May 17 2011 12:00 AM

Noise guru Sam Lopez turns his ears to the human voice

SFC2
Sean Francis Conway

Anybody interested in the local experimental noise scene would be wise to keep an eye on Sam Lopez. A local promoter who performs in the one-man band Zsa Zsa Gabor, he's behind some of the city's harshest, freakiest and most out-there noise shows, including annual events like June Gloom and the San Diego Experimental Guitar Show. 

But at a show he's putting on at the Kava Lounge Gallery on Sunday, May 22, things will be a little different: Local musicians Meghann Welsh, Sean Francis Conway and XVOX will perform using nothing but their voices. They might use effects like loop processors or delay pedals, but there won't be any 100-stringed guitars or metal drums filled with fireworks. Nope, just the voice.

When I think of harsh noise experiments, the voice isn't the first tool that comes to mind. But over email, Lopez makes a pretty good case for the voice's possibilities. "The voice can produce some of the most unnerving sounds," he says. "A blood-curdling scream or a death rattle. How about a war cry? But it also produces the most soothing sounds ever. The whisper from a loved one or a reassuring tone that calms an upset baby. How dynamic!" 

If you dig the thought of experimental vocal experiments but want something perhaps a little tamer, you're in luck: German composer and voice artist Alex Nowitz will put on what promises to be a whimsical performance at The Loft @ UCSD on Saturday, May 21, as part of the final installment of the "Fresh Sound" series themed around voice and electronics. 

Calendar

  • Known as the ‘Official Scripps National Spelling Bee Watch Party for Adults,’ guests can cheer on kids in the Scripps National Spelling Bee on ESPN before competing in a spelling bee themselves
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • A mass action against the closing of the UCSD University Art Gallery. Participants will meet at the Silent Tree (located near the Library Walk) and march together toward the Gallery
  • Local science illustrator Melissa Walter presents new abstract works that are literal interpretations of astronomical theories
  • So Say We All invites listeners to hear stories about real life, the internet, the ways those places intersect or the way they don't intersect at all, told by seven locals
  • The author, comic book writer, and son of Stephen King will sign his new apocalyptic thriller, The Fireman
See all events on Thursday, May 26