Anna Von Hausswolff: The Pipes are Calling

I see it coming closer now

I see it very clear

The tree, the spring, the history, the spirits that are there

I see it coming closer now

The picture of a place

I see myself inside the house

I’m covering my face

– Evocation, Anna Von Hausswolff

Seated at the historic 1834 organ, the launch of this year’s festival in Birmingham’s Town Hall is lead by the formidable fingertips of Anna Von Hausswolff.

Since her debut 2010 album ‘Singing from the Grave’, she has gradually developed from a more self-contained, intimate chamber-pop sound to a gargantuan, ethereal beast of sonority which totally envelops the listener, evident in most recent 2015 album ‘The Miraculous’.

“The genesis of The Miraculous is a tangled backstory. Inspired in parts by a previous song she had written (the 20-minute epic, ‘Källan’), a book by the same name (by Swedish author Walter Ljungquist), a Russian war film (1985’s Come And See) and, most intriguingly, a magical childhood place that Anna still visits regularly and that she calls the ‘miraculous’. Anna talks about the place with a sense of wonder; the unnamed spot is an area of breathtaking natural beauty and once provided the backdrop to a bloody uprising, and is now entwined with fantastical stories created by family von Hausswolff.”

For a fascinating insight into the conjuring of ‘The Miraculous’ album, courtesy of The Quietus, delve [here].

Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Anna Von Hausswolff is the daughter of avant-garde sound artist Carl Michael Von Hausswolff. Surrounded by art and creative minds all her life, Anna began singing in choirs and attended music high school where she studied music in a very traditional classical setting. In the spring time, her family would listen to Tchaikovsky and eat waffles. At 15 she began blending classical music elements into pop structures and wrote her first song at the piano. She released her debut single ‘Track of Time’, on 5 February 2010.

Although she says that now, in some ways, she is not so far away from that 15 year old girl – 15 years on it is clear how her compositional approach has broadened as she speaks of capturing the sound of tree-bark on her latest album, not by recording the sound but by creating an image through musical interpretation. Her music has become even more sonically aware & sophisticated – perhaps an influence of her fathers? Or too, the masters of noise rock SWANS whom she toured with last year?

Whatever Anna’s sonic choices, she remains entirely emotive. Relying on intuition to guide her through the song-writing process. It starts with a pattern on her synthesised organ, if it settles it repeats, a pattern then grows and if the urge takes her she sings but if it doesn’t the piece remains instrumental. Quite simple really. The complexity that follows is in the intricate arrangements and carefully positioned microphones to capture the necessary frequencies from the pipe organ to create a vast sonic landscape. And this is what is so captivating about Anna’s music; the simplicity juxtaposed with ornate detail.

Having toyed with organ synthesisers, it wasn’t until the first day of recording ‘Ceremony’, her second album released in 2013, that she played a real pipe organ for the first time and then went on to write 2 albums with this instrument at the helm. She’d also entered the world of Drone music, listening to the likes of Earth and Barn Owl. Her first live performance on a pipe organ was at Lincoln Cathedral that same year and in rehearsal, the church staff voiced fears her playing was too loud for the legendary Henry Willis organ, and banned her from playing on certain reed pipes, which meant rearranging the 20minute long piece ‘Källan’ entirely. Then, just 30 minutes before the show after practicing again she was banned from using any of the reed pipes at all.

“It was the first time I was going to perform my pieces in front of an audience on a real pipe organ and I panicked. I needed to accept what the staff were saying as if I broke the organ I wouldn’t be invited to play a pipe organ show ever again. I totally improvised the second part of the piece ‘Källan’ in front of the audience and, while it was very scary, it went really well. It was a new kind of audience for me as it was an experimental music festival where I thought people might be listening in a more thorough way. I thought they might see through me and think me an amateur, but I was very focussed on the sounds I was making, and as ‘Källan’ is quite a slow piece, I had time to think about the next part. I learned that in those situations even if things take an unexpected turn, you can work your way from that point.”

With great skill, comes great improvisation. A key feature now in Anna’s music. Her live shows are an ever changing exploration of her songs and their structures. With ‘Ceremony’ she explored themes of Death and the dominating, heavy sound of the live organ. Anna says, ‘Death is a good reminder of what you should be concerned about.’ and nothing summons up this sentiment more than the sound of the pipes calling.

And they called her back for third album ‘The Miraculous’.

Another totally enigmatic element to Anna’s sound which is important to note is – her voice. And it seems with her most recent output it has been unleashed to it’s full potential. Moments of Bjork-esque cascading fragility are soon upturned with bone-shattering shrieks and growls, harking the influence of Diamanda Galás.

