The lights flicker. The sounds click and throb, surging in hypnotic waves. A voice calls with an eerie familiarity, making surreal proclamations and beckoning you to enter his dark psychic domain. You realize that all of these elements have been intertwined through some sort of cyberpunk shamanism; the light pulses, the voice, the electronics and the writhing body onstage are all under the control of one entity: Timeghost.
This multisensory experience is the chief musical endeavor of Adam Morosky, an active member of Providence’s currently thriving scene. In addition to enchanting and challenging audiences with his powerful amalgam of dark electronic music and performance art, he has also been booking some amazing shows at underground spots. He was recently forced to vacate The Paragon warehouse-space in Olneyville but this has not slowed him down. Keep up with his activities and check out his awesome posters for past gigs on his blog. You can also witness Timeghost for yourself tomorrow night at O’Briens Pub. Below is an interview I conducted with him via email.
Will Mayo: Thank you for directing me to your interview on METRONO.ME. I especially appreciate the frankness with which you discuss the creative process and motivations behind Timeghost. It is very apparent in the interview and your performances that there is little about you or your project which is not intentional. I also found the segment in which you discussed your gear to be very illuminating (no pun intended). I’ve linked readers to that interview and I will try to cover some different ground with these questions.
I originally stumbled upon the idea for this interview a few weeks ago while thinking about the concept of Zeitgeist. It occurred to me there’s more than one “spirit” of our current age. We seem to exist in a world of increasingly disjointed narratives and viral trends that keep people as distant from each other as ever, in spite of an apparent inter-connectedness. In any case, this brainstorm was the first time since I’ve been aware of your project that I remembered “time ghost” is a literal translation of the German term. How would you relate your music to the “Zeitgeist”, if at all? Do you think that the boundaries between transgressive art forms and the mainstream could continue to blur in a counter-productive way? How does one stay provocative in this over-saturated cultural landscape?
Adam Morosky: The Zeitgeist is a departing point for what drives my project. On one level it’s about the structure of the sound and visuals as a subliminal experience. In another way it’s a decision-ending device. It’s an idea that I find comfort in, like any other belief system that people adopt to make sense of the world. Why do events happen? Why does everything seem to fall apart one day and then it all turns around the next? Feeling like events are synchronizing is sublime. I think it’s a major factor in why people continue to believe in gods in a time when we’re all living behind our cell phones every waking hour. Humans try to schedule, predict, and control their environments and then it all disintegrates. Observe the world: trust your intuition: synchronize or fight the current.
Not sure what is transgressive now, it doesn’t really reveal itself until it’s in hindsight. Aiming for avant-garde as a means to an end, I think THAT is counter-productive. I am provoked by people who are dedicated to their practice and ruthless with their audience.
You’ve been organizing events in Providence for some time. How did you originally get involved in setting up shows? What changes have you witnessed in the scene and in what direction would you like to see it progress? Could you relate the situation in Providence to any of my earlier open-ended questions?
I started booking some bands from Providence before I lived here. It’s a small town with a relentless pace, and if you go to shows here on a regular basis you end up meeting everyone. You get in tight with people when you’re one of ten people at a show over and over again. Shows are a lot of work but get better as one gains experience, though it never gets easier. Like a lot of cities, Providence goes through waves of activity and I’d say things are steady right now. Some shows are becoming less of a young mens’ talent contest. There are so many shows, one can’t attend them all.
Your design work is a great counterpart to your music and is of course an integral part of your event organizing. I’m definitely looking forward to purchasing one of your prints at the show on Sunday night. Do you have plans to further incorporate your visual art into Timeghost releases or performances? Any plans for an LP?
Thank you for the compliment, I would never ask someone else to design anything for me. I design and print all of my flyers and packaging. I have new ideas for live visuals, including new light arrays and hypnosis strategies, some are inspired by Brion Gysin’s Dreamachines. I have new devices to run electrical current through my body and synthesizers. I had my face pierced to create port holes for a mouth-controlled voltage attenuator I built. I hope to release some videos this year. I’ve been talking with the band Taboo about doing a split 7″ together and I am ready to assemble an LP if offered.
Your lyrical content seems to be an integral part of the project. Though sometimes obscured (or complimented) by effects processing, the words create a very distinct and powerful mood. The imagery is also perfectly paired with the music in a way that creates a somewhat transportive effect. Do you intend to share these lyrics in further physical releases or online? Are you currently working on any writing projects? Any particular literary interests you’d like to share, whether personal favorites or current reading?
I’ve never been one to sit down and read lyrics with a record. It only makes sense as reference material to me. Transcribed lyrics to some of my songs will be released when I post my recent live recordings for download. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense for the design of the packaging so I haven’t printed any lyrics yet. I’ll share what’s worth sharing.
You’ve clearly put a lot of thought into your gear but have also made various adjustments from show to show. This must serve to keep it interesting and challenging for yourself as much as for show-goers. Do you find yourself experimenting with and/or being surprised by your various set-ups at home or would you say that characterizes an earlier phase in your creative development? Would you say you are more inclined to utilize gear for a specific purpose or do you often find yourself inspired by the possibilities inherent in technology?
I pretty much perform with the same gear each time. Occasionally I get some new effects but it’s mostly a cumulative process. I still enjoy the surprise of turning on and not knowing where I’ll end up in an hour or two. It makes playing alone much more exciting and pleasurable.
Anything else you’d like to share? Any music or movies that have really shaken you up lately?
I’ll be performing at Raw Meet #5 at Smokey Bear Cave on the weekend of April 21st/22nd, it’s a huge exciting lineup. Recently watched “The Promised Land” by Andrzej Wajda and “Querrelle” by Fassbinder. The new Dead Boomers LP, the dYsgeniX tape, and Mario Diaz DeLeon’s new CD are all fantastic. Thanks for taking interest.