The Wire


Braga’s Semibreve festival makes its second line-up announcement

The Portuguese festival happening in October has added Beatriz Ferreyra, Gas and Rabih Beaini to the programme

Braga, Portugal’s Semibreve festival has made the latest line-up announcement for its seventh edition happening in October. New artists added to the previously announced bill of Deathprod, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Fis and Kyoka include Gas, Rabih Beaini, Lawrence English, Laurie Spiegel, Beatriz Ferreyra and Sabre.

The Edigma Semibreve Award is also back this year. Launched to promote and celebrate works that explore interactivity, sound and image supported through the use of digital technologies, the Edigma award offers a 2500 euro prize. Deadline for entries is 15 July.

Semibreve runs from 27–29 October at various venues.

Morton Subotnick documentary in production

Made by the team behind I Dreamed Of Wires, the new documentary launches the same year Subotnick’s 1967 album Silver Apples Of The Moon celebrates its 50th anniversary

Waveshaper Media, the makers of the 2014 modular synthesizer documentary I Dream Of Wires, have announced they’re currently producing a film on US composer and electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick. Titled Subotnick, the film will feature new interviews and archival footage to cover Subotnick’s career, from his history in co-founding The San Francisco Tape Music Center to his current touring schedule.

2017 also marks the 50th anniversary of Subotnick's Silver Apples Of The Moon, the first ever album released by Nonesuch Records. This year will also see the premiere of Subotnick’s new multimedia work Crowds And Power at New York City’s Lincoln Center from 20–22 July (where he'll also perform Silver Apples Of The Moon).

Though filming has already started, Waveshaper are attempting to crowdfund the project, with donators able to pledge for the 50th anniversary repress of Silver Apples, available as a limited edition coloured vinyl or, for the first time since 1967, as a cassette tape. It will include new sleevenotes by Subotnick, who will sign copies for pledgers.

Waveshaper are also about to release the Bob Moog documentary Electronic Voyager.

Memoirs of pianist Maurice El Médioni to be published

This will be the first time the memoirs of the Algerian-Jewish musician will be published

Maurice El Médioni: A Memoir From Oran To Marseilles 1938-1992 is set to be published this summer by Repeater Books. Edited by Max Reinhardt and translated from French by Jonathan Walton, the book tells the story of this musician who has been considered to be grandfather of Algerian pop.

Born in 1928 in Oran, Médioni was an Algerian Jew who worked with Andalusian, Rai, Chaabi, Arabic and Sephardic music. He performed with Chaabi artists such as Lili Labassi, Line Monty, Samy el Magrhibi and Reinette l’Oranaise, as well as contemporary Rai artists like Khaled.

The book traces his early life in Oran, living through Axis occupation during WWII, his encounters with the Dominican and Puerto Rican GIs stationed in North Africa, the nightlife in Oran, the Algerian war of independence, and his subsequent emigration to France where he surrounded himself in the Parisian jazz and world music scenes.

Maurice El Médioni: A Memoir From Oran to Marseilles 1938-1992 will be published in this month with a launch party event in London set for 22 June. Details yet to be confirmed.

alt.vinyl announces closure after 13 years

Graham Thrower's online shop and label has announced it will close with immediate effect

alt.vinyl has announced that after 13 years and over 70 releases it is shutting down. Run by Graham Thrower, the label started life as a shop based in Newcastle, before moving to online sales only. It subsequently became a fixture of a vibrant underground scene in the North East, releasing albums by artists including Richard Dawson, Rhodri Davies, :zoviet*france: and many more.

On a statement on the website, Thrower says: “It's been great to have been a part of a global independent music community but the time is right... this cycle has come to a close. At the risk of a long post I'd just like to thank all those artists that alt.vinyl has had the pleasure to work with and release over the years,” and gave props to Volcano The Bear, Astral Social Club, Anla Courtis, :zoviet*france:, Family Elan, Meg Baird, Cian Nugent, Rhodri Davies, Hen Ogledd, Air Cushion Finish, Lichens and many more.

