Together Boston

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Together Boston
Together logo.jpg
Genre Music, Art and Technology
Date(s) May 14–21, 2017
Frequency Annually
Location(s) Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Years active 8
Inaugurated 2010
Most recent May 15–22, 2016
Website
togetherboston.com

Together Boston is an annual music festival based in Massachusetts that was first held in February, 2010. Its primary focus is to emphasize the unity of music, art and technology and their propagation in the city of Boston. Through a week-long series of educational and professional discussions, demonstrations, installations, screenings and performances at venues around the Boston/Cambridge area, Together Boston attracts thousands of people every year, and has increased its attendance every year as a primary New England area music festival. Although the festival was historically based in and around Boston, its office is across the Charles River in Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts.[1]

2016

For its seventh year, the festival honed in on its more technological side. Three different installations were included at the Middlesex Lounge, including the incredible Lumen Octangula[2] programmed by Theresa Silver. Downstair at the Middle East, meanwhile, featured an LED wall behind the stage for the first time. Other outstanding technologists participated all week-long. Finally, the riveting and electric performance of the Floating Points live show at The Sinclair for the launch party was a perfect set-up for the week to come.

2015

2015 was a year of growth and constriction. The first-ever official Resident Advisor event was a highlight featuring Mano LeTough and Bob Moses, while Andy Stott played the opening night party. Dirtybird Records' Justin Martin brought the house down, Sango visited to represent the Soulection movement, and the Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge was turned into a dark black box of flashing lights. While the number of events declined, the quality of the experience was heightened. Art installations like a human-sized Lite Brite and the world premiere of the Gif Dance Party[3] left quite an impression on attendees.

2014

This year saw a number of special musical events including Bob Mould playing in Cambridge to celebrate the 10th anniversary of gay marriage, Chicago soul champions The Numero Group visiting Boston's legendary Soulelujah team and the debut of an experimental live lab in Inman Square's LilyPad featuring leading lights of Massachusetts' psychedelic rock community such as Major Stars, Sunburned Hand of the Man and internationally recognized sound designer Keith Fullerton Whitman. Other guests from 2014 included Detroit techno legend Robert Hood, Brooklyn's Mos Def, Germany's Tensnake and Norway's Cashmere Cat, most recently responsible for producing a single for Ariana Grande.

2013

In 2013, Together hosted internationally known musical artists such as Flying Lotus from Los Angeles, Four Tet from London, Crystal Castles and Grammy-nominee Duke Dumont, both from Toronto, Oscar-winner Juicy J with A$AP Ferg, Zomby and more.

2012-10

2012 highlights included now-popular television star Big Freedia, critically acclaimed noise producer (and one-time Massachusetts resident) Oneohtrix Point Never and Album of the Year Grammy-winner Todd Edwards. 2011 and 2010 both included any number of now superstars including SBTRKT, Nico Jaar, Spank Rock, Damian Lazarus and Trentemoller.

Mission[edit]

The festival's motto, "Music, Art, Technology," underlies its efforts to link new music with all aspects of modern and forward thinking culture via an intellectual slant. The festival seeks to provide more than just a week of music, educating attendees through daytime panels, art exhibitions, and film screenings.[4]

Music[edit]

The music component also focuses on showcasing any number of local musicians from the Boston area (Horse Jumper of Love, André Obin, Blue Boy Productions, Guillermo Sexo, John Barera, Mean Creek, Ricardo Donoso), and pairing them up with international stars. In addition, the festival spotlights key visual artists and technologists from the city's burgeoning innovation and art community: past artists have included First Night honoree Zebbler, Brian Kane (formerly of Emergency Broadcast Network) and Beyoncé-video director Julian Wadsworth. 2013 film screenings included Style Wars and We Are Modeselektor at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2014 they screened I Dream of Wires, a documentary about the modular synthesizer at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.

Together Boston has announced their dates for 2016. The celebration begins Sunday May 15 and ends Sunday May 22.

