The sound sorceress Holly Herndon has turned electronic music on its head with her conceptual approach to composing music, which includes classical training vocal processing, and a lot of software manipulation. Now she's offered insights at an Ableton conference into how she came to find her sound.
In a series of videos that Ableton published from its recent Loop conference, Herndon gave a talk before a auditorium-sized audience on her creative process that emerged from compromises between her background as an academic and a weekend warrior in clubs: "I felt like I had to defend myself for the decisions that I was making in the academy and when I was playing out for fun." As the 30-minute lecture progressed, Herndon demonstrated early work from her musical studies at Mills College, Oakland and later Stanford College in Palo Alto, and explained to the audience how she came into her current creative output, highlighting tracks her albums Movement and Platform. After her lecture, Herndon sat down with DJ/rupture's Jace Clayton for a discussion on musical philosophy and activism.
Herndon's lecture was among the many events that inaugurated, Loop, the musical compositional software company Ableton's "conference for music makers." Over the span of the three days, over 100 musicians and artists such as the abstract sound designer Tim Hecker, the transgender producer and rapper Mykki Blanco, and the experimental producer Forest Swords participated in panels, workshops, performances, and lectures across the span of three days in Berlin.
Watch Herndon's videos below.