Longtime Denver experimental musician Victoria Lundy conjures sounds out of the theremin, that weird, hands-off electronic device best known for spookifying mid-century sci-fi soundtracks and lending its spacey energy to the 1966 Beach Boys tour de force "Good Vibrations." A nerd-rocker, ambient composer and founding member of the Inactivists, Lundy also cultivates her circle of under-the-radar music-makers — because every music scene needs an exploratory arm. How does life look from the far left side of local music? Lundy shares her views via the 100CC questionnnaire.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Victoria Lundy: I wish I had the chance to collaborate with Martha Graham. She lived through such a great sweep of history, she challenged so many assumptions in dance and the arts, and everything she did in the early twentieth century still looks new.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
I’m kind of fascinated by all the older musicians getting their second wind. I’ve seen so many incredible works and shows in the last couple years, in particular by several artists who I thought I’d never see again. I’m kind of a late bloomer, so it gives me a kind of optimism.
What’s one art trend you want to see die this year?
Superstar artists selling overpriced garbage to rich people and forcing out everyone else. It’s grotesque. It gets acute every few years.
What’s your day job?
I am co-owner and principal at my design shop, cuttlefish arts. I’ve been a graphic designer for pretty much all of my adult life. Which is why I usually make the posters for the Inactivists.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
If I had all the money and then some, then there are some big problems I would have to address before anything else. To do anything else would be immoral. Then explore outer space, which solves a lot of the aforementioned problems.
If I possessed unlimited personal freedom, I would start by founding an artists' colony on a giant dirigible that orbited Denver. No real rent problems, and we could moor near a food truck when needed.
I have often wondered how much it would take to own and operate a local broadcast TV station dedicated to disorienting, experimental programming. Kind of like TV Party, but with a really big budget.
Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
I was born in Denver, and I have lived in the Denver area most of my life. I live in Wheat Ridge, but I love Denver as MY city. In particular, I do thank my stars that we bought a house in Wheat Ridge before everything went crazy so I am not subject to Denver’s savage rental market.
I think that I may feel responsible for Denver, personally, so I would never leave for long. And there are family who live here. I sometimes feel like leaving when I see another Denver institution bulldozed and a set of wobbly condos set up in its place. I fear soon we may be living in a very dull and completely co-opted city, with nothing and no one left to make it Denver anymore.
What’s the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Keep the SCFD going. I don’t think most newcomers are even aware of it.
But as a city: Every single decision can’t be about making the biggest profit in the next quarter. Don’t let everyone who isn’t a trust-fund baby be run out of town by an inability to afford to live here. Artists almost never have any real money, but they break their heart to stay in a place in which they feel creative, and in turn make that place worth living in.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
There are so many. One force in the Denver/Boulder area is Mark Mosher, who created the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meet-Up and has helped so many musicians connect with the wider electronic music community. Along with my husband, Tom Lundy, Mark encouraged me to do solo work and helped me to figure out how to gear up to do it. There are so many musicians I have met over the last several years — but especially women, and in particular excellent female electronic musicians. I was bowled over when I played at Titwrench this year: simultaneously fringey and ultra-competent women artists.
I really have to give a shout-out to Tom Lundy, though. He comes to all of my shows, he helps move my ultra-heavy gear, and in his own right, he has put together a fantastic series of Musique Concrete shows, and helped bring one of my heroes, Jaap Blonk, to town. I really have won the marriage lottery.
What’s on your agenda in the coming year?
I really want to work on technique this year. Composing, playing and maybe some recording. I might try to put that Tiki Lounge Surf project together again, but….
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
Right now, I am a fan of D.J. Dino Deane, who leads the Flux Conduction Ensemble, of which I am a member. He worked for many years with Butch Morris and is committed to keeping Morris’s conduction method alive.
I think Kate Warner, an electronic musician/singer who plays as Mirror Fears, is someone to watch; she’s already been noticed. She’s extraordinary.
See the Inactivists perform on December 10 at Globe Hall, with Me Me Monster and Gort Vs. Goom. Learn more about Victoria Lundy online.