Pat Moonchy

Italy/United Kingdom

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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