3 Year Celebration: Local Acts Create Smorgasbord of Sound, June 24

Prepare for possibly the most epic noise and experimental music event the Corvallis area has ever seen.  Celebrating the three-year anniversary of noise shows in Corvallis, things will kick off on Saturday, June 24 at 11:30 a.m. and won’t call it quits for 10 hours. Over 20 artists, two venues, totally free.

When organizer and longtime music lover Chris Durnin moved to Corvallis four years ago, he and a friend began to notice that despite a healthy punk and rock scene, venues for more experimental artists were a bit lacking.

“Like if you are a rock band you can find a place to play, or hip-hop, blues, jazz, these established genres had places they could play,” he said. “But no one really doing anything outside of those mainstream set genres had a place.”

Durnin was referring to creators of drone, noise, harshnoise, ambient, basshack, and other avant-garde styles of expression—the “really abrasive, really feedback-heavy, really auditorily intense music.” Since the noise genre is close to Durnin’s heart, he organized a show at Interzone a few years ago and caught local attention.

With a heavy focus on DIY and artistic experimentation, the noise scene is very inclusive. Durnin explained that because the genre is so massive and has virtually no borders, it is great for both people looking to test new ideas as well as people who might otherwise be afraid to take the stage. He says the community will pay just as much attention to a person with no musical experience as they will someone who has been playing instruments for half their life.

“I didn’t really have any plans on doing more than a couple shows but people were showing up,” he said. “The owner [of Interzone] is awesome and he said, ‘Yeah, you guys can have the last Saturday of every month.’”

Over the last three years the showings have grown. They now include an even wider variety of artists and sounds. Durnin explained that though they try to include several noise acts each showing, they realized that there was still a large group of people whose musical styles didn’t quite fit in.

“So the philosophy became: everybody that wants to play should have a place to play,” he said. “Now it has become more of a platform than anything just to give people who aren’t getting it the opportunity to play somewhere. It has become a smorgasbord of sound.”

But this show isn’t just your typical end-of-the-month event. Each year, Durnin arranges a big to-do for the anniversary and—while he invites acts from all over the Willamette Valley for his end-of-the-month shows—the anniversary shows are strictly Corvallis, Philomath, and Albany acts. Last year they had 12 acts; this year the number has nearly doubled to over 20.

“It will be all day. We are going to start at Bison Bison! at 11:30 in the morning and that’s going to go until 5, then we are going to go over to Interzone and be there from 5:30 to 9:30,” he said. “We always have a donation container out, but all the shows we ever have are free—we never charge anything.”

If you are curious about the local noise scene, interested in getting involved, or just excited about artistic expression in all its wonderful forms, drop by Bison Bison! and Interzone on June 24 and check out what Durnin and pals have to offer.

Drop by their Facebook page, Corvallis Experiments in Noise, for more details. Also, Durnin is on the hunt for performance artists, who have been known to be included in these shows. If you know any, bring ‘em along and introduce yourselves.

The event is on Saturday, June 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.at Bison Bison!, 354 SW Madison Avenue, then from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Interzone, 1563 NW Monroe Avenue.

By Anthony Vitale

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