Protected: Holly Herndon
Gray Area x Algorithmic Art Club
Present Holly Herndon
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Electronic musician Holly Herndon and her live ensemble presage a sonic future that connects human and machine to realize new definitions of beauty. Her dance-inflected experimental music investigates the nature of humanity in the digital age—including her 2019 album PROTO, made in part with artificial intelligence. Drawing from folk traditions of East Tennessee, Berlin’s radical club culture, and her Stanford graduate studies on machine learning and music, Herndon’s complex and riveting music promises a unique live performance.
Since her arrival in 2012, Holly Herndon has successfully mined the edges of electronic and Avant Garde pop and emerged with a dynamic and disruptive canon of her own. Born in the mountains of East Tennessee, she went from singing in church to enrolling in a German exchange program. Adopting Berlin as a second home, she cut her teeth performing in the city’s clubs prior to attending Mills College. She utilized the laptop as “the most intimate instrument,” cultivating live voice processing systems and developing custom vocal patches to construct experimental pieces performed in real-time. She put those pieces into play on the likes of 'Breathe' and 'Dilato' from her full-length debut, Movement.
Researching platform politics for her phD at Stanford, she assembled her 2015 sophomore offering Platform. Telematic performance at Stanford fueled 'DAO' and integrated custom sampling of daily activities online into the songcraft of 'Chorus' and 'Home'. As it sparked commentary on “platform politics”, Platform closed out 2015 by gracing year-end lists from Pitchfork, The Guardian, NME, and The Wire. Primarily composed alongside collaborators online, it was “the first commercially released album to include a track intended to trigger autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR).” Following the release, Radiohead handpicked her to open up its European tour.
In 2019, she broke ground again on her third full-length, PROTO. She fronts and conducts an electronic pop choir comprised of both human and A.I. voices over a musical palette that encompasses everything from synths to Sacred Harp stylings. CNN says Holly is “shaping the future of A.I.” as she operates at the nexus of technological evolution and musical catharsis.