Spiders with Kalashnikovs

“Here we must be beneath the stones,’ the girl said, whispering, and her whisper ran out into the hollow blackness and frayed out into threads of sound as fine
as spiderweb and clung to the hearing, for a long time

Urusla K. Leguin – The Tombs of Atuan


SPIDERS WITH KALASHNIKOVS is a duo featuring Heather Lockie (viola, voice, & electronics) and Clay Chaplin (laptop) that makes electroacoustic experiments. Their sounds can include: tonally ambivalent layers in deep space – annoying, relentless patterns of noises and bleeps – somewhat formal electroacoustic compositional stylings influenced by analysis algorithms – sampled-based obliterations of field recordings or viola loops – the occasional blanket of noise with a hint of a song – and many other rogue rarefactions.


March 16th, 2024 @ Moxsonic Festival, Kansas City, MO

July 6th, 2023 @ Black Mountain College Museum, Black Mountain, NC
June 10th, 2023 @ Casa Berenice Recordings House Concert, Los Angeles
May 26th, 2023 @ MorYork Gallery, Los Angeles
October 3rd, 2022 @ CalArts, Los Angeles
August, 17th 2019 @ Human Resources, Los Angeles
July 10th, 2019 @ VU Symposium, Park City UT


For this performance at the Black Mountain College Museum we developed a rough structure based on a few passages from Ursula K. Leguin’s The Tombs of Atuan. In the passages we chose, the characters are entombed underground and eventually escape into the night air. We decided to sonically interpret the character’s plight in a lose way and used a recorded reading from the text as source material. Heather created a series of miniature paintings that we used as a rough score. The paintings were copied and given to the audience as our program for the evening.

Five Sonic Puddles
For this performance we created five short puddles of sound that were pre-planned and structured. Each puddle was driven in some manner by the sound of the viola. The pitch, amplitude, and tonal qualities of the viola were analyzed live to shape performance parameters in the accompanying laptop instrument comprised primarily of sin tone oscillators. Recorded live on October 19th, 2022 at the Wild Beast Concert Hall at CalArts.

Short Improvisation with Video
A short improvisation that landed in a more “tonal” zone. The viola textures were created in the moment using two looper pedals with live sounds on top accompanied by synthesizer tones and processed field recordings. The video is a slowed down shot of a mustard plant super bloom that we encountered on a hike soon after our recording session. Recorded live on May 5th, 2023 at Casa Berenice Recordings in Los Angeles.

Short Improvisation with Still Image
A more percussive and rhythmic improvisation that drifts into a larger space. A burst of processed wind chimes create most of the opening rhythms which then drift into a more open space with interstitial viola tones and plucks. Recorded live on May 5th, 2023 at Casa Berenice Recordings in Los Angeles.