Paintings For Animals Archive


June 10th-12th: The 17th Olympia Experimental Music Festival

Nathan Markiewicz: Curator of the Olympia Experimental Music Festival

The line up for recent Olympia Experimental Music Festivals has featured many artists from our little record label. This year is no exception. L.A. Lungs, Mangled Bohemians, Paintings For Animals, Derek M. Johnson and Marlo Eggplant all grace the stage at Northern – Olympia’s preeminent all ages venue.

We welcome this special time of year when this, one of the most comprehensive showcases from the Northwest’s experimental community, puts on a seriously huge series of experimental acts.

See Jason Baxter’s write-up in The Weekly Volcano here. Festival schedule below:

Friday June 10th:

Paintings for Animals (Olympia, WA)
Big Tom the Lithuanian (Olympia, WA)
LA Lungs (Tacoma, WA)
Marlo Eggplant (Portland, OR)
Echos of Infiniti (Olympia, WA)
Four-Dimensional Nightmare (Olympia, WA)
Eurostache (San Francisco, CA)

Saturday June 11th:

Wood Paneling (Olympia, WA)
Boyband (Portland, OR)
Violet (Olympia, WA)
Sustentacula (Portland, OR)
The Dead Air Fresheners (I-5 Corridor)
Night Jar (Olympia, WA)
Pavonine (Austin, TX)

Sunday June 12th: A/V night featuring artists who incorporate visual projections with live sound creation:

Devon Damonte (Olympia, WA)
Eric Ostrowski (Seattle, WA)
Mangled Bohemians (Portland, OR)
Forrest Friends (Seattle, WA)
Derek M. Johnson (Olympia, WA)
Cathartech (Seattle, WA)


Upcoming Releases: Mangled Bohemians CD, Derek M. Johnson LP, Phantom of the Opera DVD and a New Compilation!

The first few months of 2011 are going to be exciting for experimental music! We are indoctrinating many new artists and new media into our release schedule, including our first vinyl release and our first DVD/Film release. New to the fold are Rachel Carns, known primarily as an amazing musician, pioneering the Queercore movement in the Western U.S. She is also a graphic designer extraordinaire and post modern Renaissance woman. Derek M. Johnson will also be offering his first ever full length release. Although no stranger to the Aphonia universe by virtue of being the artist most frequently appearing at Aphonia Showcases and sponsored events, Johnson here will offer a full length record for the first time. More on all of this later.

First up, as has been recently announced, is Mangled Bohemians new album At the Edge of Earth currently available for pre-order here. This new venture from James Lee of Portland is a swirling mass of psychedelia, meandering ambient soundscapes and as has been featured as of late in Mangled’s live shows, vocals from Lee.

Also on the way is a brand new series of tracks from Olympia, Washington’s Derek M. Johnson. Mr. Johnson has been cultivating a live performance consisting of hand treated slide mounted film, projected via slide projectors against a melange of acoustic solo cello, looped and destroyed tones, all emanating from Johnson’s cello and massive array of effect pedals. Though Johnson’s live show is abstract and often dark in tone, his new LP (release date forthcoming) is subtly beautiful, timeless and varied. It’s themes cover emotional extremes: beauty, anger, melancholy and rain. It should prove to be a truly exciting release as it will be the first ever vinyl release from Aphonia Recordings. There will a limited first run and we will announce a pre-order sale in the near future.

In addition, is an ensemble piece for the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera. Back in December of 2008 Aphonia Recordings hosted a showcase featuring the ensemble (Rachel Carns, Heather Hall, Daniel Buscher and Derek M. Johnson) at the Gallery 1412 collective in Seattle, Washington’s Central District. The resulting recording and performance was so remarkable that we soon decided to create a DVD release of this live performance. The release has been somewhat delayed but we are now set to release it in the next couple of months. The packaging will include cover and insert designs from Rachel Carns and will be hand assembled by the crack Aphonia Releases & Promotions Lab Team. You can listen to our original podcast previewing the show here – it features portions of the debut performance at the Olympia Film Festival.

