Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Folk of Digital Primitive (Berlin)

On Sunday 8th July 2012 (I am planning ahead) I will present a lecture in the Sonic Lecture Series at the Centrum Gallery for Contemporary Culture in Berlin.
"Centrum will be hosting a monthly Sunday afternoon event called Sonic Lectures from September 2011. The idea is that we listen to a selection of music that broadens our understanding of music and its context. We are looking for contributions from individuals who are interested in telling the story of a particular area of music. The ‘lecture’ would be in the form of a collection of music played (DJed if you will) but the theme of each event will be set in advance (through our promotion) and at the event through hand-outs or projected information about the theme and each track. We’d like a variety of themes to draw on, and these may focus on a particular type of music at a particular time/place, or a development in music at a particular time in many places, or it could be a very personal take on a reoccurring event taking place in music across both time and place. We’re more interested on new arguments/insights rather than something that fits with the traditional narrative."
My lecture is titled The Folk of Digital Primitive:

The Internet in the last decade has produceed a global network of music made by low-fi, at home, DIY groups and released on CDRs by tiny music labels. Bands such as The Jewelled Antler Collective, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood, My Cat is an Alien, Birchville Cat Motel, Avarus, Black Forest/Black Sea, Fursaxa, 6majik9, Kemialliset Ystävät, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Keijo & The Free Players, Pelt, Wooden Veil, Doktor Kettu, The Anaksimandros, and The North Sea have plied their sounds on labels such as Foxy Digitalis, Secret Eye, Manhand, Music Your Mind Will Love You, VHF Records, Fonal Records, Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, and Hashram Audio Concern. My sonic lecture will chart the rise to nothing of the noise ethnopunk trance folk vision of this unamed and untamed musical genre. From personal experience (I am a founding member of the group 6majik9 and the Music Your Mind Will Love You collective among other disgraces) I want to twine a sonic tale between the intersecting Internet communities of these bands, the sounds they make and the creative arts model they represent. This is not an urban avant-garde but a diffuse collection of people who came of age in a world were the image knows no boarder and sounds are free. Many live outside the major centres (New Zealand and Finland being two centers of the genre) but communicate and publicise their work via the Net. Dowloading, uploading, forums and streamed media have created a global network of digital primitives who play the sort of folk music that few dreamed of 20 years ago. However, the present day bone and electricity groups follow in the footsteps of such luminaries as the Sun City Girls, and The Flower Travelling Band, to name but two.

I have not been in Berlin for many years so I am looking forward to visiting the city and presenting this insight into a musical movement that is very dear to me. The Centrum Gallery looks very cool as well.

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