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SEMIBREVE 2023: Highlights, exploring electronic music & digital art in Braga, Portugal

Text by CLOT Magazine

Since 2011, SEMIBREVE has consistently presented a forward-thinking programme featuring some of the most revered electronic music and cross-disciplinary work by artists from around the world, as well as maintaining an active role in promoting the digital arts in Portugal. Considered a unique platform for co-production and sonic expression in Portugal, SEMIBREVE also enjoys an international reputation thanks to its commitment to community and diversity. 

The festival returns for its 13th edition between the 26th-29th of October, featuring a programme of performances, installations, talks and workshops designed as a journey, enabling audiences to navigate multi-disciplinary experiences successively in venues such as the UNESCO World Heritage site Bom Jesus, the grand Theatro Circo, contemporary art space gnration, Capela Imaculada chapel and the University of Minho’s medieval saloon.

The festival announced its final additions for this 2023 edition: GIFT, a special show by Eiko Ishibashi and Oscar winner director Ryusuke Hamagushi. GIFT, directed by Hamaguchi and accompanied by a live soundtrack performed by Ishibashi, features a silent film. This collaboration evolved with Hamaguchi’s latest feature film, Evil Does Not Exist, which provided the source material for the silent film in GIFT. Ishibashi’s live performance adds a dynamic layer to the cinematic experience of GIFT and seeks to reimagine the relationships of sound to image and narrative. The curator team explains. 

Other highlights include Kali Malone, Anja Lauvdal, Tujiko Noriko + Joji Koyama, Emeralds, Mumdance, Kassel Jaeger + Eléonore Huisse, Nkisi, Loraine James, Thomas Ankersmit, Beatrice Dillon and Nexcyia. Loraine James will debut in SEMIBREVE with a live presentation of her new record, Gentle Confrontation, in which she examines her past and present. Maya Shenfeld and Pedro Maia will present the world premiere of a new collaborative audiovisual show based on Maya’s upcoming new record, Under the Sun

Thomas Ankersmit will return to SEMIBREVE to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Serge Modular synthesiser to explore the boundaries of its capabilities to create an almost organic, musique concrète-like sound world. For her SEMIBREVE debut, Beatrice Dillon will combine her love of UK club music’s syncopated suss and Afro-Caribbean influences using inventive sampling and luminous mixing techniques adapted from modern pop. Also, sound artist and experimental ambient musician Nexcyia will see his SEMIBREVE debut to take us through many different moods, emotions, and places with his noise, granular synthesis, textures, and rhythms.

Names we definitely will not miss are vocalist and electronic composer Inês Malheiro, who creates sound narratives using the voice as raw material, and DJ Lynce, whose peculiarity comes from his idiosyncratic record collection, which he manipulates with a faultless technique. 

The 13th edition will feature the Semibreve Award sponsored by Edigma, a Portuguese company leader in developing interactive experiences, multi-touch technology and digital signage projects. This award is established to celebrate and promote the creation of works that explore the interactivity, sound and image supported through digital technologies.

The winner, who will have the work exhibited during the 2023 edition of the festival, is God Mode (ep.01), a work by the duo dmstfctn. Previous winners of the EDIGME SEMIBREVE AWARD include Coordinated° by Studio Animaspace & Arina Kapitanova. Coordinated° was presented during the festival as part of their art and discourse programme. The pair told us in an interview that they hoped that the catalyst of a certain attitude towards the human-machine relationship could inspire very unorthodox applications and “misusages” of technology.

The festival will also showcase installations, artists’ talks and workshops by Anja Lauvdal, exclusive to local music conservatory students, and Maya Shenfeld, who’ll explore Performance in Electronic Music in a session open to the public.

Tickets can be found here.

(Media courtesy of the festival)
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