Electronica, Experimental, Gothic, Instrumental
Portland, OR, USA
The Seesar project constructs dark ambient soundscapes inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft, utilizing Italian Futurism and Dadaist approaches to sound creation
In part, Seesar accomplishes this realization of darkness by performing on percussion from around the world using traditional and extended techniques, turning household items into musical instruments, and building new noise-making devices to generate unique sounds.
Seesar is typically a solo project by percussionist and Ethnomusicologist Dr. Will Connor, but occasionally extends to invite like-minded guest musicians.
Currently, Seesar has released three full-length CDs, appeared on several compilations of dark ambient music, and is participating in a multi-artist collaboration project with other Lovecraft-inspired Futurist music and multimedia artists under the name New Leaders of the Eldritch Cult, including sound design for Gothic drama company Dread Falls Theatre, and academic research related to Lovecraftian Futurism.
Seesar is the solo project of Will Connor, that was formed in 2007 in Honolulu, Hawai’i and continued in London, UK, and now Portland, Oregon. The project creates Lovecraft-inspired dark ambient works drawing heavily from the aesthetics of Italian Futurism to construct the music, using primarily percussion, homemade instruments, and household items re-purposed to be sonic devices. Seesar has made hundreds of live appearances in the UK and Europe, released three full-length CDs, made numerous contributions to dark ambient collections as a solo artist and collaborator, and is currently working on a four album and expanding the live show to include two more musicians, a stage designer, and five movement and puppet performers for a tour in 2018.
New Leaders of the Eldritch Cult
The conglomerate was formed by Will Connor in 2015 in response to encountering a large number of other artists working within the Lovecraftian Futurist art movement, in particular composer and ritual music performer Akoustik Timbre Frekuency, film maker Malik Madguten, and immersive performance company Dread Falls Theatre. The conglomerate was formed to develop and promote this important new direction of art that draws from two important staples of modern expression. New Leaders of the Eldritch Cult currently is comprised of 30 members, representing 10 countries. The projects first effort was a CD collecting music collaborations from seven of the members, entitled The Art of Eldritch Noise. Future projects include collaborations between visual artists and sound designers, a book of fiction and non-fiction related to the movement, a series of podcasts dramatizing members’ stories with music from the NLotEC composers, and more album releases, including a collection of simulated Lovecraftian rituals, a tribute to non-English Mythos writers, and a collection of all-female member collaborations.
Dread Falls Theatre
Founded in 2011 by Victoria Snaith, Dread Falls Theatre is a touring theatre company, inspired by folk lore,fairy tales, and Gothic literature, Dread Falls Theatre immerses audiences in a tangible world which is comfortable and familiar, yet simultaneously distant and different from their own that they are forced to abandon traditional theatre spectatorship. The way in which Dread Falls Theatre presents this non-traditional theatrical experience is through exploring the dialectic interactions between space, movement, and sound. Connor has provided composition, performance, and sound design for the most of the companies presentations and productions.
Will Connor – Percussionist
Will Connor is a London, UK and Portland, OR based percussionist devoted to experimenting and composing using unconventional instruments and techniques. Rethinking how to generate percussive and acoustic sounds with a goal of reversing the aural expectations of the instruments, attempting to create electronic sounds with acoustic devices, et cetera, Connor plays drones and sustained tones along with truncated, abrupt sounds. He freely draws upon Italian Futurism and Dadaist sensibilities to create textural soundscapes and industrial sonic explorations, performing on household objects and homemade devices, including pot lids, grill hoods, sheet metal, springs, shelf brackets, and bicycles, as well as traditional and ethnic percussion. Connor primarily performs dark ambient composed and improvised material, but also works in Gothic, jazz, rock, traditional-fusion, and modern classical contexts.
