The Happy Valley Band deconstruct popular tunes, transcribed by custom software and re-performed by humans.

The Happy Valley Band plays covers of popular tunes, deconstructed and transcribed by custom software, and re-performed by humans. You’ll hear James Brown backed by a simmering Sun Ra Arkestra, Madonna with a jittery freak-out synth rhythm section, and Herb Alpert with a Tijuana Brass that must have been led by Charles Ives. They’re joined by Zachary James Watkins, a sound artist and composer based in Oakland, who creates harmonic series drones with an array of electronics and electric guitar.

Happy Valley Band

The Happy Valley Band is a cover band like you’ve never heard before. They play machine deconstructions of popular tunes, filtered through the brain of a computer, and re-performed by humans with intense energy. The project is led by bandleader and composer David Kant, who created custom software to analyze and transcribe the work of James Brown, Patsy Cline, Elvis, Phil Collins, and others. It is the product of a fascination with artificial intelligence, an unrequited affection for popular music, and a sense of humor able to find beauty and insight in digital artifacts. Their debut album ORGANVM PERCEPTVS, five years in the making, will be out on Indexical in 2016.

Zachary James Watkins

Zachary James Watkins builds clouds of dense harmonic tones and cuts through them with transcendent electric guitar melodies. The deep vibrations he creates through layering and expanding harmonies leave the room resonating with energy. He is an Oakland-based sound artist with degrees in composition from Cornish College of the Arts and Mills College, and is one-half of the ecstatic duo Black Spirituals. He has shared bills with Earth, the Sun Ra Arkestra, and many others, and releases music on the labels Important Records, Cassauna, Touch, The Tapeworm, Confront, Land & Sea and Sige.

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