Quintron is a jack of many trades. He made a name for himself with experimental musical performances, like his puppet shows with his wife Miss Pussycat or his gangsta rap album featuring one of his blind neighbors. But the New Orleans resident is also an inventor. "I've always been building instruments that weren't out there," Quintron tells New Times after a sleepless night working on a very special gizmo. "My dad was an electrical engineer, so he kind of gave me the boost. I wanted to make sounds that didn't exist."
His creations are many — and bizarre. They usually interact with some type of organic compound, like his hand organ that uses saliva as a tuning conductor, or the Drum Buddy, a light-activated drum machine. But Quintron's pride and joy might be the Weather Warlock. "It's a drum synthesizer that outputs harmonic major chords modulated by weather sensors. Wind speed, rainfall, barometer pressure, and sunrise and sunset all have an effect on the sound."
Quintron takes another swing for the layman: "It's a background music machine that is living and breathing. It sounds like a Tibetan monk being massaged by the weather gods."
Quintron first crafted the prototype four years ago. "I wanted to make weather do something to a synthesizer. Then I got really sick. I was diagnosed with cancer. I had to cancel touring and had a forced half-year off that gave me the time to build it."
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Quintron has made a full recovery and has since hit the road as often as possible with his Weather Warlock, which is also the name of his band of rotating musicians who jam with the device. He recently played in Abu Dhabi with Middle Eastern musicians in a concert he recorded and is releasing as an album. "We only perform at sunset. Musicians are called from the local scene, we set it up, and jam. It's true improv, but there are sketches and structures. To use music journalist terms, it's like Sun Ra meets stoner rock." The last time he brought the Weather Warlock to Miami he called up Rat Bastard, DJ Le Spam, and Gramps owner Adam Gersten to play with him.
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This Sunday, Quintron will ask those same characters to join him onstage with his second Weather Warlock, one that will soon have a permanent home at Gramps. "I've known Adam [Gersten] for a long time. I've stayed at his apartment and saw his insane collection of synthesizers. He expressed interest in me building one for him. I thought he'd take good care of it and understood it well enough to maintain it so it can serve its purpose as a peaceful music maker. Plus, I love Miami and it will be nice to leave something behind here."
The original Weather Warlock is stationed in New Orleans, and on the website weatherfortheblind.org, you can hear a live stream of what the synthesizer does. Between the Weather Warlock and the fact that he produced an album for blind rapper Chill, Quintron would seem to have a true passion to aid the visually impaired. "That's kind of a coincidence," he says. "Chill hangs out at the same corner store I hang out with and was bugging me for years to do something with him... It's an awesome record. You should hear it, but I don't think Chill has heard the Weather Warlock. I don't even think he has internet."
Quintron and the Weather Warlock. Sunset. Sunday, July 10, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami. Free. Call 305-699-2669, or visit gramps.com.