In its six editions, Semibreve has presented unique collaborations by some of the most revered electronic music artists from around the word. Including both new and established artists, Semibreve has commissioned performances by Cluster and Harmonia member Roedelius, Ben Frost, Klara Lewis, Demdike Stare, Jon Hopkins, Moritz von Oswald, Alva Noto, Fennesz, Emptyset, Ryoji Ikeda, The Haxan Cloak and many more, as well as presenting an informed programme of new work produced by students from several portuguese universities in the digital art’s field.
Semibreve’s emphasis on a carefully curated live programme, its stunning location and venues, together with its impressive audience numbers, has brought about well-deserved critical acclaim and support from the likes of Pitchfork, The Wire Magazine, The Quietus, FACT, Resident Advisor, Independent, Clash Magazine, as well as being named one of most exciting festivals in the world by Dazed and Confused Magazine.
The 7th edition, will take place between 27 and of 29 october in Braga, Portugal.
Beatriz Ferreyra is an Argentinian electro-acoustic composer.
Worked at O.R.T.F. (French National Television), as a member of the Group of Musical Researches (G.R.M), under the leadership of Pierre Schaeffer (1963-70), contributed to Pierre Schaeffer’s book « Traité des Objets Musicaux » (1966), participated to the records realisation from « Solfège de l’Objet Sonore » by Pierre Schaeffer (1967). Since 1970 she is a free composer. En 1975, Ferreyra is a member of the « Collège des Compositors » created by the G.M.E.B. Since 1967 she had commissions for concerts, festivals, film’s and TV music, theatre, video, write articles and gives seminaries and lectures, and had prizes till 1975. In 2014 she was elected as an Honour Member of the CIME/ICEM.
In semibreve she will perform through an eight-channel diffusion system.
Blessed Initiative is a project by Yair Elazar Glotman, which suggests a dissonant, coexistent state of extreme highs and lows. The album attempts to articulate a mental state of simultaneity, in which equilibrium is fleeting, fragile, and its scarcity is embraced. Opposite states coincide, contrast and reflect, creating moments of uncertainty and insecurity. Absurdity and at times even bliss are possible results, in the attempt to channel anxiety into creative forces rather than debilitating ones. In an environment where personas are the sums of the images they project, sounds are also no longer evidence of invention but of ever-changing combination, curation, and editing. The final persona is a sum of the chosen and the deleted, as well as what may be projected from outside, creating a confusing and conflicted self. The sounds collected here are attempts to compose on these uncertain grounds, and to reflect the anxiety released in all these sources’ meeting and interaction. As a singular project, Blessed Initiative stops to comment on the conditions that inform Glotman’s composition before and after it, and to acknowledge it as a non-linear, ongoing process.
The focus on process and uncertainty is apparent in the album’s phrasing, re-articulation and cycles of repetition and deviation. The pieces were composed from sounds generated on the KYMA system, personal foley recordings as well as tape manipulations techniques. Minor sounds on major scales and micro-tonal tuning suggest an ambiguous harmonic sphere. These were then integrated within idiosyncratic rhythmic structures, at times integrating real spaces and resonating bodies as reverb and augmented echo chambers. Concrete, almost-recognizable organic sounds contrast with these abstract spaces and connect them to tactile experiences. These textures and structures are a palette that reforms and deforms as it cycles throughout the album.
Yair Elazar Glotman is a classically trained musician and sound artist based in Berlin whose previous works on Subtext include the Lp Études and a collaborative score with James Ginzburg for the experimental film Nimbes. Glotman has also released work under a number of pseudonyms, most notably as Ketev (Opal Tapes, Portals editions).
Based in Oslo, Norway, composer Helge Sten has been crafting this music since the early 90s, a deeply atmospheric, grainy minimalism that slows time down and explores the very particles of sound itself. The Deathprod concept arose in 1991 when Sten realized his complex array of homemade electronics, samplers, sound processing and analogue effects – cumulatively known as the “Audio Virus” – could add a musical dimension above and beyond the merely technical. Almost obsolete samplers and playback devices distort and transform sounds into unrecognizable mutations of their former selves. The virus breeds layers of complex and overlapping sonic debris, creating a kind of cellular composition. Sten is a founder member of Norwegian improvising group Supersilent and has produced records by Motorpsycho, Susanna, Jenny Hval, Arve Henriksen and others. In 1998, alongside Biosphere, he electronically transformed the music of Norway’s leading contemporary composer, Arne Nordheim. More recently he composed music for Harry Partch’s legendary invented instruments for the Cologne based EnsembleMusikfabrik.
