Music Festivals

Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival Debuts This Weekend

The inaugural edition of the Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival (or LEAF) takes place this Friday, April 1, at Founders Hall at the Colorado Music Festival Center/Center for Musical Arts in Lafayette. The festival will feature live performances by artists who bring together music and visual components as part of an integrated art form. The idea for the festival came together when Melissa Fathman, interim executive director of the Colorado Music Festival — an organization that puts on a popular series of classical-music concerts, approached David Fodel, an educator at UCD and a boardmember of Arts! Lafayette, a nonprofit cultural organization in Lafayette, about the possibility of having a different kind of musical event in town.

“The idea was to put something together that would engage the local community,” says Fodel. “There are people in Lafayette who are doing interesting work along this line, and clearly in Denver, there's interesting stuff going on as well. So we thought we could bridge things in Lafayette and Denver and things we know that are going on elsewhere in the country. So we invited a guy from the West Coast and a guy from the East Coast to put together a geographically diverse showcase of audio-visual music.”

The event, starting at 7:30 p.m., will feature four performances across the evening. Benton C. Bainbridge is a New York City-based analog video and modular synth artist. Andrew Blanton is a Denver native who now teaches New Media in San Jose, California but for this show he will be using live percussion, electronic music and a generative 3D presentation. Orbiting Olympia is a classical vocals and modular synth collaboration between Opera On Tap head Eve Orenstein and her husband, local synth guru and visual artist, Sean Patrick Faling. Synth Drone Collective is a collaborative group that includes Gabriel Temeyosa of Kuxaan-Sum, Wesley Davis of bios+a+ic (who also curates the ambient music series Textures at Mutiny Information Café), Wes Milholen, audio-visual synthesis artist Mark Mosher and the aforementioned Faling. So it won't be merely something like a DJ with pretty visuals, it will be artists who have a gift for the presentation of the music and the visual component in a synergistic way.

Fodel hopes that the event expands into a spring as well as fall event with a film festival component over the weekend. As it stands, Bainbridge will do a talk about his methods and the technology he uses, followed by a performance, at the same venue at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 2. The night of the main show there will be a cash bar and during and following the event there will be an opportunity for attendees to hang out and exchange ideas with each other and the performers.

Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival featuring Benton C. Bainbridge, doors at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 1, at Founders Hall at Colorado Music Festival/Center for Musical Arts,200 E Baseline Road, Lafayette, for more information visit, free but donations accepted, all ages.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.