Unsound – one of the world’s most adventurous music festivals – comes to the Barbican with three commissions and premieres, all exploring themes of dislocation.
Dislocation. Whether it’s artists ‘dislocated’ from their homes or music dislocated from the very fabric of reality. NIVHEK (Liz Harris/Grouper) & MFO present After its own death, a paradoxically minimalist work – equal parts harsh and dreamlike – created while resident in the isolated landscape of Murmansk, deep in the Russian Arctic. Halfway through his six-album project exploring dementia, The Caretaker (Leyland Kirby of V/VM), draws on his mysterious collection of 78s to create music searching through memory and time, with visuals from Aphex Twin collaborator Weirdcore.
Then there’s Soft Power, London-based electronic musician felicita working with traditional dancers from Poland’s Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble. Folk dances, paired with mournful piano melodies, ambient noise and wild synthetic pop – ‘a stirring affirmation of how cultures can coexist while retaining their own voices’ (The Guardian). And topping it all off is a post-show DJ set from the Lebanese-born and Berlin-based Rabih Beaini, whose intense sets incorporate music from the Middle East, Techno, Jazz and Noise.