“I’d like for my music to be even more experimental and even more accessible at the same time,” says Holly Herndon, casually over green tea, a few weeks before the release of her second album Platform. The Bay Area electronic composer and singer has a disorienting habit of bursting into warm laughter after saying things like this, leaving you slightly uncertain as to whether she’s kidding. But this time, I’m sure she’s serious. Because if anyone were able to widen that impossible Venn diagram between experimental and accessible, it’s Holly Herndon.
Herndon sits at the intersection of music, art and technology like no one else. The tics and twitches of everyday electronic life blend seamlessly into her productions, whether recordings of her mundane laptop use or the sound of an iPhone unlocking. Currently a doctoral candidate at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, the 35-year-old created her shape-shifting last album Movement from warped vocal and bodily samples to show that electronic music and the tools it’s created with can be as personal and human as a violin – if not more so. For Herndon, the idea is to somehow make pop that sounds exactly like the time it’s being made in. “A big thing for me is not relying on nostalgia or past ways of expressing emotion, and trying to deal with things on the terms of 2015,” she explains. “I think it starts by trying to create new archetypes.”
Read the rest of this terrific interview with Holly Herndon via Holly Herndon’s New Horizons | Dazed.