Vancouver-born, New York City-based artist and musician Roarke Menzies incorporates his voice, mouth and body with audio tools and toys to craft deeply human electronic music (or deeply electronic human music). His work has been described by The New Yorker as “a layered electronic throb, coming and going, always enhancing but never overpowering.”
Menzies spent much of his high school and middle school years pursuing choir and solo singing. Meanwhile, a strong interest in sample-based music and electronic production fueled a self-taught approach to Pro Tools and other audio softwares. After relocating to the east coast and spending a brief stint at the City College of New York's Sonic Arts Program, Menzies became immersed in the bubbling DIY arts scene of mid-2000's Brooklyn. During this time, he began experimenting with processing his vocals through various guitar pedals and loop stations; recording and rerecording his voice on microcassette dictaphones; and stretching, distorting and layering vocal samples on the computer. From these early experiments, Menzies developed his unique approach as a composer during myriad collaborations with choreographers, writers, theatre artists, game developers, and filmmakers, culminating in his debut solo release: 2015's Shapes.
Menzies has performed at the Material Art Fair in Mexico City, the Spring Break Art Show in New York City, the Untitled Art Fair in Miami, VOLUME in Los Angeles, Quiet City in Vancouver, CHANNEL in Toronto, and many other venues. His music has also been presented on KCHUNG Radio, KFFP Freeform Portland, WNYU's Bentwave FM, and on BBC Radio 3 as part of the series “New Year New Music: exploring iconic masterpieces, avant-garde experiments and the next generation of talent.”
Menzies has released four solo albums to date on his own Coup de Glotte label. In a recent profile, Musicworks Magazine described his recorded output as “a consistently compelling collection... Menzies has developed his own take on this rich sonic stream, emphasizing his own voice as the primary signal for processing.” In addition to performing and recording, Menzies has created scores for contemporary dance, performance and installation, as well as content for games, television and film, with work appearing in the New Museum, the Kitchen, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Tribeca Film Festival, IFC Films, VICE Media, the American Dance Institute, the Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Danspace Project, the Watermill Center, the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, and many others.