Electronic dance music at new art gallery exhibit

Stef Soma (aka ShaMANoid) performing at the Motion Notion festival in Golden, B.C. ShaMANoid will be performing with other electronic music artists at an all-ages event at the Penticton Art Gallery on Friday, followed by two days of workshops.  - Submitted Photo
Stef Soma (aka ShaMANoid) performing at the Motion Notion festival in Golden, B.C. ShaMANoid will be performing with other electronic music artists at an all-ages event at the Penticton Art Gallery on Friday, followed by two days of workshops.
— image credit: Submitted Photo

A cross pollination of worlds will come together when electronic music meets the Penticton Art Gallery.

On Friday the gallery will be hosting four experienced electronic music producers to kick off their new exhibit.

“Next week is going to be a dance event. These are top-flight musicians and professional DJs who have international experience throwing parties, organizing events and doing incredible stuff,” said art gallery curator, Paul Crawford. “It is going to be a phenomenal night and a great weekend of dancing and culture.”

It is the first of six different exhibits running over six-weeks at the Penticton Art Gallery under the title The End Of The World As We Know It. This will feature artist collectives from across the province in music, visual arts, design, DJs and installations. Those events will take place on the Fridays followed by two days of workshops. Both are entrance by donation and all-ages events. On Friday, ShaMANoid, J.A. DJ, Dubtecha and Psyentifica will be delivering their sets to an all-ages audience from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Stef Soma (aka ShaMANoid) brings a fusion of cutting-edge electronica and acoustic tribal and world music. The British producer, who is now established in B.C., has traveled the world performing at festivals and unique venues.

Soma helped organize secret electro gatherings at sacred sites in Mexico and Guatemala at the top of Mayan temples, archeological sites and sacred caves. From a backpacking journey, Soma landed a job as a diving instructor and then created a mobile production unit with generators, lights and DJ gear.

“It was off the scale how amazing it was. It was always renegade style with never disclosed locations but with 100 per cent support from the locals. They would be very involved selling food, drinks or helping with whatever we needed to collaborate with us. It was very rewarding for both sides,” said Soma. “It was very alien to them. I was putting on productions where the local people may have not even seen a CD player before. So imagine when you have a large group of people coming from all over the world to an all-night dance party — being involved bridged that gap quite nicely.”

Soma said he likes working as a community of musicians to come up with creative production and shies away from clubs where he said it is more about drinking, picking up a date and being an individual.

“Paul’s idea of the gallery is a great idea and ties into what I think will be a really great next move for what the SomaSoundSystem is doing. That is, putting on a really great event or festival in a different environment and having a few days to put together a community. It is so different from a club where you get there at 10 p.m. You can’t talk to anyone because the music is so loud and you usually only know the people you came with,” said Stef. “This is like that old tribal culture coming together to share as a community and then combining it with modern art.”

On the weekend workshops will be held on both days from noon to 5 p.m. and are open to anyone with admission by donation.

The Saturday workshops include a sitar workshop, music production, music production/mixing-advanced techniques and a networking session. On Sunday, starting at noon, are a DJ workshop, PA and live sound installations, event promotion and a networking session.

For more information on upcoming exhibitions that are part of The End Of The World As We Know It, visit www.pentictonartgallery.com.

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