Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Piscean Dreams Pt 3: The Imaginatron (Interview)

The interesting thing about the band known as The Imaginatron is that you are a member of it. You even sort of play an instrument in harmony with its primary performers when you attend their live ceremonies. I'm speaking abstractly, I know, so I'll go ahead and say that, if you've never heard of the Imaginatron, then you would encounter three musicians on a stage in a fitful trance, blending psychedelic rock, interdimensional punk, or a tripped-out howl-heavy kind of Beat Poetry by-way-of portal-conjuring incantations.

photo by Brian Rozman

"People start to see it materialize as the set goes on... Like with a synthesizer, you have to warm it up. The more it warms up, the more you're going to get from it, you close that gap a bit. People can see it, but not everyone will seeit or feel it as the same thing."
---from "An Attempt to Explain the Imaginatron," -quoting lead singer Steven Pivalsky. The other band members include Nik Landstrom and Wotter Lettis.

"I wish I could tell you how my body started doing this thing...." says Pivalsky, earlier this week.

"I don't see a choice but to perform this way," said Pivalsky. "It's the truth to me. And, to be honest, I'm confused by people who just stand on stage and play instruments.... but I just have a ravenous glow inside me and it's why I'm always searching, always moving, and trying see combinations." And the moving doesn't stop "off-stage."

And Pivalsky admits that he "knows there are disadvantages to 'this...,'" in that it is a band and a style of music that is difficult to describe (or difficult to "sell..."). "It's difficult to capture," he said--and that puts it perfectly.

The idea, as came to light in our earlier conversation, is that The Imaginatron is something you're already tapped in to... The band's performances just activate it.

You can see The Imaginotron this Friday night at MOCAD for "Piscean Dreams: An Evening of Inward Swimming," with Matthew Daher and vnesswolfchild.

The concept came from Daher, and Pivalsky said that when it was presented to him, he was immediately attracted to it's design, as a ritual experience. "Since starting this iteration of The Imaginatron," he said, "I had a feeling I didn't want to do just concerts, but experiences."

For those experiences, the canvas most readily available to Pivalsky just happens to be "rock venues," but he's particularly excited to have the more nuanced/unique canvas of the MOCAD to work with...

"Its inherently collaborative what we do," said Pivalsky, "but to add the extra minds and spirits of vnesswolfchild and (Daher), and together creating a temporary synchronization cult of our combined metaphysics and this ritual, I feel it will respond very much to our present world, with its minglings and with our own immediate cosmos and the osmosis of each of our own interactions with those energies."

I don't know if I could have put it better than that.

Pivalsky considers Daher a conduit for the moving spirit of the artist. "I think this lineup is very much like his controlled cataclysms of the interaction of thought and execution. This is a Zen- and honest-way of letting the drums speak. And vnesswolfchild emobdies a lot of how I desire, greatly, to connect and make people feel good. I think her way of doing it is accessing some kind of love-energy that I get toward in jigsaw lightning bolts. I feel glowing beams of heart from every piece of what she does, and always benefit from even a wisp of that wisdom."


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