Alone Together g.nome and the soulless minions of orthodoxy

g.nome (pronounced “gee-nome”) and the soulless minions of orthodoxy is a long name, but just one person. Conceived, developed, performed, and recorded by Dr.  Victor Penniman (a.k.a. “g.nome”), this mind- and genre-bending multi-cultural, multi- temporal electronic musical exploration was first imagined a long time back, in the last  decades of the Twentieth Century. Penniman began the g.nome concept while in music school at Marylhurst University, where he studied Jazz, Composition, and Historically Informed Performance, after having played Rock in clubs locally around Portland, Oregon. As he continued into his graduate music studies, Penniman gathered material and experiences through deep study and exploration of ancient European music, as well as traditional and current musics of India, Japan, Bali, and Ghana. He began to collect different instruments and equipment, learning and developing the techniques needed to perform on them as he went. All the while, the music and ideas for what would eventually become the “soulless minions of orthodoxy project” began to take shape.  The ancient seven-string bowed guitar called “viola da gamba” became central to all of Penniman’s music in the early 1990’s, but the arrival of the solid-body electric model of the instrument in 2004 truly enabled the music of g.nome come to life. The ability to play guitar-like harmonies, yet shape the notes in real time with the bow, enables Penniman to create lush, evolving textures, rich harmonies, and heart-rending melodic lines, which are woven into electronic soundscapes, grooving beats, and relevant, thoughtful lyrics. The bowed string can evoke diverse voices, evoking the sounds of times and places familiar and foreign distant, present, and future.
g.nome’s self-titled first CD was released in 2013 (available on iTunes, Spotify, and other major streaming services). The soulless minions were yet to materialize. With the exception of a couple of lyrics and a drum loop, the “g.nome” album is all Penniman, from conception to mastering. It’s an intimate, personal first reflection of Penniman’s diverse influences and musical insights. It opens with the 70’s R&B-tinged song, “Either/Or,” a setting of a passage by Søren Kierkegaard from his work by the same  title. The electric bowed guitar solos out to the next song, an Eastern-European folk- flavored re-assessment of the “Sisyphus” myth. Ambient sounds of a Japanese summer  festival run through the instrumental third track, “Hiratsuka Tanabata,” and Indian tabla grooves create gentle rhythmic ripples in the almost-love-song, “Falling.” The Drum and Bass genre is represented in the anti-corporatist manifesto, “Man On The Sand (feat. Joshua Dekaney)”, and Penniman’s ‘80s New Wave influences show through on the bowed-guitar and synth instrumental, “Dive.” The intentionally DYI-sounding club anthem, “Ain’t Nobody Home,” brings the album to a climactic, cathartic finish.
After producing and releasing “g.nome,” Penniman realized that performing the songs would be difficult, especially if he wanted to include other musicians. His home base of Kanas City, Missouri, USA, is a great music town, but it is difficult for electronic musicians to find their place within the Rock, Blues, Jazz, and Country genres that the town is best known for. It became apparent that, in the absence of other musicians who  could perform the songs the way they needed to be played, g.nome should and would be a one-man endeavor. g.nome shows are a continuous tide — waves of sound — from the opening drone textures and “alap”-like improvisations, evolving into a set piece or song, and then jamming out into the next improvised extended groove, and on to the next song. A DJ-with-instruments type of performance setup enables Penniman to  weave familiar bits and beats from current downtempo electronica into World, 20th- century Avant Garde and ancient music samples, which Penniman improvises over on  guitars both plucked and bowed, keys, and voice, often with guest instrumentalists and vocalists. The songs are never performed exactly the same way twice, no two shows are ever the same, and fans are encouraged to record and share them.
The soulless minions of orthodoxy became the band name in 2018, after an evening of binge-watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Penniman heard the “soulless minions” mentioned in the dialog, and decided immediately that that should be the name of the project. This just in time, too, as work began in earnest that summer on a new album. Two singles have been completed and released thus far: “Trickledown” and “Ketchak Tourist Mix”.  Penniman is by nature outspoken. He is politicly and socially aware, and quite opinionated. He is adamant that the lyrics of his songs, when there are lyrics, should be engaging, intelligent, relevant, and meaningful. They must have the potential to make a  difference in the world, or just in one person’s life, beyond “baby-I-love-you-let’s-get- busy.” The brand new single release, “Trickledown”, is just such a song. The hard-  grooving, guitar-driven verses decry the greed and cruelty of today’s super-wealthy, and then atomize into trippy, downtempo choruses that sing of a better way to engage with your fellow human in the world. “Ketchak Tourist Mix” is pure electronica, in which Penniman snips bits from a tourist’s video of a performance of the famous traditional piece, “Ketchak”, a piece he knows well from his days of playing in a Balinese Gamelan. He creates themes from the samples, and mixes and moves them about through the varied beats and grooves of the song. He calls it the “tourist mix” because, “I didn’t even try to refer to the story of Ketchak, or make any learned sense out of it. I just clipped bits I thought would sound good together, and mixed them. It’s important to me that my audience, who I sincerely hope will not be limited to the Northern half of the Western Hemisphere, knows that I know that I did that, and that I did it intentionally out of an artistic impulse, and that no disrespect to the music and culture of Bali was ever intended. I know Ketchak as an actual piece, and the story and history behind it. I’ve been in and to performances of it, and know how deep I could actually go with a piece like the one I created. I decided consciously to just let this one be fun, though; to just revel in the sounds I love from that place in the world I’ve only been to in my mind’s ear, and to not think too much about it. Like a tourist.”
Work continues now on the rest of the eight-song album, tentatively titled “the soulless minions of orthodoxy,” and expected out this Summer. Penniman works from his home studio, where he can create whatever comes to mind, and teaches music privately in the evenings. “It’s been a long road,” Penniman says, “and it’s challenging, writing what I do, the way I do, and hoping enough people will take an interest to make it sustainable.  I can’t stick to single genre; I’ve heard and played and read too much, and that, along with what travel I’ve done, informs my own voice, as it should... except that my voice is complex in a world that seems to have increasing disdain for anything that smacks of Thinking, which is really unfortunate. But I believe that there are more smart people out there than we get to hear from each day, and I believe that smart people want smart music; music that engages them, speaks to them intelligently, reflects their own values, and makes them want to shake a tail feather at the same time.”

He was featured in recently released Lifoti's June 2019 influencer issue, you can check it from below link's for your country:

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