Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

AUX in Signal to Noise journal

AUX Vol. 2 is featured in the Signal to Noise journal, the country’s premier guide to creative and experimental music. Bill Tilland writes that “the handsome, hand-printed edition” includes a variety where “stimulating, but textural, timbral and even psychological congruities create the effect of an extended suite…very nice.”

For more information about AUX Vol. 2 visit

AUX Vol. 2 CD Release

September 30, 2010
Athens Banner-Herald
link to original article

Weekly Roundup

AUX stands for Auxiliary, and if you haven’t been to an AUX Festival yet, you’ve missed out on some of the more interesting experimental collaborations in town. Fear not, though. The annual fest (the next one is tba), organized by Heather McIntosh (The Instruments, Gnarls Barkley, Lil’ Wayne), also produces an album of some of those artists. Thursday’s gig is to celebrate the release of the second volume, and will feature some of your favorite musicians in town making some super-cool sounds. Free.

Flagpole Calendar Pick

September 29, 2010
Flagpole Magazine
link to original article

Aux Vol. 2 CD Release
By Sydney Slotkin

The AUX Vol. 2 compilation celebrates its unveiling Sept. 30 at Little Kings with a roster of more than 20 of Athens’ finest musicians. In keeping with the AUX tenet of experimentation, each musician will play onstage for 25 minutes while others are rotated in and out every five minutes, so that each has a chance to improvise with 10 other people.

“People who aren’t used to playing together can have a chance to play together in a improvisational setting,” says event curator Heather McIntosh. “It won’t be a constant cacophony if people kind of follow the rules we set for them, like, listen to each other, be aware of them.”

The AUX Fest is a relatively young event for Athens, where artists of all media can come together to create experimental, complementary art. The fourth annual fest was held last April, and AUX has hosted intermittent special performances, like last fall’s well-attended Faust and Circulatory System show. Started as a collaboration between McIntosh and Mark Callahan of ICE, UGA’s creative arts program that researches and funds synergetic art, AUX became ground for experimentation in any art form.

This sort of scientific approach to creating art gives the compilation an altogether deeper and clearer feel that cuts through a little bit of the feedback circulating in Athens’ lower atmosphere. Special guests from AUX Fest 4, Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone, have a track on the compilation, a melancholy, baroque symphony of folksy guitar and mood-swinging violin. Another highlight is a new track from Olivia Tremor Control, the first new tune in a while from the E6 staple, and it sounds just as sweet as it ever did.

The compilation had been in the works for over two years, and now just felt like the right time of year, McIntosh says, to get people together. “We just want to party because we want everyone to see what we made.” Doors open at 9 p.m.; experimentation begins at 10 p.m.

Advance Press for AUX Vol. 2

With the October 19 release date approaching, music industry websites such as Pitchfork are sharing the excitement for AUX Vol. 2! For more information visit


Creative Loafing Atlanta

Tiny Mix Tapes Music Reviews

Consequence of Sound

You Ain’t No Picasso

Neon Musical Insight

Sun on the Sand

Music Bin

Elephant 6 Townhall


Youth Development in Ukerewe, Tanzania, and Athens, Georgia

Youth Development in Ukerewe, Tanzania, and Athens, Georgia
UGA Public Service and Outreach
link to original article

Rachel Hagues and Hunter Parker returned to Ukerewe in the summer of 2010 where nearly 100 girls attended the Girls Talk program for two weeks on a daily basis. With Ambassador Mongella in attendance, the girls gave a final performance for the community at the conclusion of the program.

In 2006, Ambassador Gertrude Mongella, the first president of the Pan-African Parliament, visited UGA to articulate her vision for the improvement of living conditions in her district, Ukerewe, Tanzania. Since then, UGA faculty members have worked with Ambassador Mongella to develop programs and activities to improve conditions in Ukerewe. One of her strong convictions is that strides in economic development and health care will more likely be achieved if girls are empowered to have a higher sense of selfworth.

To address this specific issue, UGA partnered with Girls’ Talk, a Ukerewe organization led by local women to assist girls in personal and social development, to pilot a service-learning project in Ukerewe to provide a safe place where acting and skits could be used as an outlet for the girls to talk about issues affecting them. The project also helped the girls develop a support system with each other and with the women from the community, as well as find solutions and positive ways in which to address their challenges.

Rachel Hagues, a Program Coordinator for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, and Hunter Parker, a graduate student in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies, implemented the program through games, activities, and journaling. Approximately 35 girls attended on a daily basis, both in 2008 and in 2009. The girls were given daily journal topics, which they completed during the session or as homework. Often, small groups were formed, and journal responses were developed into skits.

Hagues and Parker returned to Ukerewe in the summer of 2010 where nearly 100 girls attended the program for two weeks on a daily basis. With Ambassador Mongella in attendance, the girls gave a final performance for the community at the conclusion of the program.

