First names announced for Sonic Acts Academy 2020

Today we announce the first wave of artists, thinkers and com­mis­sioned works for Son­ic Acts Acad­e­my 2020. Tak­ing place in Ams­ter­dam from 21 to 23 Feb­ru­ary 2020, the 20th edi­tion of Son­ic Acts – and the third iter­a­tion of its Acad­e­my set­up – takes its cue from inspir­ing artis­tic research with a spe­cial empha­sis on exper­i­men­ta­tion and inno­va­tion. Three evenings offer a rich pro­gramme of live cin­e­ma, exper­i­men­tal con­certs and pro­gres­sive club nights, while the con­fer­ence fea­tures cut­ting-edge emerg­ing and well-known artis­tic voices. Informed by the urgency of the cli­mate cri­sis and approach­es to new futures, the Acad­e­my is an open invi­ta­tion to lis­ten, talk and learn with one anoth­er. Fuelled by over 50 of the most excit­ing con­tem­po­rary artists and thinkers from around the globe. Ear­ly Bird fes­ti­val pass­es are now avail­able for €60 (reg­u­lar fes­ti­val pass €70) via the Tick­ets page. The first artists and thinkers to be announced for Son­ic Acts Acad­e­my 2020 are: Nabil Ahmed Mar­ja Ahti Elvin Brand­hi Anthea Cad­dy T. J. Demos Hugo Esquin­ca + Yuk Hui Mai­ka Gar­ni­ca Jonáš Grus­ka Terike Haapo­ja Daniel Mann + Eitan Efrat MÆKUR: Anton Kats + Maia Urstad + Eva Row­son Kali Mal­one Roly Porter + MFO Philip Ver­meulen Sadaf Speak­er Music (De For­rest Brown, Jr.) First Son­ic Acts Acad­e­my 2020 artists and thinkers: In review Dur­ing the two-day con­fer­ence at De Brakke Grond, con­tem­po­rary artists and thinkers, includ­ing Terike Haapo­ja, Daniel Mann and Eitan Efrat exchange ideas with the audi­ence in lec­tures, pre­sen­ta­tions and pan­els, togeth­er with live per­for­mances by Hugo Esquin­ca in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Yuk Hui, and the sound col­lab­o­ra­tion MÆKUR with Anton Kats, Eva Row­son and Maia Urstad. At the core of the MÆKUR col­lab­o­ra­tion is an ongo­ing archive, to gath­er and empha­sise mul­ti­ple sound­ings of tech­ni­cal devel­op­ment and the dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties that form around it. Award-win­ning writer T. J. Demos – Pro­fes­sor of Visu­al Cul­ture and Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Cre­ative Ecolo­gies, Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, San­ta Cruz – will give a lec­ture relat­ed to his cel­e­brat­ed research on art’s abil­i­ty to devel­op inno­v­a­tive and exper­i­men­tal strate­gies to deal with ecol­o­gy and glob­al pol­i­tics. As founder of INTER­PRT, artist, writer, researcher and musi­cian Nabil Ahmed makes a clar­i­on call for inter­na­tion­al crim­i­nal law to pro­tect against eco­log­i­cal impunity. At Stedelijk Muse­um Ams­ter­dam, the Acad­e­my presents a mul­ti­tude of live sound per­for­mances and instal­la­tions. Anthea Cad­dy and Mai­ka Gar­ni­ca are some of the first names to be announced, as well as Hague-based artist Philip Ver­meulen, whose per­for­ma­tive ​‘hyper­scult­pures’ that use sound, light and physics trans­gress bound­aries in seduc­ing the view­er through play, dan­ger and attrac­tion. He is cur­rent­ly devel­op­ing a new large scale instal­la­tion co-com­mis­sioned by Son­ic Acts and W139, pre­mier­ing dur­ing the 2020 Academy. With her break­through rag­ga track Still­ness in 2016, Sadaf, reared on vio­lin lessons, became an in-demand pro­duc­er, vocal­ist, DJ and per­for­mance artist. Her hyp­not­ic music is con­strained and lush, held up by the indus­tri­al noise that fed her as a young per­former in Mon­tréal, and soaked in free jazz, reg­gae­ton and Mid­dle East­ern music, deserved­ly launch­ing her into the New York club stratosphere. An immer­sive pro­gramme of rad­i­cal audio-visu­al and mul­ti­chan­nel son­ic stim­u­la­tions takes place at Par­adiso, fea­tur­ing, among oth­ers, Mar­ja Ahti, Jonáš Grus­ka, and Roly Porter in col­lab­o­ra­tion with MFO. Half of sem­i­nal late-2000s dub­step duo Vex’d with Kue­do (Jamie Teas­dale), Roly Porter’s solo work since chances at dance floor optics, but serves the bod­ies beneath with chant­i­ng choirs, beats and slow-mov­ing synths. In his return to Son­ic Acts the rest­less dri­ve of his music nour­ish­es his cat­a­clysmic audio-visu­al project Kist­vaen (2019) with Mar­cel Weber (MFO) and Mary-Anne Roberts (Bragod), large­ly record­ed on Neolith­ic bur­ial sites.

The Stock­holm-based com­pos­er and musi­cian Kali Mal­one pro­duces solo work in which she focuss­es on long-form com­po­si­tions that com­bine mod­u­lar syn­the­sis with acoustic instru­men­ta­tion. Active in Sor­row­ing Christ and Upper Glos­sa, the XKat­e­dral label co-run­ner recent­ly released her solo album The Sac­ri­fi­cial Code (2019). Amsterdam’s renowned cul­tur­al cen­tre also hosts Progress Bar, a club night that aims to rep­re­sent rad­i­cal equal­i­ty, com­mu­nal­i­ty and hope­ful­ness with hybrid per­for­mances by some of the most defi­ant voic­es, DJs, mul­ti­me­dia artists and poets from around the world. Son­ic Acts also presents a late-night pro­gramme at OT301 explor­ing the dark junc­tures of rhythm and noise. With DJ sets and live per­for­mances, a new wave of son­ic nav­i­ga­tors jour­ney into the most abstract reach­es of avant-garde rhyth­mic music. The first names to be announced include Welsh impro­vis­ing lyri­cist and pro­duc­er Elvin Brand­hi and DeFor­rest Brown, Jr., a New York-based rhyth­m­an­a­lyst and media the­o­rist. Brown’s mul­ti­me­dia prax­is called Speak­er Music uses sound and ges­tur­al input to cre­ate son­ic paint­ings or oth­er abstrac­tions through live mixing. Look out for the next Son­ic Acts Acad­e­my 2020 pro­gramme announce­ment to be made in December.

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