From France to QC, The Art Of post doom romance. - The Echo

Art. noun. – the use of the imagination to express ideas or feelings.

Music comes in all wave shapes & amp sizes. Given the unique nature of sound, and the unique nature of humans, sound activates various regions of the brain. As you know, certain genres, lyrics, cadences, riffs, chord progressions or solos evoke the deepest emotions within us.(Somebody, somewhere is yelling Freebird as you read this).

Music is a subjective artform comparable to a painting, or a film, only instead of our sense of sight, we use our auditory senses. Like the old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, only in this case, “the ear of the listener”. Given the fluidity of sound and its ability to shift emotionally amongst listeners, I chose to explore the realm of “Experimental Sound”, a quite often overlooked, misconstrued, or taboo genre.

It should be recognized that certain experimental music calls for a shift in mindset. Not to be thought of as music in the way of Post Malone, or Taylor Swift, but rather thought of as if one were peering in an art museum or locked in a visual gaze while watching Alejandro Jodorowsky, or “Enter The Void”.

Experimental genres can lean towards many different things and language barriers arise when trying to describe soundwaves. Words like pitch, dynamic, timbre, duration, or warm, bright, etc. are used as they provoke the emotion the soundwave creates. So when trying to explore something so “everchanging” and subjective, and… “experimental”, I was thankful when the universe brought  “post doom romance” into my musical repertoire. They have a show coming up, March 2nd, with Steve Fors, & Homegenized at our venue spotlight of the month, Rozz-Tox. Tickets are $12, and  more info can be found here.

Prepare to open your mind, and together, we will dive into the sonic soundscape of experimental tones  with avant-garde performance art duo, post doom romance.

post doom romance also does a monthly radio program for CAMP RADIO in Aulus-les-Bains, France. Titled, “Morphological Echo” (no affiliation with The Echo QC), a one hour show, showcasing experimental sound from around the world curated by seah & Mykel Boyd of post doom romance. Check it out here.

About Post Doom Romance

What Mykel Boyd and seah (Chelsea Heikes) have in common when forming their collaborative artist group, “post doom romance”, is a keen eye and ear for textures. In both sound and image, we have been solo artists working both in the music industry and the fine arts world. Together, we produce sound, video, and still image compositions that are sensitively layered and textural. Our aesthetic is such that we do not heavy-handedly depict.  Rather, we ruminate together in the feeling space of both literary and physical spaces, building our aural and visual language through subtle layering of manipulated field recordings.

In November of 2021 post doom romance started “prairie transmissions”, a 13-part audio/visual cycle through 11 months, exploring the inner / outer vibrations of the landscape we inhabit.

These recordings were captured, processed, layered, manipulated, and composed in the prairies around our home over the course of one year. This cycle takes the listener through our audio landscape filtered through our ears. A document of time / space / feeling. An attempt to witness the land, its memories, vibrations, and gradient shifts. This entire collection of 13 tracks (duration 126 minutes) and photographs were released in November 2023.

 A transmission from where we are, to where you are.


The Echo: First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. You both play such a unique genre (I hate that term), I feel like you have to describe what the experience is at your shows very well in order for it to be understood or perceived publicly acceptable. (At least in the corn-belt, driftless area). How would you describe the performance you have prepared for Rozz-Tox?

post doom romance:

Mykel: always happy to talk about what we do.
The description of our performance is pretty simple. We perform on stage with a variety of electronic instruments and a cello. It is not a “rock band” style performance, the lights will be low and we prefer people actively listen to what we do, There is a fair amount of improvisation, so some nights our sound will be more active or textural.

seah: I also like talking about what we do. It really is about active listening, because there is not much to look at on stage. Our gear is on a table that we sit behind and my cello is usually somewhere in a corner until I’m playing it. The sounds can move from delicate and subtle to pretty thick and loud – it builds up into peaks and then softens again (usually). What I mean by active listening means that the audience does not typically talk during the performance, often people close their eyes and just take in the sound.


The Echo: My only comparison I can draw is that as a singer/songwriter I often have to explain the feeling of what a singer/songwriter showcase is, the emotion and resolve one gets when they leave. I often say audience members should attend these shows with open minds, the ability to be vulnerable with their own thoughts and presumptions. How have you navigated this “open-minded” message, so that your audiences are captivated in the musical gaze created by, post doom romance? What do you think audience members will feel post – post doom romance – performance at Rozz Tox?

post doom romance:

seah: Whether it’s our collaborative sound work or my own solo sound/visual/performance art stuff, the response is often the same. Something like “oh wow, that made me feel things. I’m not even sure how to describe or name it!” I think that might really sum things up. My own emotional experience is much more complex than words like “upbeat” or “sad”, so I guess it makes sense that what I make kinda evokes that complexity. But ummm, my mom likes it! Lol

Mykel: My approach is to let audiences develop their own language for what they experience.
We are always happy to talk after the show and hear what was “felt”. We can even explain scientifically
“Why” certain things were felt. As performers we are creating this sound and also experiencing it with the audience simultaneously.


