The Wire


Blank Forms announce in-house journal Magazine

NYC curator and promoter launches new publication following its first year of operations

Curator and promoter Blank Forms has announced a new print publication surveying avant garde and underground figures inspired by their current events programme. Magazine is the first edition of the journal of the New York organisation, founded in 2016 by former ISSUE Project Room Artistic Director Lawrence Kumpf, with pieces on and by musicians including Joe McPhee, Bruce Russell, Éliane Radigue and François Bonnet (aka Kassel Jaeger).

"It's called a magazine but it's more of a book in its actual format," says Kumpf. "The idea of Magazine is appealing because it can have a looser more propositional structure for grouping things together." The first issue, which is over two hundred pages long, includes four sections exploring the influential work of late sound artist Maryanne Amacher, plus unpublished interviews, transcriptions of talks from live events, poetry and stories, and more. Also featured are translations from Bonnet's book The Infra-World, discussion of the visual poetry of Ralston Farina, and Bruce Russell of The Dead C on the notion of 'mis-competence' in New Zealand music. Many of the documents, interviews and writings emerged or evolved out of the first year of programming at Blank Forms – "because often there isn't much information on the topic out there," Kumpf reports.

"For the next issue we wouldn't necessarily stick to this format," he says, "or the structure (referring to our past programming) – but will keep it as an open format and platform for interesting ideas and documents that we come across in our work."

Magazine is edited by Lawrence Kumpf and Joe Bucciero, and is available from the Blank Forms website.

The Longplayer Trust and Goldsmiths University present Longplayer Day

Renowned composition piece Longplayer and the university's music department are celebrating their recently established partnership

Longplayer is a composition for singing bowls that was conceived by artist Jem Finer. The projected 1000 year long composition began on 31 December 1999 and since then has continued to play without repetition, with a projected end scheduled for the year 2999, when it will start again from the beginning.

Longplayer Day, held for this June, will mark the longest day of the year. Starting at midday and ending at midnight, participants will walk a route from Goldsmiths Great Hall to Longplayer's location at Trinity Buoy Wharf lighthouse, along which they will encounter a number of musical events or happenings.

Confirmed acts for the midsummer aural walk include: Áine O'Dwyer playing Annea Lockwood's Piano Transplant No. 1, Siswå Sukrå, Steve Beresford & Blanca Regina, Dominic Murcott performing Harmonic Canon, Angharad Davies, and Charles Hayward. There will also be a screening of John Latham's Erth and Adam Scovell's Holloway which includes contributions from Robert MacFarlane, and Stanley Donwood.

Watch a short film introducing Longplayer by Rebecca E Marshall

Longplayer Day will take place on 21 June 2017 at Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse, London. You can also stream it live via its website.

Blurred Edges Festival has kicked off in Hamburg

Two week event in Hamburg is currently underway with Maria Chavez, Dominic Lash, Oval and others

Blurred Edges festival is currently taking place in Hamburg, Germany. Now in its 12th edition, the event will run at various venues until 18 June, presenting experimental composition and improvisation, field recordings, cinematic programs, performances, and exhibitions. Without any one specific curator for the event, Blurred Edges has a number of individuals and collectives creating the event, which is then coordinated by the Verband für aktuelle Musik Hamburg. This has made for an extensive 32 location,17 day festival.

Artists on the line up include Oval, Scordatura plays Harry Partch, Maria Chavez, Dominic Lash, JD Zazie, Yoni Silver, Richard VD Schulenburg, Rudi Mahall, Michael Maierhof, Bernhard Schreiner, Birgit Ulher, Nelly Boyd performing John Cage, Alexander Schubert and many more.

As well as an extensive line-up, this year's event will also see the premiere of Sound Caching, a site specific project which has its audience moving to various parts of the city in order to find hidden QR Codes. By scanning these codes, audiences are then able to listen to compositions on their smartphones.

Blurred Edges is happening now at various venues across Hamburg.

Audiovisual project Different Trains 1947 celebrates 70 years of Indian independence

Actress and others work with artist platform Metal in a collaboration based on Steve Reich's Different Trains

To mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, artist platform Metal – in partnership with London’s Barbican Centre, Warp and Boiler Room, and Indian partners Wild City and What About Art? – have collaborated on Different Trains 1947. Taking inspiration from Steve Reich’s 1988 piece Different Trains, three nights of audiovisual performance will bring together the cultures of UK and India, and feature artists Actress, Sanaya Ardeshir aka Sandunes and Jack Barnett (These New Puritans).

The piece will be presented at Metal Liverpool (28 September), Barbican Hall London (1 October) and Magnetic Fields Festival, within the grounds of a 17th Century palace on the edge of the desert in Rajasthan in India (15–17 December). Boiler Room will stream one of the Rajasthan dates live.

Watch a short documentary featuring, among others, Darren Cunningham and Stephen Christian (Creative Director of Warp and Musical Director for Different Trains 1947) on their journey to Mumbai to research for the project.

Reich's piece gained inspiration from the journeys he made during WWII between New York and Los Angeles to visit his parents. He would later incorporate speech samples from interviews he made in Europe and America about the the time leading up to, during and after WWII, including three Holocaust survivors recalling, among other things, their experiences traveling by train to concentration camps. Metal recently presented Different Trains, performed by Reich, at Edge Hill Station, London.

More information can be found via the project's website.

