Twenty-five hundred years ago, Greek philosopher Heraclitus said there is nothing in the world that is reliable and unchanging, and there is nothing that we can hold up as a certain, unchanging truth.
Unlike Plato, who believed in order for something to be real, it had to be permanent and unchanging, Sojourn Society recognizes life’s ebb and flow as they interpret music — like life — to be a constant flow of energy. As they revamp what music means to them, they revamp what music means to us.
While most other bands focus on the conquest of the music business, and will do anything to sell their music and concert tickets, Sojourn’s plan is to stay true to their art and to their mission to continuously expand the Sojourn “Society” into a loosely connected collective of like-minded artists who can contribute to the evolution of new sounds, imagery and performance art to go with their music.
When asked about how they came up with their name, Sojourn creator — a seemingly nouveau Heraclitus — Tim Welch, says that since 2012, they’ve morphed into something much more collaborative and philosophical: “Sojourn is defined as “a temporary stay” and a Society is a “group of people”, so along those lines, we live and create by a philosophy of holding everything lightly and making peace with the fleeting nature of the world around us. Nothing lasts forever, so enjoy it all RIGHT NOW! It’s good to have goals, but we strive to avoid a life of “should’s” and “need to’s.” Why do we have to unlearn the wild curiosity of childhood? Why can’t we continue to interact with the world like children do? Everyone is born an artist, some just forget.”
Man is most nearly himself when he achieves
the seriousness of a child at play.”
The Electropop/Synthpop genre draws from the 80s and is described as New New Wave, high energy, upbeat, high tempo and lively — basically, it makes it you feel happy, makes you want to get up and dance and celebrate life. What better genre for a musical collective that embraces the idea of living in the moment?
“Caption Closed” is a buoyant and energetic track that will perk you up and get you moving.
Having only materialized in 2012, they’re already number 19 on the ReverbNation Indie charts for New York!
How’d the heck did they do it so quickly? Tim says, “I DO believe in the power of visualization in a huge way!” And to prove it, he created a vision board with detailed five-year plan for SSCTY. Does a “plan” go against the living-in-the-moment ideology? No way! It’s important to have goals, but so many of us can forget to smell the proverbial roses when we get consumed by a future that is not here yet. Don’t knock it! This group is on the elevator going UP!
In addition to their quick rise to the top of the musical heap, this single-driven, self-publishing band is getting ready to release their first international collaboration with the U.K.’s Dark Blonde Records sometime in the next few months.
Explaining the band’s musical style, Tim says, “When creating the sound for SSCTY, I consciously draw from harmonic elements and melodies one might hear in a traditional New Wave music — The Cure, Depeche Mode and Morrissey — and mix them with current sounds.”
“Last Chance” is about Dancing Until the End of the World!
The Road from Classical Opera Music to Electronic Music
Before becoming “obsessed” with electronic music, Tim toured the world performing theater and opera. In “Go Round’, the band’s first video, Tim’s classics background comes to light.
“I came up with the concept after our fan base demanded a music video last year. We hadn’t filmed anything yet, but I had the idea for a movie concept. Initially, “Go Round” was to sound a bit like an orchestra warming up, which gave it an old world feel. I decided to use some old footage of public domain videos from the 20s, 30s, and 40s to enhance that vibe, and tied the whole project into a love story between two characters in 1955’s “The Big Combo”. With some crafty editing, I created a story between the two characters that wasn’t exactly there in the film!”
It’s Not a Band, it’s a Movement!
Sojourn’s Facebook page describes them as “A budding Art Music Movement in NYC”, and as such, SSCTY considers themselves more of a ‘project’ than a band. As a group, they actively seek out collaborators in disciplines other than music, incorporating sculptures, paintings and performance artists into their work. Although Tim is responsible for the overall sound of the band, he considers anyone who has collaborated with them to be part of the ‘Society’ and says, “The musicians I collaborate with typically have their own music projects going on, so when they come into The SSCTY, they leave their DNA on the material and vice versa.”
Besides Tim, the core members of SSCTY are Kris Norvet-Manager/Creative Strategist, Mo Ghayour-Visual Arts Director and Juliet Silva-Yae-Art Event Liaison, and former members were John Gross (bass), Rocco Venezia (guitar) and Steve Colon (drums).
Music collaborators for Fall 2013 are Roky Reign on drums, Matt Volpe on Bass and Derek Brantley on Guitar.
On October 23, bassist, Amanda Ruzza, and guitarist, Will Hensley, will be jamming with SSCTY on stage at Bar Matchless in Brooklyn.
Sojourn Society is living in the present and welcoming change with open arms — hand in glove — and holding hands with the future of music evolution.
MIDI instruments is where it’s at for SSCTY. With an electronic keyboard and a MIDI controller, musicians can create elaborate sound recordings that emulate drums, guitars, flutes, horns or any musical note of their choice.
What was once a big group of individual musicians, is now condensed into one machine.
We all know rockers have a flair for fashion, but now there’s a new look in town — “Techno MIDI fashion” — where instrument sounds are controlled through a glove or body suit with MIDI triggers!
Check Out Sojourn And The MIDI Gloves In Action
A Modern MIDI Gypsy
The Gypsy Motion Capture MIDI Controller is an exoskeleton that is worn on the outside of clothes. Like the artist in the video below, musical loops, instrument sounds and stage lighting changes can be controlled as they dance around on stage. Say what? Watch and be amazed.
Naturally, Tim’s excited about all the latest MIDI technology use for SSCTY: “We’re also working with Irish-hip-hop dance troupe Hammerstep to design body MIDI triggers that we’ll use to compose an entirely new, cutting edge performance piece. We’re big on combining new technology with classic music theory.”
What would Plato have to say about the constant progression and transformation of music and instruments today? Would he say they are not real because they are not permanent and immutable? If he were kickin’ it in 2013, he would definitely be pissed off that he had to update his iTunes and lose the cover flow of his favorite electronic music bands. I know he’d be wearing bright red Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones and strutting down the street with Heraclitus to Bar Matchless in Brooklyn on October 23rd to catch the Sojourn Society show. When they played the song “Closed Caption”, he’d scream out from the audience, “You are permanently awesome!’
No Sleep till Brooklyn! Catch the live show!
|Amanda Ruzza (Bass) + Will Hensley (Guitar) will join Sojourner on stage!|
If you’re not lucky enough to catch ’em in New York, keep up with SSCTY on social media:
Sound Cloud: www.soundcloud.com/SojournSociety