In april 1967 the Sonic Arts Group scandalized the Brussels audience with a series of avant-garde concerts at the Palace of Fine Arts in Brussels. The Sonic Arts Group (or union) was a young group made out back then unknown composers, but nowaday’s legends Robert Ashley, David Behrman, Gordon Mumma and Alvin Lucier.50 years later, their influence on the contemporary avant-garde is beyond any doubt, so KRAAK and BEAF celebrate the birthday of this happening with a concert by David Behrman, and performances of two youngsters who are inspired by the innovations of the Group.
“Our performances explored aspects of music and performance that were outside the bounds of what contemporary music generally accepted. Partly that had to do with homemade electronics, partly with exploration of the nature of acoustics, partly with crossing the lines between theater, visual arts, poetry and music. I hope that spirit of the Sixties can remain with me” (David Behrman).
David Behrman is one of the most influential pioneers in electronic and avant-garde music. In 1966 he founded together with Ashley, Mumma and Lucier the Sonic Arts Group/Union and reshaped the definitions of music on a conceptual and a formal level by his technological innovations in the field of electronic instruments. His compositions are quitessential pieces in the minimalist tradition, and explore the poetry of the interaction of automatised software and acoustic, live performing.
The Polish duo WIDT explores the vague terrain where music becomes images and images become music. They explore the endless possibilities of video feedback and extended vocal techniques, blending both into an overwhelming synaestic experience that is as elegant as colorful. They released last year the highly recommended self-titled AV album (dvd + cd, Zoharum records) which proves that they are one of Poland’s vanguards of the new generation experimentalists.
As a true heir of the Italian electro-acoustic avant-garde, the composer and visual artist Francesco Cavaliere blends tape collage, electronic sound synthesis and poésie concréte into subtle compositions. His work show a fondness for poetic and elegant narratives, home made sound effects, alchemy and science fiction. He displays a unique universe where music channels animism, spiritualism and visionsary symbolism that refers to the continuous flirt between the Obscure and 19th century avant-garde art. Highly recommended is his diptych album ‘Gantio Cielo I & II’ (hundebiss, 2016).