An evening of synth and tape experimentation with Richard Francés of Hylé Tapes

London's Cafe Oto and The Wire’s Gustave Evrard to host Wire 400 event this Sunday

Hylé TapesRichard Francés (Acid Fountain/Juju/Pointe Du Lac), who recently released 01112012 on Jungle Gym Records, will perform at London's Cafe Oto on 4 June as part of a special Wire 400 event called Zone Pélagique. Hosted by our own Gustave Evrard and featuring another Wire staffer, the design team's Mads Freund Brunse aka DJ Marx Freud of Copenhagen club night Boogie School, the night will be dedicated to synth and tape experimentation. Also on the line up is Contra Legem, founder of the nanoloop-only label OBOLE; The event will mark the live debut of his 6 Gameboy solo project.

Watch a video of Richard Francés rehearsing for the gig:

Zone Pélagique is part of the Wire 400 celebrations. It takes place 7:30pm on 4 June. Tickets available via Cafe Oto.

Bern Nix has died

American Jazz guitarist who recorded with Ornette Coleman has died

Jazz guitarist Bern Nix has died, it was announced by friend and bandmate Matt Lavelle on Facebook. “It is with an absolute destroyed heart that I am here to tell you friends and family,” reads the post. “Rest In Peace Bern Nix.”

Nix was born in 1947 in Toledo, Ohio. He started playing the guitar as a child and later graduated with a degree in music from Berklee College of Music. Between 1975 and 1987, he played guitar in Ornette Coleman's Prime Time alongside fellow guitarist Charles Ellerbee. Ben Watson wrote in The Wire 79, “Since Bern Nix and Charles Ellerbee danced the harmolodic guitar into existence on Ornette Coleman's epochal Dancing In Your Head, there is a new type of jazz guitarist who goes beyond the conventional virtuosity of Scofield, Stern and Stevie Ray Vaughan”, with Barry Witherden and Tony Herrington (The Wire 181) describing Ellerbee and Nix’s lines as “entwining each other like rapturous serpents”.

While a member of Prime Time, Nix worked on Dancing In Your Head (1977), Of Human Feelings (1982), Opening The Caravan Of Dreams (1985), Virgin Beauty (1988) and others. In 1985 he formed The Bern Nix Trio, working with Fred Hopkins on bass and Newman Baker on drums, and later The Bern Nix Quartet, featuring Matt Lavelle on trumpet and alto clarinet, François Grillot on contrabass and Reggie Sylvester on drums.

Le Guess Who? announce first round of curators and artist

Plans are underway for Dutch festival Le Guess Who? including performances from Pharoah Sanders and Oumou Sangaré, and curatorial leadership from Grouper and Shabazz Palaces

This year's Le Guess Who? festival will take place between 9–12 November at various venues in the city of Utrecht, with the first list of curators and artists sets to be performed at this 11th edition being announced.

Curators for the events include Perfume Genius, who has invited Bulgarian women's choir Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Mount Eerie, Aldous Harding, Weyes Blood, and Pharmakon and Grouper will also be curating a stage with William Basinski, GAS, Keiji Haino and more. Also announced is Shabazz Palaces hosting Pharoah Sanders, OCnotes and Natasha Kmeto.

Also invited to help programme the event is Han Bennink. He's invited ICP Orchestra, Peter Brötzmann and will perform as the Han Bennink Trio. Plus Basilica Soundscape will host a stage with Jenny Hval, Protomartyr and a poetry reading by Meredith Graves (Perfect Pussy).

Jerusalem In My Heart have also curated a stage with a focus on African-American and Middle Eastern performers. Artists included are Linda Sharrock, Moor Mother, Matana Roberts, filmmaker and songwriter Alanis Obomsawin performing her 1988 album Bush Lady for the first time, Farida & The Iraqi Maqam Ensemble, and the Lebanese artist Abdel Karim Shaar who will present a traditional Tarab repertoire for his 2nd show outside of Lebanon.

This year will also feature The Black Power Tarot by King Khan and Game Of Thrones designer Michael Easton, and in collaboration with Alejandro Jodorowsky. The cards, which depict prominent African-American figures including Sun Ra, Nina Simone, Richard Pryor and Erykah Badu, will be exhibited during the festival, and King Khan will also be reading them for festival goers. A screening of Memphis Black Power Group documentary The Invaders, which inspired the Tarot cards, will also take place.

For a full list of artists announced you can visit Le Guess Who?'s website. Tickets are on sale now.

Heroines Of Sound takes place in Berlin this July

Three day event in celebration of women's contribution to avant garde music

July will see the fourth edition of Heroines Of Sound Festival at Radialsystem V in Berlin. The three day event will celebrate women’s contribution to avant garde, electronic and experimental music, featuring installations, performances, videos, talks and more.

Following last year’s focus on GRM artists, this year sees the spotlight shift to Polish electronic musicians and will feature a line-up that includes Electric Indigo, Chra, Katarina Glowicka, Pilocka Krach, Elźbieta Sikora, Heidrun Schramm, Jajoda Szmykta, Joanna Wozny and many more.

Heroines Of Sound takes place between 7–9 July.

Krakow Unsound festival passes sell out in minutes

The first wave of Unsound festival tickets all sold out moments after its line-up was announced

As announced earlier this year, Unsound Krakow 2017 will be based on the theme of Flower Power. Festival weekend passes went on sale on 29 May, the day Unsound made its first line-up announcement, and immediately sold out. Individual passes will go on sale this coming August, once the full Unsound line-up is completed.

Artists and events confirmed so far include Einstürzende Neubauten, Nina Kraviz, a new Grouper related project, premieres of Robin Fox's Single Origin (the third part in his trilogy for lasers series), and Iwan Gunawan and Stefan Lakatos's Moondog For Gamelan, featuring the pair performing a previously unheard piece on Moondog's trimba, Jlin, Gas, DJ Sprinkles, Zonal with Moor Mother, Nkisi, Juliana Huxtable, Varg and others. Many more artists are yet to be announced.

Full details can be found at the Unsound website.

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.