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Mechanical Music

Posted on Oct 11, 2016 in Events, News | 0 comments
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VNM Festival October 13-15, 2016




no logos without noise

This year’s VNM Festival is about bringing the everyday and the aesthetic back together: to erase the barrier separating musical and non-musical sounds. Mechanical Music is not just about sounds with specific sets of causal relationships – all based on well-understood Newtonian mechanics of action and reaction, motion, energy, friction and damping. It is first and foremost about sound-thinking and invention, revealed through a sonic universe in which mechanical and electro-mechanical movements and sounds are vital components of the artworks.

I believe that the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the aid of electrical instruments which will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard. – John Cage – Lecture “The Future of Music: Credo” (1937)

Whereas ‘mechanical’ has been often associated with lack of expression, VNM’s 2016 Festival displays a wide and rich selection of extremely suggestive and visionary sound explorations. From various electromagnetic transductions of movement to sound (Adam Basanta, Koka Nikoladze, Tristan Perich, Sabrina Schroeder) to theatrical mechanisms and vocal ‘tics’ (Peter Hannan, Camille Hesketh) via microsound soundscapes of buzzing motors and fans (Anne-F Jacques), a hybrid pinball machine (Lucas Abela), midi piano (Jocelyn Robert), spatial whirling arrays of customized Leslie speaker cabinets (George Rahi) and the magic and visceral sounds made while weaving fabric on a loom (Kelly Ruth), Mechanical Music covers vast territories of sounds.

Photoelectric, film, and mechanical mediums for the synthetic production of music will be explored. Whereas, in the past, the point of disagreement has been between dissonance and consonance, it will be, in the immediate future, between noise and so-called musical sounds. – John Cage – Lecture “The Future of Music: Credo” (1937)

As always, we wish to invite everyone to listen and enjoy these amazing artists and their sounds, and to share our curiosity to expand traditional conceptions of music to a broader notion of sound itself. Finally, in sharing the work of this year’s featured artists, we wish to capture the magic mechanism of imagination and invention within the playful and joyful noise of wonderful sound-thinking minds.



playing with lucas Abela’s Bass Bells hybrid pinball machine last night

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