Upon reflection, Anna describes ‘The Miraculous’ as conceptual in the sense of capturing the atmosphere of ‘a place’ but equally a very emotional, personal endeavour. To understand this album is to somewhat understand the artist as a whole and her journey to date. It is how she sees ‘the place’ today and how some things have lingered on and some things she’s left out purposefully as they’re no longer ringing true.

In interviews, Anna doesn’t want to get in to the geography of ‘the place’, ‘The Miraculous’; she is more interested in preserving it’s sanctity. It is sacred. Much like her choice of instrument in the pipe organ. Both ‘the place’ and the organ are somewhere Anna embarks on a pilgrimage to; unmovable, abstract yet tangible. And when she arrives she sees ‘the history present itself’ to her which she then interprets into something new and deeply fascinating.

We at Supersonic cannot wait to bear witness to what this gothic tour-de-force will present us with this June as she launches this year’s festival.

Weekend Plus tickets include her opening concert on Friday night at Town Hall – they are on sale NOW!

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Supersonic Festival 2017 – weekend tickets on sale

We are very proud to reveal the first line up announcement for Supersonic Festival 2017, taking place in the cultural hub of Digbeth in Birmingham, with a very special opening concert performance on 16 June in the Grade I listed Town Hall, featuring Anna Von Hausswolff performing on the venue’s famous pipe organ. The pipe organ played a huge part on the Swedish singer/musician’s latest album The Miraculous (2015), and in forming the colossal sound that Anna Von Hausswolff has become known for. Expect drama, brooding drones, dreamy soundscapes and sublime storytelling.

On the 16th June, Supersonic Festival continues in the heart of Digbeth, with performances taking place across the weekend, from Arbouretum, Colin Stetson, Jenny Hval, Laura Cannell, Melt Banana, Oxbow, Princess Nokia, Raime, ZU and more to be announced in the coming months. Here’s some more information about the performers in today’s line up announcement…

Supersonic Festival are delighted to invite Arbouretum back following their 2009 performance, this time in support of their new Thrill Jockey album, Song Of The Rose. Arresting, thoughtful and masterful, Arbouretum’s music takes philosophical ideas and transforms them into a sonic experience that is at once contemplative and emotionally affecting.

Colin Stetson‘s astounding physical engagement with his instruments (chiefly bass and alto saxophones) produces emotionally rich and polyphonic compositions that transcend expectations of what solo horn playing can sound like, an experience to behold.

No Jenny Hval performance is ever the same, which is why we can be sure that her follow up performance at Supersonic (having previously perfromed in 2014) will be special. Across six full length albums, Jenny Hval crucially brings to light issues of both male and female gaze, which for years had been swept under the rug and/or denied all together. We look forward immensely to seeing Jenny Hval perform again.

Laura Cannell is an extraordinary musician, performing with a deconstructed bow and the curious sound of double recorder. Exploring the spaces between ancient, improvised, traditional and experimental music, Laura Cannell creates a solitary minimalist chamber music where one player makes all the harmonies.

Melt Banana will bring the fun with their high energy hybrid of experimental noise music, pop, and electronica. For over twenty years, across a vast array of albums, well executed cover songs and an unrelenting tour schedule, the Japanese duo are infectious to experience. This is one heady trip well worth taking.

It has been at least five years since Oxbow performed live in the UK, and with hints of the release of a new album this year, anticipation is intensified further. We look forward to welcoming the ever-evolving group back, and to see what they do next…

We’re so excited to announce Princess Nokia as part of Supersonic Festival 2017 – taking inspiration from 90’s Rave, Drum & Bass, with a nod to the raw New York & U.K. underground, the duo perfectly encapsulate the hedonistic spirit that have made past additions of Supersonic so memorable.

London based duo Raime, offer an urgent and focussed futurism, in the shape of fiercely uptempo, minimal, meticulously crafted electro-acoustic rhythm tracks. The DNA of dub-techno, garage/grime and post-hardcore rock music spliced into sleek and predatory new forms.

Ambition, aspiration and deep soulful explorations are crucial for Zu, who have been broadly questioning and evolving their musical identity for almost two decades, developing their musical vocabulary with every release and collaboration, never allowing their personal and creative freedom to be suffocated by imposed structures and labels. On the cusp of releasing their brand new album on House Of Mythology (31st March, 2017), their Supersonic performance promises to be something entirely new from the trio.

Nowhere else will you find a festival experience quite like Supersonic’s – since 2003, we have been hosting superior weekends for the adventurous listener, taking care to present only the most artistically relevant and irreverent acts from the UK and across the globe, while simultaneously making sure to fill every moment with the opportunities to let loose and party, or sit down at engaging talks, discussions and workshops, or take in exclusive screenings and exhibitions.

