THE OCTOPUS PROJECT
The Octopus Project is Toto Miranda, Yvonne Lambert and Josh Lambert. Based in Austin, TX, the group of multi-instrumentalists has released six albums, starting with 2002’s Identification Parade. Touring clubs and festivals worldwide both on their own and as handpicked support for artists as diverse as DEVO and Aesop Rock, they’ve earned a reputation for explosive live shows and immersive audio-visual experiments.
Also active as composers for video games and film, they were awarded the Special Jury Award for Musical Score at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival for their work on the film Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter. The band recently finished a score for Damsel, directed by the Zellner Bros. and starring Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska. Austin’s favorite experimental pop band returned with their 6th studio album, Memory Mirror, in March 2017. The album was recorded by the band, mixed by Danny Reisch (Shearwater, White Denim) & Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, Flaming Lips), and mastered by Greg Calbi (David Bowie, Talking Heads).
Under the Botany moniker, Spencer Stephenson creates rich psychological and emotional experiences through audio. His music is a thoughtful attempt to convey the non-verbal through his particular mental prism, where sounds have potent symbolism in ways that are all but forgotten in the hermetic modern world.
He explains, “Sounds have archetypal connections to things in nature the same way visual symbols do. Low-end might be associated with thunder, or the sound of a mother’s heartbeat as heard from inside the womb, or an approaching stampede, or earthquake. Low-end generally indicates something bigger and more powerful than you. Treble sounds indicate something deadly rattling through foliage or something vital like water flowing close by. Reverberation has a connection to the holy and transcendent, it implies spatial largeness. It’s fun to hear these symbols coming out of ear-buds in a world where they aren’t useful on a daily basis, but are still so subconsciously powerful.”
Though Stephenson sees these constituent signifiers, he has a holistic vision of music “…functioning as a single pulsating thing, instead of a band with distinct parts,” which parallels his idea of the universe as an ever emergent, single conscious entity– a concept he finds spiritually gratifying, and one that’s pervasive in his music.