Original Show Poster designed by Rachel Carns

And last but not least we will be releasing a sampler compilation that will feature new/unsigned aritsts as well as Aphonia stalwarts Paintings For Animals, KRGA, Desolation Wilderness, Darwinsbitch and much, much more! In fact, it will be so crazy good that you will probably want to buy one for your mom as well.


APHONIA FEST 2009 – JUNE 4, 5, 6 (( THURS // FRI // SAT ))


Hello Everyone,

I wanted to let you know about a festival that we (Aphonia Recordings) will be hosting during the first week of June. As a celebration of 2+ years in business, we have organized this three day festival featuring friends & artists across the region & the country. In classic Aphonia-fashion, the festival will showcase a synthesis of Electroacoustic, Microtonal, Performance Art, Avant-Pop, & New music. As always, we hope to see you there….

-Ben Robertson

Desolation Wilderness is a West Coast band. They left the parking lots and the malls, the high schools and the valleys, and found their home at the summer night overlook. Taking the sounds of the cities below & amplifying them into a pitched resonance, they write slow burners & warped guitar/synthesizer/vibraphone ballads influenced by drone music, the photorealistic art of Robert Bechtle, & musique concrete (with pulse included). Desolation Wilderness has released music with a variety of labels, including Aphonia Recordings (In Love With Anything 2007). They hit the studio again & recorded New Universe for release on K Records in August 2009. Itching to leave the studio again, Desolation Wilderness will be touring extensively in support of New Universe.

(b. 1971, Washington DC , US )
Since arriving in Seattle in the mid-nineties, Bill has established himself as a highly regarded performer, composer and improviser. He has appeared on over 50 releases and has performed hundreds of concert around the world. In addition to his solo endeavors and work with bands Master Musicians of Bukkake, the Paul Rucker Ensemble and Ghidra to name a few, he has collaborated with a wide range of artists including John Zorn, Secret Chiefs 3, Ruins, Bill Frisell, KK Null, Vidushi Sumitra Guha, Kinski, & Aiko Shimada among many others. In practice, Bill’s prepared-guitar tactics will stun.

Mood Organ is the solo project of Seattle-based musician Timm Mason. Timm is best known as the bass player for diverse acts including funk juggernaut Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme, psych-rock supergroup Midday Veil, and instrumental hip-hop cover band Hamburger Pimp. Mood Organ is a platform for exploring different modes of listening and intersections between musical (& non-musical) genres. Each Mood Organ performance is unique; recent performances have included a solo performance on electric bass, a duet between saxophone and amplified objects, and a solo composition for harmonium and prepared piano. Work is nearly complete on the first full-length album “Visiting a Burning Museum “. Also in progress is a series of solo performances inspired by the classical elements and their associated platonic solids. For the Thursday show, Mood Organ will be presenting Quietus 3. Quietus is an improvised drone ensemble with fluid membership. I’m nailing down the complete lineup but it will at least include Skip Milford (electric fiddle), Emily Pothast (vox), David Golightly (analog synth), and myself on bass.

Gabriel Tuzzolino Will and Ian Thomas Ackerman are two members of a loose collective of musicians also including Warren Lee and Danny Sasaki. They are bent on exploring the outer limits of tonality as it exists within nature eschewing the harmonic imprecision of equal temperament. Harsh dissonances are revealed as delicate sonorities by the temporal stretch of the music.

L.A. Lungs was formed in the summer on 2005 in a Tacoma studio apartment by Afterthought Lung (nee Nathan Markiewicz) and Leeward Lung (nee Lori Peterson). What began as a “studio” project became a “functioning” live act by the summer of 2006, with L.A. Lungs making their live debut at the, now defunct, No Tomorrow concert series in Seattle . L.A. Lungs continue to perform around the Pacific Northwest and have been fortunate enough to share bills with artists such as Acre , Wesley Borden, Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, Crank Sturgeon, The Dead Air Fresheners, Steve Fisk, Forest Friends, Gowns, Bill Horist, Derek Johnson, Mattress, Myrmyr, POWRFL POWER, Shearing Pinx, Talbot Tagora, Your Drugs My Money, and many others. In their loose arrangements L.A. Lungs use variances in phrasing, the inconsistencies of live electronic sound manipulation, and acoustic/amplification variables to create semi-improvised compositions that can vary drastically in tone, rhythm, and emotive qualities from one performance to the next. Visitors to the Aphonia Fest can look forward to the possibility of hearing work from LA Lungs recent Aphonia Recordings release, Most of the Time We Do Not Realize We are Shedding Our Skins 2008, as well as newer material.

