Animistic Beliefs are inventing a new, creole musical language. The Rotterdam-based duo of Linh Luu and Marvin Lalihatu repurpose forms from techno and IDM to create exhilarating hybrids, applying a fresh perspective that is both deeply personal and political.
‘Animism’ is the idea found in indigenous belief systems that all objects, creatures and places possess a spiritual essence. Pre-colonial thought, traditions and music connected with Marvin’s Moluccan and Linh’s Vietnamese-Chinese heritage are key inspirations behind the Animistic Beliefs project, and tools through with the duo explore their experience as people of colour living in the Netherlands, a historical centre of colonial power. Electro, gabber and punk formed the initial backbone of their sound, but as the duo rediscovered traces of culture that conventional history had erased, South-East Asian tonality, tribal rhythms, even texts and poetry have become central components.
Parallel but distinct from their releases, the duo have honed a fast-paced and ritualistic live sound. As performers Animistic Beliefs have been able to transcend the club circuit, and are as comfortable sharing the bill with techno mainstays like DJ Stingray and Helena Hauff, as they are alongside artists like Lotic, Rian Treanor and Jlin. Increasingly, sights are set beyond music, as Linh and Marvin broaden their output to alternative fashion and new media art.
CUCINA POVERA & HARON
Cucina Povera is the solo project of Luxembourgish-Finnish musician Maria Rossi. It has been described as one of the most striking new voices from Glasgow’s underground music scene. Named after the Italian culinary concept which emphasises the use of a few simple ingredients, Cucina Povera conjures gorgeous, otherworldly songs about nourishment and precarity from layered vocals and electronics. Live, her music unfolds beautifully, as beguiling melodies emerge from harmonic drones and looped phrases. Recordings blend clear, unaffected voice and minimal synth. She released her debut album, Hilja, 2018 on Glasgow’s Night School Records. Her second album Zoom 2019 is a verité collection of situational recordings in intimate spaces full of acoustic or ideological intrigue, primarily using just her voice. It is a document of different locations and moods, a postcard-look into the stream-of-consciousness processes of an artist developing her language. Using little else other than a Zoom recorder, clip-top bottle and a loop pedal. In Zoom Rossi’s minimalism is fully stark, a process becomes transparent and all the more powerful because of it. 2020 has also seen the artist come into her own as a highly effective collaborator, with two different releases on which she recorded music alongside another artist. The first of these collaborations came in the form of her joint-release on The Hague-based label BAKK, alongside experimental Dutch artist Haron, for the sixth edition of their Plafond series. The release brings together the folkloric and the futurist, with the cinematic long-form piece ‘Riffittelyä’ a particular highlight.
Haron is making a name for himself with several club-oriented EP’s on BAKK. Haron decided on a stylistic shift in 2018 with his well received cinematic debut album ‘Wandelaar’ on Queeste. Described by Pitchfork as “a pensive descendant of Ryuichi Sakamoto, Harold Budd, and the Catalan composer Frederic Mompou” it is a delicate suite of seven pieces steeped in graceful melodies, soothing improvisation and proprioceptive sound design evoking a liminal dreamlike world. With their joint album constructed entirely through an online correspondence, both Maria and Haron are excited to further last year’s collaboration with a premiere of sorts for this evening, as it will be the first time the two artists will perform live together.
EDWIN VAN DER HEIDE
Edwin van der Heide is an artist, composer and researcher in the field of sound, space and interaction. He extends musical composition and musical language into spatial, interactive and interdisciplinary directions. His work comprises installations, performances and environments. The audience is often located in the middle of the work and challenged to actively explore and interact with the artwork.
Besides running his own studio he is part-time lecturer and researcher at Leiden University, involved in both the Leiden Institute for Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) including the Media Technology MSc programme, and the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA). From 1995 till 2016 he was a lecturer at, and later also co-head (2014-2016) of, the ArtScience Interfaculty of the Royal Conservatoire and Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. He was Edgard Varèse guest professor at the Technische Universität Berlin (2009) and won the Witteveen+Bos Art+Technology Award 2009 for his entire body of work. He was an invited artist and guest professor at Le Fresnoy, studio des arts contemporain in France for the year 2011-2012 and guest lecturer in the Master Contemporary Arts Practice of the HKB, Bern University of the Arts in 2019.