Now the core trilogy of Deathprod albums will be released for the first time on vinyl and download on May5th via Smalltown Supersound. Cut to vinyl by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering in Berlin, they form Deathprod’s complete official canon.
Hailing from New Zealand, Fis produces physical, spirited, exploratory electronic music very much informed by his surroundings and connection to the natural world. After cutting his teeth on powerful sound systems throughout NZ, Oliver Peryman dropped a string of stand out EPs on Samurai Horo, Exit, and Tri Angle in 2012/13, followed by epic A/V performances on the main stage at Berlin Atonal in 2014 and 2015, and an EP and his debut LP “The Blue Quicksand is Going Now” on London’s Loopy in May 2015.
In 2016 he has released his sophomore record, From Patterns to Details, via Subtext. The album’s seven tracks course with a seemingly chaotic, naturally evolving vitality, using an unquantised palette of atomised sounds to model the processes by which nature makes the most efficient use of its surroundings, and its perennial cycle of growth and decay, in a way that we can comprehend beyond verbal communication. Operating on a scale of micro-to-macro pattern recognition, Fis integrates the spirits of rugged landscapes with its flora and fauna in a grittily fluid sort of horizontal gene transfer between personal and external systems … to put yourself thru the process of his album is enlightening in a way that defies words.
The English poet Rick Holland, who has collaborated with Brian Eno and Jon Hopkins, was so moved by Fis’ work that he wrote a poem for each of the tracks.
A portuguese premiere promoted by Semibreve.
In the middle of the 1990s, Wolfgang Voigt, better known under a great many pseudonyms such as MIKE INK, STUDIO1 or GRUNGERMAN, and the driving force behind the rise of Cologne Minimal Techno, had reached a temporary peak in his career. Regardless, he never really stopped pursuing and developing his true creative music passion. Going back to the 1980s, Voigt began working under a self realized concept he named BLEI. Taking in the most varied sound models, he began to extract elements from classical, polka, or brass music, and along with electronic pop music and German Schlager sounds form a distinguished and unique pop music style that would fit in with the subculture at that time. In the early 1990s, influenced by Techno, VOIGT began to experiment with a timbal marching through strongly alienated, free-floating string loops. These elegiac tracks, their lack of beginning nor end beginninglessness and endlessness, their intoxicating, smooth and partly amorphous structure sounded to him like evaporating gas and thus, GAS music was born. GAS is the vision of a sonic body between Schönberg and Kraftwerk, between French horn and bass drum. GAS is Wagner goes glam rock, and Hansel and Gretel on acid. GAS is there to take you on a seemingly endless march through the under woods - and into the discoteque - of an imaginary, nebulous forest.
In his music, Wolfgang Voigt does not create a direct reference to the original sounds and or even the forest itself. He rather tries to reduce the "material" to its basic aesthetic structure by using different zoom, loop and alienation techniques in order to release it from its original meaning and context. His intention is to create a kind of aesthetic essence, a cave (detail/loop/repetition) where you can get lost.
And for all of you who think that this is too heavy to ingest, please just accept it as wonderful music.
Karen Gwyer was born in the southern US and raised in the north. Now based in London, she shifts between hypnotic, thickly melodic, bass-laden left-of-techno dancefloor vibes and diversionary acidic psychedelia in her expansive largely analogue live electronic performances.
