The story of electronic music pioneer Kerry Leimer continues with a focus on his auteurist studio project Savant.
For Savant, Leimer enlisted a rotating cast of Seattle-based musicians, among them Marc Barreca, John Foster, Jim and David Keller, Alex Petit as well as Roy Finch and Dennis Rea, in a blindfolded collaboration whose happenstance source music Leimer would sample, loop and sculpt at will. In pursuit of spontaneity, Leimer asks these musicians to play instruments far outside their forté, guided by click tracks and loose rhythmic directions in an exploration of Cage-ean principles of chance operations and musical contingency.
Far from a provisional stab at avant-garde sensibilities, Savant represents Leimer’s repudiation of ambient music’s passive side. Artificial Dance embodies a perfectionist’s family portrait of outré musicians conforming to Leimer’s nonconformist musical ethos. Best expressed in his own words, Leimer describes the process as “… looking for flaws, for faults to act as the stand-out features of the music.” Fitting for its name, Leimer created conditions for asocial brilliance with Savant, materializing an outward offering from an inward studio and a collaboration of audacious invention.