Festival features alternative rock legends, organ minimalism, AI and robots
From 22 to 28 November, Bratislava’s stages, public spaces and online environment will see the return of NEXT Festival, which, for twenty-two years, offers a showcase of the most interesting acts on the international and local new music and sonic art scene. Audiences can look forward to seven days of original musical approaches, unheard(-of) sounds, multimedia projects and premieres, complemented by a series of educational activities for the professional and wider public.
This year’s NEXT Festival takes place in several venues around Bratislava and partly online, including a concert video stream from London. The confirmed line-up features legendary front man of noise-rock band Sonic Youth Thurston Moore, Italian experimenter Caterina Barbieri (appearing with her project Punctum), the impressive audiovisual project subassemblies by Japanese visionary Ryoichi Kurokawa, an organ concert by Swedish musician Anna von Hausswolff, and transcendental avantgarde metal trio Gravetemple, starring Stephen O’Malley from SunnO))).
With its big names, NEXT will also put on new project commissions. Australian Julia Reidy, whose music combines the acoustic guitar and various electronic experiments, will perform for the first time with Andrea Belfi, a perennial star on the Italian drumming scene. Likewise from Italy, the festival will see a show by versatile drummer Valentina Magaletti, premiering in tandem with local musician Isama Zing. Czech-born electro-acoustic composer, sound artist and lecturer in improvisation and performative practice at the London College of Communication Lucie Štěpánková will take stage as Avsluta and play a joint set with spearhead of the international experimental music scene David Toop.
The Festival has also commissioned The NEXT Marching Band and NEXT Mobile Sound System, two projects that will bring Slovak experimental music to the public space via an unusual format. Renowned Japanese artist Rie Nakajima will demonstrate minimalist work with sound objects, while her compatriot Ryoichi Kurokawa will engage in fascinating audiovisual deconstruction of architecture. The rich program grows still richer with Icelandic double bassist Bára Gísladóttir, British multimedia artist patten, international trio PLF, and German krautrock legends Faust, who continue to offer a relevant sound even after fifty years on stage. They will perform a live show of their influential album for the European tour Faust IV Live!
Six artists not to miss out on
American guitarist and composer Thurston Morre founded Sonic Youth in 1980, a band that came to define one era. His discography spans decades and a wide range of genres.
He has worked alongside Yoko Ono, John Zorn, Bobby Gillespie and Faust, the last of whom will also star at this year’s NEXT Festival. He performs nowadays as a solo artist and in several bands. Rolling Stone editor David Fricke ranked him 34. place on his list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. According to SPIN, he shares the post of number one greatest guitarist with Sonic Youth bandmate Lee Ranaldo. At NEXT, Thurston will perform a solo improvised set.
In collaboration with Hradby samoty Festival, NEXT will welcome Swedish composer and musician Anna von Hausswolff. On her album All Thoughts Fly, Hausswolff works exclusively with the raw sound of the organ.
Faust is currently touring a series of concerts across Europe, including at Le Guess Who? in Utrecht, London’s Union Chapel. Their still relevant sound had an enormous influence on ambient, industrial and various rock albums. They come to NEXT with a live performance of their album Faust IV.
Punctum is a joint project by Caterina Barbieri and Carlo Maria that resulted from a residency at the famed Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) in Stockholm. They introduced their debut release Remote Sensing (∑, 2017) at Berlin’s Atonal Festival, Donaufestivale, the Venice Biennale and other popular events. Punctum’s music is rhythmic, minimal, but simultaneously euphoric.
Ryoichi Kurokawa specializes in architectural reconstruction of the audiovisual phenomenon. His work have been featured at Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, the Venice Biennale, and Sónar Festival. In 2010 he won the prestigious Golden Nica award at the Prix Ars Electronica. Immersive sound design and collapsing digital 3D scans of abandoned buildings in one, that is one way to summarize his impressive audiovisual show subassemblies.
Gravetemple formed in 2006 as a side-project of the influential drone-metal band Sunn O))). Oren Ambarchi (electronics, drums), Stephen O’Malley (guitar) and Attila Csihar (vocals) focus on experiment in the spirit of a ‘metaphysical construction of free music and will.’
NEXT Festival will also feature a rich program of workshops, lectures and discussions. For more about program and tickets, see our Facebook event.
With support from the public sources from the Slovak Arts Council (Main Partner), Regional Grant Programme of the Bratislava Self-Governing Region / Tatra banka Foundation, EU Programme Creative Europe, Foundation of the City of Bratislava, Goethe-Institut Bratislava.
Part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
NEXT Festival is part of Project NOISS (Norway – Iceland – Slovakia): New Music for New Audiences. Project NOISS received a grant of 192 300 € from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grant scheme. The project was co-funded with an additional 28 845 € from the National Budget of the Slovak Republic. The project’s aims include audience development and capacity and mobility building promoting the values of creativity, artistic freedom and collaboration in contemporary avantgarde music.
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