Acclaim[edit]

Together Boston has been gathering acclaim since its inception. In its first year, Metro Boston reported that "Reaction is positive from community, business groups involved.".[5] In 2011, the Boston Globe reported that "with an increased focus on a slate of daytime panels, discussions, and technology demonstrations, the organizers want to engender a dialogue about music."[6] 2012 saw Red Bull Music Academy documentation with future Best Album Grammy-winner Todd Edwards[7] and Chicago Juke legend DJ Rashad.,[8] while music website Earmilk said: "Together creates a nightlife with smart undertones for people to gather around to try to find something a bit more transcendent, surrounded by cool, interesting people."[9]

In 2013, Together received a lengthy, positive and well-written review from tastemaking music magazine XLR8R: "Together remains a festival by Bostonians for Bostonians, a fitting labor of love for a city in need of as much love as it can get."[10] And also from the Boston Globe: "This year’s programming further emphasizes the art and technology aspects of Together’s larger mission."[11] The following year, the Globe said: "The focus of the week is not just music, but also the art and technology that makes Boston such a thriving, creative place to live at the moment."[12] The same year, Fact Magazine said "Together Boston is rapidly positioning itself as one of the United States’ best events for forward-thinking music."[13]

In 2014, new Boston Mayor Marty Walsh chimed in on the festival, before dropping the ceremonial "first beat." "Lineups like these garner national and international attention," the Mayor said, "which helps us strengthen Boston's reputation as a cultural destination."[14] And reputable international music magazine Resident Advisor gave the festival a 4.5 out of 5 star review in 2014. "Together showed what a dedicated community can accomplish even with factors like that stacked against it, and it made the city seem vibrant, fun and hungry for good music."[15]

In November 2014, Together Boston was awarded "Best Festival" in Boston by The Boston Calendar.[16] The Boston Calendar organizers called the event "ahead of its time."

Thump, Vice Magazine's dance music channel, reviewed the festival[17] at its sixth iteration. "The sixth edition of Together ... was a reminder of how much Boston still has to offer for the tribes of dance music fans who live here." And: "Despite its size, Together pulled off an impressive range of sounds from across the electronic spectrum."

Resident Advisor again visited to review the event.[18] "With consistent sound, good crowds, solid venues and a great lineup, I still can't quite narrow down exactly what made Together 2015 feel as great as it did. Maybe it's just a matter of getting all the little things right."

Previewing the festival, Resident Advisor called Together 2016 a global destination in their "Top 10 Music Festivals[19]" feature.

In 2016, The Boston Globe nailed it.[20] of the super-event: "The core notion of the festival ... isn’t just to provide a good time, but to illustrate the fertile mix of art and technology intrinsic to current-day Boston, a city that celebrates its visual artists and musicians even as it cultivates a fresh identity as a hub for technological advancement."

After that year, Resident Advisor said:[21] "The festival's seventh year was its best yet, primarily through refinement: rather than growing larger and more sprawling, Together has narrowed its focus. Every day of the week there was at least one—and often several—things to look forward to."

Musical Performances[edit]

Together has held events at most Boston/Cambridge, MA area venues, such as The Sinclair, The Middle East, House of Blues Boston, Royale, Paradise, Great Scott, Middlesex Lounge, Goodlife, Phoenix Landing and more. As a festival that focuses on hosting "showcase" style events over the course of a week, some of the following artists appeared together for label showcases, or as a part of a typical club night roster.[22]

Notable musical artists who have worked with Together Boston include:

2016[edit]

2015[edit]

2014[edit]

Numero Group with Soulelujah during Together Boston.

