September 25, 2015

Friday night live at Transistor: improvisational electronic duo Orlando and experimental electronic DJ Owls & Pillz. Sound by Jon Monteverde. 


Orlando began as a series of informal jam sessions between Timothy Steinman and Duncan Reilly. Through equal parts aesthetic considerations and the desire to not carry too many things to band practice, both musicians pared down their setups to just simple synthesizers and guitar pedals, deciding to do more with less. The sound this led to is anything but minimal, though — Tim uses an array of distortion, reverb and delay effects to turn familiar synth sounds into a roaring wall of sound, while Duncan produces gritty analog weirdness in stereo with his looper. Despite being far removed from those initial jam sessions, improvisation still plays a big role in Orlando’s sound. Songs are composed loosely to be used as frameworks for improvisations rather than rigid structures, and occasionally abandoned altogether. After playing together and developing their sound for several months, Orlando recorded their first EP in the winter of 2015, and is currently working on their second.

For their performance at Transistor, Orlando performed synth improvisations through an array of guitar effects and loopers.

Visit Orlando’s Bandcamp page.


Sean Walker, aka Owls & Pillz, is an electronic musician, producer and engineering student. Aside from music, Sean also develops audio processing software and is equal parts musician and technologist. Like many of today’s musicians, Sean produces within the digital realm, utilizing both software and hardware to produce heavily hitting but also chilled experimental and avant-garde music. Owls & Pillz draws inspiration from the environment: skate parks, forests, the city of Chicago and the great beyond, pushing past dubstep’s sometimes clinical restraints and into more chilled and abstract territory. “My music is driven from a need to do the right thing at the wrong time,” Sean says. He has been uploading beats to SoundCloud for free for over two years now and also streams his production sessions in Ableton Live on YouTube.

For his performance at The Transistor, Owls & Pillz improvised a live set of original experimental music using Ableton Live with abstract visuals (done in Max for Live) synced to the music.

Visit Owls and Pillz on Soundcloud.


Poster by Kendra Hutchings

Poster by Kendra Hutchings