KEXP Suggests: 2016 EMP Pop Con, April 14th-17th

KEXP Suggests
Geran Landen

The EMP and by extension Seattle have been blessed with hosting Pop Conference for most of its 14 year existence, and the 2016 instillation is back again this week, April 14th-17th. This year's conference offers the most diverse and expansive list of panelists and roundtable discussion's yet, all tying into the theme "From A Whisper To A Scream: The Voice In Music." Everything from accents, to vocal coaching, to singing through oppression will be discussed by an assortment of writers, musicians and veterans in the industry. It's a theme and line up that offers a variety that will surely please music writers, fans and musicians alike.

The conference kicks off today with a tour of KEXP's new home, before it officially opens to the public on Saturday. Then, later in the day, the keynote speakers take the stage of EMP's Sky Church in "To Sing: The Care and Keeping of the Voice in Music." NPR Music writer Ann Powers will moderate vocalists Merrill Gerbus of tUnE-yArDs, Americana music star Valerie June and four time Grammy winner k.d. lang in a discussion on how they came across, nurtured and continue to advance their vocal talents.

Throughout the week the panels range from taking a straight forward approach to the theme such as "Singer Songwriter" and "Good Bad Singing and Bad Good Singing" (which happens to include panelist and Seattle writer, musician and actor Sean Nelson), to more abstract interpretations like "Digital Prosumers Vocalize Identity" and "The Sentimental Voice." A diverse assortment of roundtable discussions can also be found spattered throughout the conference and a record store showdown offers a bit of competition to the mix. Regardless of what event you chose to attend, Pop Conference offers a great opportunity to hear what some of the greatest minds of the music community have to say, and often a chance to even meet and discuss with them.

The event is free and open to the public but registration is highly advised to ensure admission. Check out the full schedule and speaker list for the event here.

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