Als we rekening houden met de kunstgeschiedenis waren we beter nooit begonnen.
I have just returned from a weekend of intense seated listening at the annual Présences électronic festival at Maison De La Radio in Paris.
A few things that were notable:
-This festival attracks TONS of people, of all ages, colours and gender, from very young to very (very) old which i thought was rather facinating, given that it is really not an easy listening festival. I can actually not remember if i saw this many folks at a experimental music festival ever, though maybe i forgot my memory at one of the past ones i've visited.
-As the festival is happening in the national radio building, where the GRM studio's and other things of importance are housed, there was almost as many people welcoming you, checking your bags and bouncing you out the minute the festival is over as there is traffic lights in the city of love.
-The possibility of having a drink at the festival was rather nihil, this was not the No Fun Fest or COOS or whatever other fest where drinking and listening go hand and hand. The focus was entirely on the music here.
My personal favorites were :
- Andy Bolus / Evil Moisture
(Incredible to hear / see him play on this fancy soundsytem instead of some shitty amp in a dirty basement)
- Caterina Barbieri
(Started out with electronics that could have been ripped and cut out of a 90's trance record, which is not my favorite flavor, but lord, when she started blending her voice in i was sold! Mind bending classical tones pushing my last hairs up to chickenwings)
- Max Eilbacher
(My absolute favorite of the weekend! I saw Eilbacher before in the trio Sef III, and saw the movie/series he made with Duncan Moore 'The Story OF Kip Duprey' at Forbidden City Cinema. Here Max did a piece for 8 speakers, which sounded insane, one part in particular, that sounded like a gigantic 3 by 4m fly was in the room, was specifcally amazing and also quite funny. That moment and just looking at William Basinsky made me laugh pretty hard this weekend)
- Sarah Davachi
(Gorgious layers and layers of drone beauty)
- Okkyung Lee
(Again, hearing her on this soundsystem instead of Stadslimiet's abused speakers was a joy! A backing track of Cello noise brutalised on top with her playing live cello. Great style, and great "dutch" shoes)
(A piece for 8 speakers Nilsen made with only sounds from various coal mines, recorded all over Europe.)