2013[edit]

2012[edit]

Todd Edwards performing at Together Festival

2011[edit]

SBTRKT performing at Together 2011

2010[edit]

Sinden performs at Together 2010

Daytime Events[edit]

Discussions/Panels/Lectures[edit]

For the first time in the festival history, Together Boston,[23] which helped to guide festival attendees all week long. Meetups for 2016 commenced with a discussion on,[24] again in partnership with the Dutch Government. Tech huddles commented all week as well, again at the tech hub named Danger!Awesome. The talent behind the VJ Competition held a [25] Ableton and VJing. The record fair was once again a success, this time welcoming a guest host in accomplished producer Martyn.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh "Dropping the beat" at District Hall

2015 Seminar highlights included visiting author Michaelangelo Matos discussing his book The Underground is Massive, an "RA Exchange" podcast with Martyn, and an official Ableton session with Ellie Herring. The Cambridge-based makerspace Danger Awesome held its own concurring events, like the Cryptoparty with the Massachusetts Pirate Party and a music hackathon. There was also a unique international component as the festival hosted a large number of Dutch guests from Utrecht. The end result was an official proclamation from the Boston's Mayor Marty Walsh honoring the contributions the Dutch have made to international culture.[26]

2014 the daytime events transformed into two locations: The Mmmmaven Project educational program in Central Square and District Hall, Boston's brand-new home of innovation in Boston's Seaport District. The Recharge Lounge featured Integrating live performance in Ableton and demonstrations of creative collaboration with ToUch Performance Art.[27] Meanwhile, District Hall held the "Ableton Spaces," which included demonstrations of Ableton's popular push controller, vocal processing with Natasha Kmeto and How to Make Music with Plants featuring Data Garden from Philadelphia.[28]

Also at District Hall were the "Together Talks" featuring four themed days of discussion. Day 1, "Community Day" featured Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh "dropping the ceremonial first beat"[29] and a discussion with Boston-raised superstars Soul Clap.[30] Friday was Technology Day which featured VSnap, Cadenza and Groupmuse.[31] Saturday then became "Music Day" with presentations from Harvard University, MassArt and famed "technomusicologist" Wayne Marshall.[32] Finally, art had its place on Sunday May 18 with multiple presentations from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a segment on augmented wearable fashions from the Rhode Island School of Design[33]

2013's panels included a discussion on artist representation in the digital age with Josh Bhatti of Bowery Boston, Carter Adams of the Windish Agency and Michael Walsh of XLR8R,[34] a panel on copyright law in the modern era moderate by Andy Sellars of Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society[35] and a Q&A with meme celebrity Scumbag Steve.[36]

Demonstrations from 2012 included a Drum Production workshop hosted by iZotope, and a panel called "Needles vs Buttons," discussing the differences between vinyl DJing and Digital Djing. As well as more general music and creative industry panels such as "Beyond Ramen: Surviving as an Artist" and "War Stories from the Start-Up Front".[37]

Film Screenings[edit]

Together Festival also focuses on screening films that relate to music and aspects of new music cultures throughout the week of each festival.[38] The screenings typically take place at Boston and Cambridge, MA's independently owned cinemas, though screenings have taken place at the area's largest cinema, Boston Common Lowes 19. A few of the films, focusing on German artists, were screened at Boston's Goethe Institute.

Previous years film selections included:

Get Together[edit]

2012 Get Together

Every year, the festival hosts a daytime farmers market-style trade show where local enthusiasts and music products retailers display and sell many different products relating to music culture. In previous years, music products retailers Music Studio Direct as well as representatives from a number of software developers such as Ableton have had booths side by side with a wide array of local vendors. It is particularly popular for its wide assortment of second hand dance music vinyl records sold and traded by local DJs throughout the day.

In 2013, Get Together moved outdoors to the become the World's Fair.[39] The event featured live music, DJ stages and food from local restaurants and food trucks as well as the traditional trade show.

2014 saw the debut of the Soul Clap Record Fair, a tradition that has turned into a seasonal event in Cambridge, MA.[40]

Competitions[edit]

Together also runs an amateur remix, DJ and VJ[41] competition each year, open to all USA residents which, in 2013, awarded prizes including festival passes, an opening slot for Tiga, courses at the MMMMaven DJ school and a wide assortment of production software and software plug-ins. Production competitions in recent years have allowed entrants to remix Boston-based artists Bad Rabbits, Win Win, Tiga and Cambridge's own Soul Clap, who have become one of the world's most prominent DJ and Production groups.

