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First artists and projects named for Rewire 2021

11 Mar 2021

Today we announce the first 36 artists and projects confirmed for the 2021 online edition of the festival, taking place from 6th - 9th May.

Over four days Rewire will present a multitude of projects and formats that demonstrate the varied ways artists have been creating and performing works under physical restrictions. The festival brings together artists and audience to create and share unique audiovisual and interactive experiences, alongside a discursive programme of talks, workshops and meditations that aims to critically address our festival theme of (Re)setting.

(Re)setting explores processes of change and adaptation as they relate to sound, listening practices and our environment. In an increasingly fraught global context, we are constantly having to reorientate ourselves inside new situations and changing perspectives. Rewire 2021 offers a moment of pause to reflect on our contemporary arrangements, and seeks ways in which we can actively negotiate these structures on our own terms. The theme folds in our current context of the pandemic and how it has affected all aspects of our lives, including our health and our ability to create and connect to one another, as well as exploring the on-going process of Rewire manifesting online.

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The first artists and projects for Rewire 2021:

Aïsha Devi & 118 present SLF: The Sacred Show*
Alberta Whittle - Reset
Ben Bertrand
Brandon LaBelle
Byron Westbrook & Koen Holtkamp present Chromatic Dispersion*
Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy
claire rousay & Morita Vargas*
CS + Kreme & Alessandra Leone*
Cy X presents In Pursuit of Black Noise
Duma & Jesse Kanda*
Dreamcrusher & Andrés Baron*
Félicia Atkinson & Ben Rivers*
Galya Bisengalieva
Genevieve Murphy presents I Don't Want To Be An Individual On My Own (concert version)*
GLOR1A feat. Alpha Rats - SWARM (prototype 2.0)*
Holland Andrews
Johanna Hedva
Karen Willems & Machinefabriek*
Lee Gamble - Flush Real Pharynx feat. Clifford Sage
Leo Svirsky & The River Without Banks*
Lisa Hall presents Acts of Air
Maral & Brenna Murphy*
Maria Chavez & Valentina Magaletti*
Masma Dream World
Pierce Warnecke & Matthew Biederman present Somnifacient Signals
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Zeena Parkins*
Show Pony & The Rodina*
Sophie Mars presents Mindful Mutations*
Space Afrika & Tibyan Mahawah Sanoh - Untitled (To Describe You)
Tabita Rezaire*
Tara Clerkin Trio
Wojciech Rusin presents The Funnel
Yasuaki Shimizu & Kara-Lis Coverdale*

* World premiere

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Rewire 2021 - in depth:

The online edition of Rewire welcomes a series of remote residencies. These are a large number of commissioned projects from artists all around the world, connected remotely, to explore new collaborative practices both online and in isolation. Rewire has invited musical artists to collaborate on new pieces and musical artists to work with filmmakers or video artists to produce new audiovisual works.

In the first of our remote residencies, Rewire brings together legendary Japanese saxophonist and composer Yasuaki Shimizu and Canadian organist and electro-acoustic composer Kara-Lis Coverdale. Having worked tirelessly over his diverse 40-year career, Shimizu has produced cult-classic records individually and with his band Mariah. Kara-Lis Coverdale is an artist devoted to curiosity, rooting her compositions in an emotional sensitivity that swerves manipulation. 

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is an artist and multi-instrumentalist who works primarily with voice and synthesis, combining his two passions into a deep listening experience. Rewire 2021 will see Lowe collaborate with award-winning harpist and electro-acoustic pioneer Zeena Parkins. Using one-off DIY electronic instruments and pushing the harp to its limits.

Also working in residency, influential Peru-born, New York based turntablist Maria Chavez and celebrated Italian percussionist Valentina Magaletti will be putting together an exclusive collaborative work online. Chavez uses sound installations and daring live turntable performances to steer audiences into considerations of duration, physicality and texture. Magaletti plays and records with many groups such as Vanishing Twin, skipping between industrial, free jazz and experimental forms with masterful fluidity.

A groundbreaking and intense fusion of hardcore punk, death metal, extreme noise and rapid-fire breakcore, Duma's music exists in its own artistic vacuum. The duo will be presenting an audiovisual collaboration with artist and animator Jesse Kanda, known for both his visual work and music under the Doon Kanda moniker. Kanda's work is physical, fluid and visceral, investigating sexuality, suffering, body horror, magic and decay. 

