Before the festival kicks off next Friday, take some time to dive into the programme as we provide you with some ‘festival routes’, giving some tips on things to check out over the weekend. Firstly, we start with a number of artists at the festival whose work explores the intricacies of space, acoustics and ecology. From wide-spanning drones sonically mapping landscapes, to intimate vocal manipulations exploring the synthesis between organic and artificial, catch some of the artists who bridge the concert hall setting with the natural world.
Due to restrictions in place at the offline edition, once a performance has begun you will not be able to enter the venue, so make sure to plan ahead to avoid missing out. These routes have been designed with this in mind, so whilst we encourage you to use these as a loose guide to plan your festival weekend, be adventurous in your selections!
‘Biophonica’ is Amsterdam-based composer, performer and producer Evelien van den Broek’s sonic response to man made “biological annihilation”. Using field recordings of extinct or endangered animals gathered from sound libraries, scientists, and the pioneering soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause, ‘Biophonica’ immerses us in obsolete soundworlds, reconnecting us with our natural environment through sound. Performing electronics and analogue synths, van den Broek is joined on stage by Allison Wright on trumpet.
Starting off your Friday evening, we have Andrius Arutiunian, an Armenian-Lithuanian composer based in The Hague whose interest in musical peripheries strongly informs his electro-acoustic modus operandi. His works often look at the ways different sonic traditions intermingle throughout varying times and locales. For Rewire he presents Seven Common Ways of Disappearing, a work for retuned piano, electronics, and performers.
New York-based composer, multi-instrumentalist performer and sound designer Lea Bertucci explores the relationship between acoustic phenomena and biological resonance. Her more recent records capture sonic interventions in forgotten locations around the world, like a grain elevator in Buffalo and a former military base in France. The results are haunting acousmatic documents of an artist’s intimate interaction with their environment. On the opening Friday night she presents a new composition entitled ‘Vapours’ accompanied by a string quartet at the beautiful Lutherse Kerk.
Staying at the Lutherse Kerk for the next performance, we have Leo Svirsky, a Russian-American pianist and composer currently based in the Hague. Grounded in history, symbolism, song and story, Svirsky’s music upholds a poetic, romantic quality. After a beautiful recorded preview in May, at the Rewire 2021 offline edition Svirsky will present the full live version of his expansive project Leo Svirsky & The River Without Banks. ‘The River Without Banks’ immerses the listener in never ending reverberation, unbinding place and time and blurring the perception of past and present.
Heading over to Paard later on, make sure to check out Lyra Pramuk. Following in the footsteps of Björk’s ‘Medúlla’, Lyra Pramuk’s heart-wrenching breakthrough album ‘Fountain’ is composed entirely of vocals. Even more so than a critical milestone on how far the musical synthesis between the organic and artificial has come, the Berlin-based artist has summoned a futuristic paean for the transfeminine experience. Her adventurous production methods – such as sampling older recordings, loops and flirting with dance floor euphoria – aren’t just for aesthetic purposes: they are intricate documentations on the act of becoming through physical performance, memory and improvisation.
Embassy of the North Sea - Hearing Like A Herring
The Embassy of the North Sea (ENS) was founded in The Hague in June 2018 with the goal to fundamentally reorientate our relation to the ocean. Rewire 2021 will present the first step of the journey: a sound expedition titled ‘Hearing Like a Herring’, developed by composer and sound artist Harpo ‘t Hart together with radio-maker Jesper Buursink and artist Xandra van der Eijck . This intervention at Scheveningen harbour and beach features stories from experts, scientists, and local residents to present new undersea listening perspectives.
Galya Bisengalieva is an award-winning Kazakh/British violinist and composer who uses her intimate bond with her instrument as wellspring to create highly moving, impressionistic compositions. Her latest album ‘Aralkum’ highlights the Aral Sea, a closed endorheic lake on the Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan borderlands that tragically evaporated in the 2010s. Charting the gradual destruction of the Aral sea in Central Asia, one of the world’s worst environmental disasters, her gorgeous but often unsettling compositions are brought to life with panoramic strings, contemplative drones and electronics. After her stunning recorded performance for the online edition in May, catch her performing live at 14.00 on Saturday at the Koninklijke Schouwburg, with a full ensemble and visuals.
French sound artist and composer Félicia Atkinson and British filmmaker Ben Rivers will present a unique audiovisual performance, following their work at the online edition in May. Atkinson will perform her score to Rivers’ film live alongside the visuals. Atkinson is the latest in a long line of artists to tackle deep listening practices. Her music explores the tension and tranquility between whisper-quiet sounds and searing noise, as she overlays her own words, field recordings, acoustic instruments and subtle electronics. A celebrated artist who has exhibited his work globally, Rivers has a special knack for storytelling within even the most simplistic moving images, without having to rely on the use of verbal context.
Sarah Davachi’s music often runs adrift in wide open spaces, be it the sprawling urban landscape of Los Angeles, the mountainous region of British Columbia or the endless echo chambers of a majestic cathedral. For years, the Canadian composer has been navigating between classical and ambient, combining proven methods with musical experimentation. She’ll present a performance specially conceived for the Lutherse Kerk organ in The Hague in September. This is presented in collaboration with Gaudeamus.
On the Sunday afternoon, Barbara Ellison presents ‘Forest Phantoms’, a composition of tree ‘songs’ made with binaural microphones, contact mics and hydrophones, revealing the hidden ‘music’ of the forest. ‘Forest Phantoms’ is made exclusively with original environmental recordings done in the Haagse Bos, Den Haag. This composition was created and conceived to be listened to at a chosen location in The Haagse Bos. Listeners will first gather at the google maps location point and will then be led to the listening location for the piece and headphones and players will be provided.
Timeslot 1: 12.00-13.00
Timeslot 2: 14.00-15.00
Please register here for free