More Than 50 Artists Added to MUTEK’s Milestone Edition 20
Tim Hecker & Konoyo Ensemble, Deena Abdelwahed, Overmono, Rashad Becker & Ena, Matmos, Domenique Dumont and more lead an eclectic cast
May 28, 2019
The performance programs for MUTEK’s anniversary edition are close to completion with more than 50 new artists and projects added to the lineup—providing a global snapshot that reflects the vitality and diversity of live electronic music and audiovisual creation. Along with the 5th edition of the professional conference Forum IMG, the festival is packed top to bottom over 6 days and nights. A city-centered festival by design, MUTEK’s essence is as much about the artistry and gathering of communities as the urbanity of Montréal, with new production and creation centre for Les 7 Doigts collective situated in the middle of the action—serving as headquarters and as the main conference and performance venue.
This second wave brings the full breadth of the festival into focus and bursts with international and local talents:
Akiko Nakayama — Alive Painting (JP) / Aquaventure (CA/QC) / Auflassen (CA/QC) / Bendik Giske (NO) / Ben Shemie (CA/QC) / BYZ (US/QC) / Chloe Alexandra Thompson — Morié (CA/US) / CMD (CA/QC) / D.Tiffany — DJ set (CA) / Deena Abdelwahed (TN/FR) / Desert Bloom (CA/QC) / Domenique Dumont (LV) / Drew McDowall & Florence To — Time Machines (UK) / Dust-e-1 (US/QC) / Ensemble d'oscillateurs (CA/QC) / Errhead (CA/QC) / Expansys (CA/QC) / fuse* presents Dökk (IT) / Gabriel Rei (CA/QC) / Hugues Clément — The Colour of the Rain (CA/QC) / Jonathan Scherk & Daniel Majer (CA) / Joni Void & Sonya Stefan — Mise en Abyme (CA/QC) / Kazuya Nagaya (JP) / Khotin (CA) / Lucas Paris — Emotional Synthesis (FR/QC) / Matmos (US) / Nelly-Eve Rajotte — Rückenfigur (CA/QC) / Nueve Vidas & Rimiyoho — Organismos Oníricos (MX) / Ohm Hourani — Jazz of the Machine (CA/QC) / Organ Mood (CA/QC) / Ouri (CA/QC) Overmono (UK) / Persuasion (US/QC) / Pick a Piper (CA) / Pōe (CA/QC) / Priori (CA/QC) / Quan — Quanalog system 1.0 (VN/QC) / Rashad Becker & Ena (DE+JP) / Slim Media Player (CA) / Stephanie Castonguay — Scanner Me, Darkly (CA/QC) / Steve Bates & Michaela Grill — Black Seas (CA/QC+AT) / Sutekh — DJ set (US) / Tamayugé (CA/QC) / The Quark Model (IR/QC) / Tim Hecker & Konoyo Ensemble (CA+JP) / Tortues Vapeur (CA/QC) / Uji (AR) / V.ictor — Boréal (CA/QC) / Xavier Lebuis (CA/QC)
PROGRAMS AND VENUES
The festival’s signature, multi-sensorial series A/Visions moves into the stately and distinguished concert hall of the Maisonneuve Theatre in the Place des Arts.
Where the focus is usually on cutting-edge audiovisual works, Wednesday night will kick off the series with X/Visions, a variation meant to differentiate a lineup devoid of screens and projections, but teeming with theatrical sights and sonics. Tim Hecker & Konoyo Ensemble meld the ancient instrumentation and composition style of imperial Japanese gagaku court music with contemporary electronic flair, creating a heightened conversation between eras—and between the acoustic and digital. Composer Kazuya Nagaya opens the concert surrounded by over 200 traditional Japanese instrument bowls, whose sacred properties and resonances he distills through his laptop.
On Thursday two world premieres: Ryoichi Kurokawa’s powerful 3D data renderings of ruins, subassemblies, is paired with the monolithic single channel A/V show, Jetlag, by Russian duo 404.zero—accompanied by a live, modular synth soundtrack.
Friday, the magick music of former Coil and Psychic TV member Drew McDowall converges with the sublime visual fancies of Florence To for a presentation of Time Machines—joining the meditative and divine Equivalents audiovisual performance from loscil.
