Aug
Mark Nichols, the composer/performer guy who brought us Little Boy Goes to Hell and The Burning Opera, is embarking on a West Coast tour with THE EVEREXPANDING EXPERIENCE MACHINE. A solar-powered, multi-instrumental contraption that Nichols banged together in his garage, THE EVEREXPANDING EXPERIENCE MACHINE transforms the familiar singer-songwriter solo performance thing into an edgy, heart-warming, interactive slice of performance art that brings together acoustic and electric, spectacle and intimacy, mechanical and very human. Drawing from his personal catalog of over one thousand songs, and providing improvised soundtrack to personal stories he elicits from the audience, Nichols transforms his one-man robot jukebox into a collective theater of innocence and experience big enough to include romping good fun and poignant meditations on age, memory, and the highs and lows of a creative life.
 
“I try to be living proof that people can get better, more focused, and more creative with age."
 

THE EVEREXPANDING EXPERIENCE MACHINE is a robotic band and performance environment designed and built by Nichols, whose mad inventor chops are also on display in his remarkable mechanical animation (stuff like this: http://youtu.be/HP0PtPBAItM). The contraption sits on a wheel chair and unfolds into a stage. Solar- powered batteries power a robotic solenoid-driven vintage drum set, while bass and guitar tracks course through an old fashioned amp. Piano and organ pump through a homemade spinning speaker, while live vocals sometimes pop out of an antique gramophone speaker like rabbits out of a top hat. Roving LED lights chase each other around the stage, which is also animated with rear-projected images. “It's a spectacle,” says Nichols. “The whole thing takes a half hour to setup, and is very self-contained and low maintenance. No need for a sound person or even power for that matter, and because I'm battery operated, I can even set up in a parking lot or fire circle.” MARK NICHOLS is a contemporary pop-song composer, playwright, and animator. Here is one of his catchy and clever songs: http://youtu.be/Bc7omJWQVmE Nichols composed a number of rock operas, including How to Survive the Apocalypse: A Burning Opera, inspired by Burning Man. (http://youtu.be/v43ZNsT2ihM) 

Some of Nichols’ repertoire also comes from years of collaboration with the Lummi Indian Fred Jamison, aka Beaverchief. Nichols and Beaverchief performed with the Seattle Symphony back in 1995 and released an album of twenty Northwest Coast Salish Songs, featuring symphony players, the Northewest Girls Choir, and scores of local musicians. (https://marknichols.bandcamp.com/album/big-magic).

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