Live Stage: Screen Music [it Florence]

screenmusic.jpgSCREEN MUSIC 2: Mechanical cinema-veritè, circuit bending, electric / electronic audio-video :: Festival della Creatività :: 25 – 28 October 2007 :: Fortezza da Basso – Teatrino Lorenese, Florence :: Free entrance – Screen Music is a project born from an idea of Gianni De Simone and curated by Marco Mancuso founder and director of Digicult and Andrea Mi, director of Videominuto.

Screen Music is part of the program of the Creativity Festival, an event promoted by the Tuscan Region and organized by Fondazione Sistema Toscana. With an exhibition space of approximately 40,000 square meters, 400 events, 1,600 artists and speakers from over 40 countries around the world, the Festival program includes meetings and debates with great representatives of modern culture, the world of art and design, and the Italian and international music scenes.
In the broad fields of contemporary experimentation, within the new mixed media disciplines / subjects, Screen Music presents a varied group of artists (performers, video artists, musicians and designers) protagonists of the most advanced electronic audiovisual research, in the many of its possible declinations, considering this ear also the possible means of dialogue between “digital” and “material” aesthetics.

The first edition of Screen Music focused on the analysis and description of the most modern forms of electronic audiovisual interaction in terms of projections and live performances; the second edition of this review in the location of the Teatrino Lorenese, wants to point out the need of a reflection on the audiovisual aesthetics of tangible, of effectiveness, of manual character and analogic mechanicalness, in a period of excessive digital over-stimulation and exasperate techno-fetishism. A step backwards, a moment to reflect and stop, a return to physicalness of action, to underline the possible alternative ways of audiovisual creativity that, operating now for many years, assume a reason and a creative and operative value thanks indeed to the deep antithesis that they keep in opposition to the reigning digitalization of artistic instruments and creative aesthetics.

It’s above all the part of Screen Music 2 followed by Marco Mancuso / Digicult, Saturday 27/10 and Sunday 28/10 that focuses on these dynamics, thanks to some audiovisual performances where synaesthesia within music and video is realized through the dialogue between the sound produced with mechanical instruments and electrical and physical processes and the image that visualizes what happens on the stage, staging a direct relation in between the resonant source and the visual perception of the audience.

In this direction moves also the last project Popular Mechanics of the pioneering musician Pierre Bastien produced by Aphex Twin’s Rephlex Label, Italian absolute preview, where a system of motors, filters, paper instruments, pulleys and Mecano pieces build up the rhythmic and hypnotic base of an audiovisual concert in the form of cinema-verité unique in the whole world. And more, the where the electromagnetic camp produced by the two projectors creates the audio backstage when it interacts with the graphical patterns designed by the same artists on special projected slides, for an audiovisual performance in real time completely improvised and absolutely genial. The Americans Lou Objects are instead within the most important representatives on an international level of the circuit bending aesthetics, art of improvising audiovisual situationist performances through circuiting in real time electric and electronic elements, whose screen visualization constitutes a hypnotic element of fascination for the present audience.

The Italian school is represented in Screen Music 2 by Mylicon/En, who characterize themselves visualizing the processes deriving from a set of analogical and mechanical instruments, able to produce sounds digitally sampled and edited in real time. The club part of the two nights is in the end entrusted to two completely different but at the same time fascinating projects: on one side the 8 bit aesthetics of the collective from New York 8BitPeoples, present with its representatives Bit Shifter and Nullsleep with the visuals of the French Otro, that thanks to a wise manual work of hacking and circuiting of Game Boys and old Commodore, Atari and Amiga consoles, will lead the audience to an irreverent dance audiovisual delirium on the sounds and images typical of modern micromusic. On the other side the icon, body art performer and dj Franko B, will measure himself with the software artist and vj Sanch Tv in a live audiovisual set astride between techno music and generative art.

