Feature Artist: Holly Herndon

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KBOO
Air date: 
Mon, 06/10/2019 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Holly Herndon

Tonight on A Different Nature, we feature the music of composer Holly Herndon. Herndon's music, using custom built computers and voice processes, often explores the complixity of technology. We'll hear from her latest album, PROTO, which came out in May 2019, as well as earlier releases.

From Bandcamp:  Holly Herndon operates at the nexus of technological evolution and musical euphoria. Holly’s third full-length album 'PROTO' isn’t about A.I., but much of it was created in collaboration with her own A.I. ‘baby’, Spawn. 

For the album, she assembled a contemporary ensemble of vocalists, developers, guest contributors (Jenna Sutela, Jlin, Lily Anna Haynes, Martine Syms) and an inhuman intelligence housed in a DIY souped-up gaming PC to create a record that encompasses live vocal processing and timeless folk singing, and places an emphasis on alien song craft and new forms of communion.  'PROTO' makes reference to what Holly refers to as the protocol era, where rapidly surfacing ideological battles over the future of A.I. protocols, centralised and decentralised internet protocols, and personal and political protocols compel us to ask ourselves who are we, what are we, what do we stand for, and what are we heading towards?  

You can hear traces of Spawn throughout the album, developed in partnership with long time collaborator Mathew Dryhurst and ensemble developer Jules LaPlace, and even eavesdrop on the live training ceremonies conducted in Berlin, in which hundreds of people were gathered to teach Spawn how to identify and reinterpret unfamiliar sounds in group call-and-response singing sessions; a contemporary update on the religious gathering Holly was raised amongst in her upbringing in East Tennessee. “There’s a pervasive narrative of technology as dehumanizing,” says Holly. “We stand in contrast to that. It’s not like we want to run away; we’re very much running towards it, but on our terms. Choosing to work with an ensemble of humans is part of our protocol. I don’t want to live in a world in which humans are automated off stage. I want an A.I. to be raised to appreciate and interact with that beauty.” 

Since her arrival in 2012, Holly has successfully mined the edges of electronic and Avant Garde pop and emerged with a dynamic and disruptive canon of her own, all while studying for her soon-to-be-completed PhD at Stanford University, researching machine learning and music.
Just as Holly’s previous album 'Platform' forewarned of the manipulative personal and political impacts of prying social media platforms long before popular acceptance, 'PROTO' is a euphoric and principled statement setting the shape of things to come.
 

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Episode Playlist

  • Time
    8:00
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Side A
    Album
    Car
    Label
  • Time
    8:04
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Breathe
    Album
    Movement
    Label
    RVNG INTL.
  • Time
    8:10
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Fade
    Album
    Movement
    Label
    RVNG INTL.
  • Time
    8:16
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Unequal
    Album
    Platform
    Label
    4AD
  • Time
    8:21
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Home
    Album
    Platform
    Label
    4AD
  • Time
    8:30
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Chorus
    Album
    Platform
    Label
    4AD
  • Time
    8:36
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Live in the Boiler Room
    Album
    Label
  • Time
    8:53
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Body Sound
    Album
    Body Sound - Single
    Label
    Infinite Greyscale
  • Time
    9:01
    Artist
    Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst
    Song
    Recruit
    Album
    Recruit - EP
    Label
    RVNG Intl.
  • Time
    9:15
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Evening Shades (Live Training)
    Album
    PROTO
    Label
    4AD
  • Time
    9:17
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Godmother (feat. Spawn)
    Album
    PROTO
    Label
    4AD
  • Time
    9:19
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Last Gasp
    Album
    PROTO
    Label
    4AD
  • Time
    9:24
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Birth
    Album
    PROTO
    Label
    4AD
  • Time
    9:26
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Crawler
    Album
    PROTO
    Label
    4AD
  • Time
    9:32
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Extreme Love
    Album
    PROTO
    Label
    4AD
  • Time
    9:34
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Frontier
    Album
    PROTO
    Label
    4AD
  • Time
    9:39
    Artist
    Holly Herndon
    Song
    Live at Telegram 5/18/19
    Album
    Label