I don't believe that sound art needs to be something that you are familiar with or educated about in order to understand and enjoy it
—crys cole, director
send + receive: a festival of sound is launching its 14th season, running October 17-20 in venues around Winnipeg.
But what exactly can you expect from a sound festival? SCENE asked send + receive director crys cole to give us the inside scoop.
What is send + receive?
send + receive is an annual festival of audio art which showcases an array of different approaches to audio experimentation through concerts, sound installations, public performances, screenings, workshops and artist talks. The festival is one of the longest of its kind in North America, this edition is themed Natural Sound.
The main objective for me as the director is to create a space for listening. I don't believe that we take the time and space to listen enough these days, I mean really listen. And when we do, especially when presented with thoughtful and engaging work, it can be such an invigorating and moving experience.
Which shows are you most looking forward to?
Each performance, installation and talk offers something so different which is crucial to me for the festival. To me it's all different elements of a continuous conversation, but of course there are certain special things I look forward to at this year's edition.
Akio Suzuki of Japan is one of the artists appearing at send + receive. (courtesy of the artist)
I am excited beyond words to have Akio Suzuki (Japan) here for the festival. Akio is one of the earliest artist to define himself as a sound artist (working with sound since the mid-1960s) and his work is integral to the history of sound art. His approach is very simple and elegant, exploring natural acoustics, organic instruments (stones, bamboo, raw materials) and deep purposeful listening.
The Saturday night all acoustic concert will be very special overall, with a local ensemble performing the piece "Stones" by Christian Wolff and American alto sax and trumpet duo, Nmperign sharing the program with Suzuki.
We will have a very special sound installation running 24 hours a day during the festival by renowned British nature recordist/composer Chris Watson at The Cube in Old Market Square. The piece, titled "The Forest Floor," was created from recordings in the Borneo rainforest.
The work is so stimulating and when placed in The Cube, in such an urban space, it takes on a very intriguing and special presence. I really hope that people will make a point to stop by the Cube and check it out.
What show would you recommend to someone who's never been to the festival?
I suppose if pressed I would recommend either the Friday or Saturday night concerts as good introductions. The Friday night concert will feature four performances of works using water as a sound source. The evening will begin with pure acoustic sound and will gradually build to include more and more amplification and processing for a very dynamic range.
Crys Cole is director of send + receive (Jamie Drouin)
Historic works like Fluxus artist George Brecht's "Drip Music" (1960s), which will be performed that night, give a context for early explorations with sound in art. This will lead into a very nuanced performance by local artist Angela Forget, followed by hypnotic water-bowl music by France based artist Tomoko Sauvage and will conclude with a highly charged piece of noise music by Vancouver artist the Rita.
I don't believe that sound art needs to be something that you are familiar with or educated about in order to understand and enjoy it. It engages the senses in ways that transcend categorizations. It is intellectual certainly, but it is also visceral, playful and inspired. I guarantee that anyone who is intrigued to attend will take something special away from it.
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