Unruly Sounds Music Festival Returns for The Third Year — October 1 at Hinds Plaza
NEW MUSIC: Sandbox Percussion (pictured) will be among the twelve acts performing at this Sunday’s Unruly Sounds festival. Now in its third year, the event features composers and performances by local artists and Princeton University affiliates.
By Doug Wallack
On Sunday, October 1, Hinds Plaza, adjacent to the Princeton Public Library, will play host to the third annual Unruly Sounds festival — a showcase of composers and new music from local artists and from the Princeton University Department of Music.
Mika Godbole, the festival’s organizer, says that this year’s lineup has more of a singer-songwriter focus than in past years — more of an emphasis on groove-based music than on the highly experimental music that has been Unruly Sound’s signature in past years. But it will hardly be a pop lineup. Acts will include smpl (an electronics and percussion duo, joined by dancer Ursula Eagly), the electro-country group Owen Lake and the Tragic Loves (equal parts synthesizer and slide guitar), and compositions by PU Professor Dan Trueman for prepared digital piano — full of otherworldly pitch-bending, delay, and waveforms played backward.
With the festival now in its third year, Godbole feels that it has reached a critical juncture of sorts. “Next year I want to do even more,” she says, “I want to figure out how to expand in a meaningful way that’s not just like every other festival.” When she originally conceived of Unruly Sounds, Godbole wanted the festival to take place at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts at 185 Nassau Street (not to be confused with the newly opened Lewis Center on Alexander Street). There, performers would play compositions in different classrooms and studios, and the public could wander around in a sort of “music museum,” creating their own program as they moved through the building. In practice, though, as a highly visible and central location, Hinds Plaza has proved more amenable to encouraging passersby to stop and listen.
But Godbole aims for something of that exploratory spirit of her original plan to come through in her current and future planning of the festival; she wants people to experience new music — contemporary classical and otherwise — differently, to be moved and provoked to give it serious consideration. She also wants to showcase the diversity of modern composers. Often, in the public imagination, composition is the purview of a coterie of white European men, all long dead. But the cast of composers and performers will be as varied and motley as their sounds will be unruly — representing all manner of ethnicities and gender expressions, drawing from a vast scope of music traditions, and all very much alive.
Unruly Sounds, which is co-sponsored by the Princeton Public Library, Princeton Sound Kitchen, Small World Coffee, and the Princeton Record Exchange, will take place on October 1, from 1-6 p.m. in Hinds Plaza. In the event of rain, the festival will move indoors to the Community Room in the library. The afternoon will feature performances and compositions by the LeBoeuf Brothers, Sandbox Percussion, smpl, Kristin Cahill/Dan Trueman, Owen Lake and the Tragic Loves, Triplepoint Trio, Anaglyphs, Damsel, llama/lama, Bitter Bloom, Matt Trowbridge, and Bora Yoon. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/unrulysounds.