Glasgow’s Tectonics 2014 programme includes Christian Wolff, Thurston Moore and S.L.Á.T.U.R

Glasgow’s Tectonics 2014 programme includes Christian Wolff, Thurston Moore and S.L.Á.T.U.R,

Experimental music festival also features BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Sarah Kenchington and Bill Wells

‘Make it experimental’ was conductor Ilan Volkov’s instruction to all those taking part in his Tectonics Glasgow weekend of music last year – and they duly obliged, with ping-pong balls bouncing off bass drums, sandpit conducting, and the Beatles playing inside a teapot.

Tectonics is back – from 9 - 11 May 2014 – and it’s even more experimental and wide-ranging than ever, with an extra evening to soak up events. ‘It’s demanding but very dynamic,’ says Volkov, ‘and it gives everyone the opportunity to stretch their imaginations and discover new experiences.’

And despite being hosted by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, classical music is just one of many strands. ‘We have this contrast between composed music and improvised music, academic music and totally anarchic, punk music – that’s the crux of Tectonics,’ Volkov says.

Top non-classical name is Sonic Youth’s frontman Thurston Moore, who’s joined by Icelandic composer collective S.L.Á.T.U.R, Edinburgh group Usurper and Scottish jazz iconoclast Bill Wells, among many others. ‘It’s vital to work with local musicians,’ says Volkov, ‘and since Scotland has such a strong music scene, it’s great to have the opportunity to work with those people, often on a much larger scale than they’re used to.’

On the classical side, US experimental composer Christian Wolff is in the spotlight, and there are nine world-premiere performances. ‘Classical music needs to be as open as possible to other genres,’ says Volkov. ‘In any case, the differences between music genres are nowhere near as big as they used to be.’

Also available for audience use are invented and adapted instruments by visual artist Sarah Kenchington. Her Sounds from the Farmyard is a collection of instruments that visitors will be encouraged to try out. Bring open ears and an open mind.

Tectonics, City Halls & St Andrew’s in the Square, Glasgow, Fri 9–Sun 11 May,

Sarah Kenchington: Sounds from the Farmyard

Sarah Kenchington makes her own musical instruments – her Wind Pipes for Edinburgh were a hit of the 2013 Edinburgh Art Fair – and her aim is to get music back to the people, by making her instruments accessible and playable by anyone.


Major works by two leading American composers: Christian Wolff's For One, Two or Three People and Metal & Breath and David Behrman's Wavetrain, performed by David Behrman, Takehisa Kosugi, Icelandic composers' collective S.L.Á.T.U.R, Ilan Volkov and Christian Wolff.


Music from a composers' collective based in Reykjavik, which has experimented with such things as animated notation. The members taking part in this performance are Áki Ásgeirsson, Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir, Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson, Ingi Garðar Erlendsson, Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir, Páll Ivan frá Eiðum, and Þráinn…


Absurdist goings-on from the improvisatory musical duo.