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The Unified Field - A Sonic Bloom Pre-Party at Cervantes', 4/29/11

The Unified Field - A Sonic Bloom Pre-Party at Cervantes', 4/29/11
Photo: Britt Chester
THE UNIFIED FIELD - A SONIC BLOOM PRE-PARTY
Featuring Live Painting with Alex & Alison Grey
Zobomaze • Nadis Warriors • Miraja • DJ Vadim and Electric Crew
Dr Israel • Octopus Nebula • Ant-ten-nae • Resident Anti-Hero
04.29.11 | Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom

The flood gates of consciousness were opened last night at the kick-off celebration for the upcoming Sonic Bloom festival. Alex and Allyson Grey opened the night with an intimate discussion on psychedelic art, the uses of psilocybin and how the Church of Sacred Mirrors came to be -- all of which made for a great night of live music and art.

Walking into Cervantes', the first thing you noticed was how the place had been transformed into a museum last night, with Grey's work adorning the walls. Certain works chosen from his "Progress of the Soul" series were projected onto changing LEDs. The morphing the images pulling everyone who passed by them into the realm of consciousness and awareness.

Grey's lecture opened with a brief history of psychedelics and how they've been memorialized in art. He spoke about the representations throughout history of certain cultures and how "magic mushrooms" were used to reach another plane of consciousness. Grey pointed out a certain piece of art with a primitive fractal pattern displayed on an old buckskin.

The ballroom during the lecture
The ballroom during the lecture
Photo: Britt Chester

He went on to discuss how and why LSD and psilocybin had come into existence in the contemporary world. Maria Sabina, the first Mexican curandera, introduced westerners to the idea of opening the doors to perception with hallucinogens.

A small shout-out to the late Albert Hofmann, the scientist credited with synthesizing Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, brought forth a loud applause. Save for the occasional, "FUCK YEA!" Grey's lecture was informative -- although it did lack depth at some points. A reference to TOOL, a band for whom Grey has produced artwork for, including the legendary cover art for the albumLateralus, had many TOOL-shirt wearing fans yelling with joy.

Zobomaze
Zobomaze
Photo: Britt Chester

The stage was strewn with instruments and canvas holders for the live artists who started painting just as Zobomaze was set to take the stage. Zobomaze opened up the musical portion of the evening with a jazzy-funkified saxophone, in front of a lively crowd already primed from Grey's words on tripping.

Resident Anti-Hero, a politically charged trio of poets, rappers and an ill, beat-dropping DJ were laying it down raw on the Otherside. "Systems of Control" was the head-nodding anthem for the whole set with a grimy, electric guitar under the vocals of Sergeant Fenix and dj Etheric Double. The Ballroom remained full following the speech, thanks to Zobomaze and the Nadis Warriors, who followed (Zobomaze will be playing again in early May and you'll be able to see Nadis Warriors at the actual Sonic Bloom festival in June).

Resident Anti-Hero.
Resident Anti-Hero.
Photo: Britt Chester

Octopus Nebula, a group you'll also find at Sonic Bloom, followed Nadis Warriors and played for the entirety of Alex and Allyson's live painting session. The chemistry of the Greys' peaceful gestures juxtaposed the bass-heavy tracks from Nebula and gave the stage a playful composition of dance and light.

The Greys painting on stage
The Greys painting on stage
Photo: Britt Chester

Miraja, often seen as the other half of Future Simple Project, was playing a solo set at the Otherside, complete with a fan dancer and aerials. Full LED panels served as the backdrop. Miraja has fun on stage, and his energetic passion is transferred through his music. His openings are slow, much like classical compositions, and build on each note until he's peaked out on the dub and bass.

DJ Vadim and the Electric Crew followed Miraja's set and offered a welcome break from the heavy electronic sounds that filled the night, with some hip-hop. Vadim kept it fresh on the tables, as Sabira Jade was harmonizing and Pugz Atomz kept the attention of the crowd.

