Simian Mobile Disco, Chicks on Speed, Sarah Nicolls, Emptyset and Claudia Molitor confirmed for mini-season
earsthetic - Brighton Dome’s mini-season of interdisciplinary performance - will return to the venue this December with a mixture of live shows, DJ sets and installations from analogue heroes Simian Mobile Disco, electroclash and multimedia artists Chicks on Speed, experimental pianist Sarah Nicolls, abstract techno-merchants Emptyset and composer and artist Claudia Molitor.
Meshing together visual art, new electronic music and experimental soundscapes, the season of events aims to celebrate artists who break new ground with their symbiosis of sound and visuals.
earsthetic is produced and curated by Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival’s music producer Laura Ducceschi. Her aim is to work with musicians and musical projects in the same way as one would visual art, stepping aside from the typical music industry model and working with artists directly to develop their ideas and concepts, understand their practice, take risks and give full attention to the detail of their presentation.
Laura Ducceschi explains ‘earsthetic is a very intentional collision of the visual and sonic worlds; it exists to present artists and projects that are embedded in these two mediums from the start - works that could equally be presented in a gallery, arts space or live arts venue. It exists to honour and support this art form and serve the palate of inquisitive audience members.’
With latest album whorl - their stripped back follow up to 2012’s Unpatterns - released in early September, Simian Mobile Disco (12 Dec) will present a rare large-scale AV disco set of the LP in Brighton Dome Concert Hall; one that sees the duo’s analogue-led beats complemented by an impressive visual show created by regular collaborators and art directors Jack Featherstone and Hans Lo. By using a complimentary bespoke hardware system, Featherstone and Lo will feed live generated digital content through an oscilloscope, filming its screen and processing the image to create an immersive, reactionary backdrop.
For 17 years, Chicks on Speed have forged an extraordinary career across music, fashion, art, styling and design, taking a fluid and dynamic approach to sophisticated DIY creative endeavour. The collective - who release their latest album Artstravaganza this autumn - met behind the Munich Art Academy in 1997. Their live shows, delivered with a unique mixture of Punk/New Wave attitude, electronic music wisdom and a killer instinct for pop, are as inventive and notorious as they are visually arresting, prompting NME to state ‘Chicks on Speed make Atari Teenage Riot look like the James Last Orchestra’. Their earsthetic live show Chicks on Speed – Artstravaganza (9 Dec) will see the band perform amongst and upon plinths. There will also be a special screening of the collective’s short film Golden Gang (8 - 13 Dec); a piece of work based on Luis Buñuel’s iconic film L’Âge d’Or (‘The Golden Age’) and created for the ‘Der Stachel des Skorpions Ein Cadavre exquis’ project initiated by Munich-based artist group M+M.
Experimental pianist and earsthetic’s artist in residence Sarah Nicolls will present two pieces of work. The musician, who invented an ‘Inside-Out Piano’ as a way to explore the creation of sound from the inside of the instrument as easily as the piano keyboard itself, will be inviting members of the public to play her original creation in a fully interactive installation (8 - 13 Dec). Nicolls will then perform Moments of weightless: Pendulum Piano (10 Dec); a brand new commission specially created for earsthetic featuring a second Inside-Out Piano packed with some surprising extra characteristics. Calling on parallels between her exploration of new instrument and her own journey into motherhood, this live show promises to be visually, narratively and sonically breath-taking.
Bristol-based production project Emptyset - formed in 2005 by James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas - will examine the physical properties of sound through electromagnetism, architecture and process-based image-making in a live event that encompasses performance, installation work and audio-visuals. Having previously produced installations for the likes of Tate Britain and the Architecture Foundation in London, and presented live performances at Arnolfini, Kunsthalle Zurich and Sonic Acts XIV, this special performance Emptyset A/V (13 Dec) sees the duo seek to explore the legacy of analogue media and the boundaries between noise and music.
Claudia Molitor (8 - 13 Dec) is a composer and artist whose work draws on traditions of music and sound practices but also extends to video, performance and fine art. Her work often becomes a site where conventions of music notation and performance, and hierarchies of listening and seeing are explored. She presents her latest online project The View Behind My Desk for earsthetic; in which various artists contribute an image and a 30 second recording from their desk spaces - a place rarely encountered by anyone but the artists themselves - to give a tiny, tantalizing, sometimes near in-audible sonic glimpses into these spaces of creating, making and thinking.
The mini-season will also play host to The Works (8 Dec); a regular night at Brighton Dome that provides a chance for theatre makers, dancers, choreographers and musicians to present their cross-artform and interdisciplinary work in development. This special earsthetic edition is particularly focussed on presenting work by musicians and visually led artists. Hosted and facilitated by dramaturg Lou Cope and musician/experimental artist Sarah Nicolls, a handful of artists will be selected to present short 10-15 minute excerpts of site-specific work in development; offering opportunity for them to seek the opinions of the audience they wish to attract, and an opportunity for people who care about performance to engage in collective dramaturgy and development.
To book tickets for earsthetic 2014 events, click here.