Moogfest 2018 – guitarist Wes Borland heads a list of five conceptual and contrasting Durational Sound Installations

Wes Borland
Crystal Machete

UPDATE – Moogfest’s Durational Sound Installation series has become a staple of the festival since its inception at Moogfest 2014 and while the festival’s existence began in 2004, it has emerged as a part of their legacy as they moved from New York to Asheville and now Durham, NC.   It’s primarily a four hour session of auriculor trips, synchronisms and collaborations scheduled every afternoon throughout Moogfest.  The exceptions are Thursday afternoon which is three hours long, and the sleep concert (normally associated on its own) which runs from 12am to 8am late Thursday night/early Friday morning.   For this year, Moogfest has announced that Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland will headline with a four hour performance of his own Friday May 18th starting at 12 noon.

Richard Devine at Moogfest 2016

What is a durational sound installation? From what i experienced, it’s like a random side show, but not necessarily with disorder. They’re not bound to a set list, but they are limited to their time frame. It’s like an improvisation, but with copious amounts of pedals, vintage equipment, laptops, analog and digital keyboards and carefully placed speakers. It has the trappings of an experiment. The Durational Sound Installations appears to insist on intimacy, but with sets that outlast different conversations, films, performances and discussions happening throughout Moogfest, you can come and go as you please. The exception would be the overnight sleep concert which is under limited capacity.  Richard Devine took over 21c Hotel Main Gallery on a Saturday afternoon in 2016.  I was able to observe his performance for awhile after watching Gwenno earlier. Both started at 2pm.  Moor Mother, the Haxan Cloak and Jas Shaw participated at the 2017 event when it was at the American Underground Storefront.  I was able to watch Jas Shaw for awhile before walking over to the First Presbyterian Church for Colleen’s rare US live performance at the time.

This year’s Durationals returns to the 21c Main Gallery with Thursday’s scheduled at the Power Plant Boiler Room.   Check out the Moogfest 2018 scheduling site for more details.

the Haxan Cloak and Nick Zinner at Moogfest 2017

Durational Sound Installation

According to the festival, this year’s program highlights five super conceptual and very contrasting durationals that take the artist somewhat out of their ‘comfort zone’. This is an extension of the durational concept that started at Moogfest 2014.

1) Wes Borland
Last year Michael Stipe transformed himself at Moogfest with the debut of his audio visual installation via a new medium. Re-emerging at this year’s fest will be Limp Bizkit’s bass player Wes Borland. His new project, deeply personal, feels like a creative regeneration. At MF, his experimentation will seep into the conceptual and come to life by way of a self made rig in a 4 hour durational. The festival’s avant-gardism and activism is an ideal platform for Wes’ groundbreaking experimental performance. It will be his first performance of this kind ever.
UPDATE – Here’s more details about his rig for his appearance at Moogfest 2018, his new single “Matadors and Daughters”album and appearance at Moogfest 2018.  From the press release, in addition to debuting new songs at Moogfest, Borland is presenting a custom sonic rig central to his performance. Describing the rig, Borland says, that “It’s basically multiple delay pedals and loopers and samplers going into a small mixing console which goes into a main sampler/looper. I’ve set up tons of instruments and made railroad tracks that come together to a central hub where I can record a loop of those things and have it run and then play over it and then have other stations that have their own loopers playing by themselves and I can enjoy the imperfection of those things overlapping each other. I’m set up for all kinds of things to happen, including accidents.” The durational will mostly be a solo performance but will include support from Alex Rosson, former head of audio at Detroit’s Shinola and the ears and vision behind Audeze headphones.
Nicole Mitchell Michael Jackson - Nicole Mitchell
2) Nicole Mitchell
This jazz enthusiast and avant-garde artist who’s part of the association of Advancement of Creative Musicians will be performing a 4 hour durational on her flute immersed with a plethora of moog synths. Mitchell initially emerged from Chicago’s innovative music scene in the late 90s, and her music celebrates contemporary African American culture.  She is perhaps best known for her work as a flutist, having developed a unique improvisational language and having been repeatedly awarded “Top Flutist of the Year” by Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll and
the Jazz Journalists Association (2010-2017).
This is a completely different genre for her, and promises to be extraordinary.
3) Nick Hook & Gareth Jones: Spiritual Friendship
Jones — a celebrated British producer and engineer who’s spent more than 35 years working with acts like Depeche Mode, Einstürzende Neubauten, Wire, Mogwai, Erasure, Grizzly Bear, Liars, Clinic, and others too numerous to list . Hook, a St. Louis native brought up on a musical diet that was equal parts hip-hop, punk rock and electronic music, spent the next several years carving out his own lane in New York, becoming a loveable jack-of-all trades who was just as comfortable dropping bombs in the DJ booth as he was recording Young Thug in the studio or performing live on stage with El-P.  They kick off the durationals part of Moogfest 2018 with their three hour performance Thursday May 17th.
4) Sleep Concert: Presented by Bedroom Community 

The highly-anticipated Sleep Concert, the grandfather of all durationals:

An overnight 8-hour magical experience in sound, led this year by Icelandic artists Bedroom Community featuring Bedroom Community founder Valgeir Sigurðsson with labelmate Liam Byrne. The sleep concert has been an event in itself since Robert Rich’s appearance in 2016.

5) Stephen O’Malley and Deradoorian team up for a challenging collision of experimental worlds
Vanguard drone music composer Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O))), Khanate, Burning Witch) and pop experimentalist Deradoorian (Dirty Projectors, Avey Tare) were recently added to the durational programming. The duo will come together for a collaborative four-hour performance on Saturday, May 19.
Moogfest 2018 will once again be held in Downtown Durham NC Thursday May 17th to Sunday May 20th, 2018.
For more information visit and for tickets visit