“Thanks to all of you out there, customers, supporters, press, stockists who have supported the label in your own way,” he writes. “It has meant a lot... It's been a trip... thanks for everything... graham/alt.vinyl”

Elaine Mitchener presents a Cagean happening this June

London's Kings Place will host a night celebrating John Cage's Song Books

This June, Elaine Mitchener Projects and King's Place will present a night dedicated to the lyricism of John Cage's Song Books. Published in 1970, it took form as a commission from Cathy Berberian and Simone Rist, and was constructed by consulting the I Ching ancient divination text. It formed three volumes - the first two consisting of solos for voice and he third being an instruction manual.

For this event the work will be presented as a happening “where we will wander and explore the Song Books, take our own path, ask our own questions and join the adventure,” says the programme.

Possessing Nothing: John Cage Song Books will take place on 10 June at 6.30pm, as part of King's Place's Poetry & Lyrics Festival.

Second edition of Amsterdam's Online Radio Festival takes place this weekend

Latest installment includes live broadcasts, panels and performances at Muziekgebouw concert hall with streaming online

The second edition of the Online Radio Festival is due to take place in Amsterdam this weekend, presenting a mix of live radio, discussions and performances featuring broadcasters and DJs from across the world.

Following the inaugural 2015 edition, this year's festival returns to the Muziekgebouw concert hall complex with a day of events on Friday 19 May to explore and celebrate the continuing rise of online broadcasting. There will be radio shows hosted on site, streamed live across the world via the Muziekgebouw website, followed by a series of talks with innovators in online broadcasting, with two panels moderated by The Wire’s Derek Walmsley. The evening concludes with live and DJs sets at Muziekgebouw by I-F, Klein, Bear Bones Lay Low, and more.

Among the broadcasters in attendance and on air during the day will be Amsterdam’s own station Red Light Radio, London’s NTS and Boiler Room, Berlin Community Radio, Stroom from Gent, Radio Quantica out of Lisbon, and for the first time, South Africa’s Pan African Space Station. Panels on local versus global audiences and the place of politics in online radio will be moderated by The Wire Editor Derek Walmsley. It all takes place this Friday 19 May, and more details are available at their website.

Incus catalogue set for digital reissue via Cafe Oto

Recordings from the foundational UK improvisation label now available for download via London venue’s OTOroku label

London's Cafe Oto has announced major plans to digitise and sell downloads of the catalogue of foundational UK improvisation label Incus.

The label, originally set up by Derek Bailey, Tony Oxley, Evan Parker and Michael Walters, released its first record The Topography Of The Lungs in 1970. It was accompanied by a manifesto: "The bulk of the revenue from any Incus recording will go directly to the musicians. Once the basic cost of each record is recovered, thus providing the finance for the next, the vast bulk of all income will be paid in royalties to the artists. Incus has no intention of making profits in the conventional sense."

Incus went on to release over 100 albums spanning the leading players of the free improvisation community in the UK and beyond, and continued to be run by Bailey and Parker until the two parted ways in the mid-1980s. Karen Brookman-Bailey has tended the label after Bailey’s death in 2005.

Cafe Oto’s OTOroku label has been in dialogue with Brookman-Bailey for several years about making its extensive archive of recordings, many of which are out of print, available once again. Work is already ongoing to offer downloads of the CD catalogue, with the two Derek Bailey and Han Bennink Post Improvisation albums from 1999 available now. Further albums in the pipeline include Eugene Chadbourne & John Zorn’s In Memory Of Nikki Arane, Alex Ward & Steve Noble’s Ya Boo, Reel And Rumble, and Derek Bailey’s solo disc Takes, Fakes And Dead She Dances. OTOroku have future plans for LP transfers from the Incus catalogue.

Recordings will be released over the coming few months over on the Café OTO shop, and are available in both MP3 and Flac format.

Thirty Three Thirty Three, NON and the ICA collaborate on new project confronting the legacy of colonialism

The multidisciplinary event series will create a “borderless network for understanding, exchange and collaboration” across the UK, Germany and South Africa

Thirty Three Thirty Three has announced a new events series, Non Xchange. Building on the international connections already established by NON Worldwide projects and its artistic affiliations, the two-day event will feature performance, discussion and exhibitions that aim to confront “spatial violence and systemic exclusion, [while] forming cultural dissent against the structural legacy of colonialism.” Artists featured include Angel Ho, Chino Amobi, Faka and Farai Bukowski-Bouquet.

