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Wednesday, September 26 • 5:30pm - 9:15pm

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For this year's opening OPTICAL showcase Decibel is proud to be bringing together four artists that exemplify ambient sound design and composition.

Over the past 18 years, German artist Robert Henke (Monolake) has contributed immensely to electronic music – from his early releases on the now legendary Chain Reaction label to one of the original software developers responsible for Ableton Live. Henke is an expert sound designer and composer – his works range from organic sound design to beautifully haunting compositions that often pay homage to 20th century composers like Philip Glass, Brian Eno and Steve Reich. 

Brock Van Wey (bddub) is an American artist and producer currently residing in Shaoxing, China. His compositions have been praised by Pitchfork Media as “built from tapered, drenching loops of tone, massed in respiring pulses.” Beginning his own production forays in 2006, his overtly emotional and hypnotic sound spread quickly through releases on his own Quietus imprint, before further honing his trademark sound into one that has given rise to an army of albums on Home Normal, Echospace [detroit], Darla, Glacial Movements, and many more, as well as becoming a regular three years' running on Kompakt’s legendary “Pop Ambient” series.

Greek sound artist Dalot (Maria Papadomanolaki) creates a fine balancebetween sculpting the perfect sound and shattering it . Her compositions may ascend to gilded heights aboard an angelic vocal or divine melody or, conversely, drop the listener into a smoggy dystopia alive only with the whirring of dying machines. Now based out of New York city, her releases for San Francisco's N5MD label “demonstrates her skill at “creating moments of lush ambience, emotion and texture by blending elements of phonography, electro-acoustic composition and minimal electronica with more traditional musical elements such as voice, guitar, glockenspiel and tablas.”


OPTICAL is Decibel Festival's audiovisual series - focusing on ambient, modern classical, experimental sound art, live video and installations.                                

Curated by festival founder Sean Horton and co-curator Rafael Anton Irisarri, OPTICAL creates a platform for contemporary new media outside the mainstream in Seattle. 

Performances and installations at OPTICAL bridge the gab between these disciplines. The resulting mixed media programing is an amalgam of styles and genres that defy easy classification. Technological, captivating, immersive, entrancing is one way to describe it - beautiful, emotive, and physical is another. In all, creativity to its fullest potential of endless possibilities. 

In 2012 Decibel Festival present five very distinct and unique OPTICAL showcases.

PLEASE NOTE: This event ends around 9PM, offering festival attendees the opportunity to enjoy other festival showcases that will be going until 2AM.

For fans of Murcof, Tim Hecker and Brian Eno


avatar for Brock Van Wey

Brock Van Wey

From his days DJing in the early 90’s rave scene in his native San Francisco, to a life of seclusion within the ancient walls of Shaoxing China, where he now calls home, Brock Van Wey, aka bvdub, has lived and breathed electronic music for well over 20 years.   Beginning his... Read More →
avatar for dalot


An old adage holds that although all music is sound, not all sound is music. Of course, Maria Papadomanolaki-a.k.a sound artist Dalot-will literally hear nothing of it. Whether sampling gulls from her window in Brighton or sirens ripping through New York City, all sound has value... Read More →
avatar for Robert Henke

Robert Henke

Ableton, ml/i, Imbalance Computer Music
Robert Henke, born 1969 in Munich, Germany, is a multidisciplinary thinker, composer, sound designer, software developer, installation artist and audiovisual performer. His art is focused on carefully shaped details behind the surface and gradual changes of repeating structures in... Read More →

Wednesday September 26, 2012 5:30pm - 9:15pm PDT
The Triple Door 216 Union St, Seattle