Michael Futreal, musician and multimedia artist

About Me

Michael with flute at Red Rock Canyon
Being Artist-in-Residence in Nevada. 2015.

See my Artist Resume / CV (pdf) for details.

Rural Space Music

I build and play mountain dulcimers (also know as Appalachian dulcimers) and related instruments, including my one-of-a-kind Electric Gourd, as well as my DIY chromatic dulcimers and electric dulcimers. Likewise, I build and play various tone hole flutes, mostly made of bamboo and wood. I also utilize instruments built by others: guitars, banjo, ukulele, harmonica, synths, and generative music systems.

I generally perform and record my instrumental music as Twang Darkly, a trio (but sometimes also a moniker for duo or solo performances). You can hear it on my my youtube channel, bandcamp page, in a variety of digital download/streaming stores, and at upcoming shows.

I fundamentally don't care about musical genre, but instead pursue a free-range approach of modal and impressionist ideas, branching out as takes my fancy. Nevertheless, since people love to ask "what kind of music do you play?" I usually say things like interplanetary mountain music, rural space music, and such: playful terms meant to open more space than they delineate.

I sometimes make strange little films for my music or simply capture the recording sessions on video.

Recently

I work out of Shreveport, Louisiana, where I am recognized by our regional arts council as a Northwest Louisiana Juried Roster Artist and Collectible Artist.

  • In 2016, I composed and performed music for "Do Si Do Boom Boom" segment of the Shreveport stage show Nick Cave AS IS. Later in the year, I worked with Bossier City salvage artist Steve Zihlavsky to stage a multimedia museum exhibit, The Court of King Skebal at Meadows Museum of Art, which was supported in part by a grant from the Shreveport Regional Arts Council with funds from the city of Shreveport.

  • In 2015, I was an official Artist-in-Residence at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada, and received the Music Fellowship from the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. This work led to my involvement with the Landscape Composers' Network.

  • In 2014, I created Martian Archaeology, presented both as multimedia performance and album; this work was supported through an UNscene New Work Grant from the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.

I've done some score work for a few feature films.

Back in the Day

I come from 1970s rural North Carolina, where I grew up with a fascination for the landscape and culture of the Appalachian Mountains, a trip to another world that we often undertook. Other worlds also fascinated me, with my other interests revolving around sci-fi, fantasy, and NASA. I'm a big fan of the writer Manly Wade Wellman, who interwove the rural and the fantastic in his stories. I'm also something of a Sun Ra geek.

See also:

(This page discusses my musical background. I also do web and multimedia consulting.)