MUTEK_10 Previews: A\VISIONS & A\V+
International Showcases for Cutting-Edge Experimentation
Dimitri Nasrallah - May 04, 2009
With less than one month to go until the launch of MUTEK_10 and advance sales reaching record levels, this year’s anniversary edition is all set to be one of the most memorable five days in the life of the festival.
With so much of the public’s attention geared toward the more festive offerings at the MUTEK table – such as the NOCTURNES and the MUTEK//PIKNICS – we would like to take this occasion to pay homage to the diverse bounty of cutting-edge experimentation available as part of this year’s A/VISIONS showcases. The MUTEK experience, we feel, would be infinitely less rewarding without the continued cultivation of its avant-garde roots. Just as the electronic arts have grown to feel as equally at home in the art gallery as it is in the DJ booth, the festival has always committed itself to furthering the twin paths of digital creativity.
To this end, the 2009 A/VISIONS showcases push the envelope further than any previous year. Expanding to four showcases, this year’s series moves to the grandeur of Montreal’s prestigious Monument-National Theatre (capacity 800) and the spaciousness of acoustically superior SAT (capacity 1000).
New this year, an A/VISIONS pass , which costs $75 CDN . Otherwise, individual tickets are $25 CDN. All passes and tickets are available at the MUTEK_10 box office . All A\VISIONS showcasess start at 8pm.
A/VISIONS 1 – EXTENDED FOCUS Monument-National Theatre – $25 CDN // May 27, 8pm // presented by SAQ
The official starting line of MUTEK_10, Wednesday evening’s A/VISIONS 1 gets going with the Canadian premiere of Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS . Touching down in North America for only three dates, the Voigt ambient live experience promises to be as immersive and all-consuming as the classic series of albums upon which he staked his reputation in the 90s. As displayed in this footage below, filmed at the Club Transmediale festival in Berlin this past February, Gas live is 90 minutes of uncompromised infusion into nature’s ability to dwarf human perception. Look closely at the bottom left-hand portion of the screen, and there you’ll find Voigt hiding in the shadows of artificial trees.
Performing alongside Gas is Montreal multi-media artist HERMAN KOLGEN , who continues with the theme of human immersion, but pulls us instead out of the forest and into water. IN/JECT receives its world premiere at MUTEK_10, and it provides the perfect vehicle to showcase how Kolgen creates interactive soundtracks to filmic séances of sensory alienation.
A/VISIONS 2 – SPLIT PERSONALITIES
Monument-National Theatre – $25 CDN // May 28, 8pm // presented by SAQ
Thursday evening’s A/VISIONS 2 offers an altogether different experience, with creativity boiling over on stage as some of the world’s most inventive live instrumentalists push the conventions of rock in new and exciting directions. The soirée begins with Cambridge post-rock duo THE FUN YEARS , and then moves to a rare North American exclusive engagement by musical chameleon BURNT FRIEDMAN and veteran CAN drummer JAKI LIEBEZEIT , whose stage sparring conjuring up the best elements of their long and storied careers. Below is a short conversation with the duo discussing the nature of their collaboration and what inspires them after all these years.
Equally storied are the parallel careers of two of Quebec’s most internationally renowned musical adventurers, MARTIN TÉTREAULT and MICHEL LANGEVIN . Tétreault arrives at the festival with a long history of musique concrete collaboration, while Langevin, who serves as drummer for speed-metal quartet Voivod, has been deeply involved in the popular and avant-garde output of Quebec since the 80s. This preview below, filmed during a soundcheck to one of their Montreal performances at La Sala Rosa, gives a good sense of how this unlikely pairing functions on stage to create thoroughly unique effects.
A/VISIONS 3 – HIGH VOLTAGE
Monument-National Theatre – $25 CDN // May 29, 8pm // presented by SAQ
Friday evening gets underway with a triple-bill featuring some of the globe’s most notable manipulators of electricity, practitioners who make it their process to cull from currents and rhythms the very template that can make techno burst with energy. But in their hands, the results of techno are abstract, futuristic, and artful.
Sheffield’s masters of glitch SND inaugurate the Monument-National stage with selections from their fourth full-length, the critically acclaimed Atavism, which was released to rave reviews earlier this spring on the Raster-Noton label – incidentally the focus of A/VISIONS 4 the next night. As viewed in this video below, the SND live experience is an austere affair, always threatening to boil over with digital funk but never quite letting go of its gallery space foundations.
Meanwhile, NSI ’s Tobias Freund and Max Loderbauer revisit the improvisational roots of early live techno, but always make sure to inject their own singular identities into the rolling, spontaneous electronic journey. The duo will be accompanied by the visuals of Montreal’s Jimmy Lakatos.
The evening culminates with Montreal’s own ARTIFICIEL and the world premiere of their new audio-visual installation POWEr , a hybrid project that marries the contemporary art of digital electrification with the rhythmic impulses at the core of techno’s heart.
A/V+ – BINARY BY DESIGN
SAT – $25 CDN // May 30, 8pm // presented by Hydro-Québec
For Saturday evening, the Hydro-Quebec joins MUTEK to host an electrifying showcase at the Society for Arts and Technology. A\V+ marks the return of the mighty Raster-Noton family to Montreal.
Japan’s Ryoji Ikeda and Germany’s Carsten Nicolai reunite for the highly anticipated North American premiere of CYCLO. Both of these established artists are masters of computer music, able to deftly combine architectural notation, microscopic frequencies, and pummeling bass repercussions into one insurmountable auditory assault. To get in the mood, the footage below features one of the better videos available online of just what Ikeda is capable of mustering on record.
Following up Ikeda and Nicolai is none other than the man with a million faces, Uwe Schmidt , appearing here in his most natural guise of ATOM TM . Schmidt and the rest of the Raster-Noton family have long been friends of MUTEK, and we would be remiss to celebrate a tenth with them. Schmidt has always had a distinct talent for navigating between uncompromised artistic statement and dance floor aesthetics, and these clips from a performance at Tokyo’s Spiral Hall perfectly demonstrate his allegiance to alienated funkiness, dry humor, and pushing boundaries.
The evening continues with the return of Carsten Nicolai to the MUTEK stage, this time in his most popular guise of ALVA NOTO . Looking back at his last two years of releases, which include Unitxt and the first two volumes of the Xerrox series, it’s easy to conclude that Nicolai is on a major roll right now, and his MUTEK performance promises to be a sharing of even more new material. Listening to this video interview with Salon Magazine reveals details of his working process, a captivating glimpse into the mind of one of computer music’s most forward-thinking figures.
A/V+ reaches its apex with the anticipated return of Olaf Bender’s BYETONE to Montreal stages. An alumni of MUTEK’s first and fifth editions, as well as our numerous excursions into Latin America, Bender perhaps best embodies MUTEK’s twin ambitions to find music that naturally appeals to adventurous ears while at the same time providing the instinctual kick that is at the core of rhythm. Byetone performed at Paradiso in Amsterdam recently, and footage from the concert shows him in top form, pushing the Raster-Noton template into industrial rock territory
BYETONE @ MUTEK 2000 FEATURED IN MUTEKLIVE020!
As a celebration of our ten years and of the past decade in Byetone’s creative endeavours, we’re extremely pleased to feature his MUTEK 2000 performance at MUTEKLIVE020 , our ongoing podcast series of live recordings from the first ten years of the festival.
For the full program:>> go to the MUTEK_10 festival website <<