Annual Compilations[edit]

Each year, the festival assembles a compilation of tracks from local musicians and releases it for free in different ways.[42]

2016

  1. Saucy Lady - Bitches All Sound The Same
  2. Dumka - Grim
  3. Camino 84 - Barely Broken
  4. Basek - Night And Day
  5. Antonious Monk - Green Planet
  6. Colin Domigan - RaveTech 9000
  7. Fuzzy Fotch - Bad Boy
  8. Hot Pot - Hug Dealer
  9. Odd Job - Throwya
  10. Omdose - Nuwoseo Tteok Muggi
  11. TWISM, B3RAO & Groove N Soul - Ibiza Life
  12. Peter Corvaia - Track 'Em
  13. Jack Novin - The Warmest
  14. Jonathan Santarelli - Vibe
  15. GMGN - Get Stoopid
  16. L'Homie & FlyLosophy - Red Mantis
  17. Andski - 617
  18. Bamboora - Good Times
  19. DERIC - Don't Stop

2015

  1. ø˚(Alt-OK) - Revol
  2. Camino - You My Love
  3. GMGN - In The Fields
  4. John Barera & Bob Diesel - No Fly List
  5. Peter Corvaia - Due Time
  6. Twism & B3RAO - Detroit
  7. Dusty Digital - Acid Will Set You Free
  8. Knowlton Walsh - Jaded
  9. Mr. Marimba - Two
  10. Pat Fontes - Hudson House Pizza
  11. TECHNCN - Turning Point
  12. Adam Noya - Back Up
  13. Dumka - Motif
  14. Fuzzy Fotch - Yo Cut
  15. Moduloktopus - All That Ever Mattered Was How Well You Lived The Present Moment
  16. Tone Ra & Jon Pon (d) Scum - Prophets
  17. Vaepors - 911 Emergency
  18. Antonious Mong - Titanium Girlscout
  19. KiA MAZZi: The City On The Hill
  20. Noms X CHLO - Kuma Hugz
  21. Nu.F.O - Rise up
  22. ShaR4 - Bring Us Together

In 2014, Together Boston partnered with local label Zakim Recordings to produce a vinyl edition of the compilation, with 6 of the tracks featured on a special-edition 12" release.[43] All six could be found on the Zakim Bandcamp page, the rest were released digitally via Soundcloud. Those on the special Zakim edition are indicated by a *.

2014

  1. Adam Noya - It's All A Hologram
  2. Doctor Jeep - Together
  3. John Barera/Baltimoroder - Walled City
  4. John Barera/Ali Berger - Off the Clock
  5. Smeed & Suspense - Handle It
  6. Undrig - Backslider *
  7. Cirrus - Almost There
  8. Coralcola - Moping Mechanism
  9. Living Light (Eartha Harris) - Hidden Mission
  10. Shar4 & Kid Optimus - Would You Be
  11. n0ms - Westcoast to Coast
  12. Colin Domigan - Strap Up
  13. Fuzzy Fotch - Dub Chi *
  14. Eric Rigo - Dreams
  15. Chadley - Unfortunate Truth
  16. Pat Fontes - Suburban Shake
  17. Moduloktopus - Bottom Pushah *
  18. TBMA - Obsessed (Voltran Remix)
  19. Monktec - Kenmore
  20. Tone Ra - Tell Me If There's An Iceberg *
  21. Amaranth - Davis Square
  22. Skullyman - Staying Ground *
  23. Choppa Dunks & Prince Fox - Money On My Mind
  24. Wubson - Hentai
  25. EHT - Amethyst
  26. Nick Garcia - Visions
  27. Timmy Trax & BRRIO - Lookin' 4
  28. G Notorious - 787
  29. Micetro - Brunch Muzik *
  30. Tide Eye - Sweat
  31. Dusty Digital - Nightdrift
  32. XzakLee - Saxohornz
  33. GMGN - Pieces
  34. Virek & Surgio - Spare Me
  35. Dark & Stormy - My Body
  36. Blunt Sinatras - Subba Rankz

In 2013, the compilation featured Boston-based artists including M.O.O.N., Tone Ra, Doctor Jeep, Fuzzy Fotch and Ali Berger. As with every year, the 2013 compilation was made available for free to all festival attendees and are still made available on Together's webpage and Soundcloud account.

