Pat Moonchy is a unique singer/musician whose work is well worth exploring for any listener seriously interested in experimental music as well as underground music.
Based in London, she started in Italy playing bass with a Fender Precision ‘78. In 1993 she joined the crossover trio Stato D’Animo, hanging out at the Jungle Sound studios, a seminal place of the Milan alternative rock scene. There she cut her first demo tape “Caleidoscopio” selected for the Arezzo Wave contest.
In 1994 she opened The Moonshine Pub, an alternative-artsy place run until 2015. There she tried to help find visibility for underground creativity: Moonchy’s interest in art is an integral part of her persona and a necessary corollary of her commitment to unconventional music culture promotion.
In 1998 a new era at the Pub started , Moonchy operating as DJ resident was mixed with a style of her own ‘60-’70 psych, UK IDM, and kraut-rock becoming a kind of lighthouse for the enthusiastic listener.
From 1997 she started to study Shamanism and archetypal cults, later experiencing life among Tuvan Siberian shamans and Navajo Nation natives in the US. Interested in oriental religions as well, Moonchy has been frequently in different regions of India, pursuing also musical researches. Instrumental for her formation as a singer was the discovery of the tanpura, that helped her to develop her inborn peculiarity in vocal signature.
In 2004 Moonchy formed the duo Doublegänger with Lucio Liguori (a.k.a. Lucky) on guitar, releasing the album “Desert Lemur”.
Over the years the band involved various members but with the flutist/bass player Angelo Avogadri and Teddy Costa on drums they got a stable formula, showcasing a post-punk vibe with a mysterious musical aura due to the integration of psychedelic and kraut-rock elements in support of Moonchy’s voice.
At time even powerful in the sets held at the more alternative places, accompanied whenever possible by visual projections, their overall direction went increasingly to free-form improvisation, reflecting the interests of Moonchy for this kind of approach.
Later, with the recruitment of legendary drummer and free-jazz pioneer Lino Liguori (Lucio’s grandfather), they released two albums and four Eps plus the video anime “Tomahawk” made by Michele Bernardi. The band took part in the Schiphorst avant-garde festival in Germany in 2012.
From 2006 until disbandment Moonchy joined also the avant-garde group Gopala. In that range of time her studies on vocal techniques, including the use of circular breath, were intensifying. Private lessons of harmonic chant brought her to follow with originality the path of exploration of voice as instrument, expanding her vocal range, and including glossolalia and shifts of timbre in her vocals. The extreme versatility showed as a performer was appreciated by local and international musicians hosts at the Pub that often used to accompany her in a improvisation set.
Since 2010 Pat Moonchy is performing solo live sets with electronic equipment, some designed or modified at her request. It’s unconventional analog synthesis: though oscillators are present, the sound generation is not “linear” and a great deal of it is created by sensitive manipulation of the knobs.
Sound art, always articulated with an intuitive, organic approach, has become a major area of her development: learning the Theremin technique from Barbara Buchholz and purchasing a Persephone (a ribbon controlled synthesizer) were the first steps, followed by the inclusion in her array of electroacoustic devices.
In parallel with this evolution, she started to collaborate with avantgarde musicians like the multi-instrumentalist Angelo Contini (releasing two albums) and Brera’s teacher Roberto Aglieri (“Moon Gigs in June” album). “Walpurgisnacht im Moonshine” live album documents a performance of Pat Moonchy with the founder of Faust band Jean-Hervè Peron (a.k.a. art-errorism) happened in a time when The Moonshine Pub saw the fringe underground meeting with the jazz masters of the Seventies. The highlight was the first exhibition of the Tai-No Orchestra, a large gathering of musicians in which Moonchy has membership.
In 2015 after twenty one years The Moonshine closed but Moonchy didn’t stop and moved to Berlin, where she founded the current project Sothiac. The band scored the release of two album, touring EU, Japan with 16 gigs and across China by train from north to Hong Kong, including a performance in the Manchurian capital Harbin, the first exhibition there of an European act.
Moonchy is exploring new trajectories in her intertwined use of voice as instrument and of the electronics, successfully integrating “noisicianism” into her language. Yet, the mysterious aura remains intact throughout the Sothiac output and immediately recognizable for the initiated.
The solo efforts and collaborations of Pat Moonchy are rising in number, eclecticism and importance. Among them, a consolidated association with U.S. musician/producer Todd Tobias as Moonchy & Tobias duo. He has also contributed to bring her somehow back to the melodic weirdness of the origins, finding again a new, strange way to encapsulate her talents into the song-form and allowing the listener to appreciate her inspiring lyrics, sung recently also in her mother language and in Latin. They are still in activity releasing several albums.
In 2018 Moonchy has been involved as singer and musician in the eclectic Carlos Ugueto Ensemble, offering ancient Latin rhythms like salsa and candombe mixed with cosmic music and free jazz retracing Miles Davis ’70s period.
Through the years she played with many international musicians as well playing for charity too.
The music of Pat Moonchy is what is beyond Alice’s door, a sonic world where avant-garde and underground are amalgamated and a sense of surprise mushrooms everywhere the ears stretch out.
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