By Hudson Hornick
The Volt Per Octaves are no ordinary band, performing live what most musicians could create only in the studio. Adamant about not using any CPU’s, they’re bringing back live analog electronic music with Moog synthesizers, which is an old-school way of saying they rock electronica with a touch of class.
Rounding out their repertoire of musical instruments, this husband-wife duo pound out percussion and play the vocoder, vox, and theremin, the last of which is a strictly no-hands, purely electronic musical instrument that makes a ghost-like whining sound and is played by way of radio wave interference. Remember when your dad used to try to fix the TV antenna and wound up causing more static than before? It’s kinda like that, except here it’s that same static making your music; the left hand wavers and controls the pitch, while your right hand hovers to control the volume. Watching a theremin being played is somewhat akin to watching an orchestra conductor play no-strings puppeteer. Mix that with some fancy keyboarding and some nice rhythm and you’ve got yourself a jam that borders on a symphonic event
Since The Volt Per Octaves first began in 2004, they’ve opened the annual Moog Music Fest in New York’s Times Square and, as a direct corollary of that event, have been endorsed by Moog Music Inc. In an effort to promote their debut album, The Volt Per Octaves are playing two shows in their hometown of Santa Barbara: Sunday, October 15 at Zelo’s, and Wednesday, October 25 at Elsie’s. Watching the whole thing is sure to be an experience in itself, regardless of your musical genre preferences. Who knows—you might just make your physics teacher happy, while wondering how a hands-off approach to music can make such wonderful noise.