2013

  1. Tone Ra - There It Is
  2. AxH - Take a Number Baby
  3. Holm - May Whatever You Believe In Be With You these Days
  4. Space Oreo - Vindaloo
  5. Bass Glutton - Hit Da Flo!
  6. Ceoux - There Are Birds Outside
  7. Victor Radz - Make a Living
  8. Noms - Egypt
  9. Chadley - Slowsey Downsey
  10. Kaan Erbay - Lost With You
  11. Cirrus - Foxhound
  12. Doctor Jeep - Devil Rhythm
  13. SBJCT #3 - Summ-R
  14. Fuzzy Fotch - Rinse Out
  15. Gonja - Persian Passover (ft. Wallace Liberachi)
  16. Victims of Modern Art - Small Apartment Windows
  17. Hasaan Barclay - Turismo
  18. Ali Berger - Laser Beam
  19. Secret School - ICA Step
  20. M.O.O.N. - Case Logic
  21. Tide Eye - Falling
  22. Visual Transitions - Bourne (Sagamore)

In 2012, the compilation was also made available through download cards sponsored in part by FizzKicks.

2012

  1. Prism - Iconic Soul 6:00
  2. Chadley - The Love 6:40
  3. Fifty Grand - I Have Never Been Afraid 6:00
  4. AxH - My Baby Bad 4:39
  5. Valor - Warehouse Rave 6:55
  6. Doctor Jeep - Preciso 5:55
  7. P.Dumsk - Take A Penny 2:20
  8. J-Hilla - Fuse 6:31
  9. Quam - Coordinate 5:40
  10. M.O.O.N - Delay 8:17
  11. Sergio Paramo - Chicago (Festival Mix) 6:02
  12. DJ Melee & Shuman - Vulpine 6:44
  13. Rewrote - Gravel 2:29
  14. Brent Still Life - Taken From You 5:02
  15. Glass Teeth - Hurt Me 2:40
  16. L.A.D.S - Get You Off My Mind 6:30
  17. Figgy - I Can't Help 3:46
  18. DeQualia - Rescue When Beautiful 7:27

2011 saw the festival's first coordination via Soundcloud.[44]

2011

  1. Coracola (ft. Andre Obin) - Little Doll
  2. Dev Null - Bithowl
  3. Dabu - Ghetto Ballerinas
  4. Brothers - Faded Signal
  5. Red Foxx - I WANT 2 B FREE
  6. Ming Ming - Drawer of Bitches
  7. Doctor Jeep - Yr Mind (Elkid Mzungu remix)
  8. Christopher Wade - Miss Vicarious Sunset
  9. Steppo - Gassed
  10. Kat Fyte - Grab It
  11. DJ Vous - Doin My Thang
  12. DJ Die Young - Cambridge Bells
  13. Grizzly - Dance With Me
  14. Black Adonis - So Fine
  15. The Statesmen - 19 Drops

In its first year, the 8-song compilation came courtesy of CDRs provided by Discmakers.