Stay tuned for the preceeding line up announcements in the coming months.
Weekend Tickets can be purchased from HERE

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Post launch party

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Thanks to all who performed and came and joined us for our Supersonic 2017 launch party, it was a blast. A big thanks to Centrala for hosting us and for Milque & Muhle for co-programming the event. Photos by the super amazing Katja Ogrin
Dates for next year 16-18 June 2017, mark them in your diary.

You can read all about our launch via The Arts Desk
Regular subscribers to the Arts Desk may have noticed a certain view from some of our number that the Glastonbury Festival is the annual musical and social high point of the year in the UK. On this subject, I would beg to differ and instead claim Birmingham’s wilfully uncommercial celebration of the weird and the wonderful, the Supersonic Festival, to be my most eagerly awaited annual sonic celebration.

There’s also a good write up via our friends at Hickeysonic

Supersonic 2017 Launch Party

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Sex Swing

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Xylouris White

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Jim White

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Xylouris White

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A choice selection of merch courtesy of Milque & Muhle

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Rainbow Grave

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Agathe Max – Kuro

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Kuro

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Bismuth

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Ben from Ex Easter Easter Island Head – solo set

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Stinky Wizzleteat

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Rattle

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Giant Swan

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Sausage finishing off the night with #no gimmicks

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Timings for launch party

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We’re delighted to have added Ex-Easter Island Head‘s Benjamin D. Duvall to the line up for Saturday he will present a mesmeric new work for Prepared Guitars and AM Radios, tuning into the furthermost territories of the groups’ unique vocabulary in pursuit of resonances sympathetic or otherwise.

Timings for the weekend
Friday doors 19.30pm
Upstairs
Mothwasp – 20.00
Sex Swing – 21.00
Xylouris White 22.10

Downstairs
DJ’s

For those of you visiting Birmingham for the weekend we recommend you visit Digbeth First Fridays – loads of great free arts activities taking place around the area.

Saturday doors 18.00pm
Upstairs
Rainbow Grave 18.30
Kuro – 19.30
Bismuth 20.30
Rattle 21.30
Stinky Wizzleteat – 22.30
Giant Swan – 23.30

Downstairs
Craug – Distorted Minds Crew 18.00
Ex Easter Island Head (solo) 20.10 (short set)
Ex Easter Island Head (solo) 21.00 (short set)
Sausage 22.10 – 01.30*
* In between bands followed by last hour of party fun

Remaining tickets can be purchased from
www.theticketsellers.co.uk

Please note there is no cash point near by so best bring enough cash with you for the bar/merch/cake.

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Supersonic Festival 2017 suggestions

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We know you love this bit! Post us your suggestions for next year’s Supersonic. We always like to hear your wishlist, and don’t be afraid of being bold and brazen, heck one year we had Goblin AND Corrupted AND Thorr’s Hammer perform.

Here’s one from the archive Zombi performing in 2006 – 10 years ago!!! To see more films from our archive see HERE

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Support our local food bank

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Notice – food bank collection at our Supersonic Festival 2017 launch party on Friday 4/5 Nov.
With your help we want to support our local food bank in Sparkhill for those who need it most. If you are able to bring along and donate items of tinned or non perishable food items we will be very grateful. If you can’t, then that’s fine too.
ANY donations will be gratefully received in a box by the door and delivered on Monday.
Thanks.

URGENTLY NEEDED FOOD ITEMS
TINNED FRUIT (400GMS)
LONG LIFE JUICE
SPONGE PUDDINGS
UHT MILK (1 LITRE)
SUGAR
https://sparkhill.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/

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Digbeth First Fridays – November

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Simon Bayliss

For those of you visiting Birmingham for the weekend of our Supersonic launch party we recommend you check out the events taking place as part of Digbeth First Friday, when the area comes alive with exhibitions, late-night openings, special events, culture in unexpected spaces, live music, street food and more.

Centrala Gallery
Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RS
Opening evening from 5 – 7pm on November 4th as part of Digbeth First Friday.
Saturday November 5th informal Artist and Curator Tour November 5th at 2pm.
www.centrala-space.org.uk

Presenting for the first time in the UK the work of Aleksandra Natalia Koper. Koper is an emerging Polish artist working in Painting,Computer Graphics and Sculpture, a Graduate of the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and The Polish – Japanese Academy of Information Technology. She finds her Practice and Philosophy straddling the European East and Far East. Her large scale banner works will fill Centrala Gallery walls using the techniques and practices of advertising while her imagery subverts the the de-personalization and commercialisation of youth cultures.

