Electronic music duo Quindar is a collaboration between Grammy award-winning musician and longtime Wilco member Mikael Jorgensen, and art historian-curator James Merle Thomas. Named after the ubiquitous “beeps” heard in NASA’s audio transmissions, Quindar began in 2012 and flourished in California when Jorgensen moved to Ojai and Thomas finished his PhD and moved to Los Angeles. Informed by Thomas’s research and Jorgensen’s background in engineering, Quindar operates as an electronic music act that reinterprets audio and film archives, and a creative platform for collaboration with a growing list of musicians, designers, visual artists, and engineers.
The band’s 2017 LP Hip Mobility drew from NASA’s audio archives and used the agency’s technical recordings to create extended sonic landscapes, while consciously avoiding clichés that usually accompany such material. The album received widespread coverage from music and science press (including interviews on NPR’s Weekend Edition and Science Friday), while a related EP and a limited-edition single drew from the same material and included remixes by collaborator M. Geddes Gengras. In addition to performing regularly at Wilco’s Solid Sound and other major festivals (Eaux Claires, Big Ears), the duo has conducted residencies at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, MASS MoCA and has performed at The Standard Hotel, The Getty Center and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles, CA.