It looks like an abandoned building a stone's throw from the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge -- and it is, sort of -- but, beginning Thursday, a West Dallas warehouse will host a three-night experimental hybrid of electronic music and installation art unlike anything you'll typically see in D-FW. Acoustic Nerves features more than 15 local multimedia artists in an intermingling collaboration of sound and visual performance on May 5-7.
If that sounds complex, don't be shy. It's not a wine-sipping, high-end gallery exhibition; you don't have to know much, or anything, about multimedia artwork to enjoy the creative mélange. Acoustic Nerves is really something to be seen and heard to fully comprehend.
A Dallas native, Terry says he has wanted to create a hybrid art and music event for a very long time, and he's excited to have found the right collection of artists to pull it off. As for the space, it's owned by Butch McGregor, the same landowner who has made it possible for other nontraditional art projects, like the Wheron Platform, to bloom in West Dallas.
"It's very dirty and pretty raw; we thought about sweeping but gave up," Terry says with a laugh. "There aren't many venues where you can go in and work for awhile."
By that, he means specifically configuring a performance space to best suit a particular show. There are compartmental visual installations throughout, and they built a stage in the center of the main warehouse area. That area is outfitted with projection equipment loaned by Alford Media, that will play live video shot in-the-moment on performers' phones.
Terry says the convergence of music and visual performance is an essential component of the experience as a whole, one they never would have been able to pull off without help from Alford and a grant from the City of Dallas. When the hybrid vision started to become a reality thanks to the right A/V equipment, a colleague told him:
"The whole system is very fragile and dangerous and you should go for it."
Most of the music you will hear is experimental electronic from a variety of nontraditional instruments or classical ones used in unexpected ways. Böhm, for example, uses a modular synthesizer -- in short, that's a large device that processes audio signals and generates sound effects you can hear here. On the other hand, Aux Aux incorporates a viola ... among "whatever configuration of ensemble for any one offs organized by Hanna Chou and enlisted friends for special occasions."
Rat Rios -- who will perform Thursday only at 9 p.m. -- is even more difficult to describe. "I don't even know what she's going to do yet; she hasn't told us," Terry says, "But, she has a phenomenal voice."
Each night's performance offers a slightly different musical lineup from 8-11 p.m. Tickets range from $11-22.50, the most expensive of which include an MP3 and a Poem on Your Skin. That's a literal "short transitory poem made up just for you on the spot and written somewhere on your skin with the most permanent marker we can find..."
Can't make it out? You can still purchase an Acoustic Nerves MP3 -- a ticket, if you will, to better understanding Dallas' underground electronic music scene experienced in the privacy of your own earbuds.
Here's a glimpse of the artists you will see: