Before Rewire kicks off on Friday, dive into the music programme with the second of our ‘Festival Routes’, giving you some tips on stuff you certainly don’t want to miss. This route highlights some of the trailblazing musicians that embrace improvisation and sonic experimentation, ranging from mind blowing jams to gentle ambient, dense compositions and stratospheric jazz.
Start your festival experience with an all-out performance by Jameszoo’s Blind Group (Theater aan het Spui, 19.45), a new musical project of the multi-facetted artist Jameszoo. His latest album Blind is a gleefully quick-witted tour de force through Jameszoo’s musical brain that combines human improvisation with a bunch of motorised instruments like the Disklavier, that generate unhuman, yet acoustic arpeggio’s that elope over the tantalising music.
Then settle in a more contemplative mood, with the lush music of Alabaster DePlume (Koorenhuis, 22.15). The British artist, poet and multi-instrumentalist crafts experimental and gentle pop music, inspired by jazz, punk, indie and Asian music, combined with spoken word. For Rewire 2022, Alabaster DePlume will be joined by his band to perform a live set that includes material from his album GOLD, recently released to critical acclaim on the renowned Chicago label International Anthem.
Saturday evening sees the first live collaboration between the two celebrated Belgian artists Joachim Badenhorst & Roman Hiele (Koorenhuis, 19.30). The analogue sounds of clarinettist and saxophonist Badenhorst meets the distinctive electronic music of Hiele during the debut collaborative performance as a duo. During Rewire they will fuse their particular artistic sensibilities into a thrilling new whole.
As a follow-up, head over to Koorenhuis for a fearless and rebellious jazz performance by jaimie branch (Koorenhuis, 22.45), a key figure in the contemporary American jazz scene. branch has taken a no-limits approach to jazz that’s open to any sound, genre, gender and style.This Rewire alumnus and jazz-innovator will perform her politically charged and sonically adventurous masterpiece Fly or Die and its equally riveting sequel Fly or Die II live on stage.
Then dive into the Saturday night with this free-wheeling performance by Flock (Koorenhuis, 00.15), the new musical project by composer, percussionist, producer, and instrument maker Bex Burch. Flock is perhaps the percussionist’s most ambitious work to date — a perfect encapsulation of an ever-shifting sound that Bex Burch refers to as ‘messy minimalism’. This exciting, avant-jazzy collaboration is a powerful example of how improvisation can be utilised as a tool for composition.
Start the day with the thoughtful and contemplative music of JJJJJerome Ellis (Theater aan het Spui, 14.00). On his powerful, new album The Clearing, the composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and writer masterfully weaves together the looping techniques of electronic music with acoustic and analogue elements to create an intimate and essayistic epic that reflects on time, blackness and identity. Ellis, who has a block stutter, also allows the unintentional gaps in his vocals as another analogue permutation of his narrative-heavy music.
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At Korzo at 16.10, veer off to different worlds with the tender ambient music of Jeremiah Chiu & Marta Sofia Honer who use the viola and synthesizer to sonically capture their experience of residing at the Åland Islands (an archipelago that is host to around 6,500 islands) in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland. The result, sparkling with Chiu’s soothing arpeggio’s and Honer’s scintillating string instrument, could be compared to acoustic-ambient classics like Jon Hassell’s Vernal Equinox or Brian Eno’s Another Green World, however without any trace of retro-tinged nostalgia.
Nostalgia does play a major factor in this hypnotic show by Bitchin Bajas (Koorenhuis, 17.05), but then in the best sense of the word. The trio consisting of Cooper Crain, Rob Frye and Daniel Quinlivan dive headfirst into their mesmerising looping music to capture the sonic vision of one of their heroes, Sun Ra. Employing vintage synthesizers, drum computers and vocoders, Bitchin Bajas channels the cosmic jazz and far-out synth experimentation of the Afrofuturist icon and brings it to their own stratospheric levels.
Your festival experience approaches its end at the Lutherse Kerk at 19.15 with a soaring performance by Silvia Tarozzi , who translates her poetic album Mi specchio e rifletto to the stage with a dense sonic cloud of violins, voices, guitars, synth, sax and theremin. Known for her performances of forward-thinking compositions and nuanced improvisations, Tarozzi is a renowned Italian violinist, vocalist and composer that captivates her audience with poetic vocals and magnificent compositions.