Musical and visual artist Kevin Greenspon played a concert at UCSB’s Glass Box Gallery, a student-run exhibition space within the art department, on Saturday, Feb. 17. The evening performance included UCSB student Jack Kilgore and local “Spencer vH.” Super-X and 91.9 KCSB-FM hosted the event.
Originally from Los Angeles, Greenspon, 30, has toured the country, providing his live visual and audio experience to devoted fans. His creative process fuses projected images, recorded songs, and software synthesizers. His describes himself as a specialist in ambient, techno, noise, and video composition.
In an interview with The Bottom Line over email, Greenspon wrote, “I just slowly eased into it. I’ve been making music in various forms since I was a teenager, and about eight years ago I really started getting more serious with trying to find fulfillment from creating songs and sounds, and presenting it in a way that can be shared with others who may get something from it too.”
Responding to how he likes playing for college audiences, especially the UCSB crowd on Saturday, Greenspon admitted “colleges are great, it’s nice to play for younger people who want to create and experience new things and meet others with similar interests.”
Greenspon chose imagery to complement his soundscapes, which ranged from soothing sounds of calming contemplation — blooming roses, soaring seagulls, and a couple in a loving embrace — to the jarring — skeletons, graveyards, and a spooky human eye that opened slowly in synchronization with the music. In appreciation of the relaxing environment Greenspon created with his music and visuals, the audience sat for the performance in self-reflection.
In contrast, the opener, Jack Kilgore, who is a UCSB undeclared first-year student, kicked off the gig uproariously. His performance in the “noise” genre was a cacophony of guitar-playing (sometimes with a coffee mug), unhinged audio mixes with electrical equipment, and raucous vocals at deafening volumes.
One fan who attended the show, UCSB second-year applied mathematics and philosophy major Troy Eggertsen, praised Kilgore’s music, stating, “Jack put on a great noise set … featuring well-layered music with heavy undertones and sporadic screeching … [that demonstrated] great technical skill with the electric equipment.”
Kilgore himself, in response to interview questions over Facebook messenger, wrote, “I have been making this style of music for a year and a half, so it’s still in its early stages, and I was always a fan of ‘noise’ music style stuff, but I wasn’t aware of it. Like I would go to local punk shows and I would start headbanging to them setting up/testing their equipment, and then they would start their set and ruin it. I then started going to local experimental shows, and the intrinsic motivation and love I saw really pushed me to pursue my own music in a live setting.”
Local ambient artist Spencer vH performed after Greenspon, offering another compelling performance for the small audience in attendance.
Overall, the show on Saturday night at the Glass Box Gallery in UCSB’s Arts Building provided an immersive experience into the world of audio/visual art. Fans can continue to listen to Greenspon’s music on Youtube, Play Music, iHeartRadio, and Tunein, as he runs Bridgetown Records Label.
Individuals interested in Kilgore’s music can find him on Soundcloud as Jackalaka, on Bandcamp as Jack Kilgore, and at a performance at Biko on Apr. 21. Supporters of Spencer vH and Roper Rider can look forward to more gigs in and around UCSB and Isla Vista.