It was an exciting weekend for Hanoi’s experimental music scene with LOTS of things going on, and due to other musical commitments I was unable to make it to pretty much any of them. (Insert frowny emoticon face here.) By all reports the headlining events of Tri Minh’s Hanoi SoundStuff Festival were excellent and well attended. A line-up of Vietnamese and foreign artists took the stage on Friday night for a sit-down concert and Saturday night for a more DJ/dance-oriented evening.
Also taking place this weekend was the Hanoi Soundwalk, a self-curated audio history tour of Hanoi which took the form of a large group of people investigating different corners of the Old Quarter using a GPS-enabled smartphone and a custom-built app that triggered different audio snippets and slices through headphones based on the location of the listener. The overarching idea was to create a personal, informative soundscape of historical audio which constantly changed as participants walked throughout the Old Quarter. This walk was part of a broader soundwalk project taking place several cities throughout the world and due to the high level of interest it sounds like Josh and Matthias, the organizers of the walk, may be putting more walks together in the future. Stay tuned! Check out the Hanoi Soundwalk Facebook page for some good photos of the event.
On Sunday evening Kim Ngoc’s DomDom continued its series of experimental concerts by presenting Experimental Inception at Thuyen Quang Lake Theatre. This also sounds like it was a remarkable show with a great line-up and Hanoise looks forward to attending future events put on by DomDom, who are doing some very exciting things for experimental music and art in Hanoi. Here’s a short summary by DomDom:
Seen as THE Hub for experimental art&music, DomDom will astound you with a multitude of performances bluring contrasts and interactions between personalities and characters in various talents. Swedish artists, Stephan Östersjö and Henrik Frisk will unite with experimental musicians from the local scene that will arouse sensations. In this context, Phu Luc- the performance-art group, musicians Nguyen Thanh Thuy, Ngo Tra My, Nguyen Duc Minh, sound artist Nguyen Manh Hung, film maker Nguyễn Trinh Thi, dancer Nguyen Anh Duc and emerging musician, Luong Hue Trinh, will play in a concert uniting talents.
All of this and I wasn’t able to attend any of it! I unfortunately missed perhaps Hanoi’s biggest weekend of experimental music of the year because I was knee-deep in rehearsing and performing at a very non-experimental (but still very out there for Hanoi) concert of American bluegrass, old-time and country music with my pick-up bluegrass band Banh My and the Bad Debts at Hanoi Social Club. That gig was great, and we’ll be doing another one in June, but that’s for someone other than Hanoise to write about.
I can, however, take comfort in the fact that I haven’t missed everything Hanoi has to throw at us experimentalists this week. Internationally renowned experimental sound artist Bob Ostertag and filmmaker and visual artist Pierre Hebert will be performing at CAMA ATK on Wednesday night. I had no idea this was even happening until I saw CAMA’s Facebook page yesterday. Needless to say, this is going to be an exciting show and its great that it is coming on the heels of the big SoundStuff weekend. Ostertag and Hebert construct an audio-visual feast titled Living Cinema which, at least based on the filmed performances I saw of them years ago, involves the use of overhead projectors and found objects among many other elements. The performance table and platform will be a mess when this show is over! Should be a blast! I watched the heck out of the Tzadik DVD Between Science and Garbage put out by the duo in the early part of the last decade and can’t wait to see it live in person. Watch the video below for a great 5-minute sampling of what to expect. Check it out at CAMA ATK on Wednesday evening at 9pm. Head to Bob’s official site for a good description of Living Cinema and CAMA’s blog for a good overview of the evening. This excerpt from Ostertag’s site is my favorite bit:
The performance is innovative enough to be difficult to describe to those who have not seen it, yet transparent enough to be easily grasped by those in attendance. Children have typically been among its most enthusiastic fans.
I’ll be there…I need my fix of sound art after missing all of the great events last weekend and being forced to live vicariously through other people’s Facebook photo albums.
Keep on listening…