Grand Union
Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RS
grand-union.org.uk/gallery/digbeth-first-friday-film-screenings/

Film programme curated by Mitra Saboury 6–8pm – Free
To close her exhibition Pulling Walls, Mitra Saboury will curate a programme of films to screen amongst the exhibition.
Eastside Projects
86 Heath Mill Lane Birmingham, B9 4AR
https://eastsideprojects.org/

For November’s Digbeth First Friday, Eastside Projects presents ‘VERY DISCO’ an evening of music performances by students from the Birmingham Conservatoire alongside the launch of ‘Frantic Romantic’, an exhibition by artist Simon Bayliss. ‘VERY DISCO’ will turn Eastside Projects’ main space into an echo chamber of the musically bizarre and the sonically surreal, beyond the confines of genre and style. You are invited to the gallery to come unprepared and be uninitiated to this very disco code for one night only, to dance to un-danceable music in the spirit of experimentation, exploration and discovery.

In the Second Gallery/Workshop artist Simon Bayliss presents ‘Frantic Romantic’, an exhibition of recent paintings, ceramic ‘pasties’ and poetry. Since coming out as a landscape painter last year, Simon has been pursuing outdoor painting as a mode of artistic enquiry. His relationship to the Cornish landscape and sea feature strongly in his work, juxtaposed with humorous erotically-charged imagery and text.

Vivid Projects
16 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street Birmingham B5 5RS
http://www.vividprojects.org.uk/programme/reimaging-donald-rodney/

Reimaging Donald Rodney, a programme of exhibition and events exploring digital legacy and identity through the work of Black British artist Donald Rodney (1961 – 1998). This is the first UK exhibition to specifically examine Rodney’s digital practice, and includes an events series to explore the potential of Rodney’s archive as a starting point for exploring cultural, physical and social identity.

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Supersonic at Fat out Fest

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We’re delighted to be one of the cultural collaborators for Fat Out Fest 2017.

Taking place at Islington Mill and two surrounding warehouses on Regents Trading Estate, Fat Out will curate a stage on each day of the festival, whilst opening up their festival to their collaborators giving them full curatorial control over the programming of their stages.

We’re in excellent company joining  Anthony Chalmers ( Baba Yaga’s Hut , London), Garth Be ( Sweet Sticky , Manchester), John Doran ( The Quietus ), Lovers and Lollypops ( Milhoes de Festa Festival , Portugal) and a collaboration between Le Guess Who ? (Netherlands) and The Basilica (Hudson Valley).

Festival directors Emma Thompson and Verity Gardner chose the 6 international curatorial collaborators to ensure a diverse and adventurous programme that will blur the boundaries between music, art and partying in true Fat Out style.

The Bug and Earth

The first announcement includes a performance by super heavy weights The Bug with Dylan Carlson of Earth, which was premiered at Supersonic Festival in 2015. More announcements coming soon.

In the meantime you can get early bird tickets and further info from
www.fatout.co.uk

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John Carpenter – essential listening

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John Carpenter: Live Retrospective
8pm Thursday 27th October 2016

Warwick Arts Centre

Box Office: 024 7652 4524 | http://bit.ly/JohnCarpenterLiveRetrospective

Tickets: £34.50 each. Meet and Greet Upgrade £125 each.

 

Warwick Arts Centre, in association with Supersonic Festival presents a live retrospective from cult film-maker, producer and composer John Carpenter.

To support his latest release Lost Themes II, The Horror Master, Carpenter will be accompanied by a full band, playing a selection of his own classic music alongside clips and excerpts from his films.

Known for his minimalist film-making style, Carpenter’s scores feature distinctive synthesized scores to some of the best known horror and science fiction films of the 1970s and 80s including Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China. His work has gone on to inspire a generation of filmmakers and musicians alike.

 

We’ve selected our top 5 John Carpenter pieces:


Halloween Theme


Big Trouble in Little China

Escape From New York

The Thing

Assault on Precinct 13

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Supersonic Festival launch mix


John Carpenter – live at Warwick Arts Centre

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Supersonic Festival are delighted to be partnering with Warwick Arts Centre to bring to the Midlands a night with John Carpenter live, on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 8pm.
Tickets are available www.warwickartscentre.co.uk/choose-seats/?PerformanceId=13129

John Carpenter is a major cult film-maker, musician and film music composer. He is a true film polymath, often directing, screenwriting, producing, editing, composing and playing. His films have included; The Thing, Assault on Precinct 13, Dark Star, Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween, Escape from New York and Starman to name a few.

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Supersonic Festival 2017 launch party

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Capsule have been busy behind the scenes, and are happy to announce the return of Supersonic Festival in 2017.
There’s much more information to follow in the coming weeks, in the meantime, we’re pleased to announce an official launch party on 4th and 5th November in the intimate surroundings of the Centrala Gallery space in Birmingham to celebrate the return of the festival.

The launch, much like the festival, features a variety of exciting talent which Supersonic would like to shine the limelight on, including local musicians and artists from across the globe. This event is the first of manu collaborations with Milque & Muhle, be warned capacity is super limited and advanced tickets are advised.

