Live & Local with Cult of Riggonia
Cult of Riggonia may have you questioning whether you dropped the brown acid or feeling as though you are deciphering the code of the universe through some strange psychedelic sound portal. But their chaotic mosaic of sounds and samples are what make Cult of Riggonia so appealing and interesting. The organic and eccentric vibe of the band challenges you to think outside the normal concepts of music, with something akin to the electronic experiments of Silver Apples and sounds that take on a lore-like quality describing the creation of some distant world. I spoke with band member, Martian, about Riggonia, breaking away from structure, and their upcoming show at Bragg Jam.
How did the band start?
Martian: Most of us met in Macon. I went to high school with Raj. I knew Lordo and Willie from high school in Macon. Then we met a lot of the other dudes at Mercer. We all started hanging out at this place that is a little ways out of town that’s called Riggonia. That’s where we started playing music and having our own community develop outside of town.
What is Riggonia?
Martian: Some people know Riggonia as a physical space that’s six miles out of Macon that has been in my family for a long time. But other people know it as existing elsewhere. That space filled a vibe, a certain expression for us for a while. And people that came I think shared in that and experienced that. But there are also ways we try to express something similar with the music by creating a space that’s not necessarily somewhere people have been physically.
For people who haven’t heard or seen your band, how would would you describe it?
Martian: It tends to change. We never know what’s going to happen either. I guess it’s pretty chaotic. There’s something related to Dionysus in the whole thing where we try to not stick too much to a grid or get locked into anything too quantized . . . It’s something chaotic, but also there’s a lot of melody, there’s a lot of layers of sound that different ears can interpret differently.
How do you think Riggonia, being a certain mindset and a place of creativity, relates to the music that you guys make?
Martian: I guess that’s just how I see the power of music. That music is a way to create your own reality, create your own space, to create something that expresses and makes things come together before a determined reality. Before we see, you know, like a concrete outside and inside. To me, music is a creative step that zooms out from that and allows reality itself to come together differently. Creating music is a way to create new spaces, open new spaces, and let things come about differently.
Your music is very open to interpretation and does not seem to be set by any boundaries as far as what many may consider a normal musical arrangement. Do you explore this idea of open-mindedness when writing your music?
Martian: As time has passed, we’ve developed a more and more structured method that we’re constantly trying to break away from. Normally, a few of us will get together and make some samples, we’ll jam and then we’ll find good parts of that jam and cut out little phrases from that jam that we led into the sampler. Then come up with a structure for those phrases and come up with some melodies and stuff like that. [We] start putting it together and find sections in there that we can improvise once we come up with a skeleton for it.
It’s interesting you said while writing music you come across the same structure and you’re trying to break away from it. What do you think is important about having that kind of freedom as a musician?
Martian: We all resonate on this idea of creating new spaces, or making space for something different, or making space for something new to occur that wasn’t predictable in the first place. To do that we found it’s important to balance between building up a structure in a way that we can work together and be on the same page, but constantly be deconstructing it and questioning it. . . If we’re stuck on the same song, playing it over and over again, we’ll tend to destroy it rather than play through it over and over [laughs].
What can we expect from your show at Bragg Jam?
Martian: A set of all new songs that we’ve been working hard on that nobody’s really heard. We haven’t played in a while so we’re really excited to get back together. And Bragg Jam’s always our favorite of the year. That’s the wildest day in Macon I guess [laughs].
Cult of Riggonia will be playing Bragg Jam July 29th @ 10:45pm @ Fresh Produce Music Hall