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25313Univers Zero, Magma, Pinhas-Merzbow, more @ Sonic Circuits, Washington, DC 9/18-9/25

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  • Cuneiform / Wayside
    Jun 1, 2010
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      Sonic Circuits Festival
      September 18-25, 2010
      Washington DC

      Washington DC's premiere music festival returns for another
      exhilarating blast of avant music to challenge, provoke, inspire and
      delight DC area audiences. The tenth edition of Sonic Circuits will
      offer up the best in improv, avant rock, electronica, noise, and
      contemporary composition from around the globe. Our 10th anniversary
      deserves special celebration, and thus this year Sonic Circuits will
      shine a spotlight on the Francophone world to reveal some of the most
      creative and innovative contributions in contemporary music
      (including new musical genres that erase the classical-popular
      divide) and to present an astonishing number of avant-garde music's
      most legendary artists to Washington DC audiences for the very first
      time. 2010 will also see the third installment of the popular
      District of Noise CD compilations featuring music by DC area
      experimental artists with a bonus LP of 100 lock grooves. We hope
      you'll join us for what will be an amazing week of musical discovery!

      Magma (France)
      Led by composer/drummer Christian Vander, the French band Magma is
      one of the world's greatest avant rock bands, its music as unique and
      as significant as such American groups as Captain Beefheart Magic
      Band or the Sun Ra Arkhestra. Active for over 4 decades, it has
      released many works widely considered to be among the chief works
      avant-garde rock. Beginning in the late 1960s/early 70s, Magma
      combined rock music with opera/classical music, jazz, and elements of
      trance, Ju Ju and Soul, to create a new, strikingly original musical
      genre called "Zeuhl". Under the leadership of visionary Vander, Magma
      operated in a univers of its own making. The band sang vocals in its
      own, made-up language, called Kobaian, which was simultaneously
      incomprehensible and universally accessible. Dark, forbidding,
      powerful, Magma's music is intense, with wave upon wave of carefully
      built tension and release. It is also timeless, universal, and
      globally influential. Other Francophone bands followed Magma's lead
      in distilling musical genres in the'70s, to create the new genre
      Chamber Rock. In the 1990s, the Japanese band Ruins popularized Zeuhl
      among a new generation, invigorating it with a punk edge and kicking
      off a massive world-wide revival. Much of today's cutting-edge rock
      music is indebted to the French group and its zeuhl. But while other
      groups today may resemble Magma, Magma does not resemble any other
      group. Its live performances are legendary; Magma's first-ever
      Washington DC appearance is a show not to be missed.

      Univers Zero (Belgium)
      The francophone Belgian band Univers Zero is legendary for their
      uncompromising musical vision - a sound and stance Keyboard described
      as "Chamber music for the Apocalypse". Simultaneously medieval &
      modern, its distinctive, dark and elegantly beautiful music has set
      the standard for "chamber rock", a New Music hybrid of Francophone
      origin and worldwide appeal that UZ pioneered. UZ's singular sound
      derives from its unique instrumentation (piano and keyboards, violin,
      clarinets saxophone, oboe, bassoon, English horn, electric bass,
      drums) combined with brooding gothic imagery, elements of European
      folk and other world musics, the iconoclasm and intensity of rock,
      the relentless sonic experimentation of the avant garde, and leader
      and composer Daniel Denis' classically-inspired writing style,
      influenced by early 20th Century avant garde classical composers. In
      the hands of some of the best musicians in Europe, these factors
      result in a group on the cutting edge of
      creating a new, vital, and unique fusion of classical and rock music.
      The band has remained on the cutting edge of New Music throughout the
      course of a career that began in the '70s and continues today,
      stretching and disintegrating the boundaries of classical and rock
      music alike to create a new, vital, and unique fusion. Today, several
      decades after Univers Zero first forged its unique sound, critics
      cite its oeuvre as the precursor to the best avant-garde rock and
      classical music of the present day, from post-rock, associated with
      Godspeed You! Black Emperor,
      Secret Chiefs 3, Kayo Dot, Tortoise and other instrumentally-based
      rock bands - to the numerous late 20th/early 21st century classical
      chamber ensembles integrating rock into their repertoire, such as
      Bang on a Can, Kronos Quartet and others. When Cuneiform recently
      released a remastered reissue of the band's self-titled debut album,
      critics who heard the band's music for the first time called it a
      "revelation", "..the
      hidden source for every one of today's avant-garde rock
      bands"[Organ]. - Second ever show in the USA & Washington premiere!