Xylouris White

Details as follows:-
SUPERSONIC 2017 LAUNCH PARTY
FRIDAY NOV 4TH LINEUP:
Xylouris White (Jim White from Dirty Three + George Xylouris, Cretan lute player)
Sex Swing
Mothwasp

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SATURDAY NOV 5TH LINEUP:
Giant Swan
Rattle
Kuro
Bismuth
Rainbow Grave
Stinky Wizzleteat
+ Sausage DJ’s
Milque & Muhle pop up record stall

Centrala
Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, B5 5RT Birmingham

Tickets – https://www.theticketsellers.co.uk/tickets/supersonic-mini-weekender/10042028

 

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Supersonic at Supernormal Festival

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We’re delighted to announce that we are partnering with Supernormal Festival as part of a 2 year programme, which will develop collaborations between organisations and platforms from cities across the UK.  In uncertain and challenging times, we must work together to support each other to continue to forefront the boundless innovation and diversity that thrives within this scene.

As part of this programme Supersonic Festival will be presenting two live immersive AV performances in the Vortex space as well as bringing another one of our raucous Supersonic Kids Gigs to this years festival.

Supernormal Festival takes place on the 5-7 August at Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, tickets can be purchased from HERE

MOTHWASP

MOTHWASP
Mothwasp descend from the long line of leather-and-denim clad noise-mongers that post-industrial Birmingham is so fond of producing, yet remain the Midlands’ “least tattooed rock band”. Combining the brute force of drums and guitar, experimental film soundtrack techniques and audio-responsive video experiments derived from defunct analogue projection apparatus, the duo sculpt movies for the ears and soundtracks for the eyes.

Mothwasp website from Beat13 on Vimeo.

MOONSEER
A live visual and music performance conceived by artist and film maker Conny Prantera as part of her MOON series which includes MOON RA and MOON ROSE. Uniting a group of musicians with her seductive and disquiet visuals the performance tells tales of earthly wonder and ethereal relics to an ecstatic ritualistic climax within the wink of a third eye.

THE BUTTERFLY WHEEL from the moonseer on Vimeo.

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Supersonic Kids Gig at Sineater Festival

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We’re delighted to announce that our next  Supersonic Kids Gig will be taking place at the mavelous Sineater Festival in Shropshire on Sunday 19 June. Featuring a live performance by Tor Invocation Band.

Ever since Schoenberg and Kandinsky became pen pals back in 1907, avant-garde art and experimental music has been attempting to find some common ground. But, it’s not been easy. Here’s Capsule’s contribution towards a solution: Supersonic Kids Gigs ‘Big Sounds for Little People’. If you couldn’t guess from the snappy title, it’s a gig for kids and their families, which aims to introduce children to experimental music at an early age. Kids Gigs provide a fantastic opportunity to show children the beauty of live music.
Recommended for kids under 10

Tor Invocation Band photo

Tor Invocation Band is an ever evolving project led by Jake Blanchard, the music is largely improvised and the lineup for the band is ever-shifting and has involved members of Woven Skull, The Family Elan, Core of the Coalman, United Bible Studies and Sam and the Plants amongst others. Mangled dilapidated drone meets ecstatic disintegrating psychedelia.

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RIP Tony Conrad

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In honour of Tony Conrad’s passing last week, we have released an incredible interview with him from when he performed at Supersonic Festival in 2011, he talks about the New York scene, improv music and Fluxus amongst many other things. Tony Conrad was a true pioneer and we were incredibly honoured to have him be part of the festival. RIP

many thanks to HTF Media for creating the film.

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Supersonic news

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Dear All,

Capsule has been creating work for you, our loyal and curious audiences, since 1999.

We have made the decision to take this year off from delivering Supersonic festival and are setting ourselves a challenge: in a UK with 1,000 festivals how can we keep producing adventurous work that is distinct and groundbreaking? We want to show you something new, offer challenging and memorable experiences, and support artists to achieve their most ambitious work.

We need your help.  In addition to learning and collaborating with other art organisations, businesses and artists, we want to hear from you.

What do you love about Supersonic / Capsule’s work?
Can we make improvements?
What new collaborations do you think we could make happen?
How could the festival grow and change?

Supersonic operates on mixed sources of income, a combination of ticket sales from our loyal audiences, grant funding from the Arts Council and trusts/foundations, and some support from donors. Fundraising can be time-consuming, highly competitive and bit unpredictable, however it would be very difficult (if impossible) to produce work with the Supersonic level of ambition on ticket sales alone, so grant funding will remain an important part of our income. Capsule is a not-for-profit enterprise, which relies on your support, so we are extremely grateful to our audiences, artists and funders.

