The digits behind the digital music
World-renowned theremin/synthesizer artist Shueh-li Ong reunites with longtime collaborator and acclaimed drummer John A. Martinez as Xenovibes for a special show of original electronic music at White Horse Black Mountain on Sunday, Aug. 13. The show opener will be Asheville electro-music performer Cranial Mythos.
Shueh-li (pronounced “Shelly”) was born in Australia to parents of Singaporan Chinese descent. She launched her career in Singapore, earning the sobriquet “Singapore’s Diva of the Theremin,” but now calls Nashville home. In 2002 she launched the project that would become Xenovibes, a band that mingled her Asian and Western musical influences in a personal style shaped by her classical and electronic music training.
Her signature musical vehicle, the theremin, is one of the earliest purely electronic musical instruments, and is played by varying the hands relative to two antennae that control pitch and volume. Its eerie wail has graced many science fiction sound tracks (remember the original "Star Trek theme?), but in the hands of a masterful player it’s capable of great precision and range of expression. Shueh-li also employs an array of synthesizers to create electronic compositions that run the gamut from synthpop to prog rock, fusion, ballads and soundscapes.
“When John (Martinez) and I reunited as Xenovibes to play one show in 2016 we felt compelled to do a mini tour,” Shueh-li said. Their 2107 concerts feature material from an upcoming Xenovibes release.
Cranial Mythos is the solo project of electronic music composer Greg Waltzer. The music of Cranial Mythos exists in improvisational spaces designed by the composer, and can be by turns dark, ambient and spacey to upbeat and melodious, with many strange and delightful side trips in between. Walzer and his wife, Hong, have been prime movers in bringing the Asheville Electro-Music Festival to White Horse over the past two years.
Delay, echo, compress
When: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 13
Where: White Horse Black Mountain
Cost: $12 advance, $15 door