DJ Vadim and Electric Crew
DJ Vadim and Electric Crew
Photo: Britt Chester

Ant-ten-nae closed down the night in the main room, following Nebula's set and the live painting. The whole evening was organized perfectly with the right music for the right mood at each point in the night. The Greys' signed autographs and personalized messages on posters for TOOL fans.

Octopus Nebula
Octopus Nebula
Photo: Britt Chester

Click through for Critic's Notebook and lots more photos from the evening.

 

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: Bringing Alex and Allyson Grey to speak is huge. An opportunity to see artists of this caliber, to me, is like seeing a modern master. Here is an influential man whose work has influenced and will continue too in many years to come. Random Detail: My close friend saw Electric Crews Sabira Jade at Whole Foods earlier in the evening, unknowingly at the time. She bought vegan cake, some apples and a salad. Is that random enough?

Cervantes looking North up Welton
Cervantes looking North up Welton
Photo: Britt Chester
A work in progress by Batliner
A work in progress by Batliner
Photo: Britt Chester
Zobomaze
Zobomaze
Photo: Britt Chester
Notice the Ableton controller is visible to the crowd. This allows us to see how and when he mixes beats. Nice touch.
Notice the Ableton controller is visible to the crowd. This allows us to see how and when he mixes beats. Nice touch.
Photo: Britt Chester
Some live art pieces during Zobomaze's set
Some live art pieces during Zobomaze's set
Photo: Britt Chester
The Unified Field - A Sonic Bloom Pre-Party at Cervantes', 4/29/11
A portion of one of Alex Grey's hanging pieces
A portion of one of Alex Grey's hanging pieces
Photo: Britt Chester
The ballroom prior to Grey's lecture
The ballroom prior to Grey's lecture
Photo: Britt Chester
Alex Grey
Alex Grey
Photo: Britt Chester
A slide of Maria Sabina passing mushrooms onto the Westerners...
A slide of Maria Sabina passing mushrooms onto the Westerners...
Photo: Britt Chester
Apostle
Apostle
Photo: Britt Chester
Sergeant Fenix
Sergeant Fenix
Photo: Britt Chester
Michael Garfield (recently created album cover for Project Aspect)
Michael Garfield (recently created album cover for Project Aspect)
Photo: Britt Chester
Live art and body painting
Live art and body painting
Photo: Britt Chester
MIraja's set was mind-blowing. Literally. Look at this photo!
MIraja's set was mind-blowing. Literally. Look at this photo!
Photo: Britt Chester
The Unified Field - A Sonic Bloom Pre-Party at Cervantes', 4/29/11
This beautiful piece was on display at the Otherside
This beautiful piece was on display at the Otherside
Photo: Britt Chester
Laser activated light-up shirts provided by Positive Threads
Laser activated light-up shirts provided by Positive Threads
Photo: Britt Chester

 

Aerials and friends during Miraja's set
Aerials and friends during Miraja's set
Photo: Britt Chester
Alex Grey's live painting
Alex Grey's live painting
Photo: Britt Chester
Octopus Nebula starting as Alex and Allyson started getting into it
Octopus Nebula starting as Alex and Allyson started getting into it
Photo: Britt Chester
A contact juggler gettin' it during Octopus Nebula. These dance blocks hosted fire, light and color all night.
A contact juggler gettin' it during Octopus Nebula. These dance blocks hosted fire, light and color all night.
Photo: Britt Chester
Alex Grey's live painting
Alex Grey's live painting
Photo: Britt Chester

 

The ballroom during the close of Nadis Warriors - preparing for the Greys to paint
The ballroom during the close of Nadis Warriors - preparing for the Greys to paint
Photo: Britt Chester
Michael Garfield painting patterns across the chest of a happy body
Michael Garfield painting patterns across the chest of a happy body
Photo: Britt Chester
DJ Vadim
DJ Vadim
Photo: Britt Chester
Sabira Jada
Sabira Jada
Photo: Britt Chester
Burnin' everything in the house
Burnin' everything in the house
Photo: Britt Chester
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