Beardyman: live in concert (pt. 1)


Dear Matthew:

I’m pleased to hear that you liked Wrong. It fills me with hope.

But, as discussed in real life, we’ll be doing something a little different this week. I know it’s a little early in this blog’s life for a format change, but you had the idea that we should make each other go to some live shows. Mostly I just think you couldn’t convince anyone else to go see Magma with you later this month, but either way, we’re switching it up this week, and this week, you’re coming with me to see Beardyman.

Daren ‘Beardyman’ Foreman is hard to describe; any one term I think of is inadequate on its own. He’s a beatboxer. He’s a mimic. He’s an improviser. He’s a live looper. He’s a producer. He’s got about a million things going on in his head at any one time, and he keeps getting better and better at turning them into music with ever decreasing latency. To this end, he has created a device he calls the Beardytron 5000, and that’s what he’ll be using when we see him play on Wednesday.

The Beardytron 5000 is, essentially, a device for translating the sounds in Foreman’s head into music in as close to real time as possible. It’s a series of iPads and various control surfaces hooked up to a number of computers, and Foreman uses it to sample his voice, and then loop and tweak it in any boundless number of ways. It may look like he’s using prerecorded noises or preset synthesizers up there, but he’s not — it’s all built on his voice.

He’s also hilarious. I expect that this particular performance will be mostly just him making (comparatively) straightforward music, since he’s touring to promote his new album, but at other times his performances are almost closer to standup comedy. A favourite gag of his is to ask the audience to shout out genres and made-up song titles, which he will create on the spot. (His sense of humour is also pitch black, which I’m beginning to realize is a common feature in things I like.)

I’m not sure how much appreciation you have for electronic dance music, but I know you like talented and unique musicians, and there are few musicians more talented or more unique than Beardyman. I hope you enjoy the show.

— Matt


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