A convergence of well…everything: Murmuration Festival 2016

| Staff Writer

“In nature, a murmuration is a flock of starlings that produces intricate patterns during flight.” The Murmuration Festival is, in its own words, “the convergence of art, music, science and tech.” If you were able to go to Murmuration Fest, you would see that this description is apt. There were booths for different creators set up all around, talks and lectures about science and issues in the world, art installations around the festival and music—a convergence of music.

The musicians at Murmuration Fest encompass all sorts of genres. Sky-Pony, which was energetic indie-pop, was then followed by Suuns, which is best described as the space between psychedelic and metal.

There was also a convergence of people at the festival. Throughout the day, the demographics of the festival shifted dramatically. Beginning with a performance by Yowie, a progressive rock band, there were mostly older people in the audience, then, by the time Flying Lotus, a producer who, among other things helped to produce Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly”, performed, millennials had taken over the space. There was still the older generation in the back, but the energy of the performance was much younger.

YACHT’s Claire L. Evans performs as part of Saturday evening’s Murmuration Festival lineup. The electric/pop duo brought high energy to the festival, which was punctuated by sparse attendance overall.Megan Magray | Alive Media Group

YACHT’s Claire L. Evans performs as part of Saturday evening’s Murmuration Festival lineup. The electric/pop duo brought high energy to the festival, which was punctuated by sparse attendance overall.

The highlights of day one of the festival were Sky-Pony, YACHT and Flying Lotus.

Sky-Pony, although it performed earlier in the day to a smaller crowd, still owned its performance. The group’s three singers dressed up as starlings in the spirit of the festival and had choreographed moves to go along with their upbeat but grungy songs, such as “Everyone Will Die” and “Beautiful Monster.” Their performance was fun and energetic, even in the hot sun.

YACHT performed slightly later in the day. They had an extremely energetic and even slightly crazy performance. There were powerful visuals being shown behind them the whole time. Strong motifs of red and white ran through the whole performance, along with the band’s logo, an upside-down smiley face. The music is best described as a mixture of alternative-pop and electronic dance music. They played songs such as “I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler” and “I Wanna F— You Till I’m Dead.” YACHT employs a range of things, such as synth, a prop telephone and the screen behind them, to create a one-of-a-kind show.

Flying Lotus was the headliner on Saturday. He is a music producer who uses visuals in his concert, as much as in his music, to create a unique experience. He performed behind a translucent screen, on which he projected visuals by a number of artists. Steven Ellison of Flying Lotus went to film school, and uses his skills to enhance the music and to create a world filled with his own creations. He played songs featuring Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar, among others. The whole experience was a smorgasbord of adventure.

For Sunday, the highlights would have to be Prince Rama and Dan Deacon.

Prince Rama is a three-piece band that called themselves “children of the KORN.” They came out dressed in neon mesh, and their music was as strange as their outfits. However, that did not detract from the quality of the experience. The band repeatedly conversed with the audience to pump them up. The music, though weird, was definitely interesting, and all of the members of Prince Rama were extremely energetic, dancing around the stage and enjoying themselves. They were definitely the strangest group that performed, but that strangeness also made them one of the best.

Dan Deacon involved the audience like no other performer did. He got the audience dancing and would shout directions, usually including a mention of an orange traffic cone in the distance. He got the audience to form and run through a tunnel with their hands and divided the audience in half for a dance off. His music is solidly EDM, and Deacon performed with energy and enthusiasm.

Murmuration Festival began its inaugural year with a bang. All of the musical acts were solid in song quality and performance, and no matter what kind of music you like or don’t like, there was a musical act there representing it. On top of the music were lectures, talks and tables that complemented the busy atmosphere. With such a successful first year, Murmuration Festival should be even better in the future.

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