To ensure that the next Supersonic is the most adventurous and exciting yet, we will use 2016 to recharge the batteries and do things differently. Capsule’s Artistic Director Lisa Meyer is already laying the groundwork for Supersonic Festival 2017, and there’ll be other Capsule activity in 2016, so keep your eyes peeled.

Thank you so much, and we look forward to more exciting music, art, performance (and cake) very soon.

Lisa Meyer, Creative Director

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor Show at Warwick Arts Centre

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Supersonic Festival and Sound of Static are teaming up to present Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Warwick Arts Centre on Thursday 22 October.

The show is the post-rock legends’ only Midlands date and there are NO London shows happening this time. This will be a very special show indeed, in the Grand Ole Warwick Arts Centre main hall to boot.

Formed in Montreal, Canada in 1994, the legendary Godspeed You! Black Emperor continue to release genre defining albums and still perform breathtaking live shows.

Returning to UK shores for a handful of live shows this autumn, GY!BE will be showcasing their 2015 album, Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress, along with some hefty numbers from their extensive back catalogue. A truly rare evening and one not to be missed.

Poster designed by David Hand

+ Support tbc.

£24 + booking fee

http://www.warwickartscentre.co.uk/whats-on/2015/godspeed-you-black-emperor-plus-guests/

RSVP on Facebook

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Supersonic merch

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Get your hands on our beautifully designed 2015 Supersonic merch which includes a ltd edition T created by David Hand, gold ink on a black cotton shirt and/or our tote bag.
BUY NOW

The profits from our tote bag will all be donated to Sifa Fireside.

A charity set up to support those experiencing homelessness or who are vulnerably-housed. Many of the people we work with – our clients – are affected by alcohol, facing mental and physical health problems or otherwise socially excluded.
Find out more about them from www.sifafireside.co.uk/about/

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Feel free to browse our shop for a range of limited edition merch created by a number of specially invited artists – SHOP

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Supersonic Festival 2015 – Collective Memory

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Photo by Joe Singh

A massive thank you to all the artists, our incredible team, especially the amazing Supersonic volunteers and of course our audience for making this years Supersonic Festival 2015 a truly remarkable event. We think it is our exciting, unbounded approach and our continued re-imagining of the event that has allowed Supersonic to remain inviting for long-standing supporters, as well as attracting new fans.

This year also included a staggering £21,000 contribution raised by our incredibly supportive audience via a Kickstarter campaign – we really couldn’t have done it without you.

It is always such a pleasure to welcome back old friends and make new ones. Thank you & we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

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Holly Herndon Photo by Joe Singh

We will start posting up our Supersonic Collective memory (first started in 2009) over the next few days, so feel free to send your comments and blog post links and photos to us, let us know your highlights.
 Supersonic photos should be added to our Flickr group (if you could tag them with band name & supersonic 2015 or ssfest15)

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Gazelle Twin Photo by Joe Singh

SUPERSONIC QUESTIONNAIRE

We know that people who come to SUPERSONIC are a knowledgeable and opinionated lot so we’d like to ask for your assistance to develop and improve the next festival by answering a few questions about you and your experience. This should take no more than a few minutes of your time, and your feedback is greatly appreciated.
Your answers here will aid us in keeping our work going and in making sure new and interesting artists will keep coming to the festival – so your input really does matter in making SUPERSONIC work.

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Sarah Angliss in residence withe the MOOG Soundlab photo by Tom Tebby


Previews

The Times
The 50 best events this summer – in at no.2 Supersonic
For Curious Audiences, announces the poster for this inner-city Birmingham festival. From Ethiopian wandering minstrel Afework Niguisse to Oregon space rockers Eternal Tapestry, this is a celebration of the expressive, challenging and generally out there music.
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Louder Than War
“The Supersonic Festival is always one step away from everybody else, Capsule, the people behind the festival are fearless when putting the line up together. Be it music, art installations or literature, they never fail to deliver something very special. I have never left Supersonic festival without at least one new favourite band that I would never have heard of without the festival.”

Tiny Mix Tapes  “Narnia. Wonderland. Birmingham’s Supersonic Festival. What do these places have in common? Answer: they’re pure magic. What’s the sad difference between them? Answer: only one of them is real. (Which one is up to you.) You might not be able to step into an amazing otherworld through a large piece of furniture, but you can go to England to experience the finest in musical festival lineups.”

Momondo Names Supersonic as one of the best 10 European Festivals

Brum Notes ” Table Scraps drummer Poppy Twist looks ahead to the city’s most adventurous festival.”

Time Out “Travel back in time with Supersonic Festival’s All Ears exhibition”

Fact Magazine “Birmingham’s Supersonic is always one of the UK’s most adventurously programmed festivals”

The Quietus  “Supersonic is back! The perennially ace experimental music festival in Birmingham has just announced its 2015 edition.”