Connor often integrates his textural approach to performing with electronics, strings, and other metallic instruments in a wide range of musical settings, for example Connor’s work with Jo Quail (Gothic cellist), WARY (noise electronics, woodwinds, and percussion), Shugoran (dark ambient industrial soundscapes), P. A. S. (NYC-based experimental noisescape band), Second Head (Gothic Neofolk Grunge Rock), and artists such as Steve Beresford, Damo Suzuki, Philippe Petit (French avant garde DJ), Sandeep Mishra (Indian classical sarangi master), Laetecia Statier (Stereolab/Monade), z’ev, John Butcher, Sonic Pleasures, Cementimental, John Russell, the Panjara Trio (Iranian traditional music), and Farouk El Safi and Ali Kadir (Egyptian percussionists), and most recently PerKelt (Celtic Medieval Speed Folk).
Since starting to play percussion in 1978, Connor has played with projects such as The Pigeon Frequency Orchestra (Improv), one3four (Math-Punk and Improv), BAAMPHF!!! (Math-Punk), the Centre for Transgressive Behaviours (Absurdist Theatre and Improv), the Hawai`i Kakula Ensemble (Sulawesi percussion group), and Fukadugalon (Improv),as well as playing Chinese opera and Tibetan folk music, working with Butoh and contact improv dancers, and performing new compositions by upcoming young composers.
Connor holds degrees in acoustics, music, and ethnomusicology and completed his Ph.D. at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2012. Connor’s academic musical research and performance projects are all part of his larger goal to invent new ways of approaching percussion and assists him on his quest: He hopes to generate and incorporate exciting, cutting edge instrumentation and combine them with performance techniques that result in a continuous and exciting musical adventure that he shares with his listeners through live presentations and recorded media. Furthermore, Connor seeks to provide a creative outlet for his deep appreciation of Gothic literature, specifically his greatest literary influence H. P. Lovecraft. As part of this exploration, Connor released his first full length solo album in 2014 followed by three more to date, as well as at least one release by each of the other full time projects in which he was or still is involved during recent years (PerKelt, Tamerlan, and another Lovecraft-related set of material as collaborations with members of the New Leaders of the Eldritch Cult). In addition to continue publishing academic music research papers and new recording endeavors with Seesar and other projects, Connor expects to return to touring early 2018.
2016 – New Leaders of the Eldritch Cult (feat. Seesar) – The Art of Eldritch Noise
2016 – Tamerlan – Luciferian
2016 – Seesar – Oxgerma Kathule OST
2016 – Dark Ambient Vol. 11 – V.A. (featuring Seesar)
2016 – PerKelt – Dancer in the Wind
2016 – Seesar – The Silver Key
2015 – Sombre Soniks Sampler Vol. II
2015 – Dark Ambient Vol. 10 – V.A. (featuring Seesar)
2015 – Dark Ambient Vol. 9 – V.A. (featuring Seesar)
2014 – Thee Sombre Soniks Sakrament 01
2014 – Seesar – Flight of Raphtontis
2014 – Dark Ambient Vol. 7 – V.A. (featuring Seesar)
2013 – PerKelt – Dowry of a Troll Woman
2013 – V.A. – Une Nuit de Bruit
2013 – Vultures Quartet – Sui Generis
2013 – Anton Mobin and Will Connor – Four Days from Now
2013 – Dark Ambient Vol. 6 – V.A. (featuring Seesar)
2012 – Dark Ambient Vol. 5 – V.A. (featuring Seesar)
2011 – Vultures Quartet – Tourbillon D’obscurite’
2011 – Why Camels have No Wings – eponymous
2011 – V.A. – Kuomyou – Dark Music for Japan Earthquake Relief (feat. Vultures Quartet)
2011 – V.A. – Do What Thou Whilt Vol. 1 (featuring Seesar)
2011 – V.A. – Under a Big Red Sun (feat. Vultures Quartet and Seesar)
2010 – Jo Quail – From the Sea
2010 – Vultures Quartet with Ampersand
2010 – V.A. – P.A.S. Musique Presents (featuring Vultures Quartet)
2010 – Dark Ambient Vol. 2 – V.A. (featuring Seesar)
2010 – V.A. – With Friends Like These… (feat. Vultures Quartet)
2009 – V.A. – Dictaphonia Microcassette Compliation Vol. 03 (feat. Vultures Quartet)
2009 – Vultures Quartet – 56:29
2009 – V.A. Manefesto (featuring Will Connor)
2001 – BAAMPHF!!! – Master of Ji Jia Temple
1991 – one3four – Automation Organism
1991 – one3four – Jazz Monsters
1991 – one3four – La Diabla (an Opera in Four Parts) (EP)
1990 – one3four – Unit M / Reverser (45 single)
1990 – one3four – Unit F / Buried Alive (45 single)
1989 – one3four – Cryptonumerology (EP)
1989 – one3four – Too Much Jolt / Soda Piss (45 single)
1989 – one3four – 1 / 3-4 (45 single)
1988 – one3four – 2 / 5 (45 single)
1988 – one3four – Red Tape (cassette only)
1985 – Sleestaks – eponymous
(Will Connor is primarily an instrumental artist)
– Connor started drumming in 1978
Jason Simpson at Forestpunk: “Connor elicits a wide array of skittering pulses, taps, springs, dings, clunks, and scrapes from hinges, household shelves, and other bric-a-brac, in a way that sounds like mice crawling across your ear drums or being buried alive in field ticks. It’s deliciously unsettling!”
