Sadness Happens. Noise Ensues.
Occurrence is the electronic music project of Ken Urban. As of August 2012, Wayne S Feldman has officially joined the band. Collaborators include Jeff Stern (video), Duval Rodrigues (video), and Brian Truglio (images and video).
Occurrence began out of necessity. Ken's plays were first being produced in 2001 by companies that couldn't really afford sound designers. Knowing that sound was important to his plays, he began doing some rudimentary sound stuff for them. From there, it involved into a "sound project" and then later into a one-man band that made songs that sometimes border on pop. The band's first release is LONESOME ANIMALS, a 40 minute album in CD and MP3 format released on Icebox Recordings, a label run by Ken, in 2010. The band's second release is THE APOCALYPSE IS POSTPONED, released in January 2012. A new instrumental album FUTURE STRANGERS was released digitally on June 20, 2012 (Ken's birthday). In August, Wayne S Feldman joined the band and the pair began work on new music for Fall 2012 and Winter 2013. Their first release as a duo was THE COTTON FLOPPY EP released on October, 16, 2012.
The Occurrence FAQ
1.) Why Occurrence?
When I first started in 2001, I was a grad student in English and basically poor as dirt so I couldn't afford any programs like Albeton Live or Pro Tools. But I could get the free demo versions with things like the Save function disabled. But I didn't let that stop me. I'd play the stuff I was making in the demo version and record it onto a minidisc recorder that was connected via the headphone jack. I would basically hijack the sound before the program shut down or started flashing messages demanding that I buy it. A fidelity nightmare but when you are using a Blueberry G3 iMac circa OS9, weird stuff was bound to happen anyway. Since everything I was making was a one-time occurrence… The name was born. I told a friend about it and he said it was a stupid name for a band, so I kept it.
As I kept making these sound pieces, I moved away from thinking about them as sounds for productions (plus I was lucky that theaters were hiring sound designers for my shows now) so I embarked on a new project circa 2005 called "The Stairs Project" which was loosely based on a childhood memory that haunted me. When I was 8, my grandmother suffered a massive brain aneurism while I was alone with her. I was the last person my grandmother saw and I was the one who had to call an ambulance as I ran around frantically trying to find an adult in her neighborhood on a cold weekday morning. I wanted to create a series of pieces about this memory but wanted to do it without resorting to sounds that somehow reflected her or me. (In many ways, my grandmother introduced me to music since she played the organ religiously.) In 2005, I sent out a letter to a variety of friends and strangers requesting cassettes, CD-Rs and MDs of sounds. From that letter, I received, among other things, recordings of a surreptitiously recorded conversation at a cafe, an acoustic guitar jam session, the sound of rhinoceroses mating, a mariachi band performing in a subway station, and a woman whispering. I manipulated these sounds and created a series of tracks. I gave CD-Rs of the record to friends. Three of the tracks (edited, remixed, mastered, renamed, etc) eventually would wind up on LONESOME ANIMALS.
I use a lot of different things but some of my favorite pieces of equipment: a 2006 MacBook running Logic, Korg keyboard, Boss delay pedal, Kaoss pad, a broken Sony CD Walkman, a piano (when I can get access to one -- thanks MacDowell Colony!), a Roland SP-404 sampler, I've been buying some old Roland MC-307 Grooveboxes that I'm excited to use, picked up a new Akai Tap Delay Loop Pedal. I still use an old Behringer mixing board, my Casio SK-1 which I love, a yellow Kaossilator, lots of microphones, a crappy microcassette recorder that does very odd things. And so on. When I am working at the Icebox (recording space in Somerville, MA) I have access to drums and some other pedals and stuff.
Sorry. It's the only one I have.