The Echo: Every musician has different skill sets. Individually we are on different legs of our journey. I was told when I was given my first guitar pedal, “Enjoy the eternal quest for tone”. I didn’t quite understand, but I do now. How has your “exploration” evolved? Are there any notable “discoveries” you have made, or adaptations that have helped pave the way for you in developing your craft & pieces?

post doom romance: 

seah: Well for me, it’s been a pretty wild exploration. I started as a dancer! And I found it odd that people talked about sound and music through the ear, when I feel it through my whole body. So I’m really interested in that. Of course, how it feels to me and how it feels to someone else could be really different. I teach yoga and meditation, and also do “sound baths” with singing bowls. I’m really interested in tone and how it resonates in the body. Playing with Mykel, it’s like we are talking back and forth – with sound. A shift in tone, a shift in volume, etc. I think Mykel knows more technical stuff about sound and music so he pays attention to the feeling-scape I’m looking for and finds things to aid that – like the current pedals I’m using on the cello.

Mykel: notable discoveries? I think just the idea of listening wherever you are, is a great hobby.
Walking through a park, finding sounds you like, composing your own soundtrack as you go through environments. Perhaps taking the same route on a different day and noting the differences and similarities.


The Echo: As an artist, I’m always looking for new ways to view my surroundings, the sonic reflection & the inward look at the human experience. Your works all have titles and descriptions that evoke thought and reflection, ex. “Prairie Transmission”.. I’m curious in the way you think and how you begin to approach an idea? Could you touch on where you draw inspiration from, and how you discover that “ah-ha” idea moment, for the new experimental artists that are reading this?

post doom romance:

seah: With prairie transmission, we were exploring the shifts in inner and outer landscapes over the cycle of one full year. I moved here from California, which is notorious for not having 4 distinct seasons. So that first year here was all about witnessing the land change with the seasons, but also the changes in ourselves. I’m drawn to whatever is around me and want to explore it, but it’s also an inner exploration as well. And then maybe sharing that – even as abstract as our work is – can communicate something that others can feel too. A yoga student of mine here told me that the album sounds like walking in the prairie lands and I was so happy she said that because that’s what it is about!

Mykel: Inspiration comes from travel, books, film and obviously sound. We do a lot of field recording, capturing the sounds from different locations. We both propose concepts for projects. These usually involve imagining sound/composition for things we see, texture, light and color.


The Echo: Part of the “eternal quest” includes unique ways to obtain sound. I often tend to overthink and look too deep into my sound & work but am shifting towards a “whatever gets the job done kind of mentality.” I read in an article seah you have a “not-so purist” way about you. For example, on your solo works, “Fluvial Tracings” and “Water Tracings” you traced waterways by means of bike, paddleboat or your own two feet & used the recordings with AI and synth to create pieces for performance work.

How do you determine the different instruments and sonic elements used to create your unique and unconventional sounds in your compositions?

post doom romance:

seah: A lot of people working with field recording maintain a fidelity to the time and location of that recording. But in my solo work and working with Mykel, those field recordings are stretched, manipulated, pushed through a synth, whatever (sometimes) in order to evoke a feeling within the place. I think it’s part of that inner/outer thing we both seem to be interested in. In “conduits of the hydrosphere” field recordings from all over the globe were layered in various ways and then further layered by recordings of hydrophones in my mouth, as well as electronic instruments, and cello. Together, as post doom romance, there’s a similar experimentation with instruments and sound.

Mykel: I should note, seah didn’t use AI in any recordings. As experimental artists we set up systems based on the sounds we are looking for and try to stick to these systems.

The Echo:
Side note, I noticed that post doom romance never capitalizes “post doom romance” and it struck my curiosity, as to why?

post doom romance:

Mykel: We prefer the look in type and consider what we do part of the lineage of lowercase music. To quote minimal artist Steve Roden “It bears a certain sense of quiet and humility; it doesn’t demand attention, it must be discovered… It’s the opposite of capital letters—loud things which draw attention to themselves.

seah: I keep my name as “seah” – it really bothers me that it autocorrects EVERY TIME. In short, it keeps the name “diminutive” or keeps a softness – like a whisper, instead of a shout.


The Echo: Artists and musicians face many hurdles in today’s world; battling label payouts & streaming platforms, Saturated markets with the internet, the shifting focus from music to social media content creation. Some artists have songs & lyrics that don’t have deep meaning but rather are for “easy-listening” and for mass market consumption. Being in such a niche realm, what obstacles have you faced that other avante-garde artists may be experiencing? How have you overcome these hurdles, and continue to push the boundaries in your creative process?

post doom romance:

seah: I don’t know… I have an anecdote from art school that when I was introduced to all the avant-garde artists of the 20th century, I knew they were my people, that this was my lineage. As well as I can feel my ancestry in my bones, I feel the call of the kinda misfit artists of the past echoing through me. I’m not necessarily influenced by anyone’s aesthetic, so much as their ethos for living.

Mykel: As we run our own record label and work to support many other artists from all over the world.. We do what we can to spread the word. We are very lucky that we get to travel, go to artist residencies, see friends and navigate the art world together. Our radio show offers a great intro to what’s going on with sound art. None of this is new, experimental music started when music started. 

The Echo: post doom romance, a beautiful deprogramming to modern music with a granular synthetic intensification of anomalous thought-provoking tone that comes naturally. Thank you for your time, we look forward to your show March 2nd with Steve Fors, whose work is just as enlightening. Is there anything you would like to leave the readers with?

post doom romance:

seah: come have a listen!

Mykel:  Rozz-Tox is a world class venue. You are all quite lucky to have a resource as incredible as this place. We hope to meet you in person as we plan to visit your area as much as possible in the future. Steve Fors, & Homegenized Terrestrials are awesome. It will be a great night.



Venue Name: Rozz-Tox


Venue Address: 2108 3rd Ave Rock Island, Il 61201

Owner/P.O.C.: Benjamin Fawkes –



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