The work of Hagues and Parker laid the groundwork for future expansion of the program. The University of Georgia faculty-graduate student team developed relationships with the women in the community, which will aid in building long-term trust for the program. Currently, the leaders of Girls’ Talk are working to implement the program in Ukerewe’s schools and to expand the activities to include sports, cooking and nutrition lessons, and environmental protection instruction.

The Sounds of Science

April 7, 2010
Flagpole Magazine
link to original article

The AUX Festival Turns 4
By Christopher Joshua Benton

Heather McIntosh lives in one of those homes marked with a half-address that makes visiting tricky for a newcomer. She has bangs with brown hair that catches the yellow florescence of her kitchen light when she turns her head to laugh, which she does a lot. In all, she’d be pretty unassuming if it weren’t for her black Orange Twin hoodie—the older one that seems to signify participation in an exclusive club of creative types and now slightly old-school wiz-kids. McIntosh is so humble and unassuming, in fact, that it wasn’t until our meeting that she realized it was probably she (and a group of really dedicated collaborators) who started AUX, the experimental music festival, which will be in its fourth iteration this week: “It wasn’t just me; we did it.” So, what exactly is AUX? For its founder, at least, “AUX is a circus-y romp of experimentalism—not as a genre but the physical act of experimentation. Like science… but fun science.”

AUX started four years ago as a festival, a day of wild multi-media experimentation. A compilation CD/ art book was planned, too, supplementing the ephemera with a physical artifact (and get excited, ’cause this year’s compilation includes one of the first new Olivia Tremor Control songs in forever). Over the years, though, AUX has become the music publication and performing branch of ICE (Ideas for Creative Exploration, in effect, UGA’s interdisciplinary community arts fund), often putting together experimental shows, including last year’s unbelievable Faust and Circulatory System concert at the 40 Watt. This year the day-long AUX Fest will occur at Ciné and Little Kings Shuffle Club. It will feature live music, visual art and sound installations, film screenings and an artists’ market put on by the same people behind the Indie Craftstravaganzaa.

If most music can be arranged into tiny boxes, experimental music is that polygon mechanized to entropy—antagonistic to its own shape. And like the avant-garde postures that influence it, experimental music’s abstract expressionism is just as fun to philosophize over as it is to hear.

“Experimental art gets a rap for being less attainable or a bit pretentious, but it is really a place for improvisation and a place where a lot of the best new artistic and musical ideas come from. Make some new sounds,” McIntosh says.

Or listen to Will Kennedy, drummer for the local so-called “atonal, serialistic experimental noise band” Geisterkatzen, who will be playing AUX: “Experimental music gets down to the fundamentals of what is sound. It pushes the limits of what is considered music… We as people classify music in so many ways and we should challenge those ideas.”

Even by its name—experimental—the implication is more of an interest in the means than its own ends. So, naturally, a band like Geisterkatzen started from its own processes of wonder and experimental alchemy: “We started circuit bending Furbies and old toy Casios and then we moved on to traditional instruments that you’d use in a band,” Kennedy says.

In all, dozens of local bands and one-off combinations will perform in short 20-minute mini-sets; but look out for two groups of visiting heavyweights, who’ll play longer, headlining shows. Prog-psych-indie-hyphen-hyphen-hyhen Chicago trio Michael Columbia is one of the big guns. In its short life span the band has already played the well-curated P4K Fest in 2009 while also garnering the title of “Chicago’s Best-Kept Secret.”

Also playing is the duo of Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone. These two prolific New York composers and ensemble-grads have both recorded with avant-garde legend Anthony Braxton, while navigating the academic possibilities of being musicians. Pavone’s discography spans over 30 records. Together, the women make chamber music on the fringes of pop: “Ideally, experimental music challenges listeners, and introduces them to new ideas, hopefully encouraging them to be creative and think outside the box,” say Pavone and Halvorson.

Of course, since its inception, AUX has been about more than just music. To wit, McIntosh promises 2010 will bring even more art installations and video work. You may already be familiar with one of the video artists: Ray Burg of the local collective EYEGATE, whose setup includes the type of projectors you used to watch funky slides on during grade school, paint and found images to make surrealistic “moving collages of color.” If you haven’t seen it yet, EYEGATE complements good music like wine to cheese. And Burg is well aware, as he emailed in near-manifesto: “Music should be accompanied by visual forms of art. Sound and light go so well together, and the current over-use of computer-generated ‘pre-programmed’ images does not do justice to the freedom of sound that live music offers.”

He’s right. The organic flow of EYEGATE’s live projections is more analogous to the improvisational freak-out or the steady drone tessellations of experimental music than the type of imagery typically made by computer-aided projections.

More than audiovisual, McIntosh just wants to bring the cross-sections of Athens locales together; but AUX is as much about supporting the creative needs of the artist as it is about entertaining an audience.

“Say you always want to do a shredding, thrash-oriented experimental guitar symphony—why not? Give it a try, even if it’s different from the pop you normally make. It’s an opportunity to do something divergent from your day-to-day artistic path,” says McIntosh. Because really the two—performer and audience—are auxiliary to each other.