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News Bits: [ctrl+alt+repeat], Spectrum, Ikeda

img  Tobias
Unless you've got a visit at your grandparents planned or anything of similar importance, we might just have a few ideas of how to spend the next few nights. Three evenings of concerts await those interested in discovering new frontiers or unknown facets of an old-time favourit - two of them coming up right now.

American duo Mem1 are at the forefront of a new generation of musicians unafraid of combining acoustic and “classical” instruments with 21st century electronics. They’re also the curators behind a fantastic quarterly festival called [ctrl+alt+repeat], presenting friendly artists with a similar stylistic openness. Tonight sees a program of four acts and full of diversity: Mark Trayle’s pieces are both appealing to those who need to wash their ears after listening to commercial radio for just a little too long and those with only a budding interest in experimental music: Colourful, sometimes rhythmical and exploring many different moods. “Kraig Grady“, meanwhile, "is a composer who uses microtonal just intonation", as Wikipedia so nicely puts it. And just intonation, in case you’re wondering (don’t worry, we are too!), “is a set of principles which can be used to create a virtually infinite variety of intervals, scales, and chords which are applicable to any style of tonal music (or even, if you wish, to atonal styles)”, according to the “Just Intonation Network”. Got it? No? Then go there and find out as one of the “100 coolest persons in Los Angeles” (BUZZ) arrives. Afterwards, David Rothbaum will plug in his analogue synth and dive deeper and deeper into a world of drones, cloudy resonances, undiscovered noises and bass vibrations. Closing off the evening, hosts Mem1 will once again search for beauty in unknown places. Can you believe all of this is actually free? Well, you better and here’s the address to go to: inmo gallery/114 west fifth street/los angeles, ca 90013.

Homepage: [ctrl+alt+repeat]
Homepage: Mem1

Over to something entirely different and a nice quote for starters: "Every so-called "Mozart Year" is another  occasion for me to discover the beauties of Schubert.", quipped Robert Helps (a part of what might be called the “New Romantic” movement in American composing), but really, it is a good thing that with all the justified Amade-adoration going on, there is a little space left for alternatives. Spectrum Concerts Berlin has specialised in alternatives from the very beginning, so it should surprise noone that they deliver once again: Monday 20th (yes, that’s NEXT Wednesday!), Priya Mitchell (Violin), Christian Poltera (Cello) and Kathryn Stott (Piano) will set the “Kammermusiksaal der Philharmonie” on fire with a program of two Schubert sonatas and a trio. As the organisors point out, this can be seen as a portrait of the eternal romantic, full of desire, longing, melancholy and yet happiness and at the same time as a document of the slow evolution from his smaller-scaled pieces to the full-blown orchestral works of his late phase. And it offers great insight into how the man used techniques of his “Lieder” for developping his musical motives. It all starts at eight o clock, so be there on time, as tickets are always in demand!

Homepage: Spectrum Concerts Berlin

And finally, Ryoji Ikeda is gracing the London Barbican Hall with a double feature - thanks to forma, an artist agency specialising in so called “crossmedia” performances. It is all about to take place on the 20th of March, so there's still time to cancel some appointments and make a few arrangements. As we reported recently, Ikeda is a key figure in the minimal “glitch” scene, presenting delicate, sometimes fragmented and microscopic sounds in ever-changing environments. While the general trend within this movement has been to open up into various directions, allowing popular culture in, Ikeda has never strayed too far from his chosen path. Instead, he has opted for making his intentions clear by carefully adjusting basic parameters. “Formula”, for example, one of the compositions to be performed, has been slightly altered with each rendition, making this "version 2.3." of the piece. C4I, meanwhile, explores “the aesthetics of pure data”, one of the cornerstones of Ikeda’s work. In both cases, the aural experience will be underlined by visual images. We could talk about these tracks for hours, but why not go over there yourself if you can? It’s Ryoji’s first time in six years he’s visited the English capital, so who knows how long you’ll have to wait until he's back?

Homepage: Ryoji Ikeda
Homepage: London Barbican Hall

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