Finally, the opening night of Screen music 2, on Thursday 25/10, followed by Abdrea Mi/Videominute together with the staff of RE::LIFE, will be a night totally dedicated to join and weld the audiovisual connections between the best “old school” of hip hop and dj culture (represented by the sampling percussionist Steinski) and the most promising guard of the electronic scene (excellently represented by the Swiss Dimlite and by our Costa) visualized live by the graphic evolutions of the Spanish Iglesias Heras. Tommy Boy, Antidote, Ninja Tune, Stones Throw, Sonar Kollectiv are just some of the basic labels with whom the artists involved in this project have recorded and this will also be the occasion to verify the creative path that begins in the end of the 70s and arrives to the next future, twining styles an sounds in between cymbals and samplers, laptops and videomixers. From the Hip Hop Old School to the Abstract Hip.


THURSDAY 25 OCTOBER – cured by Andrea Mi/Videominuto
23.30-00.15 – Costa (Ita) + Pintaycolorea (Spa)
00-30-01.15 – Dimlite (Svi) + Pintaycolorea (Spa)
01.30-03.00 – Steinski (USA) + Pintaycolorea (Spa)

SATURDAY 27 OCTOBER – cured by Marco Mancuso/Digicult
00-30-01.30 – Mylicon/En (Ita)
23.30-00.30 – Loud Objects (Usa)
01.30-03.00 – Franko B (UK) + Sanch Tv (Fra)

SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER – cured by Marco Mancuso/Digicult
00.30-01.30 – Pierre Bastien (Fra)
23.30-00.30 – Mikomikona (Ger)
01.30-03.00 – 8 Bit Peoples: Bit Shifter & Nullsleep (Usa) + Otro (Fra)

PIERRE BASTIEN – Composer and multi-instrumentalist with transalpine origins, Pierre Bastien creates electro-acoustic sounds using mechanical toy-musicians in strange conglomerations of pulleys and BONGOLETTI, rough spring-loaded gears and little motors, near to the tradition of surrealist bricolage. The final results lead back to improvisation music and to ethnic traditional musicality: click and bass drum, electronic melodies and mutant trumpets as contour to the many micro-percussions, elaborations quite free and released from the usual stylistic standards at the point to thrill also Squarepusher and Aphex Twin that wanted Pierre Bastien with them in the respective English and Italian tours. It is a unique combination of experimentalism, melody and sound-art that even though keeps a happy and suggestive pleasantness in listening. With the new project the cinema-verité of Pierre Bastien is characterized by paper drums, paper organ and by sheets of paper that alternate with the usual Meccano pieces and circuits, for the audiovisual portrayal exalted by the sweet and romantic intervention of the jazz trumpet played live by the same musician.

MIKOMIKONA is a Berlinese duo composed of Andreas Eberlein and Birgit Schneider. Their audiovisual performances, imprinted towards a strict minimalist aesthetic harshness, are real sessions of experimental laboratory during which the duo concentrates on the physical transformations of sound to image and vice versa. Driven experimentalism, liveness and strong scene impact are the uprising characteristics of their works, designed in the balance between deepened theoretic consciousness and technologic research. The instruments that they use in live shows can be overhead projectors equipped with home-built analogical devices that read and transform into audio signals the bedding of optical layers of the slides, or strange machineries with the 16mm.

FRANKO B, born in Milan and living in London since 1979, has created projects using languages such as video, photography, performances, painting, installations, sculpture and mixed media since 1990. his performances have been hosted in spaces such as the Tate Modern, ICA, South London Gallery and Palais des Beaux-Artes, Brussels, while he held lessons at the St. Martins School of Art, DasArt, New York University and the Courtauld Institute of Art. Already two biographies have been written on his artistic career: ‘Franko B’ (Black Dog Publishing 1998) e ‘Oh Lover Boy’ (2001). The most recent publications of the artist are a photographic book titled ‘Still Life’ (2003) and the monograph Blinded by Love while his latest projects are on the web:, Since 2004 Franko B works as dj.

