- Stewart Smith
- 19 March 2009
A church organ sounding the course of the stars, a cello being turned to dust, a sound poet voicing typewriter symbols, long stretches of almost nothing …
Instal has been expanding the way we listen since its inception in 2002, building a substantial audience for outer limits sound.
‘The point of what we do is to see more people involved in experimental art forms,’ explains Barry Esson of festival curators Arika, ‘When people create things for their own artistic elite, they cut off the power of what true artistic experience is, to open us up to new ideas of perception and ways of engaging with the world.’
Founder of the Vienna Aktionist group, Hermann Nitsch is best known for gruesome artworks based around eviscerated cattle. At Instal he turns his attention to conjuring the cosmos with Glasgow University Chapel’s organ.
Joan La Barbara is one of the great experimental singers, renowned for her work with American giants John Cage, Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier, and a fearless composer in her own right. Also pushing the limits of the human voice is sound poet Steve McCafferty, performing his concrete poem Carnival.
Electro-acoustic and ultra-minimalist music is represented by Nikos Veliotis’s complete works for cello, Otomo Yoshide and Sachiko M’s sparse electronics, and Rolf Julius and Eva-Maria Houben’s explorations of found sound and near silence.
Encuentro sees international collective Ultra-red gather activists and community workers to ask: what is the sound of the war on the poor in Glasgow? Field recordings will provide the starting points for discussion, with the outcome being a plan for direct action.
And with Phil Minton’s Century FC, the public themselves become improvisers, forming a 100 piece ‘feral choir’. ‘This is the most democratic thing we’ve ever done,’ claims Esson.
Anything but predictable, Instal might just change your approach to music and art forever.
The Arches, Glasgow, Fri 20-Sun 22 Mar