Sunday, July 6, 2014

Substrata 1.4: Sound & Media Festival: Jul 17 - 20

For the fourth year in a row, Seattle plays host to this literally exceptional, four day mini-festival (three nights of performances, and a unique two day field recording workshop and retreat conducted by Mountains' Koen Holtkamp) of precisely curated sounds by Rafael Anton Irisarri. Sounds spanning the heavier and more substantial end (being the Sub in question) of the ambient, neoclassical, psych, electronic, immersive-avant spectrum. Held in an intimate setting with a explicit audience in attendance (no loud rock bar and hangers-on here) and a dedicated sound engineer. Exactly as a festival of these sounds, with the corresponding audience and venue should be curated, hosted and assembled. Substrata also bringing together in their annual catalog associated aesthetics, visual art, theory and photography. This year's festival playing host to: Mika Vainio - Julia Kent - Koen Holtkamp - Sanso-Xtro - Markus Güntner - Evan Caminiti  - Mamiffer - Carl Hultgren - Anticipating this year's iteration will be as memorable as those that proceeded it!

From the Substrata site: "Substrata 1.4 is the 4th edition of Seattle’s intimate sound and visual art weekend happening July 17 – 20, 2014. "At its nucleus: an all-ages live performance program, workshop, and field recording trip within the beautiful Cascade region of the Pacific Northwest. The idea behind Substrata is to explore varying perspectives of scale though the use of sound, composition and visuals. It features three live performance showcases featuring accomplished and internationally renowned artists working within the cutting edge where structural abstraction meets physical dynamics. The performance program focuses on live electronic music: applying technology to a concert setting while incorporating traditional and non-traditional instruments. The workshop explores dilemmas within the sound arts community; the field trip engages participants and performing artists in deep listening exercises and mobile recording on site. Our goal is to create an immersive weekend experience that engages the audience in a dialog with the artists that goes beyond the constrains of traditional performer/listener interactions. Each showcase is curated to distinctly portrait different takes of the potency of minimalism, varying between weighty combinations of tonalities used to sculpt out atmospheric ambiance, or powerful dynamic structures made up of the subtlest filigree of sonic building materials. By creating compositional spaces dealing with a sense of mass, along with openness of structure, the perspective of scale and the listener’s place in relation is shifted to allow for greater a sense of place beyond the environ of the performance in the interplay of the moment and physics of the larger world. In all, Substrata is an event that fosters appreciation for our natural surroundings and creates meaningful interaction between artists/participants while exploring a new locality."