The 405 “Birmingham-based festival Supersonic has announced the lineup for its 2015 iteration. Taking place from 11th to 14th June, it’s run by production company Capsule”

Birmingham Mail “Birmingham arts event organiser Capsule launched Supersonic back in 2003 to offer “a sense of adventure for curious audiences” with a cocktail of music, arts, workshops, talks and other activities.”

Guardian Guide With a programme that takes in talks, exhibitions, workshops, films and peripheral installations, straightforward gigs make up only around half of Supersonic’s lineup.”

The Skinny Birmingham’s Supersonic Festival has today announced plans to host the debut live performance between two uncompromising and quite naturally aligned masters of ambience, The Bug’s Kevin Martin and Dylan Carlson of Seattle-raised drone titans Earth.”

The Skinny (Scotland) – Happy Meals “Scottish Album of the Year nominated duo Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook, aka Happy Meals, look beyond their roots with their brand of minimalist European disco. It’s already proved a hit in Moscow. Now it’s the turn of Supersonic festival.”

The Skinny – Flamingods podcast As a prelude to this year’s Supersonic Festival in Birmingham (running 11-14 June), we present this cosmic podcast carefully crafted by Flamingods.”

The Skinny – Moog “Experimental music weekender Supersonic Festival has announced details of a free festival-curated museum exhibition, as well as details of two of its 2015 art projects.”

The Skinny – Holly Herndon “Experimental sound manipulator Holly Herndon will bring her challenging new live show to this year’s Supersonic Festival in Birmingham.”

The Quietus – Will Gregory Will Gregory, accomplished multi-instrumentalist and composer, not to mention one half of electro-pop duo Goldfrapp, is gearing up to embark on a tour of the UK this summer with his Moog Ensemble. The group will be reinterpreting classical pieces by the likes of Bach, John Carpenter, Burt Bacharach and Olivier Messiaen on vintage synthesisers.”

The Quietus – Richard Dawson podcast “Supersonic Festival returns to Birmingham in just two weeks complete with a line-up that includes Holly Herndon, Gazelle Twin, Liturgy and The Bug vs Dylan Carlson. Also on the line-up is Richard Dawson and, above, you can listen to a special edition of his Delight Is Right podcast, ahead of the festival, featuring music and chat from the man himself.”

Tiny Mix Tapes – The Bug vs. Earth Capsule are apparently pretty keen on upping the ante through their own version of a musical boxing match (in which nobody gets hurt). Announcing… The Bug vs. Earth!”

Fact Magazine – The Bug vs. Earth “The latest addition to the Supersonic line-up is a very special performance by bass-obliterator The Bug and Dylan Carlson of drone metal titans Earth.”


Reviews

BBC 6 Music – Freak Zone
Interview with Gazelle Twin at Supersonic + tracks by Ravioli Me Away + Holly Herndon

The Skinny
“connects, challenges and inspires — everything that this proudly off-kilter festival strive to do. “

DIS
“the festival is correctly committed to diverse, mutating, never-the-same line-ups of weird and wonderful newcomers and cult old-school oddballs”

The Arts Desk
“The Supersonic Festival of the weird and the wonderful may now be in its 12th year but it is still more than living up to its long-running tag-line, “For curious audiences”.

The Quietus
Beyond The Bullring: Reflections On Supersonic 2015

Louder Than War
a crowd that has seen and felt something truly, truly special.

Brum Notes Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
“Outlandish, mind blowing, frightening and trippy-as-fuck, Supersonic is all of these things. It’s without a doubt a jewel for the Birmingham music scene. You must be open minded, you must be curious, you must be ready to challenge your preconceptions of what music is and what it means to you, because if you can do this, one hell of a journey awaits you.”

Birmingham Review
“Most importantly, year after year Supersonic maintains its bravery, spirit of adventure and openness to new experiences. And that is why, in 2015 – nearly a decade and a half since the first act was booked, this annual Birmingham event is still venerated as one of the most pertinent festivals on the planet.”

Louder Than War Friday Saturday Sunday
“Supersonic Festival in Birmingham has always been a place to discover new experiences, sights and especially sounds.”
the perfect end to the best festival of 2015

Fused Magazine
“It’s a collection of music that is often challenging, sometimes relentlessly so, but it’s worth it to find stuff like Free School, The Memory Band and Richard Dawson. “

kidsgig2_markrhodes
Supersonic Kids Gig with Flamingods photo by Mark Rhodes

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Gazelle Twin Special on Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone

Gazelle Twin Supersonic

Gazelle Twin at Supersonic, credit Phil Barker

This week’s episode of BBC 6 Music’s ‘Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone‘ focuses on Gazelle Twin. In an exclusive interview, the woman behind Gazelle Twin’s uncanny, Cronenberg-inspired persona, Elizabeth Bernholz, discuss the inspiration behind her latest celebrated album, Unflesh. The show also features five tracks from the album.