Pushing the boundaries of noise, industrial music and performance is multidisciplinary artist Dreamcrusher. For Rewire 2021, they will collaborate with Colombian filmmaker and photographer Andrés Baron who works to portray sensuality and humanity, challenging stereotypes by highlighting shape, color and the relationships we have with photographs, film and video. 

Melbourne's CS + Kreme, exist completely in their own universe - a genre-skeptical starscape where fuzzy dub, eerie ambience, atonal folk and well-smoked rap can exist together and at once. For Rewire 2021, they will collaborate with Italian motion graphics designer and director Alessandra Leone on a new audiovisual work. Leone is known for her dynamic, cutting-edge digital graphics and interdisciplinary projects. 

Los Angeles-based DJ and producer Maral plays with a unique sonic palette, mutating Iranian folk music samples and injecting them with dance and dub elements. Brenna Murphy, an artist and musician who is equally at home in the analog, virtual and post-digital realms, will be collaborating with Maral for Rewire 2021, as they take creative cues from one another’s work to create an original audiovisual piece. 

In the many years of Belgian percussionist and composer Karen Willems working with musicians, she has never collaborated with an electronic artist before, making her Rewire 2021 residency with Machinefabriek an intriguing challenge. Dutch producer Machinefabriek works with drone, noise, ambient music and field recordings to create glacial soundscapes, eerie electro-acoustic environments and crushing walls of static. This residency will take place on location in The Hague.

Working both in sound and video, Pierce Warnecke & Matthew Biederman are presenting ‘Somnifacient Signals’, an urgent interactive project exploring the possibility of connecting with audiences at the time of heightened physical restrictions. The duo conceived this work during the first COVID-19 lockdown, responding to their lack of mobility by gathering material in real time from webcams situated across the world. The performance explores interactivity through a truly networked performance which not only expresses the final sonic and visual result, but also transcribes the interaction between performers, source material and audience through interactive feedback.

French musician Félicia Atkinson’s music explores the tension between whisper-quiet sounds and searing noise, as she overlays her own words, field recordings, acoustic instruments and subtle electronics. In her collaboration with celebrated British filmmaker Ben Rivers, Atkinson composes new music that responds to Rivers’ imagery, creating an immersive audiovisual work.

Aïsha Devi & 118 present SLF (Spirit Liberation Front) is a mysterious, unspecified and omniform collective, the driving force of which is musical alchemist Aïsha Devi, that will be appearing at Rewire 2021 to present the world premiere of ‘The Sacred Show’. An audiovisual piece that vibrates emotional cognitive brainwaves.

Byron Westbrook & Koen Holtkamp found themselves on opposite sides of the US when COVID-19 struck. Their collaboration ‘Chromatic Dispersion’ was conceived as a way to stay connected, beginning as a visual interpretation by Holtkamp of Westbrook's most recent material, before it evolved into its own idiosyncratic project, which will be premiered at Rewire 2021.

In addition to musical and audiovisual collaborations, Rewire 2021 will see several projects in which software developers, game designers and creative coders team up with musicians and composers to creatively utilise the interactive possibilities of going online.

UK-based multidisciplinary artist GLOR1A crafts sizzling experimental pop and R&B rooted in concepts of Black futurism and the transformative power of technology. She is working alongside Japanese VR developer and visual artist Alpha Rats on SWARM 2.0, an interactive prototype game that fuses digital art and live performance. 

As Show Pony, Laura Nygren combines her innovative double-bass playing with vocals and synthesiser to explore a vividly personal artistic universe. At Rewire 2021 she presents her collaboration with experimental design duo The Rodina as they unveil a unique 3D online environment to launch Show Pony's debut EP, with exclusive media and live audience participation.

MSHR is an art collective formed by Birch Cooper and Brenna Murphy. The duo have conceived a special work for Rewire 2021: an interactive audiovisual composition that will be presented as a navigable virtual space. Building on their ongoing series of sonic systems and sculptures, this project from Cooper and Murphy is the first of its kind. 

Rewire will also share a number of specially recorded performances from artists far and wide. Norwegian duo Smerz will perform music from their full length debut ‘Believer’, which was recently released. Weaving together techniques and sounds pulled from chamber and classical music, hip hop, R&B, and hard electronics, with the end product always resulting in something altogether uncanny.

