Drums meet laptops, percussion meets synthesizers … the SYN / CUSSION Festival (5-7 May) is all about combining percussive instruments and electronic sound generators. Over three evenings at “Radialsystem V” in Berlin, nine duos of percussion and electronics will enter into an intensive musical dialogue. Most of the participating musicians are playing together here for the first time, at the suggestion of organizer Hanno Leichtmann, in concerts developed specially for the event.
The SYN / CUSSION Festival is named after the legendary “SYNCUSSION SY-1” drum synthesizer from 1979, whose name reflects both the electronic and the percussive. Festival curator Hanno Leichtmann, who has been working with the SY-1 for 20 years, will set up a 4-channel sound installation in Studio C at Radialsystem V, based on the full sound spectrum of the drum synthesizer. The installation will be an abstract, purist work: sinus waves, white noise, additive and subtractive sound synthesis, pattering toms, random melodies and sub-bass.
FR, 5 May 2017, 9 PM
Katharina Ernst (drums) & Andrew Pekler (electronics and modular synth) | Martin Brandlmayr (drums) & Nicholas Bussmann (automat) | Will Guthrie (drums) & Mark Fell (computer) | Baby Vulture (DJ set)
SA, 6 May 2017, 9 PM
Lê Quan Ninh (percussion) & Thomas Ankersmit (serge modular synth) | Ying-Hsueh Chen (drums) & SØS Gunver Ryberg (electronics & objects) | John McEntire (drums) & Sam Prekop (modular synth) | Natalia Escobar (DJ set)
SU, 7 May 2017, 8 PM
Morten J. Olsen (percussion) & Marta Zapparoli (electronics) | Sven-Åke Johansson (comboschlagzeug) & Jan Jelinek (elektronik) | Paul Lovens (selected drums and cymbals) & Thomas Lehn (synthesizer) | Annika Henderson (DJ set)
Will Guthrie (“The Ames Room”) is an Australian drummer living in France. He works in various settings – live as an improviser; in the studio as a composer – using combinations of drums, percussion, objects and electronics. Mark Fell, conceptual artist and cofounder of the pioneering glitch duo “SND”, has presented his extravagant sound installations all over the world. Live, with great passion and precision, he plays one instrument: the computer. He is known for his abstract-minimalistic, rhythmic structures that meander between funkiness and deconstruction.
Martin Brandlmayr, the heart and brains of the Vienna trio “Radian”, has played with Fennesz, David Sylvian and Polwechsel and has been collaborating with Nicholas Bussmann for the last ten years as “Kapital Band 1”. Nicholas Bussmann, trained as a cellist with a focus on improvisation, has expanded his artistic practice to include many genres, from electronic music through to performance and conceptual art. “Kapital Band 1” have released two albums on Mosz Records and Hanno Leichtmann has invited them to reinvent the duo for the festival – with different instrumentation: while Brandlmayr continues to play his clockwork-like rhythms on prepared drums, Bussmann switches from laptop & cello to a computer-controlled, prepared piano.
Sven-Åke Johansson is one of the original european free jazz drummers, having played with Peter Brötzmann and friends, and is also known for his dadaesque poems and unusual compositions (e.g. for fire extinguishers, cardboard boxes, and tractors). His festival sparring partner is Berlin’s Jan Jelinek who came to prominence with productions as “Farben” and a collaboration with “Triosk” and the trio “Groupshow”. With Johansson, he will explore the field between acoustic and electronic rhythm and chaos, between live playing and sampling.
Lê Quan Ninh is a classically trained French percussionist in the field of contemporary and improvised music. Among others, he is a founding member of the “Quatuor Hêlios”(1986-2012), a percussion ensemble that performed and recorded pieces for drummers by John Cage. He has released over 40 CDs on European and American labels. Since 2006, Thomas Ankersmit, originally a saxophonist, has mainly played a “Serge” modular synthesizer combined with a computer. His compositions work with feedback, dynamic and sonic leaps, and psychoacoustics. He often performs with Phill Niblock and Valerio Tricoli.
John McEntire and Sam Prekop are more usually associated with the post-rock genre: Sam Prekop is guitarist and singer of the band “The Sea and Cake”; surprisingly, his latest album “The Republic” was produced entirely on a modular synthesizer. The drummer and studio wizard John McEntire is known as a member of the post-rock band par excellence, “Tortoise”. He is also part of “The Sea and Cake” and has also played in “Gastr del Sol” and “The Red Krayola”. From Blur to Yo La Tengo, McEntire has recorded and produced countless bands and can be heard drumming on many recordings.
SYN / CUSSION Festival for Percussion & Electronics
Friday-Sunday, 5-7 May 2017 | 20:00 CET
Radialsystem V | Holzmarktstraße 33 | 10243 Berlin
Picture: © def-image & ruthlessimagery