Kristian Garrard’s project, KRGA, aims to combine the sounds of any and all instruments around into thick, swarming clouds of tones using self-built sampling software. He uses emphasis on drones and moving textures to create warm and dense atmospheres. Most pieces are created using only one or two instruments as source material to be processed & resampled in the software environment, Max/MSP. Past works have used utilized the ubiquitous 60 hz ground-hum, a “personal massager”, as well as more traditional instrumentation. In performance, deconstructed sounds swirl around the room, as patiently created beds of tones build into a complex organic storm.

Unicorns in the Snow is the one-woman project of Kansas City-based composer, performance artist, & social worker, Julia Vering. The project’s roots are grounded in earlier attempts to explore empathy in a visual context. Her most recent work, “The Aviator”, is a miniature opera inspired by the narrative of an aging, anti-social pilot, obsessed by the inimitable power of flying planes. In the final act, recorded the day after the aviator’s death, reveals the primal collaboration of the artist and her elderly muse, commencing in a primal scream accompanied by violent arthritic movements of the performers’ neck and hands.

Mangled Bohemians (PDX) are an intensely atmospheric two-piece band featuring massively effected guitar and electronics. Mining heavily from the post-punk tradition of the likes of Glenn Branca, Savage Republic , Heathen Earth era Throbbing Gristle, and Sonic Youth’s SYR releases, Mangled Bohemians create long spacey drones that melt into beautiful washes & pseudo-melodies.

Heavy drones, overtone melodies & the sound of the land – Paintings for Animals is the vocal electro-acoustic music of Pearson Wallace-Hoyt. The sound possesses an archaic resonance connecting the human voice with an Earthen narrative of the landscape, flora, fauna & human ritual of both pre & post-history. Started in 2001 & transformed for live presentation in 2007, performances have taken place at art, dance & music galleries, warehouses, bars, cafés, DIY venues & live radio. Paintings music has been used in film, for video, installation & with dance.

Derek is an Olympia native and can’t seem to ever get away. He frequently performs solo acoustic/electric cello throughout the Northwest with an ever changing, direct animation slide show. He’s been a member of Bloodclot, Dead Air Fresheners, Le Ton Mite, Frequency dB, and the unfortunately named Superfly 2000. Collaborations include: Unwound, Thollem McDonnas, Jeremy Jay, Ben L Robertson, Arrington de Dionyso, Bob Marsh, among others.

The magnetic vortex that is eastern Washington is perhaps best reflected by the banshee like howls and tortured vocal treatments that hover over the fractured rhythms and found-sounds of Ryan Leeds’ project, Daedelum. Leeds is interested in exploring the boundaries of traditional instrumentation & dissecting, reassembling, & colliding the parts with electronic gestures and commentaries. The music is aurally diverse and intentionally oblique. The compositions are informed as much by Leeds ‘ upbringing and education as by his various employment stints, including work as a recording engineer for a books-on-tape factory, a camera operator for a local news affiliate, a graphic designer, and currently as a CAD technician.

Aphonia Recordings founders, Ben L. Robertson & Andrew Senna team-up as The Precambrian. In concept, The Precambrian is a constantly evolving interactive synthesis environment/instrument, engineered by Robertson using the graphical programming language, Max/MSP. In its current incarnation, The Precambrian utilizes a slide zither & various pitch recognition algorithms to coax out microtonal intervals derived from a graphical system of 11-limit, just intonation matrices & traditional Arabic Maqams. Additionally, Senna (armed with a handful of piezoelectric transducers, microphones, field recordings) executes a series of absurd narratives & synthetic onomatopoeia, indicative of both his sound design work for film & theater.


