Erik Carlson is a composer, media artist and architect based in Providence, RI. His work examines sound as an evocative presence, often acting as a marker, in the physical and mental spaces we inhabit. Since 2002 he has been recording and performing under the name AREA C, whose compositions work with timbre, texture and live loops, exploring cyclical relationships and the details of their decay over time. Improvisation plays an important part in both recordings and live performances, encompassing extended explorations of minimal rhythm and melody, drawing on remnants of other times and places, outdated and untested technologies, signals sent out but never received
In 2009, Carlson received the MacColl-Johnson Fellowship in music composition and he is currently working on new commissions for the NASA RI Space Grant Consortium and the LEF Foundation. In 2010 he composed the score for the Emmy-nominated documentary, "Witness: Katrina," which premiered on the National Geographic Channel. His permanent sound installation ("Low Rez/Hi Fi," a collaboration with architect Meejin Yoon) can be viewed at 1110 Vermont Avenue in Washington DC.
AREA C's sixth full-length CD, titled "Map of Circular Thought," was released in January 2011 on Preservation Records (Australia). Previous releases include "The Planetarium Project" on Sedimental (a double CD of four live collaborative performances at the Cormack Planetarium in Providence, RI), and full-length albums on Students of Decay, Sloow Tapes, and Last Visible Dog.
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Erik Carlson lives in Providence, RI. He is the primary writer for AREA C, playing guitar, farfisa, sampler, recorder, etc. He also creates public artworks and installations, and works as an architectural designer. He spent 6 years as an associate with the award-winning firm SINGLE speed DESIGN, based in Cambridge, MA.
In the past, Erik was an early collaborating and performing member of Joel Thibodeau's Death Vessel. Erik was also a founding member of Purple Ivy Shadows ('92 - '02) and Seeland ('00 - '01, with I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness's Ernest Salaz). With Purple Ivy Shadows, he released records with Rykodisk, Slow RIver, Spinart, and Dark Beloved Cloud Records.
Crucial Musical Collaborators:
Jeff Knoch plays farfisa and harmonium with AREA C and is a frequent collaborator in recordings and live shows. He recently returned to Providence from travels in the southwest desert with Parmalee, his dog. Jeff is a founding member of Providence's Urdog and currently performs solo under the name Eyes Like Saucers.
Joel Thibodeau is from Maine but lives in the backwoods of Rhode Island and is Death Vessel. He was there at the beginning when he and Erik were starting anew after the demise of their previous bands, each lending a hand in forming what would become Death Vessel and AREA C. Joel plays guitar, violin, persussion and sings in AREA C. Prior to all that, he was in Stringbuilder with his brother Alec.
Honorary Members: John Hong (bass, saxophone, piano, voice) and Frank Mullin (drums).