NEEMFest is a collective that gathers to inform and inspire each other — but we also want to make our music more accessible to the public. To that end — and unique among festivals in the US — we hold lecture-demonstrations and operate a “synth petting zoo” that allows audiences of all ages to play (and play with) the same instruments we use in our performances. This year, we are hoping to conduct a synth-building session for kids. Electro-music falls somewhere between science and technology on the one hand, and music and creativity on the other, and we hope that our events and performances will make it easier for each of those communities to understand the other.
The Center for the Arts in Homer and its board have been fantastically supportive of our efforts. Ever since we first approached them about a move to Homer, in 2017, they have gone far out of their way to help us (one of us, who has toured shows to hundreds of venues throughout the US and Europe, says they are the most cooperative and helpful house staff he has ever seen).
With their help, we need to reach further into the community and engage in other ways. We think that it is possible to reach a much wider audience through educators in public schools, community music programs, and colleges within a 100 mile radius of Homer. We are also planning an offsite event to take place during NEEMFest — a performance of William Basinski’s “Disintegration Loops” in a meditative space somewhere in Homer. The work is a 9/11 memorial, intended to create a valuable experience for us and for the community.
It’s still early times for us; we arrived in Homer only a few years ago, and we are still figuring out how best to establish a real presence in the community.