To date, she has released a handful of recordings on Kaleidoscope, No Pain In Pop and Opal tapes, for which she has toured twice and continues to appear occasionally as part of the labels ongoing showcases. She has produced remixes for labels such as Nous, Software, Public Information, Domino, Kaleidoscope and Different Fountains Editions, and created a number of commissioned pieces for Open Music Archive.
kyoka works as a musician/composer in berlin and tokyo and is known for her chaotic and direct musical approach and a heavy-rough sound, resulting in a broken pop-beat with experimental yet danceable rhythms.
she grew up in japan, having piano, flute and syamisen lessons during her childhood. while listening and recording radio shows to tape, she became attracted by the possibilities of scratching tapes back and forth and soon she begun to use the tape recorder as her toy, cutting, editing and producing first rough sounds.
in 1999, she started to explore the potential of synthesizers/computers and during her stay in los angeles from 2004 to 2008, she enjoyed some first success when her songs charted at local radio stations.
in 2008, her first mini-album »ufunfunfufu« was released on the berlin-based onpa))))) label, followed by »2ufunfunfufu« in 2009 and »3ufunfunfufu« as an exclusively digital release.
2012 saw the release of her first 12" ep »iSH« on raster-noton, which is now to be followed by »is (is superpowered)«, her first full length album due in may, 2014.
a quote by ryuichi sakamoto may underline the exceptional talent of kyoka: "panic! it sounds like a toy box turned up side down. how can she make such pretty and chaotic sounds!? i love it!"
Lawrence English is composer, artist and curator based in Australia. Working across an array of aesthetic investigations, English’s work explores the politics of perception and prompts questions of field, perception and memory. English utilises a variety of approaches including visceral live performance and installation to create works that ask participants to consider their relationship to place and embodiment.
Over the past decade, English’s sonic investigations have traversed a divergent path within which musical languages and environmental sources are granted equal value. His work calls into question the established relationships of sound, harmony, distortion and structure and is sculpted, colliding overwhelmingly intricacy with roaring waves of low vibration. The music is evocative and invites the listener to explore their own narratives and impressions shaped by their subjective histories and experiences. His recent albums Cruel Optimism and Wilderness Of Mirrors revel in ‘extreme dynamics and densities’ and resolve into an ‘overriding aesthetic of harmonic distortion’. He is one half of HEXA with Jamie Stewart, who recently collaborated with David Lynch on the Factory Photographs project and enjoys ongoing collaborations with John Chantler (as Holy Family), Liz Harris (as Slow Walkers), Stephen Vitiello, Werner Dafeldecker and others.
As a producer, English has undertaken projects with artists including Blank Realm (Illegals In Heaven), Tujiko Noriko (U, Blurred In My Mirror) and Tenniscoats (Totemo Aimasho, Temporacha). His work in a post-production capacity includes albums for Ben Frost (Aurora, By The Throat, Theory Of Machines), Thor And Friends (In C), Norman Westberg (13, MRI), Tim Hecker (sequence editor, Virgins) and David Toop (sequence editor, Lost Shadows) amongst others. He has been awarded commissions from acclaimed performance troupe Circa as well as theatrical productions for The Barbican and the Queensland Theatre Company. In 2015 and 2016 he composed scores for cinema including the award winning Greek film Limbo and the Australian southern gothic thriller Down River.
Rabih Beaini aka Morphosis is a lone voice in electronic music. Few people thread as challenging and intriguing live shows as him, where dark wave, krautrock, post everything and techno all sit together in haunted hardware harmony. His own Morphine label is just as sonically unpredictable, so too his own cultured remixes or stunning long players such as the immediately timeless and standout ouvre that was 'What We Have Learned'. Unfamiliar and unmissable, the Lebanese artist's productions sound as live and alive as anything he does in the club, truly making him in a class of one.
Duo of Bruno Silva and Carlos Nascimento in sidereal rotation through house and techno conducted by the psych vision of the kösmiche and from some more spiritual free jazz. A kind of dreamy and expansive compendium of romance, from the yearning and the perception in narcotic alert from the beach and his memories on the back, they have been releasing in labels such as WT, Tasteful Nudes, Extended Records and Royal Oak.
Steve Hauschildt is an American electronic musician and recording artist who resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a member of the seminal band Emeralds from 2006-2013. A veteran of the experimental music community, Steve’s compositions have utilized synthesizers, computers and digital processing to both honor and subvert established norms in electronic music. In addition to the prolific output of Emeralds, Steve has released four full-length albums on Kranky, an anthology of his work on Editions Mego and has curated a compilation for Air Texture. His latest “Strands” received many accolades upon release in 2016.
