Kim Tetra Wiesner will bring the sparkle and soundtrack of spring to Detroit three months early.
The Ypsilanti electronic, chillwave and world bass vocalist-guitarist, aka Tetra Music Project, will host an indoor visual art and live music garden party Dec. 21 at Tangent Gallery. It will be an exhilarating visual and auditory experience to awaken the mind, body and spirit during the winter solstice.
Known as FutureDream 3, the atmospheric festival will feature emerging EDM, hip-hop and rock artists on two stages, including Tetra Music Project, Pandora Love, Gyp$y, Y-Not, Dancemyth, Dos Lopez, Approachable Minorities, Mynah, Neural Patterns and Jena Irene Asciutto.
It also will showcase visionary floral sculptor Anthony Flowers Ward as well as a special performance from Botanical Burlesque and a magical imagination playspace by Astral Matter Experience. Additional FutureDream 3 support will come from Unique Groove Entertainment, Silky Grooves and 3D Planted.
“Instead of trying to set up a bunch of shows throughout the year, I really just focus on the one big, extravagant performance, and I like to have it be this really art-centered display of people who I personally find are very talented and dedicated to what they do,” Wiesner said.
“I like to give everybody a decent amount of time to perform and make it worth their while. I curate the event in a way that I can get behind, and I have people who have a good attitude and a good vibe about them.”
Outside of art and music, FutureDream 3 will donate festival proceeds to the St. Clair Butterfly Foundation, an Auburn Hills nonprofit that uses creative arts, mindfulness and mentorship programs to help youth overcome trauma.
“If I’m putting an event together, usually it has some sort of cause involved, and we may or may not make a whole lot of money to donate or contribute, but we focus on it, make a little bit and say, ‘Well hey, we did our best,’” Wiesner said.
Living the FutureDream
Wiesner envisioned the first FutureDream in 2017 with a friend who had a sound system. Together, they knew enough people to curate, plan and host the first FutureDream festival as a two-day event with overnight camping in South Haven.
For FutureDream 2, they scaled back to a one-day event at Detroit’s Tangent Gallery after their previous South Haven location didn’t pan out and raised funds for Warm the Children, a nonprofit that provides winter clothing for children in need.
“I think bringing it back as a one-day event in December at the Tangent Gallery last year, it did way better, and it exceeded my expectations in terms of turnout,” Wiesner said. “All the things people were telling me, the experiences that they were sharing, it ended up being really cool and really special. I needed to make this my thing.”
Wiesner developed a passion for live music while attending local electronic music and underground art shows in college. Right away, she witnessed the instant emotional connection between the artist and the crowd and wanted to create her own version of that experience.
A memorable live performance from Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) also inspired Wiesner to blend world bass, deep house, acid jazz, blues and chillwave into her own Tetra Music Project. She combines those genre-defying electronic musical elements with live guitar and ethereal vocals to create a hypnotic, transformational stage show for Michigan and Midwestern fans.
“I would be going to concerts and things like that just for the experience, and I was paying attention to different people on stage and what they were doing. I thought to myself, ‘Man, I could probably do that,’ and saw some people who made it pretty far in their career,” Wiesner said. “STS9 was one of those bands that I was completely blown away by, the way that they fuse electronic music with live instrumentation. I thought that was really special.”
Making a ‘Resolution’
By 2013, Wiesner launched Tetra Music Project and released her debut album, “Galaxy Unfolding,” a year later. For the album, she carefully selected instruments to give listeners a full spectrum of ancient and organic earth sounds, futuristic space noises and live guitar to narrate the sequence. It fuses multiple electronic genres and takes people on a journey to different tempos and textures.
Wiesner also released four other spellbinding electronic music albums, including “Endless Adventure” (2015), “Ultra Vivid New Year” (2016), “Audio Spectrum Sound Exploration” (2016) and “The Light You Find” (2018), before dropping “Resolution” in August.
“Resolution” intimately captures a challenging time in Wiesner’s life and chronicles moving toward a hopeful future through 10 refreshing electronic tracks that rejuvenate the spirit. The opening track, “Awakening,” features bright synths, deep house bass and pulsating beats to rouse the mind while vibrant guitars echo in response.
“It tells the story of a certain time frame of my life, and the album is essentially a resolution that I made with myself because I love the word, it means so many different things,” Wiesner said. “I made this resolution of how I’m gonna allow myself to be treated by other people, what I’m gonna allow for myself in my life, what I’m gonna tolerate, and how I’m going to move myself forward in ways.”
Another sonic gem, “Right Now,” electronically weaves hints of optimism with dancy beats to seize the day – “Right now you’re telling me something/Not the words/But it’s in your tone/Right now is the only moment/Breathe it in and let it go.”
Meanwhile, “One Step Closer” intertwines slow steady drum beats with synths to resemble the steps taken toward physical and emotional progress. “‘One Step Closer’ was a big one for me. I essentially had to move out of my home, and I was in a really tough spot, feeling really low,” Wiesner said. “‘One Step Closer’ was the first song that I wrote after I was relocated into my new place, but I was one step closer to my dream, one step closer to where I wanted to be.”
Other standout tracks include the Latin-flavored “Ella En La Noche” (or “She in the Night”) with hints of Detroit techno and the groovy, uplifting “When I Think About Us” collaboration with Drew Denton.
“I view life as like a pendulum, sometimes you’re swinging and you’re up, sometimes you’re swinging and you’re down, but you’re always going to swing back, so that was kind of a big one for me,” Wiesner said. “I like to create music that uplifts my spirit. It was really cold over the winter so I wanted to create warm, flavorful tracks.”
Moving into 2020
After releasing “Resolution” and hosting FutureDream 3, Wiesner will record new material and play live shows in early 2020. She’ll play some dates down south and make an appearance on a friend’s podcast.
“Winter is usually a good time to hunker down in the studio and work on some new music. I usually hibernate with my mini keyboard right there and my computer,” she said.
“I spend a lot of time tinkering around with toys, but it’s never too soon to be thinking about the next thing, and I just started planning a spring tour. I’m going down to Florida and doing some southern shows for spring 2020.”
Saturday, Dec. 21 | 8 p.m.
Tangent Gallery/Hastings Street Ballroom, 715 E. Milwaukee St. in Detroit