ABDELLAH M. HASSAK
Abdellah M. Hassak is a sound artist, new media, music producer, art director. His research explores processes of participative sonic mapping at the urban level, integrating sound, daily technologies, and radio as tools to foster agency in inhabitants’ narrations of their environment. Abdellah has been collaborating with many other institutions and cultural spaces in Morocco and abroad in radiophonic and sound practice. He launched the Radio and Archive sound platform Mahattat Radio and He develops a musical syncretic Afrofuturism music with field recordings practice as a producer/dj Guedra Guedra.
In 1976 French composer and musician Pierre Bastien built a sound sculpture that was going to be the first element of a large orchestra called Mecanium: an ensemble of musical automatons made of meccano parts and electro-motors, playing on acoustic instruments from all over the world.
In the nineties the mechanical orchestra developed up to 80 pieces. It took part in music festivals and art exhibitions all over the world. In the recent years, Pierre Bastien and his machines collaborated with video artist Pierrick Sorin, fashion designer Issey Miyake, British singer and composer Robert Wyatt, Trottola circus company, musicians Alexei Aigi, Pascal Comelade and Jaki Liebezeit, Steve Arguelles, Phonophani. His music is released on Western Vinyl, Signature, Rephlex, Morphine, Discrepant and Marionette Records.
HORST RICKELS & ROBERT PRAVDA
Horst Rickels is a cross-disciplinary artist who works in installation and sound. Horst Rickels originally studied piano construction at Grotrian-Steinway, then music in Kassel, where he started composing for the Staatstheater. He moved to the Netherlands, where he studied electronic composition under Dick Raaijmakers at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and music theory with Jan van Dijk at the Brabants Conservatoire, Tilburg. Rickels’ main work has been developing new instruments, in the form of sound objects, sculptures and installations, incorporating the audio-visual qualities of the surrounding space, natural or artificial environments. For many of his projects, the starting points are the site-specific qualities of a space, architectonic and acoustic. Another aspect of his research is how the principle of instability of tuning-systems, pictorial structures and performance practices can be made the central theme of art works. Rickels teaches at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague (Interfaculty ArtScience) and at the National Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam.
Robert Pravda is a sonic-artist and performer who is currently based in The Netherlands, where he resides in the city of Rotterdam. Pravda is also a graduate of The Hague’s Royal Academy for Fine Arts and Royal conservatoire. At this institute his examination project, 5x5x5, was awarded the visitor’s prize as part of Shell’s Young Artist Award. Since 2002 he has been teaching sound related courses and developing research projects as a member of the teaching team for the ArtScience department of the Royal Academy for Fine Arts Music and Dance in the Hague. During and after his studies he concentrated on building instruments for multimedia performances, as well as making compositions for spatial sound and light installations that were involved with theater productions.
Mint Park is an electronic musician and a new media artist who investigates space, texture, and natural phenomenon in her sound-driven practice. Through scientific experiments and hybrid process of different digital makings, it is her attempt to continuously redefine and question the fluctuating existential qualities in today’s binary space and machine-quantified time. Her most recent research explores contingency space that emerges upon choosing non-linear expressions such as turbulence, noise, artificial intelligence and improvisation, as artistic methods. Mint’s works have been performed and realized in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seoul, Bangkok and Budapest in venues such as REDCAT, the wulf. The LAB, Robot Speak and 4D SOUND.
MATTEO MARANGONI – ECHO MOIRE
Echo Moiré is a robotic opera-ballet by Matteo Marangoni in which a pair of loudspeaker vehicles is employed to play a room as a musical instrument. Exploring the acoustic properties of the room, the vehicles create aural images that float in the air, enveloping listeners with patterns of echoes rebounding off the walls. Matteo Marangoni is an artist and community organiser interested in sonic rituals, DIY media and applied utopianism. His artistic practice focuses on creating spatial experiences probing the relationship between subject and object. As organiser he coordinates the program of iii (instrument inventors initiative) and curates the performance series No Patent Pending.
Julian Edwardes is a trained visual artist with a background in Fine Art; he studied at AKV St Joost and at the Sandberg Institute Amsterdam. Form, language, identity and existence are assayed within a compositional framework pullulated from a modular synthesizer, utilizing unstable systems and disrupted resonant bodies.