Valgeir Sigurðsson is an Icelandic composer and producer. As much as he could be described as a speculative post-minimalist with a challenging post-punk sensibility and a fascination with glitch and improvisation, conventionally an acoustic classical musician with deep working knowledge of the astonishing sonic potential of electronics and an unabashed love for the beauty and brains of weird pop, Valgeir Sigurðsson is an inspired, industrious maker of a spectacular northern music, of an uncanny soul music, a fiendish, visceral folk music.
As the editorial and curatorial edge of the Bedroom Community label he founded in 2006, his work with the likes of Nico Muhly, Ben Frost, Paul Corley, Sam Amidon and Daníel Bjarnason features a constantly evolving appreciation of the diversity of music in the world. Three solo works, Ekvílibríum (2007) Draumalandið (2010) and Architecture of Loss (2013) will be followed in 2017 by the intensely reflective Dissonance.
Elsewhere, with an enterprising understanding of where forward looking, genre liquefying modern music is moving, his collaborations have included Björk, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Feist, Damon Albarn, CocoRosie, Sigur Rós, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Brian Eno, Tim Hecker, Anohni, Oneohtrix Point Never and Alarm Will Sound. This series of prolific personal and professional connections with others has helped him conceive an intelligent, private modern way of producing music that elegantly compresses centuries of patient technique and refinement plus decades of innovative electronic experimentation and post-pop progress into one place.
As adept at working in electronic and studio settings, and generating evocative soundtracks for film or composing orchestral and chamber pieces, his work for theatre, dance and installations demonstrates how Sigurðsson thinks like a painter and sculptor as much as sound artist and musician.
Portland, Oregon-based duo of Spencer Doran and Ryan Carlile are the open-source musical entity known as Visible Cloaks, whose debut album Reassemblage beams to the world via RVNG in February 2017.
Reassamblage finds Doran and Carlile incorporating an international array of virtual instruments to advance the idea of pan-globalism through digital simulation, with tones and colours cohering into a living, breathing pool of sensorial experience. With the “Fourth World” leanings of 80s Japanese ambient and pop (as explored by Spencer on his radiant ' HYPERLINK "https://soundcloud.com/visiblecloaks/fairlights-mallets-and-bamboo"Fairlights, Mallets, and Bamboo' mixes) a crucial touchstone amidst a breadth of worldly musical influences, Visible Cloaks filter and form source material to become young again. Often the duo strip tonal elements of their specificity or randomize melodies so they become stirring and lucid. Essential patterns emerge, conscious experience heightens. In these moments, the musical language of Reassemblage finds unlimited resonance and presents a path to uninhabited realities.
Live, this becomes an inviting and immersive multi-sensual feast, with the pitch-perfect visual aesthetic of digital and installation artist Brenna Murphy (also responsible for the Reassamblage artwork and accompanying videos) extending the album’s exploration of global headspace into a visual, visceral reality.
Composer Laurie Spiegel's music draws on her classical training, pre-classical lute and folk banjo roots, but she is also a computer programmer, software designer and visual and video artist and often-published theorist. She is known worldwide for her pioneering work with several early electronic and computer music systems. Her focus with them has been largely on interactive software that use algorithmic logic as a supplement to human abilities, and on the aesthetics of musical structure and cognitive process.
Her best known work includes her seventies music from the GROOVE Hybrid System at Bell Labs, early work in the online transmission of digital music, a realization of Kepler's Harmony of the World that went up on the Voyager spacecraft's golden record, and Music Mouse – An Intelligent Instrument for Mac, Amiga and Atari computers. Although she is often grouped with the Minimalists due to the modal, drone and rhythmic aspects of her early LP The Expanding Universe, her recent music is often considerably darker and more complex, as her later CDs Unseen Worlds and Obsolete Systems show. She lives and works in Lower Manhattan since the seventies, and has taught at Cooper Union and NYU, where she founded the computer music studio in 1981.
In Semibreve Laurie Spiegel will present a installation of her new score for the video piece Maya Deren: Prelude to Generating a Dream Palette by Peter Schmideg.
Peter Schmideg (1953-2014) was an actor, playwright, screenwriter, film director and a radio host and producer.
Further information in www.festivalsemibreve.com