FACT is very pleased to be media partnering the 2011 Unsound Festival New York, which kicks off this week.
Sister to the main Unsound festival, which was founded in 2003 and continues to take place each year in Krakow, the curators’ approach to Unsound NY is similarly ambitious and discerning, with a clear commitment to showcasing challenging and forward-thinking artists. Produced in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute in New York and the Goether-Institute New York, Unsound NY 2011 is already shaping up to be a fine event indeed.
Following a number of interesting workshops and discussions, the festival kicks off in earnest on April 6 with a concert in the Alice Tully Hall of New York’s iconic Lincolen Center. At its heart is a performance of Ben Frost, Daniel Bjarnason and Sinfonietta Cracovia’s We Don’t Need Other Worlds. We Need Mirrors – Music for Solaris, a specially commissioned work which premiered at Unsound Krakow last year. Inspired by Stanislaw Lem’s existential sci-fi novel Solaris and Tarkovsky’s famous film adaptation, the work is accompanied by video manipulations from Nick Robertson and Brian Eno. Sinfonietta Cracovia will also perform works by Penderecki and Steve Reich.
The following night (Thursday 7 April), in the Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium, pioneering composer Morton Subotnick will present a fresh take on his classic work Silver Apples Of The Moon, with visuals from Lillevan, and Uwe Schmidt AKA Atom™ (pictured), one of electronic music’s most talented and prolific figures, will make his ludicrously long-overdue New York debut. Sinfonietta Cracovia return to play music by the late Górecki in an event presented with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and also featuring Deaf Center.
On Friday 8 April, the mighty Emeralds perform live at Le Poisson Rouge as part of an evening co-hosted with FRKWYS. They’ll be joined by Alan Howarth, the renowned horror soundtrack composer and John Carpenter collaborator, who will present his own film music as well as collaborating onstage with Emeralds, and Harald Grosskopf, the former Ash Ra Tempel member whose incredibly influential Synthesist album is soon to be reissued by RVNG Intl. Meanwhile Morton Subotnick will appear at the Greenwich House Music School to discuss the evolution of early electronic music and the Buchla voltage-controlled modular synthesiser, which he helped develop in the 1960s.
Later that night the action moves to Brooklyn’s notorious Bunker club, with Lone, Appleblim, Dorian Concept, Badawi, Spatial and more. The Saturday line-up at Bunker is more house/techno in feel, with sets from KiNK, Petar Dundov, Jurek Przedziecki, Octave One, Tin Man and more.
If you’re able to, we urge you to go and listen to dark ambient pioneer Lustmord at the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building on Saturday 9 April, where he’ll be talking about his illustrious career – which spans an early immersion in the 70s and 80s industrial scene governed by Throbbing Gristle up to his current work as a sound designer for Hollywood movies. Oh, and whatever you do don’t miss his performance at the Abrons Art Center the following night; the event is called IMMERSION and is presented with The Blackened Music Series. Void ov Voices and Robert Piotrowicz provide support for what is ‘mord’s first US show in 25 years.
Backtracking to Saturday, there are also opportunities to hear Harald Grosskopf, FRKWYS/Rvng Intl. boss Matt Werth and others discussing ‘Synthetic Music Exploration Then And Now’, and a talk from renowned Mego artist Marcus Schmickler and CoH. In the evening at Littlefield, No Fun Productions and ISSUE Project Room team up with Unsound to bring you Oceans Of Noise, a showcase curated by No Fun mainman Carlos Giffoni. Giffoni will perform live, along with Schmickler, CoH. Spencer Yeh, Instant Coffee and others.
In addition to all the music, there’ll be a number of other screenings, events, workshops and panel discussions held under the banner of Labs, with the focus on the idea of a “festival as a laboratory” for experimentation and collaboration. Meanwhile Unsound Festival New York Labs will focus on art and multimedia presentations from underground artists like Anna Zaradny, Taylor Dupree and Daniel Higgs, and ((audience)): Cinema for the Ear, a five-channel surround-sound program based around the theme of horror, with specially-commissioned works by Demdike Stare, Felix Kubin and Raime.
If you’re not already at Unsound Festival New York, bloody hell, get involved now.