Glasgow's cutting edge Sonica music festival set for 2013 edition

This article is from 2013.

Sonica 2013

Festival blurs boundaries of music, theatre, visual and electronic art

Even knowing that mosquitoes have sex lives is possibly too much information. But what they do is actually quite amazing. To be certain that they’re mating with the right sort of partner, both male and female mosquitoes need to be able to sing in tune with each other. When they do so, mid-flight copulation is what it’s all about. ‘They get sexy and tune in before having a little fun,’ says Cathie Boyd, one of Sonica 2013’s three curators. What has this got to do with music? This year’s Sonica in Glasgow presents the UK premiere of Truce, described as ‘an interactive sound installation exploring a mosquito’s natural synchronisation behaviour highlighting the musical interactions between insect and computer’. It’s just one of the many cutting-edge events happening in this year’s festival.

For Boyd, also artistic director of art producers Cryptic, and well known for pushing boundaries, Sonica gives ‘an opportunity to showcase some of the most exciting sonic art in the world’. With this in mind, it's as important to Boyd to give a platform to Scottish artists as it is to bring in those from abroad. Elsewhere in the event, Picture Window returns after being part of the 2012 event. Based in Glasgow, it is an ongoing public art project that puts unexpected contemporary art practices into unused shop fronts. Artist in residence is Australian composer Michaela Davis, who uses live percussion and MIDI scores to control performers’ motor function through electronic muscle stimulation. ‘She’s brilliant, really bonkers,’ says Boyd, ‘and she turns the way muscles are stimulated on its head.’ Key to Sonica’s success, Boyd feels, is the city that hosts it: ‘There’s a huge audience in Glasgow, and a lot of what is fantastic about the city is that it takes risks.’

Sonica 2013 - Various venues, Glasgow, Thu 31 Oct–Sun 3 Nov.

Sonica

Cutting edge performance by established international artists, crossing the boundaries of music, theatre, visual and electronic art. It is produced by Cryptic, who are responsible for some of the most fascinating live performance work in the country. Since its launch in 2012, the festival has presented over 400 events by…

Various venues: Glasgow

Thu 26 Oct

Times & prices vary

Fri 27 Oct

Times & prices vary

Sat 28 Oct

Times & prices vary

…and 8 more dates until 5 Nov

Michaela Davies: Compositions for Involuntary Strings

Australian composer/performer Davies has invented a new way of getting musicians to perform: wire them up to MIDI-controlled electricity generators and subject them to electric muscle stimulation, which causes their limbs to make involuntary movements which in turn make noises on their instruments. UK premiere.

Picture Window

Picture Window return to Sonica with a programme of sonic art events around Glasgow.

Artist Talk: Truce

Robin Meier and Ali Momeni discuss their Sonica piece.

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