What is Music? 2011 – Cockatoo Island, Sydney 8th October

Good news. What Is Music? Festival returns!

Here’s the spiel from the website:

“The What Is Music? Festival is back for its 13th year of existence with something a little different given its infamous penchance for speaker-shredding noise – a festival with no PA systems! Set to take place on beautiful Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour on the 8th of October, the festival will focus on the installation-based sound work that has been so widely lauded in the past few instalments of the festival, as well as showcasing the world-class improvised and experimental music that has been the aspiration of the festival since its inception.

“Ever keen to acknowledge and exhibit the roots of experimental music, the festival is thrilled and honoured to host legendary double-bassist Barre Phillips on his first tour of Sydney. With over 40 years of experience, and having paved the way for free improvised music in his collaborations with Ornette Coleman, Derek Bailey, Cecil Taylor, Keiji Haino, John Surman and Evan Parker, the man is a true living legend.

“If one hears the terms ‘living legend’ and ‘Australian improvised music’ in the same breath, there’s a very good chance that the man in reference is none other than Jon Rose, who after his jaw-dropping performances at 2009′s festival is back with an entirely new concept with OCTOPUS. Featuring Robbie Avenaim on his own invention S.A.R.P.S. (see festival website for details) and local percussionists Alex Masso, Finn Ryan, James Waples and Alon Ilsar on bass drums, Rose’s tendency towards the bizarre, conceptual and sonically eloquent ensure this will be another unforgettable piece.

“Naturally, What Is Music? continues its support of the plethora of local artists, from exciting newcomers like the blissed-out installation work of Melanie Herbert and the subsonic rumblings of Matt Chaumont, to scene stalwarts like madman-in-residence Brendan Walls and poet/vocal artist Amanda Stewart (who has been performing at the festival since the very beginning!). Sydney will also be offered the rare opportunity to see works by many of the city’s reclusive geniuses, including Peter Blamey and Emily Morandini, all among one of the most picturesque and architecturally/sonically interesting spaces the festival has had the pleasure of being hosted by.

“And whilst it’s said every year, it must once more be pointed out that this is a truly unmissable, not to be missed event and ultimately something you wouldn’t want to miss. Don’t miss it!”

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