The first event on 2 June will be a panel discussion titled Language, Symbolism And Power, held at the ICA and chaired by Osei Bonsu, it will feature Juliana Huxtable​, Professor Akwugo Emejulu​ and Kodwo Eshun​ who will discuss, among other things, how artists can create social spaces that disrupt power. The evening will incorporate a screening of experimental film Practise by Grace Wales Bonner​, Harley Weir ​and Dev Hynes about a 17-year-old ballet dancer from Pretoria, South Africa.​ That will be followed by an installation, and performances from Angel Ho​, Chino Amobi​, Faka​, Farai​, Orethea​ and Juliana Huxtable.

The following day Power Structures will be held at Ace Hotel, where NON citizens Chino Amobi, FAKA and Farai Bukowski-Bouquet will discuss the “damaging power structures present in experimental music, and the artists that confront, challenge and decohere the whiteness of noise and industrial genres” while referencing questions raised by Kodwo Eshun in his lecture Non Negation: Blackness Out Of Space: Noise Out Of Time.

On the 4 June, Radar Radio will host an 11am-4pm NON Exchange Takeover with Curtly Ghallywood/Nollywood Radio, Juliana Huxtable Poetry Show, FAKA, Angel-Ho, Chino Amobi and Embaci & Klein.

Full details and times can be found via the events page.

Engine Room International Sound Art Competition winner announced

Held at London's Morley Gallery, the competition was judged by The Wire's Publisher Tony Herrington alongside sound artist/composers Annie Mahtani and Janek Schaefer

The winners of this year’s Engine Room International Sound Art Competition have been announced. Set up as an initiative of Morley College, and held at their gallery space, the competition was judged at the beginning of May by The Wire Publisher Tony Herrington, as well as sound artists Dr Annie Mahtani and Janek Schaefer.

First prize was awarded to UK artist Laura Daly's “Shadowland”, which, inspired by the destruction of Cambodia’s Sbek Thom shadow puppet theatre at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, focuses on the strength of human spirit in the face of adversity. Second prize was given to George Cloke for “Year In Review”, which uses sound samples of radio news bulletins in order to “confront listeners with the normalisation of atrocities”. Third prize went to Nolan Lem for “Autonomous Sense Object” which explores the condition of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) to look at our relationship to sound, power and control.

Daly, one of the college’s alumni to have previously studied Sound Art at its adult education centre, said: “The breadth and scope of The Engine Room’s finalists represent an exciting picture of what is happening in sound art. Situating new works on an international platform, it’s a great opportunity for emerging sound artists to raise their profile and engage with practitioners from different parts of the world. To be selected as a finalist among such strong contenders and then given first prize for “Shadowland” is a great honour.”

The 20 shortlisted pieces, whittled down from 177 entries, are now on display at Morley gallery until 1 June. Entry is free.

Saturnalia festival sets a firm principle of inclusivity

Held at the artist run MACAO centre in Milan, the festival hopes to counter institutionalised art

DIY music festival Saturnalia returns this June at Milan's self-organised art space MACAO, a former slaughterhouse with a strict anti-art institution philosophy. Now in its fourth edition, the event serves as a season closure for MACAO and its sound collective Tavolo Suono, celebrating experimentation and inclusiveness.

“We're offering this whole line up at a price of 5€ per day and those who can't afford this price are still let being part of the celebration - this is one of the means through which we realise one of the principles we believe in, ie inclusivity," explains festival promoter Arcangelo Leone de Castris. “Our main aim,” he continues, is to “make people discover the alternative practices and production processes we put in place and why they can be valuable compared to the ones we're all used to in institutional contexts.”

Artists on this year's line up are RP Boo, Copeland & Gast, Camusi (Stefano Giust & Patrizia Oliva), HHY & The Macumbas, Bernardino Femminielli, Valerio Tricoli/Giulio Nocera/KNN/Sec_, Evan Parker & Walter Prati, Kilbourne, O$VMV$M, Rider Shafique & Manonmars, Beneath, Madam X, TSVI, Voronoi, Jack Roland, and others.

Saturnalia will take place 16 & 17 June.