Underwater concert and four other events to get excited about at Sonica 2017

Underwater concert and four other events to get excited about at Sonica 2017

credit: Jens Peter Engedal

Sonic arts from Denmark, Czech Republic, Belguim, Japan and the UK come to Glasgow

Cryptic's biennial visual sonic arts festival returns to Glasgow this autumn. Across 11 days the festival presents works from over 40 international artists, with four world premieres, 12 UK premieres and eight Cryptic commissions. Here we take a look at some of the exciting works coming to Glasgow.

AquaSonic leads the programme, and as the name suggests it's an underwater concert. The performance, created by Denmark's Between Music, has been nine years in the making. They've worked with deep sea divers, scientists and instrument-makers to create compositions for five musicians submerged in vast tanks of water. The musicians will meld whale song and chamber music in a performance that's got to be one of the more unique performances you'll see this year.

Archifon IV
This interactive architectural installation by the Czech Republic's Floex & Initi transforms ornate elements of The University of Glasgow's Memorial Chapel into a virtual musical instrument. Audiences are invited to play with laser pointers, which activate acoustic and optical elements mounted at various points on the building's interior, making the once still walls come to life.

Sonica hosts the UK premiere of Shorelines, which recently debuted at the Operadagen festival in Rotterdam. It explores the beauty and catastrophic power of the sea and is inspired by the North Sea Flood of 1953, which devastated the Netherlands and took many lives in the UK and Belgium. The piece was created by the three countries affected by the North Sea Flood and features the Netherland's all-female Ragazze Quartet, Belgium's artist/designer Christophe Coppens and, from the UK, composer Oliver Coates and director Josh Armstrong.

Sonica's 2017 Artist in Residence Nelo Akamatsu (Japan) creates a site-specific version of CHOZUMAKI for the iconic Mackintosh Tower at The Lighthouse. Inspired by the structure of vortices, the installation features glass vessels filled with water and a small winged magnet that rotates at the bottom to generate a swirling vortex. Audiences can listen to the sound of tiny bubbles being swallowed into the vortex through a spiral-shaped pipe that resembles the cochlea in the human ear. The vortex's shape constantly changes, as does the sound it produces.

Infinite Lives
Following its world premiere at the Grand Theatre Groningen, Netherlands on 30 June, Cryptic Associate Artist Robbie Thomson presents the UK premiere of Infinite Lives. Conducted by a live electronic score, this performative installation blends projection with robotic devices to create a technologically induced lucid-dream state for an intimate audience. The piece is inspired by discourses on consciousness from the mid-20th century to the present day including Rita Carter, Philip K Dick, Jaron Lanier, RD Laing and Robert Anton Wilson. Thomson has interviewed contemporary practitioners in the fields of psychiatry and nano-science to create the piece.

Tickets are on sale for AquaSonic, Tramway, Thu 26 & Fri 27 Oct. All other events go on sale in July 2017, when further programme details will be announced.

Sonica, various venues, Glasgow, Thu 26 Oct–Sun 5 Nov.


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 31 Oct 2019

Times & prices vary

Fri 1 Nov 2019

Times & prices vary

Sat 2 Nov 2019

Times & prices vary

…and 9 more dates until 11 Nov 2019


An underwater concert created by Denmark's Between Music. The company have worked with deep sea divers, scientists and instrument-makers to create compositions for five musicians who perform submerged in vast tanks of water.

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