25 Portraits Proving Moogfest is Everything You Want a Festival to Be
Where else can you see Flying Lotus, Hannibal Buress, and REM's Michael Stipe in one place?
Matt Leif Anderson
Since its beginnings in 2004, North Carolina's Moogfest has set itself from other electronic music festivals by not only offering an impeccably-curated lineup of artists, but keynote speeches and workshops featuring academics, futurists, political organizers, tech leaders, and more. The 2017 edition was no different, with performances by the likes of Flying Lotus, Animal Collective, S U R V I V E, and Talib Kweli, and speakers including REM frontman Michael Stipe, synth pioneer Suzanne Ciani, and the International Centre for Theoretical Physics' Dr. Kate Shaw.
Photographer Matt Lief Anderson was in Durham this year to capture participants, and he explained his process to THUMP over email.
"Moogfest has such an array of artists, scientists, etc. I approach an MIT scientist differently then Michael Stipe with more even lighting and less dramatic contrast," he said. "I think the photos should reflect the musicians' personalities. Other times, I had scientists and speakers ask me to shoot them like a band. That was fun too. Just adding colored gels to my lights really changes a person's vibe."
Of all the subjects, Anderson added that one stood out in particular. "Despite his obvious success as a comedian, Hannibal [Buress] was your quintessential Moogfest attendee. Participating in the build-your-own synth workshop, spearheading a chat with Flying Lotus, playing the theremin at the Moogfest wrap-up party all on a whim—a true collaborator and experimentalist."