Italian artist collective fuse* present Dökk on Saturday evening, a spectacular elaborate choreography of movement that combines a dancer, real-time heartbeat and social media data, and video into a digital-human environment meant to induce empathy. Also on the bill, the immaculate minimalist sound artists France Jobin and Richard Chartier performing DUO with visuals by TouchDesigner wizard Markus Heckmann.
Spread over 3 venues and running 6 nights, the Nocturne series provides the backbone of every MUTEK.
Opening night on Tuesday takes place at the Agora Hydro-Québec in the Coeur des sciences and features an electronic cabaret of songcraft with the dada-pop of locals Tamayugé, breezy Balearic, French-infused tunes from Latvian duo Domenique Dumont, retro-future melodies and visual worlds from Montréalers Organ Mood, and the downtempo groove and analog A/V stylings of Expansys.
Wednesday inaugurates the Studio 1 at Les 7 Doigts with a program meant to complement the theory and discussion being presenting during Forum IMG with a live praxis of audiovisual ingenuities, featuring: Lucas Paris with the world premiere of his latest work Emotional Synthesis, the pristine sound and virtual visual universe of Morié created by Chloe Alexandra Thompson with Matt Henderson, and the ebulliently critical new performance based on their latest release Plastic Anniversary by Matmos—joining the already announced holographic, AI avatar performance YONA, by Ash Koosha.
The Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nocturnes all occupy the expansive MTELUS with respectively: the all-live, all-improvised 6hr performance by Circle of Live; local producer CMD has been added to the techno-centric bill with Lotus Eater, TM404 and Blawan; while the annual until dawn program, the crescendo of the festival, sees Gene Tellem, Project Pablo, Wajatta, Jlin, Nicola Cruz and Call Super uplifting the big stage.
Sunday returns to Les 7 Doigts for a 2-room extravaganza meant to land festivalgoers in the sweet spot. Downstairs begins with Martin Tétreault and Susanna Hood as Tortues Vapeur, an intuitive tuning between the players on turntables, found objects, synths and electronics; then Norwegian Bendik Giske uses his saxophone as an interface for strange grooves, Guillaume Coutu-Dumont premieres Auflassen, featuring a live band and his recent almost-jazz creations, and Matt Karmil picks up the thread with his gauzy, minimalist house-techno narratives. Upstairs, Desert Bloom bends her classical piano flourishes into delicate rhythmic shapes; West Coast, hand-made house producer Khotin layers melodies and beats; Persuasion is a new incarnation of restrained and electroacoustic-informed art-techno by Devon Hansen; Brooklyn’s Beta Librae goes to the lush borderlands of house and techno, providing a dubbed-out afterglow with a tinge of reggaeton swing, and Montréal’s Priori plays a live set of his acid-corroded house, tweaky trance loops, and spaced-out breakbeats.
A program for unfettered imaginations, Play takes place at Agora from Thursday to Saturday, gathering the esoteric, visceral and playful iterations of contemporary electronic sound and audiovisual works. Joining the absorbing, complexly textured abstract creations of master Jan Jelinek on Thursday night, and the dubbed-out pop of Gudrun Gut, Vancouver duo Jonathan Scherk & Daniel Majer also explore rich, delicate, wobbly sound worlds, with more artists still to be announced.
Audiovisual expressions run through with themes of the natural world dominate Friday with new works by Hugues Clément, whose The Colour of the Rain paints vibrant strokes of organic imagery into a reverie of sound and image, Nelly-Eve Rajotte presents Rückenfigur, an A/V work inspired by romanticism and the chalk cliffs of Rügen, a German island in the Baltic Sea, Kathy Hinde draws field recordings and electronics into an audiovisual conversation underwritten by ecological concepts for Twittering Machines, Black Seas by Steve Bates & Michaela Grill is a visual and auditory hallucination drawing from horror literature and film, cognitive science, philosophy, mysticism, and telecommunications, and Joni Void & Sonya Stefan perform Mise en Abyme, a visual performance of Void’s album in which both artists are equipped with digital and 16mm film projectors, crystals, water and other objects to refract and effect the film into abstract visuals and organic textures.
On Saturday night obsolete technologies spring to life with Akiko Nakayama’s Alive Painting, which explores her techniques with overhead projectors, Stephanie Castonguay performs Scanner Me, Darkly in which she hacks digital scanners to affecting ends, the Ensemble d'oscillateurs conducted by Nicolas Bernier animate compositions by early and contemporary composers using only oscillators, Montréal-based Quan introduces his bespoke Quanalog modular system and Ben Shemie frontman for Suuns, presents a new solo performance that mixes voice with feedback and texture.
