Music Lover’s Field Companion 05
Your informative guide in the search for new aural pleasures.
Taking our festivals south of the border we set out to offer a few cardinal pointers in the vast array of experimental music practices.
The programme included a special 4-hour performance by Keiji Haino – “The Secret of Music”, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Kazuo Imai, My Cat in an Alien, nmperign, Takehisa Kosugi, Jandek, Shuji Inaba and Kyoaku No Intention (Munehiro Narita and Shoji Hano). Luc Ferrari and eRikm had to cancel at the last minute so Charlemagne Palestine performed in their place.
What we said at the time:
Your informative guide in the search for new aural pleasures. Taking our festivals south of the border to The Sage Gateshead we set out to offer a few cardinal pointers in the vast array of experimental music practices.
In an ever-changing musical landscape, The Sage Gateshead presents a festival of performances from some of the most exhilarating and urgent underground musicians the world has to offer, artists who define genres, break moulds and inspire scenes; it’s an exploration of the bold and exciting in new music.Read
In 1954, composer John Cage (often perceived as the father of experimental music) was invited to write an article on music in an edition of the United States Lines Paris Review, primarily devoted to humour. In it he suggested that a lot could be learnt about music by looking at the other great passion in his life: the mushroom.In particular, or at least most pertinently to this festival, he bemoaned the lack of guidance when surveying the ever expanding, potentially confusing genre of experimental music. If you were serious about mushrooms then the first thing you would reach for, when out for a Sunday afternoon picking, would be your trusty Field Companion to guide you towards the tastiest, non-toxic examples in the field. Why couldn’t there be such a companion to music?
Although not offering anything quite as pompous as a complete guide to the outer reaches of experimentation in music today, this festival does humbly set out to offer a few cardinal points to both those deeply embedded in the scene and to those who might wish to take a risk and expand their horizons, to venture into the undergrowth. All the performances here are from genre defining, hugely important musicians, lions in their field. They may not necessarily be household names, but their influence reaches far into contemporary music.
MLFC 05 was reveiwed by Andy Hamilton for The Wire here
MICRO 1 – Wrap a live microphone with a very large sheet of paper. Make a light bundle. Keep the microphone live for another 5 minutes. T. Kosugi – (1961)
Haino exceeds expectation with a 4 hour solo performance on a collection of more than forty instruments from all over the world.
Alan Cummings Keiji Haino
Journalist and underground music champion Alan Cummings talks to Keiji Haino about his career and his performance the previous evening.
Veterans of the psych-infused UK free noise scene, the Vibracathedral Orchestra is a hypnotic ur-drone group hailing from Leeds.
My Cat Is An Alien
Italian duo of brothers Maurizio and Roberto Opalio utilising an array of acoustic and electric guitars, various toy-instruments and toy-microphones.
One of the most arresting and unique improvisers in Japan, creating an original and powerful body of free music.
An extravagant debauch of huge pianos, plush toys, cognac and ritual.
A new interpretation of Kosugi’s Catch-Wave, producing a cloud of fluctuating, hypnotic drones, in front of a backdrop of projected waves.
Jandek Alex Neilson Richard Youngs
Jandek’s second ever live performance, and the first to be advertised in advance.
Boston duo of saxophonist Bhob Rainey and trumpeter Greg Kelley approach their improvisations with a slew if extended techniques and pregnant silences.
A confrontational and somehow shamanic stance; introspective silences shattered by savage jabs at the strings, whirlwind strums dying into spartan chords
Kyoaku No Intention
Munehiro Narita’s Kyoaku No Intention (Worst Intentions) fired out some of the most compelling no-wave improvised rock of the 80s.