Lifting the veil from Brussels' latest pop-synth enigma
This year, Leuven’s annual art, media and music festival takes the text by Stanley Brouwn here below as its starting and crossing point. Brouwn developed in his body of work a relation to the world, a relation which he constantly requalified by the act of walking and the use and reconsideration of measurements, distances and movements. Parallel Crossings is a meeting place where different movements come together, almost touching or crossing each other. Jacob did stroll through the music program and came back to us with this interesting to watch-list.
walk during a few moments very consciously in a certain direction;
simultaniously an infinite number
of living creatures in the universe
are moving in an infinite number of directions.
– Stanley Brouwn in Art & Project Bulletin 11, 1969
Words by Jacob McPherson
Lead photo by Nadine Ijewere
With her recently-released January 2019 debut via UIQ, 7 Directions, Nkisi draws upon the writings of Dr. Kimbwandènde Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau. According to Fu-Kiau’s book, ‘African Cosmology Of The Bantu-Kongo: Tying The Spiritual Knot, Principles of Life & Living,’ to walk as a human being in the world one must be able to travel in seven directions. Translating this notion into seven hyper-modern tracks, Nkisi’s album explores the incredible polyrhythms of Congolese percussion music. As a sonic activist, Nkisi’s uses her music to tear down structures which create binaries in society. In addition, she curates and manages the NON Worldwide collective alongside Angel Ho and Chino Amobi.
Performing in Belgium for the first time, Colin Self brings his proposal for interdependence, critical joy, and an expansive sense of being, Siblings, to Leuven. Bounded by curiosity and caring, Colin provokes audiences to embody unity on a damaged planet. Influenced by Donna Haraway’s work, known for her 1985 Cyborg Manifesto, Siblings, released November 2018 via RVNG Intl., personifies the notion of a harmonious, gender-less, race-less peaceful civilization. Backing Self’s mobile, transitional production, Brussels’ Echo Collective provides unique instrumental support. Having exhibited Siblings at institutions like MOMA PS1 in NYC, Self’s immersive audiovisual experience is globally recognised.
Ghent-based duo Partners, consisting of James de Graef and Femke Fredrix, recreates the transitional moment between leaving an underground club and entering reality. With a collection of sounds one might encounter throughout twilight, their debut album,Faust, released in 2018 via Montage awakens listeners. Inspired by their cat, Partners took the opportunity to explore the relationship between different species of animals, including humans, throughout Faust. Part album, part film, Partners wishes to encourage better harmony among all living beings. Although the project is layered with raw, uncomfortable elements, James and Femke’s gentle spirit keeps the message positive.
1 Mar – free for members
Members need to buy a ticket with a discount code
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Improvising with organs across the world, Swedish composer Ellen Arkbro investigates how such old instruments perform in modern contexts. Exclusively for Artefact, she will debut a new composition on the 17th century mid-tone organ of the Beguinage Church. Having previously produced a multi-instrument experience for her debut solo album, For Organ and Brass, on a nearly 400-year-old church organ in Tangermünd, Germany with a horn, trombone, and tuba orchestra, Arkbro is an expert of her craft. Supported by Norwegian composer and vocalist, Maja Ratke, and Swedish jolk singer, Katarina Barruk, Arkbro’s Artefact performance, Avant Jolk, will conclude with an exhilarating trip provided by Gamelan Voices. Combining electronic soundscapes and Indonesian gamelan beats, it’s a perfect way to close out Arkbro’s experimental performance.
Radically redefining a saxophone’s capabilities, Ben Vince’s improvisational approach is the result of open-eared collaboration. Following a recent collaboration with Hessle Audio’s Joy O, and releases supported by Blank Editions, CURL, and Depth and Decay, Vince’s May 2018 album via Where To Now?, Assimilation, broadens his horizons from ‘creator to vector’. Incorporating guests like Micachu, Rupert Clervaux, Valentina Magaletti, and Merlin Nova, Vince pushes the limits on what it means to be a jazz musician. He’s truly embracing the spirit of co-creation while retaining his reputation as a dynamic, harmonious spatial artist.
Artefact runs from 21 Feb until 10 Mar at STUK, Leuven