Ringling Underground celebrates electro-pop

On Thursday Apr. 5, the Ringling Museum of Art hosted its third installment of the art-infused concert event, Ringling Underground, this time with an ElectroPop theme. The monthly art-infused concert event aimed at Sarasota’s youth was free for all New College and USF students with an ID. The stage was set in the museum’s spacious courtyard under the iconic bronze replica statue of Michelangelo’s David. Over a hundred people showed up at the start of the event at 7:00 p.m. to watch the opening band, Dada Trash Collage, but more people trickled in throughout the night, growing to a number closer to 300.

This month’s live music was produced in partnership with the lead singer of local band MeteorEYES, Shannon Fortner.  The band list included the experimental Detroit duo, Dada Trash Collage, the electro-rock Atlanta group, Sonen and of course, one of Sarasota’s finest indie bands, MeteorEYES.

Fortner explained to the Catalyst that she was looking for very different sounds when choosing the musicians.  Because of the event’s theme, most of the bands relied heavily on synthesizers and machines to provide an infinite amount of effects to choose from, such as the eclectic sounds of Dada Trash Collage — which included anything from looped cuckoo clock sounds, echoing marimba or resonating laser effects.  Sonen even emphasizes their hypnotic synth and vocals so much that they go so far as to do without a drummer and instead use machines to create the base for their pulsating rhythm.

“The 80’s are coming back,” Fortner said in regards to the new movement in recent pop music incorporating electric machines and sound effects.

Several art installations were set around the courtyard including an interactive art piece by Third Eye Projections, which displayed moving kaleidoscopic patterns and shapes to accompany the unearthly music on either side of the stage. Joseph’s Coat, a skyspace created by artist James Turrell, was open to be viewed as the sun set. Attendees could sip on free passion fruit tea, though there were also plenty of foods, snacks and alcoholic beverages for purchase.

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