John Julius at Beatroute Magazine says about Seesar’s first two releases, “Those enamoured with drone music and sound art will appreciate moments of unfettered brilliance while an open-minded fan of concept albums will fidget about uncomfortably and love every second of it.”
From the article Seesar: Flight of Raphtontis / The Silver Key
Sante Sangre magazine in a review of Seesar’s first CD Flight of Raphtontis says, “Connor entitles himself as an Enthomusicologist and part of the sounds (the drums actually) come from his research during his Master’s and Ph.D. studies. Seemingly, on Elder Things Below Kharkhov Station he blended field recordings from that area with deconstructed sounds in order to evoke an imaginary underground area inhabited by dormant creatures. Light Tubular noises develop like sparling drops on a lava fluid texture. The percussion elements vibrate the are and awake the Flight of Raphtontis. This reptile bird bears the soul ever and ever deeper through the world beneath, along dim vague spaces. The musical trip engages into losses of consciousness and sudden awakening to unnatural visions.
Daniel Simmonds from The Rotten Zombie website says, “This is music to conduct strange rituals […], maybe some background noise for perusing the Necronomicon, and it is well-made stuff!”
Alternation, in a review of Flight of Raphtonis published, “As you can see, Dr. Will Connor managed not only to create perfect illustrative music, but also [a] separate structure, which is located and develops in Lovecraft like mythology. Characteristic rhythm of these classic horror stories is reflected in [Seesar’s] compositions, and [Mythos] literature itself reflects in [Seesar’s] sounds as if in a mirror. Seesar not not only directly refers to [Lovecraft’s writings] by titles and dark ambient illustrations, but imposes in his work atmosphere and attitudes typical for [Lovecraft’s] readers and characters – seeking the inscrutable despite obvious danger, attracted by it.”
Edgar Kerval of Pan.O.Ra.Ma Journal says of Flight of Raphtontis, “The highlight of the album is how Dr. Connor is able to structure all different percussive sounds into a sole concrete enigmatic shadow, moving through diverse angles, creating one of the best experimental ambient releases due to the nature of how the tracks are built, and more knowing he creates mostly [through] percussive elements […] Connor explains that the whole album works as a catalyst for an influx of Lovecraftian energies, latent in its enigmatic and obscure Futuristic emanations. A highly recommended album, if looking for something creative, intense, and deep! I am looking forward to hearing more from him in the future…”
Lovecraft Inspired Project Unites Futurist Musicians from Around the World in Art of Eldritch Noise, January 28, 2017
Master of Horror Literature Resurrected in New Immersive Theatre Show (Dread Falls Theatre, Seesar)
Sombre Soniks is reissuing Seesar’s first full-length solo album Flight of Raphtontis as a limited edition numbered digipack CDR on 31 January, 2017. For more details visit: Seesar Flight of Raphtontis on Sombre Soniks Bandcamp Page