By Martin Schray
The last day of this year’s festival was dedicated to Polish/Swedish electroacoustic composer Zbigniew Karkowski, the project was called "The Truth at all costs?“ It was a heart’s desire of Karina Mertin, Louis Rastig’s co- organizer of the festival, to pay tribute to the late noise legend. According to Karkowski everything is vibration. He claimed that every form of vibration was the driving force of the universe, which is why he described human existence in frequencies, waves, relationships and intensities. His model consists of only one element, offering a lot of space for noise. The project’s intention was to find that out together - with lots of such noise, feedback and vibration.
The day started with a series of videos by Theo Burt from his ongoing Remixes project. Videos by Bebe Rexcha, Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna, Beyonce and others were fed automatically through a mathematical process, collapsing the structure and time of sound and image. Echoes of the original material were there but hardly recognizable after the processing. The last two videos presented were Neon Jungle’s Braveheart, one in Burt’s typical alienated version, a high-pitched, looped noise sculpture reminiscent of Tim Hecker soundscapes on speed. The final one was a slow version, which revealed his approach. It was like watching Christopher Nolans' Memento. At the end of the video you could see the original one in his vulgar, cheesy, commercial reality. By revealing the truth behind his art Burt also answers the question how you could create a piece of sophisticated art on the basis of a commercial product. As it turned out it should be my favorite performance of the day.
|Jessop & Co|
|Massimo Pupillo (bass, electronics), Stefano Pilia (guitar, electronics) and video artist Lillevan|
So, what remains of A´Larmé! VI ? It certainly is the most heterogeneous of all “improv“ festivals, which is why you can question whether you can pigeonhole it at all. The focus on electroacoustic music has never been so strong before, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand Louis Rastig’s concept attracts a very diverse audience, on the classic festivals like Unlimited! in Wels, Jazzwerkstatt in Peitz or Vision Festival in New York (to name just a few) you neither see as many young people nor as many women. On the other hand the rather traditional free jazz acts were more enthusiastically celebrated by the people (that was at least my impression) and the last day was poorly attended. Very subjectively, I’d like to have it a bit more traditional, my favorite day was the third one, but I also enjoyed Large Unit Rio and Gordoa/Malfon/Edwards/Narvesen a lot. What distinguishes the festival from others is Rastig’s creative and focused curating, in all the festivals over the years there has been some kind of plan. And I like his announcements, they are a performance of their own. I hope he and Karina Mertin can put together A’Larmé VII next year. However, if I can suggest one thing: What about air conditioning?