Atomic Clock is an improvisation-based experimental jam band combining elements of rock, electronica and jazz with atmospheric, ambient soundscapes. Comprised of Tiber Reardon, Josh Ward, Chris Donnelly, and Michelle LaCour, Atomic Clock creates music on the fly, with sounds, riffs, hooks and beats generated naturally. Each performance is unique, and each piece is a musical conversation between the members and audience.

Chris Donnelly
Josh Ward
Michelle LaCour
Tiber Reardon

This interview has been edited for length and concision.

Annie Corrigan: How did Atomic Clock form?

Michelle LaCour: Atomic Clock was born out of the ashes of Sky Blue Sunday, a weekly Wilco jam that me and the b’ys hosted last fall. After that gig ended in December we decided to keep playing and improvising music together. Our first gig as Atomic Clock was a Night Music in January. I play keyboards in the band but am thinking about playing some accordion at our next Night Music gig as well.

AC: You create mostly improvised music, jam-band style. I imagine you have to have a specific kind of connection and style of communication amongst everyone in the band to make it work. What is it about the four of you that works well?

ML: Tiber, Josh, and Chris are all awesome musicians and are very good at playing and jamming as a group. I’m a bit newer to playing in bands and it’s been really great to perform and jam with these much more experienced players. That being said, Atomic Clock is really just a fun group to be a part of.

AC: I assumed that as an audio/video engineer, you wouldn’t perform, but shame on me, you are indeed a live performer. What does your musical life look like?

ML: I’ve found that most audio engineers I know are musicians as well, which I think is good — it helps to have an ear for music when you’re mixing. It’s important for me to keep a balance between my creative life and my professional life. I work a lot with local bands recording and doing live sound, have a regular sound gig at the Peter Easton Pub, and have been working more in film lately through NIFCO and with local filmmakers. I also do administrative and technical work for Sound Symposium and the Tuckamore Festival. Creatively, I play with Atmoic Clock and with a new band, Spring Var, and I’m playing with AE Bridger during Sound Symposium and with Kira Sheppard during Lawnya Vawnya. I play piano, keyboards, and accordion mostly, but recently started playing the guitar with Spring Var, and I’m learning the viola as well. I play early music once a week with a group of amateur string players, which has been a really great experience as well.

AC: What can we expect from Atomic Clock’s performance at SSXIX?

ML: Not sure what you can expect from Atomic Clock at Sound Symposium but I’d wager we’ll be making a racket!

Atomic Clock At Sound Symposium XIX*

  • Night Music — Tuesday, July 10 at 10:30pm (The Ship Pub)

See the complete list of SSXIX artists, as well as the full schedule and ticket information.

*Times and locations subject to change.