Bio

Morgan

SHORT BIO:

Morgan is a Berlin-based American-Indonesian artist who performs as Memeshift, coaxing danceable musical forms from common grooveboxes, old laptops, drum machines, Ableton Live and off-the-shelf synthesizers.  Morgan’s other projects include .obat. which emits resonant drones for attentive listening and messyfingers which complexifies and performs site-specific electroacoustic music inspired by gamelan percussions.

Morgan’s musicological interests also include ballads, spirituals and other roots Americana as well as FM synthesis, gamelan and live sound composition using microphones and mixer feedback.

Morgan is currently developing new work sonifying and performing the cassettes, MiniDiscs, floppy discs, hard drives and CD-Rs he’s amassed over the past 4 decades.

LONG BIO:

Morgan wrote his first piece of music living in a village in Indonesia when he was 4 years old.  The song was a story about giant eagles coming to eat a castle and all the people in it and because of this rather spectacular event, many, many people – fire trucks, police, kings, queens and townsfolk – all gathered to celebrate as the elaborate castle was devoured.

Live set at Alena Museum

Live set at Alena Museum

Morgan is also the son of an exiled Indonesian court dancer and free-spirited American writer and ship-builder, having grown up in an oil-financed beach colony on the eastern coast of Borneo. He is also the great-grandson of a Dayak headhunting chief from Sarawak and a brutal military general from the plains of the Central United States and perhaps performs and lives as colonized and colonizer in one.

After being smuggled from Borneo to live in a plantation owner’s house in Hawaii, Morgan continued experiencing the dual-sonic realities of traditional Javanese gamelan music with Western songs from blues, pop, folk and other Americana. As English was the main language spoken wherever home was, many of the lyrics for Indonesian songs were lost in his journey Eastward across the United States towards Europe.

Picking up the sound cultures of techno, dub, punk and other club musics along the way, much of Morgan’s practice lies in searching out and harmonizing resonances between these histories through writing, djing and performing.

Mememshift Performing at Run the Length of Your Wildness

Currently based in Berlin, Morgan performs as Memeshift coaxing danceable musical forms from common grooveboxes, old laptops, drum machines, Ableton Live and off-the-shelf synthesizers.  Morgan’s other projects include .obat. which emits resonant drones for attentive listening and messyfingers which complexifies and performs site-specific electroacoustic music inspired by gamelan percussions. Morgan also plays live, downtempo ambient music with Denis Altschul as Kencur – music inspired by the mildly psychedelic southeast Asian root of the same name.

Morgan has played alongside artists like Jega (Planet Mu, Matador), Tom Burbank (Planet Mu), El Poeta (imputor?), Frik n’ Frak (Brokenbeat, Frik n’ Frak), Louis Haiman (Transmat, fwdthought, Fountain Music), Disrupter (disruptermusic), Miguel Vega (AccentFeed), and Marcos Fernandes (Accretions, Trummerflora). Morgan has also produced music for a variety of indoor/outdoor events, local documentaries, an independent film as well as recorded and produced an album with San Francisco-based shoegaze band, Skycamp. 

Most recently, Morgan collaborated with performance artist and sound scholar meLê yamomo and performer Pepe Dayaw for SONUS: the sound within us at Ballhaus Naunystrasse.  This lecture performance explores the history of imperialism, post-colonial nationalism and the migration of Southeast Asian musicians rendered subaltern.

Morgan is currently developing new work sonifying and performing the cassettes, MiniDiscs, floppy discs, hard drives and CD-Rs he’s amassed over the past 4 decades.