Check Out All Our New Releases

We have been busy lately. All of these releases have come out in the last two months or so. We are expecting a few more, including Nucular Aminals self titled debut on the label as well as well Mangled Bohemians’ Degeneration. Also in the works is a special limited release with Derek M. Johnson and Rachel Carns of The Need performing a live improvised score to the silent film classic, The Phantom of the Opera. Stay tuned for these exciting releases… and also if you would like to catch up with The Need and Mr. Johnson, they will be playing a special one time only concert Friday December 12th at Gallery 1412 – make sure to catch them! More on this later!

Paintings For Animals – Cistern Air [AR023]
buy now


Dokuro – The Black Room
[AR020] buy now


L.A. Lungs – Most of the Time We Do Not Realize that We Are Shedding Our Skin [AR018]


Amy Denio – sub-Rosa
[AR019] buy now


New Release!!! Paintings For Animals

Our good friend Paintings For Animals has released their much anticipated EP Cistern Air on Aphonia Recordings. They have been featured at several Gallery 1412 shows with our artists and others. Go to the website and check it out!

New Release!!! Paintings for Animals – Cistern Air


buy now


Shows: November 2008

Nov 02 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ Church of the Friendly Ghost (Austin, TX)

Nov 03 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ ACFM (Lafayette, LA)

Nov 04 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ The Engine Room (Tallahassee, FL)

Nov 05 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ Flicker Theater (Athens, GA)

Nov 07 – 8:00P – Thunder Grey Pilgrim, Wehrwolve @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, Wa)

Nov 07 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ the milestone (Charlotte, NC)

Nov 08 – 8:00P – takedown uav, daedelum, more @ Intl. Noise Conference (Object Space) (Spokane, Wa)

Nov 08 – 8:00P – nucular aminals @ the know bar (Portland, Or)

Nov 08 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ the pilot light (knoxville, Tn)

Nov 09 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ Al’s bar (Lexington, KY)

Nov 10 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ garfield artworks (Pittsburg, PA)

Nov 11 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ the cake shop New York, NY)

Nov 12 – 8:00P – Amy Denio @ Musiquarium (Triple Door) (Seattle, WA)

Nov 13 – 8:00P – Amy Denio @ Henry Art Museum (Seattle, WA)

Nov 13 – 8:00P – Derek M. Johnson @ Capital Theatre (Olympia, WA)

Nov 13 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ the bug jar (Rochester, NY)

Nov 15 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ oberlin college (Oberlin, OH)

Nov 16 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ DAAC (Grand Rapids, MI)

Nov 17 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ cinemat (bloomington, IN)

Nov 18 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ shubas (Chicago, IL)

Nov 19 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ Vaudeville News (Des Moines, IA)

Nov 19 – 8:00P – Amy Denio @ the Rendezvous-jewelbox theatre (Seattle, WA)

Nov 21 – 9:00P – Paintings for Animals @ the Josephine (Seattle, WA)

Nov 21 – 8:00P – desolation wilderness @ Rhinoceropolis (Denver, CO)

Nov 22 – 7:00P – Hell’s Bellows! (w/ Amy Denio) @ Blue Heron Arts Center (Vashon Island, WA)


Shows: July 2008

Jul 06 – 8:00P Paintings for Animals @ 20/20 Cycle (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 09 – 8:00P Amy Denio @ Rendezvous Jewelbox (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 10 – 8:00P The Precambrian, aye aye/navigator @ le voyeur (Olympia, wa)

Jul 11 – 8:00P Aye Aye, Navigator, KRGA, thunder grey pilgrim @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 12 – 9:00P Derek M. Johnson @ le voyeur (Olympia, Wa)

Jul 13 2008 6:00P
Paitings for Animals @ Mr. Spot’s Chai House (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 15 – 8:00P Derek M. Johnson @ the Royal (Olympia, Wa)

Jul 17 – 8:00P Amy Denio @ The Red Umbrella (Everett, Wa)

Jul 17 – 8:00P darwinsbitch @ Mission Creek Music Fest (San Francisco, ca)

Jul 18 – 9:00P Paintings for Animals @ S.S. Josephine (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 19 – 12:00P Desolation Wilderness @ What the Heck? Fest (Anacortes, Wa)

Jul 22 – 8:00P Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, the Precambrian @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, Wa)

Jul 31 – 8:00P Amy Denio @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, Wa)


Series 6 Podcast: Paintings for Animals

Paintings for Animals recently performed at the Series 6 Aphonia Recordings Showcase at the Gallery 1412 on Jun 6th, 2008. Catch them on iTunes or right here!

