Seething Mass are Manila-based, sound and visual artists Caliph8 and Nonplus. They met in the mid 90s while in art school, sharing their deep interest with crate-digging, graffiti, hiphop and other forms of artistic expression – later engaging in visual and sonic experiments and performances, developing a creative language that deal with ideas of merging, hybridity and their transformative implications.
Maia Reyes aka Nonplus is one of the few consistent female sonic experimenters and DJs in the Manila experimental sound community since the mid 90’s. Her work with sound, is a globally scaled montage of past sensibilities and strange tonal and rhythmic vocabularies that result in new cultural hybrids and intentional sonic anomalies where sound processing and composition play a huge part that fuels her live performances and DJ sets.
Caliph8 aka Arvin Nogueras is a sound and visual artist since the mid 90’s. Nogueras delves into sample-based granular synthesis using sound archives, where he treats samples beyond its ontological status. Rather, treating it as a part of history, wherein he dives deep into genres from the past – manipulating and shaping them to produce a rhizome-like outcome of obstacles and possibilities.
As Seething Mass, they both examine free form improvisation – combining sound manipulation techniques with prepared gear or objects with other recorded or sampled sounds where ideas of tension, summing and resolution all interweave. This allows them to scavenge for new meaning within the pronounced yet cryptic dialogue between existing ideas and encountering new ones accidentally in that given moment.
Seething Mass is a duo formed by Manila-based Caliph8 and Nonplus. Both are visual and sound artists and see their work in a continuum. Their interest in vinyl archiving and pushing the process of sample-based synthesis have been a key element in both composing and performing. The two have developed a creative language that merges different sensibilities that carry out hybridity through summing and sound manipulation to the extent that it’s meaning is shifted and possible interpretations can be multifaceted and open-ended. They explore the transformative implications of merging an assortment of techniques such as using prepared instruments, sampling and no input feedback processing — as these put a heightened emphasis on experimentation as they sift through its limitations and possibilities.
They have worked with different project outputs, such as film scoring, sound installation and recorded compositions.
Seething Mass has performed in different spaces and venues in Shanghai, Beijing, Japan, Berlin and Manila.