One could say Christmas came really early (i.e., last August) for Kid Koala enthusiasts – and the gifting season still hasn’t let up. Eric San, our world-famous and highly sought-after turntablist-next-door, hosted a string of events last August right here in his hometown: a make-your-own-robot dance party, ice cream-driven culinary collaborations, another edition of his popular Music To Draw To events… That was all leading up to his spectacularly moving live puppet show Nufonia Must Fall at the Place des Arts – an elaborate theatrical adaptation of his 2003 graphic novel of the same name.
Now, on the heels of his just-released ambient electronic record Music To Draw To: Satellite, Kid Koala has devised an interactive and uniquely collaborative live show experience, wherein patrons are each provided turntable, effects pedal and fader to contribute to this intimate and very democratic vinyl orchestra.
As the Phi Centre prepares to host these Satellite Concerts, Montreal artist and friend Paul Labonté sat down with the multidisciplinary San for a frank and wide-ranging chat that ran the gamut from adapting Satellite’s “hyper slow” songs for the purposes of entertainment to the ragtag bunch of sculptors, coders and knitters who’ve long flocked to his Music To Draw To gatherings. You’ll hear about how filmmaker Jason Reitman inadvertently prompted San to consider embracing vocals and how news of a one-way space mission to Mars seeking applicants became the catalyst for Satellite’s heartrending tale of star-crossed lovers. And gear heads, you’re in luck: there’s a healthy amount of geeking out in there about using reconfigured Commodore 64s as bona fide instruments.