Series 6 Podcast: Paintings for Animals


Benefit for the Olympia Experimental Music Festival


ADDITIONAL NOTE: Show starts at 8:00 PM sharp

For 14 years, the Olympia Experimental Music Festival has been an amazing asset to the NW experimental music community. This year, Aphonia Recordings will be hosting a benefit show to raise money for this year’s festival (…travel expenses for artists, promotion, venue rental etc.. This stuff isn’t free!). In addition to performances, we will also be holding a raffle & silent auction for awesome prizes donated by NW artists & musicians, including: CD’s, LP’s, reel-to-reels, random audio gear, & one squirrel costume (donated by Red Squirrels).

Please show up the benefit, donate generously, buy raffle tickets, bid on a rad prize or two, & support the festival……It will make you a better person!

A number of Aphonia Recordings folks will be performing at the actual festival in Olympia (ie. Paintings for Animals, Darwinsbitch, & a collaboration between Ben L. Robertson + Gabe Will (violist – Problems)).


Shows: June 2008


Aphonia Recordings 2008 Performance Series #6:
Friday, June 6th
Gallery 1412 (1412 18th ave – Seattle)
$5-15 suggested donation

-Paintings for Animals
-Penny & Her Lowercase Kindred (Olympia/Reno)
-The Precambrian


Heavy drones, overtone melodies, and the sound of the land – Paintings for Animals performs with field recordings, bowed metals, mixer feedback, throat singing, vocal blips, clicks and the buzz of electronics. Started 2001, in Seattle by Pearson Wallace-Hoyt, the project is maintained to provide a platform for the proliferation of spiritually charged noise and a revival of ritualized sound. With members dispersing to Bali, Kolozberg, New York and San Francisco, Paintings continues to craft a truly Cascadian music of chants, esoterica and the sounds of urban & natural environments.


Penny and Her Lower Case Kindred is a medley of shadow puppets, an adjustable stage, a variety of keyboards and organs, a synth, a loop station, a head mic, vacuums, strobe lights, fake blood, real blood, some drums,internal dialogue exposed… Unicorn: “We began hosting on-stage forums a couple of years ago once we realized that it was unfair to monopolize Penny’s brain.” Cher: “I wouldn’t really call it a forum…more like the sound of 15 minute recesses from the other side of the chain-link fence. Lots of piercing noises and academic purging.”


Aphonia Recordings’ founders, Ben L. Robertson & Andrew Senna, team up to explore the spectral transfiguration of minute sounds & vocalizations. In concept, The Precambrian is a sequence of interactive synthesis environments, engineered by Robertson using the graphical programming language; Max/MSP. Often drawing from his background in sound design for film & theatre, Senna utilizes a handful of homemade piezoelectric transducers, microphones, & field recordings to interact within each of these unique synthetic environments. The result of this interaction is a performance which resembles a series of absurd, one-act narratives.

Jun 05 – 9:00P Desolation Wilderness @ Le Voyeur (Seattle, WA)

Jun 06 – 8:00P Aphonia Rec. Series 6 @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, WA)

Jun 08 – 8:00P The Precambrian @ The Blue Moon (Seattle, WA)

Jun 14 – 8:00P Agnes Szelag @ 21 grand (Oakland, CA)

Jun 18 – 8:00P Old Number Sevens (Phonon) @ the Tractor (Seattle, WA)

Jun 20 – 8:00P Benefit Show for the Oly Exp Music Fest @ Gallery 1412 (Seattle, WA)

Jun 24 – 6:00P Paintings for Animals @ Henry Art Gallery (Seattle, WA)

Jun 27 – 7:00P Ben Robertson + Gabe Will @ Olympia Experimental Music Festival

Jun 28 – 2:00P Paintings for Animals @ Artopia film show (Seattle, WA)

Jun 28 – 6:00P Darwinsbitch @ Olympia Experimental Music Fest (Olympia, wa)

Jun 29 – 7:00P Paintings for Animals @ Olympia Experimental Music Fest (olympia, wa)