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rise set twilight

rise set twilight is the multimedia project of Linda Aubry and Mike Bullock. This Thursday, August 7, the duo will perform for the second time on Rare Frequency. Since their first appearance over two years ago, Linda and Mike, who were longtime fixtures in Boston’s improvised and experimental music scenes have moved to Troy, NY where Mike is pursuing a doctorate at RPI. A few days before their appearance on RF, I caught up with them by email. For a little more information and background about the duo, see the 2006 RF rise set twilight interview. You can also listen to the podcast of their first RF set.

A lot has changed for you both since you last appeared on the show, not the least of which is that you’ve moved to Troy. Could you talk a bit about what you’ve been up to since leaving Boston in 2006?

Linda: Been doing more music than when I lived in Boston—playing with new people and have recently been returning to composing. I’ve continued with my porcelain (a local store is featuring it) and I’m having a show in October in Troy of my paintings.

Mike: I went through a period, early on in our time in Troy, when I hardly had time for any music. But now I feel like I’m really hitting a productive time for that. School has been a strange trip—I’m “ABD” at this point, “all but dissertation,” though I’m also a TA for a class this semester. Sometimes it’s very trying because the school is going through a lot of growing pains combined with budget issues. And I’ve met some interesting musicians through being here, but few of them stick around. A notable exception is Ross Goldstein, former Boston resident, and it’s great to have him around.

The city of Troy itself is beautiful in a lot of ways, but it’s a pain sometimes too—for example, no movie rental place. Netflix is great, but sometimes you wish you could run out and grab RoboCop. And no quick Mexican food—can you believe it? Though there is an excellent sit-down place in Albany. The summers can be fun here—a friend described Troy as “Summer Camp” because there are lots of places out in the countryside to get a cheeseburger and a soft-serve, and the countryside is really only minutes away. On the other hand, it’s still a very depressed city. Aside from awesome DJs and other individuals, it’s not a great place to be a musician right now. Fortunately Linda and I have been working with an enthusiastic crew in Albany, the Albany Sonic Arts Collective, that has been making great shows happen over there.

I’ve done a few academic conferences, and that’s a strange world. I don’t see myself doing a lot of them in the future, but I did have a lot of success at one this summer—in June I was at the Electroacoustic Music Society conference in Paris, which is connected to INA/GRM and the Sorbonne. That was really interesting and my presentation actually was awarded the opportunity to get published in Leonardo, so that ended up working really well.

How has rise set twilight changed since you last appeared on the show?

Mike: We are a lot of bands in one, as briefly delineated on our webpage:

We have a noisy music duo incarnation, an intermedia incarnation, and even once a DJ/VJ incarnation for a dance music night. There is a fairly serious DJ dance culture in Troy involving several of our friends. rise set twilight has also done a couple of installations involving sound, video, and furniture. And now our RF appearance will be our second time appearing as a duo but presenting our own compositions.

Linda: We’ve incorporated the visual element—often Mike will do video and I’ll produce sound. We’re both doing more composing (separately), too. We recently played with a local duo, Century Plants (on a Hair Police show) and this new configuration is called Twilight of the Century—it’s rather dark, noisy, and dense.

What projects do you both currently have in the works?

Linda: I’m recording solo pieces and am working with another collaboration with Mike incorporating sound into one of my paintings—some of the paintings are done on cube-like panels which can house a speaker, sound devices, etc.

Mike: In addition to the painting+sound collab Linda mentioned, I’ve started working with Liz Tonne on a collaboration based on the poetry of Eric Baus; planning a solo sound+visual overkill extravaganza for the spring, to be premiered at EMPAC in Troy and then hopefully toured; and working on several solo releases at once, at least one of which will be on ChloĆ« (hoping to get some others out to other labels). On top of that, it’s crunch time for my dissertation so I’ll be doing that every possible day for the rest of year. I’m working on a shortened version of what I’ve written so far, to be published in the journal Leonardo at some point.

Any plans to play in Boston in the near future?

Linda: Not for me, sadly.

Mike: I’m coming back on August 31 at the Piano Factory, with Vic Rawlings, as well as Andrew Lafkas and Bryan Eubanks from Brooklyn. I’ll also be playing on Lou and Lou’s Open Sound series in December.

Interview by Susanna Bolle


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