The Freak Zone feature comes in the wake of a blistering performance from Gazelle Twin at Supersonic Festival. The episode also includes tracks from other artists from this year’s line up, including Ravioli Me Away and Holly Herndon. Stuart Maconie honoured Supersonic by making the Keynote Speech at the memorable Opening Concert, which took place at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and featured the fantastic Will Gregory Moog Ensemble.

Thanks, Stuart, for filling the Supersonic hole left in our lives…until next year’s festival of course. The link to listen is below:

http://bbc.in/1BvkdDA

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Supersonic kicks off…

Will Gregory Moog Ensemble Supersonic Website Dimensions

Tonight Supersonic Festival 2015 kicks off at the legendary Birmingham Town Hall, with a performance by Will Gregory Moog Ensemble. As one half of the electronic music sensation Goldfrapp, producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Will Gregory is passionate about creating new sounds and reinventing old ones. Here a stellar line-up stretches the possibilities of the Moog synthesiser through newly composed music, transcriptions of classical works, and their own versions of music from popular culture and film. Marvel at ten musicians on stage, including Portishead’s Adrian Utley and composer Graham Fitkin.

Will did a great piece in the Guardian explaining his love of the MOOG
‘Im in the Moog’

Opening the show are Fains, a new improvised project by Nick Jonah Davis on electric guitar and Johanna Cormack on violin creating sonic landscapes and new musical textures.

stuart
We are delighted that Stuart Maconie of BBC 6 Music’s Freak Zone will be hosting our opening concert tonight which begins at 8pm. You can pick up your tickets from 7.30pm

Town Hall have just added an extra allocation of tickets for tonight’s show – see
tickets.thsh.co.uk/event/the-will-gregory-moog-ensemble/book/6645

To celebrate the start of Supersonic 2015 the wonderful folks at Independent Music blog have created an awesome Supersonic special podcast for your listening pleasure, and by way of introducing you to some of the key highlights for this years festival.

#49 – 8 June 2015 (Supersonic Festival special) by Independent Music Podcast on Mixcloud

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Spotlight on A Folded Path

folded_pathss

Become the city’s orchestra. A Folded Path invites a group of 30 people to take guided walks through the streets of Birmingham as part of this year’s Supersonic Festival.

Each person will carry a custom-built, location-sensitive portable loudspeaker. The speakers each play a different strand of a piece of music composed especially for this event and inspired by the landscape of the city. Responsive to their location and the movements of their bearers, the speakers allow a unique composition to take shape.

Places are very limited so book your place now, details below.

Booking info:

To book your free place email russell[at]capsule.org.uk with ‘A Folded Path’ in the title and the time slot you’d like. Each performance is for 30 participants only.

Friday:  7.45pm (SOLD OUT)
Saturday: 2.45pm   and 5pm

The performance last about an hour and involves walking so please wear appropriate footwear. The city centre location will be revealed on sign up.

A Folded Path is brought to you in partnership with BCMG

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Spotlight on Slow Magic

Slow Magic 1 Supersonic Website Dimensions

Clad in a glowing geometric mask, Slow Magic’s performance of dreamy electronica is part animalistic instinct, part tribal ritual. Whilst his identity has masterfully been kept a secret, his stage presence is anything but guarded; the DJ pelts a drum kit against a backdrop of stunning light shows, and his set even allows for audience participation. Soundtrack your daydreaming sessions below.

Slow Magic headlines The Crossing on Saturday night at Supersonic Ltd Edtn 2015. Don’t miss out on your tickets.

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Supersonic Special Mix from Apostille

Apostille ss

It has finally arrived. Supersonic Festival week is upon us. To celebrate, we’re really excited to bring you a truly brilliant Supersonic Special Mix from the one and only Apostille. 

The mix opens eerily, with spoken word elements taken from Holly Herndon‘s track, ‘Lonely at the Top’. We then embark on a journey through Apostille’s personal highlights from the Supersonic line up and beyond, including tracks from Ethiopian troubadour Afework Nigussie and Scottish-Franco disco duo, Happy Meals.

Apostille is the solo project of Night School Records founder and all-round hero of the Glasgow underground, Michael Kasparis. Apostille performs this Friday at Supersonic Festival. A big thank you to Michael for making the mix for us.

Buy your tickets whilst they’re still around.

Stream the mix here:

Apostille's Supersonic Special Mix by Supersonic_Festival on Mixcloud

Holly Herndon’s ‘Lonely at the Top’ licensed courtesy of 4AD Ltd

By arrangement with Beggars Group Media Limited
www.4ad.com

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