Glasgow experimental music festival Counterflows set for 2013 outing

Glasgow experimental music festival Counterflows set for 2013 outing

Peter Brötzmann and Paal Nilssen-Love

Highlights of second edition include Peter Brötzmann, Loren Connors and Jandek

Now in its second year, Counterflows channels vital currents in experimental music and art into a world class three-day festival. This year, there’s a particular focus on mixed-media performance. Saturday sees the CCA reverberate to the intense drones, field recordings and films of Phill Niblock and Thomas Ankersmit. Earlier in the day, Lina Lapelyte presents Candy Shop, her détournement of misogynist hip hop lyrics, while Finland’s Sami Sänpäkkilä introduces films about the artists on his label Fonal. On Sunday afternoon, Trembling Bells’ Alex Neilson unleashes his new folk-damaged free-jazz trio, Death Shanties, featuring saxophonist Sybren Renema and artist Lucy Stein, whose live painting is projected over the band.

Neilson is also playing with radical Japanese blues singer Kan Mikami and Texan enigma Jandek. With his atonal guitar and a voice like sour blue smoke, Jandek has been recording his singular folk, blues and spoken word pieces since 1978, but only made his first public performance in 2004 at Glasgow’s Instal festival. Counterflows reunites him with Neilson and Richard Youngs, his band for that electrifying live debut.

Other highlights include spectral blues guitarist Loren Connors performing solo and with his partner Suzanne Langille, a family workshop with the restlessly inventive Daniel Padden and the high-energy hip hop of Glasgow duo Hector Bizerk. Pick of the bunch though, is Peter Brötzmann. With his walrus moustache and lung-busting tone, Brötzmann is often characterised as the wild man of European jazz, reducing buildings to dust with his baws-oot horn thunder.

But the 71-year-old is also a player of great subtlety and invention, breathing new life into the saxophone, clarinet and taragato. From his transcendent solo performances to his Japanese trio Yatagarasu, Brötzmann is currently making some of the greatest music of his life. His duo (pictured) with superhuman drummer Paal Nilssen-Love (The Thing, Atomic) is not to be missed.

Various venues, Glasgow, Fri 5–Sun 7 Apr

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).


A festival of underground, experimental and international music, Counterflows marries the local to the international with artists from around the world collaborating with homegrown talent across Glasgow.

Various venues: Glasgow

Thu 31 Mar

Times vary / 07939 607934

Fri 1 Apr

Times vary / 07939 607934

Sat 2 Apr

Times vary / 07939 607934

Sun 3 Apr

Times vary / 07939 607934

Counterflows Friday Evening

The opening evening of Counterflows brings original, genre-defying music ranging from Gareth Dickson's haunting acoustic guitar, to the 'avant blues' of Suzanne Langille and Loren Connors, and the Japanese Blues star, Kan Mikami, reunited in a performance with Alex Neilson.

Friday Late Night Counterflows: Jarse/Hector Bizerk/DJs

As Counterflows moves later into Friday night it presents psychedelic Scandinavian sounds from the Finnish duo, Jarse, followed by experimental home-grown hip hop from Hector Bizerk who promise to deliver an electrifying acoustic performance with drums from Audrey and rap from Louie.

Saturday Film Screening: A Day in the Mouth

Counterflows presents a screening of A Day in the Mouth, a documentary series in six episodes by the experimental Finnish musician and film-maker, Sami Sanpakkila (aka Es), founder of Fonal Records. The event will be introduced by Francis McKee, CCA director, and musician and artist Jari from the Finnish duo Jarse.

Counterflows Residency Presentation with Annette Krebs and Janie Nicoll

The Counterflows Residency at the CCA brings together Glasgow visual artist Janie Nicoll and Berlin electroacoustic musician/composer Annette Krebs for a week of exploration and collaboration. The results of their interaction are presented through discussion, performance, and a range of other, as yet undetermined, visual…

Cry Parrot's Late Night Counterflows

Special commission club nights.

Counterflow’s Family Workshop

A fun-filled and hopefully harmonious event for all the family.

Glad Café Evening

The final evening of Counterflows 2013 at The Glad Café sees a performance from sound installation artist Rie Nakajima, an improvised music and film collaboration from Fuaim is Solas and three video miniatures presented by the Berlin musician/composer Annette Krebs. The festival draws to a close with a performance by two…

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