BIT SHIFTER explores the energy of low definition music composed and performed on a Nintendo Game Boy. The result is an enjoying and evocative sound performed on a platform that everyone thinks technically limited. Bit Shifter’s music, whose realization is allowed by software designed by Oliver Wittchow and Johan Kotlinski (nanoloop and Little Sound Dj), defines a low budget aesthetic where a minimal hardware equipment is pushed further to the limit of its expressive potentialities. Based in New York, Bit Shifter has produced music for 8bitpeoples, 555 Recordings, Mirex, Ketacore e Astralwerks, performing in many live sets around the world.

NULLSLEEP – Co-founder of the collective 8bitpeoples, Nullsleep creates a pop and romantic sound using old electronic devices trying to avoid their technical limits. Sweet melodies and intense rhythmic pulses are produced and lead through small plastic instruments in an evocative audiovisual research but never nostalgic. His recordings with 8bitpeoples, Astralwerks e Aniplex have made of him one of the most famous artists on the international stage. Based in New York, Nullsleep has performed in live shows between America, Europe and Asia, participating also to the dates of the International Chiptune Resistance World Tour in 2006.

OTRO – Otromatic is a vj that creates visuals using old amiga computers and mobile consoles. His artistic research moves in between the 8bit experimentation, science fiction of low cost kind and influences from the historical vanguards to create dynamic and evocative visual catalogue. Very active as a graphic designer, realizes musical covers and projects of coordinate image for many labels.

MYLICON/EN is a duo that rises from the collaboration between the videomaker Lino Greco and the musician Daniela Cattivelli. Since 2002 the duo has started a route leading to experimentation of new ways of interaction between live images and sounds inside a device in the balance between digital dematerialization (referring with it also to the whole experimentation of the last years around the phenomena of VJs and livemedia) and the return to action physicality. Live exhibitions characterizes itself for the use of “analogical” and mechanical sources and instruments of various kinds ad origin. A kind of work that touches different fields and subjects, Mylicon/EN finds space in festivals and reviews of various kinds: from contexts essentially tied up with electronic music to vjing festivals, from art galleries to performatory and theatrical arts. Moreover Mylicon/EN has realized various video that appeared in many international festivals and different video installations.

Sanch Tv is David Dessens a French freelance designer who creates software for instruments for video synthesis in real time that use physicalinterfaces and full-developed instruments between motion graphics and audio scores. His live visuals surprisingly react to the music they visualize, and since it generate patterns and sequences of images that adapt themselves to the space and location. His scientific and mathematic studies produced performances that play with 3dabstraction in creating fluid and unexpected shapes.

LOUD OBJECTS – Tristan Perich, Kunal Gupta e Katie Shima are Loud Objects, electronic noise group of musicians, artists and architects that build digital circuits on the stage with welding and microchips. The action takes place directly on an old projector, that makes the assembling smoky and transparent, that runs hand in hand with low level circuits that create the music. The first five minutes of their set are usually characterized by complete silence due to the building of the starting circuit, that explodes in the end in a dens a real sound. But don’t think that these small circuits create light sounds. noise is hard and heavy, modeled and modulated each time with the addition of new chips to the low-fi system.

DIGICULT is a cultural project involved in digital culture and electronic arts. DigiCult project is directed by Marco Mancuso and based on the active participation of 40 professional people about, who represent the first wide Italian network of journalists, curators, artists and critics in the field of electronic culture. And on a multitude of updated strategies around new media communication and networking activities. DigiCult is a web portal but is also the editor of the monthly magazine DigiMag, discussing with a critic and journalistic approach, about net art, hacktivism, video art, electronica, audio video, interaction design, artificial intelligence, new media, software art, performing art. DigiCult produce an electronic music and audiovisual podcast and the newsletter international service DigiNews. DigiCult is involved in side-activities like media partnerships and journalistic/critic reports, consultancy and curatorial activities and artists international promotion.

Oct 22, 2007
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