Empty Promise is a social critique that uses human relationship metaphors to highlight our emotional dependence on technology. After working together at the 2015 Bang On A Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, musicians Pascal Le Boeuf, Sarah Goldfeather, and Robby Bowen met one fateful night in Brooklyn, and with the boldness of alcohol, decided to create a project by merging their collective interests. Rather than construct music to be performed live, they retreated into their bedroom studio with a two microphones, a digital sampler, and a collection of analog synths resulting in a sonic Frankenstein that explores the empty promise of technology and the way it prevents us from interacting IRL (in real life) by taking us AFRL (away from real life).
Similarly, rather than adapt their music for the stage, they engaged the video production team Four/Ten Media (comprised of Evan Chapman and Kevin Eikenberg) to bring their music to the screen. Empty Promise features all the above as well as cameo appearances by a variety of notable musicians from the New York creative community. Inspired by the work of visual artist Alex Da Corte, each scenario involves the juxtaposition of tech equipment to create dissonance in a series of normal situations.
Described as "sleek, new" and "hyper-fluent" by the New York Times, Pascal Le Boeuf is an American composer, pianist, and electronic artist whose works range from modern improvised music to cross-breeding classical with production-based technology. Pascal has played as support for D’Angelo’s Black Messiah tour and Clean Bandit’s Rather Be tour with Australian pop artist Meg Mac. He actively tours with jazz vocalist Allan Harris, Le Boeuf Brothers, the 15-piece gospel-funk band Jesus On the Mainline, and his piano trio Pascal's Triangle featuring bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Justin Brown. Pascal’s latest projects include “imaginist” with Le Boeuf Brothers + JACK Quartet and the soon to be release “Alpha” recorded by cellist Nick Photinos (Eighth Blackbird) out on New Amsterdam Records later this year.
Sarah Goldfeather is a Minnesota born, Brooklyn-based singer, violinist, and composer, whose music has been described as "full of light and life" (The Current, Minnesota Public Radio), and "poignant...striking and laudable" (The Deli Magazine). She manages, writes and performs in three ensembles: her eponymous band, Goldfeather, and her two new music ensembles, Cipher and Exceptet, and has toured and performed internationally with these ensembles and as a violinist. She has collaborated with many artists, including Courtney Love, Todd Almond, Kishi Bashi, and Eliot Glazer.
Robby Bowen is a post-genre drummer and electronic artist based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a core member of the experimental rock band BOIO (co-led by Finnegan Shanahan) and performs with the indie-folk-pop group Goldfeather, the new music ensemble Contemporaneous, and singer/electronic-producer Abbi Press. He has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Park Avenue Armory, National Sawdust, and EMPAC. Robby also enjoys sleeping and vowel modification.