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Holly Herndon Delves Deep Into Production Secrets In A Lecture For Ableton

The San Francisco artist tackles the technology behind her visceral music.

February 25, 2016

Composer Holly Herndon is known for incorporating the omnipresent technology of our 21st century existence into her ambitious music, relying mainly on her laptop to create coldly beautiful soundscapes. In a recent talk at Ableton's Loop Summit for musicians, she revealed the processes that enable her to realise her creative vision, and discussed the development of computerized music that has allowed a generation of artists to mine areas unexpected as stock market data for musical inspiration.


Herndon also discussed the hostile reception she received for her early experimentation with computer technology. "I know it seems crazy now, but having a laptop in a club then was really looked down upon. I felt like I was having to defend myself for the decisions I was making inside the academy [Mills College, California] and also on the weekends when I was playing out for fun. It was around this time I came up with the idea that the laptop is the most intimate instrument we've seen."

The Stanford doctoral student also unpicked the complexities of production and recording, dealing with the specifics of how her music is created, and how to generate noises such as the sound of "little caged animals." Check out the talk in full above.

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Holly Herndon Delves Deep Into Production Secrets In A Lecture For Ableton