JUNE HAS ARRIVED! SUPERSONIC BEGINS IN A MERE TWO WEEKS! And guess what? We have EVEN MORE delectable offerings heading your way. Check out our film screenings…





Sunday 12:00 I Vivid Projects 16 Minerva Works 158 Fazeley Street Birmingham B5 5RS I
free to Supersonic ticket holders I £5 to non ticket holders

Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present is a non-fiction film examining the pioneering life and works of artist, musician, and educator, Tony Conrad.

Conrad was one the great American artists of our time, we were honoured to have him perform as part of our 10th anniversary edition of Supersonic.

Since the early 1960s, Conrad’s films and compositions have been the stuff of legend for artists and musicians everywhere. His vast, inter-disciplinary repertoire has single-handedly created and influenced major film and compositional movements. He performed in and recorded the soundtrack to Jack Smith’s legendary Flaming Creatures; he turned the paradigms of cinema upside down with The Flicker, a film composed of only black and white frames; his development and practice of Just Intonation and Minimalism through his work with Stockhausen and La Monte Young still has the music establishment scratching their heads; his pivotal role in the formation of The Velvet Underground has directly or indirectly influenced everyone who has picked up a guitar since; as an early adopter of activist public access television he democratised the emerging medium of portable video.





Sunday 14:30 I Vivid Projects 16 Minerva Works 158 Fazeley Street Birmingham B5 5RS I
free to Supersonic ticket holders I £5 to non ticket holders
+ In conversation with Director Bob Hannam

“I always thought it was strange that people didn’t know more about The Melvins and I felt their story needed to be told. The band members had told me that a few people had talked the talk but had never followed up on their threats to make a film about them, so a little over two years ago things really fell into place and now the end product is finished for all to see, ” explained Director and Co-Producer Bob Hannam, who worked in tandem with co-producer Ryan Sutherby to bring the film to fruition. “It has been a long labor of love for the both of us and we are excited for people to see the film and understand the workings of a truly great band.”

“The Colossus of Destiny: A Melvins Tale” follows the band’s history, with rare behind-the-scenes footage from their early days in Washington to their multiple modern incarnations with an eye on the enduring influence they’ve had throughout their 30-year plus history. The documentary features interviews with Mike Patton, Chris Cornell, Jello Biafra, Gene Simmons, Krist Novoselic, Mark Arm, J. Mascis, Josh Homme, David Yow and many more.




Recording: In conversation with Tony Conrad


Last year’s Supersonic Festival saw many great moments, but perhaps one of the biggest highlights was In Conversation with Tony Conrad.
John Doran (The Quietus) spoke to sonic and visual art legend, Tony Conrad, about his long line of collaborative work. Here’s your opportunity to listen again to the talk as Tony gives insight into his cross artform approach, moving between the world of visual art, film and sound. The pair also discuss Tony’s early days working with The Velvet Underground as well as other influential characters. A rare and humourous treat! Enjoy… and check back next week for another recording.

In conversation with Tony Conrad @ Supersonic Festival 2011 by Supersonic Festival


In conversation with Tony Conrad


A very special opportunity to hear a legend in the sonic and visual art world speak about this work. Tony Conrad will be in conversation at this year’s festival with the help of the ever inquisitive The Quietus.

Tony will be discussing his long line of collaborative work, plus giving us an insight into early days having worked with Velvet Underground and other such luminaries.  Tony will also be discussing his cross artform  approach, moving between the world of visual art, film and sound.

Extracts from Tony Conrad’s influential structural film ‘The Flicker’:


Supersonic theme of the day: bowed strings


Theme of the day: bowed strings

We’re always making links between the disparate worlds of artists here at Supersonic and today we bring together three unique artists who all share a simple common bond.  Pekko Kappi, Tony Conrad and Agathe Max all use bowed instruments in their music, all with very different techniques and to different ends, each highly skilled.

