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  Exchanging Ideas in Electronic Arts
by T. Chanté LaGon

Ever heard of musique concrète?

If you're an electronic music expert, you probably have. For the rest of us (including myself) who are thinking, "Yeah, concrete music - as in asphalt," that's even more reason to check out the Electric Arts Alliance of Atlanta every third Monday at Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery.

"EAAA is a place to exchange ideas and meet like-minded people, from DJs to visual artists," says lead man Adam Overton. "I just wanted to surround myself by other artists, whether or not they were totally electronic, and meet people who were doing interesting things and be influenced by them," Adam says.

A good example of the kind of idea exchange EAAA aims to foster is Adam's upcoming collaboration with Fifth Class at NoNo Gallery. He'll be one of the sound designers for the Fresh exhibit, a multimedia event May 17 through June 7 at NoNo, 595 North Ave. NW . "That hopefully will be one of the successes of what we're doing," he says.

BROADENING THE SCOPE

How many times have you heard someone say, "I don't like drum and bass," or "I can only dance to house." But isn't it all electronic music? And what about Flash animation, splicing and the visual side of things? "It's about broadening the scope of electronic arts. Even within the group, people tend to forget about all the things that it can involve," Adam says.

Exactly.

Although the group's goal isn't to push electronic music and visuals further into the future, that's what's happening. Where else can you experience electronic music steps beyond your record store average? It's one thing listening to bleeps on the radio, quite another to be a part of making and interacting with the sound.

Being hosted by Eyedrum also gives EAAA the chance to be different from show to show. "We're trying to keep it diverse so that people don't think they know what the next event will be like. Without trying to pigeonhole, we're trying to get different people in there every time."

EAAA has several upcoming events that will be both educational and entertaining. "May [2002] is our first Meet The Artists series. We'll be geared toward more of an educational and sharing atmosphere," Adam says. In June [2002], EAAA will join Eyedrum for its All Small exhibit. [For a complete list of events and other gallery exhibits, go to www.eyedrum.org.]

So now that you know what kinds of shows EAAA is about, who can you expect to be sitting next to? "It's different from performance to performance and meeting to meeting," Adam says. "The biggest handful are musicians: DJs, people who are into computer programming and less beat oriented, and we've also got video artists, a small handful of them."

In addition to Adam, Andy Ditzler and Matt Jeanes form one-half of the core group that helps set up the shows and discussions. Although all types of proposals are welcome, "If someone just wants a gig, they can go to MJQ or The Earle," Adam says. Proposals need to be centered around performances, presentations and discussions that highlight individual and collaborative involvement in the electronic arts of Atlanta.

For more information, check out the EAAA list-serv at electric_arts_alliance@yahoogroups.com. It's a forum where people discuss past and future events, opportunities for grants and scholarships are listed, and it's an overall link to the electronic arts community.

Eyedrum is located at 290 MLK Dr., Suite 8, Atlanta. Directions are on the Web site. EAAA's [www.electricartsalliance.org] website is currently under development.

Just in case you were still wondering, musique concrète is the use of real sounds as the basis for the creation of music. Basically, it's the beginnings of electronic music developed in '40s and '50s France. That puts a whole new spin on "concrete jungle," right?

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