2010

  1. Sect - Searching for Santos
  2. Binmaker - Pep Pep
  3. Bodega Girls - Ain't That Cold
  4. Sluttt - Kiss Infinity
  5. Encanti - Dub Fish
  6. Christopher Wade - Falling In
  7. Coracola - Egggirl
  8. Chris Ward - Don't Know

See also[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.cambridgeday.com/2012/03/30/together-festival-launches-monday-from-base-in-central-square/
  2. ^ http://www.thebostoncalendar.com/events/orbiting-the-lumen-octangula/
  3. ^ http://www.gifdanceparty.com/
  4. ^ http://togetherboston.com/about/festival-overview/
  5. ^ https://www.flickr.com/photos/togetherboston/4361882403/in/photostream/lightbox/
  6. ^ http://www.boston.com/yourtown/cambridge/articles/2011/04/15/electronic_music_together_festival_continues_to_grow/
  7. ^ http://www.rbmaradio.com/shows/todd-edwards-live-at-together-2012
  8. ^ http://www.rbmaradio.com/shows/dj-rashad-live-at-together-2012
  9. ^ http://www.earmilk.com/2012/04/09/festival-report-together-boston/
  10. ^ http://www.xlr8r.com/features/2013/05/10-lessons-we-learned-together-f
  11. ^ https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2013/05/09/annual-together-festival-goes-beyond-beat/kkZXkKcfTeI3H9FJNZyCGP/story.html
  12. ^ https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2014/02/27/together-festival-masters-mix-for-installment/VDlyVn5RY3oM0NPWXz4wqL/story.html
  13. ^ http://www.factmag.com/2014/04/25/bostons-together-festival-reveals-full-lineup-featuring-robert-hood-martyn-and-more/
  14. ^ http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/music/guestlisted/2014/05/mayor_marty_walsh_dropping_in_on_together
  15. ^ http://www.residentadvisor.net/review-view.aspx?id=15027
  16. ^ http://www.thebostoncalendar.com/awards
  17. ^ https://thump.vice.com/en_us/article/together-festival-how-boston-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-dance-music
  18. ^ https://www.residentadvisor.net/reviews/17085
  19. ^ https://www.residentadvisor.net/features/2582
  20. ^ https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2016/05/11/five-performances-catch-together-boston-festival/pSXhkQQwHxabeSPQvad1PK/story.html
  21. ^ https://www.residentadvisor.net/reviews/19248
  22. ^ http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2010/02/07/electronic_music_festival_ready_to_connect_in_unlikely_place____boston/
  23. ^ http://togetherboston.com/together-app
  24. ^ https://www.eventbrite.com/e/america-the-netherlands-a-history-of-dance-music-tickets-25174532705#
  25. ^ http://togetherboston.com/2016-schedule/#!programmation=event$rhythm-light/174
  26. ^ http://www.dutchcultureusa.com/blog/2371/mmmmaven-received-an-official-proclamation-from-the-boston-mayor
  27. ^ http://togetherboston.com/mmmmaven-recharge-lounge-days-1-2/
  28. ^ https://www.ableton.com/en/blog/ableton-spaces-together-center-2014/
  29. ^ http://instagram.com/p/oCARcPkmSf/
  30. ^ http://togetherboston.com/together-talks-community-day-515/
  31. ^ http://togetherboston.com/together-talks-technology-day-516/
  32. ^ http://togetherboston.com/together-talks-music-day-517/
  33. ^ http://togetherboston.com/together-talks-art-day-518/
  34. ^ http://digboston.com/boston-news-opinions/2013/05/discussion-artistic-representation-in-the-digital-age-together-center/
  35. ^ http://togetherboston.com/panel-wrap-up-may-16/
  36. ^ http://togetherboston.com/panel-wrap-up-may-14/
  37. ^ http://digboston.com/boston-news-opinions/2012/03/together-2012-daytime-events/
  38. ^ http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2013/05/08/together-festival-cambridge-schedule/
  39. ^ http://digboston.com/boston-music-concerts/2013/05/together-2013-another-worlds-fair-in-central-square/
  40. ^ https://world.timeout.com/events/soul-clap-record-fair-10-10-4-8pm
  41. ^ http://togetherboston.com/remix-competition/
  42. ^ http://togetherboston.com/compilation/
  43. ^ http://www.bdcwire.com/giveaway-together-boston-and-zakim-recordings-release-festival-compilation-on-vinyl/
  44. ^ https://soundcloud.com/togetherboston/sets/together-2011-compilation