Finland’s Pekko Kappi plays the Jouhikko, the ancient Finnish-Karelian bowed lyre.  He got involved with the Jouhikko in 1997 in the Ala-Könni–institute of Kaustinen and ever since has been studying the tradition with the master players of Finland, Estonia and Sweden.   This particular lyre was played with a bow as early as in the European Middle Ages although in the area around the Baltic Sea there is evidence of both bowed and plucked lyres. In Estonia and Eastern Finland the Jouhikko remained in use until the beginning of the 20th century.  Kappi is one of a number of players investigated this instrument and bringing it alive for new generations.

Tony Conrad is a legendary figure in both film and music for many people.  He was an early member of the New York-based ensemble The Dream Syndicate alongside La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and John Cale, using continuous tones to create what they called ‘dream music’.  Conrad’s first musical release was 1972’s ‘Outside the Dream Syndicate’ collaboration with Faust (check out our Spotify playlist for a track from that) but he released very little work until a series of box sets in the past decade.  His film work is justifiably lauded too and his early piece ‘The Flicker’ is considered a landmark of the late 1960s structural film movement.  One more fact?  His father was Arthur Conrad who worked with Everett Warner during World War II designing dazzle camouflage for the US Navy.

Agathe Max
is a violinist from Lyon, France.  With an elegant command of melody and a strident use of rhythm, Max creates dynamic, fast-flowing loop pieces that encompass noise, post-classicism and krautrock with nods to the High Lonesome Raga as filtered through Henry Flynt.  Her current album ‘This Silver String’ has been really well received in many places.  “Agathe Max delivers a drone to keep the earth turning on its axis, with a keen and romantic sense of swing. Everything you need to have a good time” – Jonathan Kane.

Check these three unique artists below.

Agathe Max @ Grrrnd Zero (Lyon, France) from S etant chaussee on Vimeo.


Circle + Pharaoh Overlord + more to play Supersonic 2011



Further line up announcements for this year’s Supersonic Festival include exciting appearances from Circle and Pharaoh Overlord. Fresh from their artist residency at Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands , Circle and Pharaoh Overlord will both perform at this year’s festival. Circle bring together krautrock beat, heavy riffs and showmanship to induce a trance like state, while Pharaoh Overlord  (featuring members of Circle) lets out their stoner/space rock side. To celebrate the appearance of these Finnish legends we will be screening a new documentary ‘Man with a Video Camera’. The film follows a Swedish Circle fan who decides to make a documentary of the band, and finds them to be kindred spirits despite their lack of interest in his film…

Here are Circle performing at Supersonic Festival 2006

Other acts confirmed to play are  Silver Apples, enormously influential pioneers of electronic music, their odd breed of psychedelia has inspired scores of other bands. Nathan Bell, formerly of Lungfish will perform his cyclic banjo music. Avant -garde violinist and sound artist Tony Conrad will also be appearing – an experimental musician, film maker and writer, every performance of his is a unique event.

Early bird tickets went flying out the door and are now sold out. Weekend tickets are available here for £75, giving you three days of music, art, film and cake.

Supersonic Festival 2011

21-23 October

feat: Bardo Pond, Circle, Cloaks, Electric Wizard, Fire! feat. Oren Ambarchi, Secret Chiefs 3, Zombi, ZU93, a.P.a.t.T, Agathe Max, Antilles, Astro, Blarke Bayer//Black Widow, Eternal Tapestry, Lucky Dragons, Monarch, Pekko Kappi, Scorn, The Skull Defekts, White Hills, Wolves in the Throne Room, Nathan Bell, Tony Conrad, Silver Apples, Pharaoh Overlord and many more to be announced.


Tony Conrad



TONY CONRAD is a giant in the American soundscape. Since the early 1960s, he has utilized intense amplification, long duration and precise pitch to forge an aggressively mesmerizing “Dream Music. “Conrad articulated the Big Bang of “minimalism” and played a pivotal role in the formation of the Velvet Underground. Conrad continues to exert a primal influence over succeeding generations with his ecstatic oscillations and hypnotic drones.

“Tony Conrad is a pioneer, as seminal in his way to American music as Johnny Cash or Captain Beefheart or Ornette Coleman, one of those really savvy old guys whom all the kids want to emulate because their ideas, their style are electric and new and somehow indivisible.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Conrad invents a new musical language … unbearably intense and gloriously ecstatic.” The Wire