Begin of page section: Content

As it is the case every year, the Elevate Festival unites numerous progressive electronic acts in its line-up. The new audio-visual focus in the Graz Orpheum will also showcase the amazing synergies between image and sound. Music journalist and Elevate-Co curator Shilla Strelka has summarised the sometimes adventurous arrangements that we can expect.

On Thursday at Forum Stadtpark, the electronic musician Rashad Becker will show us how space and sound are interwoven and what possibilities can be derived from it. Becker, who as a mastering engineer deals intensively with timbre, textures and tactile hearing, uses his skills to bring polyphonic sound textures to life. His ability to organically shape sound allows him to form swarm-like figures and embed them in micro-narratives. The piece, specially arranged for the festival and the 3D loudspeaker system IKO, reveals the partially theatrical character of his work. Friday at the Orpheum promises an audio-visual liaison of a special kind and is at the same time a new focal point in the festival programme. In cooperation with the TodaysArt Festival from The Hague, prominent representatives of sound and video art were selected, who promise a holistically intensive evening with their advanced formal language and immersive approaches. The Grazean Schallfeld Ensemble opens it up with works by Arturo Fuentes, Andrés Gutiérrez, Hannes Kerschbaumer and Lorenzo Romano. Known for its virtuoso interpretation of contemporary pieces, the ensemble, which is in high demand on international stages, focuses on the younger generation of composers. The program's interludes are provided by the composer Jorge Sánchez-Chiong. They are accompanied by the Croatian media artist Vedran Kolac alias onoxo, who generates his pictures synthetically and elicits an astonishing plasticity. Mia Zabelka and Tina Frank share a fascination with the de- and re-construction of sound and image, with audio-visual analysis and synthesis. The musician and composer Mia Zabelka pushes the sonic possibilities of her violin to the limit. Her ecstatic yet highly concentrated performance combines strategies from early minimalism, avant-garde composition and noise. The abstract paintings by A/V artist Tina Frank are elegantly and colourfully composed. Their sensitivity for the synergies of sound and image has already been reflected in collaborations with Chicks on Speed and Florian Hecker. For the first time this evening, the duo presents their project "Refraction", which focuses on fragile and fragmented time.

Christian Fennesz is considered one of the most innovative guitarists of his time. Active since the 1990s, it was still considered pioneering work to link computer software with the sounds of the electric guitar. Its inimitably spherical sound coagulates into melancholic and longing songs flooded with light and maneuvers the listener into a state of weightlessness. Fennesz is supported by the video artist Lillevan, who is most likely to be known as a founding member of Rechenzentrum. He adds abstract film material that he uncovered in archives to aural assemblages. The physically confrontational and brutally beautiful live sets of the Australian musician Ben Frost are now considered almost legendary. He also works with alienated guitar sounds, which he adds to drones and breaks and counterbalances it with a multitude of amplifiers. His contrasting soundscapes are inspired by minimalist compositions, which are turned into maximalism by distortion and thereby develop a monstrous suction. The video artist and lighting designer MFO complements the sublime experience with an ingenious arrangement, for which he equips special projectors with movable mirrors, enabling sophisticated interplay of light reflections.

On Saturday evening at Dom im Berg, Errorsmith will demonstrate what it means to reach the limits of club music. Erik Wiegand has been active in Germany's club scene for two decades and is known for his avant techno. On his latest release, he uses various rhythmic blueprints, from dancehall to kudoro and cumbia, and adds them to slick, breathless tracks. Its eccentric sound is fed by digital sound synthesis: the musician programs the plug-ins himself. Despite his analytical approach, he is responsible for one of last year's funniest records. The evening at the Dungeon is opened by Rashad Becker, who will play one of his rare DJ sets. The legendary British formation Nurse With Wound, founded by Stephen Stapleton, has existed for 35 years in varying formations.  Andrew Liles, Colin Potter, and Sarah Redpath have been part of the project for a number of years now. Together they generate mesmerizing sound wave music that resonates in the body for a long time. Her feeling for the physical effect of specific frequencies reminds us of binaural strategies. High-end psychoacoustics, somewhere between paranoia and apocalyptic immersion. Dark seances of a beguiling intensity. The compositions by Caterina Barbieri are similarly penetrating. The Italian musician discovered her fascination for modular synthesizers some time ago, especially the Buchla. From them, she filters out hypnotic arpeggios and polyrhythmic sequences, which she combines into sparkling melodies. Whimsically, she moves between beatless techno and early minimalism, composition, and trance. The solo project of Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris, in which he has been living out his preference for extreme sounds as FRET for some time now bringing dark sounds to the dancefloor, is quite contrary to this. Harris draws inspiration for this unusually danceable project from the UK bass genres as well as from the darkly driving rhythms of Birmingham Techno. The colossally clattering basses, shimmering synths, and multi-chanell noise textures are interpreted as energetic b/w images by the A/V artist Stormfield. The final DJ set comes from Graz's Awo Ojiji, who comes from the "disko404" family and mixes early sounds from Chicago, Detroit and UK bass with progressive sounds from all over the world.


End of this page section.
Skip to overview of page sections.