Apiary Sessions x SONICA Festival


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Apiary Sessions x SONICA Festival
6 March 2015



Apiary & SONICA present an exclusive mix of audiovisual performances, kinect art installations and electronic acts by outstanding sound and media artists from London, Ljubljana and the newly established SHAPE Platform.

Leafcutter John
Karen Gwyer
Marco Donnarumma
Dental Metal by Martin Bricelj Baraga & Spatial
Phenakistomixer 2.0 by Vesna Krebs

Andy Turner (Plaid)

Active since 2009, Apiary Studios runs a cultural programme funded through production facilities and services supplied to the creative industries. Apiary celebrates experimentation and cross pollination, supporting and pioneering projects, education and research.

MoTA – Museum of Transitory Art is a multidisciplinary platform in Ljubljana, Slovenia dedicated to the research, production and presentation of Transitory, Experimental and Live Art forms. MoTA and SONICA Festival are part of the ICAS & SHAPE networks. SONICA – Festival of Transitory Art is conceived as a showcase of MoTA’s yearly program. It is an experimental festival that questions the ways of representation, exhibition formats, crossing borders between digital and analog, object and performance. Each edition of SONICA brings a display of audio-visual performances, interactive installations, lectures, digital workshops, projections, clubbing nights and public urban installations.

LEAFCUTTER JOHN needs little introduction with 3 albums on Planet Mu and an album on Staubgold under his belt. The last Planet Mu record ‘A Housebound Spirit’ won an Honorary Mention at the Ars Electronica Awards, and was featured in The Wire Magazine’s Top 50 records. John is an avid experimentalist and collaborator, equally comfortable engineering his own software/hardware interfaces as working with Mercury Music prize nominated group Polar Bear.

Since 2010 John has entered something of a research and development phase, concentrating mainly on playing live improvised concerts and designing, building, and developing his light controlled musical interface which he’ll present at Apiary Sessions. The interface is a music performance system comprising a light sensitive controller and specialised software developed by John that is played gesturally using handheld lights and other light sources. The sounds produced are strongly related to the performer’s actions and are all produced in real-time to create an immersive audiovisual experience. He’s performed throughout Europe using the system and given talks and workshops with it at various Music and Art Schools. In 2012 he took this system to Vietnam at the invitation of the British Council and in 2014 played it to a sold-out Roundhouse in London supporting Imogen Heap.

May 2015 will see the release of “Resurrection” a new studio album on Desire Path Recordings.

KAREN GWYER is a US-born Londoner with a small bunch of divine releases to her name on both Opal Tapes and No Pain In Pop. Gwyer casually summons the feeling of a warmer, more futuristic Popol Vuh, other comparisons including Motion Sickness Of Time Travel, Cabaret Voltaire, Cluster or even an instrumental, more rhythmic Fever Ray. Her recent New Roof EP on No Pain In Pop sold out almost immediately and she’s in growing demand all over Europe, sharing stages with Julia Holter, Tim Hecker, Ben Frost and more.

“Rather than making straight club music, Gwyer assimilates house and techno tropes into oozy, hypnotic slow burners, as in album opener ‘Sugar Tots’. African beats herald the action, joined by molasses-thick synths and glassy bells that chime finely somewhere in the distance. Similarly, on ‘Pikki Kokku’, steamy, diaphanous whispers and minimal drum patterns overlay molten synths and subtle low end. There’s little resolution here; instead we have an internal lambency that’s warm and satisfying….The result is an intimate and beautiful record” – Factmag

MARCO DONNARUMMA – is a performer, sound artist, musician and writer. He has played interactive music by amplifying sounds from his body, has induced visitors in altered states of self-perception by feeding sounds from their bodies back to their skulls and bones, has immersed audiences in multichannel sound and video produced by the strain of his muscles while he pulled 50kg stones, and has physicalised digital viruses in the body.

Ominous is a sculpture of incarnated sound. The performance embodies, before the audience, the metaphor of an invisible and unknown object enclosed in my hands. This is made of malleable sonic matter. Similarly to a mime, the performer models the object in the empty space by means of whole-body gestures. By using the visceral, new musical instrument “Xth Sense” (created by the Donnarumma), the bioacoustic sound produced by the contractions of his muscle tissues is amplified, digitally processed, and played back through nine loudspeakers. The natural sound of my muscles and its virtual counterpart blend together into an unstable sonic object. This oscillates between a state of high density and one of violent release. As the listeners imagine the object’s shape by following my gesture, the sonic stimuli induce a perceptual coupling. The listeners see through sound the sculpture which their sight cannot perceive.

DENTAL METAL is Martin Bricelj Baraga’s new collaboration with London based producer SPATIAL that uses simple objects such as dental brushes and piezo mics to create a monumental homage to the dark ambient music. The performance at Apiary Sessions will be the outcome of residency exchange conducted in Ljubljana & London.

Toothbrushes create a rhythmical composition mimicking guitar riffs and the installation is amplified with guitar amplifiers. It creates a unique sound experience and sound sculpture. The live event consists of performative action with additional sound inputs and leaving the installation to later continuous loops.

PHENAKISTOMIXER 2.0 Phenakistoscope was an early animation device that used a spinning disk of sequential images and the persistence of vision principle to create an illusion of motion. Original phenakistoscope discs had slits cut into them and had to be viewed using a mirror. Phenakistomixer appropriates this by precisely synchronising disc rotation with the shutter of a video camera to achieve similar effect, and is used as a live visual performative tool. Tool for mixing GIF like looped animations.

Version 2 of Phenakistomixer project takes the turntable video-mixing idea further by introduction of on-plate layering with transparent foils, presented by Vesna Krebs, a new media artist, experimentalist, and researcher. She was born in Slovenia in 1979, and currently lives and works between Ljubljana and London. Her creative practice explores dis-ordered states, glitches, and chaotic behaviours through a cross-disciplinary approach blending generative art, live visuals, interactive art and sound.

ANDY TURNER (PLAID) is a legendary figure in electronic music having been a founding member of seminal group Black Dog Productions before settling his output through the Plaid moniker. His contributions under these projects formed a core part of Warp Records early identity seeing Bytes released as part of the groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence series.