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Festival: Rewire 2023 – Sound & Music Programme Highlights

Text by CLOT Magzine

Rewire, the annual international festival for adventurous music in the city of The Hague is back for its 12th edition after returning to the live format last year. Taking place from 6 to 9 April, the festival will include several premieres, commissioned projects and unique collaborations that reflect the aim of Rewire to platform and facilitate musical experimentation, exploration and innovation, as well as interdisciplinary performances. Having previously announced Soundwalk Collective & Patti Smith, Kelela, Fever Ray, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the final lineup has just been announced. 

If one thing stands out from this year’s line-up is the number of collaborative projects, something we have seen increases across several festivals alike in the last few years. Tim Hecker will perform brand new material from his upcoming album in a commissioned live show with a bespoke light design by visual artist Vincent de Belleval. Alto Arc (Deafheaven frontman George Clarke, maverick pop producer Danny L Harle, Trayer Tryon from Hundred Waters, and make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench) will present a maximalist hybrid of club and metal music of their debut release.

With their sight always in some of the most renowned sound artists and musicians, this year, rewire expands the cycle of Eliane Radigue’s Occam Ocean acoustic works; Occam Delta 20 is a newly commissioned trio composition featuring Aura Satz (film), Rhodri Davies (harp), and Julia Eckhardt (viola). Rather than producing a film that documents the music and sits outside of it, the film participates in the logic of the score and is developed in an open weave with the musicians. 

On the A/V performances front, a bunch of interesting proposals that push-forward the relationship between sound and vision in a live context. Amnesia Scanner will perform new material in the live show, co-created with digital artist Freeka Tet. Slikback x Weirdcore will perform their intense audiovisual collaboration VOID (one of our favourite shows from the Unsound festival last year).

Zoë Mc Pherson and Alessandra Leone will present a new A/V show based on cybernetic sound system experimentations. Multi-instrumentalist Wacław Zimpel will perform new material from his upcoming album Train Spotter in a live A/V show designed by multimedia artist Ben Kreukniet; and Grand River will present the intricate instrumentation of her new album All Above in a live A/V show, with light design and visuals by Marco Ciceri.

Nwando Ebizie
Nwando Ebizie

More collaborations, but these were strictly musical, and aimed to allow artists to step out of their creative comfort zone and co-create. Matthew Herbert, who will collaborate with drummer Julian Sartorius; Pavel Milyakov (aka Buttechno) alongside electronic musician and vocalist Perila for a fuzzy mix of dreamy pop and poetic spoken word, matched with electronics and guitars.

Sound artist Ale Hop and The Paper Ensemble promise to deliver a sonic fabric woven from the smallest and softest sounds we can hear, juxtaposing with the brutality of percussion and amplification. Okkyung Lee will present her Yeo-Neun Quartet, which elegantly binds modern classical composition and freely improvised music with the emotive drama of Korean traditional music and popular ballads.

A conjunction to melt our ears, Oren Ambarchi, Johan Berthling, and Andreas Werliin will take musical cues from 70s ECM jazz, electronic minimalism, African music, krautrock, and many other influences, for one classy performance.

Honouring the voice as the oldest musical instrument on Earth and as an endless site of musical experimentation and innovation, rewire team share; the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy performances from the Japanese vocal performer Hatis Noit and singer, songwriter, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, Lucinda Chua, vocalist LSDXOXO and the haunting vocals of HTRK.  Pamela Z will combine experimental extended vocal techniques with a bunch of other disciplines.

The trio The Dwarfs of East Agouza formed in Cairo, consisting of Maurice Louca, Sam Shalabi and Alan Bishop, combines repetitive North African drums, free jazz guitar, and motorik acoustic bass à la krautrock in a colourful and lively blend of hot psychedelia. There will also be the world premiere of The Heels of Joy will be an original live music show that combines Andalusian folklore, South American styles, Pop and urban and avant-garde club music by Maoupa Mazzocchetti with Luna Maria Cedrón & Samir Aouad. British Nigerian multidisciplinary artist Nwando Ebizie will perform their debut album The Swan, a sprawling, Afrofuturist, genre-bending opus of polyrhythmic bliss.

With the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Serge synthesiser in 2023, the performance of Berlin-based sound artist Thomas Ankersmit, who has worked almost exclusively with the instrument for over fifteen years, will be a treat.

DJs, producers, and performers for the festival nights will close each night, including Tzusing, Aquarian, Safety Trance, Bitter Babe b2b Manuka Honey, and Authentically Plastic. Additionally, Rewire 2023 features many artists that explore various niches within electronic music, from Dale Cornish’s inquisitive studies of dance music to the heady soundscapes of Malibu and Dylan Henner’s gentle and soothing ambient soundscapes. Billy Bultheel and Alexander Iezzi team up as 33 for an equal parts brutal and beautiful array of banging hardcore rave, artful punk, and haunting chamber music.

Find tickets here.  More info on the art and discourse programme is coming soon.

(Image courtesy of Rewire)
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