Running Wednesday through Saturday, the free outdoor stage of the Esplanade de la Place des Arts once again comes alive with a mix of emergent local talents and international names who know how to score for wide open summer skies. Aquaventure, BYZ, D.Tiffany, Dust-e-1, Gabriel Rei, Pick a Piper, Pōe, Slim Media Player, Sutekh, The Quark Model, Uji, V.ictor, Xavier Lebuis, and Ohm Hourani join the fray of the previously announced Dandy Jack, Akufen and The Mole—with more names to be announced, and some surprises to come.
RED BULL PRESENTS MOTION
Red Bull returns for its 8th year as a festival collaborator to bring two nights of contemporary, live electronic music to Les 7 Doigts—with Friday night showcasing a travelogue of rhythm and noise with Deena Abdelwahed’s arabic-laced eastern deconstructions of bass, ambient and techno, the soul and groovy-crunch of Ouri, and Mexican dronester Nueve Vidas added to the bill with industrial dancehall by Gaika and the high fidelity club and audiovisual Fractal Fantasy performance of Sinjin Hawke and Zora Jones. Saturday is an experimentalist fever dream with the finely honed frequencies and improvisational throbs of Berlin’s Rashad Becker and Japanese producer Ena, the cinematographic soundtracks of Doldrums’ Airick Woodhead as Errhead, and the modular madness of brothers Truss and Tessela as Overmono rounding out a lineup with the disconcerting compositions of Huerco S, and cosmic polyrhythms from Nkisi.
MUTEK passport holders can also access a variety of other special programs this edition.
Akousma @ MUTEK
Taking place Saturday at Le Gesù, and curated by the venerable local festival of acousmatic and immersive digital music, Akousma— works by 4 Québec artists including Estelle Schorpp, Pierre Luc Lecours and Hugo Tremblay will envelop the afternoon.
On Sunday afternoon, MUTEK co-presents Octave One, Mike Shannon, Danielle, Aleksandir, Bamboo Herman and Massyl over at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
Conceived as a large-scale, mobile entertainment structure by Lune Rouge Entertainment and Guy Laliberté, the pyramid is outfitted with the latest in audiovisual technology, intent on exploring new forms of collective sensory experiences. Through the Echoes will be the first show to be presented within PY1 and it is a technological and emotional odyssey that tells of the evolution of life from the Big Bang to today— to pass holders, with two showings on Sunday, August 25.
More announcements next month concerning the professional Forum IMG, the free Digi Lab program, special projects and finishing touches on the festival, are still to come!
This second wave of artists join the already announced:
404.zero — Jetlag (RU) / Akufen — It Was Twenty Years Ago Today... (CA/QC) / Ash Koosha — YONA (IR/UK) / Beta Librae (US) / Blawan (UK) / Call Super (UK) / Circle of Live featuring Dorisburg, Johanna Knutsson, Mathew Jonson, Matt Karmil & Sebastian Mullaert (SE+UK+CA) / Dandy Jack and the Sniffin Orchestra (CL) / France Jobin & Richard Chartier — DUO (CA/QC+US) / GAIKA (UK) / Gene Tellem (CA/QC) / Gudrun Gut (DE) / Huerco S (US) / Jan Jelinek — Zwischen (DE) / Jlin (US) / Kathy Hinde — Twittering Machines (UK) / loscil — Equivalents (CA) / Lotus Eater (Lucy & Rrose) (IT+US) / Matt Karmil (UK) / Nicola Cruz & Fidel Eljuri (EC) / Nkisi (BE/UK) / Project Pablo (CA) / Ryoichi Kurokawa — subassemblies (JP) / Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones — Fractal Fantasy (CA+AT) / The Mole (CA) / TM404 (SE) / Wajatta (Reggie Watts & John Tejada) (US)
PASSPORTS AND INDIVIDUAL TICKETS
MUTEK is extending the deadline to buy passports and passes at the current preferential rate until May 31! Get them here: http://www.mutek.org/en/montreal/2019/billetterie
Weekend Light, Day passes and individual tickets are available now: http://www.mutek.org/en/montreal/2019/billetterie/individual
MUTEK would like to thank its partners, who play a key role in its ongoing activities.
subassemblies by Ryoichi Kurokawa is a co-production of MUTEK, LOXOSconcept and Stereolux / Scopitone Festival.