What makes Moogfest such a great festival is not only its broad spectrum of artists that perform throughout weekend, but the technology summit and expo that occurs throughout the day. These seminars allow the opportunity for the festival-goers to get a “behind the scenes” look into how the technology for the music is made, how the music itself is made, and how the music can advance through new and developing technology. There will be a number of talks taking place throughout the festival. Way too many to cover in one post, however there are a few that have caught out our eye.

  • Headliner ODESZA will be taking part in a live recording with the hit podcast, Song Exploder and its host Hirishikesh Hirway. The Seattle-based electronic duo will be deconstructing one of their songs and telling the podcast and attendees how they created the song.
  • Musician/Comedian Reggie Watts, composer Tyondai Braxton, and rapper/activist Mykki Blanco will discuss “Afrofuturism,” which combines elements of science fiction, astral jazz, historical fiction, psychedelic hip hop, fantasy, and magic realism in order to critique not only the present-day dilemmas but also to re-examine the historical events of the past.

  • Rapper/songwriter and Wu-Tang Clan member, GZA, will discuss “Time Traveling with Hip Hop” in a conversation moderated by Duke University Professor of Black Popular Culture, Mark Anthony Neal.

  • Claire Evans of alt-rock/synthpop band, YACHT, will present “The Future is Unmanned,” a condensed feminist history of the Internet, tracing the role of women from the human computers of the 19th century to the cyberfeminists who made videogames, hypertext novels, virtual reality projects, and non-narrative art pieces on websites and CD-ROMs before disappearing along with the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

Future Thought consists of more than just talks, there are also some very intriguing interactive workshops that will be held throughout Moogfest.

  • My alma mater, NCSU’s Derek Ham and Helen Armstrong will lead a hands-on workshop on Virtual Reality where participants will prototype content using a simple physical kit and then experience their designs in 3D using an Oculus Rift.
  • “Music in the Brain” will explore the effects of music on brain structure and function in this workshop that will highlight the intersection between artistic and scientific perspectives on this fundamental and aesthetic form of human expression. It will be put on by Duke University’s Institute of Brain Sciences.
  • Hypnotique Sceance will see the Church of Space in association with Poèmes Électroniques, will guide participants to explore modern magic theory, based on the latest research in brain science and quantum mechanics, by entering a mild state of trance via audio and visual stimulation.

If film is your thing, Moogfest will be debuting and screening a number of films over the course of the festival.

  • The documentary, “Crocodile Gennadiy”, featuring a score by The Haxan Cloak and Academy Award-winner Atticus Ross (The Social Network), will be screened and followed by a conversation with The Haxan Cloak and musician Leopold Ross.
  • There will be a screening and a Q&A of the film, It Follows and composer, Disasterpeace. The acclaimed horror film took the 2014 Cannes Film Festival by storm and went on to exceed all expectations at the box office in 2015. Following the screening, Disasterpeace, the composer of the film, will discuss the background and inner workings of the score.

There are of course many other things occurring throughout the Durham, NC-based festival. Moogfest, a festival that focuses on advancing technology and society, has found its way to one of the United States’ biggest technological and innovative hubs. It’s certainly poised to be an enriching and exciting time for Moog and its festival. We hope to see you all there!