Multidisciplinary New York-based artist Masma Dream World created one of the most surprising albums of 2020. On ‘Play At Night’ she fuses early influences Amel Larrieux and Zap Mama, her training as a reiki practitioner and her interest in Butoh dancing, a Japanese avant-garde performance art. Also based in New York, vocalist, composer and performance artist Holland Andrews uses voice innovatively with clarinet and electronics to construct soundscapes that fuse their love of opera, theater and jazz. Both artists bring their creative approaches to performance to Rewire 2021.

Korean-American writer, musician, artist and astrologer Johanna Hedva presents a video performances that bubbles mystical doom, intimate metal, hag blues and cave music into a unique alloy, whilst The Netherlands-based Scottish artist Genevieve Murphy presents a commissioned concert version of her latest theater piece ‘I Don't Want To Be An Individual On My Own’, investigating the power of empathy.

Japanese sound artist FUJI|||||||||||TA’s hand-built 11-pipe organ evokes rich landscapes inspired by the Japanese classical form gakagu, which he shapes into a performance at Rewire 2021. Similarly esoteric Polish-born audiovisual artist and instrument builder Wojciech Rusin interprets his debut album ‘The Funnel’ with a specially-formed ensemble of a string trio, vocalists and a video artist, journeying into a sonic landscape that joins the dots between modern composition, field recording, folk and sound design. 

Belgian composer Ben Bertrand uses the bass clarinet and a plethora of machines to create hypnotic pools of sound that dilate time and space. Also making creative use of clarinet, Bristol based British band Tara Clerkin Trio use loops of the instrument and layered vocals, synth and percussion to evoke atmospheres in turns solemn, smoky or beatific.

Rewire 2021’s discourse programme aims to explore the festival theme of (Re)setting with a number of talks, workshops and meditations. Focusing on concepts of decolonisation, race and feminism, French Guiana-based Tabita Rezaire invites us on a journey into the ancestrales realms, to call upon those who have walked the path we are walking to inform and guide us. Self-styled cyber witch Cy X presents ‘In Pursuit of Black Noise’, an audiovisual performance and sonic meditation that surveys the everyday glitches that occur both inside and outside the digital realm.

Artist, writer and theorist Brandon LaBelle will share a keynote that thinks through his current research on listening and sympathy and his most recent published work, this year's ‘Acoustic Justice’. London-based sound artist Lisa Hall, will guide us through a digital and participatory exhibition entitled ‘Acts of Air’: 14 relational sound art works taking place across The Hague and further afield that can be interacted with both digitally and physically.

Berlin-based performance artist, dance movement therapist and body researcher Sophie Mars presents her project ‘Mindful Mutations,' a participatory healing movement piece open to all festival attendees and guided by Sophie Mars' avatar as designed by Livia Ribichini, to explore a state of transcendence, reconfiguration and possibility.

Artist, researcher and curator Alberta Whittle presents her moving-image work ‘RESET’. This explores timely questions relating to personal healing and the cultivation of hope in hostile environments such as the ensuing global pandemic or colonialism. An urgent political film that strikes the balance between grief and reflection, empathy and desire. Manchester-based duo Space Afrika, who channel the industrial architecture of North-West England into their minimalist patchworks of rhythm, texture and sensation, present their film collaboration with visual artist, poet and filmmaker Tibyan Mahawah Sanoh, ‘Untitled (To Describe You)’. 

Amongst a number of performances that have been reworked from Rewire 2020,London-based DJ, composer, producer Lee Gamble has worked with CGI artist and animator Clifford Sage to present an audiovisual hyperdrive through the semioblitz of his ‘Flush Real Pharynx’ project. German trio Carl Gari and the Egyptian singer and trumpeter Abdullah Miniawy who melds sobering electronic soundscapes with poetic lyrics reflecting the mood of modern day Egypt, present a live concert at Rewire 2021 mixed with performative and cinematic elements. Award winning Kazakh-British violinist, composer and improviser, Galya Bisengalieva debuts a video performance that centres on the themes of environmental devastation covered in her stunning debut album ‘Aralkum’. The Hague-based artist Leo Svirsky will present a preview of his expansive project Leo Svirsky & The River Without Banks with a select group of musicians.