MAIN (Robert Hampson + Stephan Mathieu) at the Modern Theatre
Saturday, October 15, 2011

Non-Event, the Goethe-Institut Boston, and the Modern Theatre at Suffolk University present

MAIN (Robert Hampson + Stephan Mathieu)

The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University
525 Washington Street
Boston, MA (Downtown Crossing)
8 p.m. / $10

After the demise of his band, Loop, Robert Hampson formed MAIN, a new project with Scott Dowson (also of Loop). The initial idea was to explore territories of guitar based music that would become heavily subtracted, a million miles away from Loop.

Mixing these guitar textures with field recordings, concrete sounds and collages of sound ephemera, and also shirking rhythm based structures that relied on conventional sounding instruments such as drums, the pair soon created new forms of guitar-based music, initially without any computer intervention.

Main were mistakenly enveloped by others into the Post-Rock and Isolationist movements and with the morbid fear of pigeonholing, they did their best to remove themselves from any movement, wanting to be treated as a separate entity.

Although aware of their peers and ever quick to acknowledge those pioneers of sound art that came before them, Main dug into their own hole and their explored their own form of inner space.

With the departure of Dowson in the mid-nineties, Hampson decided to treat Main as a solo project and also took the step of removing any traces of guitar that remained, feeling that he had at that time exhausted all possibilities with the instrument. Sadly, it was a fact that seemed lost in reviews of his work and caused him some frustration at forever having to be associated with the instrument, even though it did not feature at all in any of his pieces.

Such was this frustration, that by 2004, Hampson decided to abandon the name altogether to try and instill in people’s minds that his work had become much more than music derived from guitar sounds. With the release of Surcease (2005), he laid to rest the name of Main.

Now, after six years of working purely on solo Acousmatic sound projects and pieces, Hampson has decided to open the gates again for Main. It is now a collaborative project, which will host a floating member framework with invited guests and friends.

The first version has been augmented with fellow sound artist Stephan Mathieu. Using new material derived from field recordings, electronics and pure sound design mixed with Mathieu’s beautiful spectral work for stringed instruments, organs and radios, a new era of Main has begun.

And yes, there will be guitars again.

ANIMAL HOSPITAL is Kevin Micka’s one-man musical recording/performance entity. Formed at the tail-end of Micka’s time with Boston band The Common Cold, Animal Hospital slowly began to take on a life of its own in 2004. A self-titled debut CD by Animal Hospital was released on Boston’s Mister Records that year and displayed Micka’s ability as a composer and engineer in communicating his creative expression. Since then, Kevin has consistently toured the United States, the U.K., and Europe throughout France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark and Iceland. Within the last 5 years Micka has continued writing and releasing several additional tracks on various compilations around the world. Animal Hospital has won followers from all corners of the music world, earning himself spots with bands as diverse as The Jesus Lizard, Beirut, No Age, Six Organs of Admittance, Thrones, Dosh and The Great Redneck Hope (not to mention a recurring role as bumper music on Boston’s NPR station).

During performances, Micka buries himself in a pile of electronics-shelves of effects, mixing consoles, amps and delay units-while patiently constructing a layered nest of loops consisting of live drum beats, guitar chords, scrapes, chucks, chimes, and melodies resulting in anything from more conventional songs to meticulously crafted ambient movements on to full on improvisation.

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Presented in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Boston and the Modern Theatre at Suffolk University