Dark Arts: Matt Samways' gothic lounge this Saturday night

The multidisciplinary art and music event challenges time and experience


Sleep and Longevity: a sensory-sound party Saturday at The Khyber - MATT SAMWAYS
  • Matt Samways
  • Sleep and Longevity: a sensory-sound party Saturday at The Khyber

"The more you sleep, the less you live. It's pretty simple really," says Matt Samways, electronic artist and the head of Halifax-based avant-garde label, Electric Voice Records.

On Saturday night, Samways presents Sleep and Longevity, a multidisciplinary sensory-sound party at The Khyber (10pm, $5). With previous performances at Halifax's outsider art festival OBEY Convention, Samways has shifted his artistic practice from analog and digital electronic-experimental songs — heavy, dark, disorienting, passionate — to a live band. He'll sing six songs from his repertoire of releases backed by the instrumentation of Jeremy Costello and Nick Dourado (Special Costello), with Seamus Dalton and Josh Salter (Monomyth). 

Sleep and Longevity, a "gothic lounge," also features electro-artist JFM (performing as GIA): "Bass-heavy and trashy," says Samways. There will also be performances by drone-experimentalist Moss Harvest and oblique-house music by DJ Claire Dragon, with a set by fresh scrap-jazz band Kurt Inder and live visual projections by Alex van Helvoort. The collaborative and engaging event is inspired by Samways' somber, challenging and consistent aesthetic principles. 

"By taking up the components of my electronic instruments and transcribing them to acoustic and electric instruments and saxophone, we maintain the overarching aesthetic but it is presented under a different vibe," he says, "It's the same principle but in a different voice." As someone who operates on the fringes, who consciously rejects societal norms, Samways says "Sleep and Longevity" is inspired by his inability to sleep — his periods of insomnia cause periods of creation. 

"Our biological and internal clocks are trained by society to function in a certain way. They shouldn't be," he says, "You can retrain the body and get more from life by changing your relationship to time. Because this is subversive as an idea, the expression of myself through my art is also going to be subversive, transgressive and sometimes perverse." His practice is thus motivated by his development and experience of each present moment: "It's about living the most you can while you can, because eventually we're all going to disintegrate ... thankfully." The event will be an exposure to the painful aspects of chronological experience. Wear black. 

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