If you're lucky enough to catch a performance at Visual Studies Workshop, you know you're in for a weird and wonderful evening of forward-thinking sounds. The art venue has long been a haven for experimental musicians, and this concert with the Pittsburgh-based electronic sound sculptor Michael Johnsen is no different. In his live performances, Johnsen presides over a sea of custom-made synthesizers and wires, as if he's conducting a tiny little electronic orchestra with the twist of a knob, rather than the flick of a baton. The result is a chirpy soundscape overflowing with onomatopoeic utterances. To call this music "abstract expressionism in sonic form" wouldn't be far off. Matt Wellins will start the show performing on his own homemade instruments.
Johnsen and Wellins will perform on Saturday, March 5, at Visual Studies Workshop's Auditorium, 31 Prince Street. 8 p.m. $5 suggested donation. vsw.org.