      Merzbow & Richard Pinhas Duo (Japan & France)
      Masami Akita, aka Merzbow, is considered to be the originator of
      Japanese noise music, and is probably the single best-known noise
      artist worldwide. Active in music since 1979, using the name
      'Merzbow' to align his projects with Dada movement aesthetics, he is
      described by Musique Machine as "always pushing the limits of noise
      and music, so the line between the two blurs". Extremely prolific, he
      has recorded and released over 250 CDs, including a 50 CD set,
      Merzbox; an infamous art-piece consisting of a continually-playing
      Noisembryo CD packaged inside a Mercedes 230 in a "limited edition of
      1"; and the soundtrack to a bondage performance. Besides his music,
      Merzbow is active as a writer (books and articles) and visual artist,
      having received a degree in painting from Tamagawa University. In an
      interview for Perfect Sound Forever, he states that: "Everything
      combines for the works of Merzbow. I don't see them as being
      different and separate. …Music and art is not separate. I mix rock
      sounds and art together." In addition to his artistic interests,
      Merzbow's music integrates his social/political concerns. In recent
      years, he has become involved in the Animal Rights movement, writing
      a book on the vegan lifestyle and releasing CDs that protest animal
      abuses (including Japanese whale fishing, fur industry, bear
      hunting). Ceaselessly innovative throughout his music career, Merzbow
      has said that: "Each work is a new direction for me".
      A composer, world-class guitarist and electronics innovator, Richard
      Pinhas is a key figure in the international development of electronic
      rock music and remains today one of France's leading experimental
      musicians. He is recognized as the father of an entire musical
      movement in France (analogous to Tangerine Dream's role in Germany)
      for his pioneering work in the 1970s with his band Heldon, which
      fused electronics, "diabolical guitar work" and rock to create a
      pioneering, aggressive music that was a precursor to the industrial
      music and techno to come.
      Together Merzbow and Pinhas create music that is pure sonic alchemy:
      violent and soothing, hypnotic and noisy, trance-inducing and
      seductive. - Merzbow/Pinhas North American premiere and exclusive

      Fennesz (Austria)
      A key figure in the ascent of IDM and electronica in the 1990s,
      Fennesz uses guitar and notebook computers to make multilayered
      compositions that blend melody and conventional musical instruments
      with harsh, irregular glitch-influenced sounds and washes of white
      noise. "Imagine the electric guitar severed from cliché and all of
      its physical limitations, shaping a bold new musical language." -
      (City Newspaper, USA). His lush and luminant compositions are
      anything but sterile computer experiments. They resemble sensitive,
      telescopic recordings of rainforest insect life or natural
      atmospheric occurrences, an inherent naturalism permeating each
      piece. - Washington premiere!

      Other Artists Scheduled:

      Illusion of Safety
      Alexei Borisov & Olga Nosova
      Confusion Bleue
      Colla Parte (Perry Conticchio, Rich O'Meara, Daniel Barbiero)
      Alexandra Gardner
      RDK+Insect Factory
      Eli Keszler
      Mercury Fools the Alchemist
      Mata Gawa
      Lost Horizons
      Arturas Bumsteinas + Janel & Anthony
      Low End String Quartet
      Andrea Centazzo
      Sean Peoples
      Tone Ghosting
      Blue Sausage Infant
      La Maison Francais
      Fairfax Old Town Hall
      Strathmore Mansion
      Kennedy Center Millenuim Stage
      The Fridge

      Tickets, festival passes, and full program information will posted to
      the website late summer.

      For more information please visit www.dc-soniccircuits.org

      Press and other inquiries please email info@...
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