
He has created dense processed electronic soundscapes in his solo albums The Dry Well and Lost Continents, performed electroacoustic improvisation with Circular Firing Squad, recorded unusual children’s music for adults in Slaw, and twiddled bits with Shalmaneser.
Tim has based his entire music production system for Different Skies on an Apple laptop computer running the powerful SuperCollider music creation language.
OTSO PAKARINEN is the owner of Visual Power, an audiovisual production company / music label in Helsinki, Finland. Otso has been releasing music in one form or another since the 1980s, as a soloist and with the Finnish electropop group Tapa Paha Tapa.
His latest project is Ozone Player, in which he combines intricate electronic structure with dramatic excitement and a rare streak of broad humor. Ozone Player’s latest album is Long-range Influence, a science fiction theme album in collaboration with the American writer and graphic artist Matt Howarth.
Otso creates electronic sounds entirely from software running on a laptop computer. This system allows an entire music studio to be compacted to the size of one small box, requiring only a keyboard to play the virtual instruments. He also played electric guitar through the system. Ozone Player.
JOHN DUVAL returned to Different Skies in 2011, having been at the 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 events. John has contributed modular synthesis textures to albums by Dweller At The Threshold and to his solo CD Hell’s Canyon; in recent years he has returned to his first love, the electric guitar, and has played space guitar at live concerts by mindSpiral.
John lives in Portland, Oregon, and played guitar at this year’s show, combined with just enough rack gear to give him something to hide behind.
[photo: Sue & text: differentskies.com, Sue]
JOHN KRIKAWA has an ear toward electronic music which was developed in the late 70’s with his introduction to the music of Wendy Carlos, Kraftwerk and Jarre and later Vangelis and Kitaro.
The musical verve followed him into the 90’s when he was an active awarding-winning music composer for Video Art projects and medical documentaries. Currently, his personal ambient electronic project is Parity Flux which serves as a platform for sonic sketching.
He enjoys blending characteristics of jazz, classical, rock and a Berlin-esque electronic vibe into his own brand of cinematic ambient music. 2011 marked his third consecutive year at Different Skies.
DAVE FULTON returned to Different Skies this year, having also been at the 2003, 2005 and 2006 events. Dave is is best known as part of the group Dweller at the Threshold, which has released two albums: No Boundary Condition (1996) and Generation/Transmission/Illumination(1998) and their third album Ouroborus was released on Hypnos/Binary in 2001.
Recently, Fulton collaborated with Hypnos founder & Viridian Sun member, Mike Griffin. Their first CD titled The Most Distant Point Known was released on Hypnos in 2000, and its follow-up Imprint came out in 2002.
GILES REAVES has been producing solo albums for over two decades, starting with Wunjo in 1986. His album Sea Of Glass reached #11 on the Billboard Magazine New Age Charts when it was released in 1992.
Giles lives and works between Nashville, TN, and Salt Lake City, UT, where he is a well-respected audio engineer as well as a first-call keyboardist and percussionist; most recently as part of the Fulton Reaves Project, he has appeared on several albums by the Nashville-based electronic music collective SpaceCraft (as well as countless others), and most recently he played the Alfa Centauri festival in the Netherlands with Dave Fulton and Paul Vnuk Jr.
His website is at SpaceforMusic and also at recording collective.
RUSSELL FOSTER is a Phoenix native, a solo electronic artist who creates ambient music with a tribal edge under the name Una Voce. His album Provenance was among several of his creations available for sale at the show.
Rus has over twenty years’ experience as a guitarist, drummer, and keyboardist, and brings an exceptional artistic sensibility to this, his fifth Different Skies. Rus created the live video you saw during the intermission.
ALLEN GOODMAN Returning for his fifth year, this time in the Captain’s Chair, Allen Goodman has been involved with music for over 25 years.
As host of Ambitar Radio on StillStream Allen provides an eclectic blend from the sub-genres of ambient music.
As an artist Allen releases classical/electronica/ambient under the nom de plume Desert Mystic. Allen is currently working on his first full album release.
Allen’s influences range from Amadeus to Zulu tribal, and the diversity of his influence show in his music.