Spectra - Paris
In its 17th season, Sónar, the International Festival of Electronic Music and Multimedia Art, returns to Barcelona to celebrate three of the longest days of the year. On June 17th, 18th and 19th, the city will crawl with techno-maniacal festival-goers who’ve come to see both the crème de la crème of electronic culture and some of the best newcomers on the scene: the Chemical Brothers one night; a relatively unknown DJ set the next. Sónar is a three-day assault on your senses, but not just for the music—with new media artworks an important underpinning of all things Sónar, get ready for multimedia projections and light shows that enliven these concerts with mystifying and theatrical visuals.
With a three-day pass you’ll see it all, but even a single day or night ticket will get you in to experience some of the world’s most technologically advanced musicians and artists. To make the most out of your 2010 Sónar experience, here is a taste of what you can expect to see away from the main line-up.
Arguably one of this year’s most dramatic events will be the Jónsi show on Sónar’s last night, June 19th. The music of Jónsi, the side project of Sigur Rós frontman Jón Þór Birgisson, is described by Sónar as ‘baroque pop’, an apt description if Birgisson’s day job is any indication. If the music is not enough of a pull, take a look online at the preview videos of Jónsi’s concert setup. He’s teamed up with 59 Productions, a UK-based production company that specialises in multimedia design for live performance. Jónsi’s music, evocative and influenced by nature and the magical, will be personified by 59’s elaborate construction and lighting scheme. This is going to be some wicked theatre.
Also consider Japó, an unexpected creative collaboration between Barcelona’s own Auditori instrumental group, bcn216, and experimental DJ and sound artist, Cristian Vogel. Vogel will man the visuals (with some help from local technology wizard Ricard Marxer and new media artist Óscar Sol), while bcn216 perform a repertoire based on the concept of Japan. Note that this special performance will take place at l’Auditori de Barcelona on Thursday, June 17th—tickets for all Sónar events that take place at l’Auditori must be purchased separately.
Sónar has joined creative forces with the Grec Festival de Barcelona, the annual celebration of theatre, dance, music and the circus arts, to bring a particularly exciting creative event to the city—one that will surely impact all of its dwellers and visitors. Head over to the Teatre Grec, or look south to Montjuïc on the night of the 17th, when Japanese composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda will present both a light installation, ‘Spectra (barcelona)’, and an audiovisual show, ‘Test Pattern (live set)’. The first, visible from all parts of the city, will cast an enormous column of light into the sky. Ikeda’s ‘Test Pattern’ will shine flickering lights that respond to a mathematical soundscape onto the Teatre Grec gardens.
So if you’re all signed up for the, as always, impeccable musical line-up, do remember you could also be lucky enough to witness some of the most forward thinking audio-visual artists at work this year.