"Joy Von Spain combines avant-garde (de)compositional knowledge with noise...provocation, resulting in intriguing, often unsettling music that sounds like a dream/nightmare collaboration between Karlheinz Stockhausen and Coil, or Iannis Xenakis and Lustmord..." - Dave Segal, SLOG, The Stranger's blog 12-22-08
Roland Juno 60, Korg Poly-800, Yamaha CS-5, the Backwards Records NW Korg 770, and an Alesis Micron Synthesizer, performs vocals, sequencing, piano, percussion, guitar and tapes alone and in collaboration. As vocalist she spans the divide between operatic and harsh. As an instrumentalist and composer, her experiments range from Classical and Avant-Garde music to power electronics, electro to ambient sound.
Joy Von Spain plays a Roland Juno 60, Korg Poly-800, Yamaha CS-5, the Backwards Records NW Korg 770, and an Alesis Micron Synthesizer, performs vocals, sequencing, piano, percussion, guitar and tapes alone and in collaboration. As vocalist spans the divide between operatic and harsh. As instrumentalist and composer, experiments range from symphonic & operatic music to power electronics, electro to ambient.
Her projects include 100PIECES, Son of None, The Noisettes, Nasty Hunter, and Roma X. ManKiller. Sound collaborations include those with Empty Remains, Herpes Hideaway, MURDER, Ground Tissues, and with butoh artists Vanessa Skantze & Alex Ruhe (of Danse Perdue/Death Posture). She previously studied music composition with Donald Erb, Marilyn Shrude and Elaine Broad, and improvisation with Brian Horst of the Noisettes.
Joy Von Spain has performed in the HARSH, No Tomorrow, Audio Holocaust and THREAT series (Seattle), Cacophony (Portland, OR), Backwards Records Night (Denver, Co) as well as Titwrench 2009 (Denver, CO), Seattle Occultural Music Festival 2009, The Olympia Experimental Music Festival (2007 & 2009), MethFest 2007 (Seattle, WA), and HARSHFEST (2007-2009)
In the Press:
"Joy Von Spain...occupies an integral position in (Seattle's) noise-music underground as half of 100Pieces with Murder, while also collaborating with various sonic brutes around town, most associated with Backwards Records. It's kind of like if Ruth White were moonlighting in Wolf Eyes. While writing compositions of great subtlety and unconventional beauty, Von Spain also shapes extreme frequencies into experimental noise pieces that show formidable thought regarding dynamics..." - DAVE SEGAL - The Stranger, Data Breaker: "Joy Von Spain Elegantly Raises Hell" 6-23-09
"There is a(n) ...evil sounding vibe emitting from this disc. Even something as simple as hammering at a piece of leather makes me feel like I am up to something much more sinister and ritualistic while Lady Lazarus is playing... This is a very intelligent release with an abundance of musical variety for the listener to absorb while still managing to flow together without sounding awkward. Clearly, Joy Von Spain does not make noise out of a lack of talent." - Kyle Martin, Which Way To The Beats blog 7-2-09
"Highbrow neoclassical composition meets antagonistic noisician instincts in Joy Von Spain's compelling pieces. Her 2007 disc Seeking Stockhausen's Moustache comes shrouded in a bracing darkness and distinctive tonalities. It will one day be regarded as a classic in Northwest avant-garde music—if it isn't already. - DAVE SEGAL The Stranger