2010 Le Weekend bows out with Faust, Murcof and Tarwater
Pioneering Stirling experimental music festival also hosts Ben Frost, Bill Wells and John Butcher
Since its inception in 1997, Le Weekend has brought a remarkable range of beautiful and challenging music to Scotland. ‘The idea of an experimental music festival, and also the idea of a festival in Stirling, was quite unique,’ says Alastair Campbell, artistic director of the festival since 2006, ‘but it makes some kind of sense.’ Now, after 13 groundbreaking years, Le Weekend is bowing out with a line-up of great diversity and imagination.
There’s a strong European dimension this year, with Scandinavian free-jazz bezerkers (Mats Gustafsson, Pal Nilssen-Love, Sten Standell) and a German contingent that includes Berlin post-rock duo Tarwater, To Rococo Rot’s Stefan Schneider (performing with local hero Bill Wells), and, closing the festival, Krautrock legends Faust. Barcelona-based Murcof (pictured) will be setting his minimalist electronics against Francesco Tristano’s piano, while Reikjavik’s dark lord of ambient noise, Ben Frost, is set to unleash ‘a wonderful aural assault’, as Campbell puts it. America, meanwhile, is represented by the 23-string banjo explorations of Paul Metzger, and percussionist Gerry Hemingway, playing with the brilliantly inventive London saxophonist John Butcher.
Le Weekend has always combined the universal with the local, however, by involving the Stirling community and using historic buildings such as Cowane’s Hospital, which will resonate to Alvin Lucier’s mesmeric spatial pieces, and the Church of the Holy Rood, which hosts ‘Oceans of Silver and Blood’, a new commission by Mark Wastell and Joachim Nordwall.
‘There is a legacy,’ Campbell says of Le Weekend. ‘The landscape for experimental music in Scotland has changed.’ But, he adds, this is no time for reflection: ‘That’s not in the spirit of the festival. It’s time to look to what we can do the future.’
Tolbooth, Stirling, Thu 14–Sun 17 October